New GD player needs help with defense question

Hello Grim Dawn Community.
I’m huge diablo fan and after seeing FG trailer recently I’ve decided to try Grim Dawn myself. Before starting i’ve checked some topic up here on forums about how mechanics works, Grim Dawn New Player Knowledge Compendium was very helpful and ‘How to make your own Gladiator’ guide also was very informative about how damage stacks and so on.
So after all forum reviewing I finally started to play and I love it so far. Combat feels smooth and one thing i like here is loot system. I love gear having sets and gathering and completing sets feels so rewarding. I always play in ssf mode except for the moments when i can share my stash gear with my friends, and I dont play PoE for that reason - gearing and gambling with spheres feels so awful in PoE.
I’m playing cold dw melee infiltrator right now cos i love dw melee combat. I’ve chosen nightblade right away from lvl 2 without thinking, but second mastery decision was very painful. Gone inquisitor becase ppl here in forums say RR is the way to go.
I’ve finished veteran and elite difficulties without any problems, they are very easy. And today in the sunday morning i’ve stepped into ultimate and questions started to appear.
Here is how my character looks right now in the begining of act 1 ultimate:
Actually white,yellow and all heroic orange enemies just die in seconds, but purple ones hit me like a truck with physical attacks so i have to kite them and wait health potion/pneumatic burst/word of renewal cds.
So here are my questions:

  1. Is there any recommended OA and DA trashhold for starting ultimate?
    seems like i lack both a lot.
  2. I dont actualy fully get armor absorption part of mechanics in GD.
    How important is armor in grim dawn? Because i’ve never chosen armor according to how much armor it has. I’m just trying to cap resistances and dont lose a lot of damage while capping resses. And what about armor absorb, i’ve only seen one component that gives armor absorb, how much armor absorb is needed for ultimate?
    3.Almost all purple enemies are way higher lvl than me. How resistances and OA/DA interact with higher lvl enemies? Do i need to overcap my resistances for them?
    Sorry for lots of text, i just feel like writing today :smiley:
    I dont have reputation for armor augmenst, only homestead one and i dont have most recipes for components most ppl use. So my gear enchants are mostly mess)
  1. The OA/DA treshold is 2.7k iirc. Though I personally like to have 3k for each. Do note that ‘debuffs’ should also be taken into your calculations. For example, as a NB, you have Veil of Shadows which lowers the OA of your enemies. If VoS lowers a target’s OA by -100, you can effectively lower the minimum treshold by 100 (i.e. 2.6k instead of 2.7).

On a separate tangent, OA/DA debuffs stack the same way as resist reduction debuffs.

  • All sources of -x OA/DA will stack fully with one another, just like how all sources of -X% RR will
  • Only the highest value of X reduced OA/DA will apply, just like how only the highest value of X reduced RR will apply.
  • Note that ‘X reduced’ debuffs will stack with ‘-X debuffs’
  1. Armor is important. It’s too complicated to write out a complete explanation, so I’ll direct you to this -

Essentially, armor negates each physical damage dealt to you by:
(Armor value listed in character sheet) * (% armor absorption of your character).

  1. Overcapping resists is important as well. Just like how you can debuff enemies, so too can your enemies debuff you. Refer to the order of defence mechanics I’ve linked you to understand how important resists are.

Getting overcapped res essentially functions as a buffer against debuffs.

I’ve recently compiled a guide on how to farm loot/level efficiently -

Maybe this will help.

P.S. Welcome to the forums!

Thank you for your answer. I’ll check those links tomorrow.
One thing i want to ask you:
In your guide you say “The goal of levelling any build is to get it to level 94 asap”,
does this mean bis items start to drop at this level? or just level requirement for those items is 94. Or there is some other reason for that?

The level of all items cap at level 94. In other words, you will never out-level a level 94 equipment.

You might find a better item suited to your character, or one with better rolls, but they won’t become obsolete as you level up.

Armor is important and also physical resistance, which isn’t on the same tab (it’s on tab III) as other resistances. It’s almost impossible to cap but many “oh shit!” panic abilities have a temporary increased in physical resistance. The threshold, in my experience, depending on your build, is about 20%. Ranged builds and Casters can survive with less, having other means of survivng (CC, damage absorption, temporary invincibility, reduced damage taken, etc.).

Overcapping resistances is also a key to build successful toons in the endgame. Many Nemesis/boss have some way of drastically reducing some of your resistances (and knowing which is also an important knowledge).

Adcth (called “Lifesteal” on tab II - that’s literally attack damage converted to health) is also a nice way to sustain your life and compensate for a deficiency in one defensive layer.

+1 to belzzz. Phys res is love. Phys res is life.

I once managed to stack 50% phys res on an octavius witch-blade*. It also had 100% block recovery.

Felt reeeeeaaaal good.

Got it. Thank you for your attention. Can i ask you one more question?
By how much do ppl usually overcap their resistances to be safe from debuffs?

It depends on the resistance. Aether, fire, and lightning are the most important ones, with 20-30% being safe. You don’t need a big overcap on pierce, bleed, poison, and chaos. For chaos and bleed, the overcap to avoid losing resists to big hitters is 28, but they’re not as dangerous as their fire and aether versions.

I guess about 30% overcap will do in most cases, but if that’s still insufficient for certain enemies you can always pop a resist potion (which you can loot, or craft provided you got the recipe)

edit: Smitherson beat me to it :stuck_out_tongue: hereis a list of available consumables, check out the ointments. These will come in handy when you face bosses like Lokarr

I’m going to paraphrase what superfluff said to me, which was what essentially made me decide to become an active member of this community:

‘lol. ask as many questions as you want. :)’

As far as overcapping res goes, it depends on how min/maxed you want your build to be and what you plan on doing with it.

