THIS GUIDE WILL NOT BE UPDATED FOR FG. PLEASE REFER TO @Nery THREAD FOR AN UPDATED VERSION
Steam Summer Sale has started 2 days ago and Grim Dawn as well as all the DLCs are on sale! We should now see an influx of new players, and with that, new forum members who will seek help. On my side, I felt burnt out by the constant theorycafting and recently I ended up thinking about a lot of wonky builds for 170 that all ended up below my standards. Think Vortex of Souls Savagery Ritualist, 2h Chaos Blade Arc, DW phys Blade Arc - all capable of clearing 170 but just not enough for me. I thought, I should start fresh again and work towards cruci from nothing just for a change, so here we are.
- Start a new game with zero influence from my previous characters aside from my game knowledge. This means I deleted my shared stash and blueprints (I made backups lol)
- Play as a DW Firestrike Purifier from the point it is possible until the character can clear 170 gladiator below 10-12 min
- Provide detailed explanations on skill choices as I level up. Devotions and gear, not so much cause the former will depend on my endgame vision and the latter on drops.
- Provide a rough guide on where to level up and what quests are essential
I will not:
- Provide a detailed walkthrough on what to do on each act/quest. That’s too much of a hassle. I’ll leave those to new players to discover.
- Kill any of the superbosses. I don’t like taking too much time just to kill one guy. Not to mention it requires tweaking the build so much.
- Level this character in the most efficient way. Efficiency doesn’t always equal fun.
Why DW Firestrike Purifier? (for new players: Purifier is Demolitionist + Inquisitor)
As I have observed, the most popular and recommended choices for new players are: S&B Soldier (physical, Krieg aether), Dark one vit necro, Various nuke/dot casters (Runes, BWC, DEE, totem), and ranged fire strike (DW or 2H). The main reason for me to choose this out of all these builds is that DW ranged isn’t exactly easy to farm. S&B works with scraps, Krieg/Dark one are farmable, Runes have Witch moon for an easy boost to farming. DEE/Totem have effigies. BWC has a friggin yellow book. 2h ranged Firestrike has a fucking faction item as it’s BiS Weapon. DW has none of these so it will be quite a challenge for this to farm for additional items compared to the others.
THIS IS A SOFTCORE GUIDE. I DON’T PLAY HARDCORE ADN WILL PROBABLY NEVER DO CAUSE I’M TOO CLUMSY TO NOT DIE IN HC.
PART 1: Starting out in Veteran
1.1 Veteran Act 1
There are two main ways to get started in the game, one is going the normal way and just start the game, while the second is going straight to crucible to farm devotion points. I went the first route cause I don’t think it’s normal for a new player to grind cruci immediately.
As with all new characters, you start on that screen above and you do quests. Not gonna spoil a lot on the quests but they’re awesome. I will be putting things for later acts on spoiler tags so I won’t spoil those who don’t wanna be spoiled. Act 1 is pretty straightforward, tohugh. This act is more of a tutorial act so the game will pretty much spoonfeed you at this point. Just one reminder:
-Activate ALL the devotion shrines with no exception (applies to all acts). Getting that first 6 devotions is very important for this build (and almost any build) to get an advantage with 1 devotion proc. Some of these shrines you will encounter just on your way while doing the main quest but many of these are rather obscure. Click the link below for a list of all the shrines in the game.
The list for that one is really detailed with maps, except for the AoM one but it’s not important for now as we’re still in Act 1. I recommend bookmarking that link cause you’ll need it from start to end.
Skills, Items, Devotions
Below is the grimtools for my character at level 18 after I killed the boss for the first act (Krieg). Click the “ultimate” in the upper left side and change to normal to reflect the correct stats.
Skill progression: At level 2, select Demolitionist, put 2 points to the mastery bar (the plus icon at lower left) and 1 to Fire Strike, as you level up fill the Demolitionist Mastery Bar up to 10 points and max Explosive Strike. You will be able to do that before level 10. Save skill points until you get to level 10. Pick inquisitor at level 10 and put 1 point on Inquisitor mastery and 1 in Ranged Expertise. Fill Inquisitor Mastery to 5 points and get Bursting Round to level 6, then alternate putting points to Bursting Round and Fire Strike (2:1 ratio) until you max Bursting round. Afterwards, alternate points between Fire Strike and Inquisitor Mastery (2:1 ratio) until you max Fire Strike. Dump all points to Inquisitor Master afterwards. The goal is rushing Aura of Censure for the resist reduction and damage reduction.
