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Related to this question, and on the Darkest Dungeon Wiki link here, it mentions that there is a stress penalty for backtracking (walking from right to left, using the 'A' key), and I'm trying to figure out if there is an aspect of the game that makes this penalty worthwhile. In other words, is there some benefit to getting partially through a hallway but not entering the room at the end of the hallway, so that turning around warrants a penalty? One obvious answer is that you could avoid a battle in that room, but you would also be avoiding any treasure that exists as well.

Just trying to understand the mechanics of the game. There are lots of guides with tips and tricks, and understanding how the game works is a big step in being successful (or not failing as much.)

  • Asking for documentation on the reason is the same as asking for the reason. – Frank May 3 '16 at 19:37
  • Documentation vs speculation is what I'm talking about, that's quite different. The fact that I'm seeking the reason is quite explicitly stated. – Tim S. May 3 '16 at 19:38
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    The answer seems pretty obvious to me - you don't want players to just wander around willy-nilly. It goes against the concept of the game. – two bugs May 3 '16 at 19:45
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    There is a valid question here, I think. I may be looking at it wrong, but I'm reading it as, "I know you get a penalty for backtracking, but what reasons are there to want to backtrack, despite the penalty?" Is that correct? – Niro May 3 '16 at 20:35
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    In a nutshell, yes. I'd assume that the penalty is not just arbitrary, but is there some other benefit that is countered by the stress penalty that would make it worth backtracking... not sure I am wording that the best way... Of course I might be totally off and they just made it so you need to always move forward, which is a legitimate answer too. – Tim S. May 3 '16 at 21:40
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90% of the time, the only time I want to backtrack is if there's a fight at the end or the middle of the corridor, and I want to go back and rest/use a log for the health or stress heal before getting in another combat. This almost always happens because I just fled a fight, or almost lost a fight halfway through, but occasionally it happens because of a bad trap or curio interaction if I'm already borderline.

The backtracking penalty is there make sure attempting to go to the next room is a commitment with consequences if you overreach, but it only really matters in medium or long dungeons, because in short dungeon if you can't take a fight you need to just leave. It also means you can't just access curios you like in a corridor that ends with a fight or a wall/rubble without "paying" for them with the fight/shovel, but I feel like that's less important.

  • Backtracking builds up stress very quickly. The only time I've found it worthwhile is if I run into a rubble blockage in the first quarter of the corridor and don't have a shovel. – Mike R May 4 '16 at 14:57
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Backtracking builds up stress very quickly. The only time I've found it worthwhile is if I run into a rubble blockage in the first quarter of the corridor and don't have a shovel and there is another alternate route to my destination.

To be safe, you should be prepared for a fight in any room that isn't scouted. If you don't think you can handle a fight, GTF out. Character death is a large monetary loss (you've lost all the money from training and equipment upgrades) which is frequently larger than the cost of abandoning the dungeon and paying for stress relief.

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