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New game: Darkest Dungeon tips. Learn these things and survive.

6 posts in this topic

Just now I played this really cool early access game called Darkest Dungeon. It may say it's early access, but man oh man, I've been playing for 3 hours straight and it doesn't feel like it at all.



It's a turn based rpg with random dungeons you can go to, with interesting and varied gameplay mechanics such as the stress meter which will affect your character negatively and will give them negative passive traits most of the time. Sometimes it'll actually give your characters boosts. Unfortunately, it's also quite tough if you don't know what you're doing. At the start of the game, you'll be given a choice of random characters to pick from, ranging from crusader, highwayman, ocultist, Vestal/healer and so on.


There's a reason why there's so many to choose from. Every death in the game is permanent, and if you get all of your characters killed, which may happen, you won't get further in this game. So I'll give my tips so you'll survive and hopefully get the best experience out of this game!


Tip 1:

Get used to the inventory & currency system. 

This game's inventory system is completely different from what you're used to in usual rpgs. Usually when you get loots like armor, weapons, potions or weapons, you can keep them and then use them later. In this game, once you use items in a mission, those items will be gone after you completed the mission. So let's say you have 10 potions to cure disease at the end of a mission. Once you completed a mission, those 10 potions are GONE! The only ones that you can keep are accessories and sellable items like rubies or precious stones which will be automatically converted into coins after you completed a mission. 



Before you start any mission in this game, you'll have the option to buy stuff from the store. It's important to know that the most important items you have to buy are torches and foods. You use torches so you'll have a better chance of not having random enemy encounters, and you use food to stay full. Eating food is only important when there's a prompt for it. If you don't have enough food during this prompt, your characters will starve and they will lose a LOT of health and gets stressed out. So my tip before entering a dungeon:


buy 8 torches and 8 foods. 



There are items like a shovel that lets you get rid of a blockade and cure potions, but these costs 250 gold and they're not that useful anyway. The worst that can happen is you take 1 point of damage to your character, and you'll eventually get these items anyway from looting. So fuck these items, don't bother buying them.

The game's currency consists of 5 different stuff. The first one is the usual: gold. The other 4 are necessary to get upgrades for various buildings in the hub world: shields, paper scrolls, paintings and statues. Yeah it's weird. These 4 things are very2 important because they allow upgrades for various buildings. Blacksmith to upgrade armor & weapons, guild to upgrade your character skills, taverns to drop down your character stress meter at a much more lower price than before, you get the idea. Always have TONS of these 4 things to upgrade these buildings, and ALWAYS have enough money to upgrade your characters.


Tip 2:

Just pick 4 or 5 people that you really want to have leveled up. The rest are expendable. Don't be afraid to abort missions if you can't handle it.

This is what a typical party menu will look like.



To get party members, you go to the stage coach. After completing one mission, there will be new people that you can get from it. The number of people in total you can store are 9 at the beginning and you can upgrade the capacity and the amount of people you can have in a mission. Now because death are permanent in this game, you need to only concentrate on leveling up certain number of characters. Preferably only 4. Why is that? Because the cost of maintaining their stress and equipments are quite high. One character takes 1,000 gold, and most of the time you'll only bring in 1,500 - 3,000 gold after a mission because most probably your characters all die during it. 


This is my strategy when doing most missions: pick new people from the stage coach and use them for a mission. Most of the time the mission will be quite tough, and because it's most likely that all of your members will have their stress meter maxed out, you have to abort missions and salvage golds that you get from the mission. Stress meter in this game is really easy to get full, and when that happens, your character is basically a liability from that point on. You can just cure their stress, but like I said, it costs a lot of coins and you have to keep as many coins as you can for future uses.



You can abort missions by clicking a white flag on the top left of the screen. Once you abort the mission, get rid of the people that has their stress meter maxed out, and pick new people from the stage coach to try again. Do this until you have a lot of gold and upgrade characters that you want.


Tip 3:

Always have a knight, a ranged attacker and a healer in each missions.

This game requires correct characters to pick from before you begin a mission. The way combat works in this game is based on character positions.



Certain characters have skills that can only be done in specific positions. Knights can only attack if they're in front, and mages can only give healing spells when they're at the back. What's on the screenshot here is the most ideal party member you can have during the game. You can't have a party that consists of knights on every spot because what's the point if the knights at the back can't attack enemies? Unless of course you have a high level knight which have a ranged combat ability. Even then, you require a healer in every situation because enemies in this game hits HARD. If you're lucky, you can beat enemies in a mission and not get hit at all, but a lot of the times you're going to take a lot of hits. The vestal and the occultist have the best healing spells. Go get them and have them heal your characters all the time to increase your chances of survival.



