TPOM posts his review for Grim Dawn

I posted this on the Steam forums, but I wanted to post it in the forums as well so it could have feedback in the general thread.

"Grim Dull – The Nerfening

*The amount of hours I put in this game is more due to the fantastic tools and community mods section rather than the game itself. Major thanks to Mamba for creating GDStash and Asylum, Ceno, and Grimer for making the piece-mods that make up Grimarillion. Last but not least, no review is complete without saying thank you to Dammit for creating Grimtools: theorycrafter and day-waster extraordinaire.

The game has a huge variety of Item Sets, Legendary items, and “Double-Rolled” items more influenced by RNG, but they are deeply divided into either mandatory items or vendor trash. Sets grossly overperform compared to non-set builds, as all the mandatory features needed in a build (attack / cast speed, resistances, enemy resistance reduction [RR for short]) are neatly packed into the set and in much higher quantities than you can get without the set. Then the sets become good to the point that later patches give monsters ludicrous abilities like “65% reduced damage + 30% slow for 5 seconds” so that full-set players can be challenged, but all that does is ruin the players who don’t have that luxury.

As for customization, slots are really interchangeable. Shield builds have no difference between Tower Shields and Bucklers, 1H Weapons have nothing to tell them apart, and most 2H weapons are outright weaker than DW or Sword and Board. Fashion Dawn is a beaut, I’ll give Crate that, but having cool outfits doesn’t negate the point that your playstyle primarily revolves around “press your primary attack button over and over again,” especially when multiple classes have passive buffs that debuff the enemy without you doing anything.

Debuffs that aren’t Resist Reduction are completely worthless in this game. Things like Stun and Freeze are completely immune by the monsters that matter, Slow is too highly resisted for it to make any difference, and Reduced damage is too inconsistent to rely on for your survival. Zantai had confronted this by saying “Crowd Control is for Crowds,” but then Crate decided to balance the game on fighting multiple Boss / Nemesis monsters which are – guess what – immune to these tactics. Anyone thought the new procedurally generated maps were going to be anything but “kill multiple random combinations of Nemeses + Bosses?” Ha. This caused players to go for massive AoE damage which immediately kills off any enemy that your debuffs would have worked on in the first place, so we’ve circled back to debuffs being completely pointless.

Debuffs that are Resist Reduction are pumped to a degree that people complain that 100 RR isn’t enough. This makes equipment slots that give RR mandatory and weapons that specialize in a particular skill get pushed aside for generic “+1 to skills and RR proc.” I was stoked about the possibility of item skill modifiers when the first expansion came out, but all that creativity was funneled into boring “gives your attack skill bigger numbers” or “gives your RR debuff even more RR.” The bigger joke is that classes that don’t have RR like Arcanists can’t benefit from skill modifiers as their skills don’t even have the template to make RR possible. So instead you get classes that have massive RR get even more RR while the other classes just sit and accept their place in squalor.

Pointless debuffs have the second unfortunate effect of having all the tough monsters charge at your face with no way of avoiding the onslaught. Whether it’s instantly teleporting to your location, going invisible so that your debuffs can’t hit them anyway, or charging at 3X your max speed, monsters come fast and come hard. This makes real ranged combat impossible and forces you to either stack up on defenses to facetank or perish. And getting the defenses to tank usually come from a small smattering of mandatory choices, dooming otherwise decent ideas into oblivion.

Combining 2 classes is the huge draw to this game, but in reality, you’re taking 1 class for your main attack and your other class for buffs / RR. And the other class is normally reduced to whichever provides the highest RR. I am not minimizing when I say that a good number of builds are simply 1-class builds with the RR skill + buff of the other class; builds like Physical Soldier, Lightning Shaman, Birds Occultist or Aether Arcanist. Several classes have such poor synergy that no amount of equipment or sets can help them – that’s right, I’m looking at you Battlemages and Warlocks. The emphasis on pure stat buffs has gotten ridiculous to the point that full-casters are bragging about using Melee attacks to get the buffs associated with them. You want to play a pure caster? Fuhgetabbutit.

Devotions are the other huge draw, but when you look closer into it, you’re really just picking the T3 devotion that matches your build, the RR devotion, and all the constellations that give you the requirements. There are other constellations that grant small procs or bonuses, but there’s nothing that can combine these small bursts to rival that of 1 big T3 ability, even with the ample amount of equipment that converts one damage type into another. Or if a devotion does get interesting and become worth using in non-traditional ways, it is certain to get nerfed.

Oh, the glorious nerfs. Come up with a truly original idea or find a way to maximize a build’s potential at levels previously unseen? Don’t facetank the Bantai. You may see our favorite set / skill nerfed 4 patches in a row, just for fun and giggles. Or you may see your skill get 80% reduced damage because it interacted with enemies in a unforeseen matter. Just spent a year getting all those pieces to your favorite set you watched on Youtube? People were begging for that to get nerfed after the first week of farming Crucible 20 hours a week. The worst part is that these nerfs are mostly celebrated. A Nightblade build that specializes in killing Humans easily? Can’t have that originality – nerf all the items that give bonus damage to humans.

This game had a limitless amount of potential and a canvas just ready to bust open with creativity, but the combination of funneling people into item sets, worthless debuffs, and far too much incoming damage have sucked the life out of this game.


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Ok buddy thanks :ok_hand:


Cool Story bro… but who are you again and why should your opinion matter(to us)? #DeadBuilds #ZantaiWorseThanThanos #FixItASAP

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That was a lot of words.

Could we have the 710 hours of suffering we put you through back? Seems you didn’t want them.

Let us know if you need your key revoked, you know, to spare you from potential self-harm of ever playing again.


TL:DR Nerfs are bad, please stop nerfing everything. #deadbuilds #leavehumandamagealone


You forgot about Game is basically worthless without Mods, and everything other than debuff is worthless, crowd controls is worthless etc etc. #NotMyBuild #MakeGDGreatAgain #IFeelEmptyInside #WorthlessWordOfTheDay

You can downvote his solid review here:

- my recommendation at any rate.

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Trozan’s/Ulzuin’s/Agrivix/Light’s Defender/every vit caster say hello.

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I can’t help but #FakeNews

Game mods more important than the game? I have spent over 1k hours without any mods at all. So it’s the game that matters, mods are added to increase diversity even more.

About sets, that’s well said. But remember that there are so many items, it’s hard to control and balance completely random items.

Nerfs, I don’t think they’re celebrated, quite the opposite. I dislike, when skill or item is brought to the ground, but most of the time nerfs are warranted and well deserved. Having balance changes actually prolong gameplay experience for builders, cause each patch have hidden gems opening opportunity for new builds.

But you’re quite experience player/forum member and am truly surprised to hear such radical opinion, even if some of your concerns are understandable.

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how’s the state of battlemage and warlock these days? i recall that there are purple lvl 94 end game sets for them. dunno if its bad, decent, or good.

this reminds me of defiler pre FG. it really sucks. few end game gears for defilers. then FG come. and defiler got a lot of supports.

Zantar and Grova keep nerfing everything :frowning: #craftpls

Who am I? Somebody who put a ton of hours posting feedback attempting to buff items and provide more versatility to builds. I posted loads of ideas attempting to better buff pet builds, 2H builds, bring traditionally weaker ideas to better compete against more established ones.

Generally, driving away the very people who are deeply invested in your game due to repeating the same mistakes is not smart from a sales perspective.

A good chunk of the 700+ hours is from playing Grimarillion and its 28 or so classes. I would not nearly have as many hours if it weren’t for that, and I wouldn’t have bothered with much at all if it weren’t for GDStash and the ability to instantly test out build ideas.

The caster / weapon thing I admit was my weakest argument, but the idea that people were implementing Savagery into Wind Devil caster builds was so absurd I had to say something about it.

The devs simply didn’t agree with your feedback. Don’t need to be so butthurt about it.

And the game seems to be doing quite well in terms of reviews and sales. But Crate surely appreciate your concern about their financial well-being :+1:

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From a sales perspective, Crate doesn’t care how many hours you have in the game. Once you’ve bit the hook, they’ve already proven themselves successful.

That being said, the vast majority of the 0.1% of players that do have hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of hours in GD tend to still be here with us.


If in those 700 hours you think the game’s current balance is in a worse state now than it has been, then I guess you should have spent less time playing mods and more time understanding the game you’re playing.

Hope your next 700+ game serves you better so you don’t feel the need to downvote it after a stupid amount of entertainment per $.