We’ve reached the two month mark, which I’m pretty happy about because I was scared that I couldn’t commit. Doing this has me thinking about doing it with other games, though I’m not sure what I could commit to. It’d have to be something where things diverge from the experiences of other people though, like Caves of Qud.
But that’s for the future! For now, let’s focus on the present and get back to Darkest Dungeon.
After the tragic loss of Dismas, it became clear to me: the heroes of the Iscariot Estate just aren’t strong enough, yet. We need more power, because it’s clear that whatever’s in the Champion level missions and the Darkest Dungeon will just demolish the heroes.
The Estate needed portraits to get some upgrades going, and the best way to do that, I believed, was a long mission back into the Weald. Despite the tragedy last episode, Fritz was back up to bat with Beans to form a decent bleeding squad. I would have brought Tinel to round things out, but alas, she had rabies, so Cairon was chosen to come with his brute force. As almost all the healers graduated into high rank, I had no choice but to bring Cambrai around. Fresh out of her grave, I re-upgraded her up to be on par with everyone else. In case the worse was to happen, I bought Fritz’ Guard Dog ability so that he could take the heat off of someone near death.
For the mission, knowing that inventory space will be limited as hell, I decided to prioritize collecting heirlooms that popped up. Fuck the money, there’s no good in having it if I don’t have the better upgrades to spend it on.
I bought a lot of food, which was good, because Cairon got himself tapeworm from touching a corpse, which makes him eat up more food. Unfortunately, this created a feedback loop where he kept wanting to interact with corpses because he wanted to eat them.
And what made it worse is that despite initially buying three whole stacks of food, I got fucked over by the fact that hunger checks were completely random. I got two hunger checks within the span of a minute. I’m sincere in saying that the hunger system is the worst aspect of Darkest Dungeon, this shit just sucks.
Cambrai also had utter dogshit luck when the gang ran into a pack of spiders, who immediately marked her and ganged up on her – with one of them landing a critical hit that dealt more than half her health and pushed her to Death’s Door. Thankfully, she survived to the end of the fight, so the gang managed to settle down and camp. But god, I would have been so fucking pissed if I got a character that died twice.
That was the biggest scare of the whole thing. The second biggest was when the gang took damage and stress from starvation. We had 4 food left, which would have satisfied everyone, but unfortunately Cairon’s tapeworm demands that he eat 2 food, so if he doesn’t eat, nobody does.
Whatever. The mission ended up getting cleared and everyone was too hungry and torched out to keep exploring, so it was time to head home. I pressed the “go back to hamlet” button and…
…the game crashed. I immediately started panicking, hoping that I didn’t have to do all this shit again –
But thankfully, everything was alright. That bird fucker is back, but I’m not confident in taking my chances. That said, I could finally properly field a champion team, since Fritz and Cairon graduated into super stardom. But, it wasn’t their time yet…
With Cambrai going out to pray away her stress and me not wanting to hop into a champion mission yet, I had no choice but to do a basic mission with the C team.
Taillebois and Baujot, as always, led from the back on what would be their last basic mission. Riebou of course had to be added, but I realized that Abominations aren’t really effective from the front unless I’m willing to keep him in beast mode and get everyone constantly stressed out. So, I picked up Aubert the Hellion from the carriage to lead the front.
They went into the Cove, because it was pretty close to leveling up and unlocking another freak new boss to fight. The gang went around picking up the Ancestor’s stupid lost relics, which was surprisingly easy. I’m honestly surprised by how simple these searching missions are.
So, they went around to look for some treasure… as well as that magic bad quirk removing coral, since I had medicinal herbs. The way I see it, it’s probably a good thing to bring heroes with bad negative quirks on these Cove missions since you have a decent shot at getting something removed for cheap. I managed to cure Taillebois of being Nocturnal and Baujot of her Anemia, so that’s sick.
Things ended anticlimactically and the next stage of Cove bosses, the Alluring Siren appeared. But hold on – if I go on another basic mission to the Weald, I get the free health care event, and honestly that’s just been consistently too good to pass up.
