Am I doing something wrong?

Hey guys,

I recently started playing Grim Dawn and now I am not sure if my choices were good.

I want to play a dual wield melee character that can just jump in and survive all encounters. :blush:

Also, if possible, he should do a good amount of damage to shorten the fights. :relieved:

Actually, I am playing like this on epic difficulty:

I finished normal + veteran difficulty at lv 47 and overall it wasn’t really difficult, but there was one thing that confuses me a bit.

I had no problems with normal enemies and most bosses, but most bosses behind these passages only available after detonation and also the end boss in malmouth (3 phases), I just could not kill like everything else.

I had to kite all day long and let my blade spirits do the work. Without them I really had no chance.

Yeah, so the fights are also very easy this way but that is just not the way I want to play.

So, my questions are:

  • Is something wrong with my build?

  • Am I doing something wrong?

  • Is the reaper class even a meaningful choice for my playstyle or would I be better off starting a new character?

Furthermore, there is one thing that I really don’t like about Grim Dawn in general.
The costs for skill respec. I am at 500 gold now, what isn’t much but I read that the costs will rise to about 20000 iron and that is far too much and not theory crafting friendly.

As a new player wanting to jump into dual wield melee, I always suggest starting with blademaster. It will provide the most bang for your buck imo. It will be much more durable in the long run than a reaper will be. Here are a couple of great post detailing some early game to late game strategies for blademaster. They also contain a lot of good general game info relevant to the playstyle you are wanting to enjoy

as to your point about the boss in malmouth, lack of aether resist is the main problem why you arent able to stay toe to toe with him.

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Interestingly the only skill he has enough points in to be worthwhile IS the Blade Spirit… look closely, he is pretty poorly specced for anything other than the thing he claims he doesn’t want to do.

His choices in general are all over the place and poorly-made.

I only glanced at the gt, but yeah. Hes new, so I think the info in StupidDragons post will be quite helpful to him

needing a lot of respecs sounds less like theory crafting and more like trial an error :wink:

Also, 20k is not much in the long run

Plus it takes a whole damned lot of respecs before you get that far along. And most all theorycrafters do their theorycrafting within GrimTools, not within game, as most theorycrafters already have a pretty good idea how everything in the game already behaves. Respecs are mostly for those who don’t know what’s going on.

U need to get a relic and max your resistances (by putting components in your items and from faction augments). that should help you a lot.

A little bit of your insight would be appreciated I’m sure by this new player. :wink:

If you wish to stick with reaper and focus on DW melee I would change your skill points to something like this and farming a couple of those MI axes --> you will want a prefix ideally with physical damage converted to cold or vitality. You also will want to work towards this relic as it will drastically boost your flat damage. Guile one of the precursor component relics is also good to use until then.

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That was my insight into that particular quote… as for build theory I tend to leave that to others. I prefer to give general build advice rather than holding their hand and making a GT for them.

Your GT for him looks much more balanced tho for melee which it sounds like what he was more wanting (and which his original loadout was severely imbalanced for).

He might want to add about 4 more points or so into Pneumatic Burst on level up.

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Thanks to all of you for your replies!

I will gear up my Reaper for now as you advised me @Valinov to maybe play it again later. A big thanks for your GT.

But I think I will restart as Blademaster because if it fits more to my playstyle and is more durable and efficient during campaign and end game there is no reason to do not.

The only thing I am asking myself now is if it would maybe be better to choose another melee weapon type like 2H or SnB.
What I want to say is that if you say that dual wield in general is not a good weapon type / playstyle choice, I would have no problem to play another weapon type (and class) as long it’s no ranged / caster.

Dual wield is honestly the best melee option imo. There are some good twohand builds, but for beginners dw will be more accessible (the notable exception would be primal strike shaman for leveling)

Ok, then my new journey as Blademaster begins :sunglasses:

Have a good day and greetings from Germany!

its because of your resistances, as I always mentioned for newcomers its hard to understand that you can get augmentations via your factions because they arent introduced… try to take all resistance stuff from components and try to reach the reputations of your factions then you can proceed.

Und weil du deutsch sprichst, wenn du irgendwie hilfe brauchst sag bescheid :wink: es ist halt kompliziert erstmal zu verstehen wie das spiel funktioniert. es gibt halt viele mechaniken die nicht wirklich erklärt werden, warum auch immer. Wie erwähnt kannst du deine resis bei den fraktionen pushen und zusätzlich durch komponente sie versuchen auf 80% zu bekommen. Die meisten machen den fehler alles zu horten weil es halt ein lootgame ist. Man sollte aber immer alles verwenden gerade an resi buffs.

keine ahnung wieviele tausend stunden ich schon in gd verbracht habe, aber grundsätzlich ist das spiel gut gebalanced nur fehlt es an manchen ecken an erklärungen und core-function erklärungen. zu deinem 20k iron für das respecen, später hat man eigentlich genug iron um zig sachen umzuskillen
-klar will man alle skills mal gesehen und ausprobiert haben aber eigentlich solltest du genug dinge umskillen können und immernoch geld haben.


Ich denke ich werde schon klar kommen, bin ich bis jetzt ja auch.
Es wurde nur mal zeit nachdem ich nun die Hauptquest einmal durch hab das ganze auch ernsthaft anzugehen, nicht das ich dann wirklich irgendwann da stehe und keine Chance mehr hab was kaputt zu kriegen :sweat_smile:

Das mit den Resis wurde mir am Ende auch klar nur war ich mir nicht ganz sicher wie die allgemeine Rüstung da mit rein spielt.

Aber ich denke am sinnvollsten ist es zuerst die Resis hoch zu bekommen und erst dann den allgemeinen Rüstungswert wenn die Resis nicht darunter leiden richtig?
Und am Schluss halt dann den Schaden.

Und ja ich habe auch alles gehortet, werd ich dann bei meinem Blademaster mal einsetzen :smile:

also der allgemeine rüstungswert ist nicht so entscheidend wie die resis. es gibt eine berechnungstabelle die ich dir eben raussuche. wenn du immer richtung 70-80 resis in allen schadentypen hast bekommst du erstmal nicht so die probleme. für das endgame muss man dann halt genug life leech und definitiv 80+ resis haben (ultimate) die komponenten kannst du ja auch wieder rausholen (wenn es seltene sind) du zerstörst das item aber wenn du ein upgrade hast kannst du das bedenkenlos machen.

"Resistances are an important aspect of your defenses which reduce the damage you take from spells and abilities as well as reduce the duration of crowd control effects. You will primarily find resistances on equipment. You cannot raise any individual resistance above 80%, but there are items on Elite and Ultimate difficulty which can increase the maximum allowed resistances to up to 95%. You can see an overview of your core resistances on the first tab of the Character Window. "

" Armor

Armor in Grim Dawn is location-based. Whenever an enemy attacks you with a physical attack or skill, an area on your body will be randomly selected to take the hit. The probability goes as follows:

  • Head: 15%
  • Shoulders: 15%
  • Torso: 26%
  • Arms: 12%
  • Legs: 20%
  • Feet: 12%

What this means is that upgrading your equipment is equally important across all armor slots. Wearing low level leg armor can be tempting if it provides you with beneficial stats, but it can also spell your doom if a particularly strong attack lands on your legs.


Shields are the definitive defensive option for the off-hand. When you are struck by an attack with a shield equipped, you will have a chance to block some of the damage (shields can block any damage type). When this occurs, you will be unable to block again until the shield’s Block Recovery time has expired. This cooldown can be reduced through various skills and equipment.

Some abilities can use the shield when striking, rather than your weapon. In this case, the % Weapon Damage component of the ability will use the shield’s damage rather than your main-hand.

Order of Defense

The enemies of humanity are relentless, but there are many methods available to keep yourself alive. It is important to know how the various levels of defense stack up. In order for an attack to land, it must make it through the following defenses:

  • Fumble, Dodge and Projectile Deflection
  • Chance to hit via Offensive Ability vs. Defensive Ability
  • Shield
  • % Reduced Damage from Monster Types
  • Armor
  • Resistances
  • Reduced Damage from Monster Types
  • % Damage Absorption
  • Damage Absorption

Because flat damage absorption occurs only after damage has gone through all your other defenses, it can be a very powerful tool in your survival and should not be underestimated.

Armor Formula

It suffices to say that the more armor you have, the less physical damage you will take, but there are some rules as to how armor functions which make it a little deeper than that.

Armor in Grim Dawn has both a defense value and an absorption value. By default, your armor absorption is 70% across all your equipment. Whenever you take a physical damage hit, your armor will absorb some of the damage, up to the percentage of your armor absorption, but anything above your armor goes completely through.

Some examples:

  • You are attacked for 100 damage and the attack hits you in the torso, which has 50 armor. In this case, you will take 65 damage. 50 of the damage goes through immediately, while the remaining 50 protected by your armor is modified by your armor absorption (30% of 50), which means another 15 gets through for a total of 65.
  • You are attacked for 100 damage and the attack hits you in the head, which has 124 armor. In this case, you will take 30 damage. Even though your armor is higher than the damage inflicted, 30% of the damage will always go through because of armor absorption.
  • You are attacked for 100 damage and the attack hits you in the head, which has 124 armor, but this time you also have a 20% bonus to armor absorption on your helmet. In this case, you will take 16 damage. Your armor absorption is 70% * 1.2, or 84%, which allowed you to absorb 84 damage from the blow.

Offensive vs Defensive Ability Formula

Offensive Ability (OA) and Defensive Ability (DA) are critical to both your ability to deal out damage and in your own survival. If you let your Offensive Ability fall behind as you level, you will find that more and more of your attacks will miss. Similarly, an insufficient Defensive Ability will result in your enemies not only landing blows more frequently but also sometimes landing devastating critical hits. The relationship between Offensive and Defensive Ability is handled through the following equation:

Probability To Hit (PTH) = ((((Attacker’s OA / ((Defender’s DA / 3.5) + Attacker’s OA)) * 300) * 0.3) + (((((Attacker’s OA * 3.25) + 10000) – (Defender’s DA * 3.25)) / 100) * 0.7)) – 50

The value resulting from this calculation is your chance to strike the target. You may notice that it is feasible for this chance to go over 100. This is where the critical multiplier thresholds come in.

