[Builders leave, dead game] Actually, it's about community, feedbacks and balance

The picture “Builders are leaving” by unknown artist


okay, so thread had been derailed a bit, so i’m gonna remind (or explain, cause i might have done it poorly at the first place) my points and why i believe in them:

  1. There’re very few crucible players left. By that i mean vocal ones, because they’re the only one we can hear, see and all the stuff related. Moreover, i highly doubt that people, who don’t paricipate (at least to some degree) in forum’s life, care about crucible speedruns. And by saying 12 people, i actually mean around 12 people. Let’s count the ones, that are speedrunning crucible till today. We have - Nery, Slev1n, Roman, Crit, me, Valinov, one guy from russian discord, Eard, Firozo, Kos9k, RetalAbuser, AlkamosHater (not sure about him though) and …? i might have forgotten someone, so feel free to prolong this list.

  2. Also, and it’s imo is important here, i was replying to this comment:

  • which represents not the attitude of developers, but community’s one. Some amount of people (i’m generalising here) still think that due to extraordinary CR performace balance will alter. But they believe it’s unjust (or it seems like it), not because CR-metric is irrelevant, but because items there are not fair. Thus, they are concerned that devs cannot find a difference between legal and stashered build. At the end of the day, both will be affected by this “alteration”. moreover, we see word “again”, which means that the very same thing happened it the past. So even if devs actually don’t balance solely around CR, community (yet again i’m generalising, but look what Ceno wrote) see it the other way around.
  1. I’ve never said that the game is dead - it’s clealy not. I’ve seen a lot of new player here, in discord and in Saf’s discord. However, i’m not the only one who says that the forum is a ghost town. Previosly, even 4 months ago, forum was alive.

  2. People do not understand what timings/depth means, and why they make sense only being comparative. If all clear times will be increase/decrease by a minute or two - nothing will change.

  3. It’s hard to propose any change, when you’ve achieved some results. People see you as an egoistick prick, who just wants bigger numbers. It’s not even about devs not reacting to this, but rather about community’s reaction. You are sort-a being stigmatized. Zantai said about all recent QoL changes been forced by community’s feedback, however, if you checked those threads, you would see a war, between egotoxicelitists and other forum members, where lattest acuse the first of wanting buffs solely to their builds to infale their ego even further (or smtg like that). which might be true for some cases, but definitely not always. And every time you think about proposing any change, you imagine this same dialogue in your head and just give up trying to do something. For me that always the case.

  4. And lastly - endgame. I’d say that nearly every build (close to 100%), can beat engame if it has all resistances covered up, good amount of armor, and at least some amount of damage. MC is not a challenge, and saying that if build can beat MC - everything’s fine is a deadend. It’s good that every mastery combination can complete MC, but that doesn’t mean that balance is perfect or that nothing should be done about it. DEE is a good example - people been saying that’s it far behind any other skill in the game in terms of… well, everything (it’s really bad), but nothing really changers because: “it can beat MC, therefore everything is fine, you just want more numbers to whatever” . Time passes, DEE continuing being a lackluster. Someone will definitely bring up homogeneity argument here, but when 99 skills performs at a certain relatively close level and one skill is far behind them all - it’s not a variety, it’s just a bad skill.


This is a good point, i owned and played the game for about 2 years before i found and joined these forums.

Let’s see :

  1. 12 people openly speedrunning an optional endgame mode seems healthy to me. I mean, that’s rougly the number I would expect from other speedrunning scenes for games of the same reach as Grim Dawn (we’re not talking Dark Souls, here).

  2. So the problem would be community’s perception of balance changes…Honestly, each time there is an update, I see much more positivity than negativity (probably because more things are buffed than nerfed overall). Thing is, negative people are much more vocal about #deadbuild. Positive posts go like “awesome, Crate, for still updating the game and introducing cool new options” while negative tend to go “what? You change X! My build revolved around X! It was my only build/you’re targeting my build! I will now explain in great detail why you’re wrong and should reverse the change.”

I do think it’s a problem of community’s perception’s perception more than anything.

  1. Z just said forum flux has stayed stable for a long time, and I suspect he meant much more than 4 months.

  2. Probably because most people do not experience the ultimate challenges, so they lack experience to understand. That being said, they also aren’t as impacted by potential nerfs, since they don’t play content where it would really matter.

  3. In response to your point, I’m always amazed at how suggestions by occasional players will be listened to by Crate. I’m a very occasional player, in the grand scheme of things, and I have made a few suggestions here and there to the best of my abilities, one or two posts that got almost no public traction whatsoever. And changes were made that reflected the fact the devs are reading everything. And I mean everything. But I feel suggestions are better made when you point out what needs changing, but not how you think it should be changed mechanically. Not only do I suspect it’s more useful for Crate (something along the line of establishing a watchlist whitout having preconceptions thrown at you), but I’d argue it’s less frustrating as the one making the suggestion : if the exact change you’re suggesting is not happening, it’s more frustrating than seeing something you pointed out being changed, if not how you would have imagined it. They listen. They’re not you, they don’t think like you, they don’t have the same info as you do, but they always listen.

  4. It’s not exactly a deadend. The Endgame cannot be easily defined. In fact, Crate has always tried to discourage a precise endgame definition. What is the Endgame? MC? Nemesis hunting? Rogue-like dungeons? Crucible 150-170? SR 50?60?65?75?

About your example of DDE. Yes, it’s considered in the low tier of damaging skills. I struggled to find a guide of high SR DDE spam clearer. But I did find it. So DDE being a bad skill is not that clear-cut. Support exist to make it shine. Maybe not as shiny as other options, but still, largely enough for the immense majority of players, and no, I’m not talking about just finishing the MC.

Do you mind sharing the link to the high SR DEE spam clearer you found?


Which is why this exists:

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I am still here but less active due to few games to finish and some mobas in free time. I should be more active after some time, altough currently I am too lazy to make more detailed tests on few unposted builds with potential - it takes a lot of time to run crucible over and over with testing many options, then some superbosses, deeper sr (altough it’s fastest for me now), recording everything, uploading to youtube, writing thread.

About thread:
It’s kinda natural for single-player focused games, lack of real competetives do not motivate most people to play “real” endgame like crucible or deep sr and they do prefer just to chill on 65-75 shards with various builds or play campaign. It’s either normal to have like 99% community playing casualy and only few dedicated “try hards” wanted to reach maximum possible potential.
However I would like to see more players playing high sr or speedrunning crucible.
The next problem is that community is splited. There is official forum, reddit, discord (Crittain and Roman post many great builds here but seems less active on forum) and asians community with language barrier (chinese and japanese what I saw on youtube).

Personally I do not care much about nerfs, I threat patches as seasons. Next thing is that even with new items or modifiers introduced most builds with it are posted in few days after - and what then?


DMT, you’re good. I thought they killed your character in this topic… multiple times.

And since we’re on pictures, here’s the big mystery, where are the builders/Waldo?


Probably those 5 boys speedrunning the beach in 4 minutes in the right lower corner.
They have just run over some noobs that are on the beach for the first time.
The real question is where’s the lifeguard who’s about to ban them for a couple of weeks.


Oh man i used to love wheres waldo as a kid! I had the book this was in! I loved looking all over at what everyone was doing.

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The forum had activity in 40 threads in the last 24 hours (not counting the amount of replies in each one), so I dunno, the community seems pretty active to me. And we’re not even counting Discord, Reddit or Facebook groups.

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Wait, you devs are making personal builds of your own? Sounds logic, but never came to my mind. Hey Zantai, why don´t you post a build of your own some time, won´t you? :slight_smile:

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Chris Wilson of GGG (Path of Exile) claims that of all the players who DL the game and launch it something like 70% of players quit the game before they get past Hillock… The first little boss before you go into the first town in the starting area… So theres definitely something to players DLin games, checking them out for only a couple minutes, only to never touch it again.

As far as balance goes ive always thought that was one of Grim Dawns greatest Strengths at least in comparison to other ARPGs such as Diablo or POE. Grim Dawn has always been pretty good about Smaller changes and in BOTH directions. Hell a buff in POE for example only comes in the form of new shit being released OP. Otherwise if its powerful and too many people are doing too well with it? Its going to not only take a hit via nerf it typically ends up taking multiples hits essentially killing the skill/build. POE is the worst in this case they actually balance the game around rotating the meta around where what skills are good today most likely will get killed, left dead for while, then resurrected later on down the line to make it fresh again.

