Darkest Dungeon

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Chen
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Darkest Dungeon

Postby Chen » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:44 am UTC

Anyone played this game yet? It's early access on Steam, but its a pretty fun roguelike. You have a party of 4 adventurers and you delve into various dungeons trying to complete various goals for money and items to upgrade your town with. It's lighter than most roguelikes with no current way to permanently lose since you get new recruits every time you come out of the dungeon. And if you do completely run out of money and are unable to supply your adventurers for the run (food, torches etc), you can just send em in without supplies, let em gather as much money as possible and bring em back.

An interesting mechanic is that you have two types of health. Hp and "trauma". If your trauma bar ever gets full, you get "afflicted". Some of these are bad like masochism where you refuse 90% of the heals that are put towards you or you even damage yourself. When you exit a dungeon your HP is healed but to heal trauma you need to use various services (that cost gold) around the town. It also takes that character out for the current run so you'll need a stable of multiple adventuring groups since you need to rotate people out to heal trauma. In addition there are "quirks" you get by doing various dungeon actions and at the end of the dungeons. They can be both good and bad. There is another town building that lets you remove bad quirks but it has limited slots (3 at max upgrades) and removing a bad quirk also takes someone out for the current run.

As early access it still has some balance issues with some classes being hilariously underpowered and many trinkets (the only items you find that you can equip) being horrendously bad while others are absurdly good. IMO it's worth checking out if you like this kind of game. There are a number of youtube videos showing the gameplay or people streaming it so might want to check that out first.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xanthir » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:45 pm UTC

I like it! It's very difficult and punishing, and sometimes you just get screwed, so if you don't like that kind of game, stay away from it.

I find that running with two priests in the back and two strong meleers in the front (Leper and Barb seem to work well, but Crusader should be fine too) seems to be best. Give the priests the "zap anyone and heal yourself" skill, and they can keep themselves alive really well while picking off weaker people anywhere in the battle order. With themselves handled, they can keep the healing up for the meleers too.
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:01 pm UTC

My main setup is (front to back):

Hellion (mainly uses the 2 person stun and then finishes things with regular attack or the bleed attack that can't hit the first row)
Crusader (hit things hard, either with main attack or the hit first two attack. Sometimes stuns)
Highwayman (dumped all my damage trinkets on him. He uses grapeshot or pistol shot to destroy things)
Vestal (has group and single heal, heal self and damage and the stun one of the first 2 rows attack)

I have two solid groups of the above that I just rotate trinkets through. Book of rage and legendary bracers are 35% attack bonus which almost completely negates the penalty on grapeshot for the highwayman. After a rest with clean guns, he's a monster.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby PeteP » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:23 pm UTC

My main team is Hellion(5)=> Highwayman(5)=>Jester(5)=>Vestal(4)
Didn't put much thought in the team composition beside filling positions (and having a way to attack the back row after another team died against the first hag... I first wasted team attacking the pot and half of that team had no real way to attack the backrow the other half died to soon after cooking...)
Anyway it works well enough, I killed the third hag and I will probably wait until the other two dungeons are there, before playing more.

Edit: also I have started to use 4 level 0 characters just to skip weeks, they should just give me a skip week button it's not like it cost you anything as long as you have enough character slots…

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DaBigCheez
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby DaBigCheez » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:06 pm UTC

Dorkest Dankgeon.

My primary team is Hellion -> Highwayman -> Vestal -> (Witch Doctor, I think? Not 100% happy with this slot.) Haven't encountered all classes yet; would honestly kind of prefer to have a Crusader, but mine came down with a bad case of Masochism and refused all healing while self-harming to death during a boss fight. Confirming that the hag fight seems like you're a lot better off just rushing the hag rather than spending a lot of time on the pot, especially since it just takes them to Brink of Death anyway (though RIP your stress/trauma levels from all the tasting).

It's good fun, a lot of RNG but the consequences aren't too severe except when your really high-leveled duders take a couple bad crits to the face and get a bad malady that makes them die in that fight. Yard trash can be a serious threat to even a high-leveled party, I think. (Fuck you, Cultists, and your order-disrupting pulling spells.)
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby AngrySquirrel » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:59 am UTC

I struggle a bit with managing money in this game, but I guess I'm doing okay as I've stopped just suiciding teams to dungeons whenever I run out of resources to buy enough time for the others to recover from stress.

