Category: News ArchiveHits: 1524
About a month ago, Red Hook Studios released a new early access update for Darkest Dungeon II on the experimental branch. Entitled The Void Between Us, it was poised to overhaul the game's Affinity System regulating the many ways in which your heroes interact, and bring back some of the tension associated with the frequent resolve tests you might remember from the first Darkest Dungeon title.
And now, that update is live on the game's main branch, so we get a more detailed explanation for what it actually brings to the table in terms of Affinity and hero relationships, but also some actual patch notes listing a great deal of gameplay and balance changes, as well as some audio and general bug fixes.
Check it out:
M7 Relationship System Update Available Now on Retail!
Since early access launch, one of the areas of the game that has seen the most (useful!) critical feedback has been the Affinity System, which is our term for the system that encompasses hero relationships and all the related mechanics.
This update is a large-scale overhaul of the system. Our design goal in redesigning the system was to:
We’ve had a lot of fun improving this system and sincerely hope you enjoy it. As always, please share your thoughts with us on our official Discord, social media, and r/darkestdungeon - we read it all.
- Focus on a smaller amount of big moments
- Do a better job of communicating when a hero will be upset about something another hero does
- Add back in some of the tension similar to Darkest Dungeon 1 resolve tests
- Reduce the interruptions in flow and other annoyances
- Polish, improve, and strengthen the system overall
Here are the big changes:
1) Stress: Resolve will be tested anew!
Stress builds normally over the course of play, but we have brought back the tension of the original Darkest Dungeon's coin-flip results.
At max stress, a hero will most likely have a Meltdown, but there is a chance they can become Resolute instead! Unlike DD1, Meltdown and Resolute are not enduring statuses. Rather they are moments of impact that can affect health, affinity, and character status.
Quirks, trinkets, and other factors can influence a character’s chance of becoming resolute.
2) Affinity: Why can’t we be friends?
We, along with many of you in the community, recognized that the previous system was a little too intrusive and not tactical enough. Our goal in this redesign has been to reduce the drag on play that affinity gains/losses presented, and expose some strategic telegraphing to you in combat.
All ‘random’ after-the-fact affinity gains/losses in combat have been removed.
Telegraphing: When selecting an action in combat, if the result will change affinity negatively with another hero, then you will notice that change is telegraphed via an icon on said hero. This allows for more tactical considerations prior to executing the move. Dismas is bleeding out, but you want to use the Man-at-Arms to guard someone else? Dismas will make his displeasure very clear! In this way, we allow you to more actively sculpt your relationships through play. Our hope is that this new strategy vector will gently encourage the occasional suboptimal skill choice in favor of Affinity sculpting.
Affinity Scale: There is no more ‘negative Affinity’ - you either gain Affinity or lose it. Affinity is now measured in 0-20 pips, with the lower numbers indicating a poor or acrimonious leaning, while higher numbers represent a positive vibe between the heroes in question. The scale is broken up into 5 tranches, each labeled, so it’s easy to see how your people are feeling about each other.
3) Relationships: ‘Til the Inn do us part…
Relationships can now only form at the Inn. Those relationships last for the entire next region.
After arriving at the Inn, you’ll want to purchase and/or use your rest items to pump up your heroes’ affinities prior to hitting the ‘Rest’ button. You will then be shown what we’re calling the ‘embark screen’ where you’ll see the heroes looking out at the upcoming region. Any relationships that formed overnight will be presented here via click-to-reveal. High or low Affinity heroes have the greatest likelihood of forming relationships of the corresponding polarity, but it’s not guaranteed.
By mousing over the Affinity scale, you can see the chances that characters will form a relationship with each other.
4) Tis a Blessing and a Curse
When two heroes enter into a relationship, one skill from each of their kits is selected and modified based on the relationship.
Negative relationships ‘curse’ skills - locking them to your skillbar in combat and placing a detrimental effect on the skill. Need to heal? Too bad Battlefield Medicine will cause stress to the envious Man-at-Arms!
Positive Relationships ‘bless’ skills, making them extra powerful with partner-centric effects like tokens, stress heals, buffs, etc. Thanks to a respectful relationship with the Runaway, the Leper’s Chop now has a chance to give her a STR token every time you use it!
This change essentially strips out the majority of random act-outs (ie. combat interruptions) and reintroduces them in a more tactically engaging way. You now have the ability to leverage a positive relationship to incredible effect, or mitigate a negative one.
5) Big Moments
Most of the small-scale random relationship act-outs have been removed, effectively replaced by the skill blessing/cursing.
However, positive relationships have two themed signature ‘big deal’ act outs each. They are powerful, and will interrupt combat with potentially expedition-saving impacts.
