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

So I tried this with a Demolistionist with Fireblast + Blackwater Cocktail + Flashbang. And I banged my head against the Warden over and over and I finally got him!

And then he turned into his second form, where he’s much stronger. Hahahahah.

Ok, so that didn’t work.

So last night, I said, you know what, my Devouring Swarm is badass, let me try it with that. So I started over with a Shaman. I got to the Warden and I kicked his ass at level 10!

But no achievement!

D’oh! I completely forgot to change the difficulty to Veteran when I got to him. No wonder he went down so easy compared to when I tried it with the Demolitionist. D’OH!

Oh well, might try it again tonight. These kinds of speed runs are actually a lot of fun.

My highest level character is a Demolitionist who started out by maxing Blackwater Cocktail with a single point here and there in other skills as needed. You can get the size of the fire pretty large once you can overlevel it with items and it just melts enemies for the first few acts. I think it was one of my easiest experiences with the Warden as I could just focus on kiting him while letting the fire take him down over time.

That didn’t work for me. I do have Blackwater Cocktail maxed, but it doesn’t seem to do enough damage to him to overcome his natural health generation when he’s in his second form.

They must have either nerfed it or I had some decent items that boosted it further. That’s too bad.

Since I had to rush through to the Warden, yeah, my equipment is really, really poor. Just terrible. So if you had equipment helping you in any way, I have none of that. In fact, even the equipment that does drop for me that’s decent requires me to be level 16.

So, if you have them in your stash, use a bunch of those buffing potions and oils. There are some really good ones for low-end DPS (there is a bleeding one that gives a chance for a significant bleed).

Pretty much any class you kite with is what you want so it doesn’t need to be a demolitionist, it just made it easier with his defense lowered with flashbang and burned to death. I just took a look at his stats and it looks like his lowest resistance is poison. So maybe an Occultist (which also has max health reduction and a bleed dot) would give you a higher DPS.

So, I’ve been really addicted to this lately playing it on the Xbox. Early on, with all the undead, the post-apocalyptic setting, and different factions, (and going with dual pistols) I kept getting Walking Dead vibes. And now I gotta kill a Neegan-like (Cronley) who’s gone power-mad and whose own people are trying to cut ties with him.

The Telltale Walking Dead games were great, but it would have been awesome to have the dialogue/character interaction of that game with ARPG gameplay mechanics of Grim Dawn. Hell, I would take a turnbased Divinity: OS type game. Where are the zombie apocalypse RPGs?


I feel like I can retire from gaming now.

Seriously though, this fight SSSSUUUUUUUCKED. Level 86 my ass. This was a pure hit point sponge slog.

Congrats! That boss is a giant pain in the ass.

Going to necro this thread - I started playing GD to pass the time until Diablo IV, and it has a fascinating and very complicated skill and devotion system. I’ve watched some Youtube walkthroughs and read some sites, but can anyone recommend a good starter build for a soldier class? I feel like I am just adding points for the sake of adding points at this point.


Have you not chosen a second class yet? Only Soldier? What level are you?

This is the tool I use to come up with builds.

The main thing to remember is that lowering resists of the enemy usually ends up working out better for damage than raising your own damage does. And when you are raising your own damage, I forgot the rule there, but I think it was something like, raising base damage is better than percentage damage increase on a particular damage type, which then gets multiplied by the percentage increases you have.

If you’re a Soldier, I would suggest maybe looking at 2 handed damage. If you haven’t chosen a second class yet, my own personal favorite is to combine it with Shaman to create a Warder, or to combine it with Necromancer to create a DeathKnight, or if you want to use a shield, combine it with an Oathkeeper to create a Warlord. All 3 of those have excellent synergies for the Soldier.

The other advice I would give is to stay away from Skills that look great on paper on the website, but don’t feel that satisfying to use. Skills like “Word of Pain” and “Drain Essence”, for instance. Very unsatisfying to use. And there’s plenty of skills that feel so great to use, so why settle?

Thanks! I started as a soldier/demolitionist, got to 20 and realized that I don’t know what I am doing, hehe. So I think I am going to start over with a soldier/oath keeper.

Can’t really go wrong with Soldier and anything else because at worst, soldier gives some nice bonuses combat stuff like physique, OA, DA, elemental resist, stuff like that.

The trick with Grim Dawn is to focus on a damage channel. My last soldier build was with a necro = Death Knight. From level 1 through to, I think he is level 97 now, I’ve respecced skills and devotions so many times based on the items I find. Generally speaking, I’m focused on aether and/or vitality damage, and better if I find some gear that lets me convert aether to vitality damage (or vice-versa). I am sure now that the latest iteration of the build has a focus on life steal with reaping strike and harbinger of souls from the necro line, and .

Good advice from Strato. GD is a game that is less and less forgiving as you progress through the game, in general, you want to min/max your direction. Focus on one damage type, with a minor in something related that you also pick up on the trees. Shaman with a focus on 2h weapons and lightning for example. Can either be ranged or melee. Soldier is a decent base class, and can pair with quite a few different 2nd classes. Look through the trees and pick the class that offers the damage type you’re interested in, and go all in on that damage type.

A lot of the fun of GD comes in discovering all those synergies.

And if you do end going back to Demolitionist I highly recommend a skill it took me many years of playing to finally give a real chance, and that’s the Blackwater Cocktail (I think, the Molotov cocktail knockoff). It’s one of those skills that needs points put into it before it really starts to get good and satisfying, but it’s great to watch it melt a giant area of enemies long before they can touch you.

That character with dual wielding ranged focused on fire damage quickly became my highest level character ever.

I have a Defiler where I recall vaguely at some point I had the cocktail at level 20/12 - it ended up being some massive nuke I could toss on the screen and yeah, melt stuff. I think it was the blazeseer set I also had equipped plus some other item. I tried to pair it well with the thermite mines but those ended up being more disappointing than expected. Thermite mines were good in theory, and in the early game, but again, specced them out for something else. And in the end, my Defiler went through another redevelopment based on gear I was unlocking in the high 90’s. Which brings another point that is to not get too attached to your gear. Start hitting HP walls, it probably means you need to upgrade your loot. Even green items are good!

I thought the main reason to use Thermite mines was to reduce resistances of the enemy? They lower Cold, Electric, Fire, Aether and Chaos resistances, so there’s a lot of possibilities on pairing it with something that knocks their socks off right?

Yep defintely! But you need the enemies to walk through, near, around them. I don’t know what sort of range they have beyond the animation on the ground. They could work if it were a melee build, and indeed my Defiler was rocking a 2 handed axe at some point. But I still didn’t feel like they were contributing much, and devoting those precious skill points elsewhere seemed the better option. Plus less work placing the mine, killing a group, placing a mine, killing a group, placing a mine, killing a straggler.

My Purifier (I always have one character in an ARPG that’s not hardcore, just so that I can see the whole campaign) who got to level 90s just couldn’t kill stuff without the mines. Everything I would shoot at just wouldn’t die on that last difficulty level without the mines to lower their resists first.

The way I would use them: if you’re familiar with ranged characters, you know we’re always running away a lot, then turning around and shooting. So for the best way I found to place the mines is actually to throw them while I’m running away, before I turn around and shoot. Since the enemy is chasing me, even though I throw the mines away from them originally, by the time I turn around and shoot, they step on the mines, and the lower resists mean that I can do damage to them.

Yeah I just opened my character in the build calculator to have a look and see what I was doing, and he ended up being in the process of a respec. No gear, but I must’ve laid out some skills because I’ve maxed Hellfire Mines (the skill that drops resistance in the thermite mine skill), and then also maxed out the Drain Essence skill set in the Necro skills. I don’t have any devotion skills assigned, but I daresay I’d be using the mines to proc a devotion skill, which is value in itself I guess.

I wouldn’t mind betting I hit a wall in the game and decided some sort of aether attack was best. Or I just wanted to try something stupid like setting Drain Essence to my default attack.

Meanwhile, back on the point about maxing damage channels, my Death Knight build is rocking +1506% aether damage and +906% vitality damage. And I’ve got a weapon (Soulsplitter) that does aether damage, and other gear to bolster other parts of my build, which ties nicely with reaping strike levelled to 21/10? Patch might’ve change the value maybe. I’m guessing he too was still in some sort of respec flux, trying different things. But clearly built around reaping strike :)