Darkest Dungeon Catch All

jrralls wrote:

Just started playing. What do you wish you had learned at the beginning of the game that you didn't learn until later?

Run dark, especially in the beginning. Between the increased rewards and the money saved by not buying torches things seem to take off much more rapidly. This couples well with robc's advice to not heal rookies, as if you run dark they're going to be much more stressed. Or dead. But it's more about getting the loot to improve your village, not the heroes, at least until you get a few going strong.

Also, make sure to upgrade the stagecoach first, as you want 4 heroes coming in each week in case something unfortunate happened to the last batch.

Nice tips! It's been a strange weekend for me as I resurrect or revisit some games which have languished on the playlist. DD was one of them.

Just hit Week 5 and already falling into the trap of wanting to groom my rookies who survived their first dungeon run. All those stress and affliction removing services are hella expensive.

Stagecoach upgrades are pretty much universally recommended at true start so I'll do that and figure out the other upgrades as I go.

So run dark and with a bunch of fodder adventurers? Grim but I'll try anything to get ahead on the estate finances.

It was my understanding that I really should not try to heal people, so I've got a ton of money but no level 2 characters. I've upgraded the stagecoach. What else should I upgrade?

The don't heal people advice only really applies until you start having enough money. Then you need to start leveling. At that point what you upgrade depends mostly on the special items you find. I preferred the skill trainer and blacksmith when possible.

Once you start getting some level 2s, you train their skills and upgrade their equipment and you won't have that excess money problem any more. If you've ever got more money than even that money sink you can buy artifacts or lock in positive traits so they don't get overwritten.

By now you should have an idea of which characters you'll want to use frequently (I favored jesters, grave robbers, and houndmasters), just find a group that works well together and keep them in good shape. And maybe get a backup of your favorites going as well for if something goes horribly wrong.

I've got hundreds of hours into this game and it really comes down to two things:

1. Learn how to make money because your gonna need it.
2. Learn how to maximum the synergy between the various character classes.

Having said that, I really haven't told you anything specific that will help you now. There are many many components to each of these two items that you can only figure out through playing, watching or reading about the game. The tip to eagerly discard players at the beginning is a good one. Upgrade your coach and keep on the lookout for players with good quirks. Try to save $50k before you start to cultivate some of your heros with level-ups. Try to save $100k before you even think about really blowing large chunks of money to run successful missions. Later in the game you can easily spend $50k or more to fully upgrade and outfit a single mission.

Houndmaster, Hellion, and Vestel are generally considered three of the better classes, mostly due to their versatility. The only one that is generally reviled is Leper due to his lack of versatility. Abomination and Antiquarian are probably the two most difficult to play. Antiquarian is important to learn as she will make your cash curve much more manageable.

Leper was one of my favorites. If you find some high accuracy bonus gear early he can put out a ton of damage before the enemies really start shuffling your party around.

At higher levels he puts out a ton of damage still but requires a ton more work. You need to make sure the rest of your party has mobility skills to get him up front and he still needs accuracy gear. You can arguably get better damage without so much of an investment, but I liked the leper's style.

Number one for me was the highwayman. I'd run two to keep them rotating through point blank shot. Or trigger a ton of ripostes.

This game is too good.

Totally agree about the Leper, especially early on. The misses can occasionally be catastrophic, but that class is frequently a life saver for me.

Ooooo, and an update for DLC’s being ported to the iPad!

Very cool all around

Looks like DLC will be included on the Switch version...which is clearly the most superior platform for such a game.

I've been playing this again on Radiant difficulty. I'm finally making progress too. The sped up flow is really keeping me engaged. I'm still losing character (lost my healer and amazing Houndmaster in two separate boss fights) but it doesn't feel like an needless grind anymore.

I may install a mod to increase the item stacks, however. It's my biggest complaint at the moment. It's the only thing really holding me back from advancing as quick as I would like.

