Darkest Dungeon Update Adds New Antiquarian Class

Darkest Dungeon is finished and out and we’ve reviewed it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still being added to. The latest update brings with it a new class, called The Antiquarian, and some minor tweaks to balance and late-game progress.

A post on the Darkest Dungeon site introduces the new class, who improves your party’s loot gains:

Whereas most classes come looking for a fight, the Antiquarian is only interested in collecting treasures found in the dungeons. She is not proficient in combat, instead adding value to the party by increasing its profitability! Don’t rely on her to dish out the punishment – she has no training whatsoever in terms of martial ability.

While another post outlines the update’s other changes, including new quest rewards, the ability to trade heirlooms in town, town upgrade pricing adjustments, and a new “Stage Coach upgrade tree” which provides you with higher level heroes to recruit for your adventures.

If you want to play with the update now, then for the next few days you can get it by right-clicking on Darkest Dungeon on Steam, going to Properties, clicking the Betas tab, and then selecting the “coming_in_hot” beta branch from the dropdown menu. Steam will then download the beta version of the update. Alternatively, if you wait a few days it should be live for everyone on the main branch.

The same post above also explains what’s next for the game, including the arrival of a Linux port later this month.

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  1. Kvart says:

    Always happy to hear when games a being ported to Linux. I hope steamOS will make hardware support for Linux better and generally make it a more viable choice for developers and users.

    Haven’t tried Darkest Dungeon yet, but with all the hype I think I have to in the nearest future.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Same here. Gaming is the primary reason holding me back from switching to Linux. I’d dump Windows in a heartbeat if I could do everything I can normally do on Windows without hassle.

      • Kvart says:

        Games and other software are also the reason I can’t use Linux. Had a go at it recently though and really liked it, it just runs super smooth. That’s of course first after spending quite a few hours to get everything setup :/.

        • subedii says:

          Made the switch maybe half a year ago. Do not regret it.

          I mean the standard caveat is that yes, you will likely miss out on some games. But realistically, I’ve got a big enough selection, and the games I was REALLY after (like XCOM 2) are seeing native ports now.

          That and I was always more of an indie gamer, and indie devs by-and-large seem to be very willing to port their games over.

          Over the past couple of years, linux has seen a pretty crazy leap in games support. I wouldn’t have predicted so many indie and even major AAA titles coming to the platform.

          Seriously, if you had said to someone just three years ago that Street Fighter V would be appearing on PS4, PC, and Linux (even as the freaking XBox is sidelined), I probably wouldn’t have believed that.

          • Kvart says:

            It’s true that there are already a good amount of games for Linux. I guess there will always be platform specific titles, I.E. titles being endorsed by Microsoft.
            Sadly but understandably the offer of professional software for music and video editing is pretty limited for Linux.

            I would have a hard time accepting that a few titles I’m interested in are not available. And I really don’t like too switch between OS’es, have been doing that a lot the last year and got tired of having to reboot to get the files or use the program that’s on the other OS.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Not sure where this leaves DirectX 12 games though since MS wants to lock it to Win 10.

      • subedii says:

        Basically everyone Linux-side is hoping that Vulkan takes off.

        That said, I expect MS to pull every trick it can think of to try and get people to use DX12 instead.

  2. Kitsunin says:

    Oh man, these changes sound like they might just address those glaring issues which do exist within DD, that’s exciting!

    I’m talking about the upgrade to increase recruit levels, as well as the buff to Never Again, primarily. Plus Antiquarian might give you a nice, more fun solution to situations where you have plenty of recruits, but they’re too ill to be of much use and you need cash.

    • mouton says:

      Yeah, I am actually more excited about the changes than the new class. The late-game grind is arguably the biggest weakness of the game.

    • Chillicothe says:

      It’s less that problems are being solved so much as the aim of the game shifted back to “make it easier” from the “make it tougher” that it will return to soonish.

      • Kitsunin says:

        See, but none of these changing are making the game any easier, just less grindy. I guess there’s an argument that less grindy = more forgiving, but I can’t agree.

  3. yogibbear says:

    Nooooo my 0.47% steam achievement is in danger now! /sarc or is it!

