Darkest Dungeon 2 is getting a major metagame and progression update

Early access roguelike Darkest Dungeon 2 is getting a major update that reworks the game’s progression system – and also resets some player stats, developer Red Hook Games has warned.

The Altar of Hope update adds a new type of reward – Candles of Hope – which you can earn and then spend on various attributes that should make future missions safer for your party.

As you’d expect, the greater the danger, the greater the reward in terms of bagged candles at the end. Missions will award more candles as you manage to progress, but suffer a wipeout and you’ll see your candle hoard penalized.

Darkest Dungeon 2 Early Access Trailer.

The risk/reward here is whether you choose to end your current expedition gracefully at an inn, keeping your stash of candles intact, or whether you continue for more glory/death. Reaching the game’s current endpoint – The Mountain – will also ensure you bring home all of your candles up to that point – even if you run into the final boss.

The Altar of Hope update is now live on the Experimental branch of the game, before it arrives for everyone in a few weeks. Players should note that her arrival will reset your current Hope score, including item unlocks and hero availability, as well as any ongoing expeditions.

Your hero story progress, skill unlocks, and Confession boss unlocks will remain. You will also get 20 candles as a gift for your trouble.

The Altar of Hope also adds a new ally, the Bounty Hunter, and changes many other settings and bugs – the full patch notes are here.

Darkest Dungeon 2 launched a year ago via early access and is slated for release in February 2023.

Our Bertie pitched it shortly after launch and found it more roguelike than the original, and that change had been transformative.

“If you can settle into the game without remorse, that’s where you’ll find the magic,” Bertie wrote last year. “It’s not a game about heroism, it’s a game about survival and scratching. It’s a game about learning the value of any advantage, and not getting sloppy or overconfident in your approach. And when you start to appreciate that, you start to see beyond the biggest and the best – the most glamorous illustrations, the most whimsical animations, the cinematic flair – in a game that seems to have reduced a already strong concept into something slimmer and potentially even meaner than before.”