The Darkest Dungeon II Stress system is a trademark of the game that will be creeping onto your party members at all times. As relatable as it is in our current times, there are several in-game considerations to keep in mind. Some may just be what you need for your best heroes to prevail even in the worst situations. Others will only serve as temporary bandaids before suffering catches you by surprise once more.
Before getting all gloomy, this guide will explain how the new Resolute mechanic in Darkest Dungeon II works. This condition is one of the tweaks included in The Void Between Us update, released on January 2023, which also changes how Stress Resolve moments behave from now on.
Darkest Dungeon II Resolute explained – how stress resolve works
In the original Darkest Dungeon, once a character in your party reached their maximum stress level, there would be a moment of suspense that would leave to a negative or mostly trait. This would then stay with them as a permanent buff or debuff, unless you later treated it in the town.
After the rework included in The Void Between Us update, Darkest Dungeon II seeks to bring back that former tension, but in a different fashion. Now, once a character reaches max stress, there is a chance for them to suffer a Meltdown, or become Resolute instead. In essence, a Meltdown is more likely to happen – this is a tough game after all – but there is now a glimpse of a chance of having a good outcome out of a tough encounter.
Your party members will not take Meltdowns kindly.
Both statuses affect Affinity across the party, as well as the character’s health and status, either positively or negatively. Situations and results will vary, but just to give a few examples, I’ve seen my characters gaining 30 HP when getting a Resolute, but also seeing a decrease of four Affinity points after a Meltdown. It is, without a doubt, a huge hit to your party.
The thumb rule here is to keep your heroes’ Stress in check as often as possible. Classes such as the Jester or the Plague Doctor have skills that specifically help to lower the group’s gloominess, so it’s always worth investing in those. There are many items that can also help to reduce stress at Inns, which is crucial before embarking on another expedition that can make things worse. As an upside, however, neither the Meltdown nor Resolute statuses are permanent, which means that unlike the first game, they will not become a trait for your character, and rather just have an impact at the moment they occur.
Resolute in Darkest Dungeon II is rare, but I’ve seen it more than a few times across several runs after the update went live. I wouldn’t recommend having your characters stressed all the time in order to see if you can get a positive outcome, but who knows, it might be an unexpected saving grace that allows you to get through a tough encounter. That being said, our Darkest Dungeon II beginner’s guide and explainer to survive the Denial Brain boss encounter can provide some additional help.