I’m a bit of a latecomer to Darkest Dungeon myself, having only received it as a birthday present earlier in the month (it launched way back in January), but boy has it grabbed a hold over me. Its captivating blend of gloomy comic book visuals, Lovecraftian narrative, roguelike dungeon crawling, tactical turn-based combat and involved RPG mechanics is seriously addictive. I’ve already managed to plough 34 hours into it and find myself constantly quoting the enthusiastic narrator.
Admittedly though, it’s also a little bit grindy. Despite my considerable time investment, I’m still upgrading the hamlet and building up my hero roster and inventory – the end to my first campaign seems nowhere in sight yet. Apparently, on average the game takes around 80+ hours to complete.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s certainly good value for money, but I can see how this could be off-putting for a lot of people with far less time on their hands than me. It seems developer Red Hook, who’ve been listening to community feedback, have been thinking along the same lines. So, in effort to make Darkest Dungeon more accessible, they’re introducing a new game mode in an upcoming free update.
The shorter “Radiant” campaign will take around 40 hours to finish, allowing players to still experience the fully story but won’t compromise on core concepts such as permadeath and autosaving. However, some achievements, and possibly even loot, will require completing the game in normal mode. In addition to the new mode, there’ll also be numerous improvements, balance adjustments and quality-of-life tweaks included in the same update.
This is all separate to and coming in advance of the paid-for Crimson Court DLC, which is expected to launch in Spring 2017. There’ll be more details on what that will entail in the New Year. You can read the full developer post here.