I realise i still know nothing

Yes, for for first timer it’s hard to choose which devotion to pick, I remember I was overwhelmed when playing my first character on choosing which skill to use or devotion to get. In the end I’m just following others build to follow their devotion route.

My tips on choosing devotion is to know which damage you want to use. For example, I’m gonna play a Pierce Blademaster with Cadence as main skill. With that in mind there is 3 things I want from devotion: Resist reduction, sustain, and T3 damage constellation.

For getting a pierce RR, I’m gonna take Assassin Blade and max it node first to get the skill, then for sustain people said that ghoul proc is very useful in melee with it massive life leech, so I’m taking that next. Now my next target is T3 Pierce Damage constellation, there are 2 constellation that support Pierce damage: Azrakaa and Unknown soldier, so I getting the constellation that fulfill the requirement for either of those T3 constellation. I choose them by this order OA/DA, pierce damage/all damage, adcth, health/armor. Thankfully, Azrakaa and Unknown Soldier has similar requirement, so If I’m spending my devo point well, I might get them both (for other type of damage it will be harder). In the end here is the devotion that I pick: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2jywx4N

1 Like

The first 84/94 levels are arguably about doing whatever the hell you want. That’s the great about gd. Obviously there are intuitive things too do along the way, like using gear that matches your main damage skill yada yada yada. But seriously if something looks cool to you friggin go for it. Have a blast. I think my second character ever ran around for 20 or so levels because i found a pair of soiled pants and thought it was funny as shit (pun intended) to be running around flinging poo at stuff. And poison wasn’t even my main damage type!!!

Endgame can wait. Don’t sweat. Have fun.


Yeah man, to be completely honest and piggyback on what @CaiusMartius has said, just play around and experiment for now. You can hammer away at it but the key is to find something that’s fun, the best way to do this is considering skill/gear/devotion interactions.

Fun little tidbits that were amazing discoveries for me in my journey;

Most “% chance on attack” skills from gear can trigger (“proc”) off of damage over time ticks and any auras (toggles skills) that you have active! If its “10% chance on attack” that means there’s a 10% chance the skill will trigger each time an enemy is damaged by a DoT tick or your aura, AS WELL AS your attacks.

Some Devotion ability % chance will increase/decrease depending on the skills you bind to them.

Skill behaviors come in several different flavors, and one of the most interesting groups are those that travel from one enemy to the next if another enemy gets too close. Some of these skills (Eldritch Fire, Rumor) are Devotion abilities with little to no cooldown, and can really perform amazingly well if bound to a skill that groups enemies together, spreads across enemies, AoE continuous damage (such as demolitionists Blackwater Cocktail and shamans Grasping/Entangling Vines, nightblades Blade Trap, Osthkeeper’s Judgement, etc etc)

Experiment with binding Devotion abilities with low % proc chance to skills that have high cooldowns and low durations. A prime example of this is the illustrious Giant’s Blood Devotion ability on the Behemoth constellation, when bound to the Demolitionist’s passive skill Blast Shield. My personal favorite example of this is the Healing Rain devotion ability from the Tree of Life constellation when bound to the granted skill from the Epic gloves Apothecary’s Touch.

Where normally the devotion ability might have 15% chance to proc, on these abilities with high cooldowns and low durations, it becomes 100% proc chance!!!

1 Like

I’m really passionate about this topic because even though I’m about to break 3,000 hours play time in GD, I am still realizing that I know nothing.

I could go on and on about this game, it’s my favorite game and it offers so much. I think my perspective might help you find your place in the game as well because I 110% identify with your original statements at earlier points in my experiences on this journey.

For me, even at 3,000 hours in, the endgame is not what I love. My favorite part of this game is levelling from level 20 to level 75, in the main campaign, not in shattered realm or crucible, where the top players compete for the meta spotlight.

As you read and interact more and more on these forums here, you’ll discover some really inspiring players who have patterns of not only sharing creative and interesting builds, but also impacting really fun tidbits.

@MikeHeydon created an Awesome thread based around a unique alternate playstyle, where you create a classless character based off of NPC lore from the game.

@Nery helped me to begin comprehending how to tweak builds encroaching on the endgame, and he’s always posting really cool builds.

@Contragor is a legendary player who managed to beat the game on Ultimate difficulty in Hardcore using a CLASSLESS character, and also frequently posts really inspiring builds

@Stupid_Dragon often imparts lots of cool information and builds as well. The latest installation of which included a tidbit that the nightblade skill Amarasta’s Blade Burst can be used with ranged attacks! I had no idea, even at 3,000 hours of gameplay! And so I realize again I still know nothing.

There are so many awesome people in these forums who will help you find a way, whenever you have questions. I am on public transportation in a cramped train and its hotter than satan’s bathtub in here I gotta put this phone away I can barely concentrate, but when I get home I’ll link some of the most inspiring builds that others made and shared which really encouraged my creative journey so far. Probably my favorite of which is a support Deceiver (Inquisitor/Occultist), designed as a healer/support build- yes! Such a thing DOES exist, and it is awesome!


Since Grim Dawn is single player game primarily you set your own pace and decide what’s your goal.

So you can find something you like and have fun with it, not caring what others might say. Grim Dawn have some advanced mechanics but they are not needed in order to level your toons and try the immense variety of cool looking skills, devotions procs and items.

But if you have some questions don’t afraid to ask, hopefully we can help you to enjoy more Grim Dawn. :slightly_smiling_face:


Without going too crazy, here are a few of my favorite builds I have seen on here…

@the8anarchist’s support deceiver which was one of the most interesting, creative, unique, and fun ideas I have ever read about on here- This build really inspired me to get creative with my own approaches to enjoying Grim Dawn!

