[Feedback] (long) 3 years of playing Grim Dawn

This is the report of a player playing the game since the beta version (maybe 1 year before the “official” release), who exclusively plays the game in multiplayer, and who plays ARPG since the beginning (Gauntlet on Arcade and Diablo 2 on PC).

This is a list of various notes. Some are connected together, some others are not, and just random comments about specific, unrelated parts of the game. There is no specific sorting. The comments are detailed, I have tried to be clear since english is not my first language, but this ends up in a pretty long text. Some parts may sound relevant to some readers, some others may not.

The comments are mainly focused on what makes little sense to me and what should be improved.

Devotions with specific requirements vs dual wielding

I am under the impression that the devotions like the Berserker and the Blade of Nadaan apply as soon as the character takes the required weapon, and that as this point, the bonuses then apply to the whole character, ie included when he also uses a weapon from another type. If this is the case, then this means that there is something wrong with the way that this works. The bonuses with specific requirements should apply only to the attacks performed when those specific requirements are met. This is no problem as long as the character only uses one weapon, but in the case of dual wielding, I am under the impression that the game engine doesn’t make much difference with what is being used to do the damages (ie dual wielder with axe-sword, with the blades of nadaan bonuses applying on the axe and the berserker bonuses applying on the sword). I am not sure if this does work this way, and also if this is supposed to, but this feels a bit messy.

Environmental damage

The environmental damage in the Hargate’s level dungeon in normal difficulty is still completely broken. I died before I could do anything. One can deal with the monsters pretty easily, there is nothing particularly tricky in this dungeon as long as one deal carefully with the spawns, the cold shots casters and the packs of small monsters, but the place is all green and the parts of the floor that deal damage are not that obvious and one can easily get surrounded, and before he realizes he just ended up being surrounded in the wrong place, it’s a free death for nothing. The resistances appear to be still not computed for those damages, as well as the defense and anything else but the massive damage absorption of skills like Blade Barrier. This kind of flaw belongs to alpha versions: in a game that is now officially completed for years and which had had since two add-ons, it is completely unacceptable and unfortunately shows nothing else but the limit of the concerns of the developers team to the basics of their game.

Item components and game evolution

Some early game components miss end game versions. The emerald for instance, which provides +8 phys/cunn/spir. Some end game builds end up being more or less balanced regarding the HP, damage bonuses, resistances etc, and may enjoy an all-around boost to their attributes. Why isn’t there some advanced emerald, which may work like 3 emeralds + aether crystal or whatever = 1/5 super emerald = +3 phys/cunn/spir, which may provide a total of +15 to all attributes for instance when the component is completed, with a level requirement of 75 or 80? This may be a nice option, especially when one is struggling with the requirements for that armor that needs 1000+ phys or that book that needs 700+ spirit, or that build that have nice abilities and is overall OK but can’t manage to have its offense reach 2300.

Same with Roiling Blood: what are the options at the moment for the end-game physical builds who are OK with their resistances, HP etc and may enjoy an additionnal bonus to damage and offense, or some vampirism, stun bonus or whatever relevant for what they do? Roiling blood? +8% phys damage/+16 offense? lol? If the guy isn’t much into bleeding damage, the bloodied crystal is irrelevant, as much as the runebound topaz if the guy has no shield.

The components options are pretty poor, especially for the rings.

The best example of this experience is in middle game, when all the components available in early game (up to level 27-30) begin to feel limited, and the next components are available at level… 75… (not considering the Shard of Beronath, Symbol of Solael, Ballistic Plating, Arcane Spark etc, which have very specific uses). The game features plenty of inventory with versions that can more or less follow the character with his level development (normal, empowered, mythical), why isn’t there the same system for the components? The emeralds, marks of illusions, corpse dusts, arcane lenses, dread skulls etc could very easily enjoy level 50 and 80 versions. The other best example of this missing feature is the recurring need for aether and chaos resistances in middle game, before the level 70 armor augments. Unless you have some specific builds with some specific skills or inventory that will deal with this issue for you, your options here are pretty close to zero. Black Tallow or Aether soul on the amulet and that’s about it, or going the aether/chaos way in the devotions and gettings bonuses that are going to be otherwise completeley irrelevant for your build.

I don’t mean that the players must have components that are going to solve all their problems, but at least to have some options to more or less deal with critical issues like requirements, a resistance that one can’t get to at least 40% or offense/defense etc. I know that game features plenty of inventory options + components options + augment options, but : 1) most components placeholders are very specific (the weapon, the chest armor, the amulet, the shield etc), and 2) the armor augments aren’t available before level 70, which makes that what looks like to be plenty of choice actually has 1-4 options at best depending on the builds and the situations.

Please make level 50 versions of most early game components, which would require for example 3 pieces of those early game components to make 1/4 of the new components, which would have when completed +40-50% of their features, and then a end game version which would require again 3 pieces of the mid game components to make each a 1/4 of the final version of the components, which would have when completed +80-100% of the features of the early game components. The level 80 versions for example of Mark of Illusions would have +30% elem damage, +24 spirit, +36 def etc, the emerald would have +16 phys/cunn/spir, the purified salt would have 40% aether res etc. That would make much more sense for the whole game. At least this would provide a decent option for those who need that kind of bonuses, instead of leaving them with nothing else but the basic components which features have then become plain ridiculous in the ultimate mode.

Skills granted by item and game evolution

On the same topic, some skills are only available through items, and some of them have no evolution.
For example, the Lightning Storm of the Squall relic have nothing equivalent in middle game and end game, and on the opposite, some other skills like Storm Tap of the 2 hand axe Stormreaver and the bonuses for Storm Totem of the mythical version have nothing equivalent in early game and middle game. The players who plan to use those skills either have to wait until end game to finally be able to start enjoying the skill or have to deal with the early game version of the skill until the end of the game. Just because there is no evolution whatsoever. What kind of sense is that supposed to make?

Unbalance in rendering quality

Most visuals in the game look great, and feel right together and bring the right atmosphere to the game.
And some visuals just don’t belong to the same game.

The in-game model of the Redeemer of Malmouth sword is bad. The weapon that the character holds in his hand has no thickness and looks like a cheap flat plastic toy sword for the kids. The quality of this rendering is inconsistent with the other more usual weapons. Some game materials can be made by trainees, that’s no problem, but their final addition into the game has to be monitored by some more experienced guy.

One of the attack animation of the crab-like monsters in Ugdenbog looks like some animation directly picked from a game like pokemon or some cartoon for the kids. The crab jumps in the air and rolls over itself. Wait… what? What’s this? This isn’t Grim Dawn, this is like some acrobatics in a circus or some crazy move in some retro kung-fu movie. It looks especially bad when it is done by the biggest models like Carraxus. One has no idea at this stage what is going with the game: has the monster been hit so bad that it has been thrown into the air like with Oleron’s Rage, or is it having a seizure or something? One thing is sure: a creature build like a crab cannot do that.

Thanks to the transmuters, the alternative versions of the skills sometimes look differently. The normal Grenado looks OK and its alternative version (Skyfire Grenado) looks great. The normal Storm Totem looks great and its alternative version (Corrupted Storm) looks bad. It looks like the preview animation in some alpha version which has then never been improved. The worst I believe is the Blackwater Cocktail: the skill to render a great fire does exist because some fires in the game looks great, like on the torches. I just don’t understand why the Blackwater Cocktail rendering has to look so bad. It is like we are back in 2000 with those visuals. Some red circle sprites moving around each other. What’s this? Is that supposed to be the rendering of a molotov cocktail? It would be OK in a free flash game, but it hardly fits in Grim Dawn.

Infamy bonus and nemesis

The options to increase the infamy bonus are pretty limited. There should be side quests which accomplisments would really piss off some factions and which rewards would precisely be to increase the infamy bonus by 10-25%.

The problem at the moment with the infamy counters is that it is both impossible to complete the game (ie complete the final quest in the final difficulty level) without reaching the nemesis level with some factions (beasts) and also impossible to complete the game normally (with very little farming, just completing the main and most side quests) by reaching the nemesis level with some other factions (Cronley, Death Vigil etc). The nemesis levels are not well balanced with the amount of people of the related factions in the main course of the game.

This is wrong both way: this is wrong for the items collectors, the players who farm to get the best items of the game, for the challenge, those who want to add the most dangerous enemies to their hunting board, just as well as it is wrong for the hardcore players and the legit ones, those who try to play the game with 0 death and only with self-found items, because the first ones have to spend an insane amount of time farming to finally reach the nemesis level with some factions while the second ones just can’t complete the game without reaching the nemesis level with at least 1 faction and have then to be very careful when they have to cross areas where that nemesis could appear if they don’t want to end up right before a super-monster they most likely won’t be able to handle.

That just makes no sense. Either the whole game requires more or less farming to unlock the nemesis, either the whole game naturally unlocks the nemesis at some stage through the normal course of the story (with very little farming). At the moment, it is impossible to complete the game (go through all the story from Devil’s Crossing to Malmouth) without unlocking the beast nemesis and with unlocking anything else. The aetherial/chtonian/undead ones usually are pretty close to completion, and the Kymon/Vigil and especially the Cronleys usually look like they have not even really started yet. This is not balanced. The nemesis unlock level is completely offset with the monsters population in the game.

My suggestion:

Nemesis infamy requirement:

If the idea is to have the nemesis unlocked around the end of the game throughout the normal quests and story (with little farming):
Beasts: 22.000
Aetherial/chtonian/undead: 18.000
Kymon/Vigil: 14.000
Cronley: 8.000

If the idea is that some farming is required and that nemesis normally won’t appear for players just completing the quests and moving on:
Beasts: 25.000
Aetherial/chtonian/undead: 22.000
Kymon/Vigil: 18.000
Cronley: 14.000

Or, if you want to keep all the unlock levels to 20.000:

Reduce the infamy points of the smallest beast monsters to 0.5 or maybe even 0.25.
increase by 60-80% the infamy points of the Kymon/Vigil
increase by 150-200% the infamy points of the Cronleys
increase by 5-10% the infamy points of the Vanguards

%weapon damage vs no %weapon damage

The skills which do %weapon damage are too much advantageous over the skills that don’t: the %weapon damage property features all the flat damages granted by everything else the character has: from the inventory, from the skills, from the devotions etc, which then means benefit from all the bonuses associated with those flat damages, and which also enable the triggering of all the %chance on attack effects. Those skills benefit from everything the game can provide. While the pure skills (the skills that do their own features without anything related with what the character is holding) have no benefit whatsoever beyond what is directly associated with them (the skills upgrades and the damage bonuses related with the flat damages provided by the skills and that’s about it).

In one hand, this does make sense: a skill based on cold damage and effects for instance is not supposed to feature anything related with fire for instance, or anything else that is completely unrelated with cold. But the problem is that you have other things also related with cold, like a gun, or another special attack, which does feature some %weapon damage, and which then benefits from everything the build has, included the exact same effects the other skill cannot benefit. This starts with something that perfectly makes sense to end up into something that makes very little sense.

The game is a bit of a mess on that level: some skills have huge benefits and some others don’t, and most of this is related with the %weapon damage property. That’s a matter of choice, but this raises one question: if the developers do want the players of their game to mainly benefit from what their character is wielding, why do they also feature other skills that can’t get those benefits?

Damage conversion

The damage conversion is a mess in this game and the more the characters move up to higher levels and the more the items are rendered useless because of unexpected and massive damage conversion properties. This makes little sense to see that this feature is considered like a bonus while it is most of the time at best something unnecessary and irrelevant and at worst something directly counterproductive.

There should be something to disable or at least greatly lower the effects of such properties.
My suggestion:

  1. a mode that the characters all have naturally (an ability like the default attack, drink potion, control pets etc) that can be toggled on/off (like a passive skill) and that disables all conversions, or at least reduce 50% of their efficiencies,
  2. an augment that disables the conversions on a given item,
  3. a new function for the kasparov’s apprentive: disable all damage conversion on item,
  4. a side quest or something which special reward (after a confirmation warning) that removes all the conversion effects from all the inventory the character is currently wearing/wielding (not what he has in his bags).

The idea only applies for the item properties: it does not apply for the conversion done by skills, augments, devotions etc, everything that are up to the player’s strategy, and the %piercing of some weapons, which are natural properties.

Some will say “well, if the %piercing conversion is natural to swords etc, then all conversions in the items are also natural”.
No, they’re not. They are definitely not. That’s the whole problem. I have played quite a number of builds now and I can tell that the balance between the good conversion, the conversion that fits with the idea of the build and clearly benefits him, clearly is broken with the number of items, and especially in end-game, which conversion features just disrupt the whole idea of the build. The more the game advances in difficulty and the less items do exist that do fit with the builds and the more one has to have to ignore/throw away items in end games just because of the conversion. This is definitely not what I would call an experience that makes sense and that provides satisfaction in the time I have spent making that build and in my plans for my next builds.

Here is an example if this can be clearer this way:

  1. Player A enjoys Grim Dawn. He has played the game for a while and now thinks about starting that new build he had in mind.
  2. He creates the new character, and steadily moves up levels with this new build, which just works fine until now, better than expected actually.
  3. Everything works just fine until he reaches that level where he can at last equip that special gear he saved for that build. The build is now perfect.
  4. And then comes the mythical version. The whole build is based among other things on a special set. But there comes a surprise: a part of the mythical set now includes a 100% conversion from that type of damage the whole build is based on to some other type of damage that has nothing to do with the build.
  5. The player can’t believe it. He checks multiple times the gear set, the conversion is here. He checks if he has other versions of that part of the set: maybe the conversion is not there? or at least much lower? No, it’s always there, and it’s always massive, and yes, it does kill the whole idea of the build. The build is rendered completely useless because of that one conversion. Just because. Well, maybe he could equip another set? No, nothing good around, this is the only set at this stage of the game and for this build. The alternative would be to re-create the whole inventory of the character with other items, but the build loses then too much of everything (HP, res, damage, off/def, abilities) with a selection of other items. There is just nothing that can replace that inventory for that build at that stage.
  6. The items would be perfect for that build if there was not that one line, that very strange conversion dropped right in the middle of it, and that won’t go. Just because.
  7. What is supposed to think the player of the game at this stage?

If there was a wealth of choice of items, and especially in end game, the problem could be managed pretty easily by switching to other items, but there is usually none or too few. The problem is that the game offers such a variety of options that the inventory options end up being sometimes limited or irrelevant for the build plan and that this ends up in confusion and frustration. The options the game provides as a matter of gameplay/styles of play/abilities are offset with the options the game provides as inventory, and this especially shows through the conversion bonuses frenzy. At the beginning of the game, the players all play a basic character; in the middle of the game, the players play the characters they want to play; and at the end of the game, most players end up playing the characters the developers want them to play. That’s the curse of the defined items with crazy bonuses in ARPGs.

The other big problem with the damage conversion is that one is most of the time never really sure how much his character does of a given damage type with a given ability: the data displayed on the information windows of the abilities are most of the time not what they actually do ingame. Some damages are converted, but how much exactly? Sometimes there is just one item that grants a given % of conversion of one type, but sometimes there are many of them providing different % of conversions on different damage types, and sometimes some of them do it one way while some others do it the other way. What does what exactly at the end? The only possibility to sort this out at the moment is to assign that ability to the left-clic or to the right clic and see in the sheet II of the character’s profile the detailed numbers, what I believe is the only place where to get the real data of what is going in the game. This data should be displayed in the ability description, by for instance adding below the normal description the possible conversion numbers that are applied to the damages normally done by that ability, or, more directly, to directly display what that ability does at the moment with the conversions currently applied on the character instead of displaying numbers and types that actually makes very little sense with the other features affecting that character. Again, that conversion frenzy all over the game, and especially at the end, is more often a problem than a “feature”.

There is another thing to point out how crazy those conversions can get: as long as the character only has 1-2 items doing like 10-15% damage conversion, there is no problem. And there is no problem indeed: the main damage remains the main damage as it is supposed to be, and the converted damage brings up some variety, which may be necessary later in the game, against some monsters that are going to be resistant to the main damages or to enjoy the bonuses of items and devotions that may improve the main attacks. Everything is good and clear until now. And then comes the 50%+ conversion numbers. What is going to happen when one has for instance a item that does 100% damage conversion to a given type but also another item doing 20% damage conversion to another type? How is it going to work? What kind of sense could there be into having more than 100% damage conversion? And what if there is also another item doing it the other way, converting back the damages to their original type? And what kind of sense is there in changing the types of the attacks without changing their displays? The game displays attacks which look like a given type (like fire with flames, cold with snowflakes etc), but no, that attack looks like fire, yes, but this fire is actually now cold, just because I have changed my pants. But hold on, if I now wear those gloves, that fire will then be lightning, even if it still look like fire. Right. This really creates more confusion than any sort of solid improvement to the game.

And I am not even talking about checking out the allies properties when one of the characters is infested by those things.

My suggestion :

  1. make the game display what the game processes: if that attack is about acid damage now, display an acid attack, no longer that physical attack or piercing or whatever which no longer makes any sense. If I do a flash freeze with a character who has 100% cold converted into a fire for instance, I want a flash blaze now, or make specific skills “immune” to conversion (blackwater cocktail only doing fire/burn, flash freeze only doing cold/freeze etc).
  2. provides either options to remove/disable/lessen the conversion features on items or alternative versions of the same sets with more or less the same things without the conversion part.

Sphere of protection vs other damage absorption skills

The Maiven’s Sphere of protection is the only one skill among those that provide damage absorption that also provides negative bonuses.

For the same 12 skills points, the Menhir’s Bulwark provides 12% damage absorption vs 20% for the Sphere of protection, with no negative bonuses. Yes, this is a level 50 skill vs a level 15 one, and there is a specific requirement (shield), but that’s a little reason why there should be negative effects with the skill. Furthermore, the sphere of protection consumes a massive amount of energy while the Bulwark consumes nothing and provides other bonuses. The same goes for the possession skill: 12% damage absorption for 12 skill points, no energy cost, +a whole list of other bonuses.

The sphere of protection only does damage absorption, and it does it bad. The -8% total damage reduction is a massive debuff that only the best bosses in the whole game can use. I would much more enjoy a 12/12 sphere of protection that does 15% damage absorption, 0% total damage reduction and consumes maybe +20% energy than this very strange “skill”. At the moment, I have to put skill points into that skill to lose total damage. Who does want to max that? That’s the only skill in the game where everytime one is getting bonuses for it, he has to wonder if it does make his character stronger or actually lamer… If this was an emergency skill that one has to rely on to escape a bad situation, that would make sense, but that skill already exist, and it is the mirror of ereoctes. Or if it was that kind of skill that one only uses against the bosses, ie with massive bonuses but also massive cooldowns and some drawbacks, that would also make sense, but that is not that kind of skill. The whole point of the skill is to serve as compensation for the lack of health points of the arcanist (like the occultist’s possession). It has to be used on a permanent basis (like the occultist’s possession). But with its current features, it makes little sense.

  1. Don’t think its actually a good idea, this will break alot of builds and add a little more balance issues. Not even sure that it can be implemented into the game.
  2. There are parts of the game that require you to think strategically and actually care about the environment that surrounds you. Those green pools aren’t the only example of such “traps” within the game. Aether pools, unkillable plants, flying rocks are all out there to irritate players and to provide some sort of additional challange.
    3)Mr Z said no more components in one of the latest streams, becuase this will turn into an inventory disaster. There are components for lower and for higher lvls, like there are items for lower and higher lvls. I don’t think we need empowered version of each component.

Difficulty curve along the difficulty levels

The “Elite” difficulty makes very little sense as it is right now. Its only real challenge is its resistances reduction. We played 12+ teams the last years along all difficulty levels (until the Malmouth final boss) and we can’t remember a single time where anything in the elite difficulty was a real threat. At the moment, it is just something between a long, empty, motorway and a massive boredom until the ultimate difficulty level and the only times we died was only because of carelessness. The Elite doesn’t feel Elite at all.

The monsters in the elite difficulty need an overall buff, especially those in the first arcs (until the Warden and maybe the Cronleys).

My suggestion:

To all monsters in the whole difficulty level:
+10% health points
+2% defense
+1% offense
+10% all damage
+10% more resistance in the core ones (those that type of monsters is supposed to be resistant to, ie darkvale > chaos, asterkian > cold, aether areas > aether etc)
+5% move speed
+10% projectile speed
-5% experience value

And to those in the first arcs (especially the whole area around Wightmire, Burrwitch etc):
+1500 health points to the small monsters
+3000 health points to the bigger ones
+5% to all resistances
+250 defense

I am not sure if those changes would make sense for the bosses though. They may need a little buff, but maybe not that much.

To all side quests:
-10% experience value

At the moment, the whole elite difficulty is nothing but a massive experience reward fest. One can start the ultimate difficulty with level 80-85 with very little farming but only by clearing all places and doing all quests in elite. That makes very little sense. The intermediate difficulty level is not supposed to be that rewarding for a game with a level cap of 100. The rewards, and especially those of the side quests, are way too good, and unbalance the whole game, as a matter of challenge vs reward first since that part of the game is just too weak regardless of the build, but also as a matter of levels evolution throughout the game. We usually reach the level 100 cap around Ultimate Darvale-Asterkian. I am not sure if the game was supposed to be designed that way. The game is challenging at the beginning because of the limited options and at the end because of the crazy bosses, but the whole middle part is nothing but a reward orgy. I don’t think that’s the way a “elite” mode is supposed to be.

