Darkest Dungeon - Dungeon Crawler Roguelike on Steam

Is anyone playing this one? A friend gifted me a copy of Darkest Dungeon, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. It’s basically as if Final Fantasy had a child with FTL and named H.P. Lovecraft the godfather.

I love the Lovecraftian theme, the general game feel, and the mechanics. The graphics and sound design are excellent. I usually have a blanket policy about avoiding Early Access games, but this one was recommended by my friend as well as Extra Credits. And the fact that it was free for me didn’t hurt either.

Some of the mechanics are definitely in need of balancing. For example, I discovered a couple of ways to aggressively debuff the last remaining enemy so I could near-endlessly heal and de-stress my party. Since the Abbey and Tavern are so expensive and time consuming, they are much less useful for destressing than simply using party abilities. Of course, taking the stressed folks out on an easy mission just to destress is rather time-consuming and tedious.

That said, I love the stress mechanic. I do think it’s a little too easy to build up a lot of stress thanks to multiple enemies that spam stress attacks. But seeing someone’s resolve get tested never fails to unnerve me. Are they going to get afflicted and kick off a snowball effect, dragging the rest of my party down? Or are they going to get a second wind and act as a rallying point to push the party forward to victory?

The game swings back and forth between being reasonably easy and cruelly difficult. I’ve found that things often go straight to hell if the party gets surprised. That can turn what would be a straightforward fight into a complete fiasco. It definitely adds a lot of excitement to the game.

The boss fights are excellent so far, though I’ve only faced three of the easiest ones. I love how you’re forced to go in mostly blind, with no clue as to their strengths or weaknesses. I had to flee from one boss fight and abort the quest because I had no idea that I needed to fill my party with people who could attack the back two rows. Another boss nearly wiped me out before I figured out its behavior and started hammering its weak spot.

Part of me wants to hold off a bit and let them finish the game. Aside from the aforementioned balancing issues, I have also encountered some annoying rendering bugs. However, it’s a lot like FTL, and I suspect that it will similarly be able to hold my interest for a long time.

I kickstarted this and been playing it on and off - Steam says I’ve played it 34 hours which means I’ve gotten my money’s worth already and it’s not even done yet. From what I’ve read on other forums the game has changed quite a bit since I last played, and now they are adding the last “normal” dungeon the Cove in a big update next week. I’ll probably be back to test that, can’t wait to see what they’ve done with fishmen.

Played it a whole LOT (although, like most kickstarters/early releases/beta I find that I played it a whole lot back when there was nothing much to it or to do, and don’t launch it much these days)

It’s a cool game with cool art, and I can’t wait until it’s finished.

I’ve played about 25 hours, and I think I’m ready to back off for a bit. There’s a lot I like: the combat, the variety and flavor of the classes, all of the atmosphere stuff (graphics/sound/narration). For something that can seem really polished most of the time, though, there’s still a lot that needs to be done before the final version. There are some fairly significant issues with balancing the stress/quirk/disease/gold/upgrade levers, especially as you level up. Deaths become less frequent but much more frustrating, trading the “everything is on the brink of control and sometimes it goes over the edge and people die” of the early game for “everything is completely under control but I just got a random surprise at the worst time possible and then a bunch of hit/dodge rolls went against me and I lost my guy/girl and there was nothing I could have done about it”. The former is the best possible way for a roguelike to work, the latter is about the worst.

(… I say I’m about to take a bit of a break, but even odds I throw 10-20 more hours into it after the upcoming update. I’m a sucker for big updates.)

I’m definitely excited for next week’s update. It’s very encouraging that the devs seem to be working hard to complete the game, and what they have so far is pretty good.

I was starting to feel like the game was getting too easy, as until recently I was still working to build up enough level 3 characters that I could fill out a party. I’ve done a few level 3 missions but the one last night reminded me that the game is definitely not easy. Barely made it out of the mission, and 3/4 had their resolve tested. Even the one who made his virtue roll still ended up with 100 stress at the end.