  4. sonson says:

    Nngh I’m torn. On the one hand, the late game grind is a little long. On the other hand, its one of the few strategy games that requires you to get better as you play rather than endure an early onslaught before coasting, as per pretty much every other strategy game in existence. If you’ve got passed the point of bitching about RPG and invested in the strategy/management mechanics, this makes victory at the top an incredibly rewarding and intense experience.

    Adding higher level hero recruitment makes existing high level heroes less of an investment, and while it might mitigate grind to a degree it facilitates thoughtless conveyor belt tactics where you feed heroes thoughtlessly so that you can win. The game actively discouraged this up to this point, so I’m concerned about how this will affect balance. So much of the tension comes from how valuable high level characters are, which makes risks real and genuinely frightening. This in turn requires that you buy into the expertly crafted combat system to make sure you are not prey to odds and misfortune as far as is possible.

    Now you can just hire a replica if you fail a run, this drama is going to bed killed stone dead. I think it will feel more of a grind if anything, just literally going through the motions until you win with your party, making it like every other squad RPG or strategy game. Brute force it til you win. Expeditions will stop being tense vigenttes of risk/reward drama, and just become thoughtless drudge on the way to winning.

    Darkest Dungeon was (hopefully still is) unforgiving, challenging, ruthless. It’s also entirely beatable and excellently balanced in spite of this. For people who had issues with that, I would merley contend that it wasn’t the game for them and that they should play one of the many games which are less challenging and intense. If the changes work as I envision them doing here, then what made the game such a special experience will be lost to some degree and won’t be replaced with anything of substance, it will just sit as this tepid compromise. I’m glad I completed it before this.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Definitely a valid concern.

      My hope is that the wagon upgrades only bring characters up a few levels (and give them some positive and negative quirks) because it is as you said.

      Though Id expect the upgrades also only on the easier difficulty levels.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I’d assume the cost of the upgrades will necessitate their being a lategame choice, primarily something to staunch the pain of a grind once you’d otherwise have run out of permanent upgrades. Imagining you will always be acquiring recruits at least one level below capable of handling the Darkest Dungeon/whatever you’re up to (and even then, only if you’ve fudged up and already had to grind a lot) your concerns will be entirely assuaged.

      • sonson says:

        I think all that’s needed is a way of providing access to a team member who can fill a hole without having to train them up from level 0.

        Personally speaking I would propose being able to recruit veterans from champion level, at substantial outlay. That would cut the grind for key roster additions in half, without diluting the existing value of heroes leveled from the outset while preventing it becoming an easily considered failsafe.

        I think anything more than that would break the wonderful spell of the interplay between player investment and tone. If the game becomes much simpler or less punishing it basically loses it basically becomes a game which only tells you how it wants you to feel rather than something that will evoke that feeling.

        • Kitsunin says:

          I don’t think there need be limitations, so long as the cost in heirlooms is substantial enough. If anything, I think if you’ve really gained so much over and above what the current maximum is to have a fully upgraded hamlet, it’s perfectly fine for the game to eventually (key word) start churning out max level recruits. Especially considering they’re still horribly insubstantial without being kitted up.

          The idea of it breaking the ruthlessness is one I find fault with because for one, you can balance it so this functionally only exists for people who would seriously be succumbing to abject tedium by this point. And for two:

          For people who had issues with that, I would merley contend that it wasn’t the game for them and that they should play one of the many games which are less challenging and intense.

          I can’t think of another management-centric RPG out there, so that’s a mighty useless suggestion, and I can’t see why not make changes to make the game more enjoyable even if it might hurt the theme slightly. At least until another similar game comes along for those less infatuated with the grimdark.

    • noodlecake says:

      I imagine that you will only be able to recruit people up to a certain level, which wont really remove any difficult, it will just take away hours and hours of grinding. If you can hire max level dudes then I agree that it kills the game a little bit. We’ll have to see what that means.

  5. sonson says:

    The game being grimdark is central to its entire premise.

    It is not the job of Darkest Dungeon to exist to cater to the tastes of people who want an easy management RPG that isnt grim dark . It is fully entitled to be whatever the hell it wishes. There are many games I don’t play because they don’t cater for my interests or tastes. My response to that is to respect that not everything needs to suit my needs, that diversity is good, and that I’m glad that people who want to play games that appeal to them can do. My response is not to insist that they be changed just to suit my personal mores and lose their own character in the process.

