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Darkest Dungeon

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"Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike, dungeon crawler video game created by indie developersRed Hook Studios. As the heir of a rich relative that used all of his money to open a portal in search of ancient power, the player is tasked to find the secrets of the darkest dungeon and redeem the family name."

You have a party of 4 characters made up of the following classes - Arbalest, Bounty Hunter, Crusader, Grave Robber, Hellion, Highwayman, Jester, Leper, Man at Arms, Occultist, Plague Doctor and Vestal and you go wandering through various dungeons on a quest, then return after each dungeon to a hub town where you upgrade, hire new party members etc.

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Most of the game involves walking left to right and clicking on stuff for loot, then getting into fights. You have to manage your torch level to stop getting surprised by enemies, and to stop your guys freaking out. If they do freak out they get nasty habits, or occasionally good habits. These are the two main mechanics which make the game different from the rest - torch management, and madness traits. The third is your guys WILL die, it's a roguelike. There's no saving, and no ressing, so if you die, you have to return to the village and replace your guys with new guys. It's hard to get your head around at first, I restarted the game 4 times!

Anyone else playing? It's only in early access, so it's still got 2 areas and 2 classes unlocked, but I've been rinsing it since yesterday, thorough hooked.

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Even though it's right up my alley I didn't buy it until it was a paltry couple of quid cheaper in the Steam summer sale. I just thought I wouldn't get into it at the moment. That was kind of true, but only because Batman came along and scooped up all my gaming time. It is magnificent however, and I can see myself putting serious hours into it in future.

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I'm doing with this what I do will all early access games - play it just enough to know it was brilliant, then not touch it until the full release. The compulsion to keep playing was high though, can see myself putting a lot of time into it.

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Killed the first boss earlier.

Just tried the second boss - Wizened Hag. She killed 2 of party as I had her down to 2hp, my killing blow missed, and she killed my other 2 party members. First full party wipe :(

Might shelve it now until release as I'm really pissed off with the RNG.

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The most annoying thing I found in an earlier version was that if you level anyone up too much they'll refuse to go into dungeons they feel is beneath them. Didn't really fancy leveling another tank, so just set the game aside after that.

Probably check it out again for the full release, it had issues but it was still fun.

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Yeah, one of my highwayman hit level 3 then refused to tackle the hag with me! Pretty annoying. I have been maintaining two parties, down to one after that wipe. Have to recruit more and hope these guys don't wipe too.

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How have people been finding the development of this? Jim Sterling has an interesting post about the way that it seems to have had some problems in Early Access.

http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/08/darkest-dungeon-and-the-perils-of-early-access/

I haven't played the game but it at least sounds like it illustrates a major potential pitfall of the process, which is developers changing stuff as they evolve the design, perhaps listening too much to the loudest hardest-core players... so much so that the game isn't the same thing people liked to begin with. Although from reading around it also sounds like the designer of the game perhaps doesn't entirely understand what it was people liked about it as he makes it much more frustrating and grindy. Notably the day after he posted this they made the systems people hate optional.


We’re seeing one major pitfall in the Early Access system, as a studio struggles to meet everybody’s demands at once and fails to please anybody. Rather than having a finished product to show the world, Darkest Dungeon instead introduced us to a very specific work-in-progress, and the direction of that progress has turned off a large contingent of invested customers.

This is an issue we see a lot in multiplayer games, as guns and classes get rebalanced and piss off everybody who was enjoying them. Early Access is a trickier prospect altogether, as players risk purchasing one product and ending up with something totally alien to the thing they initially bought.

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I've never been a big fan of early access and this is one of the reasons why. In fairness though, the warning does always say things can change - a little or a lot - during development, so whilst a shame, it's not a massive surprise.

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That's interesting. I stopped playing this shortly after the 'Corpses' patch, because it rapidly went from being challenging but fun to being utterly frustrating. That article sums up the main, huge problem with corpses, but I also found the core ideas of the game becoming far too dependent on RNG, and feeling like I was merely sitting in the passenger's seat most of the time. Once you have a party with a variety of ailments and habits, you're literally at the mercy of dice-rolling with every attempted decision. It's less a case of strategic planning and action, and far more a case of hoping for the best every time you click.

It's an enormous shame, because the first session I had with it convinced me I was already onto a masterpiece, and something I could potentially still be playing years from now.

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Yeah, I'm not a fan of the corpses mechanic, but not enough to stop playing the game. What made me stop playing was realising the game is still in development and I had sunk about 20 hours in. Stopped playing and waiting for actual release now.

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I only picked this up after the Corpses and Hounds update, so I missed all that really. The corpses and the difficulty were just how the game was. I still absolutely loved it, and I've put like 30 hours into it already. It is very capricious at times, losing my first two level 3s on that pig boss because I didn't understand how you had to fight the encounter was brutal, but after the first couple of times it just ended up being how it was again. I actually have found the recent update more irritating for a couple of reasons. Firstly the increasing cost of stress relief for higher levels. A failed mission now is utterly catastrophic on your finances, and it can make a save untenable in one go. The cost of removing bad perks was bad enough as it was (especially if they were permanent, my starting Crusader is STILL a kleptomaniac as I have never been able to afford to remove it) without making even "BAU" costs so high. Also THE GODDAMN FUNGAL GIANTS, had 6 of them in a row in the Weald last night before the Hag. And now they are just randomly hitting for 60 per round, they are not much fun.

