The Altar of Hope update brings a new progression system that allows players to invest in upgrades, perks, and unlocks by using a new type of reward, Candles of Hope.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Darkest Dungeon title without some risk/reward dynamics at play. Players will receive the highest number of Candles for making it all the way to the Confession boss. However, if you push too far and suffer a wipe, the player will be penalised. Red Hook Studios advises players that it is “always better to make it to the next Inn.”
Should the player make it all the way to the game’s current end point, the Mountain, they will be allowed to keep all of the Candles that they’ve earned during that expedition, even if they fall at the final boss.
Assuming the player has been able to collect enough Candles, they’ll be able to spend them at The Altar of Hope in order to improve attributes across four separate categories: General Upgrades (such as beginning runs with greater resources and increased inventory space), Heroes (where players can unlock heroes, permanent buffs, and trinkets, and “some other surprises”), Items (such as stagecoach upgrades, trinkets, combat items, and Inn items) and Memories.
Memories are a little different, as the upgrades are temporary – only lasting as long as that specific hero lives, and will die with them. However, any heroes who survive the battle with the final boss will keep their memories, increasing their power.
As a more aesthetic touch, as players invest hope in the Altar, the view of the Kingdom will gradually become restored to its former glory.
The Altar of Hope update is live now on the Darkest Dungeon 2 experimental branch, and Red Hook Studios expects the update to go live on the game’s main branch within the next week or two.