Patch notes for Dark Souls 3's upcoming The Ringed City DLC launch have been made available on the official Japanese website. That patch, which has been translated within the Dark Souls 3 community, is tentatively planned for release on March 24. That's four days prior to the official launch of The Ringed City DLC.
Note that while the patch is coming to all supported platforms, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, it'll also include PvP arenas exclusive to Ashes of Ariandel and Season Pass purchasers.
Since The Ringed City DLC won't launch until after the patch is released, players can rest easy regarding any feared spoilers in the notes. This patch deals solely with current in-game content, beyond the new PvP arenas. There is some speculation that The Ringed City DLC could be pre-loaded along with the patch, however.
- Made system updates for The Ringed City.
- Increased frame rate for gameplay on PlayStation®4 Pro.
- 2 New maps added to Undead Match, Dragon Ruins and Grand Roof.
- Added function to Undead Match where, if password matching is used, players can split into teams.
- Added function to Undead Match that allows one team of players to match with one password, and the other team to match with another password.
- Added function where various hosts could be displayed on the bonfire warp menu.
- Added warning text that advised player if he/she has dropped too many items in a single location on the field.
- Fixed issue where the loading screen was displayed for longer than usual when the guest returned to his/her own world after an online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue in "The Painted World of Ariandel" where the opened/closed status of the door to the Cleansing Chapel did not synched properly during online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue where a guest could enter alone into the boss room for the Dancer of the Boreal Valley during online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue where the level sync feature in Undead Match did not synched consistently during online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue in the loading screen where guests were not alerted to an error that occurred on the host's side during online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue when player using the miracle Tears of Denial doesn’t get attacked during online multiplayer session.
- Fixed issue where weapons and items sent to the box get corrupted when inventory is full.
- Fixed icons that specify which certain items are for which gender. (ex. Chain Armor).
- Improved attack power for Daggers (fixed). In accordance with this fix, critical hit is decreased in order to make critical power the same as present.
- Improved motion of normal attack for Ultra Greatswords, Great Hammers and Curved Great Swords.
- Decreased stamina depletion when attacking using Ultra Greatswords, Great Hammers, and Greataxes.
- Improved attack power for Curved Greatswords.
- Decreased motion of normal attack while dashing for Katanas. Improved motion of any other normal attacks.
- Improved motion of shield bash skill. In accordance with this fix, stamina consumption has been reduced.
- Improved motion of Dagger's Blind Spot skill.
- Increased rate at which Frostbite builds up when using Vordt's Great Hammer, Irithyll Straight Sword, and Friede's Great Scythe.
- Shortened attack window of Carthus Curved Sword and Dark Sword, Gargoyle Flame Spear and Follower Sabre.
- Improved motion of Crescent Moon Sword's skill, Crescent Blade.
- Improved the motion of Moonlight Greatswords’s skill, Moonlight Vortex.
- Improved FP recovery effect of Executioner's Greatsword.
- Fixed so that Frost Blade appears from the beginning of Pontiff Knight Curved Sword skill.
- Improved FP decrease effect of Yorshka’s Spear skill, Pacify.
- Improved motion and the frost effect of Pontiff Knight Great Scythe skill.
- Improved motion of normal attack for Greatlance.
- Fixed so that poise is applied during Greatlance two-handed attack.
- Fixed so that poise is applied during Dark Hand skill, Lifedrain.
- Disabled parry during Pickaxe's two-handed attack.
- Improved duration of the Perseverance effect.
- Fixed issue where attack power of some bolts was different from the assumed value when using Avelyn.
- Fixed issue where one-handed attack motion of Crow Talons was incorrectly using the animation for the Fists.
- Fixed issue where player can apply enchantment of Bloodlust to other weapons.
- Fixed so that poise is applied during Spin Sweep attack.
- Fixed issue where Onislayer continued to attack consecutively.
- Improved correction value for Sharp or Heavy weapons' upgrade.
- Improved the Bleed build-up of Blood infusions.
- Reduced Bleed build-up of weapons not infused with Blood.
- Improved the Poison build-up of Poison infusions.
- Along with improving correction value for Sharp or Heavy weapons' upgrade, adjusted correction value for Refined weapons' upgrade.
- Improved defense and also increased weights for heavy armor.
- Improved the motion of Lightning Stake, Lightning Storm and Way of White Corona.
- Extended the time you can move during the casting of the miracles of Gnaw, Dorhys' Gnawing and Wrath of the Gods.
- Fixed issue where bonus value is not affected by Dark Damage when equipping Hornet Ring during critical attack.
- Increased the damage of Poison and Toxic dealt by players, and shortened its duration.
- Decreased rate at which blood builds up when using Carthus Rouge.
The bulk of the changes in the patch deal with balance issues, as the patch places a lot of focus on Dark Souls 3 PvP. For the most part, From Software handed out a wide variety of buffs rather than any harsh nerfs. Ultra weapons, daggers, and curved greatswords in particular seem much stronger. Some specific items did see nerfs, for instance the Carthus Curved Sword, Dark Sword, and Follower Sabre.
For the most part, exactly how the changes effect combat will require players to experience them on their own. Heavy armor, infusions, and many weapon animations were altered significantly and will require experimentation to see what's strong.
The value of this pre-DLC patch can't be understated. The Ringed City, Dark Souls 3's final DLC, will be bringing back a significant amount of players who had otherwise not been playing the game. But it's this patch, and the PvP additions to Dark Souls 3, that will hopefully breathe life into the game well beyond the single-player offerings of The Ringed City. Making the patch available prior to the DLC, so all players will experience throughout their Ringed City experience, is outstanding planning on the developer's part.
Now the question becomes, "Is this it for Dark Souls?" With The Ringed City being the game, and the franchise's, final DLC release, what can players look forward to next? While there's always the possibility of another balance and bug-fix patch down the road, there's a likelihood that this is it. With The Ringed City's launch, all focus will likely shift to other projects. Suffice it to say, hopefully the patch delivers on everyone's expectations.
Dark Souls 3 is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The RPG's first major DLC release, Ashes of Ariandel, was released on October 25 in 2016. The Ringed City, the second and final DLC for Dark Souls 3, launches on March 28.