I'm in the same boat. I beat Godrick a couple of nights ago, and tried exploring the new landmass, but it seems like enemies are significantly tougher now everywhere I go there (compared to Limgrave's enemies).
Are there any optional bosses that are relatively easy to take on?
I think the Weeping Peninsula, the landmass south of Limgrave across a bridge, is a good second location to go through. That place has a bunch of optional bosses, including one tied to a trophy.
In fact, for anyone in the early game I'd suggest doing Weeping Peninsula *before* Godrick. I cleared out all of Stormview castle but couldn't beat Godrick and went down there as a break. Came back and beat Godrick. And as Vigilante said, there's a trophy involved for the boss there so it's worth it for that. Plus you get a cool-looking weapon that you probably won't be able to use for a while (high strength requirement).
Been playing for 12 hours now and have beaten 3 mini bosses in dungeons and 1 open world boss, the bloodhound guy. My first souls game and it is tough.
I started off as a warrior build and am sort of confused about the ashes of war. I found a couple of them and when I try to add them to my weapon it shows two options, standard and quality. But the stats for quality seem to be lower than the standard. My attack points go from 112 +22 to 95 +25. I don't understand what that +22 or +25 mean and I am not sure I am using them correctly.
Also I see a translucent arch show on ui on the left side of my screen and am not sure what that means.
The translucent arch is when you can use summons (the ghost-like helpers). In the early game I'm finding the wolf ones the most useful. They can really take the aggro from a group and let you slaughter them. They can also be handy on dungeon bosses. I bind them to the triangle button/D-pad combo like my horse summons ring. I made triangle/D-pad down is horse, triangle/d-pad right is wolves.
"Quality" I think means it changes your weapon scaling to favor Dexterity. All the + numbers on weapons are scaling based on stats. When you apply ashes you can change the scaling from the default (often strength or a combo of str/dex) to other stats. Since I have a Faith build I tend to make my weapons "Holy" which scales them more to Faith. Just pick whatever one gives you more total attack damage, though holy and magic have their specific uses too. when I use the "Holy" scaling it takes the physical damage down a bit (though it is still there) and adds a holy damage component. The two combined are way higher than just the "Standard" option so be sure you aren't getting a secondary damage source before going back to standard. I think with Quality, though, it just changes the scaling from more str to more dex so it is all physical still.
One really annoying thing that's gotten me killed several times is that you can emote with motion controls. I am often in the middle of the battle and my guy will go into the super slow Elden Ring emote. Then of course I get swarmed and killed. I think when you hold triangle and move the controller certain ways that happens. Of course in the heat of battle that just ends up happening sometimes. The other thing that nearly kills me a lot is in the middle of a pitched horseback battle I will often dismount. If it is an intense fight I think I just push on the left stick too much. I'd really like to disable both of those things!
At any rate, I can definitely help if people get stuck as I'm now right before pushing NG+ and have seen all but one area. Goal today is to get there or die trying. Mainly because I can finally +10 my Dark Moon Greatsword the moment I do and is the whole reason I want in. Speaking of, hope you guys like buying a ton of stones for normal gear since they can go to +25. I'm sticking to special items only because that's ridiculous lol.
Well, crap. I assumed weapons stopped at +10 so that +8 Banished Halberd that I found was awesome. Not quite as much as I thought if it goes all the way to 25. Also, I'd love to buy stones but still don't have the bell bearing to do so from the twin merchants. At what point (or what area) can you find that greatsword? I remember using that in other Souls games so I'd like to keep an eye out for that. Do all the special items use the somber stones? There aren't a ton of different stones like in the Souls game I hope? I mean, if there are I haven't even seen them yet.
In addition to changing the weapon's damage type in some cases, the main change is the guard attack (L2). That's what you want to pay attention to foremost as it can take an excellent weapon and make it shit. Like removing the bleed and unsheate from Uchigatana for example is a horrible trade for anything ashes could offer. However, many medium shields have no guard attack as a blank canvas and you can upgrade those to give them parry or other guard attacks that will benefit you in some way.
As a heads up, modified items can't be enchanted with spells so keep that in mind. So for example taking a rapier and giving it a fire effect from ashes would override the ability to cast magical weapon on it. Bad trade in most cases.
I have completely ignored the Parry ability - in fact I put the "No Skill" ashes onto my shield so I can use L2 to use my main weapons charge attack. But isn't Guard Counter using normal L1 block and then responding with an L2 attack from primary weapon? I haven't gotten the hang of that either. I'm just now (with this halberd) trying to use more L2 attacks in general. Before with the spear I was always turtling up and poking from behind the shield with L1/R1 combo.
And your last line explains why I haven't been able to use my black fire holy power-up on my weapons as I have them made into "Holy" versions. Damn...
I went back to the dungeon with the trio of crystal type enemies and brought an upgraded Morning Star this time. Instead of doing like 11 damage I now did like 20. Barely made a dent in any of them. I also tried to help some people and we were getting destroyed. I guess this is something for later. I also tried to beat the magma lizard thing in one of the earlier mines (but that you don't get access too unless you go the other way around from Caelid). After several attempts at not getting far, with one guy's help I had it down to 10%, but I dodge rolled into some damn magma before I could heal. That's as close as I've ever come to throwing my controller.
As for where to go after Godrick, well, based on regular enemy toughness I'd have to say they place that opens up right after is where you should be. Caelid and some areas that you can teleport to even earlier are still harder. There are so many mini-bosses and dungeon bosses that it shouldn't surprise me there are some balance issues. I've been discussing these seemingly impossible ones, but last night in the area after Godrick, I found a cave with a ludicrously easy boss. I was shocked it was so easy to beat . It was a cave with a bunch of poison flowers and enemies that cast poison blobs at you.
I spent some time last night leveling up and putting most of those points into Vigor, I was only at 20 before and am pushing to get to 30. I read somewhere else that's a good place to go as it gives you 1000 HP. I'm tired of things 1 or 2-shotting me plus having to heal all the time. Next I'll probably raise my Endurance a bit more - not for the stamina, as that seems to be good. But for the increased equipment load. Unlike Bloodborne, different (and usually heavier) armor can be better in all stats.
The thing about leveling up in this game is that as you level up any stat, your physical and elemental resistances will increase, so any stat will help you in the long run.
I beat the starting area dragon and the game told me something to the effect of: