The serious security hole affecting PvP in the whole Dark Souls series on PC should not be a problem with Elden Ring, Bandai Namco have announced. In January, they took all Dark Souls PvP servers offline following the publicisation of an remote code execution exploit which let wrong'uns run commands on other players' computers. Some feared this hole might be present in Elden Ring too. Bamco now say that Elden Ring is fine, but those Dark Souls servers won't come back down until after FromSoftware's new game launches.
Bandai Namco and FromSoftware said in today's announcement that they "have identified the cause and are working on fixing the issue." However, FromSoft are a little busy right now.
"Due to the time required to set up proper testing environments, online services for the Dark Souls series on PC will not resume until after the release of Elden Ring," they say. "We will continue to do everything we can to bring back these services as soon as possible."
Elden Ring launches on the 25th of February and I imagine the devs will be quite busy with immediate patching concerns after that, too.
But at least FromSoft's new game should be safe. They say they have "extended the investigation to Elden Ring" and "made sure the necessary security measures are in place for this title on all target platforms."
Dark Souls online security has always been shoddy on PC, with a history of exploits across the whole series. These include hackers who have impossible amounts of health, hackers spawning more enemies, and even hackers dropping hacked items which can get you banned if you pick them up. The state of the series has led to players creating their own unofficial anti-cheat, with mods like DS1's PvP Watchdog and DS3's Blue Sentinels blocking a range of exploits. Yes, it is galling that players had to do this because Bamco wouldn't.
Blue Sentinels at least was updated to protect against the RCE exploit, but apparently running commands on other players' computers was serious enough for Bamco to finally decide yeah, they should probably step in. They shut down PvP servers on the 23rd of January. Elden Ring might be safe against this latest exploit but the state they've left Dark Souls in for years doesn't fill me confidence that it won't have other hacking problems.
Our Ed recently played the first six hours of Elden Ring and came away saying they were "so much vaster than I could have imagined".