I don't have a main team, just putting together teams at random whenever they reach similar levels. I think one of my favourite combos is man-at-arms, hellion, occultist, plague doctor. That way I can stun the entire opposition for a whole round if a bit lucky with the stun procs. Plague doctor also provides blight and a cure for blight/bleeding and that camping skill that removes ailments. Occultist provides heals (although they're a bit random), damage to the backline and debuffs. Hellion does damage and stuns and man-at-arms is tough, draws attention and has retribution which I find wonderful for dishing out a little bit extra damage.

I also like the houndmaster class and will throw them in whenever I'm up against enemies weak to bleeding, or I otherwise just have a spot open. Their camping skills are quite nice.

The bounty hunter is also quite good for high damage and disturbing enemy team set-ups. Lepers and crusaders are also good as high-damage dealing frontliners, but I find them a bit samey.

I use arbalests as backup healers, but I find they aren't good enough at it to do the job all on their own. Either I have to give my other characters a personal heal they can throw up in addition to the arbalest heal-buff or I have to bring a vestal/occultist along to help out. Arbalest are good at picking off that pesky back row though, and I'm growing more and more fond of their bola-skill.

I don't use graverobbers and jesters all that much. I like the concept of jesters, but I don't quite like bringing them along when I have other options. Although having two in the rank1/2 position with finale, stress heals and that skill that makes them move forward is pretty goddamn nice.

Then there's the highwaymen, who I find a bit underwhelming. I'm using the one I've got that's still alive in the rank-1/2 position, with point blank shot and that skill that moves you forward, along with grapeshot for whenever he gets knocked back and one more skill I don't remember anymore. But frankly, I'm mainly just waiting for him to die horribly.

New update coming out November 30th, I'm as close to hyped as I can physically get about anything (which means I sort of nod in approval). Also been watching redhookstudios on twitch, I like the way they interact with their playerbase.
I'm very curious about the new incoming classes, the abomination, the madman and the collector, they seem conceptually a bit more sinister than the classes that are out so far. I'm hoping they will provide more blight skills as I'm currently feeling like I'm very dependent on my plague doctors not dying horribly.

Obligatory paranoia: Is it just me, or does characters die more easily once you name them after someone you know?
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Biliboy
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Biliboy » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:18 pm UTC

I like this game, but I think it uses Stress too literally. That means that I can play for 30 minutes, and then not want to go on another run because I might easily lose my highest level guys to a random trash group. This has led to me not actually playing it in a while, despite really liking the concept.

I think it really is about the stress mechanic too, I'm used to managing health in games (though the heals in this one are more like desperately plugging leaks than actual healing), but the stress thing really bugs me.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby pseudoidiot » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:34 pm UTC

Stress was really only a problem for me my first few level 0 & level 1 runs. Now if someone gets out of a run and has, say, 60 or more stress and I actually want to keep them around, I just send them for some stress relief. I've got a roster of 15 people (well max 15, I think I only have 14 actually in it at the moment). I can put a handful of people getting stress relief (or disease removal sometimes) and I still have enough people around to attempt a few different types of runs, depending on location/adventure type/level.

My only real issue at this point (I've put around 19 hours in) is how grindy it's starting to feel. Go in dungeon, explore rooms, kill bad guys, rinse repeat. Sometimes kill a boss. Keep stress levels down. Upgrade skills/equipment as people level up. Upgrade the town as I can afford upgrades that I want.

The only real variation is the bosses (the minor variations so far in non-boss enemies hasn't been terribly interesting), but even that isn't that great. I've killed a number of bosses with sub optimal teams by just being patient (and probably a little luck), so I usually go after them with whatever group of adventurers are ready and the right level as opposed to what the best group composition might be.

It feels like past around week 10 (I think I'm around week 35ish) or so it just doesn't feel as punishing or as difficult. So it's almost just become completely routine. I'm still enjoying it, but at this point I just want the "dark dungeon" area or whatever to open up so I have something different to see.
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Biliboy
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Biliboy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:10 am UTC

Game is full release now, some new classes since I played last, and some buffs that makes the game slightly easier, at least in the early levels where I am now. Trinkets can be sold, which is awesome.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:26 pm UTC

Finally started playing this after backing it on Kickstarter waaay back in the day.