Grim Dawn is one of the few games i can walk away from for a year or more and come back and my builds still function about the same if not Better. I can NEVER say that about other ARPGs out there…

I don’t know if this is relevant but I’ll say why I quit. I used to post builds and do runs and contribute to the discourse leading to some of the nicest achievements in GD around the release and post FG.

Why I quit is simple. Game engine. Despite being able to run games like Doom Eternal on my PC, I couldn’t hope to compete with world class Crucible performance of the best builders/runners at the time because I was losing close to a second on the start of every wave due to weird performance hiccups. (Also because some real hardcore players came after my time…;))

But I’m writing this because this suggests another thing. In order for a game to be truly long lived, players MUST be given things to achieve/compete over. Why isn’t Crucible speedrunning standardized yet? Like there isn’t even an in-game timer yet. Or why isn’t there an official leader board?

In order for a game to achieve true longevity, endgame must get deeper and expand toward the dimension of competitive play and achievement, and community must have something to do TOGETHER. Single player focus is no excuse for failing to provide that.

Another reason I quit is endgame RNG. I used the word “achievement” in the last paragraph but what does it even mean in GD reality? Truth be told, I was getting kinda sick of some of the elite builders trying to argue that their solutions were better because they got this many seconds off crucible times. Everyone knows it’s all about mutators and enemy combos. Why was there no introduction of new official game modes where RNG impact is minimized, and pure build performance and piloting skills come to play? Because endgame is mostly about perfecting builds. The mechanisms of measuring that perfection must also evolve.

Another thing I didn’t like about GD balancing is the constant reprisal against glass cannon play style. But that’s a side thing.

Respectfully (really), this is something you should have made up your mind about long ago. Is SR a mode where bosses are to be fought one on one? Or is it about surviving the bumrush? Trying to combine both by making it 100% RNG dependent - in my opinion this is not entirely a “mature” solution. Obviously, and as was mentioned a million times already, because the difficulty spike from fighting an SR 90 boss one on one to fighting two of them (let alone all four of them) is just ridiculously high. SR design promotes the camera thing. From balance and playability perspective (my personal perspective ofc), SR is simply unplayable otherwise.


Why would you have an official leaderboard for a single player offline game? And no, players mustn’t be given things to achieve/compete over. You set your own achievements, whatever they may be, but GD isn’t a competitive game no matter how hard you try and make it out to be. Crucible was never designed to be a speedrunner’s paradise; it’s a survival mode - can your build beat wave after wave after wave of foes to earn loot and glory. As said earlier in the thread only a small number of players even play Crucible/SR, most are exploring the main campaign, making new builds, just having fun overall.


You return with a boom!

I am not certain about that paragraph though. There are lots of competitive games around, which revolves around results only. GD is very different in that regard. It’s more casual and being single player oriented, means you set the goals yourself. Some players like HC, some classless, weaponless, Crucible, superbosses or role playing. It’s not universal standard. I like of course to see more players interested in Crucible but not if that’s gonna change the core of the game. Also imagine the balancing and the flame wars after new patches in a competitive game. It will be a nightmare!


Because the competitive side in the Crucible is something created by the players, the devs never intended the mode itself to be competitive. So expecting any type of online leaderboard is ridiculous in my opinion.

Honestly, i hate how much competitive this game got because this game was made purposely to avoid competition of that size since it’s single player focused. Some friendly competition here and here, mainly comparing builds to see how different they can be? Sure, it doesn’t hurt. But to the size it got? It was unnecessary in my opinion.


I agree with all the replies. But that’s also the reason why after some time, some people realize there is not much left to do in the game. Competitiveness and achievement are a part of the definition of the word game. There is a point where the game environment itself stops being competitive itself, and players look to the community to find new dimension of competitiveness.

Uh, we did make up our minds long ago, and then the community asked us to leave the exploit alone, so we did.

Yeah, um, that’s kind of the point. Nobody was supposed to get that far, but the camera exploit allows it to happen.

It’s not a coincidence that loot stopped scaling past Shard 83.


Seriously before banana and plasmo appeared I thought you were the best cruci runner along with john smith.

@Zantai, correct me if I’m wrong but the way I see it Crate is very pragmatic in terms of decision making that once they saw the patterns in sales dropping, they decided to support GD less (i.e. no more expansions) and start developing the new game instead. I think Crate has already achieved the goal of having loyal (can’t find the right word) fans of GD that if ever GD2 comes, we’ll be there waiting for it.