    Some people will find Darkest Dungeon too hard or bleak. That’s simply a matter of opinion towards the game tho , not an indictment if it’s quality or an empirical qualitative statement.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Okay, and what I’m saying is that in this case, if you want a management RPG, you can’t choose not to play it because it doesn’t cater to your tastes, because there is no competition. Everything needn’t cater to everyone’s needs, but when you have a monopoly in an area, no matter how small, it doesn’t hurt to offer options so as to include everyone who would like a taste of the thing you have a monopoly in.

      Suggesting Darkest Dungeon cater to people who don’t like to grind, or who don’t like monstrous amounts of punishment, isn’t like suggesting the vegetarian restaurant in the middle of a mall put bits of meat on all their food. It’s like suggesting the only diner in a small town should offer boca burgers as an option in case vegetarians would like to eat out sometimes, too.

      • Kitsunin says:

        As an example, Fire Emblem adding casual mode, despite compromising the core of what makes Fire Emblem itself, has done absolutely nothing but make the series more inclusive. They’ve done other things which have alienated diehards to an extent, and that’s bad or at least not good, but the point is if you’re just smart, you can make things more inclusive without any negative ramifications whatsoever.

      • sonson says:

        Inclusivity is great, of course, in the round.

        But not always, and especially not when it comes to something as trivial and non-essential as a videogame.

        Sometimes in order to create something and maintain the integrity of its core you will need to make the decision to forego inclusivity or accessibility. The Wire was accused of being inaccessible, but David Simon simply wasn’t interested in viewers who didn’t want to invest in his premise and made no concessions to them if they weren’t willing to do so. It was criminally under watched as a consequence, but the quality and integrity of its premise and production was maintained.

        If inclusivity is made the great barometer of success in everything, then frankly diversity dies and with it mnay facets of cultural excellence. Most things which are popular and inclusive are also banal by their very nature.

        Darkest Dungeon is special because of how uniquely it places itself, how brave it is in sticking to tone over spoon-fed accessibility yet you are suggesting it should that dilute that so that it can become something to everyone who wants to play it. Why? It was never intended to be that one-stop shop. It was never intended to be for everyone. It is *because* of its willingness to be exclusive that it exists in the first place.

        Darkest Dungeon is a game, not food. People don’t need to play it. They don’t need to pay for it. Nothing bad is going to happen to anyone if they don’t play it or if it doesn’t cater to everyone simply because it’s the only game in town. I mean, maybe it is, in respect to its unique nature; but it’s a fucking *game*. No-one needs to play it, no-one has a right to play it even, no-one deserves or doesn’t deserve to play it, it doesn’t need to cater to anyone at all.

        It exists because its creators have made it, legally, with money they’ve funded themselves, because they wanted to make Darkest Dungeon. It’s up to other people whether they like it or not, and want to pay for it, but they don’t have the right to ask that it be changed If they don’t. It’s not doing anything harmful in its elements of exclusivity; it’s not being racist or sexist or classist or anything like that. It’s just standing by a conviction that a game which is about themes of failure, folly and hubris inflicted misery should not be ingratiatingly easy, or accessible, or *for everyone*, or for people who want to play half that game, but not the other bits. It rather is a game for people who want to experience a simulation of grinding against failure, folly and hubris inflicted misery in that created form. It says that at the beginning of the game, and all over it’s press releases and website. It’s not meant to be welcoming, inclusive, for everyone, by the very nature of what it is.

        It owes nothing to anyone and can be whatever it wants to be. If people don’t like it, *for whatever reason* they should invest in whatever they do like, and obviously know what they like, rather than trying to annex and reshape everything to their own tastes at the expense of other people’s. That’s basically what it comes down to. There are lots of things I don’t like, but I respect that other people do, and that that is valid and that they should be able to enjoy those things even if I don’t. I’m just asking those people who feel the same way about Darkest Dungeon to respect that same logic and apply it here, rather than make the judgement call that what they want it to be matters more than what other people already like it for being, to the point that they want it *changed* to fit their own tastes even if that means affecting how other people enjoy it. It’s just naked selfishness.

        • noodlecake says:

          I can’t tell whether you are for the changes or against them. The developers made their own choice to add these changes, and you seem to be in favour of the developers being in control of their own game, which means you agree with the changes.

          On the other hand you could be arguing against the changes, believing that they didn’t want to change it but caved to public pressure. However, maybe they agreed with the criticisms and think the changes will improve the game. If this is the case then everything you said basically agrees with the changes even if you think that it doesn’t.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Certainly, Darkest Dungeon wants to be unforgiving and harsh. And should be.

          It could also, however, be not-so unforgiving and harsh. There just isn’t a good reason this can’t be, just like there isn’t a good reason Fire Emblem needs to be playable only in Classic mode, with permadeath. The experience loses something, nay, an awful lot without permadeath, yet those who wanted proper Fire Emblem will play with permadeath, and those who really, truly do not want it still get to have something great.

          A game isn’t the only store in town, you won’t starve without it. But much like the only burger joint, when you really want something and you aren’t allowed to have it because those running are concerned with giving you the option to sacrifice purity (in the mechanics or the necessity of meat in a hamburger) some do end up worse off, while nobody benefits.

          Games should be inclusive because there isn’t an infinite amount of them, you never know what someone’s tastes are, and there are some changes you can make without sacrifice. If the game I want most in the world is one almost exactly identical to Darkest Dungeon, but a little more forgiving, I will never ever get that unless the designers give us more options. Which is why I feel like every game should have mod support, but oh well…

        • sosolidshoe says:

          As usual with elitists, your entire argument is predicated on a falsehood; accessibility is not a zero-sum game. Adding an *option* to experience the game in a less punishing way does not take away your ability to play it in the original, Thank You Sir May I Have Another manner, and if permitting other people to enjoy an experience by making it “easier” for them diminishes your own enjoyment of the experience you ostensibly want to have, that is your problem not theirs or the developer’s.

          Get a haud a yersel, ya balloon.

  6. Krull says:

    I really hope that in DD2, they will include something like Characters becoming more badass versions when levelling up. Not only skill + stat increase but also appearance + new skills. Something similar was in Disciples games. Gradation is the way to go and levelling up stats is not the real deal for me. The 2D art style fits perfectly for this game and because of this 2D art style, it should not be too hard to achieve such feature.

  7. Velko says:

    In an upcoming Mass Effect / Darkest Dungeon crossover game, your task is to stop him from hugging Tali.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Ericusson says:

    700 000 players and only 110 000 launched the game in the last 2 weeks.
    Pretty much says it all about the game.

    I would really like the reviews to go beyond the discovery phase and have a post scriptum about how the games actually fare beyond the novelty phase.

    • bfandreas says:

      110 000 out of 700 000 is actually quite good.

      Most games owned on Steam fizzle out after around 2-3hrs of play time and the majority doesn’t seem to be finished. At all.

      What you have to understand is that people get burned out of games quickly if they play too much of it. After you spent 80hrs over the course of two weeks you are probably ready for something new. That doesn’t mean that it is a bad game. It simply means that you are done with it.

      Me, I have yet to finish Hand of Fate and Darkest Dungeon. The only games I finish within 20hrs or so are linear games with not a lot of side tracking going on(like Vanishing of Ethan Carter and the glorious Shadowrun series). Games like Hand of Fate or DD are not meant to be played in one sitting. They are not so story driven but rather driven by their game mechanics. I’d rather compare them closer to something like Hearthstone which you play over the years a couple of matches per week. If you approach the games with that attitude then you will find that the major complaint of “teh grind(oh noes)” is actually not a problem but rather a strength.

      With the emphasis on “over the years”. I’m glad we have games mechanics-driven like that.

    • noodlecake says:

      What the guy above said. I don’t have over 80 hours on any game in my steam library. I like to experience as many different kinds of games as possible and the idea of buying a game and still being into it months or years later is absurd to me because I’d be missing out on so many other projects. I may go back to Darkest Dungeon at some point, but there’s a good chance I wont. Same with Prison Architect. I think both are good games and I’m glad to have supported the developers so they can continue to make games, or improve the projects they’ve already created.|

      I don’t really equate the number of hours I put into a game with quality. I value how the game makes me feel. If I get 5 hours of amazing fun out of a game then it was worth buying.