That's my tips for the game! Hope it helps you survive through the game. If you have different tips you can share, please do! Enjoy the game and prepare to die, I mean have fun! ;)

Eiousx and King Axper like this

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So I had the opportunity to play this for a few hours and there are a few things I don't really agree with here, either because of version changes, or because you're silly (needless to say *I* am not (kidding) ).


about items to buy:

Inventory tips

I agree about 8 food as a minimum, but that's only for a short dungeon, anything longer and I actually suggest 20+... why 20? Well a medium length dungeon (haven't done long yet) will require at least 12, and I like to have more so I can "feast" in the camp menu, which is obviously the best choice if you have the food to spare.

8 torches on the other hand is far too much imo for a short dungeon, 5 is normally enough to keep the light over 75 at all times for a short, otherwise, yeah I get 8. Do be aware that camping raises your light to 100 afterwards without consuming a torch, so if you're feeling like you need to conserve on torch mid-dungeon, try to "use up" some light before you camp.

AS for shovels being useless, I do find their use to be limited to non-existant in ruins dungeons, and rarely useful in warrens. But in Weald dungeons they are VERY useful. I often find myself blocked by 3-4 thickets per weald dungeon (sometimes more), and if you don't use a shovel to get rid of them, the entire party takes damage, gains like 10-20 stress, AND you lose like 50 light, NOT cool. 

As for the other items, holy water is useful for ruins, and sometimes warrens. Use holy water on a confession booth for a cool 40ish stress reduction on a character, I find without holy water I GAIN stress more often than not. They are also useful for urns and the like. Don't use em on those stretched leather things, I forget what they're called.

I can't remember all the combos of items to random furniture, but just keep them in mind. It's like FTL where once you learn the game you kinda know the "answer" to each thing.


As for upgrading items, I must be unlucky but I always have a severe shortage of deeds...Cuz only weald dungeons drop them, and I had like 10 weeks straght of not a single weald dungeon appearing. Was really lame.


Party management:


I've heard many people talk about tossing new party members at dungeons like "Fodder", and only worrying about beefing up a select few party members at a time. This is in fact a good way to start off the game on a foothold and making a profit reliably. However, I personally feel that once you reach a point of knowing you can complete any apprentice tier mission reliably, that you make efforts to try and form a larger "core" group, of perhaps even 8. The reason why is because once you reach level 3, you are no longer permitted to do lower level dungeons anymore with those level 3 characters. So once some hit 3, you'll be left with nothing but your useless 0s all over again, and while your level 3s can do the more advanced dungeons, you may want to  have a secondary group able to do them sooner than later in case you need to take care of one or two of them in town for an extended length of time.


Also, as a general rule of thumb, I suggest making your group a little bit more adept at dealing with front row enemies than back row, because enemies in the back are considered to be in the "front" after a casualty or two on their part. Significant exception is the wizened hag boss. I had a near full-party wipe on her without barely touching her after dealing with the other bosses without even breaking a sweat because she is in the back, you can't "get rid" of the front, and my party at that time was actually MORE front heavy than ever before, just my luck. I lost my best item too. argh.

My own personal random tips

Unlike many rpg games with upgrade systems to weapons and armor. I find that upgrading your armor is the better deal in this game than weapons. Reason is that weapon upgrades only increase damage by 1 (even big 2 handers), and crit rate by like 1%.. Armor upgrades increase hp by 4-6 (which is quite a bit when hp counts are like 16-24), in ADDITION to increasing your dodge% by 5. Given enemies seem to have only about an 80% chance to hit to begin with, 5% more dodge is more than 5%, this doesn't only save you health, but also prevents you from losing stress from many attacks too...So yeah.. Weapons aren't completely inferior, but  I just don't think they are "omg get the weapon upgrade first OBVIOUSLY" that they are in nearly every other rpg over armor.

Do weald dungeons if at all reasonably possible if given the chance. They drop precious deeds, which the other 2 dungeons cannot drop. Every other heirloom type has 2 different places they appear in, deeds only appear in weald pretty much. Note that this tip will probably no longer be applicable once the "cove" section is released

Dot attacks (bleed, blight, etc) have their DoT upgrade by 1 damage per turn after 2 ranks of skill upgrades. Therefore, upgrading the skill once is nice, but doing it twice is ideal.