Since Taillebois and Baujot graduated, I had to get more basic guys. Aubert and Riebou had to go on another mission, since they had no choice. I picked up Cleri, a pre-leveled Grave Robber, along with Poer the Jester since bleeding has worked consistently for me. And uhhhh, on god, there were no healers, huh?
Welllllll…. I haven’t invested too much into these guys sooo… if things go bad…. oh well.
And uh, turns out that I had nothing to worry about because as it turns out, you don’t need a healer if you can fuck enemies up before they do enough damage. They even returned to town with very little stress.
Over at town, Ros’ Photomania was reinforced, while Cambrai’s inverse Phengophobia was finally removed. Also, Durandal had Ennui for the longest time, which I haven’t bothered removing since all it does is make her less likely to gain a positive virtue from going Joker mode, but I figured that I may as well get that removed while I was at it.
But hey, you might be wondering, how is the hamlet looking?
As you can see, I’ve made steady progress in maintaining the upgrade facilities. Soon, everyone will be up to par for what’s expected at this point and I can safely do some of the champion missions. I would do a champion mission if they offered any short ones for me to test the waters, but the game keeps offering longer ones and I feel that I’m not prepared for the risk.
Until that point, there’s bosses to kill. After the last mission, the Ancestor’s fucking Blackwater mercenary squad returned, this time with a 12 Pounder cannon. Unfortunately, Cambrai was too busy trying to learn how to love light again and I’m not too confident in fighting a boss without a healer. The champion level missions still have that problem so I can’t do those yet soooo… it’s time to go back out there to farm resources, C team!
Despite going out twice in a row, things still went a-okay! Well, except for Reibou. Riebou entered the group with necromania, a terrible fascination with corpses (not that one, thank god), and it’s here in the Warrens where he started getting fucked up and evil about it. My man kept interacting with every corpse he saw. He got tapeworm, he became bloodthirsty, and then that bloodthirstiness got reinforced. Like listen, I know that in the lore the Abomination has trouble with people viewing him as a monster, and my guy, you’re really not helping your case.
They returned and Cambrai was all better, so, it was time to fight a boss. I decided to take on the 12 Pounder. Learning from past mistakes, I realized that I needed more raw power on my side to efficiently take down the cannon. So, Tinel was chosen to lead with Gary behind her. While Gary would be on “killing the fuseman” duty with Fou, I could make him go beast mode if Tinel’s efforts weren’t enough. Cambrai of course accompanied as the healer, but I also decided to get her the skill that de-stealths enemies; based off of the upgraded Necromancer fight, I figured that there was a viable chance of a fuseman spawning in stealth, and hey, can’t be too careful with this game.
Everything started out pretty fine. The campfire rest was dedicated to buffing the shit out of Tinel. There was a point where the gang got ambushed and the battle took pretty long as a result, but they managed to pull themselves through okay.
The gang pressed on and soon ran into the cannon and its infinite crew of guys. While the enemy units sometimes spawned in stealth, it was never the fuseman. Either I was really lucky or the game was taking mercy on me. Which is good, because it turns out that Cambrai’s destealthing move is unusable from her usual safe position and the positioning of literally everyone else would get fucked up if I moved her.
Fou usually sliced the fuseman whenever he appeared and if it needed more softening up for the bleed to finish him, Cambrai assisted. Gary stayed in beast mode to help Tinel beat the shit out of the cannon, though Tinel sometimes used iron swan to kill the fuseman if it appeared in the back, where almost nobody else can’t hit.
In sheer contrast to the stressful boss fight that killed Dismas, destroying this cannon was a piece-of-cake.
And so, the gang once again returned as conquering heroes. This time, everyone involved in the quest promoted to champion status, making it very clear that half the roster was made up of champion heroes. Also I guess people are doomed to become the Joker for a time if they get too stressed, but if it were me, I’d simply not get stressed.
What’s the plan for next time? Well, of course I’m fighting that Siren, I want blood. But also, I think we’re reaching that point where I eventually have to do a champion mission. If they offer a short one, I’m going all in on it, and hopefully nobody dies.