Enjoying the game a lot though, and it changing so radically between patches is interesting too. I think the addition of options is definitely a step forward, but they need to look at the economy more to make it easier to take a setback. They should probably balance the perks a bit more as well, make them more of a trade off than good/bad outright. Stopped playing as much at the moment as my favourite houndmaster got eaten by a Shambler and I can't face levelling another one until the next patch when the new dungeon drops.

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This now has a release date on steam - 16th January 2016. It will include the final area, the Darkest Dungeon of the title!

They have announced a ps4 and vita version which they'll be working on after the PC launch.

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Really like the art style and gameplay of this but as Sabreman mentions it kind of feels like you only have a limited influence over how well or badly you do. I kind of feel that I'm trying to gently usher my party through a RNG minefield with my choices only postponing when the RNG eventually screws you over with little warning and forces a reset.

Having said that I've emerged from this save file's first lvl 1 medium dungeon with an inventory full of loot (to the extent I had to abandon 2 bits of food near the end for more gems, thankfully a hunger check didn't arrive before I finished the dungeon or the outcome would have been dramatically worse) and have used that to give my key guys (Hellion, Crusader, Highwayman and Vestal) level 2 weapons and armour and some better skills. Feeling pretty good and tonight said guys are going to take out the apprentice necromancer.

I noticed that food in my inventory had a much lower resale value than what I bought it for. As you sell off all your inverntory at the end of a quest is it the case that you're better off taking exactly as much food and torches as you think you'll need as the excess will end up losing you money (of course if you misjudge and end up having a deficit of food or torches it'll cost you much more than that...)?

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Yeah, you need to weigh up how much you think you will need with all the consumables versus how much it will cost. For a short dungeon I normally take 8 food, 12 if no healer, and 4-5 torches. Other bits will depend on the dungeon (bandages for Cove, anti-venom for Weald, holy water for Ruins etc) and which interactive objects you will get. Class composition also makes a difference, if I don't have a Plague Doctor I'll take more bandages for instance.

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Yeah, try and weight your recourses up against the dungeon difficulty and your party composition, otherwise they are a waste of precious money.

I haven't played this since I started the thread really, just waiting for release to really delve into it. IIRC I killed the first two bosses, but got annoyed it wouldn't let me take my level 3's anywhere but the harder dungeons.

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It's in a loads better state than it was. They toned down the crits and the prot on enemies a bit, which has helped out a lot. There's also ambient stress relief now as well, so you don't have pay a load for people with 20 stress all the time. They've also re-itemized all the trinkets, so you don't have to have a degree in advanced calculus to work out if they are any good now. It feels a lot less RNG-y now, although you will get totally screwed on occasion, two crits in a row on the same character is never nice. The new dungeon boss fights are decent, and so are the new monsters in there.

If you are starting with this now, first thing you need to do is save a cash reserve. One bad run if you are running with less than 10K and you are screwed. Hold off on upgrades until you have that. Upgrade the Stage Coach first. Upgrade the Blacksmith over the guild, as new weapons give ACC bonus which makes classes like the Leper actually playable. Aim for reducing costs in things first, if you get a hero with a nasty combination of quirks (Yes I'm looking at you, kleptomaniac, necrophiliac, obsessed with material things Jester) feel free to dump them and get another one in. You need less light than you think you do, don't aim for full torch light all the time at low level, just having a bit will increase stress, but you get a decent surprise chance, and a LOT more loot. For party composition, the default Ves/PD/High/Cru is great, my favourite is Ves/HM/BH/Hell which has insane damage and the Houndmaster Guard ability is very powerful for damage mitigation. If you have one character that moves, try to combine that with another that does the same to get back in the proper order (So a Tomb Robber with Lunge/Shadowfade with Jesters and Men-at-Arms). A secondary form of healing if you run an Occultist as main healer is great, as he is so variable. Don't underestimate the power of stuns and especially move powers. Pushing and pulling the enemy about to put the weak at the front is great.

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Other thing to think about is ability to hit all possible rows with a party, so the default Ves/PD/High/Cru above is good, but relies on PD to do damage over time to the back two ranks, but in the Weald, a lot of enemies have blight resist, so that's less good. So can you pull them forward/pushback the front ranks to compensate? All combinations are viable to a certain extent depending on the skills you pick, but that can get expensive quickly, so try and have "teams". Also try and level them at the same rate, so when you hit level 3 you have a decent full team ready to go.

Sorry, love this game, so can ramble on about it for ages :)

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17 hours ago, Kauwiks said:

The UI on the Vita version is horrible though. Fantastic game, but limiting myself to PS4 after a brief play on Vita.

 

yeah it's less than perfect. It's about as good as you could hope for though, given the density of information on the screen.

For me the Vita version trumps the PS4 as I can sit and play it in my car while I'm waiting on my girlfriend finishing her shift. I have been enjoying using cross-save to play it on a nice big telly on occasion though :-)

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You're probably right that it's as good as can be hoped for - I'm being a bit harsh maybe (largely due to playing it on PS4 first, I suspect) but anything that uses the rear touchpad makes my blood boil :P

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