A small critique of the gameplay

it doesn’t. You can be done with the main campaign and move on to the next difficulty in around 20 hours if you explore everything, 12 or so if you rush it.

I assume your 64 hours are from playing the same areas over and over, maybe on separate chars. It definitely is way longer than anyone would reasonably take to complete the first difficulty.

I am not suggesting anything, I am saying you are wrong to say the game is too easy when all you ever did was play the easiest difficulty of it (Veteran or not). If you do not like the game, don’t play it. If you like it, you can be in the next difficulty in far less time than that. So nowhere am I suggesting playing 100+ hours to see if it finally becomes fun for you.

I do not see how GD is worse wrt attack patterns etc. than other ARPGs. I think ARPGs are just not for you, go play Dark Souls or something like that.

Because Normal/Veteran is an entry difficulty, it’s not meant to be incredibly difficulty. The difficulty is supposed to rise the further you play. And nope, it still invalidates your criticism because you are impying the game is easy as a whole and not just Normal/Veteran, and your stubborness to not try the later difficulties just tells me you want to be locked into this mentality.

You also can reach Elite in less than 10 hours, 20 hours to reach Ultimate. So no, the game doesn’t take 100 hours to get difficult.

“Feeling” is not really something you can use a basis for criticism. You have to actually try before you can criticise anything. Just saying it feels like you don’t have to means nothing to the devs. Specially when you are using the first difficulty as a basis for that criticism and the game has two more difficulties.

This kind of contradicts your statement that the game doesn’t require any attention. If anything can get your health low enough to force you to use a potion, well, sounds to me like you need to pay attention.

You have opinion based only on Normal so you didn’t experience anything you want. As I said, you should try naked crucible or high sr shards (if you want some more boss-fighting game mode oriented than crowd one).

If you don’t want to grind your way to hard content then download gd stash.

Wolcen had bad start, most skill tree and skills were not working as intended so it could looks hard. I was “lucky” to choose bleeding edge at start and my whole campaign playtrough was tottally deathless, it’s gonna be even easier for less-broken builds in time when developers will correct bugs. For hardest mechanical fights arpgs are not good choice, soulsborne series or dragons dogma should be better.

So your critique is that the game should be hard from the very start, and not only on later difficulties.

Apart from the fact that Veteran exists, which is a pretty big reason to not take your opinion seriously (Veteran is punishingly hard), you fail to notice that the dev team wants to sell as many copies of the game as they can. If the game was hard from the beginning, it would sell much worse than it actually has.

The reality is that the average player does not want (and oftentimes cannot handle) a more difficult game, at least out the gate.

For those that do, however, we added means for additional challenge through Veteran difficulty, Roguelike dungeons, superbosses and more recently (with Forgotten Gods) the means to start on a higher difficulty at level 1.

Anyone claiming solo-self found from level 1 on Ultimate difficulty is “too easy” is either a gaming god or lying.


They’re over the time I first bought Grim Dawn in … 2014? And I’ve also started anew every now and then when some friend wanted to play the game. I don’t think any of the people played the game for long or outside co-op, unfortunately.

I don’t think I can be wrong in saying how I feel about the game and how it appears to me in the time I’ve played it.

Maybe it gets interesting later in, but I haven’t seen that happen and I don’t feel like pushing for that either. I’m not convinced it would offer me the things I like the most in ARPGs or ARPG-like games - that is, in games combining some sort of building with some sort of character-based combat and some sort of grinding. I think it would have the potential though. That’s why I’m giving the critique - in case a developer happens to read it and takes some ideas from it for later developments or another game. They don’t have to, though. Up to them to decide if there’s anything worthwhile in my text or not.

I’ve been saying that I don’t play it.

Dark Souls is a ARPG, isn’t it? Not isometric sure, and with less build variety than Grim Dawn, but still.

I think Wolcen has some fun stuff regarding attack patterns and skill timings even though it’s very early to say how it’ll turn out. D2 (but again, I risk the nostalgia factor here - I haven’t played D2 in a long time now) boss fights were pretty interesting and challenging if you were following progression and didn’t have a cheesy build (which at the time we didn’t really know about all too much - that’s one big problem with ARPGs nowadays, the Internet hivemind makes finding the optimal builds very easy. Hence, I feel, these games need to compensate with more complex and engaging game mechanics. But that’s just my opinion). There’s a bunch of older console games that had fun combat systems, including the likes of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and so on. Maybe there’s some newer ones too on consoles, but I haven’t had a console in a long time, so idk…

This Reddit post from a year ago echoes my own sentiment: https://www.reddit.com/r/truegaming/comments/9rugmb/topdown_arpgs_should_innovate_borrow_new_gameplay/ Happened on it while googling for some things.

When I read these forums, I don’t find much support for the idea that elite got much more interesting tbh. Nor did it in my experience in the first act, at least. Plus many of the other things I’ve mentioned aren’t fixed by giving monsters more health and more damage and lowering player resistances, which seem to be the main thing you get when going up the difficulties without the expansions.

I’ve played the game for 64 hours so obviously I’ve tried.

I’m not interested, at this time, in playing it more alone just in case it did eventually start needing more complex skill cycling; require more compromises in my build; needed me to learn mob and boss patterns and start answering smartly to them; etc.

It needs that only at times. It’s also the least possible amount of attention it might need and it gets very straightforward to do that very fast.