Monsters healing

The healing between monsters is a joke. That a small monster is healed 100% of its health bar by the group healer, fair enough, but that the big one is also healed 100% the same way by the same healer, no. A monster that has to take many hits to die cannot be healed the same way than the little ones that just need 1 or 2 hits. Monster healing sometimes is nearly the same as making the tanks invincible. That is not what healing is supposed to be. Unless a healer really is specialized into healing and perform some special ability like a channeling healing onto a specific tank monster that is supposed to tank, there is no reason why some healers throughout the game can make the big guys around them nearly invincible just because they feel like to. The healing ability should be a given amount of health points, not a %, and sure not a 100% one, and sure not with such low cooldown. This just makes no sense to have some mobs that usually need 4-8 hits to die to end up needing an insame amount of damage to finally get rid of them just because a healer happen to be around and out of reach. When one has a build with ranged/pass through enemies/area attacks, that’s no problem, but when one happens to have a pure melee build, some situation may end up being very frustrating. The guy just won’t die, just because some healer is right behind him spamming its healing ability. Plus most monsters abilities consume too little energy and the game offers too few options to the players to drain their energy. I can’t remember the last time I have seen a monster with 1/4 or less of its energy bar. All of them always show up and end up with 100% energy or so.

Game mechanics

The game is broken. The players are supposed to find the right balance in their builds with the physical/cunning/spirit attributes, but at the end, the cunning and spirit are pretty much irrelevant, they only matter as requirements for the inventory and nothing more. The game features such massive bonuses to offense, damage etc through the end-game items and devotions that the physical attribute end up being the only one really important to max.

Who has ever maxed the spirit attribute? Unless one needs to have an off-hand item that requires 700 spirit or want to heavily rely on some ray, like the aether ray, obliteration etc, that consume a massive amount of energy, and which may require an extension to the energy pool+regeneration, it is usually completely useless to get the spirit above 400-500, even for the builds heavily relying on the magic damages. Most end-game rings require 350-450 spirit and that’s it: the energy pool is high enough to use the abilities on a regular basis and there is more than enough bonus damages with the items and the devotions. The spirit attribute ends up being completely irrelevant.

Same for the cunning. The cunning originally was for improving the offense, which was necessary for making sure that the character will keep on hitting the monsters throughout the game and dealing enough damage to make a difference, but the chances to miss are so low anyway even with low offense and there is so much offense bonuses everywhere now at the end of the game that the cunning just ends up being a completely irrelevant feature. Sure, it is always better to have more chances to do critical hits, but when the damage bonuses are so high anyway and when you’re pretty sure to do more than enough normal hits anyway, why bother? The only attribute at the end of the game (level 80+, starting from Blood Grove Ultimate) that do need to be above 800 is the physical. It is necessary for the chest armors, but also because the hit points+resistances+regeneration/life steal+defense end up being the only thing in end game that really matters.

The problem is that the game concept (2 masteries with 50 levels each) is now off-set with the game content. There is just too much things to do, too many rewards to get, to reach the right balance with 2 masteries. The right balance with the 2 current masteries was when the level cap was around 75-85. At that time, leveling and equipping the characters was fine. It was both challenging and rewarding. The players had to make choices for their builds and those choices had consequences in the game. Now, it no longer matters: whatever you do, just equip that level 94 set at the end and all your problems will be solved. You had problems with the damage bonuses ? You now have more than enough. You had problems with the resistances? The augments and level 75 components and tier 3 devotions will fix that. No enough offense/defense? Don’t worry, all solved now. Not enough firepower? Just spam all those abilities granted by the items, the devotions and the components and you’ll be fine. Whatever how one plan and make his character now, the game will just play it for him. All he has to do is to toggle on all his aura/enhancement abilities at the start of the game session and then spam on and on all his attacks on monsters and that’s about it. No plan is no longer required, no choice no longer may have to be done at some stage, no consequences will have be deal with.

If the cunning and the spirit attributes are still supposed to make some sense in the game, and that the game is not just supposed to go all physical for all the builds, here would be my suggestions:

the balance between the cunning/spirit requirement and the physical requirement:

  1. increase by 10% the requirements for the jewelry, the off-hands and the ranged weapons,
  2. reduce by 5% the requirements for the chest armors and the pants.

the balance between the bonuses for offense and damages:
3) reduce by 25% the offense and damage bonuses of end-game items and devotions (those requiring level 65+ or 15+ affinity points),
4) increase by 20% the offense and damage bonuses granted by the cunning and spirit.
5) reduce by 1-5% the defense of end-game monsters.

the balance between the bonuses for health points:
6) reduce by 40% the health bonuses of end-game items and devotions,
7) either have now 2 masteries with now 60 levels or enable a 3rd limited mastery, which for instance could go up to level 15 and have 3 abilities unlocked at most.

Why those changes? Because that would try to balance again the point of the character, ie his attributes and his masteries. At the moment, the end-game items and devotions do all the job, the character is turned into nothing more but a placeholder for those stuff. 2 Masteries with 10 more levels or a 3rd mastery with 15 more levels would enable to players to put extra points for attributes and skills, instead of having to rely that much on the items. The player would have again to do some strategy and some roleplaying. At the moment, the improvement of the health points along the game is split into 2 parts: a natural part, which ends around the level 40-60, when the players have used up all the mastery points available for that character, and the artificial part, with all the bonuses granted by the items, the relic, the devotions, and then the sets. The fact that everything over level 70 grants additional HP is a clear sign that something is wrong with the game. HP bonuses should be specific to the items and devotions which point is to grant additional health, resistance, defense etc to the character. The same goes for the offense. It is clear that the game can’t handle its own demand in end game for these things. Something is offset, and this is directly related with the limits of the masteries. The masteries are completed when the game is only 50-60% on its way, and this is no wonder that this is when everything is then going crazier and crazier with the bonuses. The problem with this setup is that the character loses its identity as the game moves on and on, it no longer matters what he is and how he has been done: just gather more and more bonuses and shut up. But what about the next add-ons? How can they fit in a game that has already clearly reached its limit?

The core of the game is the mastery system. That’s from there that this problem has started and that’s only there that this problem can be fixed. The masteries have to move along the game. The characters shouldn’t be able to have completed all of their masteries until they have reached at least 2/3 of the game.

Devotions Effects and Offensive auras

The game can’t make a difference between the abilities that the players have to toggle on and off for their characters. That it is possible to assign a defensive devotion ability (% chance when hit/block) to a defensive mastery ability makes sense, but that it is not possible to assign an offensive devotion ability (%chance on attack/crit) to an offensive mastery ability makes very little of it.

There are many abilities that have to be toggled and actually are offensive, if not 100% offensive: Veil of Shadow, Aura of Censure, Ignaffar’s Presence, Flame of Gar’Dal etc. What kind of sense is there in restricting the assignment of the devotion abilities to such offensive abilities to the defensive ones only? Just because it has to be toggled on/off doesn’t mean it is defensive and absolutey has to get a %chance on hit ability instead of a %chance on attack one. It is an attack, a permanent one, but an attack anyway.

Abilities description

The description of some abilities is a mess.

Flame Touched: “x Fire Damage”
Aura of Censure: “x Fire Damage”
How can one know that the first aura grants additionnal flat damage to the allies within the aura radius while the other one does that damage to the enemies within that radius?

Curse of Frailty/Death Sentence/Night’s Chill/Flash Freeze: “-x% [type] Resistance”
Break Morale/Agonizing Flames: “x reduced Target’s Resistance for 3 seconds”
“-x% [type] Resistance” is pretty clear: one can easily understand that that effect removes x points from that type of resistance on the target’s. If the target has 30% resistance and the effect is -10%, the result will be 20% for the duration of the effect. Good.
Now, what is supposed to mean “x reduced Target’s Resistance”? If this is the same effect, why is it displayed differently? And if it is not the same effect, what does it actually do?

Deflect ability vs target status

That an enemy with a block/dodge/deflect ability can dodge attacks when it is fully alert and facing its opponent, that makes perfect sense, but that that same enemy can still dodge attacks with the same efficiency when it is lying on the floor after having been knockdowned, or standing frozen like a statue, or affected by anything that is supposed to not make it as much alert as usual, or just walking away or being busy on something else or confused/terrorized and not facing the direction where the attack comes from, that makes much less sense.

Shouldn’t the dodge/deflect/block be restricted to not-knockdowned, not-stunned, not-frozen, not-trapped etc statuses? I can understand that the resistances apply regardless of the target status, but that makes less sense with the abilities that are supposed to require full awareness and mobility. The same goes for the dodge/deflect: how can someone stunned/frozen/knockdowned dodge anything?

Skill levels

The skill description should display the number of solid skill points that have been put into that skill. When the character starts having a lot of items with skills bonuses, it becomes increasingly challenging and confusing to know what skills is close to reach its maximum level and what skills still have potential for further development. At the moment, the only way to make 100% sure of the real number of solid points into a given skill is either to fully undress the character or to review and double-check all the bonuses among the whole inventory. That’s just stupid. There should be the number of solid points displayed on the skill description.

Total Death counter

The total death counter should display the number of death per difficulty level.
Something like this:

Total death: x
Total death in normal: x
Total death in elite: x
Total death in ultimate: x
Total death after final quest: x

Why? Because this would give the option to check out if that build mostly died at a specific stage of the game. Some players may want to assess the real efficiency and survivability of their characters.
Once the character completed the final boss quest of a specific difficulty level (Loghorrean or Malmouth), when the next difficulty level is unlocked, the counter then switches to that difficulty level, regardless of what difficulty the game is. This would give the option to know how many times that build died along its normal development (understand “when completing the quests and reaching the level 100”) and how many times it died after having completed the game (understand “when farming for other builds”). Or a more simple way would be to add to the current counter the number of times the character died against a nemesis or a celestial or any crazy monster that one normally never sees when completing the main quests of the game.

Visual rendering vs in-game reality

On a general basis, the visuals are well consistent with what is going on in the game as a matter of hitting stuff, but there are a couple of exceptions:

The worst one probably is the Blackwater cocktail: when the skill is maxed, and even worse with the transmuter on, the skill no longer displays what it really does. You have monsters clearly away from the fire that are hit by it. This is what happens when you have an attack with a 7 meters radius computed by the engine but displayed as a 4 meters radius one by the graphics.

The same goes to some extent to some traps: some traps triggered by the character, like the Devil’s Cage from the Devil’s Cage Hauberk. It happens sometimes that the monsters start moving again but with the trap still displayed on them. This inconsistency between the graphics and the game makes it look bad.

The pets also could enjoy a little bit of tweaking with the graphics: they could start pretty small at level 1/12 and be really big at level 22/12. At the moment, they look exactly the same between a level 01/12 one with its lowest HP and the level 22/12 version with the highest HP.

Damages shared to allies

Some auras enable the character to share some damage bonuses to the allies around, not just bonuses, but actual flat, real damages.

At the moment, what is displayed on the player’s screen, the one giving the damage bonuses, on the “inspect player” window, are the damages computed with his own bonuses, while what appears to work in the game, the damages shared to the allies, those they really do in addition of their usual own ones, are the flat, the lowest value, then increased with their own bonuses. This is all wrong: 1) the damages shared should be the damages with all the bonuses from the aura giver (since he is the one who creates those damages with his own powers) and 2) the damages displayed on the inspect player window should have real, consistent, values, what really happen in the game, not that weird mix of flat and bonus values which makes no sense since it matches with no reality whatsoever in the game whatever how you look at it.

If I play a build dedicated for instance to cold damage and I wear the frostdread cuirass and activate the Frostdread Presence, I want my cold damages to be shared to my allies, not just to send them some basic flat damages on which they will then apply their own bonuses, which they may not have?

Nemesis AI

The nemesis monsters can be incredibly dangerous or incredibly bad, but this unfortunately does not depend on strategic moves but only on what appears to be pure randomness: The cooldowns. Like most monsters in the game, the nemesis appear to only be able to endlessly spam their cooldown abilities until their target is dead. This makes some sense to some extent, but the problem is that the fight against the nemesis then always turn into a clock fight: tic tac, that ability is about to be ready again, which means that he will do it again, I do some defense, I move around, bam, that idiot wasted that turn, tic tac, the ability cooldown is now starting again. And on and on. I have seen myself fighting the nemesis by doing nothing else but counting the time they need to do again that annoying attack. Alexander and his one-shot meteor or Valdaran and his lol-you-can’t-dodge-it lightning bolt.

That kind of AI makes the nemesis look dumb. I know this is “just” an ARPG, and that the monsters are not supposed to be very smart, but I mean, come on, we are talking about the nemesis here. If they are nothing more but a big bag of massive HP, some good resistances and dangerous abilities, what’s the point? As I am under the impression that there is probably no plan to improve the game AI whatsoever, my suggestion would be to maybe make the cooldowns of the abilities of the important monsters (bosses, nemesis etc) a bit random. If some attack needs 4 seconds until now, make it need between 3 and 5 seconds, and the same for most abilities. This would make the fight feel more real, by creating some variation, some randomness, instead of monitoring a watch. Valdaran and his tic toc I-teleport-you tic toc I-teleport-me tic toc I-stun-you-with-my-undodgeable-lightning-strike would be way more challenging and interesting to fight than this stupid 2-steps dance that one (playing ranged) has to perform at the moment to deal with him. At the moment, dealing with Valdaran is no fight, this is just dancing with a troll.

Another problem with the nemesis are the massives ones that spawns cristals: the undead one and the normal chtonian one. The cristals have some collision size around them, and it can hamper their moves, and it is just too easy to block them in some tight place by letting them spam their cristals until they end up being completely blocked by them. This is lame. Only thing one has to do to deal with them is to build up a ranged character with good run speed and resistances to freeze/trap and of course a lot of DPS with the right damage types, move around until you find a good place, let them spam on and on their stupid cristals, and that’s it, you have the so-called biggest monsters of the game turned into nothing more but stupid sitting ducks. My suggestion would either be to make them unaffected by their own cristals (they can walk over them, they are big enough for that), or to setup some timeout that makes that everytime they just can’t reach some place after x seconds, they automatically dispel/remove all of their cristals that are currently within a radius of like 1.5 or 2 meters right around them. This would give them the mobility that fits with their status.

The nemesis are supposed to be the bosses of their factions, some masterminds of some sort, not just another kinds of dumbass that blindlessly spam random abilities until they are either done or dead.

Abilities granted by items

Why some advanced versions of some items no longer have the ability it used to grant?
Where is the Caustic Pool on the Mythical Tome of Nar’adin?
Where is the Storm Tap on the Mythical Stormreaver?
What kind of sense really is there into providing the players with extra abilities that later in the game you then take back?
What are supposed to think the players of a game where some abilities cannot be naturally done by any of the natural classes they can take at the beginning or unlocked later in the game, which is entirely specific to some item, and that is only available at some stage later in the game and which advanced version of that very item in the end game then have it removed, not for a more advanced version, but just because?
Why is it possible to have low-level components that may grant attacks based on fire, cold, poison, aether and chaos, but not lightning? And why then in end game you finally have lightning-based attacks, but no longer for the aether?
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t find any equivalent of the deathchill bolts for the lightning. The guns component for the lightning damage happens to be the only one dedicated into providing extra damages instead of granting a special attack. Just because. Next to that, there is the Aethersteel bolts which is the only component in the game, and nearly the only item in the game with the aetherstorm set, which grants an aether-based attack. Why isn’t there any clear evolution of the item-based abilities for some damage types? This wouldn’t be a problem if the masteries were providing enough choice, but they don’t, and one has to rely on the relics and components if he feels like experimenting some alternative builds.

Resistances maxing unbalance

Some resistances are pretty easy to max and some others are a bit more challenging. Now nearly everything in end game provides some elemental resistances and I can’t remember the last time I had a character level 50+ who couldn’t reach at least 65% in fire/cold/lightning. But in some other area, maxing the resistances is a different story.

How can I resist to the Impaired Aim effect? Sure, it is not a damage effect, it does not seem to be something that could directly and seriously threaten my character, but it is an effect hampering my ability to play all the same, up to the point where his DPS can drop by 50% or maybe even to 75%. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but why isn’t there anything in the whole game that would give me some resistance against that effect? What am I supposed to do with my ranged char when it is under such effect and firing randomly everywhere in the room but on the one place where I am telling him to do? What am I supposed to think of my ranged character, on which I put some effort after some time, worked on his offense, attack speed, damage, etc, everything, and is now reaching end game, doing good so far, having survived so much, doing epic stuff, but then something somewhere is showing up out of the blue, doing Impaired Aim on him, and all his damages, all his critical hits, all his abilities related with his weapon and main attack, everything is just down the drain just because it is now affected by something on which I have no defense whatsoever and reduce my ability to do damage up to the point where my only option is to temporarily retreat?

Yeah, it is exactly as it sounds: it is just bad.

The stun resistance is another one here where the whole game about getting as tanky as possible clearly shows its limit. Unless one go soldier and/or shield, the stun resistance is a seriously challenging one to max. And that’s not even the whole problem: someone corrects me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that this is one the only resistances in the whole game that cannot be extended above 80%. Why getting the stun res above 80%? Because I need my character to be fully mobile and active. Sure, most stun effects are usually a matter of some tenth of a second, they are no big threat. But what about the long ones, and especially those of those guys who can stun you good and also hit you bad? What about those done by those lightning bolts from those skeleton uniques or by Valdaran? Even when one manages to get his stun resistance around 40-50%, the stun effect is sometimes long enough to get you into a bad situation, and if you’re really out of luck, you can get stun again, and to finally have your character killed without much option to do anything. Just because you just can’t improve that damn stun resistance.

Is this supposed to be the definition of a challenge? Is this supposed to be the definition of fun?
There is that recurring feeling that I sometimes get in the end of the game, unless I have managed to make a really good build, where one is reaching level 90+, entering the final stages in Fort Ikon, the rifts etc, that either one goes soldier/shield or he dies, because he just can’t withstand all the threat that he is going to have to face in end game, or either one goes soldier/shield and doesn’t kill anything (I mean in a reasonable amount of time), because he won’t be able to build up all the firepower and abilities necessary to deal with the population of the end game. I believe that this feeling is among other things related with that issue with the stun resistance.

The soldier is the raw survivor class, I understand that, and I value his strengths, but I don’t think that he is supposed to have such a monopoly on such a universal trouble as the stun effect is.
If it was possible to dodge most attacks doing that effect, it wouldn’t be much of a problem, but the game is so messy sometimes that the player just can’t control anything, and if his character is starting to also not respond anymore, this can get serious pretty quickly.

My suggestion:
Oak Skin: +1% stun resistance / level
Harbinger of Souls: +1% stun resistance / level
(I would have included in this list the Demo’s Blast shield, but this is such a useless skill that I won’t even mention it…)
1-3 new component(s) (mostly for helms I guess) which feature some stun resistance
A side quest which special reward would be a permanent +5% stun res for instance
A devotion dedicated to all those shitty resistances like stun, chaos, impaired aim.

The end of some temporary effects/consumables

I would greatly appreciate if some temporary effects I can get for my character, and especially those of the Royal Jelly Essence (+% HP) combined with the resistance potions, get some visual and/or audio warning when it is about to end and very especially when it does end. It really is a frustrating experience when I am trying to complete some challenging quest (understand for instance going through all the rifts with a low HP char on which I just can’t get his chaos res over 60%) and I find out that why my health bar is suddenly acting like a crazy yoyo and I am about to die now nearly every single second from any attack from even shitty mobs I couldn’t care less 20 seconds earlier, is that just because my very lovely potions have just ended up their nice effects and have very carefully not let me know. Not cool. Please setup some sort of puff bubble or vapor going up around the character or something like that when the resistance potions wear off. Some potions are critical in end game.

Challenging enemies versus ridiculously overpowered enemies

It is a challenge in such game to create a population of mobs and bosses challenging enough to provide that right balance of satisfaction of accomplishment after some hard work and good strategy, yet not too easy to feel boring and childish, and also not too hard to feel impossible and pointless. There is one aspect of that challenge that is interestingly not developed enough in this game at the moment, this is what I would call the arcane effect. The arcane effect is what I understand is done by those arcane unique monsters, which powers is to disable one’s auras and other toggle abilities. This is sloppy at the moment, first, because when those monsters do such attack, all the auras/abilities are disabled, and also second because not many monsters in end game have access to such ability.

I strongly believe that granting an arcane effect with a lesser power but to a bigger population of bosses and unique monsters in the ultimate difficulty would make the game more challenging the right way, ie without making it look like you deal with ridiculously overpowered monsters. If this is possible to setup an ability that randomly remove one toggle ability on its target, this would create a challenge on a different level than the usual DPS vs HP one, hence more attention required, hence more stimulation. All builds in end game exist through the toggle abilities. No one as far as I know can fully complete the game with a 100% raw build (with nothing to toggle on/drink/summon etc), all the auras and other abilities that grant damage bonuses, resistance bonuses etc are just mandatory soon or later. Now if some critical enemies could just disable one of them, just dealing his usual DPS, nothing more, this would push the players in ultimate to regularly check their abilities. The engine has the function, but the game does not seem to use it to its full potential.

The overpowered effect of stacking resistance reduction

We have recently played a team based on resistance reduction, and I am under the impression that the game engine is just not ready for the effect of many resistance reductions applied together. They appear to all stack one over each other without any kind of balance.

The team was:
me: arcanist+occultist, doing flash freeze+curse of frailty+necrosis+Solael’s Flame+Eldrich fire+Black Mark
my ally: shaman-inquisitor, doing aura of censure+word of pain

The monsters just couldn’t stand a chance. It was like a bunch of thugs rushing and trashing a pots shop with baseball bats. They were all sitting ducks exploding one after another with no chance of doing anything, mobs, uniques, bosses, all alike. This was our most efficient team ever. Even the Nemesis and the Mad Queen were done within seconds. I think that the game is already more or less flawed when the resistance reduction are applied on a single basis (the thermite mine or the Eldritch fire providing resistance reduction to their own damages), but that flaw is then completely out of proportion when multiple resistance reductions are applied together. My character was dedicated to the chaos ray (Tainted Power), but with all the effects of the game used into lowering that resistance (chaos), there just appears to be nothing in the whole game but the celestials that can then withstand the crazy level of power that such combination creates.

I value the fact that to have to use a right combination of skills is supposed to create a more or less higher level of power than just using those skills separately, but seriously, the resistance reductions are too strong when they stack over each other. There either should be a reduction to the additional reductions, or some monsters should have a resistance to the resistance reduction. But at the moment, this just feels wrong: you just have to flash freeze/curse of frailty/necrosis/solael’s flame something, and then fire at it the eather’s ray with tainted power+Eldritch fire+the effects of the Black Flame set with the Ritual Circle and it is done in a matter of seconds, regardless if this is a boss or a nemesis. My ally was even doing this worse with Word of Pain+Aura of Censure: he was like a threat magnet and the monsters couldn’t unstick from him which was providing me all the time and security required to clear the place.

  1. Player A enjoys Grim Dawn. He has played the game for a while and now thinks about starting that new build he had in mind.
  2. He creates the new character, and steadily moves up levels with this new build, which just works fine until now, better than expected actually.
  3. Everything works just fine until he reaches that level where he can at last equip that special gear he saved for that build. The build is now perfect.
  4. And then comes the mythical version. The whole build is based among other things on a special set. But there comes a surprise: a part of the mythical set now includes a 100% conversion from that type of damage the whole build is based on to some other type of damage that has nothing to do with the build.
  5. The player can’t believe it. He checks multiple times the gear set, the conversion is here. He checks if he has other versions of that part of the set: maybe the conversion is not there? or at least much lower? No, it’s always there, and it’s always massive, and yes, it does kill the whole idea of the build. The build is rendered completely useless because of that one conversion. Just because. Well, maybe he could equip another set? No, nothing good around, this is the only set at this stage of the game and for this build. The alternative would be to re-create the whole inventory of the character with other items, but the build loses then too much of everything (HP, res, damage, off/def, abilities) with a selection of other items. There is just nothing that can replace that inventory for that build at that stage.
  6. The items would be perfect for that build if there was not that one line, that very strange conversion dropped right in the middle of it, and that won’t go. Just because.
  7. What is supposed to think the player of the game at this stage?

if only player A had discovered Grimtools, player B did and he enjoyed the hell out of conversion

If I didn’t reply to something it means I didn’t really know what you were referring to or I agree completely.

Working as intended. Devotions are essentially passive skills, and thus apply globally when you invest in them and meet their requirements. It’s like Shield Training in Soldier requiring a shield, but applying its damage everywhere. The only time weapons get bonuses unique to them is when those bonuses come from a Component.

It’s intentional that your resistances are ignored. It isn’t intentional that type-specific absorption (like Runeguard Greaves or Crab) can absorb environmental damage, but I don’t think that’s being fixed. Hargate’s Lab waters deal (I believe) 32% of your max health/second, giving you 4 seconds of standing around in it before you die, assuming you don’t pop a healing potion.

New components are never coming. Too much clutter.

Uh…yes it can. Get out more.

That he or she probably should have looked at the items they were planning on using before making a character centered on those items.

A highly requested feature that is never coming. Every change of a skill’s FX is hardcoded manually. It cannot be dynamically generated via some math based on how much Conversion you have and a few numbers thrown around here and there. It’s a massive undertaking to do what you describe and, while entirely possible, it just isn’t worth it. There’s not a whole lot to be gained by it, financially speaking.

Possession actually used to have an energy cost. I fought long and hard against it for years because it was the only Exclusive skill to have a detrimental effect associated with it.

I was actually thinking about the Maiven’s situation just yesterday, as a matter of fact. The Damage Reduction is a relic from a long line of attempts to make Arcanist the first mastery with “shortcomings” on some of its skills. The old Reckless Power, for instance, would reduce your maximum HP…it wasn’t very popular. Maiven’s used to apply a % Damage Reduction which was meaningless, and then it converted some Physical Damage to nothingness which was over-punishing of Physical builds and nothing else. So now it punishes everything equally. Yay.

I’d be down to see the Damage Reduction removed, but its extremely-taxing Energy drain is a core signature of the skill that I’d hate to see done away with.

Target Prioritization. Learn it. Healers >> Debuffers > Damage-dealers. AoM threw a wrench in the works by mixing some of these traits around, e.g., debuffs that release a healing nova on death. It’s a game mechanic you gotta work around to succeed. That you’re trying to ignore it and having your bosses healed to full isn’t “bullshit,” it’s just negligence.

In the wise words of a long-lost Praetorian (Nine), do you actually want to spend every levelup sitting around for a few minutes wondering whether it’d be best to take a point in Cunning or one in Spirit? Put another way, it’s perhaps a good thing that Cunning and Spirit are not so competitive, because if they were it’d add tedium to the game just for the sake of it. No one has said that you’re “supposed to find the right balance” between the stats. That’s just your assumption, which, evidently, is incorrect.

The issue is that if you put an Offensive Devotion effect on an aura, such as Veil of Shadows, that Offensive Devotion effect will activate off of everything you do, because the aura is always active and is a global buff to your character. It’d be nice if this wasn’t the case, but it is. Hence why you can’t put Imp’s Aetherfire on VoS.

By…you know…perhaps reading the descriptions?

Flame Touched: “…unlocks the ability to imbue yourself and nearby allies with a living flame that augments attacks…”

Aura of Censure: “An Inquisitor’s mere presence is enough to inspire dread in the foes of mankind.”

It’s the same effect except it doesn’t stack. -% stacks, N Reduced does not.


Also reminds me of a Dungeons and Dragons oddity. Attacking a prone enemy with a melee attack will give you Advantage on that attack. Attacking a prone enemy with a ranged attack will give you Disadvantage on that attack…because…reasons?

I mean…says you. :stuck_out_tongue: But what if the receiver of said-bonuses can make better use of them than I can? Should they be screwed over by my support build because my support build isn’t very high damage?

That’s…what…that’s what happens.

Not really. The Nemeses are not the leaders of their factions, they’re hired muscle trained for one purpose: killing you, since you’ve so offended the faction in question. Benn’Jahr and Grava don’t lead the Chthonics, for instance; that’d be…you know…Ch’thon.

Hired muscle can be stupid, though, no? :stuck_out_tongue:

It is supposed to work that way, it allows for more diversity rather than locking DW builds into only dual wielding one weapon type. See the item sets that have a mace and sword like The Venomblade Pact for example.

I also dislike the damage penalty on it, and never use MSoP for mainly that reason. However, the other skills you are referring to are exclusive skills, that is why they do not have a cost associated with them, you can only have one exclusive skill active at a time. You could have MSoP going at the same time however, which is another reason it has such a cost. And the energy penalty doesn’t mean much considering Arcanist has options for both energy saving and regeneration.

