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Grim Dawn - All News

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Thursday - March 19, 2015
Thursday - March 12, 2015
Thursday - March 05, 2015
Sunday - March 01, 2015
Wednesday - February 18, 2015
Thursday - February 05, 2015
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Tuesday - January 06, 2015
Friday - January 02, 2015
Sunday - December 21, 2014
Saturday - December 20, 2014
Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Sunday - November 16, 2014
Tuesday - November 11, 2014
Thursday - October 30, 2014
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Saturday - October 11, 2014
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Tuesday - September 30, 2014
Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Friday - September 19, 2014
Sunday - September 07, 2014
Saturday - August 30, 2014
Tuesday - August 19, 2014
Thursday - August 07, 2014
Friday - July 25, 2014
Thursday - July 17, 2014
Tuesday - July 08, 2014
Tuesday - June 24, 2014
Thursday - June 12, 2014
Wednesday - June 11, 2014
Friday - May 30, 2014
Monday - May 12, 2014
Thursday - May 08, 2014
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Box Art

Thursday - March 19, 2015

Grim Dawn - PAX East 2015 Recap Update

by Couchpotato, 03:55

This weeks Grim Misadventure update for Grim Dawn is a recap of Pax East.

Grim Misadventures returns! You may not have heard but, for the first time ever, we left the safety of our caves and showed off Grim Dawn at a public event. Almost the entire team was able to make it out to PAX East 2015, where we mingled with fans and with an unthinkable number of people that have never even heard of Grim Dawn (I know, the nerve).

Thursday - March 12, 2015

Grim Dawn - Review & Performance Analysis

by Couchpotato, 03:48

I found two articles for Grim Dawn this week from a site called NextPowerUp. The first article is a review of based on whats available since the game is not finished yet.

Diablo spoiled the waters for me on its release, so I've never really felt like going back to it. I emptied hundreds of hours into Path of Exile, and equally as many in Diablo II and Titan Quest, but all of them seem to fall short when it comes to single player entertainment beyond the first completion. Those games have never really felt like single players, and always had the online requirement to feel entertaining. Grim Dawn seems to answer that issue, provides an interesting enough change, similar to that of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, while still maintaining the addictiveness of the ARPG loot collection simulator genre. I think fans of any of the games I've mentioned will find something to sink a few dozen hours into in Grim Dawn, and will love some of the individual aspects as much as I did.

The second article is a Performance Analysis of the game.

There's an awful lot of stuttering. For the first time I had to play with VSync on, except the stuttering was still quite bad. Understandably it's Early Access, so I expect poor optimisations on that end, although it's affecting my eyes a fair amount. Beyond that, it plays extremely well on the hardware. Triple Buffering causes minor input lag however, so that got turned off. Performance-wise it's great, and ordinarily I'd have no complaints, but that stuttering needs to go. The game is certainly on par with the likes of Path of Exile in terms of graphical fidelity, but also in the same ballpark when it comes to the performance you get from the hardware. For this kind of game at such a stage in development, it plays remarkably well.

Thursday - March 05, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #66

by Couchpotato, 04:41

Well everyone its time for another Grim Misadventure for Grim Dawn. This time Crate Entertainment talks about ht e games quartermaster in the new game Build 25.

The time has come for another Misadventure! In case you were not paying attention, we just released a major update for Grim Dawn! Build 24 expands on the game’s content with the second chapter of Act 3, class balance changes, optimization improvements and the first stage of our Faction System update.

In Build 25, we are going to wrap up the Faction System by introducing all of its rewards (and consequences). Standing prominently at the center of this feature will be the Faction Quartermasters. These special vendors will allow you to preview all of the item rewards offered by a given faction, at all reputation tiers.

When you reach Friendly status with any faction, you will gain access to the first tier of rewards and usually a new quest. This is the perfect time to visit the Faction Quartermaster and see what you have earned, and what is still to come.

Sunday - March 01, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #65

by Couchpotato, 05:33

Here is the latest Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment on the games forum that has information on the development of Grim Dawn.

It is another Monday, following an adventure-less Monday, and that means it is time for a Grim Misadventure! Last time, we talked about the incoming Factions overhaul, giving you a glimpse at the brand new Faction Window and its wealth of information on what will soon become a core part of your Grim Dawn adventures. The first part of this major addition to the game is coming your way with Build 24. But that is not all that is coming with the next major content release.

It may be hard to believe after everything that has been added in just 2014 alone, but Grim Dawn was once meant to be a much smaller game. However, thanks to the generous support of our fans, both prior to release and in continued early access sales, we have been able to include additional features, add on more content and significantly expand the game as a whole

Wednesday - February 18, 2015

Grim Dawn - Build 24 & Chapter 4 Update

by Couchpotato, 05:10

Crate Entertainment announced this week in a new kickstarter update for Grim Dawn they are ready to release Act 3 Chapter 2, and will release Act 4 this summer.

The release of Build 24 draws near, which will unlock the second chapter of Act 3 and what might have otherwise been the end of the game. However, when we began building Act 3, we found that there was just too much that we wanted to include for one act. Thus, we have expanded Act 3 to include new story content, quests and a faction (the Black Legion) that were not part of the original plan and some content originally planned for Act 3 has been pushed into a new Act 4!

We're still planning to create an expansion after release, so this basically means you're getting a lot more content in the first release for free. Thanks to your generous support and our continued early release sales, what was originally intended to be a 15 hour small-scope ARPG has grown into probably 30+ hours (first-time play-through estimate for average players). The new act will feature an extension of the story, more quests, frozen mountain passes, alpine valleys, a sprawling fort, burning battlegrounds, necropolis, catacombs and the chthonic void!

Some more details are included in the latest Grim Misadventure on our forum.

You can expect Build 24 with Act 3 chapter 2, by the end of February. We plan to release B25 with the updated faction system and other goodies, probably in March or April. The follow big content release, Act 3 chapter 3, will probably release in May and feature faction questing between the Order of Death's Vigil and Kymon's Chosen. Act 4 will begin rolling out in early summer. Despite the announcement of a new act (and there's more to come) we still plan to finish the game before the end of the year.

Thursday - February 05, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #64

by Couchpotato, 04:58

Crate Entertainment has posted the next Grim Dawn Misadventures post on the games forum that has information on new the overhauled Faction System.

Grim Misadventures are back, and this time with another helping of what is up and coming with the Faction System overhaul. Previously, we have introduced you to Augments, a new way to customize your gear and even give your weapons glow effects, as well as some of the factions you will be encountering in Act 3. But with 11 Factions in the game, it is important to be able to keep track of your progress in an organized and descriptive manner. For this, we have the brand new Faction UI.

The old Factions tab in the Character Sheet is gone, replaced by a dedicated Window that will not only provide all of the previously available information at a glance, but also in-depth information on every faction you have encountered.

Tuesday - January 20, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #63

by Couchpotato, 08:37

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment revisits the homestead. and talks about the added content in the next update.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! We last left you off with an overview of everything that’s been added to the game in 2014 (it was a big list). But now we must look to the future, the near future! Those already indulging in Grim Dawn’s savage world have had a few weeks with the first chapter of Act 3. But did you know that there is a 100% chance that a second chapter will follow the first?

That’s right, the gates to Homestead will not remain closed for long, and the despicable Clone of John Bourbon will move on to haunt new gates. You may have already caught a glimpse of what lies ahead by peeking over Bourbon’s shoulder, but much has changed in Homestead.

Tuesday - January 06, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #62

by Couchpotato, 05:15

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment has information on the development of Grm Dawn in 2014, and the developers plan for 2015

Hello and welcome to Grim Misadventures 2015! It’s already shaping up to be an exciting year for Grim Dawn as we release new features and content for you to enjoy. We are now building on top of a strong foundation, polished and refined over 2014. To say that the game has grown tremendously over the past year would be an understatement. Thanks to the support and feedback from our players, Grim Dawn has become a richer and grander experience.

Let’s take a look back into the past to see just how much has been introduced into the game in 2014.

Friday - January 02, 2015

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #61

by Couchpotato, 05:19

Last weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment shares information on the new game environments introduced in the recently released Act 3.

We take a brief reprieve from the challenges of Act 3: Chapter 1 (which you all should totally be playing right now because it’s out) to bring you another Grim Misadventure. With Chapter 2 and 3 already in the works, you may find yourself eager to see what’s next. And we’re not going to disappoint.

Act 3 Chapter 1 introduced several new environments (the pine forests, mountain deeps, farmlands and the fortress ruins), but that is just the tip of the iceberg in Act 3. As you continue your battle against the invading Aetherial and Chthonian forces, your adventures will take you beyond the gates of Homestead and out into the northlands. There, you will face off against vicious new enemies, including the dermapteran swarm and the full might of the Cult of Ch’thon.

Today, we would like to show you three prominent areas: the Dermapteran Hive, the Chthonic Void and the Blood Grove.

Sunday - December 21, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 23 Now Available

by Couchpotato, 05:58

Grim Dawn slowly continues to get finished as developer Crate Entertainment has released the next build that adds chapter 3 Act One. Here are the details.

We're ready to liven up your holiday season with the first segment of Act 3. This stretch of levels will take you from Smugglers Pass to Deadman's Gulch, into the Mountain Deeps and beyond to the gates of Homestead. With these new areas to explore, the player level cap has been raised to 40.

Also included is an expansive side-region with additional questing through the Pine Barrens, Jagged Waste and Tyrant's Hold, plus other secrets.

You will be able to secure the riftgate outside of Homestead, although you cannot yet enter the town. However, the second chapter of Act 3 is already nearing completion and we expect to release it by mid-March or earlier. We've been working on various parts of the end-game in parallel, which is why it's taken so long to see the first results but the rest should follow more quickly.

B23 also contains additional item art, improvements, fixes and balancing changes. Check out the forum post to view the full change log.

On another note, we've gotten a few emails from KS backers over the past year who missed prior updates and didn't know all backers were able to play. So, just to reiterate, if you backed Grim Dawn on KS, you can currently play on Steam. If you need help retrieving and using your key, refer to this post for details or email support.

Saturday - December 20, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #60

by Couchpotato, 05:46

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment shares infomation on how faction rewards will work in the game. Here is a small sample.

Welcome, daring readers of Grim Misadventures. Last time, we left you off with the backstory for one of Act 3’s prominent factions, Kymon’s Chosen. These religious zealots bring the wrath of their god to the enemies of Cairn, and you may just play a part in their righteous crusade. But you may be asking yourself, “what’s in it for me?” Why, dear adventurer, the satisfaction of making a difference in the world and assisting a group of classy people in their efforts to save it, of course. Oh, and loot… lots of loot.

Yes, the major draw in assisting the world’s factions will be in the access to their specialized wares. Do you want to aid the Black Legion and even look the part? You most certainly can. Should you earn their respect, the Legion’s selection of armor will be at your disposal. Similarly, you will be able to unlock rewards from all seven of Grim Dawn’s player factions.

But perhaps the equipment offered by the factions does not fit into your particular playstyle, or perhaps you have an item that grants you a skill that you do not wish to part with. The faction system has something for everyone. In addition to equipment, you will earn access to consumables, components, faction-specific blueprints and… something new! Faction rewards will feature a special new item-type that will open up yet another layer of customization onto an already deep system: Augments.

Tuesday - November 25, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #59

by Myrthos, 23:28

This latest installment of development updates for Grim Dawn, features more information on the Kymon's Chosen faction.

Where the Order of Death’s Vigil represents the pursuit of forbidden knowledge and the manipulation of life’s essence, Kymon’s Chosen stand vigil against abominations and the tampering of what they consider to be the domain of the gods. Their promise of a brighter future for Cairn gives people hope where they had none, and their numbers have swelled following the Grim Dawn.

Kymon’s Chosen are followers of the enigmatic self-proclaimed prophet Thaidrus Kymon. Born to a great house of Erulan, Kymon grew up in the capital, witness to its many intrigues and scandals. Even as he was groomed by the members of his household to be the next great Kymon, Thaidrus was becoming disillusioned with the petty political rivalries and corruption around him. Much to the disappointment of his father, Thaidrus increasingly abandoned his political and martial training to immerse himself in books, devouring any writing on the pre-imperial histories and mythos that he could get his hands upon. He became fixated on myths from the dawn of humankind, when Empyrion the light-bringer was fabled to have ruled over the other gods, enforcing order in the world. Thaidrus became convinced the old myths were real and that only the return of Empyrion to the world could uplift humankind from their base existence. When his father took the extreme step of having the Kymon’s vast library removed from the manor house and set ablaze, Thaidrus resolved to leave home and experience the vast world for himself.

Thanks Archangel.

Sunday - November 16, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 22 Now Available

by Couchpotato, 22:22

Build 22 is now available for Grim Dawn on the games Steam page.  Anyway here is the information from the changes and additions from the update.

Build 22 is now live, and with it many great quality of life improvements to Grim Dawn.

Several highly-requested features have come online including Instanced Loot for Multiplayer, an expanded shared stash, auto-combining of partial components, and more!

With this update complete, we are now full-steam ahead on releasing the first part of Act 3, which is expected to go live by the end of January. The first chapter of Act 3 will introduce you to new locations, characters and challenging content.

And this will be my last news-post for a few months, and I will hopefully be back in February. So Happy Holiday's to all of you, and I look forward to being back next year.

Tuesday - November 11, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #58

by Couchpotato, 04:22

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment introduces everyone to one of the games factions called The Order of Death's Vigil.

Another Grim Misadventure is upon us. Last time, we talked about the dark past of the Black Legion, the imperium’s elite. Today’s update is going to introduce you to another of our factions featured in Act 3: the enigmatic Order of Death’s Vigil.

While the Black Legion enjoyed the adoration, and fear, of the populace, the Order maintained a shroud of secrecy around its activities. They had little choice in the matter. To be discovered meant certain death in an empire that shunned most arcane practices. In truth, even amongst their sorcerous brethren, the magic wielded by the Order is considered taboo.

Thursday - October 30, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #57

by Couchpotato, 15:59

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment introduces everyone to one of the games factions called the Black Legion.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures, the internet’s #1 source of new information on what’s coming to Grim Dawn. First, we have an announcement: You may have noticed that the website look a little bit different when you loaded it up today (if it’s not, try refreshing with Ctrl-F5). That’s because we have finished Grim Dawn’s game guide! You can now use our website as an extensive source of information on Grim Dawn’s mechanics and features, with something there for both the new players and veterans alike.

To view the game guide, you can visit this page. Please let us know if you run into any issues while browsing the new pages. Enjoy!

In today’s Grim Misadventure, we would like to talk a little more about factions. Factions represent the various conflicts of interest that you will experience in Grim Dawn, whether that is through arch-enemies battling it out in the wilderness (Aetherials vs. Chthonians) or a chance meeting with a traveler who happens to be part of a mysterious group known as the Order of Death’s Vigil.

The system behind these interactions is still being developed, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for the revamped Faction System, but first we would like to introduce you to some of the major players you will encounter in Act 3.

The first in the series is the famous Black Legion.

Wednesday - October 15, 2014

Grim Dawn - What's New in The B22 Beta

by Couchpotato, 05:24

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment talks about what to expect in the next Beta release. As usual here are some of the details.

Grim Misadventure #56: What's New in B22

Another Grim Misadventure is upon us! Today, we would like to preview some of the quality of life features coming your way with our next update.

Build 22 is very much a fulfillment on many highly requested and beneficial features. The devs are listening!

Here are the features you can look forward to in the coming weeks:

Instanced Loot

A major update for Multiplayer fans out there, starting with B22, you will be able to enable Instanced Loot when you host a game session. Instanced Loot will treat all item drops as if you were playing in a solo session, which means less time spent figuring out what belongs to who and no more stress over players taking your hard-earned loot.

Auto-Combine Components

Odds are good that you have all come upon a Component or two in your travels through Cairn. In fact, some of you have collected quite a few. Some would say a whole lot of them. We understand the frustration in manually combining all those Components yourself, so we have introduced a new button to the inventory UI which will automatically combine all of the Partial Components in the respective inventory bag.

Expanded Storage

Additional storage has been a highly requested feature here at the forums. With B22, you will be able to purchase additional tabs in the Transfer Stash for your characters. Purchasing one of these extra tabs will unlock it for all of your characters.

DPS Comparisons

In B22, you will be able to compare a weapon’s effective DPS to your currently equipped weapon directly through the tooltip. You can also hold Ctrl to have it compare the two items without the attached components.

Bug Fixes!

Did you know that the guards in Devil’s Crossing occasionally lose their weapons? Neither did we, that is until someone noticed one of our valiant defenders firing an invisible rifle. Mind over matter I suppose.

On the order of more serious bug fixes, we pinpointed the cause of some crafting recipes generating items with no affixes, an unintended result. This fix is not retroactive however.

We have also received reports of Sphere of Protection and other shield spells creating excessively bright visuals when cast together. This has been significantly improved.

The bottom line is: keep on reporting issues as you see them. You are helping make the game the best it can be!

All this and more is coming with Build 22. We expect the release to come your way by early November. Grim Misadventures will return with more on the game’s development on 10/27/2014.

Saturday - October 11, 2014

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Chalgyr's Game Room

by Couchpotato, 03:45

Chargers Game Room previews the latest Beta build of Grim Dawn.

Grim Dawn is still within Early Access and while not all classes or story acts have been implemented yet, it is more than worth the time. Currently there are only two of the acts available as the rest is still under development but once this is finished it’ll be something that plays up there with Diablo, Torchlight, and Van Hellsing.

Friday - October 03, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 21 Now Available

by Couchpotato, 05:09

Crate Entertainment announces that Build 21 of Grim Dawn now available that adds the new Arcanist class, and caster weapons to the main game.

Yes, that's right, the 5th class mastery has finally arrived, adding a plethora of spell-casting build options into the GD mix.

This build also includes a number of fixes and improvements to multiplayer and other aspects of the game. For all the details, check out the change log on the forum.

Our aim is to release a variety of convenience features in the next couple weeks, such as an expanded stash, followed by the first segment of Act3.

We hope you enjoy the Arcanist as much as we have testing it!

Tuesday - September 30, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #56

by Couchpotato, 04:45

This weeks Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment introduces everyone to caster weapons that you use while playing the game.

Grim Misadventure #55: Introducing Caster Weapons

Hello and welcome back! Today’s Grim Misadventure will discuss the intricate implementation of incantation-inducing implements, or caster weapons for short. Caster weapons have been a topic of some discussion, both internally and here at the forums. With the impending release of our pure caster mastery, we decided that it was time to address the issue.

The fantasy of spark-throwing wands or staves does not really fit the lore and gritty world of Grim Dawn, so we had to consider what a weapon used by spellcasters in Cairn would actually be. In the end, we settled on two distinct weapon types: Daggers and Scepters. These two archetypes fit the vision of devious sorcerers slitting their palms over a ritual circle, or powerful priests swinging implements of righteous fire at the foul undead.

Common-Quality Scepters

Once we had the visual direction settled, we set our artists upon the task while design tried to determine what the attributes of these caster implements would be. It took several iterations before we settled on something compelling that opened up new build possibilities.

Caster Weapon Attributes

Caster implements originally started as physical damage-based weapons that dealt lower damage per second (DPS) than their standard counterparts, but had some base spirit and offensive ability to make up for the difference. This presented some immediate flaws, mainly because the base spirit attribute conflicted with the attribute requirements, but also because they were just not that compelling for a caster to wear.

The current iteration has caster weapons dealing pure magical damage, one of the seven possible types. This allows for hybrid builds that can deal some heavy magic-based damage, which will bypass the defenses of most enemies, but it also comes at the cost of being in melee range. In addition, we have revised the affix tables for caster weapons so that they will favor %-based bonus rolls, while completely removing the possibility of some less desirable bonuses. We realize that getting the correct bonus on your equipment as a caster can sometimes be challenging. These alterations will make caster weapons a more reliable source of your ideal stats.

All of this does not mean that non-caster weapons will be unviable for caster builds though. There are still many interesting options available on other weapon types that can complement your builds. We do not expect caster weapons to become a must-have part of every caster build, but they should definitely provide compelling new options for those of you who favor magic damage over the brute force of physical attacks.

Epic Caster Weapons

We cannot just go around announcing new weapons without also talking about the powerful new uniques being added too! With the introduction of caster weapons, 22 new Epic items will be added to the mix, two of which can be crafted. The Blackwood Wand will also be converted into a Scepter (this change is retroactive). These forgotten artifacts were once implements of some of the most powerful sorcerers and occultists in Cairn. They now fall into your hands. Will you have the mental strength to wield them?

Wednesday - September 24, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #55

by Couchpotato, 01:23

The next weekly Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment hasa new preview of the Chthonian Devourer. Here is the image provided in the update.

Good day, forum friends! It’s time for another sneak-peak into Grim Dawn’s bestiary, or as I like to call it “things that just can’t wait to eat your face.” Today, we’ll be diving back into the foreboding realm of the Void, where nightmarish abominations and failed creations lurk in the eternal night.

Below, you will find the Ch’thonian Devourer, an abomination aptly named for its insatiable propensity to consume anything and everything it comes across. While physically weak, Devourers rely on numbers and devilishly quick movements to take down their prey. Watch out for the shadows. . .

Friday - September 19, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #54

by Couchpotato, 01:37

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment talks about some of the  game features from game Designer Zantai, and is called "Did You Know."

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! Did you know that Grim Dawn is packed with deep gameplay mechanics that may not become obvious when you first start playing? Today we would like to shed some light on these features.

Work on the Arcanist mastery is progressing smoothly and we are preparing the final touches before it goes into closed testing. This is when we lock in the skill set and have the final icon art, spell effects and sound effects prepared. We expect the Arcanist, and Build 21 with it, to be available to the public by early October.

Sunday - September 07, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #53

by Couchpotato, 05:02

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment has the second part of a new preview on how to become a Arcanist Master in Grim Dawn.

We return with our continuation of the Arcanist mastery revea (Part 1 available here)l! But first, in case you missed some big news last Friday, we would like to point everyone to the release notes of a teeny tiny update that just might spark your interest. Multiplayer is now available for Grim Dawn!

Significant progress is being made on the Arcanist and we expect B21 to enter closed testing as soon as we are satisfied with the stability of B20 (you may have also noticed that we released two hotfixes over the weekend which resolved several problems some users were experiencing with the game).

With our last update, we covered some of the early-game skills you can look forward to with the Arcanist mastery, so now let us delve into the supreme power available to dedicated masters of the aether.

Saturday - August 30, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 20 Now Available

by Couchpotato, 07:10

Build 20 Now Available of Grim Dawn is now available, and you can read more on the games forum.  Anyway here is the information from the update.

Multiplayer and skill transmuters live with Build20

It is with great excitement that we announce the release of multiplayer. I know for many this has been the most eagerly awaited feature. It is still in the testing phase and our programmers are currently working to improve it and fix remaining bugs. We feel it is now generally playable enough to be fun despite occasional odd behavior and crashes. With a larger audience testing we can isolate those and get them fixed in good time. We are also still working on some additional features and improvements for multiplayer, such as personal loot, hardcore filtering in the server browser, etc.

The other big new development is skill Transmuters, which alter the way certain skills work, allowing them to be used differently. For some, this means eliminating the cooldown for the trade-off of decreased damage.  Others can be enhanced but require certain weapon configurations. This opens up many new build possibilities as some secondary skills can now be used as primary attacks and some primary attacks can be converted into more powerful secondary skills with a cooldown. Ability to convert damage on some skills should also create some interesting synergies.

There are many other fixes and improvements in B20, including new start menu, new skill page UI art, inventor item dismantling, new ground textures for Warden's Lab, etc.

For a more detailed list, check out the update notes on the forum.

The Arcanist class is also soon to be released, so keep an eye out for that in the next month!

Tuesday - August 19, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #52

by Couchpotato, 06:08

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment has a preview on how  to becaome a Arcanist Mastern in Grim Dawn.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! Today, we would like to give you an early look at Grim Dawn’s 5th mastery: the Arcanist. With this reveal, we have updated the Grim Dawn wallpaper collection to include both the Nightblade and the Arcanist. You can download it here.

Arcanist is currently in testing and we expect it will be ready for release by October or earlier. What, you do not believe us?! Okay, it is true, B20 has taken a lot longer than anticipated but mastery development is much easier to predict. I suppose we should talk about B20 a bit before launching into the Arcanist.

Last update it looked like we were getting close to a releasable state on multiplayer but had some balancing and code issues with the new skill transmuters that we expected to take longer. Now the skill transmuters are essentially done, all problems resolved and some reasonable level of first-pass balancing. However, additional significant multiplayer bugs were revealed as testing continued and some of the original problems proved difficult to fix.

We have made significant progress since the last update though and only have a couple more issues that we feel need to be resolved before we can debut it to the public. We are not trying to make it perfect prior to release and it will be rolled out with the caveat that it is “play at your own risk”. It is quite fun though and people have occasionally been able to play for an hour or so without a crash. There are still a number of crash bugs though and one of the big show-stoppers is that quest NPCs can stop responding to players and another where destructible objects, like the outlaw barricade in Act 2, can be destroyed for the host but remain for the clients.

We are actually getting ready to test fixes for both of those issues as I write this and we are hoping to knock off a couple more crash bugs in the next day or two. The plan then is a few days of testing to ensure no other major problems have been introduced with the fixes and then release. So currently I think we are looking at a release in 1-2 weeks.

Why have we run weeks past our original estimate? Well, multiplayer is about as complex as it gets. It is almost like releasing alpha again. There are just so many different things involved that can potentially not work right together and it is also much harder to test than singleplayer issues. We thought there would be less work since we were building off the network code for TQ but we have made so many changes to the game (new path engine, new physics, destructible objects, new quest system, quest choices, etc.) that a lot had to be rewritten and it took significant effort to get all those things behaving in a multiplayer environment. We are nearing a releasable state though and everyone who is brave enough to venture into multiplayer testing can help us take it the rest of the way.

The up-side of the delays is that Build 20 is going to be chock-full of improvements to class skills and itemization, new unique items and more. Waiting is never easy, but it will be worth it when Build 20 is released to you soon.

Arcanist though, that is not new tech and we are confident we can deliver the goods in the next six weeks and to get you prepped for it, here is a peek at how it is shaping up.

Thursday - August 07, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #51

by Couchpotato, 05:31

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures post from Crate Entertainment has a preview of Act 3 with a look at some of the new mosters that will added in the next update.

Grim Misadventure #51: Act 3 Monster Menagerie

It is time for another Grim Misadventure, and this time we are going to feast your eyeballs on some of the vicious horrors coming your way with Act 3.

Mornay has ventured north many times prior to his return to Devil’s Crossing, and the things he saw were more than enough to disturb the grizzled veteran. Above all, the depravity of the Cult of Ch’thon unsettled him the most. Within their “blood farms”, the cultists gather blood from unwitting travelers and defenseless locals. What they are using this vital fluid for is beyond Mornay’s understanding, but rumors suggest that Ch’thonians consume the blood to empower their sorcery and summon creatures from the dark void.

The void houses some of the most terrifying creations humans have ever had the misfortune of encountering. Among them is the gargantuan Obsidian Defiler. A Ch’thonic creature formed from the very material which makes up much of the Ch’thonian void, the Defiler is incredibly durable and brutally powerful. Its four arms will shred flesh like paper, but its true power lies within its chaotic core. Should you find yourself within reach of a Defiler, it is advisable to run.

The Cult of Ch’thon and its allies from the void are not the only dangers lurking beyond Smuggler’s Pass. Nature itself is a capable contender for the throne of deadliest foe. Once, the beasts of the wild were kept at bay by human civilization, their attacks limited to fringe villages and unlucky travelers. Now there is little to stop them from spreading and ravaging the last survivors of humanity.

At the top of the food-chain is a ruthless predator, a night prowler capable of tearing a man in two with a swipe of its massive claws, assuming it does not impale the victim first upon its barbed tail. I speak of the Manticore. Manticores were once hunted by the truly brave, and the foolish, for their eyes and poison glands, both highly valued materials in the practices of alchemy and the arcane. Now they have reclaimed their rightful place as the apex predator of Homestead. Travelers daring enough to venture out beyond the settlements of Homestead should be wary of entire packs of these beasts roaming the countryside. Underestimate them and it may be your sun-bleached bones that future adventurers scavenge for valuables.

Both the Obsidian Defiler and the Manticore await your arrival with the release of Act 3. Until then, ready yourselves, heroes of Cairn, for your greatest challenges are still ahead of you

Friday - July 25, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #50

by Couchpotato, 15:36

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures update has a preview of the next game build.

Grim Misadventure #50: A Very B20 Preview

Hello! Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! Today’s update is a little overview of what you can look forward to with the release of Build 20. But first, a multiplayer progress update!

We now have people running around in multiplayer testing all the functionality and looking for those pesky bugs that can ruin your fun. We are getting close but there is still some work to be done before it can be released. This includes finalizing some of the multiplayer UI elements and tracking down and fixing some of the more serious bugs, such as those that could potentially corrupt your character save data. Once the major issues are taken care of, we will release it in a "play at your own risk" state for those who want to be the first to try it out and help identify any remaining issues. We are now in a process of making fixes and retesting until we can verify the major bugs have been worked out. We expect multiplayer will be ready within the next two weeks.

However, we are also trying to wrap up work on the new skill Transmuters, which will have to be finished before we can put the build out since they are committed to the database and there is no easy way to release another build without them. So, the downside is that multiplayer cannot go out until the Transmuters are ready to go but the upside is that you will be getting the Transmuters in B20 instead of having to wait for B21. Altogether, our estimate for B20 release is sometime in the next 2-4 weeks. It mainly depends on how much iteration and retesting is required on Transmuters before we feel confident about them. The main thing we want to avoid is releasing them, finding that one just is not fun / balanceable and then potentially having to remove it after players have allocated points into it. Since people can buy back the points with sufficient warning, that is not the end of the world but it is obviously not ideal. B20 also includes some significant balancing work, so it is shaping up to be a pretty big update and we are excited to finally see everyone enjoying these new features.

Thursday - July 17, 2014

Grim Dawn - Bestiary Preview: Rift Scourge

by Couchpotato, 04:44

Crate Entertainment latest forum update for Grim Dawn is a new Bestiary Preview about a creature called the rift scourg. Here are the details.

Checking in this Monday with a little mob preview. What we have here is the Rift Scourge, or what we devs like to call “the Prawn.” Inspired by crayfish and pizza-induced nightmares, these extra dimensional terrors will stop at nothing to eat your face. Some would say they’re a man’s best friend, but those people are crazy. Coming soon to a build near you!

Tuesday - July 08, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #49

by Couchpotato, 09:48

The next Grim Dawn Misadventures update has more information on a new skill called Transmuter. and how it will affect your abilities in the RPG game.

Grim Misadventure #49: Skills be Changin'

Grim Misadventures, reporting in. Today’s update is on a new type of skill-modifiers we have dubbed Transmuters.

For the uninitiated, Grim Dawn currently features three types of skills: Active, Passive and Modifier. Active skills are those that, as the name implies, require active use by the player. They go on your skill bar and are manually activated. Passive skills are those that always provide their benefits and generally provide bonuses such as damage, resistances or even chance on attack effects. The last type of skill, Modifier, alters the behavior of Active and Passive skills by adding additional effects, such as an extra explosion to a spell, or extra poison damage to a blade attack.

Transmuters are a special class of Modifiers as they do not represent an obvious gain in power. Instead, they provide interesting trade-offs that can dramatically alter the way you use the skill. The goal for this fun new addition is to provide even more interesting build possibilities as well as to give players with even more flexibility as to how they use certain skills. Each Mastery will feature 3-4 such Transmuters.

Tuesday - June 24, 2014

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #48

by Myrthos, 13:49

In this installment of Grim Dawn Misadventures we are given a peek into the Mountain Deeps of Act 3.

Hello! Welcome back to Grim Misadventures. Today, we will dive deep under the earth and take a look at one of the new environments coming with Act 3: the Mountain Deeps.

There are dark places in the world of Cairn that lie all but forgotten. Not even the light of day pierces into these vast subterranean grottos. Wise men will tell you that truly nothing could survive in such forsaken places, and yet those same people would never dare venture into the Deeps. Ask those that had traveled through Smuggler’s Pass and they will paint you a different story: an entire ecosystem thriving in the darkness.

The cavern floor is illuminated by strange moss. The plants, deprived of the nourishing sun, give off their own eerie alien glow. Even the beasts, and there are many, will peer back at you with eyes that have never seen the sky.

The article has nice pictures too.

Thursday - June 12, 2014

Grim Dawn - Progress Since Act II

by Couchpotato, 09:33

Crate Entertainment talks about the development of Grim Dawn in the latest post-funding update, and reminds everyone they have released build 19.

Progress Since Act II

I normally try to reserve sending updates through KS for big announcements, so as to spare your email too much spam but it has been long enough that I felt a proper KS update was in order.

By the way, for anyone who would like to receive notification of all our updates, you can do so by following us on Facebook, Twitter or just by periodically checking the feed on our homepage. Of course, we also encourage everyone to participate on our forum and voice your feedback.

Build 19 has gone live today and unleashed two-handed melee weapons along with the "roguelike" dungeon, Steps of Torment. It also includes a new experimental constitution mechanic that is intended to help out-of-combat regen not seem infinite and more of a resource you need to use somewhat strategically. Previously we released dual wielding for pistols, so that checks a couple of stretch goals off the list!

Build 19 also includes a lot of behind the scenes coding work to make our new quest system work with multiplayer, in advance of our anticipated multiplayer release this summer (possibly by the end of July). These changes required a lot of testing and fixing that prevented us from releasing B19 sooner but we've already gotten a lot of work done on B20 content in the meantime.

In Build 18 we introduced crafting with over 150 item recipes and a new quest to rescue one of two rival blacksmiths. We also added a veteran mode starting difficulty for players who wanted a little more challenge. The character info sheet received a major overhaul to provide much more detailed information about your characters. For example, OA and DA roll-overs now show your chance to hit, miss, crit and be crit by your last target / attacker. In Build 18 we also greatly randomized the way enemies were spawned, resulting in more diversity in the mix and size of encounters. Most enemies also now switch from run to walk once they've closed within a certain distance of the player and then back to run if the player gets out of range, promoting a more controlled feeling to combat and allowing for more tactical movement on the player's part when dealing with big groups of hard-hitting enemies.

Since the release of Act II, we've also done a bit of work to improve the look of the environments and lighting. We've adjusted textures, added assets and tweaked environmental effects to make areas more distinctive.

There have been tons of smaller improvements, balancing changes and fixes that can be found in our change logs.

Act III is shaping up nicely with about 80% of the environmental art finished, 60% of the terrain currently built and the enclave of Homestead finished but not yet populated. About 65% of the enemies and one of the end-game bosses are finished. Now that dual wield pistols and 2h melee is released, our animator will be able to focus more of his time on enemy animation. We're hoping to release Act III this fall. Some progress has also been made on Arcanist and, depending on how playtesting goes, that might be ready in August.

We also have a secret new layer of character development in the works that will add a lot of depth and diversity to class builds but it is a little premature to talk about yet. We look forward to sharing more information on that in the coming months!

Wednesday - June 11, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #47

by Couchpotato, 03:59

This week's Grim Misadventure for Grim Dawn introduces to a new game feature called dismantling, and describe how the process works in the game.

Grim Misadventure #47: Break it Down

Another Grim Misadventure is upon us! Today, we would like to introduce a brand new feature coming to Grim Dawn with Build 20: Dismantling.

With the release of Act II, we introduced a new resource for you to collect in the form of Dynamite. This powerful explosive has helped clear the way through outlaw barricades and opened up secret passages lost to time. You can look forward to further such uses in Act III. However, once you’ve blown up all the barricades and unsealed all the sealed places of the world, you might find yourself with a whole lot of boom but not much to use it on. This is where Dismantling comes in.

Kasparov, the resident scientist of Devil’s Crossing, has a theory that the powerful forces consumed in the creation of magical artifacts can be unleashed if enough energy is input into the test chamber. This way, he can investigate their arcane properties on a component level. In order to prove his genius, he will instruct you to collect enough dynamite so that he and his apprentice, Darlet, can perform the necessary experiments.

Dismantling is a new mechanic available to the Inventor which will allow you to break down items of at least Magical quality into basic materials.

Friday - May 30, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #46

by Couchpotato, 01:32

This weeks Grim Misadventure for Grim Dawn talks about food. The two new game mechanics are rations, and constitution. Here is a sample of the update.

Grim Misadventure #46: We Need Food

Hello and welcome back! In this latest dev update for Grim Dawn, we are going to delve into an upcoming new mechanic: Constitution and Rations.

Grim Dawn currently features a powerful healing system that activates upon leaving combat for a few seconds. It is commonly referred to as Out-Of-Combat Regen and abbreviated to "ooc regen". The system was implemented in order to reduce overal reliance on health potions and eliminate the need to drink potions after battles to refill health before engaging the next group of enemies.

However, some perceived the unlimited healing as an exploit that made the game too easy. Since health potions were expensive and ooc regen free, it also "forced" players to constantly leave combat and regen as a means of conserving health potions. This slowed down the pace of combat and was also skewed in favor of ranged characters who, already fighting from the fringe of combat, could more easily access ooc regen and did so more frequently.

Previously, our only means of balancing ooc regen was to reduce or eliminate it. In B17 we significantly slowed the rate of regen. This alleviated the feeling of it being overpowered but slowed down gameplay, increasing the time it took to run around avoiding enemies and regenerate during battles. It also resulted in times where people wouldn't be fully healed by the time they reached the next group fo enemies and would have to stop and wait.

We realized that we needed an additional mechanic that would allow ooc regen remain fast but not feel cheap and unlimited. The solution was a new long-term resource we called "constitution".

Monday - May 12, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #45

by Myrthos, 17:53

Crate's designer Zentai delivers the 45th edition of Grim Dawn's misadventures, which is about the Steps of Torment dungeon.

In this update, we will be talking about our new rogue-like dungeons. For those not familiar, "rogue-like" games were early predecessors to the modern action-RPG and the name is derived from the 1980's game Rogue. Rogue-likes are characterized by random layouts and permanent death that made the experience intense and final victory all the more satisfying. Unless you have started a hardcore character, you won't die permanently in Grim Dawn but we have tried to capture the thrill of rogue-likes in these special challenge dungeons by sealing the door upon entering and disabling riftgates so that there is no escape except by gruesome death or fighting your way triumphantly to the end.

If you have not played Grim Dawn Early Access yet, the Steps of Torment is one of the most challenging dungeons currently available in Grim Dawn, featuring some of the strongest enemies and biggest rewards. However, only the first three floors of this dangerous location are currently available. Those enjoying Early Access will soon discover that there are two more floors that descend even deeper into Arkovia’s dark past.

Thursday - May 08, 2014

Grim Dawn - Two-Handed Combat in Style

by Couchpotato, 06:15

The 44th installment of the Grim Misadventures talks about Two-Handed combat.

Grim Misadventure #44: Two-Handed Combat in Style

Hello, and welcome back! Today’s Grim update is about those sweet two-handed melee weapons you’ve been hearing about. In case you missed our recent development update with the release of Build 18, you will be pleased to hear that these weapons will be formally added to the game with the release of our upcoming build.

Two-Handed melee weapons provide a reckless alternative to those fighters who forego a shield. Opting instead for brute force and overwhelming strength, two-handed swords, axes and maces bring an effective new style of play to Grim Dawn that rewards your risk-taking with big numbers and very dead bad guys.

Despite their brutal nature, these weapons have their stories to tell and an assortment of epic items to add to your collection. It is up to you to recover these lost objects of power and to wield them against the enemies of humanity.

Saturday - April 26, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 18 Now Available

by Couchpotato, 04:40

Crate Entertainment announces on the forums of Grim Dawn you can now download Build 18 of the game. Here are some of the new changes.

Build 18 is live - Let the crafting begin!

v0.2.4.5 (b18)

Major New Features:

Crafting is now available! A new quest that begins in Burrwitch Outskirts will have you choose between two rival blacksmiths vying for control of a sacred hammer. Each blacksmith has their own unique style that will be imprinted upon every item they craft for you.

Over 150 crafting recipes have been added to the game.

The character sheet has been overhauled to provide a much more detailed view of your stats from gear and skills. Offensive and Defensive Ability rollovers now display the chance to hit/crit based on your last target/attacker.

Normal difficulty now has "Veteran" mode, which boosts various enemy stats, notably damage and also increases the number of champions and heroes that can spawn. Veteran isn't meant to be brutally challenging but should be enough to make normal difficulty more interesting for skilled players, while allowing us to balance the default for the average player. Veteran can be turned on and off from the character selection screen. Characters who play through normal difficulty on veteran mode should end up a little better equipped to tackle epic difficulty once it becomes available.

Increased randomization of enemy spawns - a new method of placing spawn proxies allows us to provide much greater randomization in terms of how enemies are distributed. You'll now find that the location of enemies is more random and that they can sometimes appear in much larger and more diverse packs.

Dual wielding of pistols is now possible via skills granted by items. One such item can be crafted with the new blacksmith.

Thanks Dr .A for the link.Wink

Friday - April 25, 2014

Grim Dawn - Higher level Epics

by Couchpotato, 04:21

Crate Entertainment has posted a small preview of some items for Grim Dawn.

Item Preview: Higher level Epics!

Happy Monday, Forum Friends! I have emerged once again to share with you another sneak-peak of some items hot-off the art press!

For today’s menu, I’ve included a small sampling of some new epic weapon art to wet your eyeballs. As most of you know, Epics are items of near legendary status. While most of the lower level epic items have been updated, there is quite a long list of higher level weapons waiting patiently to be beautified. It has come to my attention that there may be a couple of players out there who have reached level 35, so some of these items may already be trickling into your inventories. As a result, we artists have been chipping away steadily at the massive stone slab of higher level epic items the designers have ever so kindly graced us with.

Without further ado, here is that small sampling I mentioned earlier (plus a bonus Blackwood Wand™). Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday - April 23, 2014

Grim Dawn - Previews

by Myrthos, 12:14

Here is a collection of previews for the early release version of Grim Dawn.


Graphically the game looks good during gameplay and is extremely impressive considering the age of the engine it is built on. The UI though has a very dated feel to it and lack the polish of more modern games. Since the game is still in alpha, this could be something that will get that polish especially if feedback directs the devs that way. Core features of the game are missing currently and are planned to be added before the game is finished like cooperative multiplayer and item crafting.


Multiplayer should benefit Grim Dawn greatly, as tearing through enemy mobs is likely much more fun with a couple of partners. The team at Crate has done a fine job crafting a unique world which should continue to be improved in the future, even if it has its share of problems now. The Early Access alpha is very playable, so if you're a fan of the action RPG genre I would recommend checking it out on Steam. Grim Dawn might not be for everyone, but fans of the genre will appreciate its traditional roots, attractive graphics and tough battles.

Front Towards Gamers

Grim Dawn isn’t mind-blowing, original, or engaging. While it’s certainly a good game, it’s also not really ready for a market. It lacks identity that makes ARPGs like Path of Exile and Marvel Heroes stand out in a crowd. It looks and plays like a generic Diablo clone, so while it may introduce some neat concepts, it’s only really picking and choosing from similar genres.


That’s the best thing I can say about Grim Dawn at this stage of the game: it just feels right. It’s not groundbreakingly innovative, but Crate Entertainment is managing to hit most of the notes that make dungeon crawling so compelling – an interesting world, customizable characters, loot and even crafting – while still engaging the player with the world. The game is shaping up to skew towards a single-player or friends-only co-op experience, rather than the largely impersonal quasi-MMO grind that Diablo III is, and this is a welcome development. It means that fun can take a priority over strict balance, which is probably why the title boasts a faction system where you can ally with some in-game organizations (and consequently make others hate your guts), opening up the possibilities of different quest experiences, and quite possibly different environments or even abilities and loot to go with it. If you’re looking for a loot-grabbing, dungeon-skulking experience in a dark, dank world that feels like Dark Souls with rifles and handguns, keep your eye on this one.

And a video preview by Vertigo Tea Party.

Thursday - April 17, 2014

Grim Dawn - A Tale of Two Smiths

by Couchpotato, 01:21

Crate Entertainment has posted the next Grim Misadventures update that has more information on weapons, and how two in-game smith's forge them differently.

Rejoice, people of Grim Dawn, for I have returned. Ok, so I was not actually gone, but this update is from me! Build 18 is cooking on high heat and we hope to have it ready for you in the coming weeks. The feature list is just teeming with awesome new things that should make your game experience that much better. Did I mention crafting is coming? Crafting is coming!

When B18 goes live, you will find that a new quest has been added to the Burrwitch Outskirts. A young blacksmith by the name of Duncan requires assistance regarding a dispute with his master, Angrim. It will be up to you to resolve the situation. More importantly, how you handle things will influence who joins you in Devil’s Crossing, and there is nothing superficial about it.

Both Angrim and Duncan are experts in their field. They are masters of forgotten forging techniques (hint: Relics!), but they have very different philosophies in bringing the hammer to the anvil. Angrim, a traditional smith with many years under his belt, prefers the tried and true techniques passed down to him from his master, and his master’s master before that. All weapons, armor and accessories he creates are forged with utmost precision and care. As such, whenever he creates these items for you, they are imbued with additional properties.

Tuesday - April 08, 2014

Grim Dawn - 2-Handed Melee Weapons

by Myrthos, 15:30

A preview of some of the available 2 handed melee weapons is presented on the Grim Dawn websie.

As many of you know, Cairn is a war-torn world with very limited resources. In as much, we've tried to capture a sense of improvised necessity and desperation in the earlier tiers of our common weapon classes: An old farm scythe strapped on a large stick becomes a new axe, while rusty old gears from some forgotten contraption has been reincarnated as a sturdy bashing stick. After several tiers of cobbled, improvised killing devices, you will start to see the remnants of greater weapons from the ages past. These rare weapons are coveted most of all, for very few now possess the skill or knowledge to recreate their glorious craftsmanship.
Below is a small sampling of a few 2-handers from the 3 melee types (sword, axe and hammer). Most are lower level, but I included a couple higher tiers to show some progression. I've also included the concept with each item so you can see a little before and after action. Please take care not to cut yourself while handling the images, some of the blades probably have a decent amount of tetanus (or something worse).

Repurposed Sawblade:

Wednesday - April 02, 2014

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventure #42

by Myrthos, 12:14

The 42nd installment of the Grim Misadventures talks about character sheets with lots of images of.... character sheets.

Greetings! You may not know me, but I have been working in secret to bring exciting new features to Grim Dawn. At last, the time has come for me to leave my programming pit and reveal to you our Character Sheet overhaul!

Not only did we update the look and feel, but the number crunchers out there will find a wealth of new information at their fingertips.

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Cheat Code Central

by Couchpotato, 05:24

Cheat Code Central has posted a new preview of Crate Entertainment's Grim Dawn. They believe the developers choice of using Early Access was the right one.

Despite its drawbacks and missing content, I believe that the Early Access route is the right one to take for Grim Dawn and the handful of developers at Crate Entertainment trying to make it shine. Fans and supporters have gameplay to sink their teeth into, and their constructive criticism is welcomed, while the team putting it together can enjoy sales through Steam to keep the project going. I am incredibly impressed with the quality I have seen thus far, knowing the limited resources the developers have to work with, and am excited to see each update until the final product is polished and ready. It has been and will continue to be a long and painstaking process, but it will be a labor of love.

Tuesday - April 01, 2014

Grim Dawn - Information Overload

by Couchpotato, 05:53

Crate Entertainment has posted the next Grim Misadventure with more images, and a brief description of stats. Nothing to ground breaking, but might interest some of you.

Greetings! You may not know me, but I have been working in secret to bring exciting new features to Grim Dawn. At last, the time has come for me to leave my programming pit and reveal to you our Character Sheet overhaul!

Not only did we update the look and feel, but the number crunchers out there will find a wealth of new information at their fingertips.

Tuesday - March 18, 2014

Grim Dawn - Soundtrack Available to All

by Myrthos, 12:05

The Grim Dawn soundtrack is now available for everyone for $9.99 as a direct download for the complete album or for $1 per track.

Monday - March 17, 2014

Grim Dawn - From Concept to Art

by Myrthos, 17:32

In Grim Misadventures number 41 some details are provided on what is involved in going from concept artwork to final artwork in Grim Dawn, providing some images of weapons as a reference.

Hello again, denizens of Cairn! It’s that time of the year again for a Grim Misadventure. This one is full of pretty images for your ocular organs to peruse, prefaced by many words describing how those pretty images came to be.

Grim Dawn has many unique items for you to discover, and their power must be equally matched by their visual presentation. You may have noticed that some of our 1-30 level-range epics still use placeholder art (Blackwood Wand, I’m looking at you). That is all about to change. Our artists have returned to itemization to bring these stragglers to release-ready state. You can expect this effort to extend into the 30-50 range as well now that many of you are collecting those epics for the first time.

The creation of an item’s visuals is a multi-step process. It usually begins with the designer deciding upon an item’s name and stats, then providing the artists with a rough idea of what the item should look like. Sometimes, this step is reversed, where an artist has an idea for an item visually and the designer than wraps stats and a name around this description.

The artists then take the description to create a concept. This serves as a frame of reference when the item is modeled. Once drafted, the concept art goes through a brief review where it may be adjusted based on how it will present within the game. We have to consider things such as the angle at which you view an item as well as the camera distance. Sometimes details that look great in concept turn out muddy within the game. This is the point where we predict such issues and fix them, before the item even goes into the modeling step.

Once the concept has been approved, the item is modeled and textured. The modeling step attempts to replicate the concept art, but sometimes changes are necessary to avoid clipping into the character model or to enhance details that would otherwise not show up very clearly in the game engine.

Finally, if applicable, the item has special effects applied. This can be anything from a roaring flame to trapped spirits escaping from a blade’s edge. The product of this chain is what you see in the game.

Follow the link to see more examples.

Saturday - March 15, 2014

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Gamer Attitude

by Couchpotato, 04:37

Gamer Attitude played the Early Access build of Grim Dawn, and shares their opinion about the game in a new preview. They like the game, but note it still needs fixing.

To sum up this game I can see it being up a lot of players streets, I too enjoy dungeon crawler games as I have clocked many hours on Diablo III. I am looking forward to see what this game is like once it is complete and released as a registered game. It is currently on Steam for £20.99 which for any early access alpha is very pricey. I personally think at this point in the development of the game it should not be this higher price. I am not knocking this game in the slightest IT IS a brilliant game just needs work. If you like everything you have read, you can pick this game up on Steam today and join in the alpha.

Tuesday - March 11, 2014

Grim Dawn - 33% Off On Steam

by Couchpotato, 11:45

You now buy Grim Dawn on Steam for 33% off. Don't forget you also get access to the games beta with the purchase. Here are some game details to go along with the post.

You can currently play the first two "Acts" of Grim Dawn and up to character level 35, with some additional higher level secret areas to be found beyond the main story content. While content is still in development, the core gameplay is already fairly robust and a lot of fun. There is quite a lot of replay value between trying different classes / builds and collecting items. We're still refining gameplay based on player feedback, adding requested features and working to deliver the remaining content and additional slated features. Most players report that the current build is fairly stable with mostly mild bugs and we're always working to fix bugs as they come up. Here is some of the stuff we plan to roll out in the coming months:

  • Currently in development:
  • Continued optimization and bug fixing
  • Item crafting coming in spring 2014
  • Additional difficulty modes and multiplayer should become available early to middle of 2014
  • More questing and NPC interaction involving factions
  • 5th player class, the Arcanist, should be ready early to middle of 2014
  • Additional big content releases in mid to late 2014

We expect the final game will provide about 30-40 hours for a first-time play-through on normal difficulty, depending on level of exploration / clearing. This is our first game as a studio and we intend for Grim Dawn to be a continuing franchise, not just a one-off game. So it is important that we put in the time and effort to create something we're proud of, that will help us to earn a loyal fanbase for the future. We hope you'll come be part of this experience and help us to forge a strong new addition to the ARPG genre.

Saturday - March 08, 2014

Grim Dawn - Build 17 Hotfix Released

by Couchpotato, 07:10

Crate Entertainment has released a new patch on Steam to fix a few bugs from the previous patch, and to apply some new changes. Thanks Dr. A for the link.

Build 17 Hotfix (Changelog)

v0.2.3.4 (b17 - Hotfix)

  • New Nightblade "Lethal Gambit" skill animation
  • New Nightblade "Blade Barrier" skill animation
  • Vulture now have a new "Vomit" skill and animation.

  • Fixed a pathing bug where opening doors which made them impassible.
  • Fixed a bug where doors could sometimes be used at too large a range.
  • Fixed a locale bug when using localization string recapitalization.
  • Fixed a bug where skills could experience an excessive delay when firing.
  • Weapon based attack skills (Lethal Gambit/etc) now use the default weapon attack when cooling down.
  • Fixed a bug where RMB assigned skills could be re-fired when performing other actions.
  • Fixed a bug where objects with attached fx would disappear on the edges of the player view frustum.
  • Fixed a bug where ranged weapon hits were causing weak physics behavior.
  • Added dutch font set (fonts=NL).
    Removed "item comparison" option (now always shown).
  • Added "auto item tooltips" option. Enables automatically showing item tooltips for in world items.
  • Removed show loot/filter broken keybind.
  • Added show item tooltips keybind.
  • NPC Dialog sounds now use the dialog volume level rather than soundfx volume.
  • Friendly pets are no longer targetable when not using the target pet keybind.
  • Fixed a bug where npc merchants could generate the same items.
  • Fixed a bug where destructibles would drop unseeded items.
  • Fixed an issue with one-shot chests that would cause them not to drop a guaranteed Epic (this issue was new in the 30+ level range)

  • Updated epic item loot tables. The level range scaled poorly into the 40's, resulting in level 20 epics dropping from level 45 monsters.
  • Updated spirit requirements on rings and necklaces, reducing them by 20-30%, particularly at higher levels.
  • Percent Physique, Cunning, Spirit, Offensive Ability and Defensive Ability bonuses on gear have been reduced.
  • Absolute Offensive Ability and Defensive Ability on gear has been rebalanced. This primarily affects equipment of level 25 and above.
  • Removed Offensive Ability affixes from Shield loot tables. With the exception of some uniques, shields will no longer generate Offensive Ability in their stats. This change is Not retroactive and only affects drops in B17 and beyond.
  • Soldier: Increased %physical dmg on Decorated Soldier, while reducing %total damage on Squad Tactics.
  • Demolitionist: Fixed an issue with Flashbang's Searing Light not working. The fumble component of the skill was rebalanced now that it actually works.
  • Occultist: Hellhound's Hellfire Aura is now a radius buff with +%fire, +%burn and fire retaliation.
  • Experience formula that determines how much experience is gained from killing enemies has been adjusted to slow down leveling. Based on the results, further adjustment may be required. This change shouldn't affect current character levels.
  • Fixed an imbalance in the Regenerator hero archetype which caused it to regenerate too fast for most builds to handle.
  • Fixed an issue with the Sunken Reliquary where the boss room was inaccessible.
  • Fixed an issue with the Magistrate's Censor skill Fear not working and updates the skill's stats/name

Wednesday - March 05, 2014

Grim Dawn - Relics of the Past Update

by Couchpotato, 05:38

Crate Entertainment has a new update on the Grim Dawn forums about ingame relics.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! If you haven’t yet heard, we recently released a Major update to the game: Act II!

You can read the announcement here.

Act II is a huge addition, easily doubling the amount of content and introducing many new challenges. Powerful new enemies demand powerful new items, and sometimes that means reaching out to a trusted blacksmith for assistance. We have hinted at these powerful artifacts before, but we are now finally ready to unveil the last item type in Grim Dawn: Relics!

Relics are implements of incredible power and only a few people in the world even know of the process required for their creation. Much of this craft had been lost to the Grim Dawn, scattered in the form of blueprints. It is up to you to tread into the vestiges of humanity’s once mighty empire to recover fragments of this lost knowledge.

***As with many of our previous updates, what you see below can change before its final debut***

Relics come in three tiers: Empowered, Transcendent and Mythical. Each tier represents a significant rise in power, but so does the challenge in acquiring them. Only the truly worthy heroes will find themselves in possession of the most powerful Mythical Relics.

Thursday - February 27, 2014

Grim Dawn - Soundtrack Ready for Download

by Couchpotato, 04:31

On top of the news that ACT II is available today Crate Entertainment also announced the games soundtrack is ready for download.

The Grim Dawn original soundtrack is now available in various formats on your Humble Store page for anyone with the $35 Pioneer version or higher (not including the $48 Co-op expansion bundle).

If you've forgotten how to find your store page, use this to email yourself the link:

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday - February 26, 2014

Grim Dawn - Act II on Steam

by Myrthos, 21:56

Act II of Grim Dawn, named  "Old Arkovia" has been added to the Steam Early Access of Grim Dawn. By ordering via the official website you even get a $5 discount.

February 26, 2014 - Grim Dawn, the apocalyptic fantasy action-RPG from Crate Entertainment, has expanded with the release of Act II: "Old Arkovia" on Steam Early Access.

Act II brings the total gameplay to 20+ hours and adds a vast new region where players face off against the depraved Four Hills gang, led by infamous murderer, Darius Cronley, and descend into the dark undercity of Old Arkovia to unravel the gruesome truth behind the cursed city's final days.

Act II showcases the consequences of choice. Desperation has driven human survivors to extremes and nothing is what it seems. Tough decisions will leave significant impacts upon the world. Strangers on the road, families, and even entire villages may live or perish based on the player's actions.

With the development of Grim Dawn, Crate Entertainment is adamant about giving players true replay value; not a glorified loot-grinder. In Grim Dawn, players will find quests with game-altering choices, a powerful dual-classing skill system, secret areas to uncover and new challenge dungeons where enemies grow stronger the deeper you delve.

New Features of Act II:
- Venture through 10+ hours of new content .
- Descend into the challenge dungeon, "Steps of Torment."
- Explode obstacles with dynamite and repair structures to open paths.
- Test your hero against 10 new enemy-types and 23 bosses.
- 35 character levels and 106 new items.

Grim Dawn will receive additional updates to Acts I & II in the coming months, including more quests, new areas, recipe-based crafting, and multiplayer in early summer. Act III will launch later this year, with an emphasis on faction-based gameplay.

Available for PC on Steam Early Access or purchase direct from Crate Entertainment for a $5 discount ($24.99 total).


Wednesday - February 19, 2014

Grim Dawn - A New Game UI

by Couchpotato, 04:44

Crate Entertainment has new update on the Grim Dawn forums about a new UI.

Yup, we updated the UI! A few weeks ago, we showed you an early glimpse of the Crafting UI prototype. That UI has now been updated in preparation for the crafting update.

With the crafting UI finished, we came to the conclusion that our other UI elements could also use a bit of refinement. With that in mind, we unleashed Allminoxy on the rest of the UIs. You can see the new character screen below.

There was one major element though that we have heard comments on for quite some time in our forums, and that is the HUD. We always intended to return to our HUD’s design and that time has finally come. The Health and Energy bars have been separated, moving the minimap to the top right. We also added a larger version of the minimap for those that want to be able to view a larger portion of the area at all times.

Thursday - February 06, 2014

Grim Dawn - Of Bugs & Features

by Couchpotato, 01:10

Crate Entertainment has new update on the Grim Dawn forums.

Of Bugs and Features

As you may have heard, we tried to do another livestream. As you also may have heard, it was a disaster as my computer rebelled against me. I believe I have the situation resolved now, so we will schedule another livestream in the near future. In the meantime, Gibly has compiled the good bits of the stream. You can check it out here.

Act 2 is still being heavily iterated upon based on feedback and bug reports we had received from the playtesters. This includes fixing quest bugs so they don't destroy your characters, balancing out the damage spikes and unfair combat situations, but it also includes some new features coming your way! Many of these are things you guys have been asking about for a while.

Some of these include:

  • A codex page in the quest log which tracks any notes you’ve acquired: you can re-read any notes you find at any time without the need to store them in your inventory or stash.
  • World item comparison tooltips: by holding ‘Alt’ you can immediately compare an item on the ground to whatever you have equipped.
  • ’move’ and ‘force move’ keybindings have been added: you can now move around while ignoring enemies or interactive objects while using these new functions.
  • Components can now be combined even if you do not meet the level requirements.
  • Personal riftgates can now be opened without the confirmation prompt.
  • And more…

We're planning to roll out crafting next after Act 2. It is mostly working but we need to go back and add-in a rescue quest for the blacksmith to Act 1 and we want to get more recipes in.

Beyond these technical improvements, we are also improving drop rates from bosses and hero monsters, as well as increasing the frequency at which you will find hero monsters spawning. Exploring and finding these hero spawns should feel considerably more rewarding. In addition, to alleviate the issue with huge item tooltips, some rare affixes have been adjusted so that you cannot generate double skill-procs on one item. To accommodate this, 7 new rare affixes have been added to the game.

Wednesday - January 29, 2014

Grim Dawn - New Stream

by Couchpotato, 03:27

Crate Entertainment is hosting a new Stream today for Grim Dawn.

Hey guys! We've set ourselves up with a account so we can bring you the occasional live stream of new things coming your way.

Whenever the stream is live, you can check it out here.

Next livestream scheduled on Wednesday (01/29/14) at 1PM EST.

For those of you who can't make it, I finally figured out how to archive it. So you can always watch a recording at a later time.

Wednesday - January 22, 2014

Grim Dawn - Greetings from Westfaliah

by Couchpotato, 03:59

Crate Entertainment has a new post on the games forum with an introduction to a new member of the team.

My name is Brian Stephens (Westfaliah) and I've just joined the ranks of the development team here at Crate. Though I'm new to the Crate team, I've worked on this tech before, now several years ago at Iron Lore on Titan Quest. I'll be working on multiplayer and gameplay features, and I suppose anything else needed to get this game done and into your hands.

Most recently I worked at Harmonix helping fill living rooms everywhere with plastic guitars and drums and worked on most of the multiplayer and network features (leaderboards, battle of the bands, challenges, etc.), of the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises.

Before that, I came to Iron Lore near the end of the development of Titan Quest where I added low-level network optimizations and worked on UI elements including loading screens, HUD systems, skill trees, PvP scoreboards, achievement systems, and enhancements to the multiplayer lobby including a 3D character inspector for examining players in a multiplayer game, their equipment, and their weapons. And let's not forget the time spent working on "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm" - a game title with a big number, a comma, a colon, *and* a dash.

Previous to Iron Lore, I worked on Empire Earth (also with Arthur Bruno), working on the multiplayer engine used in all Stainless Steel Studios titles, the sound engine, scripted physics, and numerous gameplay elements.

I've always loved aRPGs and that was a big part of what attracted to me first to Iron Lore and now to Crate. Both had great teams full of awesome and talented folks and I'm psyched to get started.

Also, I'd like to thank all of you for your support of Grim Dawn. When it's said that this game couldn't be made without you, it's really the truth.

Saturday - January 18, 2014

Grim Dawn - Impression @ RPS

by Couchpotato, 03:46

Rock, Paper, Shotgun takes a look at Early Access version of Grim Dawn.

To put all this rather more simply, Grim Dawn’s the action RPG I’ve enjoyed most in quite some time, and I’m very keen to try the later chapters as they’re released. More so than Torchlight 2, which was a bit too much of a sugar rush experience for me, and certainly more so than Diablo III, which regardless of business model controversies seemed to these tired eyes so polished as to be almost ephemeral. Perhaps my enjoyment’s down to having had a lengthy break from games like this, as in recent months I’ve concentrated more on disappearing down the rabbit hole of introspective titles, and now I’m coming up for slap-happy air. Even so, while stylstically Grim Dawn lives up to its name a little too well, I do think it’s a truer heir to Diablo 1&2 than any of its recent rivals and in doing so it’s very adeptly filling a vacuum in our gaming lives.

Friday - January 17, 2014

Grim Dawn - Early Access Gameplay @ GameSpot

by Couchpotato, 01:32

GameSpot has a new video showing off some dungeon crawling gameplay from the Early Access version of Grim Dawn.

The zombies go splat and the guns go boom as an eager adventurer combs the hidden depths for loot.

Friday - January 10, 2014

Grim Dawn - Crafting Your Future

by Couchpotato, 03:38

Crate Entertainment has a new forum post as part of it's Grim Misadventure posts.

A happy 2014! Welcome back to Grim Misadventures, new year edition! 2013 saw us releasing our Alpha build to eager backers, gradually opening up access to everyone that purchased the game. Since then, we released eight builds ranging from small quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes to significant additions to gameplay and content. With the feedback provided by all of you, we improved everything from the environments to the itemization. We tweaked drop rates, added incentives to explore, revamped animations, updated textures, added new art sets, implemented localization support, the list goes on.

I can say without a doubt that the game we had back in May 2013 has grown and improved immensely, and it is in no small part thanks to the feedback and playtesting provided by our players. So thank you, to all of you.

We can only hope 2014 is just as productive!

Now moving on to what we still have in store for you. Area B, commonly called “Act 2”, has entered the playtesting phase. We are now in the process of fixing any bugs and issues that arise from the playtesters’ sessions. This includes everything from fixing pathing issues to problems with content or layout. One key reason for this phase is to make sure we do not break existing characters with an overlooked quest bug. We are currently trying to address one such case.

We’ve also realized, from tester feedback, that the current content and the way it is presented results in a somewhat anti-climactic ending. The problem is that we didn’t plan for this area to be a full act and, even though we call it “act 2”, it is still more of a large region filled with sidequests that you pass through on your way to Homestead. The major story quest in this area is completed about midway through it, which leaves a significant portion of the area at the end without any major quest line beyond just trying to find your way to Homestead and, of course, not being able to actually get there since it isn’t finished yet. Since it seems like this doesn’t meet people’s expectations and, we can understand why after hearing the feedback, we’re looking at what we can do to rework things a bit to make the story in this particular area more involved and extend to a more climactic end to this particular chunk of content. We’re not sure yet whether that will push out the delivery date much or not. It depends how much we need to do to reach a satisfactory result

Wednesday - January 08, 2014

Grim Dawn - Preview @ IncGamers

by Couchpotato, 01:11

IncGamers takes a look at Grim Dawn in a new short preview about Act 2.

The new year brings more updates for Crate Entertainment’s ARPG Grim Dawn with news that Act 2 testing is getting underway.

In this latest testing phase the development team are sorting out issues such as pathing and content holes. The team are also concerned that the current content chain ends in what they describe as a “somewhat anti-climactic ending” and this needs to be addressed in the weeks ahead.

The reason these issues have to be tackled is because Crate never planned on making the game as large as it’s now going to be and Act 2 was never planned as a full Act. This means that the main quests for this new region actually finish about half way through which is obviously not ideal. The plan is to fix these issues and flesh out the new area with a more involving story. This could push the game back slightly but Crate are still not quite sure if this will impact the game’s release date at the moment.

Thursday - January 02, 2014

Grim Dawn - Post-Funding Update #35

by Couchpotato, 05:27

Crate Entertainment has a new post-funding update for Grim Dawn with information that a new alpha update is avaiable. Here are the details.

Bringing in the New Year B16 Style

We've just pushed out B16, which includes a ton of cool improvements and additions, including 2 new side quests, a little more environmental variation in the early areas, a couple small undergrounds, a new art set for the Warden's lab and more!

The release of B16 also means that we're about to begin internal testing of Act2, which is very close to being completed. We're hoping to have it out by the end of Jan or early Feb.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday - December 26, 2013

Grim Dawn - Early Backers Get Steam Keys

by Couchpotato, 06:01

Crate Entertainment announces they have sent out Early Access keys to all Grim Dawn early backers as a Christmas present.

All Early / KS Backers now have Steam Keys!

The winter holiday seasons are upon us here in North America and today most of our studio is celebrating Christmas. I'm not personally religious, so to me it is more of a cultural tradition but, in the spirit of giving, I thought this would be a good occasion to extend access to all early backers a little bit ahead of what we have previous announced. Everyone who contributed to development at any level should now find a Steam key on their Humble Store page. Please note that you need to claim a new steam key, not the longer Grim Dawn installation key that was already sent to everyone (the longer key you already have is for installation without Steam once the game is finished for those who choose to do that).

If you don't remember how to retrieve your key, enter whatever email you used to purchase the game into this key re-sender:

Additional instructions can be found here in the alpha release announcement if you have trouble activating your key on Steam:

Also, again, sorry to anyone who has felt frustrated waiting to play the game. Our development delays have pushed back all our anticipated release / access dates and we've tried to do our best in balancing the pace of access between people who paid for different priced tiers / early levels of access while getting everyone playing within a reasonable time.

Also, B16 is in the final stages of testing and will probably be released in early January with a couple new quests and some big environment art updates.

Act 2 should follow later in January or February.

So, happy holidays, to those observing them and to everyone enjoy the game! We look forward to hearing your feedback.

On that note, I better get back to dinner with my family before I get in trouble!

- The Crate Team

Wednesday - December 11, 2013

Grim Dawn - Post-Funding Update #33

by Couchpotato, 04:10

In the latest post-funding update for Grim Dawn Crate Entertainment has posted a mini-update, and talks about gameplay polls.

Development mini-update and gameplay polls

Some interesting polls have been posted by playtesters on the forum and we're curious to see the results. I wanted to make sure KS backers had a chance to share their thoughts.

Game difficulty:

Ease of finding quest objectives:

Also, I just wanted to say, Act 2 is nearing completion! It is still a ways off but we're hoping it will be finished in the next month or two. Zantai is planning to do a livesteam of himself playing through some of Act 2 in the next two weeks. I'll post another update once we have a day and time. We'll also be expanding access to everyone who backed on KS at that time.

Also, here is the latest Misadventures from Zantai if you missed it.

Tuesday - December 10, 2013

Grim Dawn - Interviews @ IncGamers

by Couchpotato, 15:56

IncGamers has a two part interview with Crate Entertainment's CEO Arthur Bruno. You can find the interviews here and here.

PY: It’s been a bit weird watching this develop. It was a Kickstarter, then Steam Early Access, and now… how far would you say that you are into alpha, or before beta? I know you’re saying you’ve still got Act Two to put in, but on your development timeline (which is probably impossible to figure out!) whereabouts do you roughly think you are, now?

 AB: It’s really a strange project because normally you’d be developing a lot of tech alongside producing the content, and you’d be building up to some sort of a single release. At least that’s the way it was done back in the old days, back in 2006, when we released Titan Quest! [Laughs] It seems so long ago, now.

 But now we’ve tried to get the game out as early as possible so people can start playing it and giving us feedback. On one hand, it’s technically far along in terms of development – it’s pretty playable. There are still some bugs and there are performance issues as it’s not fully optimised yet, but it’s pretty playable! On the other hand, content development is still lagging behind, and we still have a ways to go on that.

 In terms of playablity, I’d say it’s close to beta. Maybe it is beta! It’s probably not far off a finished game in terms of playability. But in terms of actually finishing all the content, we’re technically not at beta yet. We have a ways to go, so it’s kinda weird. I feel like there’s a schism between the technical terms and the way that we use them in development now, where they’re more general estimations of where the product is.

 PY: Looking back at how you developed Titan Quest, do you think things have really changed in terms of the way you approach this, and have you had to adapt to the way the industry is now and how things have changed in terms of development? Especially with indie titles like this.

 AB: Yeah, it’s definitely changed a lot. The biggest thing, really, is that once the game is out there in the wild and people are playing it, you have a burden to keep the game highly playable – to squash bugs, to fix major balancing issues or things that just aren’t working for people – and that tends to slow down your forward progress because you spend a lot of time polishing before the polishing phase.

 People want to have fun and they want to enjoy what’s out there, and you want them to enjoy what’s out there as it’s the world’s first impression of the game! So you end up doing polishing while you’re in the middle of development, which slows things down a little bit. You also have to be more careful as you try to introduce new things into the game. In normal closed development, you release something into the closed company version of the game and it may break all kinds of things, and you spend a month fixing it. We can’t really do that. While we have people playing the game we have to keep it playable, so it’s more… delicate, trying to release big changes or new features. You have to keep constantly testing, instead of having one testing cycle towards the end of development.

Saturday - December 07, 2013

Grim Dawn - Interview @ PCGMedia

by Couchpotato, 03:35

PCGMedia interviews Lead Designer Arthur Bruno to talk about Grim Dawn.

What made you decide to create an old-school style action RPG?

What we really wanted to do was capture some of the sense of magic that exploration of both world and gameplay systems had in older games like Goldbox AD&D games produced by SSI. In terms of the combat and other elements, we’re trying to be contemporary or even innovative. Even as we’re working on Act II content, which we hope to release in the next couple months, we’re also always going back and trying to add to and improve what we’ve done. There is still a lot of lore and unique side content we want to add and players can expect to see more of that as we progress. In fact, our next build will add two new sidequests and two lore sources to the first act that can be found through exploring the world.

Grim Dawn is an action RPG that takes the genre back to its roots. Do you think its closeness with more nostalgic mechanics can hinder its potential for innovation?

Not necessarily, I think it is just important to carefully consider changes and innovation and be sure that they align with the vision for the game. I think the biggest danger when trying to innovate is changing things just for the sake for change. I think the best thing is for ideas to evolve organically through the process of development as opposed to just deciding you’re going to come up with a new way of doing something for the sake of it.

Grim Dawn is the “spiritual successor” to Titan Quest. How do you think the action RPG genre has evolved since Titan Quest? Do you like what it has become?

It’s funny, when TQ came out, it was really kind of  a low point for the genre. There weren’t a lot of good ARPGs coming out and, probably for that reason, there didn’t seem to be as much interest in the genre as there is now. It is great to see that the genre has undergone somewhat of a revival. There is certainly a lot more choice now in terms of high-quality ARPGs to play and I think that benefits everyone. The only negative I’ve seen is that in some cases, it feels like interesting, complex mechanics and player choice (with the potential to make mistakes) has been done away with, in favor of simple systems that are more accessible to casual players. There are other games though that learn toward the hardcore end of the spectrum, so it seems like everyone is being served.

Tuesday - November 05, 2013

Grim Dawn - Early Access on Steam

by Couchpotato, 20:42

Grim Dawn is now officially available on Steam Early Access for 10% off.

Now Available on Steam Early Access - Grim Dawn, 10% off!

Grim Dawn is Now Available on Steam Early Access and is 10% off!*

Classic action role-playing from the lead gameplay designer of Titan Quest! Grim Dawn features satisfying combat, strategic character development, frenzied loot collection and quests with choice and consequence.

Grim Dawn is developed by a small indie team of experienced developers, led by the lead gameplay designer of Titan Quest, using an enhanced version of the Titan Quest engine and tools. Please note that this game is still in development.

Here is some of the stuff we plan to role out in the coming months:

• Act II content will be released in the next few months
• More quests with choice and consequence in Act II
• Continued optimization and bug fixing
• Item crafting will roll out, probably before the end of the year
• Additional difficulty modes and multiplayer should become available early to middle of 2014
• More questing and NPC interaction involving factions
• 5th player class, the Arcanist, should be ready early to middle of 2014
• Additional big content releases in mid to late 2014

You can currently play about the first 1/3 of Grim Dawn and up to character level 25, with some additional higher level secret areas to be found beyond the main story content. While content is still in development, the core gameplay is already fairly robust and a lot of fun. There is quite a lot of replay value between trying different classes / builds and collecting items. We're still refining gameplay based on player feedback, adding requested features and working to deliver the remaining content and additional slated features. Most players report that the current build is fairly stable with mostly mild bugs and we're always working to fix bugs as they come up.

We expect the final game will provide about 20-40 hours for a first-time play-through on normal difficulty, depending on level of exploration / clearing. This is our first game as a studio and we intend for Grim Dawn to be a continuing franchise, not just a one-off game. So it is important that we put in the time and effort to create something we're proud of, that will help us to earn a loyal fanbase for the future. We hope you'll come be part of this experience and help us to forge a strong new addition to the ARPG genre.

Saturday - October 19, 2013

Grim Dawn - Build 13 & Early Access Keys

by Couchpotato, 00:45

Crate Entertainment has two new post-funding updates with news that Alpha Build 13, and Steam early access keys are now avaiable.

Build 13 and Nightblade Mastery are live!

It's mid October and what has turned out to be a rather large build is ready just in time for your weekend enjoyment! It includes the long awaited Nightblade mastery and a host of other improvements, including rework of the Burrwitch Outskirts area. For all the details check out the B13 change log on the forum.

We've also been grinding along on the next big content update and should be able to give you a sneak peek in the coming weeks.

Finally, those with beta access will be excited to know that we'll be inviting them join in the fun very soon. I'll post another update in the next couple days to let you know when that's happening.

Now back to the game development mines with me...

Early access keys now available!

In yesterday's update I mentioned that I'd be posting an update on when people with "beta" level access would be able to play and, well, that time is now!

Early access Steam keys are now available on Humble Store pages for tiers that include beta level access. For information on how to claim your key and download Grim Dawn, please refer to the instructions on our forum. (hopefully I managed to provide the correct URL this time)...

Very excited to see a new wave of players experiencing the game for the first time and can't wait to hear your feedback!

Wednesday - September 18, 2013

Grim Dawn - B12 Patch Notes & Beyond Burrwitch

by Couchpotato, 00:14

Grim Dawn has a new change log for the recently released B12 alpha build of the game. They also posted another update in their Grim Misadventure Updates that talks about the next part of the beta release.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! As you may have noticed recently, we released a major update to the Alpha build (B12). If you are curious about what has changed, you can check out our extensive patch notes here.

Besides new alpha builds, we have been very busy with the implementation of the rest of the game’s content. While there is much to be done, we are finally ready to begin showing you glimpses of what is to come. So let’s cross that bridge, shall we?

Sunday - September 15, 2013

Grim Dawn - Alpha Build 12

by Couchpotato, 00:32

Crate Entertainment has a new post-funding update with news about the Alpha/Beta for Grim Dawn. Looks like the beta will be avaiable to play by the end of the year.

At long last, Build 12 has finally been released into the wild. This was a huge effort due to significant rework of the pathing system that was necessary to fix a major performance issue some people were experiencing. We also totally overhauled the animations and animation system for the player character. There are many other fixes and improvements included as well as some new items and item art.

Meanwhile, we've also been working hard on the next big content release, which should be done before the end of year. We've been putting in more effort to have quests that are found through exploration and quests that offer choice and consequence. The 4th class mastery, Nightblade, may be done even sooner; possibly by early October.

As I mentioned in the previous update, we're going to open up access to "beta" before the end of the year since alpha has been running for 4 months and, aside from content delays, the game is in pretty good shape, as far as playability goes. I don't have a firm date yet but we may do this in October along with the release of Nightblade.

Saturday - August 17, 2013

Grim Dawn - Kickstarter Delayed

by Couchpotato, 10:18

Grim Dawn has a new post-funding update informing us the game is being delayed. Read the link for futher information.

We’re still a very small team though, as far as ARPG makers go and despite surpassing our goal on Kickstarter, $537k is a fraction of the budget available to the bigger name studios in the genre. Yet, we did feel that we had the capability to do more than we'd originally planned and I think most of you would be disappointed if we didn’t strive to create the best game we could.

While I’m not happy about our delay and I’m not trying to casually dismiss it, I do believe that a huge part of the reason developers and gamers alike are attracted to the crowd-funding model is the flexibility it provides developers to do what they think is right to ship the best game that they can.

Under normal circumstances, the delays we encountered wouldn’t push out our ship date; it would just mean that we would have to make cuts to features and content. Likely, in the end, we would have been forced to prematurely ship a game that was never allowed to reach its full potential.

So, here we are. It is August and we have to announce a delay, a significant one. I apologize for that and we are working hard to ensure that Grim Dawn will be worth your wait. Under the circumstances, we are also planning to alter our release schedule somewhat to compensate so that access to the game is no longer tied to specific development milestones, which I'm not sure really made sense to begin with. Instead, it will be more like earliest, earlier, early access.

Alpha is already out, as you know, and I’m happy to say that, based on feedback, the vast majority of those playing will tell you it was worth the wait. So, I hope those not playing the game can, in turn, wait a little longer for their releases. We’re hoping to open the game up to beta access in a few months. Then, at some point beyond that, once we have a critical mass of content ready to play, we’ll open it up to everyone who has backed the game.


Monday - July 15, 2013

Grim Dawn - Pledge Upgrades Available

by Myrthos, 12:07

All those who pledged for Grim Dawn in the Kickstarter or pre-purchased it via Humble Store can now upgrade. It is a manual process though as they did not have the resources and funds to automate it.

After much squeaking from you to us and us to... ourselves and later Humble Store, this wheel has finally been greased. If you're a non-English speaker and have no idea what this has to do with squeaky wheels and grease, don't worry about it. The important thing is that Humble Store is going to start processing upgrade requests.

I'm very sorry that this took so long. A long time ago we looked into creating some sort of automated system for this and determined that our payment processor was not flexible enough to handle it. It wasn't something we had the man-power to handle processing manually. We then partnered with Humble Store who also looked at creating an automated solution for us but the complexity of all the different priced KS tiers, legacy tiers and upgrade permutations made it a nightmare for them.

In the end, they have agreed that the best thing is to just bite the bullet and start doing it manually.

If you want to upgrade your existing tier to something else, either to get alpha access or additional rewards or just to support the game, here is what you need to do:

Note: It is only possible to upgrade to a tier that is currently available on the website. Higher tiers from the Kickstarter are not available.

1) Email with the same email address that is associated with your Grim Dawn download page on Humble Store so that they can verify you in their system.

2) Include the following information: The amount you paid, your current tier, the tier you want to upgrade to, if you purchased through Humble Store (and not KS) include your transaction ID (if you have one, it should start with an X).

3) A representative from Humble Store will get back to you and let you know how much you need to pay to upgrade to the tier of your choice and provide you with a method of payment.

4) Once your payment is processed, you will receive an upgrade and a confirmation email.

Because these are being processed manually, it may take some time for them to go through, especially if a lot of people request upgrades at once. Please be patient.

Wednesday - July 10, 2013

Grim Dawn - Preview @ RPGCodex

by Couchpotato, 01:17

RPG Codex has a new hands-on preview of Grim Dawn.

I encountered only a few bugs while playing, which is really quite impressive for an Alpha. With major studios like Bethesda releasing so called AAA games that don’t even work properly and have endless supplies of game breaking bugs, it’s something Crate should be proud of. Besides the performance problems I noticed only a few consistent issues. Mobs will sometimes lose agro permanently or spawn stuck in the environment, and I’ve had my loot fly off to unreachable areas of the map never to be seen again. All in all however, most bugs being reported seem quite minor and well within the capability of the programmers to solve.

As mentioned before, multiplayer was not ready for the Alpha, but it could quite possibly be what the Beta phase is reserved for. For me, all I care about is that the game will have LAN play as an option and this has been confirmed by Crate, as they have stated that they most likely will not have the funds to support dedicated servers. This will undoubtedly lead to a swarm of bots and hacked items finding their way into the game. The solution? Find a group of buddies you like playing with and stick to them. It’s always more fun that way anyway.

I think Grim Dawn has the potential to be a very worthy addition to the aRPG genre. While it definitely needs some tweaking and would benefit greatly from a bit of polish, the foundations are here for something quite special. It’s got that old school vibe to it, but it’s been mixed together with modern mechanics, some pretty impressive visuals and a great soundtrack. If you’re looking for something revolutionary, you most certainly won’t find it here, but if you’re in need of a deep action role playing experience without online requirements, pay to win/free to play models, or childish WoW style graphics this should most definitely be on your watch list. Hats off to the Crate team for what they’ve achieved already.

Monday - June 10, 2013

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Gamebanshee

by Couchpotato, 05:02

Gamebanshee has a new preview of Grim Dawn based on the alpha version. It's over three pages long so I'll just post a snip from the end.

Closing Thoughts

I've had Grim Dawn on my watch list for quite some time, and after playing the closed beta, it's clear Crate Entertainment have built a very polished, entertaining game that for action-RPG fans will likely be worth the wait. While in its alpha state there are a number of outstanding issues (namely some environment collision bugs, balance problems and performance hitches), the game is still very stable, plays smoothly and is very polished for an indie production.

There are some looming questions, however. Story in the alpha is very sparse and based on the limited selection of gameplay, it's hard to get a feel for the overarching plot, characters and so on. Right now, what's included is very functional, but also very limited, and I hope it will be fleshed out more as time goes on.  The levels, though fixed in their layout rather than random, do feature special events to run across each time you play, but these were quite limited when I was running through the alpha - something I hope is improved to make replaying the game more interesting. There are also some loose ends, including a faction reputation system, whose functions are not especially clear right now. Who knows - perhaps there will even be some choice & consequence in how the story plays out, if what a few of the quests demonstrate carries through.

Either way, Grim Dawn, though certainly not the most creative and original action-RPG ever, is definitely doing just enough differently to carve out a niche for itself. I'll be the first to express my weariness at yet another hack-and-slash RPG, but Grim Dawn does the genre just about as well as it can be done, and with some twists that make it interesting even for veterans.  With no set release date, I'm looking forward to seeing how the game evolves as the developers collect feedback and expand on what's already established. 

Friday - May 24, 2013

Grim Dawn - Alpha Review @ INCGAMERS

by Couchpotato, 00:18

INCGAMERS is the lastest website to review the Alpha of Grim Dawn.

As Grim Dawn is using a modified Titan Quest engine there are still some remnants of its game mechanics lurking under the hood. At the moment some skills need to be tapped on the action bar then targeted on the ground, which makes casting quite tricky. This mechanic is apparently going to be changed to a simple click with the skill going off where the mouse pointer is. It’s more of an issue with the Demolitionist and Occultist classes at the moment, but hopefully it will change pretty soon.

Crate obviously want their players to feel like they have some real control of the game and it’s fantastic to see the ability to rotate the camera 360 degrees. That may sound like a simple feature but it does add that little something extra to the experience. No complaints as far as the game art is concerned either; it perfectly captures the dark atmosphere of Cairn, and being able to zoom quite far out means more of the play area is visible, allowing you to soak it all up.


Wednesday - May 22, 2013

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Couchpotato, 00:18

Rock, Paper, Shotgun played the alpha version of Grim Dawn, and has posted a preveiw of the game.