It feels very drawn out. LIke the core gameplay loop is great, but I feel like I never have enough Heirlooms to do anything. I have six level 5 characters now, but I can't do level 5 quests because my armor/weapons can't go above 2 (and my skills above 3)... I can't tell if I'm doing something wrong or what.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:46 pm UTC

I got kinda bored with it after a while. Felt like it became too grindy. The first few excursions are a little rough, but once you get a couple successes under your belt it becomes relatively trivial to keep people alive and sane. Once you have a decent roster of people it's easy enough to switch people around and let them recover.

At that point it just felt like it became a grind and quickly became pretty boring. I was curious to finally get into the "Darkest Dungeon" section, but I just lost interest before I got to that point.
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:51 am UTC

It seems like the higher level dungeons are much more lethal overall whee preparing well is rewarded... But yeah I'm at week 40 and it feels like I'm mostly at a standstill.

Everything needs so many heirlooms, and I can only carry 3 portraits in a stack... and even if I go for all heirlooms now I'm short on gold to relieve stress...

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CorruptUser
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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:31 am UTC

So...

Apparently when your heroes level up too high, they can't do lower level dungeon runs. Which is a pain since your heroes level up faster than your town can keep up. Currently have some level 4 heroes, but can't give them the skills/equipment they need to actually use those levels. So I guess I'm supposed to keep sending them into dungeons and hope for the best?

Also, any advice on what to level up first? As far as I can tell, armor is more important than weapons, if only for the dodge skill.

And any advice on what heroes I should focus on? My party is usually a Crusader/Hellion, Highwayman, Vestal, and Plague Doctor/Houndmaster. Thinking of ditching Crusader altogether and sticking with Hellions, but I like that stress relief skill that the Crusader has. Highwayman does good damage to most of the enemies, and Vestal with a few trinkets to boost healing keeps everyone alive easy. Houndmaster is good because of the attack that causes everything to bleed.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:48 pm UTC

A lot of mechanics encourage character rotation. If you have a smattering of level 3s, but don't have the building unlocks to upgrade them, start working on your B team. You will need a B team. And a C team, probably. I just had to do a horribly rough run because I got into a state where I had no functional healers at all.

My current lineup usually looks like Jester, Vestal, Highwayman, Crusader. The front slot gets changed out frequently for other tanky classes. Hellion or Leper are both perfectly functional tanks, particularly when they have damage trinkets. My stun capabilities are a touch weak, with only two single target stuns, and I can't stun the back row...but I can put out enough damage to reliably wreck at least one adversary before it can move, sometimes 2-3. Vestal manages health, Jester manages stress. There's an art to juggling combats so that you can get net healing in, yet not trigger the stress-bomb of "we should move on" or whatever.

I developed this playstyle for a dumb reason...I didn't realize that camping was a thing, and as a result, had to figure out how to survive long runs...at that point, you basically have to do some heavy optimization on damage/healing. It's really nice, though. Easy fights are recovery, and hard fights, it's an all out damage burn.

I used to mess around with bleed, but it's just too slow. Plague doctor's multi-blight ability is way better, and Jester can also do multiple target bleeding, if you need to stack up DOTs, while being way more versatile than the houndmaster. You do have to learn how to cope with rapidly shifting party positions, but this is going to happen later game anyways, because surprise is a thing. Part of the rationale for my current setup...anyone can be one position away, and still be functional, and the Jester's ability to bounce all the way to the back in one turn, that's also a really potent attack, allows near-instant recovery from team shuffles.

So, right now I'm in a good spot, and I'm busy working up the B team to level 3, while attempting to sort out all the horrible traumas suffered by the first team to level 3.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Gwydion » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:27 pm UTC

I love the grave digger, and despite the luck-based healing the occultist can give you the highest health boost per turn with some RNG luck and bleed resist. My A party was hellion, highwayman, GD, vestal initially, but then the vestal leveled up faster than the rest (running w two groups) and I had to trade in an occultist instead - loved him.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:14 pm UTC

Tried a run with 3 lvl 0 vestals and a tank, just for kicks. Yeah... never again.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:33 pm UTC

That sounds...slow. Tedious, even. And no way to manage stress for such a slow party.

Edit: Also, if you haven't done so, definitely put the torch in the shrine that warns you against doing that very thing. The glowing red orb on the twisted bramble. Good times.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:05 pm UTC

Added torch once. Never again.

Or at least not till I have that town event removing level restrictions and I have a group of lvl 5's clearing out some of the lower bosses.