Nowadays I expect a bit more from ARPGs. You might not. The developers might simply feel that I am not their audience. I am fine with that. But I do think that it would be possible to satisfy all parties in this thread with some changes to the core game design. Maybe not for this game anymore, but in the future.

Not necessarily. It’s not only about difficulty. It’s also about:

  • Enemy special attacks that require reacting to.
  • Needing to make clear compromises with build and gear choices.
  • Having distinguishable attack patterns on enemies.
  • More complex or worthwhile skill interactions when playing in co-op.
  • And maybe some other stuff I can’t right now remember.

I’ve literally only played Veteran and I finished normal on Veteran Hardcore without losing a single HC character or having played against the mobs or bosses of the act before that playthrough. It wasn’t hard. There was a few times I almost died, but they were mostly due to lag, or because I had my hand on the wrong part of the keyboard and was drinking Energy pots instead of Health.

But again, it’s not just difficulty - it’s also about having more things I need to learn and need to respond to and need to time and play around of.

I don’t think either of us in the position to say for sure what kind of design would sell the best. But again, not all of my points are tied to difficulty, and I’ve only played Vet, so.

So I need to buy an additional expansion to see if there’s content in the game that I would find exciting game-mechanics wise. Well, jokes aside, I just might, at least when it’s in discount, as I sincerely like what you guys have done with Grim Dawn even though I’ve found myself not playing it anymore or being drawn to it right now. It’s a good game. I just feel there’s a bunch of things it could have done better from early on.

Hah, well I don’t necessarily disagree. We’ve got our own list of things we could/should have done better, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

That said, we actually upped the difficulty on Veteran significantly just a few patches ago because it completely lost its appeal as a harder mode. If even that higher difficulty is too easy for you, then the reality is that you are simply a more advanced player than most and fall on the edge of what the difficulties were created to support.

I do think you’ll find a low level Ultimate difficulty run very appealing then though. That’s how I’ve been leveling all of my characters since we’ve added it, although I have been dying a lot in it since I’m helplessly reckless (hardcore is not for me!). Then again, that might be cause I can’t help but click all the new Monster Totems, which are brutal on Ultimate at such a level.


Did you ever play Diablo 2?


He can’t do that. He hasn’t reached ultimate even once and doesn’t have the drive to do so the first time.

1 Like

Then doesn’t that give him an incentive to do so?

Maybe, but i had similar gripes on other games so I kinda know the feeling of not wanting to go far just to see the goodies. Also only pointed that out in case Z didn’t notice.

Mm, if that’s so, I just might try the current vet with one of our HC characters if I can get one of my GD friends play.

Well, it’s not just difficulty per say. For example, one can have a monster that has a special ability which is almost certain to wipe out a party if it connects with the players, but it can also be easy to dodge and be obviously dangerous to be close to. So you can ease players in with these sort of mortal but easy-to-avoid attacks and then ramp up the difficulty as one goes by making those attacks harder to avoid or require particular resistances (or status immunities, though I think permanent status immunities are usually not good game design…).

If I’ve understood correctly, the expansions add more bosses with a bigger (and more lethal) variety of special attacks. So yeah I might try those out one day.

Quite many times, but most of the times were before it was trivial to find the best cheesy builds and the rune recipes. Last time we played it I think we had 5 people, put player count to 8, and were bored with the simplicity before reaching half way through the first act. D2 sure is an aged game. What I remember it for is three things; Great atmosphere, boss fights that were hard and interesting on the first time if you hadn’t grinded and didn’t have a cheesy build, and dying in the jungle act to a bunch of stacked lightning attacks.

1 Like

obviously you feel how you feel, but your critique is in more absolute terms

and this is patently wrong, certainly for many bosses (not so much for most mobs, but those are cannon fodder anyway)

I guess I meant a Diablo-like game, ARPG is indeed too broad a category to hold any meaning these days.

haven’t played that mess yet. An attack pattern does not need to be shown as a big red blob on the floor though to exist. If that is what you expect, I understand why you say GD does not have any… GD only shows it in the boss animations, not via blobs on the ground.

1 Like

This is why people have been suggesting for you to continue playing till ultimate. You haven’t seen grava null (the only attack that goes through the only 100% invulnerability skill on GD), alex meteor, zantarin shotgun, mad queen pms. What you wanted exists in some form, not extremely sure oneshots (except grava), but gamechanging hits that will easily be avoided if you know the enemy.

Something in your posts does not compute.

You claim that the game does not require you to pay attention to boss patterns or attack timings, yet you claim you finished Veteran without dying even once. The way Veteran currently works, for a new player (so, before finishing Ultimate even once), that’s practically impossible. Try killing Krieg or Bolvar on Veteran, without paying attention to their attacks. Good luck.

If you’re not talking about the new Veteran, then everything you said is beside the point, because this new Veteran and the old Veteran are radically different.

He bought GD in 2014, when vet was ridiculously easy even for me when I haven’t had any experience yet. Maybe that’s why.

Dude, he hasn’t seen Emberguards in Mourndale, let alone those bosses

Zantarin is vanilla. Mq is vanilla (and is actually in normal). Hell, vanilla has fucking sentinel who’s very hard if you don’t know him.

I am pretty sure he never saw Mad Queen or Sentinel, they are not something you run into randomly while not paying attention

Lox is ultimate only now? Pretty sure I saw her on normal but it’s been a very long time since I played on lower difficulties.