Why I Want to Buy the Ashes of Malmouth Expansion, But Haven't

As of the time of writing this post, I have 888 hours logged in Grim Dawn. Not as many as some people, but not exactly what I’d call a casual amount of playtime. I’m probably in Crate’s targeted demographic, as someone who played Diablo 2, and believes that it did not have any proper official sequel. ARPGs are my go-to genre of videogame in general, as (when done well) nothing else scratches the itch of crunchy character building, monster slaying, and environmental storytelling all in one glorious, bloody package.

I am writing all of this because I think it’s important to understand that Grim Dawn is a game that I think has come closest to being that desperately-desired Diablo 2 sequel for me. I have a feeling a number of other players probably feel the same. It’s a game I have enjoyed for many, many hours, both by myself and with my friends. And though I’m very curious about what the Ashes of Malmouth expansion will bring to the table - as I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews of it - I cannot bring myself to play more Grim Dawn, when the basic process of stash management is so incredibly poor.

That’s right, this post is about stash tabs. I’ve used Grim Dawn Item Assistant, and other software, to allow me to collect as much loot as my heart desires, and cleverly index it all. And that’s the problem. In downloading a completely separate program, having to run it alongside the base game, and alt-tabbing between the game and the utility whenever I need to grab or search for an item, my sense of immersion within the game world is completely destroyed. Grim Dawn might not be trying to be The Witcher, or any other deeply story-driven fully fleshed out roleplaying game. But it IS a roleplaying game, with a lovingly crafted world that has drawn me in for many hours.

If I wanted to try a different set of items out, and merely needed to go dig through my stash to do so, then I would have no such immersion-breaking issue. But having to run a search in a separate window of a Java program? Suddenly I’m no longer an Aetherial-destroying powerhouse, but a fantasy accountant managing spreadsheets.

I think it’s important to understand that for a large number of people (as evidenced by the popularity of tools such as the aforementioned Item Assistant), the ability to actually keep all of the items that one finds is extremely important. Considering, you know, that this is a game about collecting loot, and all. This entire idea is basically a tautology. Grim Dawn is a game about killing monsters to get loot to kill more monsters. It’s hard to feel like you’re getting loot when every new item you acquire, requires you to destroy another one.

This is not a multiplayer game, where our items require space on a server someone is paying for. I think most players would also agree that inventory management is not what makes an ARPG fun, sexy, and exciting. It’s a necessary evil that in the past has been in many cases a result of technical limitations. That rationale is not relevant in 2018.

Here’s the thing: At this point, I’m not even asking Crate to provide unlimited stash space themselves, since they seem to be inexplicably averse to the idea. All I want is the ability to mod it in. Something along the lines of a “max_stash_tabs” variable. Since I know in Ashes of Malmouth another tab was added to the stash, it is indeed possible. And you could even use it as a way to introduce another iron bit-sink into the game. Crazy, I know.

Those 888 hours on record were all played within 6-8 months(ish) of Grim Dawn’s release. This doesn’t even include the dozens of hours spent theory crafting new characters in character building utilities, or playing with Devotion trees. At that point, I felt like I’d seen what the game had to offer and eagerly awaited Ashes of Malmouth to breathe new life into a game I already loved. Upon seeing that no changes to this fundamental, immersion-breaking issue were going to be implemented, I decided to wait and see if such a solution would be patched in at a later date. Clearly, this is not the case.

I think Crate needs to seriously consider why so many players feel obligated to use a third-party utility just to enjoy playing their game. As of the time of this post, the Grim Dawn Item Assistant thread in the Utilities and Resources section of this website has 1822 posts. It’s time for an alternative.


I jest.

But in actuality, Stash Space is unlikely to change too much more. Ashes of Malmouth expanded the personal and shared stashes, and the upcoming Forgotten Gods expansion alleges to do the same - but infinite storage, like is offered by these tools, isn’t in the known works.

At this point, I’m not even asking Crate to provide unlimited stash space themselves, since they seem to be inexplicably averse to the idea. All I want is the ability to mod it in. Something along the lines of a “max_stash_tabs” variable. Since I know in Ashes of Malmouth another tab was added to the stash, it is indeed possible.
Mmm…no. There is no variable holding the maximum number of tabs, imposed arbitrarily by some evil developers. The issue at hand is one of UI design. You can throw numbers around all you want, but when it comes to working with and/or modding GD’s UI, you’ll find things are far stricter than you presume.

I’m entirely aware that the actual process of providing that functionality is more complex than a simple variable. But I’m using this concept as a shorthand - the intention being to provide the option to mod creators if they so choose to use it (though I’d rather it just be part of the game by default, but that’s clearly never going to happen). Look, I know it’s not a super easy fix. I also know that the PlugY provides exactly the functionality I’m talking about, and it exists for Diablo 2, so it’s not impossible either.

I’m also aware that this isn’t in the works, which is why I made a thread about it. If it was in the works, I wouldn’t have anything to worry about! I’m plenty happy to wait patiently for features I desire.

Yet, left to their own devices with infinite space, a lot of people would just keep collecting things to the point that they didn’t even want to open their stash and have to deal with all the shit in their there.

This. Because I have to handle a bunch of mules and empty my shared stash and I just don’t have the fluffing energy to do so and so for the last month+ I haven’t touched GD…

The number of tabs cannot be increased, but their size can. If you have not tried the mod, maybe you should do so

Which is part of the reason I suggested it be an option for modders. You don’t want the option? Don’t download the mod. That way everyone can be happy.

Though it still doesn’t satisfy the space requirements, I am familiar with that mod. It’s definitely the closest I’ve seen to a viable, non-immersion breaking option.

I understand perfectly that the stash function is not optimal and that at the very least the game should have increased page sizes, but to me your dilemma is cured most easily by changing your mind-set.

It is very unlikely the stash function will be overhauled, and to me the only reason for the devs to take the time to do it is for the console version that is in the works. Even then it makes no economic sense to do so. It’s already a small portion of player base that even continue to elite or ultimate and smaller still that play enough hours to encounter stash issues (at which point you’ve got your moneys worth already…). Even smaller still the portion of that very small non-casual playerbase that BOTH insist on keeping all gear found AND refuse to use third party stash tools is minuscule.

Congrats on being a minority of a minority but I think you should stop asking for a miracle and try being flexible (i.e don’t keep all gear found and learn to be realistic when deciding what to keep). There are 1000 hour+ players that get by very well with the given stash space.

There’s probably a simple answer to this question. Since the game is supposedly fully moddable then it can either be done (but no one’s done it yet) or it can’t. If the answer is the latter, then Stasher is probably your best alternative. Iirc Zantai said in a stream they’d managed the extra stashes for FG by making the stash buttons smaller.

Personally I’ve used GDIA and GDStash and both work fine for me.

If you think the stash is small in this game I suggest you try Titan Quest Anniversary Edition or the original Titan Quest Immortal Throne. That’ll really test your metal as far as saving items goes. And the only solution is out of game storage.

Yeah i know this answer, i’ve heard it so many times but , after 3k hours in gd , i still think that this is the only thing that annoys me in ths game. Ok the game is moddable and it’s great but ingame stash space would be just a lot better than using mods/tools. Crate is a bit stubborn on this point and i don’t find the “hey there are mods” answer convincing.

But how annoying is it really? This is one which will yield many different personal opinions. I think most players will be flexible and deal with it.

The devs have already put in a lot of work to make a great game and I imagine that most players don’t mind using third party tool to make the experience better so that devs can focus on other things like FG or re-balancing skills/gear/content.

Oh yes I really wish GD had a mod like PugY for D2. It s a very good mod. The devs keep saying TQ engine has virtually no limits and still constantly pointing out the limits of UI that is weird. Remake it then to be more mod-able. Honestly the GD UI is not good for modern games standards it is cluttered and not convenient. I’m speaking of Crafting UI as well. No searching function either… feel bad :cry:

I’m totally with OP on this

Meh, I used to think that stash mods would ruin my immersion in the game, until I tried Item Assistant and started having a blast with the finding loot aspect. Before that finding some cool piece of equipment was like “oh this is really cool, but how I’m gonna fit this thing in my already full stash? What should I discard?” and that sucked. I wanted to be excited about loot, not to worry about playing tetris in an optimal with my items. Honestly, it takes at most 5 minutes to search and send the loot for my character, and mostly I play self-found till lvl 50 when I can start make use of legendary (unless it’s a very nice epic), so really the immersion is not a big deal because most of the time I’m playing the game.

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Personally I don’t remember the devs ever saying the TQ engine is unlimited, in fact they are very aware that the engine has serious limitation which is why GD2 (if it happens) will have to be on a different engine. The new directable spinning skill is one they never thought was possible with this engine

Don’t forget that while Crate have a licence to use the TQ engine there’s still parts of the engine that are incredibly hard to alter (UI being one of them) and other parts that are hard coded into the engine and Crate simply don’t have the time (maybe the legality) to strip the coding apart and attempt to alter it. This is a very old lot of code that’s not the most streamlined or easy to work with.

I’m pretty sure there is nothing (legal or otherwise) preventing them from changing any aspect of the engine that they wish. They’ve been pretty much doing that since 2010. It comes down to how much time it would take to do any given thing versus how much time/manpower/resources they are willing to put in to any such endeavor.

@Garfunkel - When Zantai said that nothing was totally impossible with the engine this is what he meant and what he was getting at. You can sit there and say, “Oh, well just remake it then… yeah man. Yeah”, all you want but “remaking” an engine calls for programmers and they have only so many of those and I’m willing to bet they are all being used for other things. If they felt that the OP’s complaints were worth the time-investment they would have already put someone on it. Clearly they don’t think the time-sink is worth it versus what they feel is more important.

you are conflating two things here. The devs said that there is no limit to what changes could be done to the engine (which is correct for any engine…), the only real limit is effort / money.

That does not at all mean that the current engine has no limits or does not limit mods.

The idea that I should “Change my mindset” is, I’m afraid, a deeply flawed one. You can argue economics, in terms of the fact that I’ve already got my money’s worth. But I literally, in the post title, have described how I would like to give Crate more money, but can’t bring myself to do so because of this issue.

Furthermore, you’ve made assumptions about my playstyle and usage of stash utilities which are not true. One of the very first mods I felt I had to acquire was a stash mod. This was probably within 15-20 hours of initial playtime. Just because I ended up using a stash mod towards the end of the 888 hours doesn’t mean I didn’t need one much, much earlier.

In addition, I am quite reasonable when I decide what to keep. I don’t have a desire to hoard multiples of the same item. I want to keep one (the best version) of each blue or higher rarity item that I find. And you know what? I’m pretty damn sure my view is a relatively common one. I know that amongst the group of friends I convinced to try this game, their feelings have been similar.

That’s the thing - I haven’t “refused to use stash mods”. But I have found them to be very detrimental to my immersion, and thus enjoyment of the game. Enough so that I don’t really have much desire to continue playing/giving Crate money. And again, considering how many people use these mods, it is clear that the demand is there among the community. As a game developer, it’s incredibly important to listen to your players and incorporate highly desired features. That’s just part of supporting your game well.

Can you not understand that there are other people that would stop playing due having to face an unlimited stash once it starts to get full…you don’t hear anything from these players much because they current situation doesn’t put them off playing the game.

Thus Crate run the risk of losing customers which ever way they decide, and as the game is moddable they have decided “thankfully” to limit the stash size.

I really fail to understand how almost everyone that wants an unlimited/massive stash is almost completely blind to the concept that not everyone wants or enjoys this massive stash and how some refuse to even try to understand that it’s detrimental to many people’s gaming. There seems to be an attitude of “player xyz wants big stash and there’s no downside at all and refuse to accept that there is a genuine downside that effects other players” :rolleyes:

You filled your stash tabs full of blue/purple in 20 hours? For most new players that will not be a common scenario.

The view that stash management in Grim Dawn is flawed is very common yes. I agreed with that and said it myself. What I bet isn’t a common opinion though is that having to alt tabbing out to use a third party tool (which perfectly captures the function the player is after) is enough to justify not buying any more expansions/content.

I agree that the decision by Crate not to implement a proper stash system does affect demand for the game (including your money). I just think that value is reasonably small at this point (most significant before stash tools existed). Personally I would have implemented it back in 2010 but now that stash tools exist I would do as Crate does now and not implement it.

  1. Make more characters
  2. Have each one hold items for a different slot/weapon type
  3. Put components, accessories, potions and relics in shared stash
    (4. Throw out most blues)

Problem solved.

But in the end more mod-friendly engine changes is better for the game longevity than ,say, a bug-fixing patch. It is just my opinion of course the devs know better