For example, if you’re fighting mogdrogen (a superboss), there’s no reason for you to really cap aether resist. However, an overcapped lightning resist of like what…is it 80%? is recommended.

As for your question on armor, I recently detailed out a through explanation on the r/s between armor and phys res:

Thats the answer i needed regarding armor. Thank you :wink:
I’ve played a bit today. Here whats my character looks like now:
Grabbed some physical resist, invested in veil of shadows and word of renewal a bit for DA, replaced some armor pieces with some more armor and managed to kill alkamos for the first time :slight_smile: with some kiting involved, but still)
One thing i’ve noticed - there are so many legendaries, i’ve already looted like 15 of them, but none of them suits my build. How much time needed to actually complete a needed set? just set, not full bis in all slots, god thats gonna be long time i guess.

That really depends on luck. As far as I can tell, you’ll never get the items you’re looking for. :rolleyes:

This is where trading comes in - we also have a very active trading community.

Alternatively, if you decide to deviate away from the actual gameplay and start focusing on the theorycrafting, I would personally recommend you join the darkside and become a filthy gdstashing cheat like me.

Also want to add that if you are forced to choose between which resists to overcap, you should almost always prioritize elemental and aether first. Those 4 are some of the most common damage types you’ll see

Elemental except for cold, since there’s no fast hard hitters with big cold RR. It seems even Moose is on the phys build train.

Feedback for the build (fully subjective):

Veil of Shadows is 10/10 always unless you have a really good reason no to.

Shadow Dance is always at an even value (12, 14 or 16). I’d keep it at 12 until you got Word of Renewal at least at 11/12.

Execution is usually maxed, even at the cost of other wps, especially when you got small pierce to cold conversion. AQC is a waste unless you can get it really high. Whirling is great - softcap if you can. I have mixed feelings for Belgo unless it’s… Belgo build. Worth one point max if you have enough +1 to all nightblade.

They say phys res is great. It is. But not for 12 points for 6%. Dual Blades is only good when you have full pierce to cold conversion. Keep it at 5/16 until then.

Keep Circle of Slaughter at least at 3-4/12.

Pneumatic Burst is optimal at 6/12.

IMHO maxing RoS on a non-Korba trickster isn’t optimal. I’d either fix the holes (WoR, Vigor to 6/10, Steel Resolve to 9-10/10) or pick up the seal at least until you have top gear and you’re so fast you don’t need it. The Seal is king.

DEVOS: forget Chariot. Take Hawk for oa and greens and crossroad red for 8 red. Revenant would fit your build perfectly.

Generally really well leveled build, try check what benefits exactly what skill ranks give you and try to keep it optimal.

I personally prefer AQC over whirling death. It does almost as much damage as execution.

Also, I would drop RoS in favor of rune of hagarrad

Thank you guys for your feedback. I appreciate it very much!

Got it. Regarding wps tree, i’ll definitely drop belgo just so others can proc more often and keep AQC, execution and whirling.
About Ring of Steel - i’ve just felt in love with this spell when i first tried it.
It felt so natural in my build, 100% cold conversation, stuns and hits hard.
It just deleted white and yellow enemies from the map in one click. But now in ultimate when the only trouble comes from bosses aka single target encounters i think i should drop it to 1 point just for stuns and Circle of Slaughter debuff.
Revenant devotion sounds fun. Rising undeads and some serious life leech there. I’ll try it today.
During my grim dawn journey i’ve tried every spell in my masteries. Even tried going 2-hand pistol build, but it lacks in damage part a lot(but not in having fun part!:p) and my auras dont even reach the enemies while i fire them from distance.
I didn’t like the thing that runes needs time to charge up and fire. Most of the time i kill stuff faster than the delay between runes charging up. But Inquisitor Seal might help me with boss encounters.
How is the absorb part of the seal works? Is it worth is to max the seal, or should i just max the damage/crit damage part?
I’ll come home a few hour later and will try and test everything and write here later what results i got.

The thing about RoH is that it shotguns enemies, With chillsurge at 20/12, you effectively have 10 projectiles, so whatever damage value you see there is multiplied by 7 (after taking into consideration the -30% damage modification)

In addition, it shreds enemy’s DA + is arguably one of the best devotion proccing skills in game. One rune = entire screen of enemies debuffed with murmur.

With seal, high dodge/fumble, I would imagine it’d take a lot to take you down in the 1.5s it’s arming.

In addition, what I like to do is cast RoH in front of me as I’m kiting, and bring enemies to them. :rolleyes:

EDIT: That being said, it really depends on how you want to play the infiltrator. I tend towards casters, so this is my bias speaking. If you want an AA build, ignore me.

For now i’m just progressing through ultimate company and i decided to not take any new skill for now. Just wanna finish vanilla and AoM stories asap to try FG tomorrow on this character. I’ll definitely check both RoH and Seal deeply once i finish main company. This is my progress for today so far:
Pumped up my damage by a lot and adjusted skill build.Its hard to find physical resistance on proper gear without fcking up the rest of the gear and resistances balance.

Hello my fellow GD brothers.
I’ve finally finished ultimate company and started the endgame.
And the thing i noticed right away - company encounter are so much easier than rogue-likes, superbosses, nemesises and stuff like that. Company was just an easy walk in the park compared to anything i mentioned above.
I’ve geared everything as defensive as i could with a gear i had, and still sometimes its just impossible to stand against those endgame enemies.
What it takes to withstand against such types of enemies? Just farm some easy roguelikes until i have more gear?
Here is what my character looks like right now:
Got decent weapons, but armor just don’t drop for me. Dropped aura of censure for aura of conviction for some physical res and OA.
And can you advice me some relics.I have nemesis relic, will it be better than iscandra’s balance?