Speaking of which, fuck the hag. Forgot to have a party where everyone can heal someone else, and she ate my man at arms. I mean sure, he was only midlevel and wasn't a particularly valuable person, but goddamn.


So things I recently learned; you can change your skill selection while in the dungeon.
Skills that stun multiple enemies are a priority.
Never bother picking up gems worth 250 each. Unless you are on the shortest dungeon, there's too much better loot, even gold.
Don't bother upgrading the stress relief beyond the first row. Once you have multiple options there, unless your heroes have those quirks, you won't really need the others.
Don't bother upgrading the sanitarium's capacity beyond one extra disease control. Really, you will never need to fix the quirks of more than one person a week.
Don't bother upgrading the survivalist camp too much unless you have too many crests sitting around. You will rarely upgrade the camping skills, and even then the skills are so cheap to begin with.
Don't bother with the merchant wagon thing till the end. Everything is too expensive anyway to bother, even if you waste your crests on it, and you need your gold for more important things like skills and equipment.
You can get by without upgrading the stagecoach too much if you make sure to always grab the heroes you will need weeks in advance. Do get the experienced heroes when you can though; far better to start off with lvl 2's than lvl 0.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:35 am UTC

Man, the apprentice level prophet is hard. I'm youtubing videos of people who beat it, and even then, it's really dicey. How do you beat it with level 2 heroes?

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:05 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Added torch once. Never again.

Or at least not till I have that town event removing level restrictions and I have a group of lvl 5's clearing out some of the lower bosses.


Speaking of which, fuck the hag. Forgot to have a party where everyone can heal someone else, and she ate my man at arms. I mean sure, he was only midlevel and wasn't a particularly valuable person, but goddamn.


I've killed the big shambler a coupla times now. Wrecked the hag in three rounds, I think. Went in there with the buff up that gives +15% damage or whatever for the area, which I've found makes a huge difference for boss fights. Almost all boss fights require a degree of being able to focus fire, and dump a crapload of damage. Healing is optional.

Jester/Leper is super good. The leper dumps out a ton of damage, and can tank a good amount, he's only weak in accuracy. Jester's buff works *really* well with that, and you probably want a Jester for managing stress on trash mobs anyways. First action on round three, crit for about 40 damage, gg. Recently experimented with a Vestal/Jester(or highwayman)/Leper/Leper loadout, and if I got surprise, it was not uncommon for the entire team to be dead before they got an action, particularly when considering the vestal stun.

So things I recently learned; you can change your skill selection while in the dungeon.


Wait, what? I've struggled through multiple dungeons thanks to accidentally starting with a crap loadout.

Skills that stun multiple enemies are a priority.
Never bother picking up gems worth 250 each. Unless you are on the shortest dungeon, there's too much better loot, even gold.


Agreed with stun, and I *always* pick up everything if there's room. If you have to abandon quest, any gold you can carry out helps. Sometimes you also end up burning a ton of food, etc and having space.

Don't bother upgrading the stress relief beyond the first row. Once you have multiple options there, unless your heroes have those quirks, you won't really need the others.
Don't bother upgrading the sanitarium's capacity beyond one extra disease control. Really, you will never need to fix the quirks of more than one person a week.


Disagree strongly. Events that make a given event free happen, and having multiple free slots is the best thing ever. Plus, locking in positive quirks is huge. It's rare to come out of a dungeon with less than three quirks on your heroes, having two slots to manage that is pretty reasonable. Also, keep in mind that the caretaker bounces around, and being able to ignore all the quirks that limit resting options is great.

Don't bother with the merchant wagon thing till the end. Everything is too expensive anyway to bother, even if you waste your crests on it, and you need your gold for more important things like skills and equipment.
You can get by without upgrading the stagecoach too much if you make sure to always grab the heroes you will need weeks in advance. Do get the experienced heroes when you can though; far better to start off with lvl 2's than lvl 0.


I think I've literally never purchased anything from the wagon. You get so very many things from just doing quests...and a lot of the stuff in there is crap. And also expensive.

Speed seems to be godly. Stacking speed, accuracy, damage, crit trinkets is win. I've also played around with healing on my front line person. Right now, it's a leper with +70% amount healed on him. This seems to ensure that the Vestal's party heal will take care of him adequately, while also topping up everyone else.