Items: Search for Francis’ gun at the beginning of the game (it’s in some house) until you get a 2 handed ranged weapon that’s better than the pistol. That will be your weapon of choice until you get to level 10 and get Ranged Expertise (along with two pistols) to dual wield.
Devotions: I haven’t decided on an endgame goal for devotions yet but the first step to any fire build is to get Flame Torrent (Fiend Constellation) so do that ASAP. Next points will go to Hawk and Viper to Solael’s Witchblade.
My character after finishing Act 1 (took me 1 hr, 33 mins):
1.2 Veteran Acts 2 - 4
Below is the character just after I killed the Act 4 boss Logorrhean.
A few notes about what happened:
- Died twice. 1st was me facetanking Cronley from start to end like a retard. Second was me forgetting to pause the game while answering a call.
- All significant Pre AoM content done after almost 12 hours. Took long cause I wanted to be level 50 before killing Log so I can get a legendary as a reward.Got Touch of the Everliving Grove. Not bad but I was hoping for something better like a deviltongue. This was also a habit that I’ve been doing since my noob days.
- Decided to go lightning route cause I find it fun Fire should be more efficient so go for it if you want it. Will provide some tips on fire later on.
- Don’t craft relics carelessly. They cost so much for someone who has nothing and if you craft the wrong relic and it becomes useless in the midgame then it’s a waste. What I do is to designate a target endgame relic and craft the requirements for that relic that is relevant for the build. The relic of choice here is Ignaffar’s Combustion. Among the relics needed to craft it, Conflagration is relevant for fire, while there’s Squall for lightning. I’m going for Squall since I went lightning but I haven’t found it yet. If you still don’t find the recipe for the relic you need, then use Bone Talisman. See the next tip (spoilers) on how to get it.
2. After reaching the Arkovian Foothills rift, go to southwest and you’ll encounter a group of Rovers that will give quests. One of them involves a choice whether you keep a talisman for yourself or give it to the Rovers. KEEP IT. That’s the Bone Talisman.
- Do the Hidden Path Quest. And do this on all difficulties.
Will be adding things I missed here.
Skills: Check the Grimtools above.
For lightning: From the previous GT, the idea is to rush Aura of Censure to get that sweet RR. Get 7/10 Storm Spread along the way. 7/10 adds an additional projectile which is a nice boost. I decided to (almost) drop Explosive Strike and get Flame touched to help with lightning. I still recommend Flame Touched for Fire. 1 pt Word of Pain to proc Elemental Storm. After Maxing Censure, get Inquisitor’s Seal, distributing equal points between it and Demo mastery. Once you max Seal and get 25 points in Demo, alternate points between Static Strike and mastery. I decided to rush 5/12 on static cause it coincided with the point where I fought Log and the extra damage will help me kill him faster.
For Fire: Skills the same as before but get Explosive Strike instead of static.
Devotions:You’ll have 28 points by the end of Act 4 if you got all shrines. For Lightning After Redcrossroad > Fiend, refund Red, get Quill, Blue, Eel, Widow, refund Eel, get purple, Rhowan’s Crown, refund purple, get Hawk, Viper. You have 1 point extra which should be used to get reds to rush Ultos. Ghoul is good for less refunding while Jackal gets you to Ultos faster, but you’ll have to refund it later for Ghoul. For fire after red>ghoul, refund red, get quill, purple, rhowan’s crown. Refund purple, get viper, solael, you’ll have 5 points extra to work on meteors. I recommend completing ghoul to get the proc earlier and level it up cause you’ll want it endgame.
Items: For weapons just get anything with Fire/Lightning and roll with it. Socket Flintcore Bolts/Hell’s Bane Ammo/Haunted Steel to weapon as you see fit. At level 50, you have a chance to get Deviltongue which can practically carry you past Elite if you go fire. For armor, since you don’t have anything good that increases your damage yet, just go with whatever has the most useful resists. Try to balance resistances and adapt according to what your enemies deal, if you can.
That’s all for now! Will update this again when I decide to move on to Elite. Thanks for reading!