This is the last part of this serial adventure through the hell lands of the Darkest Dungeon for the year. This probably could have been finished had I stuck to my original plan of doing this bi-weekly, but ya know how life be.
Speaking of the end of the year, this site’s doing a thing where I’m compiling a list of cool indie games that came out this year that deserves more attention. Give a read over here for more information!
So, where we last left off, we had a successful foray into the Weald on a champion level mission. Well, our dear Flagellant Beans wound up dying for our sins, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. But we got a problem, and it’s a problem that we all know too well: the economy. The combat upgrade facilities of the Iscariot Estate are almost entirely fully upgraded, but the problem is that I do not have the funds to actually finance these upgrades onto people. And there’s no way I’m stepping into the Darkest Dungeon without everyone being sufficiently taken care of.
Besides a sick helmet, a reward from the last quest is that the veterans would be willing to do easy quests. This… is normally a cool thing since this usually coincided with a boss being unlocked for me, but the mission select was bossless, so I couldn’t really take advantage of that beyond getting one of the top guys to babysit on a more mundane mission.
But whatever, if I need to make money, I have to make do with mundane. Cairon the Leper was chosen to babysit Riebou the Abomination, Boteler the Vestal and Greg the Man-At-Arms on an expedition into the Cove. It wasn’t a special outing or anything, just some hustle and grind culture.
Anyway, Cairon? More like Carry, because he made the mission effortless with his raw overleveled power. Of course, that’s not to say the others didn’t contribute. I’ve actually landed in a pretty comfortable place with Greg, exclusively using him as a buffing tank. And yeah, while I don’t have him attacking (since his tank trinket only works in the back row), Riebou picked up the slack in that department. And Boteler, well, she’s the healer, and healers are always good at the table.
The only brief period of trouble was when enemies hard focused on Riebou, but he got himself out of Death’s Door by transforming and going sicko mode on them. He caught the Creeping Cough for his troubles though and Cairon wound up getting a Weak Grip on Life (lower death blow resist) from the experience, so off to the sanitarium they go.
But enough with this warm-up. I was feeling confident, some of the top guys are coming back from being de-stressed, and there’s a pretty good trinket for the Vestals out there.
Peis the Bounty Hunter led the formation with that cool new helmet I got a while ago, with Taillebois the Occultist being the accompanying healer to do some marking for him. As this mission was for the Coves, Heuze the Grave Robber and Baujot the Plague Doctor were brought along for their blighting expertise. I upgraded them all a bit and… uh-huh, I spent more than everything I earned from the last mission upgrading them, huh? Well, nevertheless.
The mission… was a bizarre time.
It started out simple. I got in a good rhythm with the team, with the first few encounters hitting hard but ending quickly.
These guys showed up, and if you may remember, the horrible crab was devastating on me the last time I ran into it. However, I was prepared this time. I focused it down immediately because the main threat of its ghoul companion was the stress moreso than the physical damage so I figured I could just deal with that.
And there they go! Alright, what’s next? Four normal guys? Seems easy –
Somehow, four of the most normal enemies on this map tore me to shreds even moreso than the crab and ghoul. It’s really kind of a testament to this game’s difficulty if the seemingly normal and easy fights wind up giving you a run for your money. Thinking about it from a design perspective, the fact that all of them are the same enemy made it hard to figure out who should be focused down, as opposed to the crab, who’s Kill On Sight.
After going through a few safe rooms, I felt that the gang had to stop to camp for a bit. I was confused why the occasional food breaks took more food than usual until this point. As it turned out, Peis’ encounter with that Shrieker way back when gave him the quirk of making him eat more somehow. Probably should have removed that a long time ago, huh?
Moving on from camp though, everybody bounced back. Peis’ critical hit camping skill buff? It actually helped a whole fucking lot. Like, half the hits he did after camp were criticial hits that tore enemies apart. While the camping trip couldn’t fully heal everybody because somebody loved eating too much, Taillebois got some good number rolls on his heals. Despite That One Battle, everything was alright.
And I’m not saying that ironically, either. In a major first, this was the only champion quest done so far where not only everyone lived, but nobody became the Joker. Well, Peis caught the Black Plague which is unfortunate, but I’m not letting that rain on my parade.
My roster of top-of-the-line fighters grow, but they don’t have the top-of-the-line arms and skills to prepare them for the Darkest Dungeon. As usual: I gotta get more money.
So, I decided to end things off with a long money making expedition into the Warrens with my squad of weenie rookies. Poignant the Antiquarian was a given for an expedition like this. Ozzy the Flagellant and Mal the Arbalest were brought along as the main damage dealers while Tree the Occultist was also stuck on. The Warrens stresses you out, Tree? Sorry man, but we need money.
The quest? Even though it was a long one, it was largely uneventful. There wasn’t really any synergy with this team, especially since Tree didn’t have the mark skill, but everyone did good at their individual roles. Somehow, Ozzy got inflicted with three diseases over the course of the adventure, but he came with a camping skill like the Grave Robber Snuff Box, so he sorted himself out real quick.
The fights breezed by, they were making some serious bank…
Mal, goddamnit it. The gang probably would have left richer if it weren’t for the fact that I forgot Mal was a kleptomaniac. Oh well.
The expedition came to a breezy end as I walked around for more places Poignant can grab artifacts from (when Mal wasn’t blocking her, that is). This kinda seemed like it would be an anticlimactic end to this week, but then –
That bastard bird that killed my beloved Houndmaster is back. But you know what? I feel confident that I could take ’em, this time. The prize was a Molted Wingfeather, and while most of its benefits are for having low torchlight (aka, not my playstyle), the dodge boost it also gives is nothing to sneeze at. I must avenge Fritz and get revenge for Peis’ eating disorder…
First, I added Aubert the Hellion to the party. With the Shrieker’s movement mechanics and Aubert’s Iron Swan, I could hit that thing anywhere. I then added Gary the Abomination in, because his Rage attack in monster form could hit that thing anywhere. Heuze the Grave Robber joined since she could safely fling daggers at it from the third position and Taillebois led the rear. both as a healer and a debuffer. For some extra prep work, I swapped out Aubert’s Book of Sanity for something that boosts her accuracy; either the Shrieker leaves dead or it leaves with everyone stressed to shit anyway, so stress didn’t really matter to me.
Oh hell yeah. With a name like this, surely nothing will go wrong.
It’s round 2 with this clown. Gary immediately took off the weighted training gear and went ham on the Shrieker. He was surprisingly the one that did the most damage to it. Aubert and Heuze still managed to pitch in with some good hits while Taillebois kept people from dying. Heuze was briefly on Death’s Door, but she was successfully pulled out of it as the Shrieker got closer and closer to –
Son of a bitch. I was so close.
The bad news is that everybody needed to go destress immediately. The good news though is that merely surviving the quest will give you the trinket. What would I have gotten had I actually beaten the Shrieker? I looked it up, and it turns out that I’d have a good chance of developing a positive Shrieker exclusive quirk from the experience, and they’re all pretty good quirks too. Shame that I couldn’t get one, but I guess I should just be happy that no one died.
But with that… the last venture of Darkest Dungeon for the year comes to a close! While nothing huge was accomplished, I have been building up experience with Darkest Dungeon’s endgame. Goals? Well, the Cove is getting close to unlocking the next boss, which will probably be champion level with how things have been going. Ideally, I want to slay at least one champion boss. I was close this time, but when I do manage to kill a champion jerk, I know that I’ll be ready to go into the Darkest Dungeon itself.
Next on the docket is a review on an indie RPG I’ve been playing on the side. As for the Darkest Dungeon escapades, when this game’s through, I’m thinking about doing some Dwarf Fortress. See, my only past exposure to Dwarf Fortress is reading those Something Awful playthroughs like Boatmurdered way back then, so I’m hoping that I can carry that experience on in the future.
This might be the last proper post I make for the year since my year end post will probably be posted in January, so I want to thank you all for sticking with this site and giving me validation. May next year be better, I guess.