How I feel about GD's endgame

Hello people! Wanted to vent out a little rant as a veteran and see where you guys are at considering GD’s endgame.

Previously i thought GD is rounding up and no major changes to the gameplay would come. But since they are apparently in the works i have to say (or better remind) that both Crucible and Shattered Realm are still extremely underwhelming gamemodes.

Every time i load this pinnacle content i can’t stop coming back to the feeling that endgame was an afterthought in Grim Dawn. Smth for the edgy nerds to chew on. And every patch this feeling gets weirder because there is big effort to balance the game for a large variety of build being viable in ENDGAME.

And variety improves, and balance improves, and new builds emerge. But to what end? It feels like all the builds we make are better suited to live on a shelve, as collection figures, beautiful and powerful, without touching the actual game.


  • Literally disfunctional gamemode. If any outsider aRPG fan looks at any modern Crucible video they’d thought it’s either a funny community mod or some beta of an indie game. This enemy nonstop bounce is ridiculous, aggrivating and inexcusable. It makes enemies perform unintended dodges, eat up unintended amounts of dmg and perform skills in unintended moments of the fight (hello constant Grava’s disengages and disrupt charges, hello Zantarin shotguns out of the blue).

  • I know there was a great effort to fix it. It lead to smth even worse. I’m just reporting my experience after playing PoE and D4 on the side. If GD will continue to get full development support, Crucible arena has to be fixed. I’m willing to buy some sort of a support cosmetic pack to help the cause. Cause i feel attached to the game and at the same time ashamed that it has an official DLC gamemode like this.

  • One request that i have is adding (maybe optional) pinnacle waves with downgraded Celestial fights or reworking 160 and 170 waves into boss rushes (10 to 15 spawns in succession). Right now the last wave of the gamemode doesn’t feel fulfilling. And please, PLEASE for the love of god remove mutators from Crucible. This is an unfun variety to the gameplay and adds nothing but frustration.

Shattered Realm:

  • The gamemode has gotten a lot of improvements over the years but it still comes across as smth very secondary. Monster spawns are way too random, with way too random danger. Bosses spawns are even more random for how important they are for filling the meter. Chunk difficulty and avg completion time is even more random. Just a neverending stream of unfun randomness. You can’t gauge your build’s power to know which one is a better farmer. You get cold streaks of bad chunks with either gigantic barren areas or convoluted labyrinths of textures with jank pathing. Get bored out of your mind and quit the game

  • Consider (again, maybe as an optional selection at NPC) a reduction in SR randomness: each shard has three separate pools of chunks devided but the scale of rooms, so each time you get one short room, one middle and one large; each normal chunk has at least one boss spawn in limited range proximity to the player spawn (like no farther than half a map); the end portal also spawns in limited range proximity of the player. Also consider small reworks to chunks to make them more interconnected and easier to path into.

  • Personally would also love to see a harder, different sort of fight in every 10th shard (after 65 or 75): like a shattered version of a boss surrounded by other bosses and/or heroes that you need to fight together but you are better rewarded.

I enjoyed my time in GD and am thankful to the devs for great times. If my play will now be reduced to coming back every start of the new patch for a few days to increase my roster of collection figure builds to put them on the shelve, that’s probably fine. But this game could’ve had much more interesting and fulfilling endgame, it feels like a missed opportunity.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++1 looking forward to them sexy wings cosmetics with chthonic/eldritch/aetherial etc thematic and most definitely +1 to everything banana said.

You know what it would take. You don’t like it. So what’s your fix?

Unfortunately, I have to agree here. Both mods still feel like it’s a beta version of the game or as op pointed out - an “afterthought”.

One of the reasons why endgame for me personally is figuring the very best builds and then “shelving” them is because the actual endgame is simply not that fun. Crucible is just in this permanent semi-broken state that I personally got used to (because I need to test stuff there) that apparently can’t fixed in a way that won’t make monsters move at snail’s speeds and camp at spawns. Shattered Realm is just not really balanced at all. It’s extremely random. And at the same time you get chunks where you can meet the same groups of heroes up to like 5 times I swear.
The fun parts of SR for me are boss chunks and then high density maps. Latter is a double edged sword as you can accidentally aggro half of the map and then together with ground damage effects the whole screen becomes a complete clusterfuck of stuff (it also makes the game lag on my GTX 3060 Ryzen cpu PC).

Honestly, I don’t play campaign at all (since it’s not challenging) but Totems look like a much more fun endgame mechanic where you get to fight a bunch of heroes at the same time you get instantly rewarded.

But yeah, really hoping for the more thought out endgame in GD2. Not sure if GD’s one can be salvaged.

EDIT: If we can buy some cosmetic thing to support a bit of GD’s late development I am up for that.


I don’t enjoy arena based modes where all the threat comes to me instead of me having to explore and choose the way I engage. As a result, I don’t play Crucible and can’t comment on it. If a friend hadn’t gifted it to me, I wouldn’t even own the mode cause I know it’s not for me.

Shattered Realm is my form of endgame. And I’m extremely happy with it. The randomness, the variety of maps, the variety of threats or densities. And the overhauled boss encounters, which I’ll take partial credit for (thank you again Zantai).

I don’t like the curated form of endgame where everything has to meet this and this very narrow level of density with this and this specific frequency of bosses and all the boss encounters have to be within this and this small percentile of threat level. Too much randomness is also not desirable of course, hence why I endlessly bitched about the hyper resistant humanoids and the healer squads and why I’m still not particularly happy with the Bonebleach map, which is way too stuffed with 1.5 mil HP camels that give next to no progress while the hero and boss fights are scattered way out. But randomness brings not only variety but also different environments to test builds in. If every map was as dense as, say, Conflagration, then only builds with outstanding AoE or survivability could even venture into SR. If every map was as ridiculously trapped as that FUCKING Ugdenbog cave, then only hyper-mobile or super tanky characters could run SR. But when maps are this varied, when enemy encoutenters are this unpredictable and the sources of the challenge are this diverse, builds get tested on all sorts of axes instead of just one or two. Builds with great AoE will excel in those hyper dense maps others are scared of, high single DPS builds will lag behind on maps unless they can find a lone Nemesis but they’ll make it up in boss rooms or special encounters like Seeker of the Damned. High mobility builds will make up any lost time on widely spread maps where low MS/low mobility builds will lag behind. In the end every build gets to excel in their own way without necessarily having to be a carbon copy of another successful build. Try playing a high single target DPS build in PoE’s map system, when onetapping whole screens is basically the requirement, the curated way to play. I enjoy SR’s freedom and the opportunities to make every build shine in what it does best.

As for the replayability of endgame, I’m probably not the right guy to chime in on that. I personally don’t enjoy playing a build over and over and over in endgame content in any ARPG and I don’t enjoy farming. Usually my farming happens naturally as I just make a ton of builds I’m interested in. Playing through the game with so many builds eventually lands me on all the gear I want in a natural way without having to work my ass off for it. And because I make so many builds, I also don’t sit on the same build for long. Once I’ve finished it and tested it in endgame to my satisfaction, I’m happy to move on. PoE’s map system didn’t make me want to replay endgame on the same build over and over any more than D3’s rifts or GD’s SR. Hell, I was happier with D2 that had no endgame and just lots of challenging levelling than I was with D3 that turned levelling into a time tax and made everything about endgame. I will say, however, that in my recent SR testing for my Overviews, which has been going non-stop for over a month now, I have played more continuous SR than I ever have before and I’m nowhere near bored of it, cause every week I’m taking a different old build for a spin. That’s more than I can say for D3’s or PoE’s endgame, which managed to bore me out of my mind if I played it longer than 3 days consecutively. So SR must be doing something right. At least for me. As is GD. 5.6+k hours and counting and nowhere near done with it.

Have I mentioned that brevity is not my strong suit?


This will be from a fairly casual perspective, as I use endgame modes mostly as a “right of passage” for my chars, to test if they are complete. I don’t farm the modes, I don’t push them for speed or depth - I just push my character through it and move on to make a new one. It’s also where I go to replay some of old chars from time to time.

For those purposes, I’m perfectly happy with both Crucible and SR. The fact that there are 2 modes already makes them more fun and fresh. Crucible offers fast and zergy fights where you can get that POE feeling of evaporating mobs and bosses by mere touch. SR feels more like a meaningful combat with more weight to mobs and more consideration of bosses. I really hope that whenever GD2 happens, both modes will make a return.

After initial patching of SR I never felt like its randomness is somehow a problem. I do get fucked by it occasionally, but that’s mostly just a sign of a bad build. I do feel that the shrine system in SR is completely wasted, and might as well not exist for my purposes. Which is a shame.

I’ve also never noticed the bouncing of mobs in Crucible. First time I see any sign of it, I swear.

Overall, the duality of modes lasted me way longer than D3 great rifts system, which I just found boring. I do feel both SR and CR are worse than POE’s Atlas, but that’s because Atlas is brilliant in concept with years of iteration behind it. I just really wish it was in some other game that isn’t POE -_-


That. I can’t fault the Atlas system. The idea of affixing maps is incredible. But PoE isn’t.


I agree with a lot that the OP said, especially with mutators. I could also whine about some things related to endgame but honestly… I don’t want to. I love this game anyway. We have been given access to modding tools, which allows us to change the game as we see fit. Don’t like mutators? Get rid of them! I’m trying to make a mod for that right now, it was super easy to remove them from roguelike dungeons (about 5 minutes of modding, having no idea where to look) and I’m now working on finding a way to remove them from SR.

My proposed solution is this: do nothing about it. Grim Dawn 1 was an absolute gem of a game. We even got two expansions that were great fun. The game still works today I still have fun playing it and have recently gotten into modding it a bit. I just don’t think it’s worth the effort to patch it - small patches mess with mods and big patches are not an option as I understand it. The community has made amazing mods and League is awesome. Minor changes to the game are relatively easy to do even by someone who has no idea how to code or has ever modded before, thanks to the people that wrote guides on it. I think that if you spent the time you used to write the OP for modding the game you would have been much happier with GD1 :slight_smile:

The engine is really old and while I’m glad it got us this game I’d be glad to hear that Crate is working on a GD2 engine that will be more flexible and won’t need so much duct tape and hacks to create skills that are quite basic in other games (a working disengage, leaping over small obstacles, etc). I know it’s not easy to work with this engine and Crate has done an amazing job, I just wish they will have better tools for GD2.

So I kind of hope that GD will be left alone - it’s not perfect, but c’mon now. We got so much out of this game - not only great gameplay for its time, we also got a fantastic world and story. It really scratched that Titan Quest itch many of us have been feeling. So much work has gone into it, and let’s be honest - a lot of work would be needed to get a more rewarding endgame experience. But is that truly worth the investment? I think it’s ok as it is. We KNOW GD2 will be a huge improvement. Let’s look to the future, shall we? :slight_smile:

lol learn2code

Outside of making the developers feel shit about themselves because the work they’ve put on making an Arena-type endgame, what is the point of this post? To ramble about how you “solved” the meta by making 1700 Spirit/Cunning / 5 MI’s / 2100 DA / 3 movement skill builds as if that gives you a title to make the development team (which is still small by any company standards) feel worthless?

The modding tools are right there (I don’t mean learn2code lightly), let’s see what monster combinations you can come up with that doesn’t devolve into a boring DPS + tertiary resistance check where we all complain x build doesn’t have y stat which makes z particular mob impossible to beat. I’d take your suggestions more seriously if you didn’t think that fighting a mini-Ravager as a Crucible wave was a good idea, that would bring me off Crucible entirely.

You may be bored about beating double Reaper + Iron Maiden comboes after having done them 500 times, but these Nemeses are hard to fight in a group for most people, and I still get exhilaration after beating a particularly nasty combo. There’s a reason that only 20 people or so even upload Crucible videos - it’s a mode that actively tests players which is a breath of fresh air compared to how easy the main campaign can get.

I may never get Crucible times that will have me taken “seriously” as a “meta-builder” (whatever tf that means), but I love the concept of planning a particular wave in order to jump the nasty boss before the waves come in to block me (as a pet builder, Sentinel in Wave 159 has to get destroyed immediately or else he mind controls the pets and kills them outright). I love having to maneuver around the field to avoid Reaper’s charge attack + Maiden’s Forcewave instead of simply jumping in one pool, hitting all mobs for 500K with a big AoE and leeching everything back. I’d love to see what changes come if the planned “remove leech from things that don’t make any sense like Stun Jacks and Aether Ray” comes into effect. It tests me as both a builder and a pilot and I’m glad that Crucible is in the game.

if people spent half the time they think of using the edgiest pejoratives into coming up with innovative ideas that would have them like the game mode they spent hundreds of hours in, maybe the community efforts would get rewarded into something that can be put in the official game (similar to how GrimInternals is going to be part of version 1.2). I try not to get angry about other people’s opinions, but there’s something about standing on top of a meta and then hurling insults all the way down that grinds my gears immensely.


I’m not a developer (although would love to try myself in this sphere) so i can only go off the data i have in the game. I’m watching (and remembering) Cruci gameplay from 2-3 years ago: there was always some degree of monster bounce. But it was way less frequent and with much lower amplitude. Monsters were closer and had higher chance to find an opening path to the player.

So i’d just looked into what was changed over the last years and when the shift came into life (there was a ptch with mob speed increase). Maybe fiddle with some of the monster (main offenders like Reaper) base speed, hitbox radius, while keeping infinite aggro range. Maybe try to implement some hard stop to monster movement if it tries to approach you for over X seconds but the factual distance is not closing. My uneducated guess is monster bounce has very high snowball effect because just one bouncing mob will drastically affect other mobs’ pathing. So some conditional hard stop could help.

That’s an extremely positive outlook on the low gamemode traction. The more realistic guess is just that not enough people like it.

There are a lot of good things about fighting multiple Nemesis from a fixed pool, indeed gives you agency to plan your run. But when both Reapers are having a seizure and slowly die from AoE and collateral while you are fighting lone and sad Maiden, it doesn’t look like an intended gameplay and kinda invalidates most of the planning you’d done to prepare to it, isn’t it?

Rest of your comment is not only off endgame topic, it’s also quite offensive. I’m inclined to believe i’ve done my fair share of good to the game to ensure i’m interested in it and want it to get better, and that my feedback is worth consideration. You can disagree, but please, keep it civil.


The only, and emphasis on only, meaningful change in that time period was fixing aggro, where some monsters would linger in the starting areas because AI broke down with too many monsters. There was no bump to speeds and certainly nothing fundamentally new about monsters added since then.

The Crucible has sold so well it may as well have been its own game, with an 82% review score no less. Maybe most people just don’t care? It seems to be easy to forget that the endgame grind caters to like 3-5% of the playerbase. And of that 3-5% I bet an even smaller fraction cares about the minutia to the degree being discussed here.

Honestly, of all the criticisms handed down over the years, tag teaming in here to call over a decade of our work “dysfunctional”, “an afterthought” and “inexcusable” might be taking the cake. Bit rich to tell others to keep it civil after that.

Could things be improved? Absolutely? Are we working with an old engine? Yes. Were the modes you’re blasting in here built by literally 2 people, uh, yes.


Look, we love your game (and that’s the reason we keep playing it after all those years). Yes, our Grim Dawn experience is entirely something else from what 99% of the player base are doing, but we stuck around, and despite our critisisms that might sometimes come across as harsh (because usually it’s not easy to convey the emotional subtext through forum comments and many other factors), it doesn’t mean GD is not our favourite arpg game.

But yeah, endgame is flawed and it’s mostly due to how old the engine is and how late in the game cycle some stuff was added, we understand. But thru feedback and communication surely something can be done about it? Let us exchange feedback and ideas and I am sure GD will only improve from that.

Maybe they don’t. Is that a positive or negative? Crucible is a major success for a $5 DLC, and the majority of the people who bought it made well worth of their money, including me. There was an attempt to fix a problem as well. Not much more can be asked of. But i’m interested to see what percentage of people who bought it (and of current playerbase) actually plays it.

I wasn’t expecting major changes to the gameplay. But since they are coming, maybe the actual game content can be improved as well? I believe it can be, may even bring new people in. There is a spark of interest to aRPG currently. PoE 2 is over a year away now, D4 has a crisis after a crisis.

Don’t be like that man, you know ther is a good will. I prefaced it with “rant” and how i “feel” about the game, and after playing the gamemodes in the new patch this is how i feel. I like the game and the balance/skill changes you’ve made, i still like the mechanics and core combat. Time and time again i’m stopped by the actual gamemodes.

Those words are harsh, sorry if it came across too negative. But a lot of the main Crucible challenge enemies literally don’t attack you in the intended way because of constant path breaking. The gamemode is “not operating normally or properly”. That’s literally the definition of dysfunctionality. And in my opinion, it can’t be excused years and years into the gamemode launch. That’s just how i feel, which was the point of my current feedback. I could also keep this to myself, that will be easy.

