Loathing is a brand new mechanic introduced in Darkest Dungeon 2 that represents the chaos and terror taking over the world around you.
The first game in the franchise equally delved into a similar theme where your heroes had to take up the mantle of getting rid of evil from the world. In Darkest Dungeon 2, however, that growing evil directly affects your gameplay.
If you do not understand how Loathing increases and decreases in DD2, you are likely to falter by jumping into challenging enemy encounters and one-sided battles. Hence, here is what you need to know.
How Loathing works in Darkest Dungeon 2
You can think of Loathing as a difficulty modifier in Darkest Dungeon 2. Hence, the more Loathing levels you have, the more difficult your enemy encounters and overall expedition will be.
You can check your current Loathing level in the top right corner of the screen. There are five levels in total, ranging from having no (or zero) Loathing to having +4 Loathing in Darkest Dungeon 2.
Take note that your Loathing will always increase by one and each phase applies a higher chance of certain debuffs on you and your party.
Every time your Loathing levels increase, your Torch (also known as the Flame in Darkest Dungeon 2) will drain faster and enemies will have a higher chance of getting buffs in battles. These buffs (or battle disadvantages to your party) can be in the form of increased health, higher damage, better resists, etc.
During the early access period, Loathing also affected the amount of Master Points you get in the game. However, this aspect has apparently been removed at launch.
Loathing levels and their debuffs explained
It is important to understand that while the first couple of Loathing levels are completely manageable, maxing out your Loathing is going to present a much greater threat in Darkest Dungeon 2 than most players anticipate.
|0||The Loathing Abates||None|
|+1||The Loathing Whispers||+20% Torch Drain, +20% Battle Disadvantage|
|+2||The Loathing Festers||+40% Torch Drain, +25% Battle Disadvantage|
|+3||The Loathing Howls||+50% Torch Drain, +33% Battle Disadvantage|
|+4||The Loathing Consumes||The Mountain Shudders….|
Your difficulty is going to spike after reaching 4 levels of Loathing in Darkest Dungeon 2. Depending on the act (chapter) that you are playing, your heroes will be hit with powerful debuffs. This is in addition to enemies getting buffed up on the other side.
|Confession Act||Hero Debuffs|
|Denial – First Confession||+2 Stress|
|Resentment – Second Confession||+1 Negative Relationship|
|Obsession – Third Confession||+1 Random Negative Quirk|
|Ambition – Fourth Confession||-1 Armor, -1 Wheel|
|Cowardice – Fifth Confession||-25% Resolute Chance|
Furthermore, maxing out Loathing is going to make the chapter-end Confessional bosses stronger. They all will have 10 percent more health and your Flame will be reduced by -10 at the start of the boss fight.
How Loathing increases in DD2
While traveling your Stagecoach, you need to keep an eye out for blue-colored location nodes called Oblivion’s Tear. If you pass through these locations, your Loathing will increase by +1 in Darkest Dungeon 2.
Most Oblivion Tears will be shown on your map, or you can reach a Watchtower to scout all road encounters and nodes on your map.
It is always recommended to open your map by pressing “M” and chalking the best route with the best rewards and least encounters.
How to decrease/reduce Loathing levels in DD2
Your Loathing levels decrease by -1 every time you win a battle in Darkest Dungeon 2. These battles include Creature Dens, Lairs, Oblivion Ramparts, and Cultist and Resistance Encounters; just about any enemy encounter you can find on the map.