Introducing The Butcher’s Circus!

redhookjohn Uncategorized

“Everything that happens before Death is what counts.”
-Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Greetings Hamlet Dwellers!

The rumors are true – tents are being pitched, banners raised, and the Hamlet is rife with competitive camaraderie. The Butcher’s Circus has arrived!

On April 2nd we announced that we will be releasing a new FREE DLC for Darkest Dungeon on Steam. This new DLC will add a whole new way to play: PvP battles against friends and foes alike!

We’ve always toyed with the idea of a competitive version of our combat system, and as we began to shift production to Darkest Dungeon II, we just couldn’t give up on the idea. Thanks to the success of the game, we hired a few extra hands to dedicate to this DLC while the rest of our studio continued work on Darkest Dungeon II. The results of this experiment are almost ready to unveil!

Here are a few tidbits of what to expect with The Butcher’s Circus DLC.

We are adding a whole new sub-hamlet screen, The Circus! You can easily switch between the Circus and Hamlet screens much like you do when going to select your next quest. Once in the Circus you can choose to challenge a friend, visit the prize booth to see what rewards are next for your progression, or enter the main tent and join the matchmaking queue to face off against other players.

The Butcher’s Circus Part Select Screen

The party select screen allows you to quickly select and kit out your party. An important note: the heroes you use to enter the ring are not the ones you have on your roster in the Hamlet. You can experiment and try out PvP parties without fearing the loss of Dismas or Reynauld as they attempt to assault the Darkest Dungeon! Going to the Circus is no risk for your campaign.

The Butcher’s Circus will have its own version of skills, class balances, and other various combat mechanical changes that are separate from Darkest Dungeon’s main campaign. Those changes do not extend into the single player game. The next blog post will cover more details on those changes we’ve made to create an exciting and competitive environment.

While we have you here, let’s go over some Frequently Asked Questions we’ve seen from the community since we’ve announced the DLC.

Q: How much will this DLC cost?

We are giving it away for FREE, permanently.

Q: Are there in-game purchases, loot boxes, or microtransactions?
No. All rewards are gated behind player progression, pure and simple. No pay to win, no pay for visuals.

Q: What’s the catch – how will you make money on this?

Thanks to the success of Darkest Dungeon, we are excited to share this with the community and we hope you enjoy it! (The Butcher’s Circus does require the core game to play, and DLC heroes also require the associated DLC to unlock.)

Q. What platforms/stores will this DLC be available on?

At launch we will only be on Steam, and only on Windows. We will be adding Mac and Linux support soon after. Other platforms and storefronts are TBD. Honestly, it depends a bit on the reception of the DLC!

Q. Can I use any mods or modded characters in the Butcher’s Circus?

No. In order for us to have any form of anti-cheat in place, that means that everything related to the PvP mode (facing other players) cannot be modded.

Q. Can I use The Flagellant or Shieldbreaker in the Butcher’s Circus without owning the Crimson Court or Shieldbreaker DLCs?

In order to put those characters into your party you will need to own their respective DLCs. That said you can still be matched against players who are using them, even if you don’t own them yourself.

Q. Will this have any sort of anti-cheat? 

Yes! The service we are using for this DLC that handles our matchmaking, analytics, and progression system will also be running our anti-cheat system. Because this service is using various analytics tools to help us we will need to update our EULA agreement to let people know about how we comply with GDPR requests.

Q. Is an internet connection required to access this DLC?

Yes. For now you will need to have a connection to the internet in order to even get access to the Circus menu screens.

Q. Will there be bots to play against?

Yes, we will have bots! If you get anxious with playing other people and want to experiment in your own time, you can play against bots. Since we require an internet connection to access the Circus menu screens, that means at launch there won’t be any offline bots. This is a feature we hope to add post release. 

Q. Will the hero corpses be making their way back to the main campaign?

No. The corpses are very important for this mode and we haven’t evaluated their impact on the main campaign. While many of our fans over the years have requested hero corpses, since we aren’t looking to modify the base game with this DLC we have chosen to keep them inside the DLC. 

Q: Is this Delaying Darkest Dungeon 2?

Nope! The Butcher’s Circus staff were hired specifically to work on this, and we didn’t do it at the cost of also making progress on DD2. So… enjoy The Butcher’s Circus guilt-free. Or if you aren’t the PvP type, rest-assured that the sequel remains under production and we look forward to sharing more news on it when we can!