6) Affinity Must Be Maintained
Because relationships last only for one region and then have a chance to reform at the next Inn, affinity still matters. Arriving at the Inn with low affinity between two heroes who are in a positive relationship will most likely result in a new, negative relationship forming.
If you can maintain positive affinity between two heroes and they are able to reform a relationship again, that relationship will most likely be the same as before
Many Quirks that could plausibly affect affinity, relationships, or meltdowns have been retooled to be be more impactful
- Several new items have been added to the game - stay tuned for more details about where they came from!
- Base inventory increased from 18 to 20
- Base candle stacking size increased from 2 to 3
- The Stagecoach now has a dedicated spot for Infernal Flame, so this doesn't impinge on general stagecoach equipment strategies. (Note: we have long term plans to expand the Infernal Flame functionality, but it’s still a ways off.)
- We removed direct damage from certain combat items preventing Strength token consumption. General tuning changes and tooltip improvements for combat items and trinkets.
- A handful of inns now have unique shop selection thematic to the inn
- Updated shop selection for The Hoarder, Field Hospital, and Inns
- Vague trinkets will no longer appear in the final regions
- Remove combat items, inn items, and vague trinkets from various road battle rewards
- Tooltip description improvements
- Direct damage has been removed from the items below. They will no longer consume Strength tokens or interact with Block tokens.
- Bear Trap
- Crows Feet
- Death Cap Spores
- Incendiary Cocktail
- Greek Fire Grenade
- Ichor Bomb
- Scrap Grenade
- Spiked Ball
- Thunderclap Grenade
- Spore Grenade
- Otherworldly Fragment
- Ablative Powders: Increased Burn res from +40% to +66%. Added "Gain On Burn Res: Stress -1 (3 Turns)". Decreased max stacks from 4 to 2. Decreased Burn res buff duration from 4 to 3 turns.
- Adrenaline Tonic: Removed max health restriction.
- Clotting Powders: Increased Bleed res from +40% to +66%. Added "Gain On Bleed Res: Stress -1 (3 Turns)". Decreased max stacks from 4 to 2. Decreased Bleed res buff duration from 4 to 3 turns.
- Crows Feet: Increased Speed debuff duration from 2 to 3 turns.
- Neutralizing Powders: Increased Blight res from +40% to +66%. Added "Gain On Blight Res: Stress -1 (3 Turns)". Decreased max stacks from 4 to 2. Decreased Blight res buff duration from 4 to 3 turns.
- Chalk Dust: Changed target single enemy to target enemy party.
- Death Cap Spores: Added "-33% Blight Res (3 Turns)". Decreased Deathblow res debuff duration from 4 to 3 turns.
- Fisherman's Net: Changed "Add Immobilize Token" to "Add 2 Immobilize Tokens". Added "-33% Bleed Res (3 Turns)". Increased Speed debuff duration from 2 to 3 turns.
- Glimmer of Hope: Now only targets self.
- Healing Salve: Added Restorative item tag.
- Invigorating Intoxicant: Added "+6 Speed while on Death's Door (3 Turns)" and "+10% CRIT while on Death's Door (3 Turns)". Decreased Deathblow res buff duration from 4 to 3 turns. Decreased max stacks from 4 to 2.
- Linseed Oil Flask: Added "-33% Burn Res (3 Turns)". Increased Move res debuff duration from 2 to 3 turns.
- Pyrotechnic Dazzler: Changed "Add Daze and Add Stun (50%)" to "Add 2: Blind or Daze or Stun or Vulnerable or -4 Speed (3 Turns)"
- Shimmering Powder: Changed "Add Stealth Token" to "Add 2 Stealth Tokens". Increased Speed buff duration from 2 to 3 turns. Decreased Move res debuff from 4 to 3 turns.
- Stimulants: Increased Speed buff duration from 2 to 3 turns.
- Smelling Salts: Replaced +2 SPD with Add Dodge.
- The Blood: Changed "+3 Stress" to "Add Horror 1 (3 Turns)". Increased max stacks from 1 to 2.
- Triage Kit: Added Restorative item tag.
- Tooltip description improvements
- A Simple Flower: Increased chance for ‘Gain On Move Res: Heal 2’ and ‘Gain On Stun Res: Block+ Token’ from 66% to 100%. Reduced chance for ‘Gain On Crit: Melee Skills: Stress +1’ from 33% to 25%.
- Anatomical Map: Increased chance to apply random negative token from 70% to 90%. Reduced chance to apply random positive token from 30% to 10%.
- Befuddling Sundial: Increased chance for Heal 10% effect from 80% to 90%. Reduced chance for Stress +2 effect from 20% to 10%.
