We’ll get to Dark Souls 2 in a bit, but as you can see from those screens, the biggest difference between Elden Ring and some of the previous Dark Souls games is that the former no longer features the Vitality stat that helped define many older Dark Souls character builds.
In the original Dark Souls, Vitality was largely used to determine a character’s total health pool. In Dark Souls 3, the Vitality stat was “upgraded” in such a way that made it primarily affect a character’s equipment load, physical defense, and poison resistance. The fact that Vitality was so much more versatile in Dark Souls 3 led some to believe that it may be just as (if not more important) in Elden Ring. For that matter, the fact that Vitality is also a key stat in Bloodborne and Sekiro at least led most fans to assume that it would at least be present in some way in Elden Ring.
So, as you can imagine, we’re all a little shocked to see that Vitality doesn’t appear to be in this game at all. Given that Vigor has historically also impacted a character’s health pool in Dark Souls games, our best guess at this time is that Vitality’s functionality has effectively likely been assigned to the Vigor stat or otherwise split between Vigor and Endurance. It seems like removing Vitality could just be part of the team’s effort to consolidate all these stats a bit, but that’s really just a guess at this time.
It seems like that’s also what happened to the Resistance stat, which was in Dark Souls but was removed in Dark Souls 3 and doesn’t reappear in Elden Ring. Interestingly, though, Dark Souls 3 essentially assigned many of Dark Souls‘ Resistance qualities to the Vitality stat which, again, is also not in Elden Ring. Considering that some Dark Souls fans have long complained that Vitality is one of those stats that actually limits character build creativity and contributed to a “power imbalance” between the core stats, my guess is that fans will welcome at least the idea of these changes.
Speaking of equipment load-affecting stats, it’s interesting to note that Elden Ring lists “Med. Load” under Equip Load, which is not terminology we saw in previous Soulsborne games. The theory at this time is that this information could help more easily convey a character’s range of movement based on their equipment load, but then again, it could just be a way to more easily convey your current load at a glance.
Elden Ring‘s Arcane stat is also a bit of a mystery at the moment. It’s obviously tied into magic builds in some way, but how? Given what we saw in the trailer, the popular theory at this time is that it might affect a character’s summoning abilities, but it’s not entirely clear how that stat will work with or against Intelligence and Faith. “Mind” is also a bit of a wild card at the moment, though most fans assume that it will effectively replace Dark Souls‘ Attunement stat.