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Darkest Dungeon launches shorter 'Radiant' mode

Shorter, not easier

'Radiant' mode has arrived in Darkest Dungeon [official site], offering a shorter -- but not necessarily easier -- crawl through the deadly depths. The new difficulty mode removes a lot of grind by boosting XP and cutting gold costs, but your troops will still certainly be at risk of losing their minds when they get spooked by a skellington or booed by a ghoost. Or, if you're a bad enough dude, the ultra-hard mode is now even harder. And for everyone, four new monsters have been added and a lot's been tweaked and rebalanced. This is a cracking update!

As the patch notes say:

"Radiant Mode is a version of the game that is intended to take less time overall to complete than normal ('Darkest') mode. The mode is still challenging--monsters have the same stats and nothing about permadeath has changed. But some gameplay rules have been flexed or altered in ways that reduce some of the more time consuming mid and late game elements."

A lot of them boil down to: if you lose a decent hero, you'll be able to replace them quicker. Developers Red Hook Studios have said Radiant mode was intended to cut completion time from 80 hours to about 40. Peep those notes to see quite how it works.

I am surprised by how much else has changed with this update. Four new enemies are now roaming Champion-level Dungeons (the Bone Bearer, Swine Skiver, Hateful Virago, and Squiffy Ghast), new town events are in, the economy is rebalanced to reduce the gold drought in the mid-game onwards, the Stagecoach is less RNG-y... lots of good stuff. Do read the notes for the full story.

Darkest Dungeon is half-price for a few days to celebrate this launch, down to £9.49/11,49€/$12.49.

The next big thing on the Darkest horizon is its first major expansion, Crimson Court. It'll be all about v-v-vampires! Red Hook do plan to keep tweaking the base game, mind, planning a balance pass over trinkets and hero skills next.

In case you missed it, I'll again point out The Mechanic's recent look at Darkest Dungeon.

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