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Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released

The Grim Dawn website announces the release of the Ashes of Malmouth expansion, which adds two new chapters to the Windows action/RPG. This can be picked up on GOG.com and Steam, and each site has the base game on sale for 70% off. Here's word on the add-on:

Ashes of Malmouth picks up where Grim Dawn leaves off, expanding the world and story with two new chapters in the epic struggle to free humankind from the horrors of the Aetherials. Deep within the fallen city of Malmouth, the Shaper of Flesh crafts grotesque living weapons that could deal a final blow to the human resistance. You must forge new alliances as you push forward through deep forest, the void and into the city itself in a heroic effort to end the Aetherial terror. Venture into dangerous new parts of the world as you discover unique items, empower your characters and make difficult choices that have a lasting impact on the people of Cairn.

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13. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 13, 2017, 20:51 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Quick Note: The Expansion offers full respec potions from Quests, for Stat Points and Devotions? You can also respec skills as normal (although it gets costly) and there may be a full Skill respec potion from some quest somewhere, I still have NPCs who won't talk to me yet but clearly have voiced dialogue.

Quinn, panbient, yes you need to work on Defense/survivability/Resistances more as you progress through Elite/Ultimate. You want capped out or near capped out resistances (80% not counting skills or devotions or items that let you go higher) fairly soon into Elite, definitely before you start Ultimate, and get hit with the resistance penalty.

Dual Wield melee is arguably pretty rough for a first character, with no other characters feeding you gear, you're relying on drops and crafting, to somehow get your resistances high and have dps, and have a large hp pool as well as some regeneration, along with probably sub-30 Devotion points...it's not impossible, but dual wield melee will probably require you to reskill a few times, until you get the survivability that's going to be required.

Another option is just having a few sets of Resistance gear in your bags, aka a few pieces of jewelry or alternate pants etc. for max Poison resist, Aethereal Resist, Chaos Resist, Vitality resist. Swap out 2-3 pieces of gear, fight the High damage Poison guy, swap back in your dps/normal gear when you get back to regular enemies. I mention those damage types in particular because you will face bosses and minibosses that have insanely high damage of those types, as well as regular enemies that hit for a ton with those types. Fire/Lightning/Cold/Piercing aren't nearly as bad, although some of the Act 4 Beasts do some high cold damage.

Regeneration/Lifesteal only work well if you have high health pool AND good resistances to survive bursts. You can probably still salvage your DW S/N with some skill point movement, and Devotion point respec.

I also Recommend 1 point in Blade Barrier, Blitz, and Shadow Strike. Blade Barrier is 100% damage absorption with some regen(the Oh Shit button) and Blitz/Shadow Strike allow you to get out from being trapped by attacking some far off enemy or even a crate/barrel.

First you need to decide how you will focus your character though. Dual Wield, okay, Blademaster, okay, but Physical, or Cold, or Poison, or Bleed damage based? Melee for sure, or do you want to go mid range knife throwing? (Phantasmal Blades).

Physical: Cadence for LMB, I recommend Ring of Steel for RMB, then Veil of Shadow (Debuff Aura) and Field Command (Buff Aura) for your main skills, with 1 point in Shadow Strike/Blade Barrier at least. Malkovian's Advantage and Fighting Spirit are awesome backup automatic skills(self triggering from Cadence), and use Dual Blades/Execution/Whirling Death from the Dual Blades tree.

Pneumatic Burst, whenever you are in melee range, for Regen + defense buff, or if you went elemental, additional elemental damage.

Grim Dawn, you can literally get by with JUST Cadence as your LMB skill(full tree maxxed), and some AoE skill for trash on your RMB, with passives and good Devotion choices. Plenty of min-maxxers do that kind of thing, but you can finish Ultimate with a lot more skills, honestly.

Here's my extremely unoptimized but very twinked out Blademaster, Level 52: Grim Calc

Notice nothing is maxxed out yet except Execution, most other players will max out 1 skill first, then start expanding their character, but that gets boring for me, I'd rather have 6-10 skills to use, and grow in power with +skill items and level points over time. You also don't need to max out both Class trees, most people won't, but I wanted Oleron's Rage AND Execution, because the Speed/Damage buffs from Oleron's are awesome, and Execution is a flat enemy HP % reduction, also awesome.

If you aren't passing down Legendaries to your DW Blademaster like I am, you will probably want a lot more points in Cadence earlier in my build, but the general blueprint should give you an idea. I believe I put 18 points Physique, 24 Cunning, 10 Spirit so far. In vanilla you'd have almost all points in Physique, but they've played with the numbers enough, you can put some points in Spirit without being killed instantly. Mana Regen is good.

 
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12. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 13, 2017, 10:02 panbient
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 13, 2017, 02:27:
I was a Soldier/Nightblade with lots of talents in regeneration-by-attacks. I was a proc-king at first: basic attacks procced moves that obliterated swaths of enemies. And then I started New Game+, one difficulty up.
I got oneshotted.

That's the build I'm using for my hardcore character (sword and shield focus). From what I've gathered Normal mode is for casual anything goes builds. Elite requires a solid grasp of the underlying resistance / damage type systems with appropriate gear and offensive focus. Then Ultimate (which I'll confess I haven't grinded up to... even after 300+ hours) is where I figure the Skill and Devotion allocations become critical.

There are two other things to keep in mind when moving up to higher difficulties. First all your resistances drop by a substantial amount (50% if I remember right) and pretty much all enemies will hit with some sort of additional effect. Then there's the fact that the next difficulty unlocks after completing the main story boss but there's more end game content afterwards (and more opportunities for legendary drops).

Without seeing your gear and how you spent your Skill and Devotion points it's kind of hard to say why you died so quickly. Soldier has some great passives to jack up your defense and Nightblade has good debuffs.

And finally, don't ever spend more than a handful of points in Spirit unless you're playing a caster type. I'm currently at level 71 and I've only added 2 or 3.
 
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11. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 13, 2017, 04:12 Zoom
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 13, 2017, 02:27:
I was a Soldier/Nightblade with lots of talents in regeneration-by-attacks. I was a proc-king at first: basic attacks procced moves that obliterated swaths of enemies. And then I started New Game+, one difficulty up.
I got oneshotted.
The game punishes builds without any survival skills / passives. There are some almost mandatory constellations you have to pick especially with a glass cannon. The Ultimate difficulty level is the real build test, where you see if it works for real or not.
I learned the hard way too (Nightblade / Shaman build, melee dual wield, hit a wall in Ultimate) and went on to make a new build (Nightblade / Arcanist, mostly spellcaster), but that time didnt forget to take some defensive skills and i went to level 85 and finished Ultimate mode with it with no major issue.
It's not as difficult to nail a build as in PoE clearly, but you still have to do some planning ahead as respec is very limited.

And yeah there's little endgame content compared to PoE. Still it was worth 237 hours of gameplay so far, as different builds lead to very different gameplay. Didnt try the extension yet, i'm about to.
 
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10. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 13, 2017, 02:27 Quinn
 
If there's one game where I felt a true loser who royally fucked up his build, it's Grim Dawn. The worst thing is that I, to this day, still don't understand why my build just didn't work.

I was a Soldier/Nightblade with lots of talents in regeneration-by-attacks. I was a proc-king at first: basic attacks procced moves that obliterated swaths of enemies. And then I started New Game+, one difficulty up.
I got oneshotted.
 
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"F!#& YOU, MISSILE!"
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9. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 16:36 Creston
 
Thanks MLTS!
 
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8. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 14:24 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Creston wrote on Oct 11, 2017, 23:55:
So I picked up the main game today for 7ish bucks. Any suggestions on a fun build?

Pretty much any build is workable at this point, the game has improved dramatically since launch. (When some builds were far and away the best)

You want Ranged? You can go for dual wield pistol, rifle/xbow 2hander, or Caster (stat stick weapon, caster off hand like a book or skull) or pistol/caster combo.

Melee? Dual wield melee, 1h + shield, or 2hander, all viable, almost any build you want to try.

Summons? Even without the expansion(Necromancer class) you can get a pretty good summoning army from Occultist and Shaman, but this will be the most difficult gear wise for new players.

Easiest build to get your feet wet, Commando, which is Soldier + Demolitionist. You can go Physical, or Fire or Lightning Damage, with a ton of amazing skills for 1h + shield, 2hander melee, Ranged single, ranged dual wield, ranged 2 hander. Physical, base it around Cadence from the Soldier class, Elemental(Fire or Lightning) go with Fire Strike from Demolitionist, then add supporting skills as you see fit.

I have 2 Commandoes currently, one Dual Wield pistol(requires artifact to DW) that is a ranged beast, and a 1h/Shield melee tank, who gets AoE damage from Mines and triggered AoE bursts.

Strongest builds once you get used to the game will involve Nightblade, but seriously, all the classes have been buffed a lot since launch.

I enjoy my ranged guys the most at this point, you can go a lot more glass cannon-ish and have to move around and use debuffs more to control enemies. Melee is probably stronger overall, you can get quite tanky and still have a ton of DPS.

There are also Devotions, which add abilities, passive and active, that can take any base 2 class combo in another direction entirely, or just compliment and buff the damage of your combo. For example, my Commandoes both use Devotions to the Left of center, Ulzuin's Torch for Meteor Shower, or Hydra for more Ranged damage, etc. Giant's Blood, for extreme regeneration, is also good on almost any class combo.

The tooltips for each skill and devotion will say what the skill goes with, ie. Melee, Ranged, Both, 2h, 1h, requires a shield, etc.

*EDIT* Whoops wrong term. Artifact -> Relic in Grim Dawn, you make them at the Blacksmith, they have their own slot on the character paper doll, and offer passives and actives for further customization. There are plenty of Relics, that allow basic stuff like dual wielding for class combos that don't have it innately, to tons of bonus damage on procs, to healing, to unique skills that are comparative to high level class skills. There are 4-5(?) tiers of Relics, with progressively higher material costs to make.

This comment was edited on Oct 12, 2017, 22:53.
 
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7. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 12:03 Angrius Maximis
 
Diablo 3 has had this stuff for a while and is more fun. Whatever  
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6. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 10:29 aka_STEVE
 
This game & this guy is definitely one to support ... instead of Diablo.

They really did a great job on this with such a small team. I have played it a lot, using at least 3 different types of builds just for fun.
-Which is probably the best ad I can give it, is that it is cool, action a plenty,& looks great BUT it is also FUN to play.

Haven't got into the expansion yet , but I will.
 
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5. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 09:48 panbient
 
Creston wrote on Oct 11, 2017, 23:55:
So I picked up the main game today for 7ish bucks. Any suggestions on a fun build?

Depends on what you like but there are options for just about every play style. There are loads of references and Steam guides that can help but from my own experiences...

If you like playing a tank style you'll want to pair up the Soldier class. Soldier / Shaman is a beast. Soldier / Nightblade is quite a lot of fun too but becomes squishy later on. Soldier / Demolitionist should be quite effective as well (thinking this is what I'll be trying with the expansion).

If you prefer summoning pets you'll be looking at pairing the Occultist. Not all classes get summons but if I remember right the Occultist can have three just from their skill tree. There doesn't seem to be a limit either, so different pieces of gear and class pairings can result in a substantial posse of critters.

Big picture, there are options for every playstyle out there and on Normal difficulty anything is viable. It's only once you start into higher difficulties that you really need to start considering resistances and focusing gear towards specific damage types. There's quite a bit of potential depth to character / gear builds if you want to head down that rabbit hole.

One last thing to keep in mind, the option to re-spec your character is limited. As you level up you get a few points to spend on either Class or Skill points. Class points will provide bigger boosts to your stats and unlock more powerful skills. Skill points can be reclaimed but Class points are permanent but with the new level cap that likely becomes less of a factor.

Overall if you played Titan Quest back in the day a lot of this will feel familiar. Personally, I thought TQ was the next best thing after Diablo 2 and Grim Dawn just delivers more of the same.
 
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4. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 12, 2017, 06:04 Asmodai
 
Biggest problem with the original GD was how the storyline proverbially lost the plot towards the end. The ending just didn't service the storyline you'd spent the first few acts getting all worked up about. Hoping the expansion kinda brings it home.  
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3. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 11, 2017, 23:58 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
I'm still enjoying Grim Dawn, about 500 hours in or so.

I have a lot of characters at this point, mostly extremely focused, on particular legendary/skill combos.

For comparison, I bounced off of Path of Exile in spite of multiple attempts(too much RNG), but I did put in a ton of hours in Diablo 3, Torchlight 2, etc.

As far as the expansion, I've barely scratched the surface, but so far it seems great, an improvement over the base game, much like every content patch for the game has been.

Wallshadows -> I agree, the static maps are probably the weakest link in the Grim Dawn chain. 95% of the time I play solo in any ARPG, so that doesn't bug me as much...Grim Dawn is definitely a single player game with some tacked on multiplayer capability

 
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2. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 11, 2017, 23:55 Creston
 
So I picked up the main game today for 7ish bucks. Any suggestions on a fun build?
 
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1. Re: Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released Oct 11, 2017, 22:36 Wallshadows
 
For as much as I love ARPGs I just never really got in to Grim Dawn. I don't know if it's the pacing, the static maps or lack of a community but even when I am in an ARPG kind of mood it's so far down the list that I get genre burn out before it's even a thought in my mind.

Glad it's doing well though.
 
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