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Weeks Four, Five, And Six -- I’d Say The Three Musketeers But Only One Of The Newcomers Is
I’ve been alluding to a limit different from the strict one Darkest Dungeon imposes on its higher difficulties, and last week I said I would talk about it this week, l here it is: There are four levels of quest in a standard game: Apprentice (level 1), Veteran (level 3), Champion (level 5) and Darkest (level 6). The goal is simply to clear the Darkest Dungeon’s four quests, so you might expect to be able to simply grind Apprentice dungeons until all your heroes are maxed out since that will minimize the chance of failure. But adventurers can refuse to go into dungeons. If they’re two levels higher than the quest difficulty they scoff at your attempt to put them in a lineup.
This isn’t the only way they’ll refuse, though. If they’ve managed to survive their venture into the Darkest Dungeon and emerge victorious, they will never go back in. We don’t need 4 heroes brave enough to face whatever horrors lay within, we need 16.
You’ll notice we only have 24 slots, so we can afford 8 deaths total before the game starts getting really difficult to win. Like, sure, we could send less than a full team into the hardest quests in the game, but, you know, is it even comprehendible that we might win? Now, technically the mod removes this feature, so heroes will only take a massive Stress penalty for returning to the Darkest Dungeon, and if you do this challenge yourself and end up doing that, don’t let anyone call your achievement any lesser. I just don’t want to.
So that’s the limit. These 24 adventurers are going to reach the level cap of 6 startlingly quickly, and we’re only going to be able to push back the inevitable by doing those Champion-level dungeons for so long. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s on the docket today.
Cooperative: +5% Crit when Guarded
Ravenous: Doubled food consumption
Ah yes, the three DLC holdouts are going to be making their way into the game. Amani here probably shouldn’t have Ravenous for very long, but thanks to the newly unlocked Sanitarium, we can start to purge these undesired quirks. Everything else would fall under the purview of the Guild. All this is expensive, of course, hampered even further by the fact we failed to complete the mission last week, but rebuilding starts today. I do, in fact, have a plan.
The first part of that plan is to get rid of the two Antsy quirks in the party. I’m planning to go to the Weald again -- this time, it offers a Warrior’s Cap that increases the accuracy of melee skills -- so Hakima and Elmer will come with this time, leaving Skaia behind for therapy. I should note also that you want to get rid of these quirks quickly for another reason: the longer they stay, the more ingrained they become, the more expensive they are to remove.
The biggest question mark here is the Plague Doctor, given that she’s a blight-heavy class and the enemies in the Weald are generally resistant to blight. We have her in the third position, though, so her dagger can inflict some bleed, and really, I just want her as a secondary healer since Junjeong’s healing is over time rather than immediate.
Really, the biggest thing that can go wrong is if we run into the Collector again, though what are the chances of that? (I’d say this is dangerously tempting fate, but I already know what happens this week, it’s not).
Night Owl: +2 Speed when Torchlight is low
Rotten: -25% Healing when Blighted
Thin-Blooded: -10% Blight Resist
I forgot to get this screenshot until the end of my time this week, so he didn’t start with Thin-Blooded but he sure has that now. I really don’t want this guy blighted, but the Flagellant is otherwise super cool, and nothing too debilitating has shown up on the one we get.
I also dropped off Hakima and Elmer Fudd in the Sanitarium to get rid of his particular antsiness. Unfortunately, they don’t let you remove more than one thing at a time, but that one definitely has to go first.
Running an Antiquarian and no healer into the Cove is a little risky, but I rationalized it by saying this: We need gold otherwise we’re just going to be floating in place until we start being able to manage Medium-length dungeons, and Josephine can still work to keep everyone off Death’s Door in a pinch. Besides, the Cove is known for being full of armored enemies (or scales that are like armor, anyway), and each of the other heroes can pierce through it. We should be able to speed through a few of these fights.
Fairweather Fighter: +20% Damage at full health
Profuse Bleeder: -25% Healing received while bleeding
Dipsomania: Intense craving for alcohol
Our last addition to the team, with a screenshot of her so new that I didn’t even change the name yet. Like I mentioned before, she’s another Arbalest, but another Arbalest is not a bad thing to have. In fact, she’s probably good enough to take with us into the final run of the week.
Margaret probably could have been the healer by herself, especially for a Short-length mission and especially in the Warrens. Still, I wanted to be sure after the previous run, so Alhazred came with as well. We also get to see Damian in action, since the Flagellant shines here, and The Goliath’s main attack also inflicts bleed, so he’s a welcome addition as well. Speaking of, low accuracy fighters like The Thrall are why having accuracy trinkets are so important. The Warrior’s Cap went straight onto him.
That’s it for this week. Next real-life week, we should be hitting Week 10, which will be when step one of my grand plan comes to fruition. I’ll give you a hint, it involves the truest eldritch horror of them all: Capitalism.
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