This is alpha code, and just the first third of the game, but it’s enough to sate my need to finally play the thing. And gosh, that title’s appropriate. It is, mostly in the right way, grim. Dark, gloomy, and mercilessly tough, it’s the game I’m certain so many furious Diablo fans wanted D3 to be when they found out that had planned to feature colours. There seem to be two central pillars here: traditional, and difficult.

Which is a mighty good thing, I should add.

It’s extremely dark and bleak environments at first can look a little primitive, but you quickly realise the detail comes with study. Much has been done to the old Titan Quest engine, not least freeing the camera to rotate on the X axis, and you don’t need frills when it’s serious business. So you really already know what to expect: A Tetris inventory attached to a character sheet of square slots, basic stats embellished by a sprawling choice of skills, and hundreds and hundreds of monsters to left and right click all over.

Thursday - May 16, 2013

Grim Dawn - Alpha Gameplay Footage

by Couchpotato, 00:12

If you read my previous post then you should already know Grim Dawn released an Alpha version to certain backers. Well one lucky gamer called Hiclang has posted two short videos of gameplay footage. Enjoy.

Wednesday - May 15, 2013

Grim Dawn - Alpha Release

by Couchpotato, 01:30

Crate Entertainment announces on their kickstarter that the Alpha of Grim Dawn will be released tomorrow.

And so it was on the 1385th day of development that a messenger of the Lord appeared to Crate Entertainment and said unto them, “You hath labored well and faithfully and now, at long last, thou shalt releaseth thy Grim Dawn Alpha upon the world, if it is good”. And so then did Crate know that alpha should be released, for the alpha seemed good to the. And thus they issued forth emails to the people of Humble Store and to the people of Valve saying unto them “Lo, I doth beseech you now to make good all preparations in accordance that Grim Dawn Alpha may be released with due haste!”

So yeah, it has been a long time coming but the release of Grim Dawn Alpha is nearly upon us! Let us rejoice in its coming and give thanks to the many supporters, both fans and volunteers, who made this possible. We have labored hard these last few weeks to resolve critical issues so that your first experience in Grim Dawn is not overly marred by bugs and stability issues; though certainly there will still be some less common crashes, various oddities and numerous smaller issues.

Please remember that this is an indie title developed by a tiny start-up studio with a fraction of the developers and funding of major ARPG productions. We are not really trying to compete with the big boys, at least not yet, and our small budget means we do not need to sell a large number of copies for this to be successful. There are some limitations on what we can achieve in terms of features and polish, but we have poured our hearts and years of our lives into creating Grim Dawn and feel that we have created an enjoyable experience for those interested.

I know what you are thinking now: “cut to the chase and give us the release date already”. We expect the Alpha download to go live tomorrow, May 15th. Short notice I know, but we were not screwing around when we said we planned to release it without further delay once we felt it was ready. We debated releasing next Monday to be safe but we know how eager you all are to get your hands on alpha and we are a fly by the seat of our pants kind of studio, so… here we go!

Grim Dawn - Potential Successor to Titan Quest

by Couchpotato, 00:08

GameSkinny has an article about Grim Dawn called "A Potential Successor to Titan Quest."

Something on the horizon...

The reason I want to bring this to light is because, after the Immortal Throne came out, the publisher (THQ) ceased the series and refused to create another game. Well that was a huge disappointment for anyone who played the game; it meant that the could-have-been epic series would not be completed and there really was no substitute for the amazing, mythology-steeped, dungeon crawler.

However, there is truly light on the horizon as a Kickstarter project titled Grim Dawn was recently funded and several of the old developers of Titan Quest decided to break away from Iron Lore Studios and create the unofficial successor to Titan Quest. The new development firm is called Crate Entertainment and it's headed up by Arthur Bruno, the previous head designer at Iron Lore.

Now despite having been announced nearly three years ago, there isn't a great deal known about Grim Dawn, even as it nears Alpha testing, but looking at the screenshots and listening to the videos available makes a fan like me think that Grim Dawn will be everything we hope it to be. The screens and videos seem to show a wonderfully similar art style with beefed up graphics despite Titan Quest (for its age) having very formidable graphics. Additionally, the creators have kept the true gem of the game that is the unique class customization that was so loved in Titan Quest. And, although the somewhat light and colorful mythological environment seems to be gone, it's been replaced with a darker, more haunting environment that really adds to the game's setting.

I don't know how many people were more or less disappointed by Diablo 3, but I count myself in that crowd for reasons I won't go into. It seemed that the dungeon crawler world I'd been such a fan of was in decline, but now, as Grim Dawn nears its completion, I can rest easy knowing that all is not lost, and perhaps the best is yet to come. Please go and check out their website. It may be a little bare-boned, but at the end of the day, the game is really what matters.

Wednesday - May 01, 2013

Grim Dawn - Misadventure #20

by Couchpotato, 01:35

Crate Entertainment released new information on Grim Dawn.  The update shows the options available to those who choose the Soldier mastery.

Hello, Grim readers, and welcome back to Grim Misadventures! As you may have noticed by the playtesters lurking around the forums, we have begun the Friends and Family phase of development. These brave souls are helping us knock out some of the remaining critical issues that must be addressed before Alpha can begin.

To hold you over in the meantime, we will begin a series of updates that will familiarize you with the three masteries available to you once Alpha begins. Up first is the Soldier!

“The use of weapon forms in combat gives your attacks a natural cadence with peaks and ebbs that, while predictable, are none the less effective and difficult to counter. When used as your default weapon attack, Cadence will magnify the power of every 3rd strike.”

Cadence is the core combat skill of the Soldier mastery. When used in place of your left click, your auto attacks will generate charges. Every third charge, you will slam your target with an overhead swing. Modifiers for this skill add bleed damage that resonates with nearby enemies and a chance to unleash one of three devastating effects with every Cadence.

“Such force is channeled into the attack that it compresses the very air, projecting out a wave of energy that stuns and damages foes. This attack requires a shield, two-handed crossbow or rifle.”

Forcewave is a close combat wave attack which stuns your enemies. It also serves as an excellent early level area of effect attack. Modifiers for Forcewave cause it to reduce armor and increase the stun duration along with added bleed damage.

Will to Live
“Unwilling to yield to death, you muster a final surge of strength and fight on with renewed determination.”

Will to Live is a passive defense skill which activates at low health to provide an instant heal and a temporary increase to health regeneration. The internal cooldown is short which makes this a reliable life-saver, but becoming too reliant on it could spell disaster in a tough situation.

Zolhan’s Technique
“Named for the famed fighting master, this attack uses a low center of mass and powerful thrust to imbalance your opponents.”

Zolhan’s Technique is a passive attack that triggers on your base (or Cadence) attacks. Whenever it activates, you will strike several nearby opponents with a heavy melee attack that drastically reduces their attack speed for a short duration.

Tuesday - April 16, 2013

Grim Dawn - Misadventures #19

by Myrthos, 00:20

Grim misadventures #19 is online and talks about focus items.

We have a special treat for you today from our artists, but first we would like to introduce you to our Focus items.

Focus items are off-hand only implements intended for the sorcerers at heart. Through them, you will channel forbidden powers capable of tearing apart the toughest foe. Unlike shields though, they provide no defenses.

Focus items come in two styles, the tomes for a more refined spellcaster and the savage implements of forbidden arts. Both types of Focus items provide a set amount of cooldown reduction, but where they differ is in their base energy regeneration. Whereas tomes provide flat bonuses, savage Foci give a percent bonus. Which one benefits you more will depend entirely on you gear preferences. One thing is certain though: the most powerful spellcasters will want a combination of Weapon and Focus for the largest bonuses to their preferred damage types.

Friday - April 12, 2013

Grim Dawn - New Screenshots

by Couchpotato, 04:09

Crate Entertainment has released a bunch of screenshots for Grim Dawn. The new screenshots show the new character selection screen, and a few other updates to the game.


Please note that developers do not usually allow their audience to see a game this early in development while the art is still in such a rough, unpolished state. However, we felt it was worth the risk because we want you, our fans, to be involved in the development of the game and to watch as things progress. So, please, keep in mind that we're not releasing materials to drum up buzz a few months in advance of release, rather, Grim Dawn is still pre-pre-pre-alpha and I might have even missed a pre. Thank you for your understanding!


Tuesday - March 19, 2013

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures

by Myrthos, 16:59

We've missed some of the Grim misadventures so here is update number 16 providing information on item stats and skins and update number 17 providing some development updates.

We also hear and understand the strong opinions some of you have expressed over health bars vs. globes. It is a tricky issue because there are both development limitations and gameplay reasons for us not having them at this point. In terms of gameplay, we felt that the stacked health and energy bar are the most efficient way to quickly see both resources at once, near the center of the action and provide the most accurate visual representation of how much health / energy you have left. The globes, by contrast, become a little harder to accurately gauge toward the tops and bottoms. There are also already complaints by some that the HUD protrudes too far into the play-space and globes would only cause it to protrude further.

So, while some may prefer the aesthetic of globes, our feeling is that health bars serve gameplay and fit our setting best. We humbly request that you give the current iteration a try. Alpha is right around the corner after all.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - February 06, 2013

Grim Dawn - Alpha where art though?

by Dhruin, 21:01

Crate has an update on the Grim Dawn forums titled Alpha where art thou? A partial snip:

Given the increasingly frequent questions about a release date for alpha and the fact that we are starting to eat away at "early 2013" or Q1, I felt that I should address this.

While I still believe we will release within what I would consider "early" 2013, things are running a little slower than I had hoped due to some unanticipated problems that have been hampering us since late last year. The good news is that we have recently taken action to correct this problem in a way that will be a boon to the entire project. I shall elaborate...

Around Sept or Oct of last year, both of the part-time animators we had working on the project ended up in crunch at their day jobs (both at different studios). They were out of the game for longer than expected and things got behind in the animation department. We also found some issues with the character rig when work began on skinning the female armor. Our main animator struggled with this on and off as his busy schedule allowed but progress in identifying and fixing the problem was slow. We ultimately had to track down and set up a Skype meeting with the original Titan Quest animator. Those problems appear to be fixed now but they did their damage in slowing us down and caused some rework.

Fortunately, pre-order sales have been higher than I had predicted after the KS and some things in our budget ended up not being as expensive as I had anticipated. The result is that we were able to bring on a full-time senior technical animator, who starts this coming week. Best of all, he already has experience working with the TQ engine as his last job was at Stomp (aka Tencent Boston), which was started by one of the owners and the former president of Iron Lore. They started out prototyping in the TQ engine on their past project. We've also brought on another contract animator to help us make up for lost time and he's currently at work animating the first mini-boss that will be in the alpha.

Now that we'll have a full-time animator, we won't have to worry about any future cases of people's unpredictable part-time availability slowing us down. I also expect that we'll be able to have more / higher quality animations in Grim Dawn. One of the little bonuses we're hoping to get to is more ambient animation for things like swaying lights and hanging corpses that react to the wind.

In terms of alpha, some of the biggest things that remain are getting the mini-boss and "act-end" boss animated. There are also a number of armor pieces that need to be skinned.

Read the full update for a bit on quests, as well. Designer Zantai also has a new Grim Misadventures with new screens.

Tuesday - January 22, 2013

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #14

by Dhruin, 08:19

Recruitment and Rebuilding is the subject of Grim Dawn's latest Misadventure blog:

Recruitment and Rebuilding
One of the themes in Grim Dawn is a world in ruin, with the survivors struggling to rebuild. As such, it would seem a bit out of place to have towns filled with people living a comfortable life with all of the services they need.

Thus, the towns in Grim Dawn are struggling and will evolve as the game progresses. What’s more, we want you to play a direct part of this rebuilding!

When you enter Devil’s Crossing at the beginning of the game, (the main Survivors area consisting of the ruined Burrwitch Prison atop a small island) the place will be just holding itself together. Most bridges leading away from the island will be destroyed, the prison will be sparsely populated and filled with rubble, and bad guys will periodically attack a weakened guard contingent over the last bridge left leading to the mainland.

Sounds depressing huh? Well you get to help fix it! Scattered throughout the world will be NPCs that are either captured, lost, or just trying to fend for themselves. By helping them out you might discover that they have skills that could be useful to the Survivors back at Devil’s Crossing. At this point, you can decide to bring them back and help your desperate refuge grow into a thriving town! (And don’t worry, you won’t need to escort them halfway across the world, as we have portals in the lore )

The benefits of this aren’t just cosmetic, as this can have a mechanical payoff as well. One example would be finding a traveling merchant, broken down on the road, desperately trying to defend his caravan of goods. By rescuing him and giving him a place in Devil’s Crossing, he will then turn into a vendor, (complete with market stall) and provide higher quality goods, possibly at a discount!

Monday - January 21, 2013

Grim Dawn - Update #22

by Dhruin, 21:28

Crate has kicked up a new Grim Dawn update, with another poll on new environments:

Hello Grim Dawn fans!

Our first environment poll concluded with a significant 35.51% majority in favor of the Ch’thonic Void, which will become the first of two “stretch” environments. For those that did not see their favorite selected, don’t fret. These are all environments we are eager to get in the game and chances are good that you will see them in expansion content. 

It is now time for the second environment poll. Note that some of the more moderate art sets from the first poll have returned. We unfortunately cannot do two “big” environment sets (environments that would require numerous/complicated assets), so the Shipyard and Railyard are out of this round. The poll will close on 02/04/13, so please vote soon!

Environment 2 Poll

While you are there, you can also check out some of the recent updates from Zantai and Jalex on item art, underground environments, and our town improvement mechanics.

See you on the forums!


Tuesday - January 08, 2013

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #13

by Dhruin, 21:34

There's a new Grim Misadventures on the Grim Dawn forums with Zantai posting a handful of new images, including a gazer mob.

Saturday - December 08, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #11

by Dhruin, 05:38

Crate posted a new Grim Misadventures during the week with Zantai offering another glimpse at Grim Dawn's development:

You have read the State of the Game Address II, right? You have not read it yet?! You can fix this at the following convenient link:

Now that you are up to speed, you might have caught note of the small section on components. If it got you excited, then you are in for a treat! With 63 components in-game and ready for looting, that is quite a variety for customizing your gear. Of those 63, seventeen are of epic quality and reflect that both in stats and drop rate. Let us dive into the virtual Grim Dawn shopping mall.

Saturday - December 01, 2012

Grim Dawn - State of the Game Address II

by Dhruin, 01:28

Medierra has posted a huge development update on the Grim Dawn forums - way too big to post here in full - but here's a snip:


It seemed we were due for another big update on the overall progress of development. Now that we've hired up 4 additional full-time people and one part-time, we're making excellent progress. An amazing amount of work has occurred since the end of the KS, probably almost as much as the previous 2 years of development. Grim Dawn has grown both in terms of progress toward completion but also we've expanded content laterally and improved a lot of things.

The world redesign is one of the most obvious places where that has happened. In the map below, which only shows the first "act" you can see the green areas we intend to release for alpha are about 3x the volume of the original map from the first state of the game address. Plus, you can see the new levels look tight and represent a continuous, completed area as opposed to the chaotic mix of crap on the old map.

It is clocking at around 2-3 hours for someone who knows the levels and plays relatively straight through, skipping all the side content. Doing that you wind up finishing around level 11-13. An average play-through for someone who didn't know where they were going and explored a bit more would probably be 4-5 hours and reach level 13-16. To clear everything could probably take 6-8 hours, maybe more.  

So the levels we intend to release in alpha are pretty much finished! Note that there is a lot of additional world area but that image just shows what we have ready for alpha as compared to what we previously had. I'm starting to think we may be making Grim Dawn too big! At least, bigger than we had originally intended. Instead of 10-15 hours for final release, we may end up closer to 20+.

While world development for alpha is pretty much complete, there are still a number of things we're trying to wrap up. Those include skill masteries (of which we have 5 nearly finished as opposed to the 3 we originally expected to release alpha with), story stuff, some crash bugs, finishing the act-1 boss and getting a first-pass balance on everything. Plus there are also just a bunch of little stupid things like fixing the teleport map. We also had thought we might have to release alpha without a female PC but we're well on the way to getting her in-game now - we've got female versions of all the equipment done and just need to finish skinning them so they'll animate. We're not far off now though.

Here is a detailed run-down of some of the more critical aspects of the game...

Monday - November 12, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #10

by Dhruin, 11:56

Zantai writes a new update on the Grim Dawn forums, showing off the work of two full-time artists they have employed with their Kickstarter funds:

This week we have a special treat for you – ph4at 13wtz. Thanks to the generous support we have received from those who have backed Grim Dawn through our website and the Kickstarter campaign, we have been able to employ two full-time artists and this has allowed us to expand the amount of unique art we’ll have for environments, enemies and, of course, equipment.

Until recently, our artists have primarily been working on enemy models and environmental art as those assets need to be built first so that they can be passed off to animators and designers, who then perform their part in getting the enemies working in-game and/or using the assets to build the world itself (as seen in some of our earlier environment previews). The item art tends to happen last because all the rest of the work necessary for getting equipment into the game can be done with placeholder art. So, as you may have noticed over the past couple months, significant progress had been made on designing a large number of unique items, creating database records, and configuring stats to get the items hooked up to loot tables, ready to drop in the world.

It has been exciting recently to test the game and see uniquely named items dropping with alluring blue text and impressive array of bonuses. However, without unique art, a bit of that magic was missing. It is exhilarating to see this final piece of the puzzle falling into place at last as our artists sculpt the unique models and effects for epic items.

Head over for the art.

Thursday - November 01, 2012

Grim Dawn - Bestiary Update #2

by Dhruin, 11:38

Allminoxy on the Grim Dawn forums offers a second Bestiary update, showing off the Thorned Horror.

Tuesday - October 16, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #9

by Dhruin, 21:53

Zantai from Crate writes another update on the Grim Dawn forums:

Greetings, denizens of Cairn! Zantai here to deliver another Grim Misadventure. The votes are in and the clear winner, with a 60.68% majority, is items. As promised, today’s update is presenting a complete item set, with completion bonuses included. So let’s get to it!

Item sets in Grim Dawn vary in size. Some are as few as two items, bonded in the fiery forge of a spreadsheet, and others span a massive seven piece collection. The rewards for completing sets are appropriately proportional. Only those dedicated to the highest caliber of matching fashion shall reap the greatest of set bonuses!

While we're here, there's a new screen from the opening Burrwitch Prison level here.

Friday - October 05, 2012

Grim Dawn - New Environment and Underground Discussion

by Dhruin, 22:49

Crate has kicked up a Grim Dawn update - not much is revealed but hopefully some decisions can be made soon about new environments and underground areas:

We've made a lot of progress on the development of the world and content, especially with regards to loot and enemies.  You can catch up on some of these development in our updates section with the recent bestiary posts from Allminoxy, level posts from Jalex and the bi-weekly "Grim Dawn Misadventures" from Zantai:

I'm planning on posting a more detailed update on the status of the world soon as well.

In the meantime, we're now at a point where we'd like to gather ideas for our additional environment and underground so that we can get started on those.  To that end, we've posted a thread on the forums where you can share your ideas or comment on others:

In a couple weeks, we'll consolidate the most popular, fitting and feasible ideas and then create a poll for you to vote on them.

Monday - October 01, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #8

by Myrthos, 12:43

In the eighth installment of the Grim Misadventures the hero monsters in Grim Dawn are shown off.

The most difficult part of preparing this week’s post was actually getting to the right hero monsters. Nope…that is the Human aisle. Blast, I knew I should have turned left at the Flesh Hulk section. Our monster farm is getting big! When you last heard of hero monsters, we had roughly 66 of the beasties roaming the halls. We are now up to a whopping 115! That is a lot of monster. Each one is loaded to the brink with loot, like a deadly piñata that fights back.

Hero monsters have been roaming free in our spawn tables for a few weeks now, and the death toll is rising. You are going to have to earn that loot.

Tuesday - September 18, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #7

by Dhruin, 13:22

Zantai returns to the Grim Dawn forums with some examples of Epic items:

Epic items in Grim Dawn are the first tier of our hand-crafted itemization. These are powerful rare items with strong themes and some unique effects. While they may not always be better than a rare quality item, seeing blue on the screen should be a moment of happy fun times. As of now, all epics planned for the alpha stage have been theorized, calculated, morphed, forged, teleported, and stamped. That’s good stuff!

In case you are wondering, that’s 81 delicious items ready to drop from just about anywhere*. Epic items will begin at level 10, but you may see them drop sooner if the luck of the roll is with you. Without further delay, we will let the items speak for themselves.

Tuesday - September 11, 2012

Grim Dawn - Jalex's Environment Preview #2

by Dhruin, 22:59

Crate designer Jalex has kicked up some new environment work-in-progress screens on the Grim Dawn forums.

Saturday - September 08, 2012

Grim Dawn - Bestiary Update #1

by Dhruin, 03:16

Crate's Allminoxy has posted a single render of a critter on the Grim Dawn forums:

Hello again Grim Dawn fans!

Artist monkey Ben/Allminoxy here with a new slice of creature goodness from the bestiary pie! For today's entree, I would like to present to you the Ch'thonian Voidfiend, summoned from the festering depths of the void itself! He enjoys eternal darkness, long walks on the sunless blood beach and massaging your spleen with his teeth!

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday - September 04, 2012

Grim Dawn - The Monster Factory

by Myrthos, 12:35

At the Grim Dawn forums a closer look is given into the creation of monsters in Grim Dawn.

Greetings to the overpowered monster extravaganza! This is Zantai reporting from my own personal monster boot camp, where creatures enter and hero monsters emerge.

Welcome to the monster factory.

Here is where brand new hero monsters are first tested against real human opponents for bugs (oops, he’s casting invisible fields of death), damage (oops, he just killed me in two shots), and fun (oops, he just killed me in two shots using an invisible field of death). Depending on your level of masochism, the aforementioned scenario might have fit your definition of fun. In that case, we apologize in advance for a lack of invisible death fields.

After this phase is complete, the 100% genuine awesome seal of approval coolness stamped hero monster is added to the spawn pools (this is about when the other devs at Crate start asking who put the ******** monsters into the game).

Friday - August 24, 2012

Grim Dawn - Preview @ Forbes

by Aries100, 17:25

Forbes has a short preview of this game.   Here's their general feeling about the game:

From what I’ve seen so far, Grim Dawn takes all the good things from traditional top-down action-RPGs like Diablo and combines them with open-world gameplay, in-depth role-playing, crafting, and looting elements, and then takes some of the level-design and gameplay lessons from Dark Souls to create a truly ambitious, exciting looking game.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - August 20, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #5

by Dhruin, 22:36

Zantai from Crate writes a new Grim Misadventures blog, looking at the Nightblade in Grim Dawn:

Skill 1: Shadow Strike
“A cunning combination of flash powder and mental deflection allows the Nightblade to dart throughout the battlefield faster than the eye can see.”
Shadow Strike causes your character to phase out of existence and rapidly close in on your target, dealing damage on impact. This skill serves a dual purpose: direct single target damage and survivability. How does survivability come into play? Let’s bring up the modifier…

Modifier 1: Master of Shadow
“Become like the spectre of nightmares, appearing before your enemies in an instant and vanishing just as quickly.”
This skill modifier reduces the cooldown on Shadow Strike, allowing you to jump around more frequently. This serves both as a direct damage increase on Shadow Strike and as a way to ensure that you are always in a favorable position.

Wednesday - August 15, 2012

Grim Dawn - New Screens

by Dhruin, 14:15

Two new Grim Dawn screens via the official forums:

Among other things, I've recently been working towards a final layout and polishing up content for the first couple hours of the game. Burrwitch Village has been moved further out, so it is a bit more of a jaunt to get there, with dynamic barriers randomizing the river crossing locations. Burrwitch has also gotten bigger and something sinister has been going on beneath it.

The shots show an overrun Burrwitch (why, what manner of weapon is that character holding?!) and... "The Hidden Laboratory," which is still in development.   

Sunday - August 12, 2012

Grim Dawn - Video Interview @ IncGamers

by Dhruin, 02:44

Here's a video interview with Crate's Arthur Bruno courtesy of IncGamers:

Arthur Bruno who is currently working on the ARB Grim Dawn talks to IncGamers about the influences of the Diablo franchise on ARPGs and also about the upcoming Grim Dawn.

Tuesday - August 07, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #4

by Dhruin, 00:30

Crate's Zantai writes a new Grim Misadventures forum post about the development of Grim Dawn:

Greetings from the trenches! Zantai reporting with another view at the secrets of Grim Dawn. The last two weeks have been very interesting. It is safe to say at this point that I have gotten a good hang of the skill system, though it never ceases to surprise with its nuances.

With a depressing lack of real functional lightsabers and our discovery that we do not indeed have force powers, my lightsaber duel against Medierra had to be postponed until we develop such powers (working really hard on shooting lightning from my fingertips guys).

At least I can hurl lightning in Grim Dawn…and fireballs…and blasts of freezing cold…and life tearing beams…and kittens! (No kittens were harmed in the writing of this article. We here at Crate appreciate kittens and all that they do for society. Kittens may not be available in the current, earlier, or final versions of the game). I should know, as I have made a wide selection of skills for monsters, items, and masteries.

Friday - August 03, 2012

Grim Dawn - Greetings from Allminoxy

by Dhruin, 23:38

Another new recruit into the Crate family pops up on the Grim Dawn forums with a couple of new screenshots also on offer:

My name is Ben Soderstrom (Allminoxy) and I'm the newest recruit to join the ranks of the Crate army! I've actually been around for a couple of weeks, but I've been lurking in the shadows, waiting for the 'right' moment to introduce myself. Officially, I've joined the team as an artist, but you can think of me as a "make stuff look good" guy, or a "make stuff gross and disgusting" guy (depending on your tastes).

Like Jalex and Zantai, I am yet another survivor of the 38 Studios Holocaust (I know, we're a dime-a-dozen these days) After losing my job, I did what is only natural for anyone in that situation: play lots of video games and drink. Diablo 3 had just come out and I swore that even my livelihood imploding would not ruin the game for me. And then something incredible happened - the game just up and ruined itself! At first I didn't really understand it and I kept on playing for a while, but to no avail. Around the time I was getting really pissed off at D3, a little angel disguised as Jalex floated down and told me that Crate was looking to hire an artist. Being an artist and a lover of ARPG's I thought to myself "wow, I rather enjoy spinach!" Shortly thereafter, I spoke with Arthur which lead to him offering me a job at Crate. Well, there may have been a few other things in there somewhere, but that's the gist of it!

Monday - July 23, 2012

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #3

by Dhruin, 22:50

Crate designer Zantai writes a new development update on the Grim Dawn forums:

Patrons, readers, enthusiasts, this is Zantai and I bring news from beyond the veil of development. For those of you eager for another collection of screenshots, I’m afraid this is not your update.

While I had continued some environment work over the past two weeks, my primary focus was on dissecting and absorbing all that there is to know about the skill system for Grim Dawn. Skills in Grim Dawn had been structured upon a large set of use cases, which we then manipulate to create the player-hating hero and boss monsters. While the system gives us a lot of flexibility, it is not immediately intuitive. Given that I am already insane, this had little impact on my wellbeing and health.

I learned by doing, and we now have dozens of barebones skills with clear descriptors and use cases. This also translates to some documentation I will be compiling, with the benefits passed off to the modding community when our tools are released to the public.

This process naturally progressed to the creation of item affixes. Do you like cool items? We like cool items. We should probably have cool items! I’ve taken my skill-creating skills to craft some really out there stuff for our item pool. It’s too early to reveal it all, but I’m excited to wield them against the forces of “people who dislike my character”. Hint: it’s not only Legendaries that get a special treatment.

Having tackled environments, skills, and item affixes, not much remains before I am fully ramped up on all that entails Grim Dawn’s development. I am a jack-of-all trades after all.

Wednesday - July 11, 2012

Grim Dawn - Jalex's Environment Preview #1

by Dhruin, 08:39

Crate designer Jalex has posted some environmental screens on the Grim Dawn forums:

I'm showing off four screens of a farm/homestead area I've been working on, with a bit of a Grim Dawn twist, going for a Sleepy Hollow vibe at night, and in the daytime, the colors show, but there is still a light haze and tension in the air...

Thursday - June 28, 2012

Grim Dawn - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Dhruin, 00:43

Rock, Paper, Shotgun caught up with Arthur Bruno to look back at the successful Grim Dawn Kickstarter and where the development is now headed:

RPS: So what’s the roadmap for that work?

Bruno: Development-wise we’re in a very good position. We’ve had a lot of time to lay out the whole foundation of the game, to get the fundamentals, to get a bunch of art sets completed. In one sense the game is very far along, in the sense that is an elaborate and refined vertical slice, but there’s a lot of content to build, and that’s where the new guys come in. And as unfortunate as events surrounding the close of 38 Studios were, it has meant we’ve been able to hire some very talented people very quickly. The guys we’ve hired have hit the ground running, and learned the tools very quickly. Some of them were fans of Titan Quest and had used the tools before. They’re already producing nice stuff. So from here it’s a case of building the world and getting the quests implemented. Our hope is that late this year or early next year we’ll roll out the alpha which will have a couple of hours of game to play and test. Because we’re not working with a publisher we can be flexible about how we roll things out. I guess that’s a Minecraft kind of release, where we get the alpha into people’s hands and they can give us feedback. Then the beta, and eventually I guess we’ll get to that final release. We’ll continue building and developing even after that, however.

In other news, new Crate designer Zantai writes a blog-style entry on his work, with a number of accompanying screens:

Hello, people of Cairn! Zantai here to bring you the first chapter of the Grim Misadventures! As the title may suggest, the theme is modifier keys (ctrl, shift, alt). When one uses any new development tool, there are always going to be nuances you have to get used to. One major feature is the heavy use of the modifier keys. For example, holding down Alt while raising terrain will keep any assets already there at the same level they are at now, rather than also raising them. This is very useful for partially burying something or making it blend in with the ground. Ctrl may be used to erase something you did with the given tool (such as erasing a texture), or to raise and lower the height of the Plateau Tool. You know what else Ctrl is used for? Undo and redo! And you know what happens if you try to undo something with Ctrl-Z and then use the Plateau Tool because you forgot how this works?

Tuesday - June 19, 2012

Grim Dawn - Greetings from Jalex

by Dhruin, 01:00

Jesse Comb joins the Grim Dawn designer ranks and, like the last addition, is a refugee from 38 Studios:

Hello Grim Dawn fans!

My name is Jesse (in unison, “Hi Jesse”) AKA “Jalex” - the newest member of the Grim Dawn team! I’ve joined up as a designer and my main responsibilities will be creating beautiful (but twisted) playspaces, and filling them up with enemies you can hack, slash, and shoot your way through. In addition I’ll be writing and implementing fun quests that thematically fit the world.

Like Zantai, I’m a refugee of 38 Studios. When it closed - scratch that - imploded violently, my love of Titan Quest (and the modding tools!) drove me to contact Arthur about working on Grim Dawn, probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.

At 38, I was a Content Designer on an unreleased MMO codenamed Copernicus. My job was creating playspaces, filling them up with enemies, and creating quests that thematically fit the world. If that sounds similar to what I wrote above – that’s a good thing! I plan on taking everything I learned at 38 and put it to good use here. Obviously MMO’s and ARPG’s are a bit different beasts, but they share a lot of common design principles when it comes to providing you, the player, the best experience possible.

Prior to joining 38, I worked on several small teams, learning not only about design, but how to manage scope, wear a lot of hats, work with other disciplines, and meet deadlines. My most recent released title is Hamster: Attack! - where I designed all of the levels – it’s cute, cartoony, and casual – and I never want to do anything like that again.

The Grim Dawn setting is one that really resonates with me, and the game, even at this early state… simply amazing. It’s an indy venture, brought up to this state by barely a handful of people, and not backed by a big publisher. On the surface, that might seem risky - With Zantai, I just spent the last year of my life working on something that no one will ever see, outside of either of our control – So I’m sensitive to that kind of thing.

But just spending a couple of days in the game, and creating bits and pieces of content, I know this game will not only ship, but thrill players and critics alike- and I’m going to do my utmost to make sure that happens!
Thank you all for supporting Grim Dawn, and I’m truly honored to be a part of this community.

-Jesse “Jalex” Comb

Monday - June 11, 2012

Grim Dawn - Greetings from Zantai

by Dhruin, 22:17

Grim Dawn followers might be interested to meet Zantai, a new designer at Crate and ex-38 Studios developer:

Greetings people of the internet, especially you fantastic supporters of Grim Dawn. My name is Kamil “Zantai” Marczewski, and I have joined Arthur Bruno on his noble quest of bringing you one of the most memorable ARPG experiences to date. Specifically, my job will be to game the design, or possibly breathe life and mystery into the dark world of Cairn…or was it to consume energy drinks at an unhealthy pace to achieve a state of nirvana?

For the vast majority of you who do not know me, I started my game design career at the ripe age of twelve, building Starcraft mods. That passion has only grown over the years as I moved on to more complex and ambitious projects. My last modding work involved the once popular Starcraft II mod “Zerg Hunter RPG”( Since then, I had moved on to professional design work at 38 Studios where I was responsible for creating game content, including some very complicated scripted event work. As you may have heard, 38 Studios had recently closed amidst a rather unpleasant financial disaster that left many very talented people without work in a matter of weeks.

Monday - June 04, 2012

Grim Dawn - Update #18

by Dhruin, 22:01

I slept in this morning - at the start of E3 of all days...this will be a short update and I'll try to catch up over the following days.

Crate has tossed out an update on Grim Dawn, basically explaining the release of the serial keys, which seems to have caused some confusion:

We've gotten a few emails from people asking where to download the game and such.  Please be aware, Grim Dawn is not yet finished or even in alpha.  The purpose of this Kickstarter project was to raise funds to help us get it there.  We're anticipating alpha at the end of this year or early next. 

As soon as any version is released, you can be sure we'll make a lot of noise about it, send out updates, post announcements, etc.  

Wednesday - May 23, 2012

Grim Dawn - Update #17, What Happens Next?

by Dhruin, 00:35

Arthur Bruno updates us on Grim Dawn, now that the Kickstarter has successfully ended. It seems some people are expecting immediate results and Arthur explains the reality that there remains a long road ahead:

When will the alpha / beta be ready?!

Our current estimate is that alpha may be ready by the end of this year or early next year.  We're working our hardest to make this happen as soon as possible but we need to produce a certain amount of continuous, playable content and complete certain technical tasks before this can happen.

We expect beta to follow 4-6 months after alpha and then estimate August 2013 for the full release.  I'm sure no one wants us to rush and release the game before it is ready though.  After all, this is part of the reason we've avoided a standard publishing deal.  So, please be patient; it will all pay off when we reach the finish-line.

So what's happening now?  When can we see some new stuff?

