A wee Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice patch crept in overnight, coming to fix a few bugs and also rejiggle balance a bit. One early-game roadblock boss for some, the Blazing Bull, is a touch weaker. Certain roboarm weapons are improved with new Spirit Emblem casting costs too, though some skills are toned down. If you've got stuck in a ninjarut, relying on the same ol' reliable ninjastabs, you may be pleasantly surprised by the new possibilities. Or not, because developers FromSoftware are famously vague balance tweaks so the full extent isn't clear yet. Don't have a cow, man.
The Blazing Bull isn't murderously tough, and in that FromSoft way is really encouraging you to learn in preparation for future battles, but evidently it's a bit tougher than it's meant to be. The nerf isn't huge but should help it be more of a challenge than a punishment. If it's working. Which it may not be? FromSoft posted a vague tweet saying there's "there was error with the Vitality / Posture adjustments made for the Blazing Bull," without explaining what the error is or... who knows.
As for the balance changes, they are... changed? For the arm, that's mostly improving axes - ease up on those firecrackers, you scamp.
Here are some select highlights of the Sekiro version 1.03 patch notes (scroll down for the English translation there):
- Adjusted the efficiency and Spirit Emblem cost of the following to encourage usage and diversity of approach:
-Prosthetic Tools: "Lazulite Sacred Flame," "Loaded Axe" series, "Sparking Axe," "Lazulite Axe"
-Combat Arts: "Ashina Cross," "Dragon Flash," "One Mind," "Floating Passage," "Spiral Cloud Passage," "Mortal Draw," "Empowered Mortal Draw"
-Items: "Spiritfall" series
- Reduced the Posture damage dealt by the first hit of the Combat Arts "Senpou Leaping Kicks" and "High Monk" as it was causing more damage than intended in certain cases. Posture damage dealt in the latter-half of the combo has been increased.
- Increased the Poison build-up dealt by the Prosthetic Tool "Sabimaru" against enemies that were intended to be weak against it.
- Slightly reduced Posture and Vitality of Blazing Bull in order to improve game pacing and balance time in combat.
- Fixed a bug where "Gokan's Sugar" and "Gokan's Spiritfall" were not mitigating player Posture damage taken while guarding or deflecting enemy attacks.
- Fixed a bug where system crashes could cause save data to become corrupted on PC.
- Fixed certain bugs that were allowing the player to access unexpected areas, which could result in becoming unable to obtain items or make further progress.
- Improved stability.
- Improved performance.
See? Pretty vague. Oh, but here's a kick in the pants:
- Fixed a bug where certain enemies would sometimes stop attacking the player.
Sorry, pal - they weren't supposed to be that kind to you.
The update launched at 2am today so you should find it auto-updating by now.
If you're still stick on the Bull, by the way, our Dave's Sekiro guide might help.