Darkest Dungeon 2 – Next Update Reworks Relationships and Affinity

Darkest Dungeon 2

Red Hook Studios has detailed the next update coming to Darkest Dungeon 2. Available on December 16th, it’s an update focusing on reworking the Relationship and Affinity systems. It will be live on Experimental Branch until early January 2023.

Following feedback, the developer will adjust things and then release the update in the retail branch. The essence of the update is a return to Heroes either having a Meltdown or becoming Resolute at max Stress. These won’t be “enduring statuses” but can affect health, Affinity and status. A character’s chance of becoming Resolute also depends on Quirks, Trinkets and “other factors.”

Random “after-the-fact” Affinity gains/losses in combat are gone. You can also see if an action will affect a hero’s Affinity. Guarding someone else with Man-at-Arms while your Highwayman is bleeding? You’ll now know how this affects the Affinity between the two. Negative Affinity has also been removed, with the scale consisting of five tranches and the stat measured from 0-20.

Finally, Relationships only form at the Inn, but they last for the remainder of the region. An “embark” screen will showcase any relationships potentially formed during your stay. Heroes with corresponding polarities and high or low Affinities have a greater chance to enter a Relationship. They’ll also gain a skill from the other’s kit, which is modified.

Some examples include a “curse” version of Battlefield Medicine, which is locked to your skill bar and can inflict Stress in a negative Relationship. On the other hand, positive Relationships get “bless” skills, like the Leper’s Chop granting an STR Token to the Runaway if you’re on good terms.

Small Relationship act-outs are gone, but positive Relationships can still have “big deal” act-outs which could save your expedition during combat. Also, heroes in a positive Relationship can enter a negative one if their Affinity is low.

Darkest Dungeon 2 exits early access in February 2023 for PC, with console versions coming later.

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