Grim Dawn - An ARPG from Crate (ex Iron Lore aka Titan Quest devs)

A hardcore death this weekend really hurt. It was my Skyfire Grenado build. An Elementalist with heavy investment all around in Lightning damage. From the Lightning pole for the Shaman to the fast Primal Strike, to Grenado from the Demolitionist with the Lightning modifier.

I was doing great in multiplayer, but because our characters were in different parts of the campaign, I had ended up skipping a part of the campaign after the Broken Hills. So after my multiplayer session with my friend was over on Friday, on Saturday I went to single player to finish that section because I hate having outstanding quests on my quest log. And when I entered the Steps of Torment (not the Skeleton key area, just the regular dungeon), I fought something that killed me really fast in one of those big bone graveyard areas. I’m still not sure what exactly killed me. My resists were fairly decent, and nothing was next to me that I saw, so it probably wasn’t melee damage.

In Hardcore I wish there was like a post-mortem screen of some kind, which at least showed you what killed you.

If I had to bet, I’d say reflect damage got you on a big attack.

One thing I noticed this weekend is that my hardcore blacksmith crafting list is nowhere near as full as it is for my immortal characters. This makes sense of course. Most of my hardcore characters all die around level 40-45. My hardcore iteration of the Night King died at level 60, so I think he was the highest hardcore character I had when he died.

What I need to do is get at least one character in hardcore up there so they’re able to get more crafting recipes, like my immortal characters have. I also need one character to get in good graces will all the factions so that I can buy the recipes available at all the faction vendors.

I’ve been too scared to go to the new expansion area so far with any of my hardcore characters. I haven’t had any immortal character go to that area yet and not die repeatedly, so I’m not really ready to brave that area in hardcore yet.

I recently started playing the game (my highest level character was 61) and I’m trying Lifting Nerd Bro’s Templar but it’s a little…vanilla. I’m also playing a conjurer in parallel and the damage from pets is pretty good but I’ve never been a huge fan of summoner builds so I’m looking for something a little different.

Can someone recommend me one of the more unique builds GD offers (thorns doesn’t count!), that would make even a seasoned Path of Exile player raise his brow? Or alternatively, a solid rogue/spellblade build, or maybe something like that Salazar guy in one of the early dungeons?

Vitality Dervish

That’s a phys/vitality based build with no conversions (other than what you can get on the tree), that’s good for leveling. It’s a combo of ranged attack (phantasmal blades), with a buildup melee mechanic. The combo of phys and vit covers a lot of ground in terms of enemy resists, so it works on pretty much everything. Justifiable ends also gives you a pretty strong poison dot, that’s fairly easy to support on leveling gear, as you often find poison/vit paired on gear. It’s good for kiting tough mobs, as you can warp in, apply the dot, then get back to range and spam phantasmal blades.

This is strictly a levelling build, dump a lot of points into phant blades early on. Once you hit 85+ with this, there are a lot of conversions and sets you can get into, but that’s another thread.

This is one of the builds I like for leveling, because it offers a good mix of range and melee support, has pretty good defense, and kills things pretty quickly. There are a ton of other builds that use other 2nd classes, this one was trying to take advantage of the oathkeeper. If you don’t have that, there are some other good vitality based combo builds around.

Thanks! I forgot to mention that I do have all the dlcs.

Do you happen to have gameplay example and leveling guide for the build you linked?

Wow, that’s an interesting build. I’ve tried to build a Dervish 3 times now and died around level 20-22 all 3 times. I never thought of going ranged with Phantasmal Blades.

A few questions: Why do you have the Breath of Belgothian modifier on Pneumatic Burst? The description says that this is a dual wielding skill, but this is clearly not a dual-blade build since you put points into Safeguard, which is a shield bonus. Does Breath of Belgothian give you health regen bonus even without dual-wielding?

The Dreeg’s Reproach modifier on Righteous Fervor turns Fire Damage into Vitality damage. But where do you get fire damage from? Equipment, I’m assuming? It’s frustrating that this build doesn’t have any fire damage without equipment. Righteous fervor itself has two types of damage: Physical and Burn. Physical gets turned into Acid damage by Dreeg’s Reproach, but the Burn damage remains burn damage, sadly. I wish it was fire damage instead, then it would get turned into Vitality bonus, which would then get enhanced by anatomy of murder. Safeguard does give you a boost to Fire Damage, but you have to have fire damage in the first place to boost, and then to convert to vitality damage.