One thing I’m finding is that knowing when to retreat is absolutely critical. Once I got over the standard RPG mentality of “never give up, never surrender,” I started having an easier time managing things when the RNG screwed me. Now, if I start a fight and things go pear-shaped, I just back out and reassess whether to camp, continue, or abandon the mission entirely. Granted, it doesn’t save every situation, but it’s a lot easier to retreat or abandon knowing that a wide variety of missions will always be available.

I love it! Great game! Awesome atmosphere. Been playing it for quite some time, off and on. Art style reminds me a lot of Mike Mignola and I can’t get enough of it. Last time I played was right after they introduced the Man-at-Arms, and dude seemed kind of OP. Any new or upcoming changes I should be aware of? Was trying to limit myself with it while it was still Early Access. Haven’t played it since then.

The game has a confirmed launch date now, 19th of January.

At least one more big patch coming before that in November with the KS backer designed Abomination class and two new monsters.

Heard nothing but good things, so I’ll be picking it up once it goes 1.0.

Great news! It’s really nice to see an Early Access game actually hitting full release.

I’ve put a few more hours into the game since the most recent patch. The Cove is an interesting new area; the monsters have some new attack patterns. They also seem to have made a lot of minor changes to the game as well. Status effect notifications are now accompanied by symbols that make them easier to understand, characters now automatically destress a little while waiting in town, even if not committed to a destress activity, leftover items are now redeemed for a very small refund at the end of a mission, to name a few. They’re tweaking the balance again, closing exploits, and giving it another layer of polish.

There’s supposed to be at least one more major patch in November, unlocking another character class. The game is great, but I do still feel like there’s good odds that they will still be tweaking the balancing and closing exploits even after the full game releases. The disease and quirk system needs a redesign, for one thing.

I’m going against my standard approach here-- I don’t recall ever buying an early access game, I haven’t paid full price for a game that wasn’t a gift in maybe a decade, and I haven’t been playing many indie games in the last year or so. I hope it comes close to being as great as I hope.

It’s good. It’s challenging but not as bad as some people (not ITT) have made out, although maybe that comes later. I tried drawing out a battle to scum up some stress healing and the bounty hunter said something like, “Why is this going on so long?” and my party picked up stress, so that exploit’s been balanced out. One tactic that hasn’t been blocked is getting four new (free) characters and sending them off on a suicide mission with zero provisions, and then dismissing any survivors. I think they need to leave that in, though, as a player could get stuck with no money if a few dungeons in a row went very badly. I restarted until I got enough heirlooms from the introduction to unlock the first two tiers of the stagecoach, actually. I don’t think I got all that much of an advantage out of it.

That’s working as intended - without such an option early in the game you’d have real trouble getting any new campaign going, and it needs to be an option later on as well if you happen to blow all your money on a mission preparation and then get a wipe. It fits the setting too and the short introductionary text every time you start the game that most people probably just skip past makes clear you are meant to toss aside any heroes that aren’t suitable for your purposes any more. That and also the narration lines you tend to get when dismissing heroes.

I was thinking of getting this and looking for opinions now that it has been out for a while. I have heard it is difficult. Is that true? If so, in a fun way or a frustrating way?

Picking it up to kill time till Xcom 2, thanks for reminding me!

Definitely a fun way. Watching everything go to hell and your party ending up insane, at each others throats or dead is basically the most entertaining part of the game.

Definitely in a fun way. I named my characters after people I know, so it’s extra funny when they become afflicted or die. For example, one character, who I’d named after a guy I frequently have lunch and dinner with…starved to death. For another example, the character I named after my husband turned irrational and started yelling “WILL YOU MARRY ME? WILL YOU MARRY ME? WILL YOU MARRY ME? WILL YOU MARRY ME? WILL YOU MARRY ME? WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

I don’t actually think this is that hard in the release version; they’ve smoothed out the curve for sure since the last time I was playing it (before the Cove update), as well as balance in general. It does take a while to learn the systems and the synergies, and it’s naturally difficult before you get to that point because you’re doing dumb things that you don’t know are dumb yet. I’m actually really looking forward to the supposed higher difficulty of New Game Plus.

(At least, other than the actual Darkest Dungeon levels. F those so hard.)