As you traverse a dungeon, ask yourself if you are losing health faster than gaining stress or vice versa. It's easy to have a mindset of "always kill ____ first cuz they are nasty" . But it's better to have 2 different "kill first" strategies, one for if you can afford to lose health but not gain stress, and another for having oodles of stress that you can afford to gain, but health is an issue. As a general rule, I tend to favor killing enemies that generate stress slightly more because it's easier to heal health than stress, and health automatically heals after every mission, while stress does not. That said, even if health is dropping faster than stress is gaining, consider a "kill stress first" strategy if you know the mission is nearly over since you'll get healed anyway soon. Basically, treat health like a resource that you have to spend like any other, instead of some kind of object you must protect at all costs unlike every other game.

Do note that when your characters "level up", they develop a natural resistance to stress, this is even if you don't upgrade them. For example, level 0 characters gain 20 stress when they get nailed by a swine's "vomit" attack, but a level 1 character only gains 13 IIRC. This is why it seems like you end up with 100 stress after only a few rooms super early in the game when everyone is level 0. Just bear in mind that enemies in level 3+ dungeons jack up how much they give and you'll be like level 0s all over again.

If you have a good healer in your party, try to also have it so everyone in your party has some kind of move they can use that doesn't deal high damage, as well as  a stun or two. This way, try to stunlock the enemies when they are down to 1 or 2, and heal everyone back up. Don't do this if you can't reliably stunlock them however since the stress gain may not be worth it. Particularly if someone ends up getting masochism or paranoia afterwards, cuz then they wont let you heal them anyway.

Some traits like kleptomaniac don't really seem that bad at first. They in fact are pretty harmless. However once dungeons get longer, they pose more of an issue as they will screw up a more than insignificant number of furniture events. One time I had 3 keys and I never got to use a single one cuz some dumbass failed at opening 3 chests in a row without letting me try to use a key.. ARGH. This may seem like an extreme case, but just keep in mind that if you treat such a trait as harmless and you let it build up on like your entire party, it will probably be a common occurrence that will annoy you to no end.

Look at the caravan every week, see if anyone good is in it...even if your roster is full. I just threw away a level 2 hellion whose traits were pretty average because one was on the caravan with 2 good traits and a harmless bad one (-10% ranged damage...hellions have no ranged damage, oh noes).

Kaz32 and Legolas_Katarn like this

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Aha! Advanced tips! I still prefer my strategy for now though. As "silly" as you may think, my strategy's pretty useful to minimise wasting money while making more currency to upgrade the town facilities so it'll be easier in future battles. I take things slow before proceeding to the harder battles ahead, and surprisingly these strategies works quite well for me up until now. I have a lot of money, around 15,000+, 30,000 if I haven't spent 15,000 to upgrade and cure afflictions/ reduce stress of my members, most of the buildings are leveled up, especially the guild and the blacksmith which allows for level 2 above characters to level up, I have 8 guys who are level 1 already, and 1 guy level 2. It's a matter of time before these guys reach level 2 and 3 or above.


The things you don't agree with is when I said just have 8 foods in a dungeon right? That's what I always have during every dungeon, and the medium ones too. It works quite well since my party will go hungry only twice and they only consume 4, and I'm quite lucky to get more food in the dungeon. I raise my food to 12 when I feel like completing a dungeon. Otherwise I'll just get 8 and harvest money, quit midway, and try the dungeon again to minimise risk of the dungeon having difficult enemies later. 


Shovels are pretty much useless and they're just wasting money as long as you know this one important strategy during combat:

have parties that I mentioned before: knight, a ranged attacker and a healer in each missions.

The best way to keep all of your party member at high health is to have one member have the "stun" ability. Ideally a crusader and a bounty hunter with their stun abilities equiped. What you have to do is leave 1 enemy left standing, and when you do, stun the hell out of that guy, heal with your healer, stun the hell out of that guy, heal, over and over again until the enemy lose all his health. If you use the bounty hunter, he'll only do 1 damage to the enemy, so if let's say the enemy has 20 hp, you can heal your entire party in around 17 turns to full health. And if your bounty hunter does a critical, good for you since it'll lower the stress meter and also light up your torch. 


Which is funny since you mention the exact same healing method that I just said, so I don't think shovels are really necessary at all as long as you can just heal your party full after every single combat. 



Thanks for the new tips! I'll use those when the dungeons gets even harder.

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Thanks for the nice guide/tips. I think I have made my choice, gonna buy the game today. Seems a nice game reminds me of might and magic. Thanks again for a good info.

Kaz32 likes this

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Thanks for the nice guide/tips. I think I have made my choice, gonna buy the game today. Seems a nice game reminds me of might and magic. Thanks again for a good info.

Glad to help! Have fun and hopefully you'll harvest enough currency to upgrade stuff.

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Glad to help! Have fun and hopefully you'll harvest enough currency to upgrade stuff.

Have been playing for a week already and i can say worth every penny. It's a good, hard and challenging game. Hard to harvest some currency but still i Love it !

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