I’ve been playing a solid amount of Darkest Dungeon since the release of the Radiant mode patch. For a still-accurate overview of my thoughts on the game, here is my review post from 2015. Radiant mode shortens the game, but doesn’t actually make it easier, which is perfect all around. I’ll likely have a wrap-up post once I actually beat the game. I’m on week 60 right now, with a nearly maxed village and multiple maxed heroes, so I should be pretty close, and just need to get the courage up to enter the final dungeon…
I also really enjoy reading comments about DD on various sites like Polygon or RPS, because people fall into basically two camps. One camp ‘gets it’ and enjoys the fact that in DD heroes aren’t permanent, and the point of the game isn’t to get your favorite buddy to the end, but rather to manage the whole stable of disposable heroes in such a way to eventually beat the final dungeon. The other camp is people who dislike the fact that heroes aren’t meant to be permanent, and just can’t get over that hurdle to enjoy the game for what it is.
The reason I find this so interesting is because it shows how set in there ways some people are. DD by its very design is intended to shake up a tradition in the RPG space (that heroes are the focus), and it accomplishes this very well. It can be rough at first, but once you make the mental shift things click. Yet some people don’t want that shakeup, and despite the rest of DD being what they want, they just can’t make it click.
In this regard, it’s easier to see why, for example, we continue to see basically the same MMO released over and over with just different settings. For every person sick of the same old kill/fetch/grind quest model, there are people who don’t want that shaken up, to the point that they won’t accept anything that does. It’s not ‘wrong’ by any means, because what you find fun is what you find fun, but it helps to explain why we don’t see more developers pushing gaming in different directions; it’s simple easier and safer to stay with what works and what people expect.