A League Of Our Own
(If you are playing on the permanent Standard League, you can skip this page.)
If you've followed my recommendation, your character has been created in the current league - as of this writing, Delve (which started at the start of September 2018 and is expected to end in December).
This page is about the mechanics of the Delve League, and will update with the release of future leagues. Previous league information can be found in the Mechanics Reference under Past Leagues.
The Azurite Mine
While questing through the world or playing through the endgame Map system, you'll come across deposits of Voltaxic Sulphite. These deposits are essentially a "fuel" that allows you to access the League's primary mechanic. Clicking on a deposit collects it, and displays a small indicator at the top-right of your screen showing how much room you have for more Sulphite before you need to use some.
Shortly after you start your character, you'll meet Nico the Mad, who will invite you to his mining encampment. From the encampment, you'll be able to access the Azurite Mine, a new area specific to Delve League.
The Azurite Mine is an infinite series of dungeons in which you descend into a dark mine following a 'Crawler' that illuminates the darkness. Leaving the Crawler's light causes you to take rapidly increasing (and soon fatal) damage, but there are chests to be found along the Crawler's path. Your goal is to keep up with the Crawler, fend off waves of attacking monsters, and keep up with the light as it travels (lest you be left behind in the hungering darkness).
The Azurite Mine is infinite and procedurally generated both horizontally and vertically. The deeper you descend into the depths, the more difficult the monsters and the greater your rewards.
Once you've gained access to the Mine, you can use your Sulphite to power expeditions ("Delves") into the dark. While at the Crawler, you can click any icon on the map that is connected to areas you've already explored to begin a Delve towards that location.
Once you begin a Delve, the Crawler will begin to move at a moderate pace through the dark. Monsters based in the darkness will begin to attack you, and are vulnerable only within the Crawler's light radius. These monsters are fairly dangerous, often more so than the monsters you're fighting during your normal adventures, and you need to fend them off while keeping up with the Crawler. If you die during the Delve, your progress is reset back to the start, and you lose any Sulphite consumed by the Crawler during that Delve (you do, however, keep any items you've looted).
Once you reach the end of each Delve path, you'll be rewarded (depending on the area) with equipment, Skill Gems, Azurite (see below for more on Azurite) or other rewards.
Flares & Dynamite
To assist you in hunting for treasure off of the main path, you have two tools available to you: Flares and Dynamite. Each is thrown via a special hotkey (by default, '6' and '7', but you can change this via the 'Input' options menu).
Flares create a small area of light at your feet that lasts a short period of time. This light acts the same as the light from the Crawler, making you safe from the darkness' damage and making nearby monsters vulnerable to damage. Flares take a moment to light up, so make sure not to wait until the very last second to throw one!
Dynamite allows you to blast through Fractured Walls found deep in the darkness off of the main path. Blowing open a wall can reveal secret side rooms with special loot. These walls are relatively rare, so don't be too discouraged if you don't see one for a while.
Both Flares and Dynamite are purchased and upgraded by spending Azurite (see below).
Azurite is a mineral you can collect in Delves that will allow you to apply permanent upgrades for your Delving throughout the league. It's found in deposits throughout the Azurite Mine as one of the more common room types, and can be collected simply by touching it (no need to click).
In addition to purchasing and upgrading Flares and Dynamite, you can purchase:
- Increases to your Sulphite capacity, allowing you to collect more without wasting it while in the open world.
- Darkness Resistance, which reduces the damage dealt to you in the darkness of the mine.
- Light Radius, which makes the Crawler brighter (and thus allows you to explore a little bit more without leaving the light).
Fossils & Resonators
In addition to more normal weapon, armor, and currency rewards, the Azurite Mine offers powerful crafting options using Fossils available from Delves. Fossils allow you to influence the crafting of an item by skewing the distribution of its modifiers. For example, one Fossil reads "More Chaos Modifiers, No Lightning Modifiers".
Fossils are used by socketing them in to Resonator items, available at moderate Azurite cost from Nico. Once all the sockets in a Resonator are filled, it can be used like a currency item to modify equipment.
Since this sort of crafting is relatively difficult, and since Fossils will likely hold some moderate value throughout the League, I would recommend that new players simply save their Fossils and sell them later on. But that is, of course, up to you.
Should I do Delves while leveling?
Yes, although you don't strictly speaking have to. Nico will dig a central mineshaft as you level so that you don't have to do all the early-game Delves once you've vastly outleveled them.
Why did my Crawler's light vanish?
Some monsters in the mine use an 'EMP' skill that temporarily disables the Crawler's light.