@x1x1x1x2 and @MysteryMeat produced these awesome collective ideas designed around Vire’s Might (Oathkeeper mobility skill) with super super super low cooldown, meaning you can skate all over the place! MAD mobility!!!

and @Contragor’s Immortal Army build is wicked user friendly, what I mean by that is you can VERY easily build this and run it with self found gear and no XP bonus, and you will still crush the early game. Youll be as far as youve ever gotten in like 1 or 2 days, playing only a couple hours a day! Its an awesome farmer build that feels really great to pilot.

And here is a link to @Contragor’s level 100 Hardcore classless build, which is a masterpiece. Read this to get pumped up about Grim Dawn, and it will show you how dedicated this community is to this amazing game and also provides some good resources.

Also, FYI I run a Monk style build in this game, in Softcore and Hardcore- No weapons allowed, just fists! The softcore version is a Battlemage (Solider/Arcanist) and is level 80! The Hardcore version is a Trickster (Shaman/Nightblade) and is level 38 currently. Its honestly pretty fun!!! But you’ll never see a build like that getting lots of attention on the forums because, lets be honest, it will get stomped in SR and Crucible. But I dont let that discourage me because, for me its fun to experience the game differently!

The posts that get traction on here are a lot more professional, but dont ever let that stop you sharing your favorites! It’s because of people like that, that I have enjoyed this game to the fullest! Having people to interact with and discuss this stuff with makes the efforts and experiences that much more meaningful. So whenever you get to building, share it! I would love to see what kind of things you wind up experimenting with!


Huh? How on earth did I miss that?? :open_mouth:
Sounds super fun! Hey! You can build a 10k/s regen tank around that idea + massive health pool to boot. Imagine a boxing match against Calla!


Oh I can imagine it. I’m just too smart (ahem/old/ahem) to try it. :wink:

1 Like

I would love some tips on how to hit 10k/s regen tank type stats on one of my Monk style builds! That might just be the route I need to go.

1 Like

Here you go, lots of ideas right there. We brainstormed and tested it with Aikimox back during our wild HC days. :sob:

1 Like

Not knowing all aspects of the game is a good thing, imo.

I am a casual player with over 6k hours played an GD still surprises me.

Very much this.

Personally, I like the “what if?” - factor of GD, I wonder if I can build something fun around an item or a skill and just build a char and start playing. Most I don´t play that much after they are “finished”, but that´s okay, I like the leveling process and tinkering.

GD is a digital playground, do what you like, and keep in mind that the first character is always the hardest, because you simply lack resources, just keep playing. If you hit a wall, ask in the forums or GD Discord, don´t be shy.

My 5 cents for a fresh character:

Pick a Tier 1 devotion that deals a lot of damage, like Falcon, Imp, or Bat (Bat also heals, which is super nice) and later on (lvl 50ish) pick a main damage type and a devotion that provides resist reduction for it, plus one defensive devotion (like Ghould, Tortoise, Dryad, Bat etc.).
Up to lvl 50 it doesn´t really matter if you have 4 different damage types, as long as you kill stuff somewhat effectively.
Start on normal until you feel unchallenged.


I’m more surprised a guy with 6k hours still calls himself casual :rofl:


I´m not one to super min/max characters or spend time to calculate the optimal amount of points to spend in a skill … or have tha bestest crucible clear time or whatever.
Just wanna have some brainless fun.

Casual. :skunk:


We are very dedicated hardcore casuals :innocent:


Cheers all. Currently having fun with a warden, blitz and savagery - i thought i could use internal trauma as a damage but on page 2 of my sheet it shows 0, now ive read this relates to your base weapon. So does trauma just happen from physical or will i have to find some skill/weapon that triggers that?


1 Like

Most damage types have a damage over time variant.

Fire is Burn
Cold is Frostburn
Lightning is Electrocute
Acid is Poison
Vitality is Vitality Decay
Bleed is Bleed Duration

Physical’s is Internal Trauma.

Pierce, Aether, and Chaos damages do not have damage over time variants.

Important to note is that these damages are considered separate, so if something boosts your physical damage it won’t automatically also boost your Internal Trauma damage. You’ll have to find sources for this damage type in addition to the Physical damage sources, however many sources of physical damage will have Internal Trauma damage sources included as well. This will always be designated in the item/skill description.

1 Like

More or less players should know basic game mechanism and then decide how deep you wanna dive into. There are lot of posts about them on the forum. You can decide which part (e.g. WPS) you wanna know first and try it out in game to see how it works. This way you learn something in the process also enjoy the game. It won’t take much time even just one little step at a time.

1 Like

Seconded. And personally, I think there is not better guide for this then: 🤯 malawiglenn’s guide on game mechanics for beginners


Just saw Another inspiring build! @WyreZ’s support debuffer! Hell yeah!

1 Like

There are direct damage types and Damage over time. Physical is direct one and trauma is called DoT. If you want to see value different than 0 you need to have item/devotion providing flat source of it. So then internal trauma will be applied to both Blitz and Savagery.

% boost of internal trauma will multiply your flat damage bonuses.

Rule of thumb: % damage is important on every build, flat damage (like 12 on item or damage from Flamed Touch or physical from Oleron devotion) is useful on skills only with high Weapon damage, like Savagery, Fire Strike, Primal Strike, etc.

Also since early on gear gives small damage boosts your best friends are devotions damage boosts and more points in your main attacking skill. For example for Elemental build good idea is to rush to Rhowan’s crown devotion. For physical Assasin’s mark is nice start.

Or you completely skip what we say and try different combinations. :wink:

1 Like