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Darkest Dungeon 2 gets major update to metagame and progression

Early access roguelike Darkest Dungeon 2 is getting a major update which reworks the game’s progression system – and also resets some player stats, developer Red Hook Games has warned.

The Altar of Hope update adds a new type of reward – Candles of Hope – which you can earn and then spend on various attributes which should make future missions safer for your party.

As you’d expect, the bigger the danger, the bigger reward in terms of Candles bagged at the end. Missions will offer more Candles the further you manage to progress, but suffer a wipe and you’ll see your Candle hoard penalised.

Darkest Dungeon 2 early access trailer.

The risk/reward here is whether you choose to end your expedition in progress gracefully at an inn, keeping your Candle stash intact, or press on for further glory/death. Reaching the game’s current end point – The Mountain – will also ensure you take home all your Candles up to that point – even if you fall at the final boss.

The Altar of Hope update is live now on the game’s experimental branch, before it arrives for everyone in a couple of weeks. Players should note that its arrival will reset your current Hope score, including item unlocks and hero availability, as well as any in-progress expeditions.

Your hero backstory progress, skill unlocks and Confession boss unlocks will remain. You’ll also get 20 Candles as a freebie for your trouble.

The Altar of Hope also adds a new ally, the Bounty Hunter, and tweaks plenty of other settings and bugs – the full patch notes are here.

Darkest Dungeon 2 launched a year ago via early access and is set for a full release in February 2023.

Our Bertie gave it go soon after launch and found it more of a roguelike than the original, and that this change had been transformative.

“If you can settle into the game’s remorseless, that’s where you’ll find the magic,” Bertie wrote last year. “This isn’t a game about being heroic, it’s a game about surviving and scraping through. It’s a game about learning to value any advantage, and to not get sloppy or overconfident in your approach. And when you begin to appreciate that, you begin to see beyond the bigger and better – the more glamorous artwork, the fancier animations, the cinematic flair – into a game that seems to have trimmed an already strong concept into something leaner and potentially even meaner than before.”

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