I played Darkest Dungeon after the Fiends and Frenzy update. Everything's better now. Still no endgame dungeons.

Darkest Dungeon “Fiends and Frenzy” Update

I played Darkest Dungeon after the Fiends and Frenzy update. Everything's better now. Still no endgame dungeons.

Two days ago Red Hook announced on their Darkest Dungeon website that their major update “Fiends and Frenzy” was live. Today I got a chance to play it with the new additions, and here are my impressions of it:

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The New Classes are Pretty Rad

This update includes two new classes: the Arbalest and the Man-at-Arms. I happened to find the Arbalest first, so I just took her on a mission to see what she could do. Sadly she didn’t last very long, but she stayed alive long enough for me to get a feel for the character: she’s a crossbow unit who specializes in damage dealing, speed buffs, and healing. I thinks she rounds out the cleric-like classes: where the Vestal was a healing fighter and the Plague Doctor was a healing mage, the Arbalest mfost resembles a healing rogue.

Unlike the real rogues, like the Highwayman and Grave Robber, she has almost no abilities for outside of the ones for the back two rows (understandable, being a crossbow wielder and all). The moves that my Arbalest started out with could be summed as shooting arrows, shooting more arrows, and a single companion heal. Pretty straightforward, and very useful. She’s alright.

The Man-at-Arms, on the other hand, is a death machine.

In case you couldn’t tell, the Man-at-Arms is that magnificent armored love-child between Big Boss and Colonel Sanders up there, ready to unleash holy sexagenarian vengeance on all the unclean peons in his path. Just look at that handsome bastard. That is the face of a man you can count on to clean out a dungeon. By himself. That is not an exaggeration either: Man-at-Arms is so OP right now that if the game would let you, you could embark with just him and be just fine.

Man-at-Arms is supposed to be something like a supporting tank class. He has a debuff shout, a move that lets him guard another companion, a buff that increases the accuracy of a companion, among others I didn’t get to explore. That guarding move is especially useful since it also grants him a 20% protection buff.

I was kind of nervous to bring him a long at first, since he was base-level rookie going on a mission with three level two characters. I need not have worried though: that level gap meant absolutely nothing to the Man-at-Arms. He has heaps of HP, his defense is ridiculous, and he hits like a truck. I watched him demolish rows upon rows of monsters while simultaneously protecting his higher-level comrades from dying. He is amazing. I think if I was one of his partners during that run, I would feel ashamed of myself. But only a little: for there is no shame in feeling inadequate compared to the Man-at-Arms Big Boss Colonel Sanders. I sense a nerf in our future.

More Bosses and Loot

Sadly, I didn’t get to try the three new bosses they included. I got to try one, the Formless Flesh, and I got reamed so quickly I couldn’t tell if it was fair or not. All the same, more content is always welcome. Still no endgame conditions or two final dungeons though, and those are what I’m really looking forward to.

Item Organization

Two things they added that I love them for: one, you can now unequip all items so you don’t have to go fishing though the pockets of my entire 15-man *team of heroes to find a pair of gloves anymore. MUCH needed. They also added a bunch of sorting options where you can sort according to rarity, class specific, and others; two, you can sell items. Finally. I have been wanting this since build one, and they finally have it. Now if you ever find yourself low on gold, you’re not completely hosed. You can sell off a bunch of the crappy items you don’t use anymore, and that is awesome.


They added a bunch of little fixes that tweak the gameplay balance, so I’ll name a few of the bigger ones:

  • You can’t eat food forever anymore. The game caps the amount of food you can eat at a given time, or until you’re “full”. So you can’t heal a party member for half his/her health by eating an entire stack of food supplies. This limits your already meager options for health recovery.
  • They allow options for “snuffing out” you torch. That means that you can now manually lower the amount of light whenever you want. You would have to be insane to do that though, because:
  • All the enemy buffs and character debuffs in darkness are increased. Wandering around in the dark is lot, lot, lot more dangerous. Why the heck would you do that to yourself on purpose?

All of this adds a lot of very welcome changes, but the game is far from done. All the same, even in alpha I highly recommend it. And if you already have it, come back a try it a little. I know I enjoyed myself.

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Matt Amenda
Still loves cartoons. And video games. And comics. And occasionally writes lengthy diatribes about them on the internet. Hope to get paid for it someday.