What You Need To Know To Survive The Courtyard In The Darkest Dungeon DLC

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The Courtyard, a new location exclusive to the Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court DLC, is a place of madness and murder — and we’re here to provide a few tips to help you survive the horror.

The cruelty of the The Courtyard comes hard and fast, and infects the rest of your adventure with the shambling remnants of two feuding families. These cruel, blood-thirty abominations aren’t your regular vampires. The Bloodsuckers are literal insects, and their disease, called the Crimson Curse, spreads fast if you’re not careful.

It’s a deadly place, and we’re going to breakdown what you need to know before entering this ridiculously cruel location.

More Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court guides on The Escapist:

Courtyard Survivor Guide | Tips

The Courtyard is a special location populated by Bloodsuckers, unique enemies that can (randomly) cause your heroes to contract the Crimson Curse disease. When afflicted, there is no permanent cure (until later) — you’ll have to collect The Blood off Bloodsucker opponents and use it to keep afflicted heroes from craving / wasting from the curse.

  • NOTE: The Courtard is always in Bloodlight — there is a permanent +Stress debuff at all times. Torches aren’t useless though, using them will increase your Accuracy in battle, and can be used to destroy Courtyard curios.

How to Enter the Courtyard

Completing the first mission of the Courtyard will also unlock infestation.

Infestation will spread to dungeons, causing Bloodsucker enemies to appear. The more you run through a dungeon, the higher the infection rate will increase. At max level, the Gatekeeper will appear.

Gatekeepers are unique enemies that always carry Courtyard Invitations. Kill the Gatekeepers to collect the Courtyard Invitations — they’re required to access the Courtyard after completing the first mission.

The Courtyard Is Huge

The Courtyard is available early on, and can be accessed with low-level heroes. Be on notice — entering the Courtyard is for end-game level heroes only. It’s a deadly place, and activating it too early will cause infestations, the Fanatic, and other problems that will make regular exploration much more difficult.

Courtyard dungeons can be up to 50+ or even 100+ rooms.

Enter the Courtyard at your own risk. The first quest does not require an Invitation. There are many, many branching paths, locked doors requiring special keys found in the dungeon, and no camping — unless you bring a shovel to smash crates with wine and collect firewood.

Be Prepared For The Blood Curse

The Courtyard enemies will spread their Blood Curse to your heroes, and if you enter the Courtyard or any dungeon with infestation, you’re going to contract the disease. There’s no way around it.

But, there’s a way to prepare. Unlock the new district in the town that supplies you with two vials of Blood every week. You’ll need the extra Blood — looting blood off Bloodsuckers isn’t enough to keep your party going.

To draw in more bloodsuckers, interact with curios in dungeons more often. You’ll be able to enter more battles with Courtyard opponents and kill them for blood if you’ve completely run dry and need more.

Stress Is A Problem

As stated above, the Courtyard is in a constant state of Bloodlight. You’ll gain stress at an astounding rate — about 1 point of stress per square. Hallways in the Courtyard are long enough that they can reach 20 squares.

Not only that, but Bloodsucker enemies cause increased stress. Torches can’t fight stress due to the dark, but they can be used on curios to significantly lower stress. Use Torches on Throbbing Cocoons to gain +30 Stress Healing, or use them on Thronging Hives to gain random treasure.

Don’t Bring Occultists

Occultists are especially vulnerable in the Courtyard. The Bloodlight lowers bleed resistance even further, making Wyrd Reconstruction even worse under the circumstances. Occultists will not work as a primary healer in the Courtyard.

Provisions – What To Bring

The Blood is the single most important provision to stock up on before entering a Courtyard dungeon. Other provisions will become even more handy — but you won’t need to bring as many torches as you normally might.

  • Torches: Not used to lower stress / increase light level. Can burn Thronging Hives / Throbbing Cocoons for treasure / +30 Stress Healing.
  • Bandage: Can clean piles of strange bones for random treasure or blood.
  • Shovel: Use on Ancient Caged Skeletons or Bloodflowers for random treasure, or smash crates of wine to collect firewood.
  • Holy Water: Pour into fountains to increase Crimson Curse resistance. Causes blight damage and debuffs to any heroes afflicted with the Crimson Curse.
  • The Blood: Keep plenty to feed infected heroes, and give it to the hooded beggar for loot.
  • Medicinal Herbs: Use on Food Trays to get a large amount of Food.

The Courtyard is all about managing stress and fighting the infection of the Crimson Curse. It’s best you don’t attempt to take on this area until you’re ready for the Cove — at the very least.

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