A recent cyberattack on Bandai Namco has leaked a possible DLC for Elden Ring, and it would be a huge mistake by the game publisher if true. According to the leak, the DLC’s name is Barbarians of the Badlands, which suggests FromSoftware will be taking the Tarnished out of the Lands Between and returning them to the realm to which they were banished. While news of an Elden Ring DLC may be exciting for fans who have been hungry for new adventures, the potential setting would miss out on the greater mysteries present in the game.
The Badlands are the area Elden Ring‘s First Elden Lord Godfrey led the Tarnished to in The Long March after losing the touch of Grace. There, Godfrey took on the name Hoarah Loux and was referred to as the warrior chieftain; the Tarnished followed in his footsteps, slaughtering each other to earn armor modeled after Godfrey’s. Barbarians of the Badlands would thus take players to this war-torn land, where the loose power structure is based on only one thing: bloodshed.
Though seeing what life is like for the Tarnished in the Badlands could be interesting, the Lands Between contains better mysteries and potential stories that are more deserving of DLC. The lore-focused questlines of Elden Ring leave so many questions unanswered. Dedicating the Barbarians of the Badlands DLC to a setting unrelated to what happens in the game would be a huge letdown for players hoping to see familiar characters and stories develop. Indeed, if the Barbarians of the Badlands leak is true, Bandai Namco and FromSoftware would completely miss out on developing two of the most popular demigods of Elden Ring, whose storylines only begin in the base game.
In terms of characters, settings, and stories more deserving of a DLC than the rumored Barbarians of the Badlands, Miquella, Malenia, and their Haligtree immediately come to mind. In Elden Ring, Miquella created the Haligtree as a way to replace the Erdtree and remove the Greater Will’s influence from the Lands Between. However, he was abducted by Mogh, Lord of Blood, shortly before the events of game. The Tarnished has the option to slay Mogh during their journeys through the Lands Between’s underworld, though. This in turn frees Miquella to return to his Haligtree and continue his project to eliminate the Greater Will’s influence. But by this point in Elden Ring‘s story, the Tarnished would have defeated the Elden Beast and burnt the Erdtree, giving Miquella the space to reveal the truth behind his mysterious intentions.
However, Miquella would return to the Haligtree only to find that his sister and defender Malenia was defeated by the same Tarnished who freed him and burned the Erdtree. On top the moral dilemma this would put Miquella in, Malenia will turn into Elden Ring‘s Rot Goddess at some point in the future. According to prophecy, Malenia is destined to become an Outer God after the third blossoming of the Scarlet Aeonia, which occurs after she is defeated in the second phase of her fight. Miquella had spent most of his life working on saving his sister from the Scarlet Rot curse that had afflicted her since birth; the consequences of the Tarnished’s actions completely erases all of his progress. The threat that Malenia would then pose to not only players but Miquella too could lead to a wide range of possibilities in which players might have to defeat both of the Empyreans or even team with Miquella to control his sister.
There are even more options FromSoftware and Bandai Namco could choose when approaching this rumored Badlands Elden Ring DLC: the Greater Will is still out there, and the Tarnished has created a complete power vacuum in the Lands Between. Knowing this makes the rumor about a DLC set in the Badlands all the more disheartening. The setting of Elden Ring‘s main game still has enough mysteries, characters, and stories to build an entire other game, let alone a DLC, so Barbarians of the Badlands should remain a rumor and only a rumor.