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Darkest Dungeon II - now available on Early Access - coming February

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Nov 22, 2020
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Strap Yourselves In
I won't be buying DD 2 at all. Redhook is on my shitlist after that atrocious Crimson Court crap. Shit was trauma inducing when it first released. Just thinking about it is giving me conniptions. Holy fuck. Darkest Dungeon was the entire reason why I even got on the steam platform because pirating the game during its early access was a pain. First purchase on steam, but fuck me if I'm repeating the mistake of purchasing another product from Redhook.

I sympathise - DD made me update from Windows XP back in the day, when I downloaded the first EA version and found out that it wouldnt run on my old system.
 

Pink Eye

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I sympathise - DD made me update from Windows XP back in the day, when I downloaded the first EA version and found out that it wouldnt run on my old system.
Heh. It was worth it though. Darkest Dungeon during early access is very fun. I dumped so many hours in the builds I managed to torrent from popular tracker sites - even if they were behind the official build versions; which is why I ultimately ended up purchasing it.
 

Zariusz

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So Antiquarian is now an enemy?
1635316712916.png
 

Gradenmayer

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Played EA for a bit. It doesn't look as bad as I thought.

Not sure why they bothered with skill specific pose animations, seems like a waste of resources. The rest looks good: snappy animations with slapping impact and satisfying sound effects, impressive monster designs and narrator doing his thing.

Gameplay changed completely, outside of base fight mechanics. Stress shifted from second healthbar into a more complex system: heroes become more of an asshole the higher it goes and if it maxes out they get dropped to low health and fuck up their friendships.
Relationship mechanics are great. Had 4 heroes get hateful and jealous of each other, driving out all the hope (relpaces torches), by constantly shittalking every single mistake made by each other, while enemies beat them to death.

They added these sanctuaries where you can do background battles for each hero (4 per each character), that unlock skills if you win. They add a lot of personality to them, but at the same time- you always play the same heroes (thou their personalities change per run), so the old soul crushing loss of an experienced hero is not a thing anymore.

Heroes don't have upgradable equipment, but get way more skills to pick from and can use consumables as free action. Miss rate seems to be toned down by a lot.
Hud still sucks dick.

I'd say it's a good direction for a new game, overall. Way better pacing and way more personality.

Misinformation city here.

The stress bar is not complex at all. It's literally 1-10 instead of 1-100 and what you just described is how heart attacks functioned in DD1. Relationship mechanics are ultra gimmicky and feel half-baked at best, extremely annoying at worst. The characters don't shut the fuck up and the benefits of two best pals are much less frequently applied through gameplay than two characters that despise one another where they will actively debuff one another at every opportunity. They also don't fit in tone with the whole "terror and madness" theme DD was founded on. Very bizarre change in direction.

The hero backstories are most of the time just a few sentences of narration with the occasional battle sprinkled in somewhere in their various chapters. You'll often do one, have Wayne June talk into your ear with pretentious dialogue, then auto unlock a skill for your character.

You could also use consumables as a free action in DD1, only here in DD2 you don't have an entire inventory shared among the party. Each character gets one consumable type to use. The reason why miss rate seems down is because they changed the mechanics towards this "token" system where you will have things like an enemy getting a token for 50% damage taken and once you hit them they get that token consumed. It trades in the RPG stuff for icons you're expected to get familiar with over time.

In fact, that's why DD2 is pure bells and whistles because it's hardly an RPG at all anymore. It has lost ton of that to fit into this new highly original and highly innovative roguelike direction they went for. There's no feeling of real progression, no real care for the characters you build up, and when you're not in the battle screen you're just looking at the back of a stagecoach.

DD1 had tons of issues but as it stands it is a much better game than DD2 by far. DD2 is just a weird, jarring experience that reeks of too many people having input and no real direction for the project or being afraid during brainstorm sessions to say that idea is retarded.

Regardless, I look forward to DD3 being a survival crafting card game simulator in 2026 though.