- Blistering Bugle: Replaced ‘Gain On Miss: First Initiative: Vulnerable Token’ with ‘Turn Start: First Initiative: Vulnerable Token (33%)’. Increased chance for Taunt token from 33% to 50%.
- Brilliant Brew: Increased Blight Duration dealt from +1 to +2.
- Bulwark Band: Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- Carved Toy: Increased chance to gain Crit while in stealth at the end of turn from 33% to 50%.
- Clandestine Cape: Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- Covert Cloak: Increased ignore Deathblow res from +33% to +66%.
- Cursed Coin: Reduced chance for Riposte x2 from 100% to 50%.
- Eyes of the Void: Reduced stress damage on If Stress = 5: Gain On Hit from +2 to +1.
- Faceless Visage: Increased chance to shuffle enemy party from 20% to 100%. Increased chance to shuffle hero party from 5% to 100%.
- Fate's Foreteller: Removed Max HP restriction.
- Fishman’s Line: Replaced Bleed on hit requirement from Scrap Grenade to any item with the Serrated item tag.
- Fishmonger's Gloves: Added ‘Apply on Hit: If Serrated item equipped: Bleed 2 (66%)’. Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- From Beyond: Replaced ‘If Stress >= 7: +30% Deathblow Res, If Stress <= 3: -30% Deathblow Res’ with ‘+10% Deathblow Res per Stress, '+10% Debuff Res per Stress’.
- Greater Hale Draught: Reduced Max HP buff from +22% to +20%.
- Greater Sharpness Charm: Reduced Damage buff from +22% to +20%.
- Grim Mask: Replaced ‘If Flame < 25%: +30% Positive Banter and If Flame > 75%: +30% Negative Banter’ to ‘If Flame < 40%: +40% Meltdown Chance and If Flame > 40%: +25% Resolute Chance’.
- Guarding Gauntlet: Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- Heart-Shaped Padlock: Replaced ‘If HP > 75%: +30% Positive Banter and If HP < 25%: +30% Negative Banter’ with ‘If HP > 75%: +25% Resolute Chance’.
- Inert Indicia: Replaced ‘If Stunned: -100% Damage Received’ to ‘On Stun Res: Gain 1 Positive Token and "Gain When Hit: If Stunned: Regen 2’.
- Inevitable End: Increased Negative tokens destroyed from 1 to 2. Increased ignore Deathblow res from +50% to +66%. Reduced Deathblow res per round debuff from -3% to -2%.
- Jealous Whisper: Changed ‘When Moving: Add 1 Random Token’ to "When Moving: Add 1 Positive Token’. Reduced positive tokens provided when moved by ally skill from 2 to 1.
- Leather Strop: Increased Bleed Duration dealt from +1 to +2.
- Minor Sharpness Charm: Reduced Speed debuff from -3 to -2.
- Mortal Ward: Now provides a Crit token, Dodge+ token, and Stress -2 on death’s door enter rather than one at random.
- Oversprung Pocketwatch: Changed from Turn Start to Turn End. Reduced chance for Extra Action from 60% to 50%. Increased chance for Stun from 40% to 50%.
- Pile of Ash: Increased Dodge+ chance when moving from 25% to 50%. Reduced stress on combat start when facing Gaunt enemies from +2 to +1.
- Poison Ring: Added ‘Apply on Hit: If Noxious item equipped: Blight 2 (66%)’. Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- Prodding Pendant: Increased chance for Gain When Stressed: Heal 33% from 5% to 10%.
- Rotten Tomato: Increased chance for Combo on Breakthrough skills from 33% to 66%.
- Rousing Ringer: Replaced ‘If an Enemy has Daze: -50% Damage Taken’ with ‘If any Enemy has Daze: +25% Debuff res’.
- Royal Summons: ‘Turn End: If Rank = 4: Taunt’ will now add 2 Taunt tokens instead of 1.
- Sacred Scribblings: Increased Burn Duration dealt from +1 to +2.
- Scalded Skull: Replaced ‘+50% Healing Given per Missing Ally’ with ‘If Target has Burn: +50% Healing Given’.
- Seamen's Boots: Increased chance for Block and Dodge when moving from 25% to 50%.
- Selfish Motivation: Increased damage buff per Negative token from +20% to +30%. Reduced chance to trigger Negative token on turn start from 100% to 66%.
- Shambler's Eye: Effects now scale per Stress and not per Stress %.
- Sharpness Charm: Reduced Speed debuff from -4 to -3.
- Sickening Silence: Increased Blight amount applied from 3 to 6. Added condition that only applies the -100% Disease Res when they have no disease.
- Skeleton's Sight: Removed stress restriction.
- Sneaker's Standard: Changed effect to target heroes rather than allies.
- Sodden Sweater: Removed Max HP, Stress, and Rank restrictions.
