Asking for help with understanding game mechanics


I’m in the process of building my first character, a dervish, using “MISS MELTYCAKES Dual Wield Melee Acid Poison Dervish” build posted here: MISS MELTYCAKES Dual Wield Melee Acid Poison Dervish - David Allen's Website and I’ve been following it with just one minor deviation (maxing righterous fervor before getting execution) and I’m currently lvl 82, finishing elite without any problems. But I’ve been using my weapons (two Searing Servitor’s Cleavers of Alacrity) from normal for the first 5 acts of elite, because every single item, no matter how legendary, is displayed in the comparison window as having a lot less dmg, even items suggested in the build, like fist/razor of venomblade and Dreeg Cleaver. Then I found two more (act 6 loot as if I recall correctly) Searing Servitor’s Cleavers of Alacrity and those are the only two items displayed as having a lot more dmg than the previous ones. So, at this point I have completely doubted my ability to compare weapons and to pick the one that gives me the most damage. Idk, maybe my technique is wrong or something. Here’s what I do when I find a promising (described as -1000 or less dmg in item window) weapon:

  1. I’m putting a Vitriolic Gallstone into it, since my current weapons have it also.
  2. Deactivating both Envenomed Weapons auras.
    3a. Comparing dmg in item window if I can’t equip the weapon, or
    3b. Equipping the weapon, into main and offhand slots, and checking the righterous fervor’s dmg displayed in the second tab of my inventory window (it’s my primary attack).
    And then, every single time, the best legendary weapon I could find (lvl 82+) is still displayed as way weaker than any of my Searing Servitor’s Cleavers of Alacrity, even comparing to those two I acquired on normal.

So, with this being highly improbable IMO, my question is: what am I missing? Is the damage displayed on items screen completely wrong? Does it add something it shouldn’t, resulting in more dmg being displayed (and a noob like me being fooled in the process)? Should I perhaps check weapon dmg in the first inventory tab, under DPS? Should I only pick up poison/acid dmg weapons since I have an aura that decreases poison/acid resistance? Or are the additional features of a weapon much more important than dmg (like 25% armor piercing on Dreeg Cleaver)?

To visualise the situation, I\ll attach the screen from item comparison:

This is my first post on this forum, please don’t roast me right away :wink:


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Mainly, you are going to have troubles finding weapons to surpass these because of two “main” factors.

  1. They both provide +2 to your main damage skill, Righteous Fervor. That’s a massive factor in the output.

  2. The other factor, equally as dramatic - the Attack Speed bonuses both carry. Attack Speed is ALWAYS a major factor that you need to consider as it drastically skews the output of your DPS and as we all know DPS = Damage Per Second - so it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the faster you attack, the better your DPS is gunna look.

There are numerous other factors at play but in this particular situation it is clear with a glance why the Cleaver you placed next to them doesn’t stack up - it has no chance.


Thank you for your reply. So I am not wrong, it’ll most likely take act 6 ultimate to replace them then? :wink: And fire dmg from those weapons doesn’t interfere with my Acid/poison build, right? Am I understanding that correctly, that If I have a weapon that deals 1000 acid dmg and an aura that reduces enemy acid resistance by 25%, then I should think of this item as if it were dealing 1250 acid dmg, correct?

If you hold Control, you can compare weapons without accounting the components (and augments) in them

btw check this, a proper guide on the build you want, the guy who made it actually levelled it and explains stuff better


Thank you, I will.

That’s hard to answer honestly. It depends heavily on 1) what you find, and 2) your own judgement call on if a given item is a suitable replacement. I would highly recommend holding on to your current weapons and then using any possible replacements for a while to get a feel for them and a better sense of their power in relation to what the DPS display is telling you.

This way if you don’t feel they are up to snuff as replacements you can slot the old back in and continue on your way.

Unfortunately I’m not an expert in this particular type of build but I’m sure someone more knowledgeable of the situation will come along and illuminate the particulars of that question.

Sounds about right.

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Physical (from weapons and skill) gets converted to Fire by weapons.
Transmuter has 100% Physical to Acid so I think as a result 50% of Phy → Acid and 50% of Phy → Fire.
It’s a loss because you have little %Fire and little Fire resist debuff and a reason why we usually focus in GD on 1 damage type.

This flat Fire and Burn on your weapons could be somewhat useful if converted to Acid (i.e. by global conversion from Path of the Three) but they are converted fully to Vitality by the transmuter which has priority.

I think you should switch to some Acid weapons, not sure what are the best (target farmable) ones for this build,
you could check some guides. For example these

btw you could upload your current setup into so that everyone can have a look at it


Following your items list I just learned about The Hidden Path quest for the first time. Thanks, man :wink:

It’s important to do on every difficulty because it gives additional skill point.
You can upload your save file here Grim Dawn Checklist and check which important (giving permanent bonuses) quests you’ve missed.

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I had so much fun so far with just exploring the game, yet it seems I’m SO behind with it :wink:

OK, my build should be here: Dervish, Level 84 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (I noticed I lack aether soul in amulet).

So far the only problems I had were in adept crucible wave 125, when I shadow strike’d a weird human boss enemy (like with a skull icon and some red markings) and it killed me instantly. IDK what happened that time.

About those quests… well… 8/39 one shot chests in elite certainly doesn’t seem impressive :wink:

Requnix claims another soul…


So, you must be a Lokarr of this forum… nice to meet you :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Not really bro, I am just remembering my time as a GD beginner, that website is flashy but all in all kinda useless IMO. Much better picking up info here and following legit build guides.


There can be only one.


Welcome to GD. Best aRPG if not a little outdated technically.

Anyways, comparing items, don’t look at the dps stat beyond early levels. It only accounts for a fraction of true dps. Get Grim Internals (resources tab on this forum) it has an overlay that shows dps of different dmg types accounting for procs, crits, buffs, debuffs, wps, etc.

Or just go by feel.

That must be Zantarin, undead nemesis. Another reason to get Internals. You get hovering enemy names. Then you go and check them out. There, you’d see he has a killer shotgun skill with million projectiles, hard to survive without flat dmg absorption (like Ascension or Inquisitor Seal) and better to wait out.

Truly, this game is pretty much impossible to play beyond a certain (quite low even) level without research.

Also, I checked that build followed and it looks random. It’s definitely not optimized. Unmaxed ABB on full Venomblade? If one want pure acid melee on Fervor there are better things than full Venomblade. It won’t make a big difference at this point for you but if you wanna learn the game better follow competent builds. Check out @grey-maybe ‘s list GrimSheet: Endgame Build Table - ETE edition [v1.41] - #435 by A_S00 for (IMO) some of the best builds by some the most accomplished guys in this game.


Oh, so I encountered my first nemezis without even knowing :wink:

Zantai is everyone’s nemesis :smirk:

I came from Diablo 2/3 and Torchlight 1/2 and I wouldn’t call those more “up to date” than GD, actually. Thanks to good animations and lighting effects mostly. If I would replace one thing in GD, it would be those dialogue windows…

I was actually thinking abuot maxing ABB instead of investing like 15 points to reach execution, only to add 1 point into it. I might respec, test it, then eventually go back.

OK, I got almost everything except of this part:

What is it

What is this blue eye, and this red icon on this iterm? It seems I totally missed that part of the game.

These are an illusion and a component.