Played DD1 a long time ago and thought high stress instantly put you on a death door, not 20% HP.
Though, After spending more time playing, I am inclined to agree with you.

Relationship system is trashy. There is no indication to what can cause it to increase or decrease from run to run and it, just by itself, can force you to lose without any control over it (retards in group yell vague shit like 'do better', after ally oneshots with crit).

They added this combo token system, that half of the upgraded skills rely on and there is only handful of skills that generate it.

Driving through obstacles on the coach decreases hope for some fucking reason and with how that shit controls, it's annoying as fuck. Make that shit drive itself and just let player click on the direction. It feels more like a coated loading screen, than an actual mechanic.

Retards added death doors for enemies with 5 round limit you mentioned on top, so using any buffs or set-ups is discouraged. DOTs not killing corpses is also an unnecessary amount of tedium added on top.

Speaking of tedious- they could not fucking bother to add three syllables to each status icon or something. Look it up on a page of statuses, I guess.

Theme of hopelessness and madness is still there, teammates turning againts each other, refusing to help anyone, disruption their own allies even in the face of their death sets the atmosphere really well.
Though they need to adjust a lot of it still, because some runs you have 4 goodies wipe out everything with power of friendship. First game had more consistency in that regard, I will give you that.


I still think with a lot of work they can turn this into a good game though. First game sucked huge one in early access too.
 

Pink Eye

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Ibn Sina

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Here are my final thoughts on the game

postives:

1)individual character lore, backstories and missions that somewhat play like puzzles is cool
2) graphics and animations are cool
3) music and sound is so so

negative
everything else about the game. the combat, the rogue like theme, the relationship mechanic , etc. They got rid of all the RPG mechanics and this game should not be considered an RPG anymore.
 

copebot

Learned
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
217
I think people liked the emergent appearance of relationships in the dialogue and written interactions of the first game, so they assumed that a convoluted system around that fluff would make it better. That was the wrong way to interpret it. People liked the illusion of relationships, but I don't think any game has ever had compelling relationship mechanics. The concept just does not apply well to games in the way that something like combat does. They should have just added more barks or more responsive barks to varying conditions instead of encumbering the game with something this goofy and unnatural.
 

copebot

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This kind of messaging is missing the points made by critical fans. It's fine that they wanted to make a different game, borrowing from the brand equity of the first title. It's their right to do so. Fans are critical because the new iteration isn't that good. For example, I don't think anyone moaned that Hades was not like Bastion. Perhaps it's not exactly analogous because Supergiant did not attempt to draft off their previous successes and developed entirely new themes to go along with their new games and systems. It's hypocritical to deliberately cause customer confusion by titling it a sequel instead of making it clear that it was a spinoff or a title with totally different gameplay and then to decry the customer reaction because many have been confused about why this is not actually a sequel.

The problems also aren't necessarily just in the execution or the presence of balance issues: it's the bad core ideas. Fortunately, there are a number of other indies that have already made good to acceptable versions of "DD2" even when the actual developers and IP owners decided to make a spooky dating sim with the shitty wagon mechanic borrowed from Oregon Trail.
 

Ibn Sina

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Strap Yourselves In
This kind of messaging is missing the points made by critical fans. It's fine that they wanted to make a different game, borrowing from the brand equity of the first title. It's their right to do so. Fans are critical because the new iteration isn't that good. For example, I don't think anyone moaned that Hades was not like Bastion. Perhaps it's not exactly analogous because Supergiant did not attempt to draft off their previous successes and developed entirely new themes to go along with their new games and systems. It's hypocritical to deliberately cause customer confusion by titling it a sequel instead of making it clear that it was a spinoff or a title with totally different gameplay and then to decry the customer reaction because many have been confused about why this is not actually a sequel.

The problems also aren't necessarily just in the execution or the presence of balance issues: it's the bad core ideas. Fortunately, there are a number of other indies that have already made good to acceptable versions of "DD2" even when the actual developers and IP owners decided to make a spooky dating sim with the shitty wagon mechanic borrowed from Oregon Trail.

