The update, which rolled out Monday in the US, makes several “improvements to strategic approaches,” including adjusted effectiveness of various tools, like the Lazulite Sacred Flame and the Sparking Axe. The Spirit Emblem cost of these tools was adjusted as well, along with the Spiritfall series of items. In the Combat Arts, the efficiency and cost of using Ashina Cross, Dragon Flash, One Mind, Floating Passage, Spiral Cloud Passage, Mortal Draw, and Empowered Mortal Draw were adjusted. Some very specific changes were made, such as the Sabimaru prosthetic increasing poison build-up damage to enemies meant to be weak to those effects. The tutorial text and loading screen tips have also been adjusted with new text added. The above changes were all intended to “encourage usage and diversity of approach,” according to FromSoftware.
A boss in “Sekiro,” Blazing Bull, was nerfed— but only slightly. Blazing Bull’s posture and vitality were reduced “in order to improve game pacing and balance time in combat.”
There were also various bug fixes in the update 1.03, such as corrections to a bug which caused system crashes affecting save data on PC, and a bug which allowed players to access unintended areas and prevented them from progressing the game.
Not all of the fixes were in the interest of making the game easier— a bug which caused some enemies to stop attacking players was resolved.
The update also improves stability, performance, and included other various bug fixes. To view the full patch notes, check out the original post from FromSoftware.
The adjustments to “Sekiro’s” difficulty come amidst an ongoing game difficulty debate — one that is frequently intertwined with the concern of making games accessible to a wider audience. FromSoftware is known for its challenging titles. Before “Sekiro,” there was “Demon Souls,” “Dark Souls,” and “Bloodborne.”