The new Darkest Dungeon character, the abomination.

I was a big fan of Darkest Dungeon ever since it launched in Early Access but the recent changes that made the game more tedious than fun drove me off. 

Luckily it seems they've realized their mistakes over time and patched them out. And now with Inhuman Bondage they are attempting another pass at the difficulty level of Veteran and Champion quests.

Here are the patch notes and if you're interested I'll do a brief rundown of what's being added or changed:

From what little I've played my favorite addition must be the Abomination, a newly introduced class. He has two forms he can fight in, each with their own skill set. The beast form is incredibly powerful but also very stressful for your allies so you'll have to use it sparingly or run in to a whole host of problems. Speaking of problems, the Abomination disgusts the religious characters so much they won't join your party while you have him with so keep that in mind when assembling your group.

There are also two new monsters: The Collector which is a challenging miniboss and the Madman whose shouts and screams will increase the stress levels of your party. Besides the addition of two new ones, monsters have also received an update to their AI in order to make Veteran and Champion quests more difficult. They will also have a bunch of new skills focused on debuffing your party with their effect being worse the higher the difficulty is.

Stress seems to be the major killer in Vet/Champ quests with this patch. There are just so many new ways of enemies applying stress to your party its become a bit silly. Devs were seemingly aware that the system might have a lot of issues with it because they've explicitly said in the patch notes that they will be looking for feedback on it. So hopefully it will be toned down relatively soon because as it stands playing the game on Champ is debuffing me with far too much stress, both in game and in real life.

A character affected by stress

Sure felt like it sometimes

On the positive side of things Heart Attacks are no longer instant deaths for your characters. They will instead be set to 0 hp and their stress reduced from 200 to 170. You will then have a bit of time to heal them up, and if you don't and they reach 200 stress again they will simply die. However, even if you do manage to get them from Death's Door they will have a set of debuffs applied to them for the duration of the quest which makes sense given that the character quite literally almost died. Personally I like the idea of your characters getting weaker after nearing death, it incentivises you to keep them healthy at all times rather than simply sacrificing one of them knowing you can get them back up. 

What I don't like on the other hand is the Stall Penalty which kicks in if you're fighting one monster for far too long. The problem with it is that "far too long" means 1 turn and if your characters were stunned or otherwise indisposed they will get hit with stress which might make them stunned again which will get them hit by stress again... you get the picture. The devs are, again, aware that this system might have issues and given how severe they are I do hope it is fixed as soon as possible.

The rest of the changes are mostly balance related and you can check them out in the patch notes.

As far as my impressions of the patch go, I do enjoy it its just that playing on Champion difficulty right now is far too annoying because the difficulty doesn't come solely from the enemies but from systems out of your control as well. But once all of this is fixed in a couple of days I can see the Inhuman Bondage update being one of the more fun ones around.

 

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