Darven never appears, is my game broken?

In the Deal with the Devil quest, like many people on threads I’ve seen around the internet, I allowed the Hellknights to investigate as it matches my alignment. However, to my understanding, Darven is supposed to appear soon after, and this is not happening for me. I’ve so far gotten 6 messages (I think weekly?) about Linxia terrorizing citizens and Loyalty losses, upgraded my capital from town to city, found and killed Armag, and reached the coronation. There has still been no opportunity to resolve this problem. At this point, is it clear that something has bugged out entirely and my save is broken?

Darven is normally near the exit of the capital after you talk to the Hellknight again to stop them. They are just outside the throne room building.

Thanks Mork, but as said, I didn’t stop them and have continued to play for several ingame weeks since. From my researching around, if you don’t stop them, Darven is supposed to approach you a little while later. But now we are MUCH later. Hence my question, if it has bugged out.

I never side with the Hellknight no matter if my alignment match their. So i’m not sure to be honest, but i have see a lot of complaints on steam about that quest.

Supporting Darven and kicking the Hellknights out is very simple and quite straight forward. So it’s the option i always choose…

Sure, I understand completely. I assumed, since I had just agreed to their investigation, that I would allow them to do their work as long as it was quick. Since this whole quest is pretyt questionable in terms of logic and alignment, I would be happy to just side with Darven and have it stop bugging out my kingdom for months.

Which brings us to the title of this thread. Darven will not appear, so… is it broken somehow?

No i don’t think your quest is broken, you just have to wait even more and take more hits on your kingdom stats.

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Thank you Mork, very helpful of you to investigate this for me. I found a lot of forum threads on this, but somehow, not that one… Most seemed to be saying the next stage should happen quite quickly, but I guess not always. It’s reassuring! I’ll wait it out a while longer then.

In case anyone else later comes to this thread: It has now been 2 months since the coronation and Darven has appeared. I’m not saying this is how it is supposed to be, because the extreme length of time and penalties was pretty unreasonable, but in this case it did eventually move to the next stage. Overall I lost about 35-40 loyalty.

This is actually intentional and makes perfect sense:

If you do not stop the Hellknights going nuclear in their “search”, which is building up to a full-blown Inquisition complete with wanton torture, you intentionally demonstrate zero interest in your subjects’ wellfare, zero regard for their safety or even their rights, which should matter extremely to a Lawful Evil character actually… while Hellknights are also LE in general, that doesn’t remotely change the fact that these subjects are your subjects, not theirs, your lawful charges, and thus bound and protected by your laws.

If you choose to ignore their plight completely, and even choose to demonstrate to them that even though you say you’re running an LE kingdom, that they aren’t protected by any of those supposed laws even when entirely innocent, it’s perfectly obvious and logical to take a massive Loyalty hit.

“If the king doesn’t give a shit about us, why should we give a shit about him”, as the peasants would put it.

I agree with you, and in fact was fine with the first 2-3 kingdom stat hits that resulted because I assumed it would lead somewhere. The problematic part is that there is no way to intervene at a later date. You can’t talk to them, attack them, or have your military drive them out. It would be solved simply by having one interactable Hellknight who you can approach at any time to start the “baron has intervened” branch of the quest.

As it stands, and when it lasts for months as it did for me, it’s nothing but a massive penalty for roleplaying one certain alignment, which the others don’t suffer. In any case, I haven’t complained before this moment about the quest design, only asked if I had encountered a bug with Darven not appearing for so long.

A better-designed quest would take that into account, sure - but Deal with the Devil doesn’t acknowledge any other Lawful approach besides allowing the interrogations to continue.

Yeah, that’s the problem with backer-designed quests like that… they are often much less reactive or fleshed-out as the official quests; that is actually why I’m against the idea of allowing random people to write quests via Pledge Tiers in the first place.

Narrative quest design should be left to the people who do it professionally, and especially to those who are doing all the other quests within a game, in my opinion… there is, after all, the whole thing about too many cooks and all that.

I don’t necessarily mind isolated, self-contained “pledge-quests” as such - the reason Deal with the Devil is such a problem is because there’s no way to avoid triggering it. Linxia will show up in your throne room whether you like it or not. If that hadn’t been the case, if you had to go to a specific location to talk to her and initiate the quest, I imagine it would have been received much differently.

The real problem with this quest is its atrocious writing and its immersion-breaking unwillingness to offer players dialogue options they would actually want to choose. Essentially players are forced to watch poorly written cutscenes while having the illusion of agency which is pretty much a textbook example of poor game design.

Pillars 1 also allowed backers to commandeer portions of the game in exchange for cash, and it suffered from the same problems. There are just way, way too many wealthy players who think being able to crank out fanfiction means they have genuine talent.