I guess in this build, you’d be on the lookout for one-handed weapons that will give you base fire damage. Then that fire damage gets enhanced by Safeguard, and converted into vitality damage when you do the default attack (Righteous Fervor).

Edit: Now I want to try your Nightblade tree paired with a Necromancer tree instead, really focused on Vitality and Poison damage:

Breath of the Belgothian lowers the cooldown on your heal significantly. There are not a lot of situations you wouldn’t want it.

So it doesn’t require you to dual wield then? It says in the description that it’s a dual-wield skill.

I guess it allows you to dual-wield, but it doesn’t require you to dual-wield to get the bonus.

Correct. If you haven’t taken any other skills that allow you to dual wield it will allow you to. As with all other dual wield skills, they work single handed and with a 2-hander. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t dual wield they all function.

No, it’s one of the 10 or so builds I made for oathkeeper when it came out. As far as leveling goes, you can pretty much finish the nightblade side of it before you even get into the oathkeeper stuff. There are a lot of different ways to tweek this build as well, you can dump all the shield stuff and go duel wield, and get guardian of empyrion, scion of dreeg, and celestial presence, which makes for a really offensive build that takes more advantage of the righteous fervor side of things.

I have a ton of vitality builds, I showed this one because you mentioned ‘spellblade’, and this build sort of walks that line between a caster and a melee, and can really be played both ways depending on a few skill choices. It’s nice to have a phys fallback, for times when vit damage doesn’t cut it. There are a few places in the game where vit damage really sucks.

This is far from a min/max sort of build, it’s meant to be used to level, and can be done with just stuff you find as you level. It’s a good early “all rounder” sort of build, if you don’t already have a lot of gear and mats built up. Once you get it high enough, you can start goofing around with conversions.

Phantasmal Blades/vit is one of the best leveling skills in the game, at least for me. It’s easy to gear for with mountain deep farming runs, and it’s a “shotgun” kind of skill, so your real DPS against boss mobs is 3 times what’s listed for DPS, as that listing is per shard thrown. If you get in a bosses face with PB, you can really melt them quickly, especially if you get some resist reduction going. It’s also very good because it has a good amount of damage to health.

Here’s a more streamlined version of the build that’s more offensive. This is a serious boss melter.
Full vitality resist reduction dervish

Thanks, I’ll be sure to give it a shot!

I went back to my highest hardcore character that’s still alive, which is another version of the Night King.

I’ve been too scared to go into the new expansion area, since I die there so often in softcore, but after finishing Act IV, I did finish the Ugdenbog area (Act V) and last night I was in Malmouth’s Candle district. Gosh, I just love this area so much. This has got to be my favorite area in an any CRPG ever. I just love going house to house to house, crossing bridges, going on courtyards, going up the stairs, going into narrow alleyways. It’s such a unique area. I also love the bog area with all the poison plants too, that’s also very unique. I love the way the enemies there move with their long mutated arms. Great stuff.

I’m always scared of these areas in hardcore, so I sometimes skip them and choose to start over on Elite instead, but man, when I do take the plunge, these two are the areas I enjoy the most.

My shotgun Oppressor died in Act 3 yesterday. I had my damage dealing turned up to the max, but I didn’t have my basic resists up. I ended up dying to a boss who did lightning damage. I had a lightning resist of 29%, so I died almost instantly. My friend playing with me had max lightning resist, and almost died to the same boss. I had no chance. By Act 3 I really need to get my basic elemental resists to max.

If that build is correct you didn’t have a single component slotted. You would probably see an increase in survivability if you used even some of the basic resist ones.

True. It’s a habit from my softcore characters. I usually don’t bother doing that until I’m done with Veteran difficulty (or at least not until I’m at Fort Ikon). I should change that habit.

Haunted Steel in weapons are mandatory for me in Hardcore as soon as you can slot it. The lifesteal + power it grants are excellent.

I had the urge to try a class combination I’d never considered before, so I started a Deceiver in the Crucible last night. Maybe something aiming towards Chaos damage, with Vitality damage mixed in, and two healing spells for survivability. I’ll probably disable the node needing two-handed weapons if I find a good shield or off-hand.

New patch dropped for Grim Dawn

New DLC too

Given the support Crate keep of giving to the game, I’ve already got the cosmetic DLC in my cart.