I can't tank properly on Normal + Veteran mode?

I am new to Grim Dawn. I’ve only had the game for a few days.

So far I’m at level 30 and I’m playing on Normal + Veteran mode.

My class is Shaman/Soldier.

I am finding that I can’t really play my character as it seems I should be able to: by standing in the middle of huge mobs and tanking them. If I do try to do that, then most of the time they will kill me easily in about 10 - 20 seconds.

I can prevent myself from dying and progress through the game if I use hit & run tactics and ranged weapons, but it seems like I shouldn’t have to do that to survive as a Shaman/Soldier class? Or should I?

What is going on here? Am I missing something? Is there a reason why most mobs can own me easily if I try to tank them?

I too am having issues. I have a 45 saboteur following an old guide. (Didn’t realize it was old until a few minutes ago)

So I am thinking of starting again.

I read through a few posts about how difficult the new Expac content (not the content I’m doing now) was even for totally geared out BIS characters.

So my question to everyone is the same as the OP.

What are we doing wrong? I am dumping almost all points in physique. I have shifted from glass cannon to getting a lot of resist 60+ and have almost 3.6k health (again level 45) But I die NON stop by almost everything even on normal.

Tanking requires skills and gear that aren’t normally all that easy to get early on. The lack of skills, great armor and resists, and attack damage converted to health, makes it so that veteran is often harder than Elite. Your character usually has to do some hit and run tactics until later in the game. If you are really new, without mules of gear, it might even be a bit harder.

Is there a suggestion for a newbie starting build or guide that can be followed? Where is the break for difficulty? level 50?

Heath is way too low. Saboteur isn’t really meant to tank, you have really high mobility and can weave in and out of combat. If you want to tank, you need a way to heal. Really high health regeneration or lots of lifesteal are fine on normal.

Shamans can use Wendigo Totem for heal, but saboteurs will have to rely on innately high health regeneration and lifesteal.

You’re missing sustain. Get Wendigo Totem. Also it sounds like you suck offensively as well. It doesn’t matter that you’re twice as durable as other builds if you kill enemies four times slower, taking x4 damage per encounter as a result. Something is really wrong with your build, but since you haven’t posted it it’s up for speculations.

Wendigo totem, hollow fang. Use potions if you need them, they’re cheap. 1 point blitz/blindside does wonders for cutting down mobs of trash, knocking a few that lived down, and letting you kill their friends while they get up. If you’re tanking I’m guessing shield so not as much built in aoe as a 2hand build (upheaval or primal strike). Consider blade arc and transmuter, smack 'em with a 5 sec cooldown bleed and they’ll start dropping off while you cadence a few others down one by one. Also syncs well with blitz. blitz in, smack a few, let them regather, blade arc, blitz and knock them around, whittle down the rest.

you need to use components/augments with resis bonus like antivenom salve, hallowed ground, imbue silver, silk swatch etc… to fill all elements/piercing/bleeding resistances. New players hesitate to use components early game but trust me they drop like rain later, so use all what you have and craftable components.

My build is 16 points in Savagery and 16 points in Primal Strike. Those are the only skills I use. I have 48 points in Shaman and 9 points in Soldier. I have 3 points in Might of the Bear and 1 point in Devouring Swarm.

My attributes are Physique 531, Cunning 495, Spirit 330.

For Constellations I have Eye of the Guardian completed and I use Level 7 Guardian’s Gaze on the Savagery Skill. It kind of sucks though since my constant need to run away means that my guardian eyes spend most of their time not touching any enemy.

For future reference, I would warmly recommend using this website to “create” your build so that we can all see exactly what you have:


Note that at this point in the game, most of your gear will probably not be blue, just random yellows/greens, so you don’t have to bother fully equipping your char to show us. Just fill in the attributes and skills (press “s” to access those in the tool), and maybe devotions too.

It just helps to see exactly how you’ve leveled, then it makes it easier to help you!

Eye doesn’t have much support in your kit, I’d suggest talking to the spirit guide and moving points over to Bull. It’s a good early aoe proc that will help clear stuff. Skillwise, its tempting to go big on skills, but I think I’d spread it around more.

Something along these lines: