Walkthrough Darkest Dungeon 2

A guide to the basic mechanics and functions of the game, an analysis of the abilities of the starting four and tips for the passage of Darkest Dungeon 2

At the time of writing, Darkest Dungeon 2 is in Early Access on the Epic Games Store. The early stage is limited in the story, not all acts, bosses and enemies are available, but many of the basic mechanics and foundations have already been laid and will remain unchanged until the release of the full version. This guide will be devoted to the analysis of the main functions, tips for passing. We cannot provide a step-by-step guide on how to complete the entire game, as much of it is based on procedural level generation, random encounters, and so on.

What you need to know before starting the game

The original Darkest Dungeon was a challenging game that took party playthroughs and harsh punishments from old RPGs and refreshed that formula with dark surroundings and a unique combat system. Darkest Dungeon 2 borrows many of the fundamentals of the first game while introducing new mechanics while maintaining the traditional roguelike progression. Below I have collected a few tips and tricks related to functions and mechanics that you are not really told about. Moreover, at the time of this writing, half of the content has not been translated into Russian at all.

Don’t worry about your health – better monitor your stress!

Stress is what remains from the original game. As always, you should inevitably monitor your stress level and look for ways to reduce it. Characters who have accumulated an excessive amount of stress (50% or more) seem to be more likely to make mistakes during combat. Stress management is perhaps the most important thing to pay attention to in Darkest Dungeon 2. Think of stress as an inverted level of health (which should be reduced, not increased). In many situations, this parameter is even more important than the HP stock itself.

Frankincense is one of the most common items to reduce stress levels. I try to pick it up almost every time the opportunity arises. However, the most reliable and guaranteed way to reduce stress levels is to use the Plague Doctor (see below).

Healing in Darkest Dungeon 2 is not such a big problem, because in this game your characters gradually, automatically, restore health points. This happens as you move in your carriage. Permanent damage such as bleeding or corruption also does not carry over to map travel. He is active exclusively during combat. Once the battle is over, the characters have no bleeding or corruption.

Gradually, the heroes build up stress. This happens as damage is received, status effects are affected, and quarrels with companions. While health is gradually restored (along the journey, between encounters with enemies), stress persists and even tends to increase as the plot progresses. Allowing the stress bar to reach its boiling point will lead to a huge loss of health, as well as a complete breakdown in the relationship between this hero and the rest of the group. I highly recommend prioritizing abilities and consumables that help reduce stress. At least try to do this on your first playthrough.

Maintain good relations in the squad

Battles, making certain decisions, random encounters, and so on affect the scale of relationships between characters. When this scale reaches its maximum, negative or positive, a definite connection is formed between two specific characters. Positive relationships can be loving, respectful, or inseparable. Each of these statuses provides positive buffs that help in combat and randomly heal heroes. They feel better than they did before. As for negative relationships, they can reach the status of “offensive”, “stormy” and “hateful”. This leads to negative statuses and a high risk of increased stress on both sides. Positive relationships are fragile, but negative relationships are much more difficult to fix. If you see that the rate of negative relationship between two heroes is too high, it is worth lowering their stress level and looking for consumables to improve the intimacy between the heroes. This should be done in a restaurant.

Ram objects with a carriage

Pay attention to destructible obstacles on the road? Drive straight into them. They do not harm your team, increase stress, or affect the integrity of the carriage. But they can drop some useful item that will come in handy in battle. Or even food. It’s the end of the world, so why should you give up free items?

However, you are not playing Mario Kart . The cart is harnessed by horses, therefore it has a slight delay when moving. I found it best to use the auto-forward command (double-tap W) and make small heading adjustments using the A and D keys.

Always use collected items (1 inventory slot must be empty)

do not try to skimp on consumables in Darkest Dungeon 2. Anyway, I very quickly focused on the abilities of the heroes and completely forgot about the existence of the inventory. But any use of the item in battle is completely free. You are not wasting action points! After using an item, you can still end your turn, use an ability, or attack an enemy. That is, first use a healing ointment or incense, and after that go with the current character. As you travel through the world of Darkest Dungeon 2, you will discover a huge number of items, so there is no point in saving on them. Not to mention the things that are only suitable for pubs. The more actively you use consumables, the more effective the development of your group will be.

In addition, the cart has a limited number of free item slots. And the availability of additional free space throughout the game will be a significant help. I recommend keeping at least one inventory slot free so that you can examine the next chest or container found in the open world and decide whether to take an item or replace it with one that is already in your inventory. But if your inventory is full, the game will simply not allow you to pick up new items. The narrator will point out that you need to collect food and money, but also emphasize that they will be meaningless things if you don’t spend them.

Deal with enemy positioning as soon as possible

Both the original Darkest Dungeon and the sequel to the game use squads of four heroes. Abilities and their potential effectiveness depend both on the position of a particular character and on the position of the enemy. When studying the ability of any character, first pay attention to the yellow circles. They indicate where this hero must stand in order to be able to activate this skill. The red circles indicate where the enemy should be so that if this skill is successfully activated, it can be hit. The upper part shows the general strength of the weapon. For example, most of the fighter’s abilities require him to be in the first three rows of the group, and he can attack mainly those enemies that are in the two nearest positions.

Your default group consists of four specific classes. The warrior can occupy one of the first two positions, the rogue the second, and the grave robber and the plague doctor must be placed in the back lines. Ideally, the squad should have a tank, a healer and two characters with high damage, who together are capable of attacking enemies in all positions.

Another trick is related to the fact that some characters, such as the Rogue, have a high determination, which makes them one of the first to walk in battle.

Focus on damage over time

Direct damage is a good thing, but as I have noticed, the most difficult battles in Darkest Dungeon 2 require the use of damage over time – burns, bleeding and poisoning. In addition, such effects are cumulative, so you can throw them on one specific, most dangerous enemy. The Tomb Raider and Plague Doctor have poisoning abilities, and the Rogue has an attack that causes bleeding (and it opens early enough). Damage over time effects (triggered at the beginning of an enemy’s turn) also help knock out strong opponents who have activated the death door.

Upgrade the Plague Doctor’s Prevention Ounce as soon as possible

Despite the complexity of the game, the character development system in Darkest Dungeon is quite simple. Especially when you compare it to other role-playing games. Your heroes do not have experience points or a level system. Instead, some battles reward you with mastery points. These points are common to all characters in your squad, and you can spend them in taverns. The abilities of each hero can be improved only once per playthrough. Thanks to this, the effectiveness of the skill (in numbers) will increase and / or additional effects will appear. I have found that mastery point upgrades are more important than the effects of wearing trinkets, and therefore, in order to earn skill points, I recommend prioritizing encounters with resistance on the map.

Since stress is your main enemy, I recommend that at the beginning of each playthrough, spend your first mastery point on pumping the “Ounce of Prevention” ability from the Plague Doctor. An improved version of this skill simultaneously reduces 1 stress point and strengthens the defense of the entire group, which will greatly facilitate the stress management process.

Be careful and take your time to invest skill points in the same character. If he dies, all those skill points spent will go to oblivion. When you get to the next tavern, the dead characters will be replaced with new adventurers. Of course, if you can get there.

Contain hate

Similar to Demon’s Souls’ World Tendency system, Darkest Dungeon 2 has two bars that track the overall state of the game. The torch on your harness is familiar from the original Darkest Dungeon. The power of the fire is measured on a scale from 0 to 100. Each time you visit the inn, the torch flares up to its maximum, but its fire goes out as you move across the map. At maximum brightness, the torch gives your squad good combat bonuses, but gradually the game balances the primary bonuses and soon the situation may tilt in favor of the enemies (they become more powerful). The speed at which the torch is extinguished directly depends on another parameter – hatred.

The hatred intensifies whenever you reach the inn at the end of each world, and is contained by eliminating opponents in random encounters such as Resistances, Lair, and Cultists. In addition, you can significantly reduce the level of hatred by completing all three rounds of the final Sentinel challenge on each map. With a high level of hatred and a dim torch, the difficulty of the battle increases significantly. One of my first seemingly successful runs failed due to too much hate.

Be sure to visit the shrines of reflection

One of the rewards that will remain unchanged between playthroughs is new abilities for your heroes, which are unlocked in the shrines of reflection. These sanctuaries are marked with bell icons on the map. By visiting them, you can unlock a new ability and learn a bit of the backstory of the selected character. Most of the five story sequences are played passively, but at least one will be a combat puzzle that can fail. Since these abilities persist between different runs, try to unlock as many as possible for flexibility. For example, the skills “Dead Night” and “Open Vein” from the grave robber and the robber are very useful.

