Red Hook Studios Discusses Major Changes Coming With Addition Of Upcoming Butcher’s Circus DLC

Red Hook Studios Discusses Major Changes Coming With Addition Of Upcoming Butcher’s Circus DLC
Credit: Gamespot Trailers

Red Hook Studios is coming with a massive DLC to their award-winning horror strategy game, Darkest Dungeon. This DLC, the Butcher’s Circus, adds a great amount of variety to the gameplay of the stressful strategy title. We discussed this release a few weeks back around its announcement, but it’s approaching rapidly, with a release set for May 28th!

In anticipation of the release, Red Hook Studios took to their blog to discuss some of the major changes coming to the title with the addition of this DLC. It seems, according to them, that the greatest change that’s coming with this addition is the changes to turn order and initiative.

The developers discuss that the turn order is normally established at the start of a combat round by rolling the initiative of all combatants. That number is a die roll added to the speed of a given character. They don’t show this order anywhere to keep things feeling a bit more hidden and harder to predict at the start of combat. The Circus, however, brings a completely new initiative mechanic.

At the start of a match, a coin will be flipped, with the winner being the first one to act. Obviously, getting the first turn in a turn-based strategy game is a powerful upside and restricting it to a simple 50/50 game of chance might be a bit too chaotic, but the losers and unlucky need not fear; while the winner gets the first turn, the loser gets a team-wide buff for the entire first round.

The starting player will be able to choose which of their heroes act first rather than relying on an initiative system. After that decision, play passes to the other player, who then will make the same choice. Action will continue to alternate back and forth as players choose which of their heroes act in what order until every hero has acted, which will then start a new round.

“This new mechanic introduces a huge new layer of decision making into combat,” the developers write, discussing their desire to remove RNG from the system. “It creates an interesting cat and mouse dynamic for the first half of the match as you attempt to outmaneuver and activate your chosen strategy while interrupting your opponents.”

Additionally, the team discusses that they’ve made some changes to the combat system to help enhance the PvP experience. However, they’ve decided not to share those with us, forcing players to learn them as they play. Make sure you’re ready to charge into the Butcher’s Circus and claim dominance as the month comes to a close!