Lightning does indeed have two versions of a damage skill. Lightning Nova (Cracked Lodestone) and Empowered Lightning Nova (Amber, which must be crafted). It functions like Callidor’s Tempest, a spam-able radius burst.

Rather than one huge wall of text just prior to an expansion release, it would have been better to gradually post feedback one issue at a time over the course of your 3 year playing period.

Competition was fierce but the winner is… TURNING OFF CONVERSION AT KASPAROV’S!!! Bravo!

Doesn’t Menhir’s Bulwark protect against it? The 35% at 14/12 is a whole second before dying (considering max health and some regen and no monsters around)

I think it defeats the point of making a build when you die of stepping into a pool of piss though. It’s also inconsistent with how much of the game (kiting, catching running enemies, dealing with projectiles, etc.) is simplified with the build making process.

That he or she probably should have looked at the items they were planning on using before making a character centered on those items.

I think making a character centered on an item you already know of (AND HAVE) is not something most players experience. Most players just roll through campaign in normal, maybe veteran, and don’t see a legendary item, much less use one. Even fewer players get to the point where they start making endgame builds. And even fewer manage to complete sets that they can build around.

I sincerely hope the cost of transmuting in FG will be relatively affordable.

Possession actually used to have an energy cost. I fought long and hard against it for years because it was the only Exclusive skill to have a detrimental effect associated with it.

I was actually thinking about the Maiven’s situation just yesterday, as a matter of fact. The Damage Reduction is a relic from a long line of attempts to make Arcanist the first mastery with “shortcomings” on some of its skills. The old Reckless Power, for instance, would reduce your maximum HP…it wasn’t very popular. Maiven’s used to apply a % Damage Reduction which was meaningless, and then it converted some Physical Damage to nothingness which was over-punishing of Physical builds and nothing else. So now it punishes everything equally. Yay.

I’d be down to see the Damage Reduction removed, but its extremely-taxing Energy drain is a core signature of the skill that I’d hate to see done away with.

As long as the energy drain and the skillpoint tax is compensated fairly. Maybe some DA could sweeten the deal?

Target Prioritization. Learn it. Healers >> Debuffers > Damage-dealers. AoM threw a wrench in the works by mixing some of these traits around, e.g., debuffs that release a healing nova on death. It’s a game mechanic you gotta work around to succeed. That you’re trying to ignore it and having your bosses healed to full isn’t “bullshit,” it’s just negligence.

It’s negligence only so far that you don’t have a Build that nukes bosses faster than the healers can do a casting animation.

In the wise words of a long-lost Praetorian (Nine), do you actually want to spend every levelup sitting around for a few minutes wondering whether it’d be best to take a point in Cunning or one in Spirit? Put another way, it’s perhaps a good thing that Cunning and Spirit are not so competitive, because if they were it’d add tedium to the game just for the sake of it. No one has said that you’re “supposed to find the right balance” between the stats. That’s just your assumption, which, evidently, is incorrect.

Not really. It’s an artifact of Diablo 2 where classes no longer had caps on their attributes like back in D1, and everyone started adding enough points in Str/dex to wear gear, enough in energy to be comfortable (for casters, attackers usually left it alone), and everything else in vitality. Rolling vitality into Strength is just continuing that flawed tradition.

In FG we are getting health on all stats, so the difference between them will reduce.

And just to nitpick on this one a little more. If you think deciding between three stats is too much tedium, then what do you call the devotion system? Item skill modifiers? Fake customization is not customization. It’s failed design. And it’s getting somewhat fixed. I say somewhat because the 420 DA still outweighs what the other attributes offer.

It’s the same effect except it doesn’t stack. -% stacks, N Reduced does not.

because having 3 different types of resist reduction with different stacking mechanics is a good thing apparently. Is it even explained properly in the game guide? I always just used the Outcast-bot’s link in the discord to look it up. If it isn’t explained properly then I guess it is a bad design.

At any rate good morning folks! I hope the workplace admins finally give me printer/scanner access and I can stop lazing around writing these posts and do something worthwhile.

I disagree with almost everything in op. So I’ll just pick one. Attributes. I wouldn’t call them a mess just because one is more universally applicable. It’s not true that cunning and spirit are useless. Cunning is used by pierce (and even by a cold build that is currently the fastest melee crucible farmer itg). Spirit in some niche builds and some caster setups tuned to max offense.

What do, however reluctantly, agree with is this:

  • armor augments, especially AoM, could have lower lvl req
  • general main game difficulty could be increased especially in Ultimate

Thank you for your replies.

Whole areas of “environmental damage” is no challenge: if you can’t jump over it, or go around it, if you can’t have any resistance to it, any way to dodge it, deal with it, this is not a challenge, this is just bullshit. Same with the unkillable plants: you can kill absolutely everything in the game, included some furniture which have zero connection whatsoever with you and your objectives, and then come some plants which can attack but you can’t attack them, just because? This is no challenge. A challenge is when you have options, since the whole point is to see what you are going to do. A is going to go for that option and fail miserably and B will take the right option and succeed. That is the definition and the point of a challenge.

Great. This means that the only option for a build into physical damage that is overall OK with the resistances etc and who is looking for nice components for his rings at the end of the game are nothing else but the… level 1 roiling bloods? What sort of sense is there in an ARPG when your level 90 char has no other options but level 1 items? If the concern here is the inventory disaster, then I have bad news: the inventory is already a disaster. But since this then turned into a feature (the addiction of always looking for more, better items) and sales opportunity (the crucible), then I can’t see how 4-10 more components is going to do any more harm at this point in my opinion.

You missed my point: the conversions are killing the creativity in this game. Most players may be interested into playing the game because of the options it provides. You can try some sort of soldier/arcanist who is half-tank half-caster, or a fully ranged build with demo-inqui and so on. And up to this point, Grimtools is indeed a solid option to enhance your experience. And then comes the conversion, which pushes you to play your build one way and that way only.

That’s a good point.

But I am still sorry for the Sphere of Protection. There is no reason why the arcanist should be the only one in the whole game to have the one ability that have negative bonuses, and especially on a mandatory feature such as something granting damage reduction on a build that is going to be weak HP-wise. It makes even less sense when one is considering that that negative bonus actually goes higher and higher the more one is trying to improve that skill.

Good point again, but I was thinking about a range attack, like a chain lightning, a lightning bolt, something like that. But since you mention those abilities, I have to take back the statement that there is no component granting lightning attacks.

I’m sorry, but what? Conversions do the exact opposite. More conversions -> more creativty because you can actually combine certain class combos that didn’t had much, if any synergy prior.

Without conversions, half of the sets and items wouldn’t exist.

Also pretty damn funny that you are still here when you proclaimed you were done with this game. And specially after you felt “sorry” for the game only selling 1 million copies and it would have sold more if it was a carbon copy of Diablo 2.

So another full layer of options that open up a whole new world of possibilities and that the player can choose to make use of IF they choose to on top of all the existing combos in the game (and they are many & counting) kills creativity. Interesting:eek:…

Quite :rolleyes:

You are saying that is a good thing that the player is offered a choice, with only one correct answer? I totally disagree, since either you know the answer in advance and therefore it is meaningless or you are going to ruin your game experience by making a build that just does not work.

This is actually bad balance or bad design. If you are not supposed to chose the attributes to level up in any meaningful way. That option should be removed, and just auto level the attributes. Otherwise, Cunning and Spirit should not be useless.