Radiant is amazing, but I would caution against using item stack increase mods. It's balanced to give you risk/reward decisions about carrying useful items vs loot. Balancing risk/reward is most of the game, and you may find reducing those decisions detracts from the game. Some things to consider:

1. Don't carry torches. Frees up space, increases loot drops. Adds risk.
2. Leave open trinket slots. That way you can equip as you find to free up inventory. Adds risk.
3. Take an antiquarian. They naturally increase how much gold and stuff you can stack in your inventory, and also find more valuables. They suck at fighting though.
4. Do torchless turns with characters you don't care about. Have them grab as much loot as possible. Interact with every curio in case there's loot. At the end they're stressed and have a bunch of negative traits...dismiss them instead of spending cash to cure them. Then hire a new crew and liberate the lightless labyrinth again!

Or torchless antiquarian runs will have you flush in no time.

Or just play your entire Radiant run torchless....like cool people do. :D:D:D

Glad you're enjoying the game though. It is amazing.

When did this game come out? I wanna say 2016? How did it take me this long to discover how brilliant it is? I've poured about 12 hours into it in the last few days, and since my wife is away in London for the weekend I'll get a few more hours tonight, children allowing. I'm only playing on Radiant mode, but still managed to wipe my entire veteran party on the necromancer battle. That was a shame - Reynauld and Dismas perished too

I'm sure there is plenty I can learn about certain combinations. I don't seem to be very good at planning ahead at the moment. Like, I took a character who does extra damage versus marked targets, but with no ability to mark them (and no-one else in the party to mark them either). Stuff like that. It's far deeper than it seems at first. My brother also wrote some of the journal entries for the game and has a character and item in it too (press enter and type "Manth Pa" on the stagecoach, press enter and type "Cowards Crutch" in the trinket inventory). I think it was a kickstarter reward or something, but it's really cool. Sadly, Manth Pa also died to the necromancer.

What is the difference between Radiant and normal modes?

kergguz wrote:

What is the difference between Radiant and normal modes?

More XP gain for heroes, you can recruit up to level 4 heroes from the stagecoach. Cheaper upgrades and treatments. Heroes can go

Spoiler:

back into The Darkest Dungeon.

It's mostly tweaked to make you progress faster, not make combat easier.

Your posts fired me up. I’m going to finally dig into this game. Any beginner’s tips?

Focus more on upgrading buildings and amassing a healthy surplus of money at first. Your characters will die, but building upgrades are permanent. You won't really make significantly more money on the harder expeditions, so there's no rush to get there.

Feel free to get rid of low level characters who are highly stressed instead of sinking more money into them to heal.

My first game I upgraded a bunch of my guys and pushed them too hard. I wound up in a bit of a death spiral, with a roster full of highly upgraded, stressed out adventurers and no money to heal them or even supply effective assaults. I could have powered through by ruthlessly culling my roster and starting from scratch, but instead I quit for a while and began a fresh game later.

I'll spoiler this in case people want to figure it out themselves, but it's not really a plot spoiler more a mechanics spoiler:

Spoiler:

Get a healthy gold supply of 50,000 then get the bank district. Your economic concerns will be over as long as you don't spend too much and go below 50,000 gold again. Each turn you'll generate enough interest to fund another foray into the dungeon and heal some guys even if you retreat empty-handed. When your expeditions succeed, all the profit can go to upgrades instead of spending most of it on supplies.

Also, don't save up just enough money to buy the bank then jump the gun and buy it right away. Because, um... If you don't have any money, you won't get any interest on it and the bank will just be sitting there useless and you'll just be broke and feel stupid. I, um, might have made this mistake my first game. Definitely contributed heavily to my giving up.

In regards to money, the Antiquarian is great for restoring the coffers. She increases how much gold you can hold in a stack and picks up antiques that sell for more gold. Grab some expendables from the stagecoach and run dark (i.e., low torch) for even more loot. As long as one person survives to bring it out, you can gather quite a bit of gold.

kergguz wrote:

I'm sure there is plenty I can learn about certain combinations. I don't seem to be very good at planning ahead at the moment. Like, I took a character who does extra damage versus marked targets, but with no ability to mark them (and no-one else in the party to mark them either). Stuff like that. It's far deeper than it seems at first.

Marking is super fun! the "Marked for Death" party does work - Arbalest, Occultist, Houndsmaster, and Bounty Hunter. I feel you on not paying enough attention though. I have both taken a team in that had no healers (lucked out with keeping enemies stunned though) and a team that couldn't hit the 4th rank. I've gotten better at planning ahead though.

Still in the early mid-game, starting to take on the level 3 dungeons, but enjoying it a lot. Glad we grabbed it on Switch for the portability.

I saw this compared to Final Fantasy Tactics on a frontpage article a few weeks ago. Is that accurate? I did not get that impression at all from the contemporaneous release coverage.

I did a couple runs to get the feel of the game.
I’m overwhelmed with where to invest in town. Any advice?
Also, any basic guidance on tactics for deciding which attack to use? On the zipad, at least, Te descriptions of what each attack does is particularly clear. For example, blight. After using it a few times it appears to be damage dealt over a few rounds. I’ll keep experimenting.

Thanks,
Chad

chooka1 wrote:

I did a couple runs to get the feel of the game.
I’m overwhelmed with where to invest in town. Any advice?
Also, any basic guidance on tactics for deciding which attack to use? On the zipad, at least, Te descriptions of what each attack does is particularly clear. For example, blight. After using it a few times it appears to be damage dealt over a few rounds. I’ll keep experimenting.

Thanks,
Chad

Hey Chad, I remember feeling very similar when I first tried the game, but when I really gave it a chance and dug into the numbers I got a real appreciation for the tactical sophistication of the game.

Yes blight and bleed are damage over time abilities. Hover over over an ability and it will give you various stats like ACC (your base accuracy to hit with this ability) and any utility the ability has, such as STUN (and it's base % chance of success) and and bleed or blight effects, and the amount of damage they will do per turn. Some abilities will say, for example, DMG -100%. In that case the ability will do zero damage and you are purely looking at utility. Maybe it's a MOVE ability which can pull enemies from their backline to their frontline. Useful if you want your frontliners to hit them. Another useful tip is to select an ability then hover over an enemy. Look below the enemies at their info pane and it will give you stats for that attack vs that enemy. You will also see enemy resistances to the likes of bleed, blight and stun. No point trying to bleed those skeletons, they have 100% chance to resist!

I'm only 25-30 hours in but two things I've realised are very important - Stuns, and Speed. Your stuns stop the enemy from acting, obviously, effectively giving you free turns. And the speed stat dictates who will go first in each combat round, which is more important than I appreciated at first.

Good stuff.

I'll add: bigger stagecoach is very useful. In the beginning if a hero takes too much stress -- let them go. It costs so much to bring them back, and you really don't have anything invested in them. You do have to refill the ranks though, so stagecoach.

Mid-game I focus largely on Guild and Blacksmith. Upgraded equipment + leveled heroes = more success for a while.

As folks have said, horde cash whenever possible. It'll be amazing how quickly you can blow through it later.

As to gameplay, positioning is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than many folks realize at first. Certain attacks can only be used from certain positions, and can only attack certain positions. For an example, pulling forward a skeleton arbalest makes it so he can only use a crappy jab attack, and a stronger melee undead can only move forward. Your front line folks tend to have trouble hitting the back two on the other side, which is why I'm a huge fan of the Hellion.

Bleed and blight are very important against highly armored, damage resistant opponents. They are also handy in that they don't leave corpses behind. Being able to counter bleed and blight are very important to your survival. Also, bleed and blight stack.

LilCodger wrote:

Bleed and blight are very important against highly armored, damage resistant opponents. They are also handy in that they don't leave corpses behind.

Oh that's another thing, I play with corpses OFF!

kergguz wrote:
LilCodger wrote:

Bleed and blight are very important against highly armored, damage resistant opponents. They are also handy in that they don't leave corpses behind.

Oh that's another thing, I play with corpses OFF!

Having come into this after early-access, I'm a little baffled by the resistance to corpses. The positioning is so critical in this game, and enemies leaving corpses preserves that. Apparently it was a huge issue for the developers when they introduced corpses in EA - they got enough bad reactions and press off of it that it could have killed the game. They're annoying, and they did utterly nerf what EA players had found for a first-order optimal strategy (focusing fire on the first rank), but I've found that having to plan around corpses makes combat richer.

(This is not meant as a specific jab at you, kergguz, just a general comment. Also I would link the GDC design postmortem where I learned this, but my internet is crawling and nothing will load. If you find it on your own, he does discuss the final boss partway through, so be on guard for spoilers.)

With regards to bleed and blight, definitely pay attention to the resistances listed under each enemy. I actually started making notes for myself on enemy types and resistances by area so I can bring the right team in. Also, skills can debuff an enemy's resistance to bleed/blight, so watch for those and use them when stacking a team for a certain type of damage.

Agreed with most everything above.

Low-level characters with too much stress, or bad traits - cut 'em loose. It's not worth the expense.

Bleed/blight will kill, and not leave a corpse, but your crew won't get a morale boost for it - not always a deal-breaker, but something to remember (I loved bleed/blight). Also my first choice for those high-defense enemies.

Hoard cash - I had several very bad excursions (lost a few high-level squads), back-to-back, and depleted my coffers. I had to resort to grabbing whatever was available in the stagecoach. Send them in with little-to-no supplies. Collect as much cash as possible. Fire them. Repeat. It got so tedious that I abandoned that playthrough.

One thing I’ve still not got a good grip on is party builds. I tend to rock up to a dungeon with whomever is available, as long as I’ve got a good healer on board (and preferably a secondary limited-heal character too e.g. houndmaster or crusader). Thing is, I feel like I’m missing out on good ability combos then. Marking enemies for instance – I never seem to manage to get a party that can both inflict mark, and then leverage it.

Also, Abominations, HUH! What are they good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (that I’ve managed to figure out).

ActualDragon wrote:

(This is not meant as a specific jab at you, kergguz, just a general comment. Also I would link the GDC design postmortem where I learned this, but my internet is crawling and nothing will load. If you find it on your own, he does discuss the final boss partway through, so be on guard for spoilers.)

It's no problem, I never played in early access, but I do vaguely remember there being a bit of a stink about it and decided to switch them off before my first playthrough. Reading your comments I'm perfectly happy to turn them back on for my next one.

@jonman- personally I feel mark is quite overrated, as the mark can wear off before anyone gets to take advantage of it if the turn order screws you over. It's a nice to have but I don't usually plan any comps around it. The exception to that is if I know I'm coming up against a high HP boss.

Internet's back up, so here's the video I mentioned for anybody interested in the design decisions behind the game (be warned, major final boss spoilers from about 28:25 - 31:30; he discusses corpses from roughly 38:00 on):

Marking is fun, though I agree with kergguz that it can be hard to capitalize on if your party isn't tuned for it. Give it a shot with the "Marked for Death" party - Arbalest, Occultist, Houndsmaster, Bounty Hunter. All of them have marking skills and I think everybody but the Occultist can do extra damage to marked targets. Pay attention to your speeds so you know when you'll be able to get off a marked / major damage combo before an enemy can go (also who it's more important to have the marking skills active on). It's very satisfying to pull that off on the first turn with the Occultist and Arbalest on those back rank shaman types who cause so much trouble.

Playing with party comp is why I keep coming back. I try to look for skill synergies like the marking, or bleed/blight. My first check is to make sure I have a healer or sufficient distributed healing (made that mistake one too many times), then second is to ensure I have good coverage of the enemy ranks. The one I'm still working on is very mobile parties that utilize the Jester, Grave Robber, etc. The Jester has some neat moves, but the other three people have to be very comfortable in other positions!

Thanks for the video link and spoiler warning, I'll definitely check it out later.

Jonman wrote:

Also, Abominations, HUH! What are they good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (that I’ve managed to figure out).

OOOO! I'll play! One of my favorite crews is:

Occultist - Grave Robber - Abomination - Hellion

The Abomination uses primarily the chain/stun attack (which is fantastic for stunning third position trouble makers), with a touch of blight barfing. His self healing helps manage overall party survival. Then only when you really need him to, change to beast form and whack/rake for nice damage.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I saw this compared to Final Fantasy Tactics on a frontpage article a few weeks ago. Is that accurate? I did not get that impression at all from the contemporaneous release coverage.

I dont think anyone answered this. Not in a literal sense. You don't individually position team members around a battlefield, nor do you really advance characters through a job tree. I dont think there's much in common with the story, but I barely remember FFT's story.

"Spiritually" does it have anything in common? Hmm. You really manage a 'company' of individual heroes. The heroes are classes, not really individuals. Except for some minor build differences, a Plague Doctor is a Plague Doctor, just with more or less experience and the collection of traits they build up. There's some connection to FFT there if you squint at it