Darkest Dungeon II: The Altar of Hope Now Live

The Altar of Hope early access update for Darkest Dungeon II is now live on the Epic Games Store, featuring a complete rework of the game's long-term progression, the Bounty Hunter as a temporary ally, and plenty of miscellaneous gameplay changes.

The link above has the complete patch notes. And here are the bigger items:

Build 0.16.38304 - live on experimental


This update is a wholesale rework of the fundamental underpinnings of Darkest Dungeon II’s metagame & progression. Your current Hope score will be reset, resulting in a wipe of item unlocks & hero availability. Any in-progress expeditions will also be reset.

Hero backstory progress & associated skill unlocks, as well as Confession boss unlocks will be preserved.

You will be awarded 20 Candles of Hope to expedite your exposure to the Altar of Hope.

The Altar of Hope Update introduces a massive new progression system to Darkest Dungeon II which allows you to invest in upgrades, perks, and unlocks that suit your play style and strategy.

On your Expeditions, you will collect Candles of Hope by completing objectives, progressing through areas, and defeating evils along the way. In true Darkest Dungeon fashion, the best results come from daring deeds. You’ll also need to choose when to take a safer path.

The best rewards can be gained by making it all the way to the Confession boss. Of course, this is not always possible. Fortunately, Candles can be earned with incremental successes as well.
  • Cashing out: If you choose to, you can end any Expedition gracefully at any Inn. You'll keep whatever Candles you have earned so far on that journey.
  • Risking it: If you choose to push on past the Inn, be aware that a mid-region party wipe or abandoned Expedition will penalize your total Candles earned. It’s always better to make it to the next Inn.
  • The Pinnacle: If you reach the Mountain, you will keep every Candle you've earned that Expedition even if you fall. You have no reason not to face your failures...
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to press forward after a moment’s sanctuary at the Inn should be something that weighs heavily when tending to your party and surveying what challenges lie ahead. There is no shame in ending your Expedition here, carrying your Candles home, and spending them on upgrades at the Altar. It is crucial to recollect more of what has been forgotten to the darkness. Eventually, you will find yourself making it farther and farther on each journey, until you ultimately reach the Mountain.

For more information on the Altar of Hope, refer to this BLOG POST

A New Ally, The Bounty Hunter

Unlike the core group of adventurers who rally at the Crossroads, the Bounty Hunter wanders from Inn to Inn, in search of his next job. If you are lucky enough to stumble upon him, and are willing to pay the price, he will replace one of your active heroes for the duration of the next region.

A consummate professional, the Bounty Hunter will not gain or lose affinity with the party. He is here to do his job, and has no interest in fostering friendships, or petty bickering. He is still vulnerable to stress, however, as any sane person should be.

For more information on the Bounty Hunter, refer to this BLOG POST

  • HERO STATS balanced to account for the numerous Altar of Hope buffs available on each hero's advancement track.
  • Monsters and bosses with multiple standard actions (not including Start Round / End Round skills) will now roll their additional actions at a stacking initiative penalty in order to decrease, but not eliminate, the chances of multiple actions in a row
  • INN CHANGES: Inns now vary in how much they heal. Reintroduction of stitching kit as an Inn item.
  • ITEM LOOT FIXES: there were some spreadsheet offsets, leading to incorrect supply item loot quantities. This should be fixed and it should be harder to get offset again.
  • CONFESSION BOSS BATTLE MODIFIER: when facing the end boss(es), heroes will now face a substantial Deathblow Resist penalty. This allows us to keep the fights challenging and deadly without it involving endless hero-death-door-juggling.
  • REMOVED Loathing restoration from Guardian fights because they are not optional.
  • VALLEY: swapped order of StoryAssist and Hoarder for all narration configurations.
  • VALLEY: changed order of Assist Encounter and Hoarder, since what you get at the Assist location may influence your shopping choices
  • VALLEY ASSIST ENCOUNTER: now the player will have a choice between different loot options, instead of always getting food. Also restores full torch now since the placement of this encounter within the Valley changed
  • ORDAINMENT: monsters in the first region past the Valley now will never be Ordained. Monsters in the final region before the Mountain will be Ordained 90% of the time (was 80%)
  • REGION MUTATORS: Added two new ones: "Blood and Hope" and "Peace and Hope" (candle generation chance boosts at certain locations)
  • Changed "Secret, Safe" region goal to be "fight less than 6 road battles" since previously it was sometimes impossible
  • REGION GOAL REWARDS: added Candles into the mix!
  • Stealth Tokens can now stack to a maximum of 2 and are consumed at a rate of 1 per turn, regardless of action taken unless otherwise noted on a skill
  • Adjusted color of Daze/Stun text/tokens to better reflect their role as negative tokens
  • Discarding items no longer rewards anything