Darkest Dungeon's grind-reducing Radiant update enters public beta

Following its reveal last month, Darkest Dungeon has now rolled out its Radiant update which welcomes the eponymous Radiant mode, its NG+ Stygian mode, and an exhaustive list of tweaks and adjustments to all of its other modes. 

Radiant Mode is said to be a version of the game that's no less challenging than the game's Darkest 'normal' mode, but requires less of the grind required to reach its later levels. "The mode is still challenging," reads a Steam update post, "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."

All told, this means the latter third of the game can be reached after around 40 hours of play, as opposed to the expected 80 or so hours. A wealth of features are in place to make this so—such as heroes now being able to return to the Darkest Dungeon, at the expense of significant stress inclines; greater power leveling flexibility, in that heroes of up to level four may enter Novice dungeons; and accelerated hero XP progression, among many other things. 

The full list of Radiant Mode's new features can be browsed over here—alongside the ways in which Stygian Mode makes things even harder. My goodness.

The Radiant update also introduces a number of new features across all modes, highlights of which include the addition of four new monsters—Bone Bearer, Hateful Virago, Swine Skiver, and Squiffy Ghast; two new town events; the new 'skilled gambler' quirk; and the new 'Jute Tapestry' treasure, a rare gem worth 5,000 gold.

"We will be monitoring how the rollout of Radiant goes, and you can expect some more tweaks here and there as we see how the patch settles," says developer Red Hook Studios. "To access the beta, open up the BETAs tab on the Darkest Dungeon Properties menu on STEAM. Select the drop down box and choose 'coming_in_hot.' As always we encourage you to backup your saves when participating in the Beta."

Darkest Dungeon won our coveted Best RPG award of 2016. Head this way to read Ian Birnbaum's review, and have another gander at its launch trailer: