To try and cast a little shaft of light upon the gloom, developer Red Hook have been beavering away with the new Radiant Update for grim dungeon crawler, Darkest Dungeon. After a short public beta test and some additional tweaks, Red Hook have lit the match and unleashed the Radiant Update for all adventurers.
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Designed as a less time consuming way of playing a Darkest Dungeon campaign, Radiant Mode does not make the game easier per say, but it streamlines progression to make a campaign completable within 40 or so hours. Permadeath is still there and none of the enemies have had their stats changed, but there are a couple quality of life alterations which make the journey to the Darkest Dungeon faster.
In Radiant Mode, heroes who have cleared the Darkest Dungeon can actually go back into the eldritch nightmare to assist other adventurers. They do undergo significant stress penalties and they are more likely to develop negative Afflictions, but it doesn’t forcibly bench your best heroes once they clear the final zone. Power levelling is more flexible now too, with heroes up to level four being able to enter Novice dungeons to help assist brand new recruits. Anyone can now enter Veteran or Champion dungeons as well, meaning you can take newer characters out on higher level excursions to help them level up lickety-split.
Heroes get additional XP, upgrading and treating adventurers costs a little bit less and Town Events trigger that bit quicker. If you’re looking for a harder Darkest Dungeon playthrough, players can now access Stygian Mode (the new name for NG+) without having to complete a whole campaign first. Stygian mode bumps up enemy health, increases the amount of stress you gain and light you lose while exploring a dungeon, as well as making enemy critical hits that bit more deadly. You also only have 86 weeks to conquer the Darkest Dungeon and only 12 heroes can be before the game ends. Stygian Mode isn’t playing around.
There have also been a whole host of general balance changes, including increasing the amount of gold players receive in the mid to late game, adding two new Town Events and four new Champion monsters, rebalancing the stress recovery rates at the Tavern and the Abbey and much more. You can check out all the balance and bug fixes here.
If this faster way of experiencing Darkest Dungeon is for you, the game is currently on sale for 50% off on Steam at $12.49/£9.49. This deal only lasts until Monday so now’s the time to grab your gold pouch if you’re looking for a discount trip to the Hamlet. As the Radiant update is now live, Red Hook are now pushing forward with the first DLC for Darkest Dungeon, the Crimson Court, which will release some time in April.