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


Got a little bored plowing through Malmouth with my pure Arcanist and created a gun-slinging Apostate.

I need to stop playing this game.


That’s what I keep saying. I was going to play something else this weekend, but it never happened. I was going through my equipment and was thinking I have a ton of good gear for a sword and board tank class, was thinking Death Knight, but I really don’t want to start again.


me three


I was in the Conflagration near Homestead. And since I wasn’t dying, when I used the dynamite and got to the area where you have to use the Skeleton key, I did something impulsive, and I used it!

This is my Purifier. I was on fire. I was killing star enemies left and right, I was killing purple enemies too. And then my wife called from downstairs, pissed that I wasn’t doing my Sunday chores yet. So I paused the game, and went to work.

A few hours later, I alt-tabbed back into the game, and played for 30 seconds and died. Gah, that long break really broke me out of my spell. I was playing so well, so carefully. This area is really good, you guys. I’d recommend it whole-heartedly over using the Skeleton key in the Steps of Torment, where I usually use it and die in the first chamber where the door closes. And if I don’t die in there, then I die in the second chamber where the door closes. At least in this area, I had lots of room to run around and shoot enemies. To lay down my traps, to use my various abilities. It was just a very cool run. And I think I played the area for about 40 minutes before I was called away (and then died).

Next character, I’m definitely going to try that area again. That was very cool. I thought all the areas like that sucked because of Steps of Torment, but that’s not the case!


The Cabalist is pretty faceroll on Veteran. I was able to one-shot the Loghorrean and I’ve got a nice little mini-army of 12 guys – 8 skeletons, the Blight Fiend, the Familiar, the Hellhound, and a revenant summoned by the ‘Black Grimoire of Og Napesh’ offhand. I mostly just stand around and let them do their thing.

Fun times!


playing a class like Purifier is what makes it really show how gamepad doesn’t quite cut it for me. You often want to put the storm cube thing on a target in the back line so the tether cuts through more guys but that’s super hard to do for me with the gamepad. If you just run around shooting the closest thing though it works pretty well.


I would love a little advice from people who know what they’re doing.

I’m playing a Ritualist because I love pets. I just killed Cronley, and my guy maybe level 33. But my pets are starting to die off more often in battle and I’m wondering if there is anything I can do for them. Current skills are:

Devouring Swarm as my main attack (got 8 or so in that)
Briarthorn (18)
Raise Skeletons (18)
Undead Legion (6)
Blight Fiend (9)
Heart of the Wild (2 points)

For Devotions I got Sailor’s Guide and perhaps Jackal and I’m currently working through Wendigo since I read the end ability is good to put on your pets.

Basic play is to spam Devouring Swarm and let the pets take care of things. But they’re starting to get chewed up more and more and I see the writing on the wall. The gear I have adds to their damage (+77%) and life (maybe 20%) but I’ve seen nothing with respect to pet resists (which I understand is important later).

Any suggestions?


My initial thought is your too spread out in your skills. My best characters focus on 2-3 trees. Get those built up as fast as possible. At the same time, only one or two damage types and try to limit equipment and supporting skills to that type of damage. Does Devouring Swarm support your skeletons well for instance?

I would dump one of the pet types and throw those 18 points into the other.


Devouring Swarm is (I believe) a bleed skill, and the only attack skill I have All of the other skills are pet skills:
Skeletons + Undead Legion
Blight Fiend

Heart of the Wild is a passive.

One thing I do see in a couple of builds is just putting one point into the big pets (Briarthorn and Blight Fiend) and rushing to other things (like the Wendigo Totem or the Blight Fiend aura). Just trying to figure out how to increase their survivability.


The third skill in this chain (Will of the Crypt) is the one that makes the Skeletons stronger. Each point increases their armor. It also gives them vitality resistance, but obviously that’s only relevant against enemies that do vitality damage. But armor should help them a lot.

Also try to find Devotions that give the pets resistances. There’s a few scrattered all over the place. I know it seems more desirable to have them do more damage, but eventually in Act 5, I was also forced to seek out devotions that added Poison resistance, for instance.


I was thinking about this today, I have only played a Necro for about 10 levels, but my main is mostly Shaman (with some soldier stuff). Basically I play it as a tank with a strong pet. Oak skin in Mogdroggen’s Pact tree would help your skeletons as well, but that would be more if you are aiming to take this character past Normal difficulty since it’s kind of expensive. Especially when you are trying to get Wendigo too. Just playing around the calculator, there just isn’t a good way to do it. It gets expensive fast.

At any rate your briathorn shouldn’t be dying easy, but it’s an expensive chain of skills. Mine is pretty tough, but I was putting a lot into it and support skills. On ultimate with the help of totems, it survives for a long time without me having to baby sit it.


Last night I chose Kymon’s faction over the Death cult, because they sounded like they would sell me guns.

