Long time player that would like to participate in discussion as opposed to my years as a lurker.
Started playing around the time Port Valbury was released.
I play exclusively solo, self found. I do not use any mods or 3rd party tools. I use mule characters to store gear.
Started hardcore, because I’ve always played hardcore in every ARPG I ever played. Like many, I started with Diablo I, then Diablo II. Did not like Diablo III - too much candy, not enough nutrition.
Grim Dawn was the first game where hardcore beat me. I soon realized just how little I understood mechanics, and went normal to gain a better understanding of the game. I now have several 100s nearly fully geared (can always find that elusive green…) that can complete crucible 150 (I’ve not tried 150-170). I’ve never defeated a celestial, but never tried. I’ve got a hankering to play hardcore fresh again (deleting game files so that I start with no recipes etc.) but I’m still having a blast experimenting with builds in normal. With the exp potions and the new item to allow starting in Ultimate - getting to 100 and geared, even factions, is pretty quick and enjoyable, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
I only recently began to appreciate Crucible. I always enjoyed it, but vastly preferred campaign. While I do not have every legendary/set, I have a lot (I would guess at least 80%), most all of it found in campaign. However, only recently have I become skilled enough to make my own builds that can defeat Crucible 150 reliably/easily, and I’ve started to appreciate how valuable Crucible is for evaluating build strength.
I’ve never liked using builds posted in the forums. I’ve always tried to make my own builds out of some irrational, emotional desire to have something unique (though logic says that any build I have done, has almost certainly been done before, even if I don’t see it on on a casual search of the forums). Don’t get me wrong - I love reading the Builds forum - it is a ritual I undertake nightly before going to sleep. Just seeing the choices others make is both educational and creative fuel for my own builds. Like I’m sure many others do, I spend a lot of time on grimtools.com.
To that end, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank a few players for some of their posts which truly educated me, and not only made me understand mechanics better, but also allowed me to appreciate this masterpiece of a game:
DaShiv - your Dracarris Incarnate (https://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52972) and Night King (https://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63153) guides - incredibly detailed and helpful. My first character to 100 that could defeat the Rogue likes was a Ritualist, because I was too proud to use a Cabalist back when Ritualist pet builds were considered weak. But the only reason my Ritualist stood a chance was because I read through your guides and started making better character choice with what your guides taught me. I later built a Dracarris Incarnate as best I could, after AoM, and although the build is not nearly as strong as it probably was pre-AoM, the sheer creativity of the build still amazes me to this day. The detailed explanations of skill, devotion, item choices, and in game mechanics switched me from thinking that pet builds were boring “one button builds” to appreciating how powerful and fun to play they can be.
Mortal Kombat - your Unstoppable Force build (https://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64706) was an eye opener for me. I had a level 100 Witchblade that truly sucked. I never liked Soldier. And while I did not have every piece of gear you mentioned, I had most. This was the first build where I finally caved and went with the build described. HOLY SMOKES what a difference in power. This build showed me just how tanky a character can be, and how to get there, and still have decent damage. And it was the first time I actually enjoyed playing a soldier (not just because of the power, but just because it taught me to appreciate Forcewave). Your detailed explanations of item and skill selection, and especially the Crucible guide, opened my eyes; and it was after using this build that I gained the ability to make my own builds that could beat Crucible 150. Thank you sir - I can’t stress enough what a difference your guide made in my ability to enjoy the game. I’m also a huge fan of Mortal Kombat I and II since I spent many an afternoon at college playing that with friends.
Superfluff - I’ve never used any of your guides verbatim. I am proud to say that my Ritualist build ended up very much like yours (https://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74225). Though your build is superior, the fact that my build roughly resembled yours, made me proud in the sense that I felt I was finally getting the hang for optimizing builds. More than that, I always enjoy your posts and your guides, because I feel I like I enjoy many of the same things about GD that you do. I feel your criticisms (both positive and negative) of gameplay are on point.
Chthon - Like Superfluff, I find I often agree with your sentiments (for example, a recent post about campaign Nemesis farming being less rewarding than Crucible). Your guides over the years have given me food for thought for my own builds. Most of all, you are helpful and considerate on the forums. You might be named after a dying chaos god, but I find you to be a voice of reason on the forums.
Dammit - your site is incredible. I’m not a web dev, but I know good software craftmanship when I see it. Your site is not only extremely useful but also well engineered. I am a proud “Patreon” of your site.
Last but certainly not least - thanks to all at Crate for making the best ARPG I’ve ever played, and in fact one of the best games I’ve ever played.
OK, I didn’t intend to turn this into a brown-nosing post. I just wanted to thank those who have allowed me to appreciate this game on a level that I’m not sure I otherwise would have.
Looking forward to contributing to discussions.
My latest character: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2E10Gj2
I started this character by wanting to level just as a Shaman. I wasn’t sure if I wanted an Archon, or Conjurer, or some other Shaman combo. Shaman is my favorite mastery in GD, because of its versatility.
I got to 94, equipped Wildblood, a set I owned and wanted to play with, to experiment. My original thought was to combine Wildblood with Blood Knight, but I only have one piece of Blood Knight (and can’t craft helm, so no transmute), so I made do with what I had. I ended up very happy with the build as is.
To those saying Grasping Vines and/or Wildblood are weak - I can’t agree. This build is not some 4-5 minute 150-170 Crucible clearer, but 150 with extra spawn (3 buffs + Vanguard) is absolutely no problem and my strongest, quickest builds. If people are interested I will post this build for discussion, if someone hasn’t already done it, as I’m interested in feedback to optimize it. I realize ring components could be better - simply because energy leech is not a common effect - but other than topaz, not sure what to use there. I’ve hesitated to use anything expensive because I haven’t committed to the rings. Chose mainly because each has a vitality RR proc. Maybe frozen heart for more freeze/petrify, topaz for DA - but I can save all this for another thread.
I want to see how far I can get in SR. To be honest, I find SR very boring, compared to campaign and crucible, so I’ve been putting it off.
Anyway, hello all, looking forward to posting occasionally.