New player from PoE. Will I enjoy Grim Dawn?

Hi there, new player here. Created this thread b/c I don’t know if this game is for me.

About me, been playing PoE the past 4 years. Used to like the game. But now I am hating it. Let me go through a laundry list of what is pissing me off.

  1. Layers upon layers of bullshit RNG. It gets worse every league. 2) Awful lag. 3) A limited # of viable builds. 4) The meta is all about speed/killing shit as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a fast build you can not play significant parts of the game. 5) The drop rate is so poor and is also extremely inconsistent. 6) If you want anything good in PoE you have to trade for it. So unrewarding! 7) Crafting is a currency-sink. it is only for the rich imo.

I’m looking for a game that is pretty much the opposite of what PoE is right now - what I described above. Will I be happy playing Grim Dawn?

Also have a couple direct questions. From most important to least important.

1a) How is the RNG in this game? Does the loot drop rate in Grim Dawn feel good? Or will I be expected to have to trade with other players to get the items I need in order to upgrade my build.

1b) Does Grim Dawn even have a way to trade items with other players? (I’m hoping the answer is no and that I can have a rewarding single player experience.)

  1. Are the bosses/content in Grim Dawn gated behind bullshit RNG? Or is access to content in Grim Dawn granted to the player b/c your build is strong enough to do the content?

  2. Do items drops between classes? Or only specific to the class you are playing?

  3. Does this game have a crafting system? If so, can a casual player use the crafting system to craft GG items?

  4. Do you guys have a fucking map system?

  5. Any guides I can read to learn how to play the game? Build guides too?


Without answering each question individually, I understand where you’re coming from and I think you will enjoy GD

As someone who loves PoE but shares all of your complaints about it; yes, you will like Grim Dawn.

  1. Drop rates feel pretty good, although getting specific legendaries can be a pain. You can trade with other players if you want, I never do it.

  2. The latter. Some of the tougher dungeons require you to craft a key for entry, but it’s cheap and easy to make.

  3. Grim Dawn doesn’t have classes in the traditional sense, so any item can drop for any character.

  4. Yeah, you can spend gold and scrap metal (an easily farmable resource) to essentially gamble at the blacksmiths. It has a pretty good chance of yielding good items.

  5. No, although the optional Shattered Realms mode in the upcoming xpack might approximate it somewhat.

  6. The official game guide on this site is really good. There are also lots of build guides on this forum but to be honest as long as you stick to a few basic goals (keep your resists up, try not to split your damage types too much, etc). you’ll do fine.

I played PoE since open betta, but dropped it around Ascension league, when the game was scraped out of any gameplay. Returned shortly around arc-trap league, but dropped it again.
Not sure why you mean by 1), if you complain about rares in PoE, they are not worth picking. Never were. Just ignore them.
3)Not sure what are you trying to say here. In arc-trap league any build oneshoted whole screen in 4 link setup. As long as you understand game mechanic anything work. Its probably even worse now, as powercreep gets worse every league.
4)Thats poe trade point. They cant slow things down, cause there is no gameplay. :eek:
5)In arc-trap league I played hc SSF crit flicker assassin. Found all I need to clear yellow maps w/o looking at the screen.
6)Not sure what do you need in poe.
7)Nah, crafting 10k ES char is so cheap and easy its not even funny.

Sounds good.

I found a beginner’s build- [] The Wendigo - Fevered Rage Vitality Conjurer and Hardcore God.

But I’m not sure how much Grim Dawn has changed since this build was made (2017). Is the build still viable? Anyone know? is from before the first expansion, which upped the levelcap by 15 levels, so that build probably isn’t that reliable if you have the expansion. That being said, the actual core mechanics/structure of a Vitality Conjurer are pretty straightforward and haven’t changed much in years, so the actual guide part of the build guide is probably still accurate and is entirely viable.

Edit: For more up-to-date variants, check out these builds:


Um, I’m not sure where to post the following question on the forums. So I’ll just post it here.

I have 2 monitors. I’d like to be able to seamless switch between the two. I’ve changed settings to Windowed(Borderless). But when I click on the monitor that is not running GD, the monitor that is running GD pauses.

Is it possible to play GD while also fiddling around on your 2nd monitor?

I’m also a PoE player that has a love/hate relationship with the game at times, but based on your complaints with it I think you’ll like GD a lot.

  1. Like Jabarto said, finding specific legendaries can be a pain, and if you’re doing a build that has a best-in-slot rare item that can be a nightmare, but most builds are doable with multiple different items in each slot so the gearing isn’t too bad.
    1b) There technically is trading but there isn’t an economy built around it like there is in PoE. I have personally never traded with anyone and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because of it.

  2. No RNG at all for content, actually. The only thing that’s sort of RNG is getting a nemesis boss to spawn, but even then they have set spawn locations and they’re shown on the minimap so you don’t have to go looking around too much.

  3. Basically again just what Jabarto said. The class system in this game is way more flexible than it is in other ARPGs and no items are class-specific.

  4. Yes, but think of it more like gambling in D2/D3. It doesn’t have crafting like POE does.

  5. Nope! The expansion coming Wednesday has a game mode that looks to be really close to D3 greater rifts in gameplay style, but there are no maps.

  6. There’s the build guide forum, but honestly this game is way more forgiving than PoE is in terms of builds. In PoE if you don’t follow a build guide you’ve basically permanently gimped your character (at least until you really know what you’re doing), and it would be very hard to do that in this game. Plus everything but your mastery choices are completely respec-able for relatively cheap, so even if you do “mess up” it’s pretty easily correctable.


Is it possible to play GD while also fiddling around on your 2nd monitor?

Yeah, you can. GD is a singleplayer game for the most part so the 2nd monitor pausing really doesn’t harm anything because the game pauses along with it. Nothing in the game is in-game time controlled (shops reset just by leaving and coming back, for example) so there really isn’t a reason why you’d need to keep the game running while looking at grimtools or something.

Well I don’t know how much you could really play due to the way window focus works, but you can change Background FPS with the same-named slider in the Options menu.

Thanks for the response FreezardB.

I also have had a long-term love-hate relationship with Poe. But I know I’m definitely not playing Synthesis league anymore.

I’ll try to follow the [Vitality Caster] Vitality Storm - Vitality based Storm Totem Conjurer link you posted. Thanks again.

That is what I was looking for. It works. Thank-you.

One of the best thing coming with Forgotten Gods (which requires Ashes of Malmouth) is a system where you can either re-roll a set legendary piece randomly to another piece of the same set or you can roll it to become a set piece of a completely different legendary set.

Can you choose what the completely different legendary set is? I imagine this game has lots of different legendary sets.

Also, who is that hot woman in the Victorian corset in pictures of Ashes of Malmouth. Is she one of the new character classes? Or is she an antagonist? NPC?

As someone who just recently got into PoE recently (after many previous attempts) and who has thoroughly enjoyed GD since the alpha…I think you will love GD. This game is basically the antithesis to PoE. I don’t mean to imply I think PoE sucks or anything, but if you are looking for a fully enjoyable ARPG with an awesome item system, where you actually find TONS of awesome legendary equipment, GD is it in spades.

The number of builds that can successfully complete ALL content is far greater IMO too. In GD I’ve made tons of my own builds that all have made it through ultimate and beaten all side bosses. While in PoE I struggle to even get to the shaper following guides. Melee builds are more than viable, too, which is awesome.

I’ll try to answer your questions, seeing I’ve played PoE a little and share some of your critiques about it. Overall, I think you’ll enjoy GD :

1/ Much less RNG in GD, no Map RNG, no Special Chest RNG, no Synthesis RNG. Mainly loot RNG and some crafting RNG that isn’t essential.

2/ Didn’t have serious lag problem in PoE, but you can play GD offline in solo, so no lag there, and there might me some lag in multi, as always for this kind of game.

3/ Ok, depends what you call “viable”, but pretty much any build with correct synergies and stuff can finish the Xpac campain and safely reach level 100 (note that these are two different goals). After that, you can see if your build can kill Nemesis, which are Super-Bosses, and are manageable by a wide variety of builds, then you have even stronger secret bosses called Celestial that not many builds can defeat, and then there is Crucible, which is an optional DLC, where you fight waves and waves of enemies, and scales really hard, and has kinda a different logic than the rest of the game (hit hard, kill quick, but be tough). It’s used as a metric for the best of the best builds, as it gives the best rewards, but any build can get reasonably far, just not crazy far crazy fast.
Overall I’d say, if you don’t aim for ze best of ze best, you have an amazing diversity of viable builds, and unlike PoE, it is quite reasonable to reach level 100 and even get all the gear you’re aiming for, be it from drop or from trades (more on that later), so you will be able to finish your build and see how it performs.