And boy was I right. Their normal vendors had yellow guns that not only better than the green guns I was using, they do more DPS than even the empowered versions of blue guns I have in my shared stash from previous characters. They do 48-90 damage, and I’ve never seen one handed guns that do that much damage and have 18% increased attack speed on top of that.

Unfortunately, this means that I’ve got nothing in my stash anymore that I’m looking forward to switching to eventually. Even the level 65 gun I have in my inventory doesn’t do nearly this much damage.

On the bright side, hey, I’m kicking a lot of ass right now. I’m tempted to craft a skeleton key and see if the Steps of Torment would still annihilate me like they usually do.


How exactly does the Crucible work, in terms of rewards? I thought originally it was based on the score, but after dying and receiving crap at 1.5 million points I decided to restart at Wave 100. I only went to wave 120, getting barely 400,000 points, but the loot was substantially better.

From that I infer there’s a substantial death penalty and it’s based on the wave you reach, not necessarily the score. Is that right? Or if I had not died at the same wave with 1.5 million points, would I have received much better rewards?

This little DLC is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t explain the mechanics anywhere, even things like… what’s the difference between Aspirant/Challenger/Gladiator difficulties? My resists didn’t seem to drop from Aspirant to Challenger like I thought they did from Normal->Elite in the campaign?


I always stayed away from the Crucible even though I wanted excuses to pay Crate more money.

Where does it take place? Is it more open areas or enclosed rooms and dungeons?


It’s a fun little DLC, despite my complaint about lack of information on how specifically things work. It still gets a thumbs up from me.

You select whether you want to play Crucible from the main menu (instead of the campaign). Characters can freely do both, they’re not locked into one mode or the other.

Once you enter the game, you’ll be on one of a handful pre-designed arenas. There’s plenty of room to maneuver (with cover to boot), but it’s definitely an arena, not an open map. Scattered around the arena are nodes where you can build defenses via a Tribute resource you earn by defeating waves of enemies. These defenses can be further upgraded as you go, just taking more Tributes and Iron.

You can also spend Tributes on other things, such as powerful 20-minute buffs for your arena run. If you hit Wave 50 and 100, you can spend Tributes at the start of a Crucible map to restart at those checkpoints, instead of Wave 1.

One of the fantastic things you can spend Tribute points on is Devotion points, like you get from Shrines. I think there’s a cap on how many Devotion points you earn in this way, and the Tribute cost scales based on how many points you’ve already earned. Needless to say, it’s a great way of picking up a quick constellation with a new character. Crucible is also an extremely fast way of leveling up to L20 or so (and still fast thereafter). It’s how I tend to start new characters now. I go to the main game, get one quick level so I have a skill to use, then blast the Crucible to jumpstart a new character.

Anyway, back to the Crucible and how it works. Once you begin, waves of enemies start coming out and attacking you. You have a timer counting down, and if you are able to defeat that wave in the allotted time, you get a Score Multiplier (up to 10x). Killing bosses seems to give you a boost to your time.

At the completion of every 10 waves, you’re given the opportunity to either continue for another 10 or to “cash out” and claim your rewards (EDIT: Wanted to clarify that monsters don’t drop any loot themselves, although there’s a Vital Essence to restore all your constitution/health/energy at the end of each wave. All rewards come form the chests at the end). If you claim your rewards, you get a massive spike of XP and a door opens to a treasure room. This room is filled with chests, the quantity and quality of which is based on either the score or the wave you reached. This is a fantastic way of getting gear for your characters as well as Blueprints you might be missing.

It really is a lot of fun. It’s not a replacement game mode, I’d never just play that, but I love it as a side dish to the main campaign. And like I said, it’s a huge boon for someone with such bad alt-itis as me, as I’m able to very quickly get a solidly geared L20 character whipped up.


Build defenses? Ok, this sounds more interesting than I had ever imagined.

And I’m not immune to the appeal of all those rewards. Like a few extra devotion points? Yes please! There’s never enough of those.

Thanks for the detailed writeup @KevinC. I really appreciate it.


So do I! I’m definitely interested in trying the Crucible now. ;)


I found myself thinking “oooh I should buy this so I can get the devotion points” and then I was all like “what is WRONG with me???”


One class I’m enjoying at the moment is Blademaster – Nightblade/Soldier hybrid. I’m putting skill points into nothing but default/auto-attack abilities, dual wielding, and tacking towards vampirism in gear and devotion.

Against squishy enemies in particular (grobles, skeletons, etc.) it’s pretty cathartic. Just hold down the left mouse button and mow through stuff.


I think I have a Blademaster running around as well, only level 20 or so. I always meant to go back to him eventually. He was fun to play. I would also do the Shadow strike and that rotating blade shield thing too. I was mostly leaning on the Nightblade abilities with that character, focusing on Pierce and Cold damage.