Naive questions based around Hungering Void

Right, I see that people love The Dying God, particularly for The Hungering Void, and I can see that it does look tasty. However, I am confused about two things:

  1. The health cost: that will apply to me, the player, and not my pets, no matter where I bind it, right?
  2. I realize HV has nice boni for pets, of course, but a lot of this constellation is focussed around vitality and chaos damage; if I am basically trying to make pets work, and am not really a vitality or chaos caster, is this still such a prime choice?

I ask because I am worried about the health drain. I really don’t know too much about ways of countering it, save from getting top-tier items. But for a goon like me? I guess that means I have the question

  1. Is this a bit of an “advanced player” Devotion, and newbs such as me should stick to simple stuff?
  2. Is it ridiculous / unrealistic / not such a bad idea to try to spec into Tree of Life and Healing Rain (at least not totally different Primordial reqs) to counterbalance?
  3. How important are offensive devotions and skills later? I am not in Ultimate yet, haven’t yet tried Crucible, still learning and having fun and cannot binge play. I have the feeling that investing in Defense and not going all-out offense on Devotions and Masteries could also be important?

thanks tons

  1. I’m not entirely sure as I’ve only used Dying God outside of pet builds but I imagine it always drains health from the player. Maybe someone else can confirm.
  2. With the way pets work in GD I’d say no, you don’t have to be a chaos/vit caster to pick Dying God. Pet builds in GD are always all-in, there’s no real hybrid caster pet build. It’s usually always full pet or full caster. You’d pick Dying God purely for the pet bonuses and that is fine.
  3. I’d argue that there’s no such thing as an ‘advanced player’ devotion but out of all the devotions I’d say Dying God fits that description the most, yeah. You’ll have to find ways to counteract the health drain.
  4. It’s not a crazy idea at all, the majority of both the Dying God and Tree of Life consist of ‘blue’ devotion points. That being said I’m not too familiar with pet devotions, you might want to consult DaShiv’s posts for pet related stuff.
  5. That highly depends on the build. I find that most builds (My own builds and the ones I see on here) are generally aggressively suited. That’s probably because offensive devotion abilities are really strong and the defensive ones aren’t always necessary. That being said defensive devotions are entirely viable and sometimes even necessary.

The entry for Dying God in my Pet Devotion guide has the relevant details, as quoted below:

Given the above, your questions are pretty straightforward:

  1. Yes, health drain applies only to the player. In fact, as with other pet buffs, Hungering Void cannot be bound to pets.

  2. As you can see from the list of bonuses above, there’s a lot more than just vitality or chaos damage bonuses for pets. The guide explains why the most important bonus on the list is pet crit.

  3. It’s better to take Dying God and learn how to cope with its drawbacks. Per the guide, this is the only devotion with a drawback like this, but there are many ways of “diverting resources” to help address it: via devotions, items, mastery skills, etc. The main thing to keep in mind is that unlike other devotions, you need to invest in additional sustain as part of the cost of the devotion, and this can be especially tricky for pet builds since they don’t have easy use of weapon-based ADCTH. Because of this, Dying God is easily the most expensive devotion of them all, and that’s why it has such an impressive list of pet bonuses.

  4. Healing Rain would be one example of the additional investment needed for Dying God, but it’s one of the more expensive solutions as well. If you look at the various builds that use Dying God, you’ll see lots of different solutions used.

  5. Generally, offense is more valuable defense because it’s quite feasible to make an immortal character in the game, but that character wouldn’t be able to clear much content, which makes it pretty useless. Also, having a high enough offense decreases the need for defense by shortening fight times and reducing the risk of being overrun. The trick is to give up as little offense as possible to reach just “enough” defense, with “enough” being defined by whatever your goals are, such as beating Ultimate, soloing Gladiator, etc.

Good luck!

Wow, thank you. Extremely helpful. A blessing upon your house.

Gotta call bullshit on this. In WoW and Diablo this might be true, but in Grim Dawn there is practically no such thing as “too much defense”. A dead player clears no content and there are so damn many places where you can get gibbed by stacking resist reduction/dispelling/a dozen things hitting at once that having a buffer is rather important. Also, most enemies don’t really have a method of healing and there’s no enrage timers or the like so as long as you’re in the fight and not dead, they aren’t regenerating and you will eventually kill your target(s).

Additionally, with the way defenses work in this game your higher offense most emphatically does not reduce your defensive needs. Regardless of what your build is, it’s always gonna need resists at >70%, will still need DA enough to never be crit, etc. because otherwise the first attack that connects is likely going to be fatal. You can have 9001 OA and 300% crit damage, it doesn’t mean a damn thing if your first hit is your last and there’s 15 assholes all lobbing globs of aether/chaos/bees at you. One of them is going to connect and now you’re dead.

It is way more feasible to play defensively. If you have to choose between 5% dps and 5% less damage from every hit, you take the latter the first 19 times. There’s only about three dps checks in the game, but there’s a resist/armor/defense skill check around just about every corner.

Sure there is. For example, Superfluff’s 7k armor (10k+ with procs) and 3.7k DA Ravager-killer is clearly “too much defense” for the vast majority of content, and would be a terrible campaign or Gladiator build. However, it’s “just enough” defense for the particular goal of the build (i.e. killing Ravager).

Completely build-dependent: for example, a summoner that kills enemies quickly is going to need less defense than a summoner that kills enemies slowly, simply because so much fewer enemies actually reach the summoner, and this allows you to efficiently target defensive debuffs and boss-specialized defenses such as Mark of Torment. Clearing crowds quickly using extremely high DPS also makes defensive tactics like using pets to disrupt enemy pathfinding far more effective.

That’s simply having “just enough” defenses as I stated - 0 defense is clearly not enough. In fact, DA is a case in point: having “just enough” DA to never be crit (including after debuffs/mutators/etc) is efficient, but having more usually becomes wasteful. That’s why so few builds sacrifice offense to reach the level of DA that Superfluff’s build does, or to overcap every single resist by 100%, etc.

That’s a fallacious comparison - 5% additional DPS and 5% less damage received scale very differently.

When choosing between actually comparable offensive and defensive gains, you would only choose defense if you didn’t already have enough defense to meet your goals. Once you’ve met your defensive requirements in the most efficient way (for example, enough DA to avoid crits), you take offense 100% of the time (unless the defensive alternative is demonstrably more cost-effective). Otherwise, all of our builds would have defenses like Superfluff’s build above, but they don’t: we build only enough defenses to survive our target challenge, then max DPS for clear times.

Look at the top builds that can finish Gladiator 141-150 in under 4 mins (including mine) and it becomes clear that none of them are “no such thing as too much defense” builds with Ravager-caliber defensive stats, though different builds clearly have different ideas of how much defense is “enough”.

Getting back to the original topic: in a “defense first” paradigm, you would never take something like Dying God that acutely harms your survivability in the name of offense. However, in a “just enough defense” mode of build design, you take Dying God and then simply add enough additional defense to cover for your decision. That’s how many, many builds are able to successfully use Dying God: it’s not because defense always comes first.

Meanwhile I’ve been farming Malmouth Outskirts and Aleksander for a while now with a character that has 54% aether res, 14k health and 2400 DA. I can tell ya that I don’t die unless I actually get hit by Aleksander’s big burning middlefinger from the sky (the meteor obviously). A good offense really is a good defense in GD, if you can kill things relatively quickly (and by extension lifesteal off of your great offense) you end up having much less need for defenses.