PTH Threshold 1: 70 (1.0x Damage)

If your PTH is lower than 70, any attacks that land will do reduced damage. The damage reduction multiplier is equal to your PTH / 70 (ex. if your PTH is 65, you will do 92.86% of normal damage on a hit, or 65/70). It is highly uncommon to go below a PTH of 70, though it can happen against targets that are significantly higher level than you.

Note that PTH cannot go below 60 for you or your enemies, meaning that no matter how much Defensive Ability you or your foe may have, you will never have a lower than 60% chance to hit them, and vice-versa.

Example: PTH = 65, 1-65 hits for 92.86% damage, 66-100 misses

PTH Threshold 2: 90 (1.1x Damage)

When your PTH reaches 90 and beyond, you will begin to see critical hits.

Example: PTH = 97, 1-89 hits, 90-97 critically hits for 1.1x damage, 98-100 misses

PTH Threshold 3: 105 (1.2x Damage)

At PTH 100 and above, you cannot miss your target. At PTH 105+, you will begin to see the second tier of critical hits.

Example: PTH = 107, 1-89 hits, 90-104 critically hits for 1.1x damage, 105-107 critically hits for 1.2x damage

PTH Threshold 4: 120 (1.3x Damage)

At PTH 120 and above, you will begin to see the third tier of critical hits.

Example: PTH = 124, 1-89 hits, 90-104 critically hits for 1.1x damage, 105-119 critically hits for 1.2x damage, 120-124 critically hits for 1.3x damage

PTH Threshold 5 and 6: 130 (1.4x Damage) and 135 (1.5x damage)

The pattern continues for the final two tiers of critical hits. Beyond the 6th threshold, you will no longer see higher critical hit values, but you will see critical hits more reliably."

hier ist der link

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Some general advice.

  1. Among all stats always prioritize resistances. Until your relevant for current content resistances are at least 60%, don’t worry about any other stats. That goes up to 80% for ultimate and 30% over the cap for endgame. At least.

  2. Occupy every slot with gear and every piece of gear with components and augments as soon as they are available. Components you craft at smiths. Augments are available from faction vendors. Don’t know which components/augments? Look at advice number 1.

  3. Do not put one point in dmg skills. It’s a waste of points and dmg. The time it takes to use a weak skill you could be using a strong one (in your case melee). Exceptions are dmg skills with buffs/debuffs like Amarasta’s Blade Burst where you go 1-max (for bonuses from Lethal Assault), Bone Harvest (1-0-max for Soul Harvest), Ring of Steel (1-3/4 for fumble from CoS) and others.

  4. Choose one dmg type and stick to it (cold). Scan the masteries and devotions for a stat called “resistance reduction” to that dmg type and get it/max it. “-x%” get all you can find. “x reduced” you need only one source.

  5. Best stat in the game is “+x to all skills.” For melee “+1 to nightblade” is priceless. You should have it on your belt and relic.

  6. Look for component called Beronath Shard and use it on your weapon. It has a skill Beronath Fury that replaces “attack” command. It unlocks at lvl 55.

  7. Check out a few build guides and see what they do with skills and devotions.


Thank you,

I already follow your points 1 and 2 which makes it easier to survive.
I play Blademaster now, am lv 33 atm and follow Stupid_Dragons guide.

I never died until now and slayed bosses that are 10 levels upon me :smile:

Hey there,

now I need your help again :sweat_smile:

It’s more something I want to understand.

I was on to raising my faction rep with the conclave of the three guys, while out of nowhere this crazy dude you can see in my vid appears.

In finished the main campaign in elite, did roguelike dungeons and killed nemesis bosses and never ever had to kite. Maybe a safety health pot here and there but nothing more.

This guy I couldn’t even kill with kiting because he heals himself and as you can see take as good as zero dmg from my attacks.

I can’t believe this is the first enemy I met with a somewhat decent pierce resistance, but it looks like it is.

Could you please enlighten me?

(I know my build atm is not good and lacks in dps because of my bad gear. At about 10 levels later I could start farming the recommended gear and try to kill him again.)

Step away from the volcanoes the second they show up since that’s his most dangerous skill. Avoid also being far away from him because his leap actually hurts. And last, kill all flamebearers or supporter heroes in the area because they can heal him.

Thank you but my Blademaster won’t get a second chance to fight him.
Now, due to that obvious game mechanic I know where these godlike enemies come from.
It’s only level scaling.

Same thing happened on my Reaper. That was the issue all the time.
Never thought of this, especially with the different scaling in roguelike dungeons.

Here’s the new vid, compare it with my old one and look at my level and the color of the name of Brother Segarius.

@Valinov @innoruuk @ya1
you gave me all this important info for a new player, so if another one like me appears here at the forums, also tell him that one level could make a difference like night and day.
I really never thought of this :sweat_smile: :joy: