Help a noob get into Grim Dawn

I have a huge problem getting into GD, although I love the concept and the aesthetics. I wanted to play a nice melee build (pew-pewing at monsters from afar doesn’t suit a legendary hero), started with a cadence build, got bored super fast. I’ve read through the forums( I really did), but the general idea I’ve got from it was “You have to level and farm a lot, and when you’re lvl 99 the fun will begin”.
So here I am, asking for guidance. I’d love a fun melee build that would allow me to slaughter the mobs quickly and effectively (AOE), that wouldn’t die from a boss farting on me and that I wouldn’t have to wait until last minutes of the game to shine. It doesn’t have to be a super-duper ultimate build for end game content. More of a fast paced, flashy monster slaying.

Thanks a lot!

Welcome to the game and to the forum. :slight_smile:

I’d say ignore those who say fun only starts when you hit L99 because you can have a lot of fun getting there. Any build in the game can make it to the end of Ultimate without needing uber gear to do so.

If you have the Ashes of Malmouth expansion for the game this is a popular beginner build.

If you don’t this might suit.

I love Solider and have finished Grimmest Elite with pure Soldier, so I am confused about what the problem is.

If you are new to the game, I would definitely not recommend following any builds/guides. Just play and have fun, you can facetank the entire game with a Soldier.

Maybe you have issue with skill points and Cadence. Cadence is a skill point whore, I would never recommend that for a first toon. You will be falling asleep from boredom. As you level, always put points in the Solider mastery, as you unlock skills, put max 1 point in them. When you get level 20+ you can start investing more points into the skills you like and re-specc out of the ones you do not like, but try them all. Let your play style dictate which ones you find useful and which ones you do not use.

But most important is to invest in Physique and the Soldier mastery so you get tanky in terms of HP. You will never have great clear speed or huge damage output, but you can sit in front of a boss and whittle away at him with no fear of a fart-death, if you get your HP up and bring enough pots.

Nobody can facetank this game until their 3rd or 4th character i believe.

You just need to play, a lot, to know the mechanics of damage, of mobs, of resistances, devotions, gears, component choice…only then can you level super fast as a starting character.

It takes a lot of time. But once you understand all of it, hell yeah its a lot of fun.

Just some tips:

+Make sure you have high resistances.

If you find that green stuff kills you ==> increase aether res
Similarly, red mobs and red damage ==> increase vit and chaos res
Basic hit, charge, range shooting (like in act 2) ==> increase pierce res


Rule of thumb is try to max one super aoe skills for mobs and one single target skill for boss

Example of amazing aoe skills:
Soldier: cadence with fighting form, force wave
Demo: max explosive strike for fire strike
Nightblade: amarasta blade burst
Occultist: max hellhound and chill, or bloody pox
Arcanist: olexa flash freeze for aoe, trozan sky shard for single target
Shaman: max briarthorn and chill, or devouring swarm
Inquisitor: max word of agony for word of pain and chill til 99 (this skill is so stupid)
Necromancer: max skele and chill for life, or ravenous earth

Next I guess is just research for devotions and find good procs for your build i guess

Excellent points. I have been click click clicking in games like this for far too long and likely have no idea what it means to be a new player.

And resists are critical. There is a lot of loot in this game and comparison of items bores me silly, so, for the most part, I always just pick the piece that has best resists.

The main point of my post was to stop using a guide. Someone like me is very jealous of someone like the OP that is new to the game. What I would not give to play GD for the first time again. Explore, read the lore, enjoy the combat and be happy that it is all new. You can also be happy that you find it challenging as a lot of us that do not, wish it could be.

One of my issues with Soldier has always been just that, it’s not very ‘flashy’ or exciting.

Besides the ones fleecestealer already mentioned, maybe Warder (Shaman + Soldier) would be more to your liking with Soldier acting as a support to your melee whilst you focus on Savagery.
If you have the expansion, Vindicator (Shaman + Inquisitor) may be a great option as well and Tactician (Inquisitor + Soldier) can make for a fun elemental Cadence focused build.

But one thing to note is that many of the devotions and items with ‘chance to activate on hit’ will spice up your basic attacks and as you level up you’ll be shitting out more and more devastating effects whilst bashing your foes.

EDIT: Honourable mention to the component ‘Riftstone’ which grants an active skill that lets you very quickly charge opponents. Great skill even if you have the Soldier ‘Blitz’ charge.