A new area introduced to the game with the Crimson Court DLC. Unlike the other areas, the layout of the Courtyard is hidden at the beginning. Once you reach the "end" of the route, a scouting mechanic will kick in, revealing up to three new routes. What's more, the courtyard is huge - there are dozens of rooms, connected with long corridors flooded with various enemies and curios. According to the developers, the area is not meant to be explored in one go - players can freely leave the area (without suffering stress damage) and reenter it later. When entering it again, the area you've previously explored will still be cleared, allowing you to continue from where you've left.
Increasing Infestation and entering the courtyard
Entering the area is a little tricky. The first time a player The player can first enter the Courtyard after 3 weeks have passed - a simple quest, requiring you to destroy 3 nests, will appear there. Once you've done it, you won't be able to enter the courtyard until you've received an invitation to do so.
The invitation to enter the courtyard is dropped by one of the foes - Gatekeeper. Unfortunately, you won't be able to meet them that easily. First, you need to increase the Infestation level of the estate. The infestation level can be checked on the embark map (where you select dungeons to go to ), represented by a bar in the upper left corner of the screen. There are three stages of the Infestation:
- Low - you start with this level after completing the first mission in the Courtyard.
- Medium - the infestation will increase to this level after several weeks have passed since you've activated the DLC. Once it happens, the Fanatic will start hunting your party.
- High - this is the last stage of the infestation, happening several weeks after the medium one. Once it happens, Gatekeepers carrying invitations will start appearing.
About 15 weeks have to pass for the infestation to reach High level. Afterwards, you will have a small chance of encountering Gatekeeper enemies in non-courtyard areas. Once defeated, they will drop an invitation, allowing you to enter the Courtyard once. You can acquire multiple of those invitations before entering the area and each one allows you to enter it once - if you leave the courtyard, you will need to use another invitation to enter it again.
Characteristics of the Courtyard area
The main characteristics of the Courtyard area are as follows:
- Heroes can freely leave it without any consequences - they won't suffer stress damage.
- Another party can re-enter the Courtyard area at any moment (provided that you have the necessary invitation). What's more, they will enter it at the same place the previous party has left.
- A random hero of the party will suffer 1 point of stress damage for every segment of the corridor you pass through - doesn't matter if it was previously explored.
- You can't give your party any firewood when they start a mission in the Courtyard. However, firewood can still be found inside one of the Curios - more on that can be found in the "Curios" chapter.
- Areas here are extremely large and getting to the boss in one go might not be a good idea - it's better to just clear the area and leave the Courtyard just before the boss fight. By doing so you can re-enter the area with a fresh party.
- Light level is always at 100 points - trinket requiring over X amount of light will function, whereas those that require the light to be below 100 points won't work.
- Even though the light level won't decrease, Torches are still extremely valuable here. They can be used to interact with two Curios to decrease the stress of a hero, as well as to clear one of the two obstacles here. Going through the obstacle without the Torch will inflict damage, stress damage and move the entire party to a random place of the Courtyard.