4/ This part only applies to Crucible, and even then, only to the last waves (151 to 170) in the highest difficulty. Other than that, you can play a really sturdy character that takes 5 minutes to kill Bosses but takes nearly no damage (might have to move from time to time, because of stacking aoe under your feet)
One critique to be made is that ranged characters often find themselves in melee because lots of enemies have “charge” movements or very high movement speed, but FG will add movement skills available to all builds that should help a lot in that regard.

5/ RNGesus be RNGesus. That being said, I think that GD droprates are in a very good place, rare enough that you won’t be overwhelmed by legendaries, but common enough that you will be able to build your collection steadily when farming (5-6 legendaries per hour for the easiest and most common farming routes in Ultimate)

6/ As I said, droprates are satisfying, and you can play self-found if you understand itemization priorities correctly (aka, defense first, then offense).

7/ Crafting is very accessible, noting to do with the currency nightmare than PoE is, where you always have to think it you will dare use these precious currencies on your gear or keep them to trade later, or dunno what the heck to do with them because you don’t understand if a gear piece is good enough to begin upgrade it.
The only thing a bit limiting at first is that you have to drop some blueprints for some very useful items, but there are ways to efficiently farm the “necessary” ones, and at worse, you can farm the materials and ask someone that has the blueprint to craft it for you.

A few points to complete what I’ve said :

  • GD is an offline game mostly built around solo. As such, it is moddable, and at worse, there are programs to directly edit your gear. Things like that are obviously to use with a lot of moderation, because where’s the thrill if you can get all your gear in 10 minutes tops?

  • trading is possible, but not necessary. I used it a couple times to get some very specific items, like the fourth piece of the set I intended to use, or a specific weapon that eluded me. As such, I can say that trading is dirt easy and dirt cheap, most people will accept around 10ish crafting materials for any regular legendary, which can be farmed in 1-2 hours. The community is very friendly, and there is very little haggling, most people have a lot of items they don’t really have a use for, so they’re not stingy (plus, you know, the fact that anyone can create items out of thin air kinda put things into perspective).

  • the way GD items are designed, epic (blue) and legendary (purple) items are not ALWAYS better than rare (green). Epic and legendaries are very build-specific, and there are a few slots (pants, gloves, boots, and medals, most notably), where a well-rolled green might be much more useful, just because there are no legendary that fits your build for that slot.

  • you can access all the content without having to worry about RNG.

  • items do drop between classes, but they might still be very useful to you even if they don’t fit your build to the perfection. Heck, a lot of high-level legendaries cannot be used to their fullest by anyone, since they give bonuses for three different masteries, when you can only choose two masteries to make your class (to simplify greatly, generally items give 6+ properties, even being able to use half of them might make an item interesting for your build)

  • as I said, crafting GG items might be a bit painful, but the difference between a GG item and a non-GG item is minor, so not a big deal. And it is affordable.

  • no maps thank god. We’ll see what Shattered Realms are, but there won’t be a mini-management game inside the game to make maps worthwile, at the least.

  • try checking the Compendium IX thread in the build/class section. However, I do recommand that you take these guides with a grain of salt, they’re often showcasing builds tailored for the highest of challenges, Gladiator Crucible speedfarming, recommending stats that are quite hard to achieve at first, like 15k health, 3000 OA and DA, 3000+ armor with 100% absorption, and all that at the same time. While it is useful to keep in mind these values in mind as general goals, you don’t need them for the rest of the game. GD offers a variety of challenges. Your build might struggle more against certain enemies, and less against others, and that’s just how the game is designed. Try to balance things out, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey, find what you like, and try to see what you can do, even if it’s not optimal. For 95% of the game, you’ll be ok.

I don’t think you can choose which item you get, that would be too easy.
GD has tons of legendary sets. You can even wear multiple sets if you like, tons of options to mix and match.

The load screen woman is Byscilla, she’s a faction leader NPC. check this thread for more info.

1A. Grim Dawn is about normal for ARPG RNG. The drop rates are super generous and in Forgotten Gods (the expansion releasing in 2 days) RNG becomes even less of a problem due to a feature to help players complete sets faster.

1B. The answer is yes, but the game is designed around singleplayer so you won’t need to. Why would you want to deprive others of being able to trade with friends just to have a meaningful singleplayer experience? You can have both.

  1. The Main Campaign is pretty easy once you know how to approach the game. But if you’re not passing gear down from your high level characters to your low level characters, ultimate difficulty is tough but approachable.

  2. There are no class drops. All items drop the same for all classes.

  3. Yes and compared to PoE it is VERY easy to craft the GG craftables. Though it can be a bit tedious it is fast compared to most other games.

  4. No but Forgotten Gods is creating an endless dungeon but no stupid map RNG.

  5. Check beginner section here:

Other Guides here:

Join the live Discord Server here: where any of our members would be happy to answer your questions in real time.

Based on this, and a current POE player, NO YOU WILL NOT LIKE GRIM DAWN.

  1. Like POE this game is an ARPG which relies on RNG. You can play forever and never see the recipe you need. For example my build says to get the GUILE RELIC, but there is no place to farm it. It is just a random drop. If I get it great, if not, then I keep on farming randomly.

  2. You can play this game offline, so there is no concept of lag.

  3. Based on all of the youtube videos I have watched, there are a lot of great builds. However, there is a finite number of them and obviously not all of them are META. POE has more builds.

  4. Just like POE, you can play any build combination and still complete everything in the game. How long it takes you to kill a boss or clear an area is another question. So no difference there from POE.

  5. As mentioned above, I have never seen the item I need for my build drop and there is no where specific I can go to farm it. The drops are random.

  6. You can trade in this game. There is a GD discord, where you post in the #Trade channel, and then create a multiplayer game and do your trading.

  7. Just like POE items can have a range of stats. You can continue to craft the same item and hope it becomes legendary. That RNG in crafting is still there.

All of the things that you hate are staples of ARPGs. They are in POE, Grim Dawn, and every single ARPG out there. I don’t think your issue is POE, but just ARPGs in general. Hope you find a genre that brings you happiness.

If you insist on playing self-found it takes 100-300 hours before you can make a complete endgame character. But once you can farm crucible you’ll be able to gear 10-20 characters within that time. However, the new transmutation mechanism is designed to speed things up for total beginners and it will launch shortly.

In general trading/bumming crafts helps a lot at first. Later, trading helps get mats if you want to minmax certain green craftables like almost gone from meta these days Stoneplate Grieves. However, these craftables aren’t needed for 99% endgame builds. For advanced players with over 500-1000 hours trading is obsolete. Maybe a way to help out beginners and keep the community tight.

This is simply not true but I don’t blame Bethany for this misinformation. It a known fact that there are a few quite well-followed youtubers whose builds are actually worse than many builds posted here by beginners with a request for help. YouTube has a different culture and a lot of fake shit’s going on there because of that. Here, if you post a bad build and say it’s good you’ll be crushed.

This isn’t entirely correct either. Crafting doesn’t change uniqueness status. In GD only helmets and relics are craftable and sometimes some other gear. You can re-craft if you don’t like the rolls but it’s rarely required to succeed, and most gear is drop-only. There are a few “green” (affixable) items that you can keep crafting forever to get the desired affixes but this is not needed to achieve top level at this game and is so improbable that many ppl give up sooner or later and exclude it from meta. So, high-RNG super expensive crafting? You can but you absolutely don’t have to.

In conclusion, GD is good for people who begin to grow tired of the direction PoE is going. If limited mp experience does not put you off, GD is just about a perfect aRPG.


Thanks for the post. Your post provided me a lot of interesting information I didn’t previously know. Thank you.

Played a lot of GD last night. Watched a beginner’s tutorial YT video. Will definitely watch more. So far, I’m having fun. I’m very curious to experience the endgame. But so far, I think this is the game I’ve been looking for. I think GD will be a good investment of my time. I also think GD will be respectful of my time.