Building pro teams at 2 and 4 seem super helpful for taking out bosses. The mingled haphazard 1s/2s can get the job done for most of them, but it's WAY easier with a team built for it.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:05 pm UTC

I'm at a stage with level 5 dungeons where I consider a boss kill with only one casualty a general success. I don't know how to feel about this. :?

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:40 pm UTC

Some people are expendable, so long as the mission gets done. Seems to be an intentional theme. There are parts where you can avoid this, but still, building stress, bad traits, etc happens sometimes. It might be *possible* to play through without losing anyone, but it's certainly not easy, and I don't know if it's reasonable for a first playthrough. I'm pretty confident that if I were to restart, my early game would be much smoother, but I think that roughness is an intended part of the learning curve. They've definitely designed it such that even wiping all your heroes out isn't that horrible in the grand scheme of things. You're still fixing the town up, after all.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:19 pm UTC

I can't really imagine never losing someone in champion dungeons if only because two really unlucky crits can send characters to death's door and it only takes a bad roll after that. Pretty much how I lost Reynauld to the undulating flesh, multiple bad crits before my jester could do more than one accuracy debuff. That boss isn't even difficult mechanically but nope, dead Reynauld (he had the +12% deathsave crusader trinket and failed his first death's door check too).

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:39 pm UTC

At a certain point, there is some odds playing, yes. I think there would be at least SOME luck involved in a perfect play-through, in addition to ludicrously detailed planning.

You can skew those odds in many ways, though. Scouting is super big, team building, etc. I have mixed feeling about the Jester's accuracy debuff. I do *love* the execute option in terms of damage, but the shuffling team around is risky. Stacking the buff also seems really, really good for many chars, and of course, dumping stress is great. Plus, I like having the multi-target bleed for dealing with heavy protection enemies.

A big way to mitigate the multiple crit thing is simply having lots and lots of speed. A great many trinkets hit you on speed, but getting to nova the whole team off before the enemy goes is ludicrously powerful. Yeah, it could still happen, but if you're starting each fight reasonably fresh, you can normally reduce(kills, stuns, debuffs, buffs, whatever) the incoming attacks by enough that such a sequence becomes dramatically less likely.

The frigging treebranch whatever crits can suck, though. Depending on the hero and the specific role, one crit can put someone pretty close to bleedout.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:45 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Man, the apprentice level prophet is hard. I'm youtubing videos of people who beat it, and even then, it's really dicey. How do you beat it with level 2 heroes?


A safe team for him would be something like Vestal/Occultist/Grave Robber/Hellion. Hellion and GR attack with Iron Swan and Thrown Dagger, respectively. Occultist uses weakening curse every turn to debuff his damage. Vestal keep up HP or spams judgment. After the first round or two, your Occultist should reduce his damage to the point where you won't be in any danger.

Alternate team would be Arbalest/Occultist/Houndmaster/Hellion. In this case, you just try to straight DPS him. Use Vulnerability Hex to mark with Occultist, then use a Dog Biscuit on your Houndmaster and do Hound Rush/Sniper Shot/Iron Swan to knock him out quickly. Shouldn't take more than 2-3 rounds unless he gets very lucky with stuns. Teams that use marks are insanely powerful and great for killing bosses. The two most useful are Arb/Occ/HM/BH and Occ/HM/BH/MaA. The former is straight damage team, but is a bit squishy. The latter is great for a lot of the Champion level and endgame areas (especially the otherwise nasty Champion Weald) because the tanky MaA can do some damage control.

[edit]
Also, any advice on what to level up first? As far as I can tell, armor is more important than weapons, if only for the dodge skill.


I'd probably do armor > skills > weapons until you get level 3, then do skills > weapons > armor above that. Armor benefits you most at low levels since it's a flat bonus to HP--going from level 1 to level 3 armor is typically a ~50% increase in max HP, which makes a huge difference in survival. At higher levels, it's more important to control battles and not allow many attacks, so you're better off making sure your abilities land properly (improving skills).
Last edited by LaserGuy on Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:57 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:50 pm UTC

Too late. The helping hand event occurred and I beat it with my higher level team.

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:07 pm UTC

Well, you'll need to figure it for the champion level phrophet too. :wink:

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Re: Darkest Dungeon

Postby Xeio » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:55 am UTC

Week 119: I have completed the Hamlet. I am unsure if this was worth the effort, but now I can just toss heirlooms without worry when I find them at least.


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