I mean, the crucible is alright.

What I would like, perhaps an interesting idea to create in reality would be if we could fight not only the same monsters but our “grim tools builds” similarly like Griggs (or was it Gregs, Riggs, perhaps, I forgot…) associates.

That would expand the endgame trajectory and expand what Crucible could offer. It’s like fighting… uhh… let’s say our own creations. Fun idea imo.

And shattered realm, well… I play it quite often, it’s alright too I suppose. Lags here and there, due large quantity of monsters I presume. What could be improved there? That one is difficult to think. But I would presumably like to automatically teleport from chunk 1 to 2 after chunk 1 is done to reduce the backtracking.

Think about it objectively. Assuming you work your ass off, then you got a performance review that said work ethic is an “inexcusable” “afterthought”, would you go:

Man, I gotta step it up so this manager is happy with me!
Man, fuck that guy!

I’m sure the manager just wanted to bring out your best :wink:


Fair point. Sometimes it’s hard to see good will behind a russian mind broken by years spent in Mordor. I will try better wording next time. I have no excuse now that i’ve escaped.


I don’t get, how you can call out other peoples harshness, when you post was, just as you call it, a rant, purely based on your feelings. Please try to distinguish between those and rational feedback.

Then why didn’t you? When you don’t elaborate on why the endgame isn’t fun for you to play, then why make this post at all?

If it was as dysfunctional as you say it was, Crucible would be super easy, especially compared to SR, which has similar waves (lots of trash and hero mobs in the first chunks, then bosses + Nemeses in the last chunks) and buffs/beacons to help you out. However, I find Crucible to be significantly harder. Things may look easy to someone who’s already solved the metagame, but for the remaining people who haven’t quite gotten the balance of damage and survivability down, it’s quite a challenge.

You mention that the last waves aren’t that satisfying, but I can’t think of a better way to end a game mode than 4 Nemeses + Korvaak / Theodin. Most bosses in the game do have their representation in Crucible even if you don’t see them in Waves 150-170, but I like the way the bosses are intertwined with the trash mobs. Plump too many together and it becomes nothing but a resistance check like I mentioned before, but especially thanks to movement skills, I haven’t had too many instances where the combination of boss and Hero effects completely stymied my character. Everyone’s a threat, but it becomes manageable with the right DPS.

All in all, Grim Dawn is meant to be a game where characters can be “finished” and not feel like they have to grind indefinitely for that miniscule power boost. SR was never meant to be “speed-farmed” and there was never meant to be competition as to who can beat what the fastest (and there can be set seeds for people who want to have that competition in the first place). It’s a testament to Grim Dawn’s amazing build diversity that so many great builds can be constructed in one game, but there has to be a rational set of parameters that the game has to confine itself to or else it becomes a bloated mess too hobbled together to be able to get any sort of tinkering without the whole stack of cards falling down.

Would I like SR areas that don’t have aether ground + damage crystals + wind tornadoes clustered together followed by a barren wasteland where the portal is on the opposite side of the map? Sure. Am I going to condemn the game mode because the randomness adds 30+ seconds to a SR75-76 run? Absolutely not. I wish I could learn2code and know the exact parameters that make SR random while removing all the jank, but best I can do is recommend ways so I can have more builds that can complete the runs in the first place.

Why not participate in Grim Dawn League? Or if it’s not all that for you, why not contribute to it? It is a massive project and it breathes fresh air into the game, surely you can find something more enjoyable than an end-game you don’t like there?

I mean… how much can one actually expect from Crate? This game was supposed to only have one act, yo. It has gone SO FAR already. So much work has been put into giving us more. We actually have an endgame, just enjoy it until you no longer enjoy it. This isn’t some shitty Blizzard game where they try to get you addicted to their crack cocaine. You don’t have to play Grim Dawn 1 forever.

At this point I’m not even sure I would buy a new Grim Dawn 1 expansion, just because I wish the devs the best with whatever games they want to make and I absolutely don’t want them to stick around GD1 and spending time on huge changes on things that most people accept as they are.

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I am living my League life vicariously through grey-maybe and ricardio who participate in it and share their progress/builds with me :sweat_smile:

But really it’s because I don’t feel like it. They do a lot of interesting stuff but the balance of the original game is still interesting for me as a builder. And as a player I play Red Dead Redemption 2 :smiling_imp: