We poured our blood, sweat, and more blood into the Crimson Court and seeing the response from players has been incredible. A more traditional, modular expansion would have been a simpler prospect but our goal was always to enrich and enhance the core campaign by weaving the curse and Courtyard into the fabric of the Estate.
Since launch, there’s been a flurry of activity going on around the Darkest Dungeon community! Streamers have been drawing thousands of viewers, discussions on our forums and r/darkestdungeon are in full swing, and Steam user reviews are coming in fast and furious. All this feedback has been invaluable in helping us to refine the overall experience for the better. To that end, we wanted to take a moment to give an update on our progress on a few specific items.
During the first week post-launch we were able to respond to the few large bugs that popped up, as well as push a great deal of tuning adjustments with relative speed. Since then we’ve slowed down our outgoing builds to allow more us to capture more of the smaller bug fixes, collect metrics, take a hard look at the Courtyard & curse metagame.
Here are just a few of the things we’ve taken to heart:
Courtyard quest 1 (Burn the Hives) being misleadingly long/difficult for level 0’s: There is now an embark warning letting you know this quest is not suitable for fresh recruits, and is longer than a usual/ no-firewood short quest. We wanted to get the new content in front of players as soon as possible, but unfortunately this resulted in some people feeling tricked into taking underpowered heroes into a rough dungeon. This should help a bit with that, letting you know that diving right in is up to you. It’s not a milk run quest, for sure…
Content gated by RNG-determined drops: We like the slow building of the infestation, culminating in an invitation drop/opportunity to challenge a Courtyard boss. However, our goal was not to lock all that bloodsucking goodness away from our players. To help move things along, last week, we added 1 invitation to the quest rewards of each previous Courtyard boss quest in order to provide players with a chance to sample the next epic dungeon whenever they want. Further invitations remain lootable from Gatekeeper mobs at High infestation levels, and are generally required to complete the quest. (The quests are designed to take more than 1 attempt to get through.)
Blood management and drop frequency: Related to the topic above, while we’ve tuned blood drop rates few times, we’re planning on adding a ‘Gather the Blood’ courtyard quest, which requires no Invitation, and will become a reliable, primary source of blood. Random drops from mobs will become less frequent, but this quest solution provides a) a reliable way to collect a supply of blood, and b) access to the courtyard content without an invitation. This change will go live later this week.
Chatty cursed and afflicted heroes: Last week, bark times, interaction pauses, and several other timing delays were shortened in an effort to sand down the rough edges. Additionally, we’re removing the party stoppages associated with Curse progression – you can expect this latter change later this week.
The Fanatic lacks incentive: The Fanatic is designed as a hunter boss – one that the party should fear. To raise the stakes (get it? hilarious) of his encounter, he will drop an valuable tonic, “The Cure”, that will clear the Crimson Curse from an affected hero! He’s also getting his loot tables punched up to add more incentive for enduring his roast.
We take your feedback, critiques, and criticisms seriously, and will continue to monitor your impressions and discussions. We love our game, and are committed to improving it with the community’s help.
PSN RELEASE: August 22nd!
One of the most common questions we have right now from the community is, ‘When will the DLC hit PSN?’ After reviewing the work that’s left to be done for bug tickets and support issues, and factoring in the time to get through certification and store prep, we are targeting August 22nd. This is a bit later than we originally intended, but it will result in the most stable and smooth release, which is ultimately the most important factor. August 22nd isn’t that far away and we are excited to bring the DLC to our PS4 and PS VITA players.
CHINESE and KOREAN LANGUAGE SUPPORT
We are excited to add Chinese and Korean language support to the game. We are in the process of harvesting the community translation contributions and then we’ll identify all the new strings that need translated. We will have a more in-depth update for this soon, and will try to give an idea of expected schedule for release of those languages.
IS DARKEST DUNGEON COMING TO OTHER PLATFORMS?
Many of you have been asking about Switch, Xbox, tablet, and such. The short answer is that yes, other platforms are planned for release. We can’t formally announce anything just yet, but news is not far away and we can’t wait to share with you!
A big expectant congratulations to our tireless Community Manager, John Lindvay, who, along with wife Christina are about to have TWINS. And by “about to”, we mean literally any moment. John’s going to take some well deserved time off during the next little while, and we wish him the very best.
Finally, we want to thank all of you for a successful Crimson Court launch. It is through the support from all of you that we’ve been enabled to continue supporting Darkest Dungeon since starting on Kickstarter, going through Early Access, full release on PC/Mac/Linux and PSN, and the following large free updates (Town Events, Radiant) through this DLC launch. We are extremely grateful to have such an active, vibrant community who engage with us all the time, be it from sharing fan art, or discussing ideas, or making mods to the game.
Our average number of daily players over the last two weeks has been incredible–often over 100,000 throughout the day! Those dungeons are packed!
So from all of us here at Red Hook Studios: a very sincere, torch-lit thank you.