- Staggering Striker: Increased ignore Deathblow res from +33% to +66%.
- Standard of the Ninth: Changed effect to target heroes rather than allies.
- Storage Room Key: Increased chance for Regen and Block token from 33% to 66%.
- Temptation: Increased Deathblow res debuff from -50% to -100%.
- Tinderbox: Added ‘Apply on Hit: If Flammable Item Equipped: Burn 2 (66%)’. Changed effect trigger from Gain When Hit to Gain On Miss.
- Unwavering Standard: Changed effect to target heroes rather than allies.
- Stagecoach Equipment
- Chirurgeon's Mixing Kit: Adjusted item production chances. Now has a small chance to produce Healing Salves and Triage Kits.
- Inn Items
- Boxing Gloves: Affinity +1 chance increased from 67% to 75%. Affinity -1 chance reduced from 33% to 25%
- Morbid Joke: Affinity +6 reduced to +4
- Playing Cards: Affinity +1 chance decreased from 75% to 67% and Affinity -1 chance increased from 25% to 33%
- Songbook of Amorous Ballads: Affinity +3 decreased to +2, Increased Affinity -3 to -2
- Songbook of Touching Dirges: Added 75% chance to Affinity +2. Added 25% chance for Affinity -1
- Whiskey Flask: Reduced purchase price from 12 to 8 Relics
- Morbid Joke: Increased Affinity +4 to +6
- Add missing mouseover SFX to character sheet skill buttons (not sure why the ButtonAudioBhv's mouseover isn't triggering anymore; the unit test didn't catch it)
- Add mountain biome select narration
- Add inn node path narrations and subtitles
- Play hero story results ambience properly for fully-completed heroes
- Add some missing minor click SFXs to driving UI
- Add region goal panel open/close SFX
- Various environment updates and polish
- Various UI fixes and polish
- Fix for an inventory issue where an unintended item can get added into an inventory filter
- Show when disease-curing inn removes diseases
- Fixed an issue where the hero shrine recap play button disappears on switching characters
- Fixed an issue where quitting to main menu during inn affinity ticks leaves some UI disabled
- Heroes with memories now properly display their path as locked at the Crossroads
- Fix to shuffles on kills that get ignored due to removing of party member
- Fix to actor size calculation being checked in a way that is always true causing future deaths to not be processed
- Fixed some awkward UI behavior on the Altar of hope where screens would double populate
- Fixed an issue where some tooltips on the Academic screen would go off-screen
- Fix token icons in token poptext to be better aligned
- Fixed an issue where the floating torch number gets stuck active after nodes & combats
- Fix to biome goals / biome modifiers being lost when loading into an embark scene.
- Updated camera positions for resolve checks on Hellion, Leper, Man-At-Arms, Occultist, Highwayman, Jester, Grave Robber, Bounty Hunter and Plague Doctor. The Hellion also lost her telekinetic powers
- Fix to BH deathblow ignore buff for "Finish Him"
- Fixed issue on Appalling Apron where Regen triggered on Horror
- Fix to completed run goals not saving
- Fixed an issue with blights missing a tag that would allow them to interact with affinity triggers and trinkets correctly
- Fixed an issue where the heal amount was not being show while traveling
- Fixed a UI issue where the selection arrow over an unselected quirk occasionally at the hospital
- Fixed an issue where quitting to main menu or embarking during inn affinity ticks leaves some UI disabledFixed an issue with quirk text vfx sheen not looping/playing correctly
- Fixed an issue where the inventory screen was inaccessible during story encounters
- Fixed an issue with the target selection indicator getting stuck active with self-target skills
- Fixed a UI issue where clicking and holding on an altar track button will continue it's hold timer even if the mouse is moved off the location
- Fixed an issue with certain enemy initiative portraits not updating correctly when they transform into different states or types
- Fixed some road textures z-fighting during region start camera pans
- Fix for run goals relating to skill usage to complete when used the amount required and not the amount required + 1
- Fix to any / all conditions not showing correctly when one or more conditions is hidden to fix run goals with hidden biome condition not displaying
- Fixed an issue with the bark typewriter getting stuck
- Fixed several Hero Goals not checking region conditions correctly. Removed several Hero Goals that weren't working as intended
- Removed crit chance from "nocrit" affinity effects, as the Lord intended
- If the Obsession boss curses heroes’ Healing Received stat enough, it’s possible for any healing done to that hero (via other heroes or becoming Resolute, for instance) to start causing damage to the hero. We’ll fix this in the future.
- When continuing a save the horses and stagecoach may be mis-aligned, this will be resolved upon start of a new run
- Heavy Handed quirk applying to a riposte can cause a visual desync with the attacker's rank