And a Happy New Grim Misadventure to you! As we usher in 2020, we reflect upon the game that released nearly four years ago. 2019 was another huge year for Grim Dawn.
Let’s go down memory lane and see all that 2019 brought us…and perhaps see what’s still to come!
2019 saw the release of Grim Dawn’s second expansion, Forgotten Gods, as well as 6 major content and feature updates. Build diversity saw substantial gains through not only hundreds of new items in the expansion but also through extensive balancing, including concluding the year with our largest content update ever!
From the Past…
A God Forgotten – As with Ashes of Malmouth before it, the Forgotten Gods expansion was a massive addition to the game, having introduced a massive new story chapter that culminated in some serious ramifications for the game’s lore. The Oathkeeper mastery rounded out build options, bringing the total number of mastery combinations to a staggering 36. New movement skills forever changed the dynamic of combat and brought an era of new speed records to the Crucible. Finally, the Shattered Realm offered an all new way to engage with Grim Dawn’s endgame.
Forgotten Gods was some of our finest work yet and we are immensely proud of all it did for the game. Fans seem to agree, with an 85% score on Steam and a 4.6/5 on GoG!
- Filtered Gameplay – V18.104.22.168 added one of our favorite recent features to Grim Dawn: the loot filter. Grim Dawn has a ton of ways to build characters and sometimes all that loot dropping on the ground can seem overwhelming, especially for new players. The loot filter simplified this process by allowing players to show only the items with attributes they care about!
More Bits! – Perhaps not as impactful on the surface but with significant ramifications for the upcoming Xbox port, Grim Dawn’s engine was updated to support x64 processing and thus the expanded memory available to most PCs these days. This was a requirement to run the game on console, but as with controller support a while back, PC players benefit as well!
Melee Looks – The way the game processes melee animations was completely overhauled with v22.214.171.124. While this change had no impact on actual gameplay performance, it made melee combat feel much more satisfying with snappier animations and sharper weapon trails.
Spell It Out – As work progressed on Grim Dawn, not only did our standards for quality go up, but also our own ability to execute upon those standards. We spent significant time in 2019 going back to some of the game’s oldest spell effects and overhauling them completely.
Not only that, we improved the tech for out skill modifiers to allow for more visual updates. This meant we could take most of our 100% Conversion skill modifiers and add alternate visuals for all of those skills. Finally Trozan’s Sky Shard could look acidic when you turned its damage into acid/poison.
- Monstrously Updated – As with spell effects, some of our oldest monsters fell woefully behind the quality of our more recent creations. First in line were Zombies, Bonebacks and Rifthounds, but several other monsters saw adjustments as well!
- We Swear There’s Something There – A common request since Ashes of Malmouth, we introduced new invisible Illusions for Helmets and Shoulders so players could customize their look to suit their needs. The Fashion Dawn collection is always a treat to visit.
- Deferred Renderer – Probably one of the biggest improvements to the engine, the deferred renderer significantly improved performance for many players and allowed us to enable dynamic lighting on many of our spell effects
- Putting Veteran Back in Veteran – Veteran difficulty had fallen behind over the years and no longer presented the challenge for experienced players that it was meant to. With v126.96.36.199, we went back to the leveling experience and made Veteran and Elite difficulty feel like a proper difficulty progression instead of the breeze they became as mastery skills became more powerful.
- Life Qualities – v188.8.131.52 introduced a series of great improvements to the game, several of which were popularized by the Grim Internal mod. With auto-looting for crafting materials and components, monster health bars, search functionality for various UIs including the Devotion screen and the ability to select your favorite Crucible map at the start, 2019 saw some of the biggest quality of life changes to the game yet.
- It’s Over…6000! – Across several updates, but culminating with v184.108.40.206, we made over 6000 item changes in a massive overhaul that saw some of the oldest Legendary sets updated to modern standards and all of our Epic items and Rare affixes receiving a much needed facelift to make leveling up more exciting.
- The Tomb Opens – A certain individual at the Conclave of the Three made some questionable deals with many players. Those deals culminated in the opening of Grim Dawn’s 5th roguelike dungeon: the Tomb of the Heretic!
Death’s Way – The Shattered Realm holds some of Grim Dawn’s greatest challenges, and players have been asking for a means to push as far as they can. With v220.127.116.11, we added the means to do so through Deathly Waystones, which offer shortcuts back to some of the highest Shards at the cost of loot rewards; but to those hunting for the peak of build performance, that is in itself its own reward.
Some players have taken it upon themselves to push the limits of even the new Waystones.
In honor of their achievements, V18.104.22.168 will extend the waypoints available to Deathly Waystones all the way up to Shard 210. Good luck!
2019 may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean Grim Dawn’s finished! We’ve already given you a taste of what’s still to come in our last update.
As is tradition, we still have MOAR! Alongside the Monster Totems, you can also look forward to nine new Legendary weapons! This collection of loot can rarely drop anywhere in the game, but if you are keen on acquiring them quickly, then you will want to track down the new totems!
But wait…hot on the heels of v22.214.171.124, we still have some treats for you down the line. While we’re not ready to discuss all of them in detail, we’ll leave you with this image to ponder what’s next!
Like knowing what is coming up next for Grim Dawn? Check back on 02/17/2020 for the next Grim Misadventure.