Basic basics

Surely the first thing you’ll notice when moving from Darkest Dungeon to Darkest Dungeon 2 is that the game now looks more like a re-run roguelike than a micromanagement simulator. Each time you start the game, you are given four adventurers and a few random items. Then you set off on the harness, trying to get as far as possible before your squad is destroyed. And it will be destroyed more than once! Depending on how far you go, the rank of hope will rise after each run. It is also influenced by the number of battles won and the number of treasures found. As the hope grows, you’ll be able to find more powerful items among the loot, which will increase your chances of winning on future runs.

For a start, about recruits. You start the game with four characters. They will be a warrior, a robber, a grave robber and a plague doctor. The more you play Darkest Dungeon 2, the more characters you unlock, and the more flexible your potential strategy will be.

But to begin with, there is no choice, so you will have to arrange the available seekers according to their slots, indicating positions in battle. In the far right slot, install a warrior who has good armor and a shield, so he will fit into the role of a tank. Put the robber and grave robber in the two central slots. Both characters have ranged weapons that will be useful for attacking ranged and hidden foes. Finally, the plague doctor should be placed on the far left. He uses healing abilities and poison bombs. Try to take advantage of all the characters and never put them in positions alien to them.

Travel and resource management

As mentioned earlier, Darkest Dungeon 2 is more of a journey through a dark, procedurally generated world teeming with monsters and other dangers, so you’ll need even the smallest advantage you can get in combat. You have two main resources to keep in mind in the long run.

The first is a torch located on the carriage. As in the first Darkest Dungeon, the worse the flame burns, the more dangerous and powerful the enemies encountered will be. You can empower the torch flame with specific contextual actions, winning a battle, or distributing supplies to starving travelers. In the first playthroughs, try to keep the flame as high as possible.

The second indicator to look out for is hatred. Its value can be seen on the scale in the upper left corner of the screen. As you progress through the game, the bar will increase, providing permanent bonuses to the upcoming battles with monsters. When you get to the fork, in some cases it will be said that winning the battle will reduce the value of hatred. Be sure to choose such collisions to keep the parameter from rising.

Also during the passage you will find the items of the inn. Basically, inns are checkpoints that you activate between different levels. They provide a short respite between battles with monsters and the opportunity to upgrade the squad. Once in the inn, you can use the appropriate items on the characters to provide them with permanent bonuses and improvement of characteristics. Use all of these items to the maximum each time to free up space in your inventory.

Next, pay attention to the trinkets and combat items. Equip these items immediately. Trinkets are important as they provide passive unit upgrades. These bonuses are insignificant (+2 speed or + 10% plague resistance), but in total they will significantly increase your chances of successful completion. Right click on the portrait of the character in the group at the bottom of the screen to open the menu. LMB on the bag icon to open the inventory. Hold the cursor and LMB on the item, and then drag it to the desired slot.

Equip combat items in the same menu. They are important, especially in the most difficult battles. In addition to the four skills available to characters, you can use combat items without spending action points. That is, you can activate a combat item, and then use all the available skills. It turns out that you have absolutely nothing to lose. Healing ointment restores health points, bandages do the same, with less efficiency, but at the same time stop bleeding. Other items will allow you to remove damage, poisoning. And then there are smoke bombs, ichor bombs and combat stimulants. There is a lot of loot in the game, so there is no point in saving too much.

Fight and stress

The battles in Darkest Dungeon 2 are quite challenging, but generally straightforward. These are turn-based battles in which the position of your characters and opponents is of paramount importance, as well as the ability to apply permanent status effects. Almost every attack or ability either weakens or hangs some kind of status effect. More importantly, status effects are cumulative. For example, you can impose several bleeding effects, and the damage taken by the enemy will increase significantly.

Each character has different attacks that can only be used in certain positions. Also, each ability has a specific hit range. If we consider the detachment available by default, then the warrior and the robber should attack the enemies in the first two positions, and with the tomb robber and the plague doctor, two opponents in the distant positions (with poison darts and plague bombs).

Finally, all adventurers must face stress. It is shown as a small scale with white squares below the health bar. The stress increases as you travel. This is due to taking damage, battles, disagreements between characters in a group, or improper interaction with the outside world. When the stress rises to the maximum, the character will lose almost all of his health, receive debuffs and increase the stress of the rest of the group. Be sure to control the level of stress, especially for a character with the role of “tank”.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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