Not only that, but the game's namesake "darkest dungeon" when there is no dungeons in the game.. at all. there is no spelunking, finding treasure in rooms, fighting bosses in another room, no exploration.
 
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Actually come to think of it, what is the actual story in this game? DD1 made it clear about you inheriting a real shitshow that you're tasked to clean up, DD2 you're... going to a mountain? Why? Why do I care about that?

Hey, why is Wayne June back to begin with? Wasn't he the Ancestor from last game? Isn't he supposed to be gone? What the fuck.
 

Tigranes

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Jan 8, 2009
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I never had much attachment to the art style, backstory or character design in the first game, I mean, they were all whatever placeholders for the gameplay, no? It's not like they had much of a personality or anything.

Disappointing that whatever new formula they've cooked up may not be up to scratch, I suppose I might try it later but it's a missed opportunity.
 
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Act 1 boss spoilers:

It's a galaxy brain thing with four padlocks holding it in place. The padlocks on close inspection have a theme/motif that suggests they are dead or sacrificed heroes from the previous game. They are Vestal or Crusader (it's a Cross so hard to tell), Houndmaster, Arbalest, Abomination.
 

The_Mask

Just like Yves, I chase tales.
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Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
It's not like they had much of a personality or anything.
The Houndmaster's dog was cute. Other than that, no.
Hey, why is Wayne June back to begin with? Wasn't he the Ancestor from last game? Isn't he supposed to be gone? What the fuck.
Voice actors can play different roles, you know...? It's like... an actor thing. They just do that.
 
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Voice actors can play different roles, you know...? It's like... an actor thing. They just do that.

But he's using the same voice when he was the Ancestor. It's not like his voice changed, only now it's confusing because you have him narrating even though he shouldn't be and he's talking about hope and inspiration. His role isn't clearly defined on who or what he's supposed to actually be this time around.
 

ChaDargo

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Feb 19, 2018
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This kind of messaging is missing the points made by critical fans. It's fine that they wanted to make a different game, borrowing from the brand equity of the first title. It's their right to do so. Fans are critical because the new iteration isn't that good. For example, I don't think anyone moaned that Hades was not like Bastion. Perhaps it's not exactly analogous because Supergiant did not attempt to draft off their previous successes and developed entirely new themes to go along with their new games and systems. It's hypocritical to deliberately cause customer confusion by titling it a sequel instead of making it clear that it was a spinoff or a title with totally different gameplay and then to decry the customer reaction because many have been confused about why this is not actually a sequel.

The problems also aren't necessarily just in the execution or the presence of balance issues: it's the bad core ideas. Fortunately, there are a number of other indies that have already made good to acceptable versions of "DD2" even when the actual developers and IP owners decided to make a spooky dating sim with the shitty wagon mechanic borrowed from Oregon Trail.

Could you name some of those indies that are acceptable versions of DD2? I'd like to check them out.
 

quixotic

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Message from devs
“From the outset, we felt strongly that in order to grow the Darkest Dungeon world... we needed to make a different game.”
By making Darkest Dungeon again, but this time it’s uglier, dumbed down, and stripped of all potential?
Is this even an RPG anymore? Why make THIS the direct sequel?
Why is every hero gay?
Why even put romance in the game in the first place? This is a rougelike, that shit doesn’t have time to develop into anything interesting.

Voice actors can play different roles, you know...? It's like... an actor thing. They just do that.
No, he’s still playing the Ancestor. They just brought him back because he’s iconic, that’s literally the only reason.
 
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Strap Yourselves In

Cart driving minigame is extreme decline.

This is a cellphone/console game now, complete with dumb minigames to keep the kids' ADHD brains from getting bored.
 

Pink Eye

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I'm actually surprised they were even able to make a sequel to Darkest Dungeon AND bring back the ancestor considering all of these revelations :M

 

Pink Eye

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