Looking for a Starting Build? Don't have gear? Are you Shiny and New?

Well, you’re in luck! This is the solution to your problems!

Most of the builds/ guilds you see here will tell you that you should have X and Y pieces of gear and use A and B skills. These are min/max type builds with the appropriate gear.

You don’t need any of that. Just play the game with whatever gear you have, and with what ever skills you like to use. Until you get into Ultimate, it won’t really matter. The gear will come.

The best solution is to try out skills as you progress and then figure out which one’s you actually enjoy playing. You don’t need end game gear/ optimized build to play the game.

You can (and should) play the game around the gear you are finding. Use your augments/ components that you have access to. Use the best gear you have available to you. Keep killing mobs at the highest level you can.

At the end of the journey, you just need to be able to build a character you enjoy playing that (hopefully) can kill everything. Not all builds will be able to do all content. That’s the nature of this type of game. But you should always enjoy what you’re playing.

Here’s some general advice:

Weapon and Shield is more durable then dual wield.
Resistances are important.
Get your shrines and plan out your what you want to get.
Constellations are daunting! Try them out.
The only thing set in stone is your class(es) choice! (and a few faction choices) Feel free to experiment!
It’s okay to completely screw up your first character!
Play the game for a while before you consult a guide.
Invest in fewer skills that you enjoy. Focus your points early.

Thanks for all the tips! some of us have figured out “starter builds” already


Here are some more:

Builds by Nery

[1.1.2.5] Chillstrifes Infiltrator on medium budget-mostly blues
[1.1.2.5] Beginners/Budget Vindicator,lightning Caster/2h Ranged versions a variation of my Lightning caster build
[1.1.2.3] Beginner's/budget project-DW pierce ranged Tactician
[1.1.1.2] [Caster] Beginner's/budget vitality RE Oppressor,leveling guide inside,Cabalist version added
[1.1.2.5] [caster] Beginner's/budget acid Sentinel

Builds by Stupid Dragon

[DW melee] Beginner’s Virulent Dervish
[DW melee] Beginner’s Forgotten Blademaster
[shield melee] Beginner’s pre-Krieg Death Knight
[2H melee] Krieg Death Knight on budget, the Soul Reaver
[1.0.4.0] Beginner’s melee 2H Lightning Elementalist Old but still deserves a mention
[1.0.4.1] Beginner's ranged Tactician Old but still deserves a mention

Builds by Maya

The Carnival - A Guide to Pets contains all you need to know about pets and contains several budget builds

Build by Sir Spanksalot

Sir Spanksalot's / malawiglenn's beginner friendly guide for Phantasmal Blades Reaper still not re-formatted to fit the new forum but the most important things are in there.

I know that they exist… but the point I was trying to make was to let people experience the game and figure out things for themselves, and not be afraid to “screw up”. The game is so forgiving and flexible that you can’t really make any mistakes early on, and the mistakes you do make can be corrected.

I love the guides, and all the help, but I’ve seen too many people using them like a cookie cutter instead of trying to figure it out for themselves. Also, most, if not all the guides assume that people have access to the faction/ pattern/ etc to get some of that gear. If your just starting out, you don’t have jack, so those guides are just something else that people need to work towards, instead of working it out for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole planning out where you’re going to go, and all that, but beginners don’t need to get into it that deep. Just get in there, kill some monsters and use what you find. Put points into whatever.

Some prefer to play blindfolded and never read any guides, tutorials or google their questions

Some prefer to play “on their own” but do ask questions and read up on guides if they “need” it

Some prefer to play according to a guide and learn things “the right way” from the start

Following a guide can save you lot of trouble and “head banging against a wall” and “nah f**k it I give up this game”

But sure, I will stop making guides no one needs them * sarcasm *

It seems that you have kinda missed the point of the guides also, they are not about to show you exactly what to do in each level and area of the game - they are intended to show how to make a good end-game farmer build with very limited gear selection - i.e. starter end-game characters.

You also contradict yourself: you said one should play with skills that are most fun, and play with the items one drops. What if I drop item for a skill I do not like? what has highest priority: using skill or item?

I have received probably comments from about 250 people saying that my guides helped them figure out the game etc.

And heck do you have any idea about how much people have complained in the past about “not enough beginner friendly builds on the forum”?

Look, it is impossible to satisfy everyone, but for those that need and want that extra help and guidance and don’t wanna “waste” 300 hours trying to figure out the game all alone, the forum can provide resources in terms of guides etc

Lol. So dramatic! I love it!

Don’t stop doing what you do man. And I’m actually talking about a stater build, not a starter end game build. You can farm in garbage. By level 100 (the start of actual farming IMO), you should already have very good blues/ purples/ faction gear.

I am totally in favor of people using guides from theory crafters to optimize gearing/ builds/ etc. But you don’t NEED all that to start the game.

As to your points, how would you know you don’t like a skill if you’ve never used it? This game has HUGE potential skill combos, builds, etc (as you well know).

I thought “starter build” = “starter end-game build” since your title suggested that.

What is the definition of “to start the game”? play 10 hours or 100 hours?

Remember that only about 10% or so of all Grim Dawn players do not even reach Ultimate difficulty. So most people that plays the game do not read guides, they do not visit forums either. My beginner build guides are made for people that have played some casual and fooled around but now want to commit more to the game and become better at it.

I didn’t say anything about end game. Perhaps that’s on me for the title. Let me fix that up to avoid any other confusion.

So you want people to go in blindly for the most part?

Why make a post to tell them that? Isn’t that what anyone who is not following a guide, does by default?

Always someone who wants to tell the truth and come with general solutions that fits everyone.

We have complaints about there are too few beginner build guides, we have complaints about having too many beginner builds guides. We have complaints about guides lacks details for the novice player, we have complaints about guides being too detailed for the novice player… we have complaints about the game being too hard, we have complaints about the game being too easy…

But yeah, I think you are correct, if someone wanna play blindly they will not go on to a forum to read that they should do so :stuck_out_tongue: People who comes to the forum are usually those who need help and guidance.

OK something that I have considered doing,maybe will do it in future us guide how to select class according to what you like as style and show valuable combos with synergy.

Lets say if you want to play Cold melee I will rank possibilities.So at that point you will choose what you like,but same time even if you screw ,you know it can be fixed.For example leveling 100 Defiler and ask why you can’t farm Crucible.

But for following your own build,I think it’s pretty straightforward,you don’t need guides or builds for that :slight_smile:

I do not even know what Defiler is and I have like 2k hours into the game, that is how good defilers are

I know what Defiler is. Pets :stuck_out_tongue:

I know what every class that uses Shaman, Occultist or Necromancer as base; Pets!

not anymore

*cracks whip* Budget warlock next!

Already Done.

Pick Budget Occultist > Level it up to 100 > Pick Arcanist and put a single point in the mastery bar > Profit.

1 Like

perhaps add some Iskandra elemental exchange too?

Aye, but only to fool people into believing that Arcanist is doing something :stuck_out_tongue:

Leveling Warlock will not be any different than leveling MH,only little more suckier.

Start with OFF+Fireblast from component.Take Vulnerability from Occultist.

At 60 level switch to TSS,profit :smile:

why would I pick a skill that does nothing half the time…

Um,early on all heroes and even bosses are solidly frozen.Basically until act 5 and Golems there’s nothing faster for clearing trash than that combo.

Ofc you can level Warlock differently :slight_smile: