How Does Relationships and Affinity System Work in Darkest Dungeon II

In the harrowing abyss of Darkest Dungeon 2, where sanity hangs precariously on the edge of oblivion, a sinister force awakens. As courageous heroes embark on treacherous expeditions, they not only face eldritch horrors but also become entangled in a complex web of relationships.

Hidden beneath the shroud of darkness lies the Relationships and Affinity System, a malevolent entity that exerts its insidious influence over the intrepid souls who dare to venture forth. Within this cursed realm, the bonds formed between heroes are as fragile as a flickering candle flame, susceptible to the chilling winds of the unknown.

In this wretched domain, positive relationships offer a glimmer of salvation. Heroes who forge camaraderie and trust will witness their skills honed to perfection. The echoes of their shared experiences reverberate, bestowing powerful buffs that can mean the difference between survival and a descent into madness.

However, be warned, for ancient cosmic forces lurking in the shadows take delight in sowing discord among these valiant warriors. Negative relationships fester like an open wound, spreading their venomous influence. Such toxic connections breed distrust, stifling the heroes’ abilities, inhibiting their skills, and casting a shadow of despair upon their souls.

Thus, this guide emerges as a beacon of hope in the encroaching darkness. It aims to illuminate the labyrinthine corridors of relationships, offering insights and guidance to those who dare to tame the eldritch currents. Armed with this forbidden knowledge, you shall navigate treacherous waters, evading the jagged rocks of conflict and steering toward the shores of harmony.

Understanding Affinity

Within the realm of relationships, affinity levels span from 0 to 20, representing the strength of the bonds formed. Higher levels signify robust positive relationships, while lower levels indicate intense negative relationships. When heroes embark on their journey, they possess a base affinity of 9. Furthermore, the initial Inn provides a -10% chance of fostering either positive or negative relationships.

Increasing Affinity

There are multiple avenues through which affinity can be enhanced:

  • Engaging in combat offers opportunities to increase affinity. Actions like healing allies, providing buffs, or launching coordinated attacks against enemies can foster stronger bonds. Remain attentive to these moments during battles.
  • Utilize Inn items, such as whiskey, strategically to bolster affinity between heroes. These items can positively impact relationship scores and strengthen connections.
  • Keep an eye out for specific nodes within the game that provide chances for heroes to make shared decisions or choices. These instances can significantly boost their affinity levels.

Losing Affinity

It is important to be vigilant and minimize the occurrence of negative relationships, as affinity can be lost in several ways:

  • Negative affinity can be randomly lost while traveling on the road, during combat encounters, or when making decisions at nodes. Exercise caution and consider the potential impact of choices on the relationships between heroes.
  • Negative reactions may arise during combat when heroes perform actions that are perceived negatively by others. Additionally, high levels of stress increase the likelihood of losing affinity in a negative direction.

Positive Relationships

Positive relationships offer notable combat advantages and can be categorized into three types:

  • Respectful: These relationships bestow buffs to blessed skills, resulting in increased strength and dodge chances. Heroes in respectful relationships may exhibit synergistic actions, such as following up on each other’s attacks or responding to enemy hits.
  • Hopeful: Heroes in hopeful relationships experience reduced stress levels and receive buffs to all their stats. Additionally, they possess the ability to provide stress healing and remove horror effects from each other, further enhancing their overall performance.
  • Amorous: This type of relationship enables healing between partners and grants various beneficial buffs. Heroes in amorous relationships may demonstrate acts of protection, such as taking hits for their partner, as well as providing significant healing support.

By fostering positive relationships within these categories, heroes can unlock these combat advantages and improve their overall effectiveness in challenging encounters.

Negative Relationships

Negative relationships can significantly impede your team’s performance and should be approached with caution. There are four categories of negative relationships to be aware of:

  • Suspicious: These relationships inflict debuffs, such as taunt and vulnerability, which can weaken the affected heroes’ abilities. Additionally, heroes in suspicious relationships may experience negative interactions during combat, further complicating their teamwork.
  • Envious: Envious relationships contribute to increased stress levels and have a detrimental effect on overall relationships. Heroes in envious relationships may exhibit feelings of jealousy, leading to stress-related issues that can impact their performance.
  • Hateful: Hateful relationships result in one hero causing damage to another during combat. This can create a hostile environment within the team, with heroes actively targeting and harming each other.
  • Resentful: Resentful relationships impose debuffs like blindness and weakness on the involved heroes. Similar to suspicious relationships, heroes in resentful relationships may experience negative interactions and stress-related problems, further exacerbating the challenges they face.

Managing and mitigating negative relationships is essential to maintaining team harmony and maximizing performance in Darkest Dungeon 2.

Strategies and Tips

  • Utilize inn items strategically: Inn items like whiskey can improve relationship scores, but be cautious of potential negative effects. Look for diamonds at the bottom of item descriptions to identify items that reduce affinity.
  • Prioritize positive relationships: Focus on nurturing positive relationships through careful management and interaction. Choose options during road encounters and events that increase relationship scores.
  • Manage stress levels: High stress can lead to negative relationships, so actively reduce stress through abilities, items, and camping skills. Prioritize stress management to maintain positive relationships.
  • Utilize pet companions: Unlock and utilize the wolf pup companion, which provides a +10% positive relationship chance and +5 stress resistance per luxury stagecoach upgrade. Maximize the benefits of pet companions to improve relationships and stress resistance.
  • Upgrade the stagecoach and utilize starting funds: Invest in stagecoach equipment upgrades such as Tea Service or the Leaf Suspension. Purchase alcohol from the first tavern to reduce stress and improve relationships early in your expedition.
  • Explore stress management options: Seek out stress management items like laudanum or use abilities that reduce stress. Prioritize upgrading stress-reducing abilities to effectively manage stress levels and maintain positive relationships.
  • Be prepared for setbacks: Accept that the relationship system introduces randomness, and setbacks can occur. When negative relationships occur and skills are locked, reassess your strategy and learn from each run to improve future attempts.
  • Adapt your strategy: If negative relationships affect your party’s skills, adjust your strategy and explore alternative synergies to compensate for the changes. Adapt your approach to optimize the strengths of your heroes and maintain teamwork.
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