With the recent introduction of The Crimson Court DLC, a variety of new mechanics were introduced to the original Darkest Dungeon game. The game, however, does very little to inform the player what are the changes brought by the add-on - everything has to be experienced, almost nothing is "presented" to the player. In this chapter you will learn about the differences between the base game and the DLC, as well as how to turn the DLC itself on.
What's new in the Crimson Court DLC
The newest DLC introduces the following:
- A new difficulty level called the Blood Moon. This is basically the equivalent of the "Stygian" difficulty from the Darkest Dungeon "base" game.
- Over a dozen of new enemies, both normal and bosses. The main bosses of the Courtyard, the Baron, the Viscount and the Countess, are only fought once - they don't have difficulty (Apprentice, Veteran, Champion) variants.
- A new area called the Courtyard. The main difference between it and the previous ones it that the area in the Courtyard is not visible from the beginning (the player has to scout it by going to the end of the corridor), as well as the fact that the map layout is fixed - it will always look the same, with activities (like keys and bosses) placed at the exact same spots. The area can only be entered once the player acquired an Invitation. Additionally, the player's party can leave the Courtyard area without any consequences (like stress damage) - it can later be entered again and the party will start from where they have left.
- A new disease called the Crimson Curse. This is the Darkest Dungeon equivalent of the vampirism - heroes influenced by it will crave for blood. By using one of the newly added provisions (The Blood), players can control those urges, either increasing or decreasing the stats of their heroes.
- New trinkets and a trinket set system. The player can now acquire pairs of trinkets that are connected to each other - once both are equipped on the character, they offer much more powerful and useful bonuses than when using "regular" trinkets.
- Two new provisions - The Blood and Laudanum. The former is used to control the Crimson Curse, the latter to heal a character under the influence of the "Horror" status effect.
- A number of new status effects, like shuffle (shuffling your heroes every turn) and Horror. Horror does stress damage to the affected heroes every turn and can be stacked (like Bleed or Blight). Horror can be healed by using Laudanum.
- The Flagellant, a new hero class, focused around dealing bleeding damage and increasing his effectiveness as his health decreases. Additionally, when his stress goes above 100 points, he can only be afflicted with Rapturous. This increases his damage and critical hit chance while decreasing DODGE.
- A new wandering boss called the Fanatic. The Fanatic hunts down parties with at least 2 characters suffering from the Crimson Curse, appearing randomly in dungeons the player's party enter.
- District Buildings, a special group of buildings that can be constructed (not upgraded, like the rest of the buildings in the Hamlet), offering the player powerful bonuses like the increased effectiveness of Torches or the possibility to take more food on a mission.
- Two new "resources" that the player can acquire from monsters - Invitations and Blueprints. Court Invitations are collected from Gatekeepers and used to enter the Courtyard. Blueprints are dropped by Veteran and Champion level bosses and are used to construct District Buildings.
How to activate the DLC
Once the DLC is installed, you will get a prompt screen when selecting any of the existing save files, asking you whether you want to turn any DLC content on. You can also create a new save and select any of the DLC contents you want to turn on. Note that you don't have to use all of the new features - you can, for instance, use the new class, the Flagellant, but keep everything else off. At the moment there are three features to choose from:
- Crimson Court - activates the main part of the DLC. Adds new enemies, a completely new area (Courtyard) status effects and provisions to the game.
- Districts - adds District Buildings to the game.
- Flagellant - adds the new character class, the Flagellant, to the game. If used on an existing save, he will appear in the Stage Coach during the next week.
Note - once any of the features is turned on and at least one week (one mission) has passed in the game, you won't be able to turn any of those off.