Darkest Dungeon

I gotta go back to this eventually. My second attempt at finishing the game was thwarted by life… and other games.

I swear on my ancestor, I’ll finish the game one day.

The sequel announcement spurred me to fire this up. I had played this obsessively at launch, and got up to the second stage of the final dungeon, which ate seven maxed-out characters across three failed expeditions. At that point, I realized I had no buffer left, and even one more death would mean having to train up replacements from level 0. That sounded unappealing enough that I just shelved the game entirely.

But two years, and presumably some number of balance passes, later, things didn’t seem quite so dark after all. I ran a few dungeons with my crop of low-level replacements to get back into the swing of things, but then decided to just go for it, and my last 12 characters wound up cruising through the rest of the endgame without any serious problems.

Glad to be able to put this one to bed legitimately. I was thinking of getting the DLC and starting a new game to try out radiant mode, but I think I’ve had my fill.

That’s cool and all, but I’m more curious if @Woodlance fulfilled his blood oath to the ancestors.

Uhh, I’m working on it, I swear. I just beat the first Darkest Dungeon yesterday!

EDIT: Stupid DLC… having your team infected by the Crimson Curse and having to send expeditions into the Courtyard AND having to get more invitations to said courtyard sure has a way to sidetrack your progress…

Well, there it is, boys and girls, I’ve finally beaten Darkest Dungeon. Hm, it only took, what, 124 hours? Wow.

I did it on Radiant and by using the wiki, but, meh, at this point I’m not too proud to use all the help I can get.


This is why Darkest Dungeon, even when they put out the Radiant update, just didn’t work for me. I love the game and the gameplay, but not the “gameplay loop” so much. Such a shame, BUT I got lots and lots of hours out of it, so maybe it doesn’t matter I couldn’t really enjoy/see much of the last dungeon or get to the credits.

Congrats @Woodlance, that’s an amazing accomplishment!

You made your ancestors proud.

Thanks guys, although all that time isn’t a single campaign. I played it during Early Access, then at release, then started this run a few months ago. Still, as everyone and their mom has stated: too much grind!

Anyway, another thing I’d like to point out is that Darkest Dungeon is one of very few games that are actually well-written. I’m always amazed that so many gamers play for “story” but there seems to be very little interest in the actual quality of the prose. Plus, it’s also one of the few Lovecraft-inspired games that feels anything like Lovecraft and not hipster-Lovecraft (OMG, tentacles, lol!).

It sounds like the sequel is going to do things differently, but some changes they could make in particular come to mind:

  • I think characters should have access to all their skills, or at least one or two more. Considering most characters have 2-3 “must have” skills, it leaves very little actual room for customization and it competely defeats the purpose, because you’ll never end up using that one skill that’s unique to that class but is only useful 3% of the time.

  • Please make the sequel a little less dependent on Vestals. A party without one is crippled. Occultists and Arbalests are mediocre healers at best. You can never have too many virgins, and they pretty useful in Darkest Dungeon too, but you know…

  • I’d remove the death penalty for one of your characters for escaping from the final dungeons. It seems like a somewhat small decision, but it’s a huge deal. For one, two of the final levels I’d call “trick” dungeons: if you don’t have the right party, you’re toast. And they don’t tell you that in advance. Losing a single hero by running away is a big deal, it takes hours of xp and gold to get one to level 6. Plus, getting a single hero back to level 6 is barely less effort than getting four of them considering you’ll need to go up the difficulty ladder all over again. So you’ll probably press on even after it’s clearly too late and get a complete party wipe instead. So now you lost four heroes!

(Pro tip: take those free leveled-up heroes when you can. They have all upgrades for their rank, so they’re worth tens of thousands of gold.)

The Talisman of the Flame is a perfect example of the (deadly) guesswork in Darkest Dungeon. You get three of those after your first run in the titular dungeon. It says on the tin that it protects against the skill “Revelation”. What is it? Who knows, you’ve never seen it before. If you brought the talismans for the second dungeon, good guess! Because the bosses use that attack constantly and it’s a devastating move.

But why only three? Maybe it doesn’t hit the back row? (It does). So if you guessed you need a Man at Arms too for his protect skill, even better!

But maybe you should wait? Maybe the game will show you when you need those talismans? Not bringing them is also a logical guess. Since you’re already at max xp level, on a “darkest”-level dungeon, trinkets are what makes the difference between a mediocre party and a dream team. Those slots are precious.

So if you guess wrong you’ll probably get some of the party wipes I mentioned above. Have fun grinding.

Anyway, did you bring the talismans in the third dungeon? Haha, they’re useless there, and anywhere else. Gotcha!

The biggest things for me that they need to do in a sequel:
A) Less grindy
B) Stop punishing me so hard for winning
C) Actually meaningful character upgrades. Everything after initial skill unlocks is just +1-2 damage, +10% chance of status effect, etc. Boring.

continuing the onslaught, but still no success. I am still doing level0 runs, to collect money. I can’t believe this game is total RNG when they attack my weakest char, wanted to do a money run with an antiquarian, and she was the first party member in this run to be killed.

now I feel it is personal, I am going to beat this game. I know I can do it, but it will take some time.

somehow I enjoy watching these challenge runs 0 Light, 0 Deaths, 100% Bosses, Bloodmoon

he started on March 2019 and I think he still has not cracked it yet, but I learn a lot by watching. No Deaths is tough, Bloodmoon difficulty. I think I could improve my game

Alright, guess I just found my next binge watch, haha. We’re about to embark on the deepest of dives.

I watched the first half hour of that video. Does “no deaths” mean he stops playing if any one hero dies on any run? How could one possibly play this game without a hero dying?

Also, any thoughts on quality-of-life mods? I’m going to try “UI Enhancement.” I’m still debating whether to get any of the DLC.

yes, it’s anybody dies, run is over. Happened a couple of times, I am watching his 5th run. I learn a lot. Also he is playing hardest difficulty and 0% light. I don’t know if he can do it.

Pretty amazing. He is more methodical about planning his attacks than I am, and he thinks more about where to move around the dungeon, how to manage traps and curios, etc. I need to slow down and think a bit more. Anyway, I’ll watch more. He’s kind of a character, which makes it more entertaining.

And you all thought DD had seen its final DLC…

Of course I’ll buy it!

EDIT: It will be free!

I dislike most of Darkest Dungeon’s DLC, but this one sounds fun.

Darkest Dungeon was a bait and switch in terms of my expectations, where 90% of the game has nothing to do with the Darkest Dungeon…which turns out to be a Diablo 3-esque quasi-pseudo challenge rift/set dungeon puzzle. I still put in over 100 hours but mostly grinding through those 4 dungeons, which is the game.

Oh… so it’s 100% PvP, not even a bone for the PvE loner? Meh.

That group portrait is nice, though.