Darkest Dungeon II – Relationships and Affinity System Guide

In the twisted depths of the foreboding abyss that is Darkest Dungeon 2, where sanity teeters on the precipice of oblivion, a sinister force stirs. As heroes embark on their treacherous expeditions, they are not only confronted by eldritch horrors but also entangled in a web of intricate relationships.

Beneath the veil of darkness, the Relationships and Affinity System slumbers, a malevolent entity that weaves its insidious influence upon the brave souls who dare to venture forth. Within this cursed realm, the bonds formed between heroes are as fragile as a flickering candle flame, vulnerable to the chilling winds of the unknown.

In this wretched realm, positive relationships hold the promise of salvation. Heroes who forge bonds of camaraderie and trust shall find their skills honed to perfection. The echoes of their shared experiences resonate, granting them powerful buffs that may prove to be the difference between life and a descent into madness.

But beware, for the ancient cosmic forces that lurk in the shadows delight in sowing discord among these valiant warriors. Negative relationships fester like a festering wound, festering and spreading their venomous influence. Such poisonous connections breed distrust, stifling the heroes’ abilities, locking away their skills, and casting a pall of despair upon their souls.

Thus, this guide materializes, a beacon of hope amidst the encroaching darkness. It seeks to illuminate the path through the labyrinthine corridors of relationships, offering insight and guidance to those who would dare to tame the eldritch tides. With its forbidden knowledge, you shall navigate the treacherous waters, skirting the jagged rocks of conflict and steering toward the shores of harmony.

Prepare yourself, dear reader, for the abyssal depths you are about to plumb. Embrace the forbidden wisdom that lies within these pages, for it is your shield against the encroaching horrors. As you delve into the murky realm of relationships, remember that the line between triumph and tragedy is as tenuous as the sanity of a shattered mind.

May the ancient gods of wisdom guide your path as you navigate the intricate dance of affinity and strife. May your heroes find solace in the embrace of trust and companionship, and may they emerge from the darkest depths victorious, their souls forever scarred by the eldritch revelations that await.

Understanding Affinity

Affinity levels range from 0 to 20, with higher levels indicating stronger positive relationships and lower levels indicating stronger negative relationships. Starting the game, heroes have a base affinity of 9, and the first Inn has a -10% chance of developing positive or negative relationships.

Increasing Affinity

Affinity can be increased in various ways:

  • During combat, performing actions like healing allies, buffing them, or attacking enemies together can increase affinity. Pay attention to these opportunities during battles.
  • Inn items, such as whiskey, can increase affinity between heroes. Use these items strategically to improve relationship scores.
  • Certain nodes in the game present opportunities for heroes to share the same decisions or choices, which increases their affinity.

Losing Affinity

Affinity can also be lost, so it’s crucial to minimize the chances of negative relationships:

  • Negative affinity can be lost randomly during the road, in combat, or by making decisions at nodes. Be mindful of choices that may decrease affinity between heroes.
  • Negative reactions can occur during combat when heroes perform certain actions that are perceived negatively by others. High stress increases the chances of negative affinity loss.

Positive Relationships

Positive relationships provide significant combat advantages. There are three categories of positive relationships:

  • Respectful: Provides buffs to blessed skills, such as increased strength and dodge chances. Heroes may follow up on each other’s attacks or respond to enemy hits.
  • Hopeful: Reduces stress and grants buffs to all stats. Heroes may provide stress healing and remove horror effects.
  • Amorous: Enables healing between partners and grants various buffs. Heroes may take hits for each other or provide substantial healing.

Negative Relationships

Negative relationships can hinder your team’s performance. There are four categories of negative relationships:

  • Suspicious: Inflicts debuffs like taunt and vulnerability. Heroes may have negative interactions during combat.
  • Envious: Increases stress and negatively affects relationships. Heroes may exhibit jealousy, causing stress-related issues.
  • Hateful: Causes damage to the hero during combat. Heroes may target each other, resulting in harm.
  • Resentful: Imposes debuffs like blindness and weakness. Heroes may have negative interactions and stress-related problems.

Strategies and Tips

  • Utilize inn items strategically: Inn items like whiskey can improve relationship scores. However, be aware of potential negative effects, as some items have a chance reduce affinity. Sometimes it is not clear so look for diamonds at the bottom of item descriptions.
  • Prioritize positive relationships: Focus on nurturing positive relationships through careful management and interaction. Choose options that increase relationship scores during road encounters and other events.
  • Manage stress levels: High stress can lead to negative relationships, so actively reduce stress through abilities, items, and camping skills.
  • Utilize pet companions: Unlock and utilize the wolf pup companion to provide +10 percent positive relationship chance, and +5 stress resistance per luxury stagecoach upgrade. If you have all four inventory slots unlocked on the stagecoach, and equip four luxury upgrades, you can get a +20 percent stress resist across the board, which will greatly help you avoid meltdowns.
  • Upgrade the stagecoach and utilize starting funds: Invest in stagecoach equipment upgrades such as Tea Service or the Leaf Suspension. Remember to purchase the alcohol from the first tavern, which can reduce stress and improve relationships right from the beginning of your expedition.
  • Explore stress management options: Seek out stress management items like laudanum or utilize abilities that can help reduce stress and upgrade them early. Finding oasis locations during your journey will provide an item that will greatly alleviate stress levels and contribute to maintaining positive relationships.
  • Be prepared for setbacks: Accept that the relationship system introduces an element of randomness and be prepared for setbacks. If negative relationships occur and skills are locked, reassess your strategy, and learn from each run to improve your future attempts.
  • Adapt your strategy: If negative relationships occur and affect your party’s skills, adjust your strategy and explore alternative synergies to compensate for the changes.

Conclusion

Now, brave soul, go forth and face the depths with newfound knowledge and courage. May your relationships be your salvation or your undoing. May you find glory or be consumed by the all-encompassing darkness.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13678 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the guide.
    Hopefully you’ll extend it with affinity thresholds (i.e. characters becoming “friendly” when reaching 14+ in affinity, or unfriendly for 8-), and maybe some math (i.e. base chances of +/- relationships according to affinity, and ways to improve/degrade it, like quirks, pets, etc.)

  2. Great guide on the kind of obtuse system!
    one tip you might want to add: If you have Bounty Hunter in your party, he neither gains nor loses affinity with anyone. therefore when you’re at a node and two characters disagree (or no one wants to fight) BH frequently has an option, and therefore no affinity between your permanent party members is lost!

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