Darkest Dungeon’s Crimson Court is balancing its blood

Ask anyone who is playing Darkest Dungeon’s [official site] bloodthirsty expansion The Crimson Court how they feel, and they’ll probably smile nervously and then collapse in a pale heap of quivering flesh. At least, that’s now I’d respond, and Fraser isn’t far off a total collapse judging by his review. It’s a top notch addition, running alongside the main campaign and delivering wonderfully grotesque insectile vampires, but it’s also really hard.

That’s kind of the point, given that this is Darkest Dungeon rather than Brightest Ballroom, but Crimson Court’s new curse often feels like a burden rather than an interesting new feature. Thankfully, as well as announcing a stonking 175,000 copies sold, Red Hook say changes are a-coming.

It all comes down to the titular curse. It’s vampirism essentially and characters afflicted – and they can be infected by a single attack – require special blood vials to prevent them from wasting away. The curse saps their stats even when they’re not dying of thirst, so it’s a punishment with further punishments waiting in the chitinous wings. Red Hook have already balanced since release, making blood drop more often, and that’s made things slightly less painful, but more assistance is coming.

Spoilers follow, so if you haven’t played the Crimson Court and don’t want to know details of what awaits, you might want to hold back.

OK. Have all those fortunate enough not to be afflicted gone back to the safety of the hamlet? Let’s talk among ourselves.

Remember the first time you went into the courtyard, on that simple little level one quest? The short one? It wasn’t very short was it, and then you got eaten by a toothy water beast. I was livestreaming as I played.

Well, that quest will now come with a warning:

“There is now an embark warning letting you know this quest is not suitable for fresh recruits, and is longer than a usual/ no-firewood short quest. We wanted to get the new content in front of players as soon as possible, but unfortunately this resulted in some people feeling tricked into taking underpowered heroes into a rough dungeon. This should help a bit with that, letting you know that diving right in is up to you. It’s not a milk run quest, for sure…”

That’s not going to help us veterans though, right? What we need is BLOOD. And, sure, maybe a cure. Well, listen up, because both of those things are going to be easier to get your proboscis into.

“…while we’ve tuned blood drop rates few times, we’re planning on adding a ‘Gather the Blood’ courtyard quest, which requires no Invitation, and will become a reliable, primary source of blood. Random drops from mobs will become less frequent, but this quest solution provides a) a reliable way to collect a supply of blood, and b) access to the courtyard content without an invitation. This change will go live later this week.”

The new cure drops relate to The Fanatic:

“The Fanatic is designed as a hunter boss – one that the party should fear. To raise the stakes (get it? hilarious) of his encounter, he will drop an valuable tonic, ‘The Cure’, that will clear the Crimson Curse from an affected hero! He’s also getting his loot tables punched up to add more incentive for enduring his roast.”

There’s more so do read all of the notes here and always remember that the next throatful of the good red stuff is going to come sooner or later. One day we’ll be bottling it like wine.


  1. rgk says:

    we’re planning on adding a ‘Gather the Blood’ courtyard quest

    More grinding? That sounds reasonable, there wasn’t enough of that already.

    • Benkyo says:

      Exactly what I thought.

      • guy13 says:

        More grinding is good in this case. The whole game is nothing but grinding (you repeatedly go into dungeons to get loot and level up heroes, while managing stress/afflictions/…).
        Now you’re given the possibility to go into dungeons with the goal to get blood. I’m someone who really enjoys “grindy” games. And I’m sure the majority of Darkest Dungeons players do too.
        So, more grinding is something positive. (Give me more GRIND!)

        • Benkyo says:

          I would hazard a guess that there are many Darkest Dungeon players who are not a fan of the grind. I’m into roguelikes, myself. More specifically, turn-based games that gate progress based on player skill and knowledge, rather than numbers that you can grind up. DD has some of the former – you learn the encounters, you learn effective party configurations, you learn when to cut your losses – which is why I played it to completion. Unfortunately, it also has way too much of the latter – like heirlooms, cash bottlenecks, and the “never again” tag – and adding another does not seem like a step in the right direction.

          I’m not denying that there are plenty of grinding fans out there – Darkest Dungeon is more of a jRPG than anything else, and that whole genre is bizarrely popular – but I can’t help but think that DD could have been so much better…

          • guy13 says:

            Ok, I get what you are saying. And I think for players who want a slightly different experience there are options to remove for example the “never again” tag or remove the cash bottle neck (radiant mode) or let you retreat from battle with a probability of 100% and so on.
            The game seems to be pretty flexible in this regard.

  2. malu24 says:

    Think it’s 175,000 copies sold. Just deciding if I want to punish myself by being 175,001

    • Stanley Pain says:

      That’s 1.75m they’ve done very well with the game.

  3. Nest says:

    @ Stanley Pain: NO. It’s 175,000 copies of the Crimson Court that have been sold. That’s literally exactly what it says on the Dev blog: “CRIMSON COURT UPDATE: 175,000 COPIES SOLD AND COUNTING”
    link to darkestdungeon.com

    • Stanley Pain says:

      Oh whoops.

      Was thinking units sold for the main game.

      Solid sales numbers all around.

  4. April March says:

    I’d play Brightest Ballroom.

    Also, I like that with the update, it means that the Fanatic can cure people from vampirism, but prefers to stake them to death instad.