I've already had a couple people asking me to release another status update on the game but, you have to understand, we've been putting a lot of energy into the KS campaign over the past month and we don't even have the money yet from it.  Some progress has been made on sounds, animation and programming but, we're still just two guys with a little part-time help, who have also been running a KS campaign.  So, beyond a successful KS project, there isn't a lot of tangible work to show yet.

Saturday - May 19, 2012

Grim Dawn - Update #16, Kickstarter Ends, $537k!

by Dhruin, 10:20

Crate's Kickstarter for Grim Dawn has ended with a bang - taking almost $90k in the last day to close out with $537k. That unlocks everything stretch goal, so head over to see Arthur Bruno drinking a Tri-beer in celebration.

Friday - May 18, 2012

Grim Dawn - Update #15, Hours Left

by Dhruin, 23:01

As I write, there are 7 hours left for the Grim Dawn Kickstarter, which is currently at $491k. That means all the original stretch goals have been met, including the additional survivor town at $480k:

We've already burned through all of the original stretch goals, which I honestly didn't even imagine could happen only a couple days ago.  Not only are SAVAGE two-handed melee weapons going in now but we're going to have three end-game bosses and now an entire new town!  Not to mention the minor goal of new / higher quality developer beer, by popular request, to replace the sad beer from Update #10.  ; )

This brings us to a point where we can start considering some other ambitious goals.  First, we've added a minor goal at $490k just to help expand the content with a few more monsters and items.  Next is a bigger goal that will allow us to add a new dungeon art-set that you'll get to vote on between catacombs, sewers and possibly other options (currently we have cellar, cave and mine).  The big goal at $520k is a new Survival gameplay mode that backers (both KS and existing website pre-orders) will get for free and which will be released after the full game (so as not to delay development).  In survival mode, you'll fight against waves of increasingly difficult enemies to test your mettle and see how how many waves you can survive.  Should be a ton of fun in co-op!

To top things off, we have another music track and a little work-in-progress screenshot for you.  The screenshot is in-editor showing some of the monsters we have partially completed, waiting on animation, just to give you a taste of what is to come.  We're also planning for some bigger, "demonier" enemies but currently we're just filling out the basics.  Oh, well, yes, the Aetherial Obelisk in the back isn't just the basics, that will be more of a mini-boss encounter and you'll encounter a few of them.  Also, of course, we'll be building 2 new bosses now.  ; )

Grim Dawn - Update #14, Five Stretch Goals Unlocked, Video

by Dhruin, 00:18

Grim Dawn's Kickstarter is currently at $437k (30 hours to go), which means a number of stretch goals have been unlocked:

I think congratulations are in order for everyone! We now have 5 stretch goals under our figurative belts and now at $400k you get to help us select a new environment type to add to the game!

Now too far away we get 2 new monster types and then a big one just a little beyond that at $25, which provides 3, uniquely themed, end-game dungeons!

Anything is possible in these last two days.  I know people are very eager for two-handed weapons, an additional end-game boss and, the big one, a new survivor town hidden somewhere in the wilderness!  While the latter goals are still distant, other kickstarters have pulled down far more in their final days, so it isn't totally out of the realm of reality.

There's also a new combat video in the same update, showing off a "dual-class melee build created by mixing primarily soldier skills with a bit of demolition".

Monday - May 14, 2012

Grim Dawn - Interview @ IncGamers

by Dhruin, 22:35

Arthur Bruno from Crate has been interviewed at IncGamers, discussing Grim Dawn but also some history about Titan Quest. Interestingly, it seems Amalur sank Iron Lore when THQ decided to purchase Big Huge Games:

IG: Would Iron Lore have looked at creating a Titan Quest sequel or was that never on the cards?

AB: That was actually part of the problem, they were fully expecting to do a sequel and were laying the groundwork for it when THQ basically said they weren’t interested in another PC-only game and wanted to see a new, multi-platform IP.  So, they changed course, started working on a multi-platform ARPG with a 3rd person, over the shoulder camera and action-style combat.  It was sort of like Oblivion meets Gears of War.  It was actually rather similar to the recently released Kingdoms of Amalur but in a darker, grittier setting. 

Coincidentally, we were all set to begin development with THQ when they suddenly pulled the plug and decided to buy Big Huge Games instead.  They had been talking to BHG about a multi-platform RPG at the same time as Iron Lore and from what I heard, once BHG got Ken Rolston to sign on, THQ basically wet their pants and couldn’t buy them fast enough.  After that, Iron Lore just couldn’t gain traction on a deal with another publisher fast enough and they ran out of money.

Since THQ owned the rights to Titan Quest, Iron Lore couldn’t just shop it around to another publisher, so it was basically dead at that point.

There's also a Kickstarter update, offering new music ($377k, 4 days to go).

Grim Dawn - Update #12

by Dhruin, 01:00

There's another Grim Dawn Kickstarter update with Arthur Bruno posting about some new reward tiers but also about the open world design and "dynamic barriers":

I've seen a few questions recently about dynamic barriers, how they effect progression through levels and how open is the open world.

I decided the best thing to do was to take an areal screenshot from the editor and create a little diagram to help explain what it's like.

**SPOILER ALERT** sort of... I don't really think this is a spoiler, you're going to experience it all in the first 10mins of the game anyway and it will look totally different when you're playing. However, if you're super sensitive about spoilers, this map is an overview of the first area outside of town showing all of the potential paths through it, the dynamic barriers groups and the location of breakable doors / walls. If you don't want to know anything about this, don't read any further and don't click on the link.

So, essentially, this map shows all the routes you can take as you exit town and wind your way through the first area, currently named "Lower Crossing". There are three different locations you can progress into and there are multiple different paths you can take to each. Some of the paths will be cut off by dynamic obstacles in different places during different play-throughs. However, there is always a way to circumnavigate the obstacles and get to wherever you want to go via a different route. Level Path Map

Friday - May 11, 2012

Grim Dawn - Hands-on @ GameSpy

by Dhruin, 13:42

GameSpy had the opportunity to take a hands-on look at Grim Dawn:

Grim Dawn may not be a completely open-world action RPG, but many barriers can be broken. For example, while on a road lined with stone walls, I found my Occultist surrounded by monsters. Not wanting my frail magic user to become lunch, I hurled a bolt of magic at the nearby stones and watched them crumble. I jumped through my self-made exit and took the fight out into an open field; as my attackers funneled through after me I was able to cut them down one at a time.

Grim Dawn - Update #11, Stretch Goals

by Dhruin, 13:39

I'm on the road at the moment, so the next couple of news updates will be late and jumbled.

Crate has posted their 11th Kickstarter update for Grim Dawn with 7 days to go ($324k), offering a number of stretch goals and a new music track:

The Kickstarter leg of the journey is coming to an end though.  We're heading into the final week and I know we all want to do our best to make sure we have a strong showing before the clock runs out.  There is still so much we could do with extra funding and you've all been asking to see some more clearly defined stretchy goals.  Below are some specific things we can commit to delivering at various levels.  Along with these specific goals, we'd also be incrementally expanding the general content.  While you look through them, here's some new music for you too.  ; )


  • Dual wielding pistols (feature tech and new animation set)


  • 25 extra pieces of unique item art


  • Additional end-game boss monster (total of 2) lurking somewhere out there in the darkness for you to find... [...]
  • Tuesday - May 08, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Update #10

    by Dhruin, 22:13

    As expected, Arthur Bruno has posted a video update for Grim Dawn's Kickstarter - head over to watch it. The pledges have kicked up to $296k in one day, so passing their goal appears to have inspired more people to jump in.

    Monday - May 07, 2012

    Grim Dawn - 100% Funded!

    by Dhruin, 22:15

    Crate's Grim Dawn Kickstarter is 100% funded with (as I write) $281k pledged (of $280k goal) and 11 days to go. There's no update from the team yet, so I'm sure we'll be posting about Grim Dawn again soon.

    Friday - May 04, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Update #9, New Music Track

    by Dhruin, 00:09

    Crate has released a new music track for Grim Dawn, titled 'Lonely Moon' (Kickstarter $250k, 15 days).

    Thanks, Justin.

    Tuesday - May 01, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Ask Me Anything @ Reddit

    by Dhruin, 22:08

    Crate's Arthur Bruno has been questioned by the Reddit community about Grim Dawn. As usual, it's a messy format to read but worth a look through for fans. An early question:

    What aspects of Titan Quest have been improved for Grim Dawn in your own opinion?

    The biggest are mood / atmosphere and combat. I always felt like TQ was a little flat in terms of the atmosphere. There wasn't that sense of mystery and danger that the Diablo games do so well. We've put a lot of effort into developing that more and creating an interesting world with a well-developed history. We've also put a ton of effort into combat and pacing. We've added blood / gore effects, enemy hit reactions, special deaths for some enemies, others ragdoll, zombies can be dismembered, hit sounds are crunchier, blood spatters on the ground and pools under bodies, etc.

    There are also a lot of cool new features though. The more open world is something I really enjoy as a player who prefers to ignore the main story and run off exploring. We've also added more randomized elements, dynamic weather, a faction system, destructible environments - really cool busting through doors or blowing up walls to reveal hidden areas.

    Monday - April 30, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Updates 7 & 8

    by Dhruin, 23:56

    Crate has kicked up a couple of Kickstarter updates for Grim Dawn ($220k, 18 days). The first is a video that discusses Sound and Music Creation:

    Update #7: Sound and music creation for Grim Dawn

    Posted about 8 hours ago

    ...and the next 

    In this update, Dan Crislip and Steve Pardo give us a behind-the-scenes peek into the sound and music work being done for Grim Dawn.  They've gone to great lengths to make the sound and music for Grim Dawn unique by incorporating real instruments and venturing far and wide to record different ambient and effects sounds. 

    ...and the second looks at link referrers - according to their data, direct links from RPGWatch have resulted in 41 pledges for $1488 in total. That doesn't put us in the league of the big sites (Rock, Paper, Shotgun $13,455) but it's in the same league as Facebook, and don't they rule the world?

    Saturday - April 28, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Update #6

    by Dhruin, 01:01

    Crate has a new Kickstarter update for Grim Dawn ($196k, 21 days) offering new reward tiers:

    After creating the new, lower tier co-op bundle, we started getting requests for higher tier bundles.  In response, recently we added co-op bundles for the $50 and $85 tiers, creating new $64 and $98 co-op tiers. 

    We felt that it didn’t make sense to have a co-op bundle where people couldn't play together until the full game was released, so we decided that the additional game-key in a tier would get the same level of access as the primary key.  So, for example, in the $64 bundle, both keys will have alpha / beta access.

    We also have a new tier, thanks to the people at Logitech who were kind enough to send us 25 Logitech® Optical Gaming Mouse G400s to use as rewards.  They look pretty slick and I have to admit, I’m sort of secretly hoping there will be one left over for me.  ; )

    Wednesday - April 25, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Updates 3,4,5

    by Dhruin, 00:30

    There has been a flurry of small updates for the Grim Dawn Kickstarter. The project home page has been updated with new screens and a video revealing a new Arcanist character, there's a new music track titled Cult of Ch'thon and a new co-op reward tier:

    We've had several requests for a way to pledge for two copies of the finished game, so we've created a $32 co-op bundle tier that offers a special low-price for those just looking to pick up an extra copy of Grim Dawn for a friend, family or loved one.

    Sunday - April 22, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Update #2, $146k

    by Dhruin, 00:02

    Crate has posted a new Kickstarter update for Grim Dawn, having raised $146k in four days. A snip:

    Wow, I can’t believe it; we’ve already passed the halfway point only 4 days into our Kickstarter project!  I want to thank and congratulate all of you because this is really your success more than it is ours.  You made this happen! The goodwill and encouragement I’ve seen in the last 4 days are beyond anything I expected.  Is this still the internets that I’m on? ; )

    Having just passed 50% of our funding goal, many of you are already looking forward to a new, higher goal, even beyond the immediate one of full funding and have started asking what we could do if we had more money.  $450k seems like a good next target.  Though we’re plateauing out as expected, we seem to be on a good trajectory where I believe we can reach that goal if we can keep the momentum going.  We’re planning some new videos, more updates and a couple other things over the coming weeks to help make that happen on our side.

    The most critical thing that I know everyone wants is more content.  There are some aspects of content development that are difficult to increase without extending our release, like class development.  However, most of content development can be laterally expanded with the help of more developers and art outsourcing, without impact the release date.  At $450k, we could bring on an additional designer, an artist and increase our outsourcing budget for equipment.

    Wednesday - April 18, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Update #1, Answers to Questions

    by Dhruin, 22:40

    Grim Dawn's first Kickstarter update offers more background on the project and responds to some comments:

    Just to clear things up, we do not have a publisher or really any funding at all right now besides a small trickle from our pre-orders, which has been very helpful but isn't near enough to pay even one person full-time wages. We aren't a big portion of the team from Iron Lore as some might assume, we're just two full-time guys and a few friends from Iron Lore who help us out as much as they can on nights and weekends. We all work remotely in home offices as we can't currently afford to rent a space. So, we're about as indie as it gets and definitely aren't double-dipping. [...]

    Finally, I just wanted to respond to a couple comments I've seen where people have expressed that they think Kickstarter should only be used to fund projects that couldn't happen otherwise.  Grim Dawn couldn't happen if we weren't willing to start this project with no funding and work for the past 2.5 years without any pay.  It also couldn't happen if the other developers who have contributed over the years weren't willing to donate some of their free time on nights and weekends to create art and animations for us.  It is still true today that the only reason Grim Dawn can continue to happen is that we're still willing and able to keep working unpaid.

    So, I don't think it is fair for people to say a project that isn't started, because no one was willing to put in any work on it without full funding first, is more worthy than a project that people had the dedication to start themselves without money.  I'm not knocking on any of the other projects, I can appreciate that those other studios have employees to support and maybe can't afford to invest free time into a new project but I also don't think we should be penalized because we did.

    Tuesday - April 17, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Kickstarter Launched

    by Dhruin, 13:08

    Crate has launched their Kickstarter for Grim Dawn, looking for $280,000 in funding. It has literally just started, so it's too early to say anything about the pledges, but we'll watch the progress as it proceeds.

    From the blurb:

    Grim Dawn is an action role-playing game for PC and a spiritual successor to Titan Quest.  For the past two years a small team of former Iron Lore veterans at Crate Entertainment have been developing Grim Dawn with their own, improved version of the Iron Lore engine and tools; the same technology used to create Titan Quest.

    We’ve listened to years of feedback from the Titan Quest community and continue to do so every day on the Grim Dawn forums as we strive to improve upon past performance and make this our greatest work yet.  The creation of Grim Dawn is guided by traditional design and old school sensibilities, with innovation only in the areas where we feel it truly improves the game and isn't just a gimmicky back of the box feature.

    Grim Dawn will:

    • Be DRM free!
    • Include robust modding tools so you can create your own worlds!
    • Be faster-paced, with much more satisfying enemy hit reactions and deaths.
    • Allow you to fight house-to-house as you lay waste to enemies and the former owner’s furniture in the process.  Break through walls to open up new areas of exploration!
    • Feature a more open-world design with randomized elements that will greatly enhance replay-ability.  Each play-through will be unique with "set-piece" spawners that can turn a patch of wilderness into different types of enemy camps, a traveling merchant caravan, etc, each with their own unique art.
    • We don’t control where you go; you do!  If you don't want to follow the main story, you aren't forced to.  Non-linear progression allows you to unlock new areas by repairing bridges, defeating enemy blockades, etc, as soon as you have the resources and power to do it.  Race ahead into higher-level areas and get pwned, we'll warn you but we're not going to stop you!
    • Let you combine any two of five distinct skill classes, each with multiple skill trees in which to specialize.  Spend money to reclaim skill points if you’re unhappy with your build.
    • Have a refined loot system that drops far less junk-items, produces more uber randomized gear and ensures more consistent rewards from hero and boss monsters.
    • Immerse you in a gritty, dangerous, Victorian era fantasy world where humankind has been pushed to the brink of extinction by warring otherworldly powers. 
    • Give players meaningful quest choices and the ability to visually change the starting town as they help to rebuild and secure the future survival of humanity.
    • Let you ally with NPC factions to earn rewards and unlock new quest lines.  Be wary though, aiding one group can make another your enemy!
    • Join up with friends in coop-multiplayer through online match-making or play over LAN and experience the full game together.
    • And so much more…

    Saturday - March 31, 2012

    Grim Dawn - State of the Game Address

    by Dhruin, 01:01

    After the previous "how much money can we get?" post was apparently misinterpreted, Crate has re-approached from a different angle. This State of the Game Address on the Grim Dawn forums outlines their current development position in detail. A small sample:

    Where is the game at?

    As you can see from the Occultist video, the gameplay is well developed and already quite fun. Balance is fairly good for an alpha. Physics, pathing, and all of those sort of underlying systems are in reasonable shape but could use polish. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough playable or content to constitute an alpha quite yet. More on that below. Major UI is all working, although the art could use some love.

    This is probably the single most significant effort left before we can release the full game. We have an area almost finished that would probably provide about 2-4 hours of gameplay that is probably sufficient for the alpha. There is a much larger expanse of world beyond that, which is laid out but in varying levels of completion. Finally, there are areas we've planned even further out that don't yet exist.

    I put together a quick little progress-map using a shot of the actual levels taken from the editor layout mode to help illustrate this.

    The green areas are the mostly finished levels. This is probably about large enough for us to begin the alpha with once we finish adding the quests, close off the exits into unplayable area, and tidy it up. As I said, this is probably about 2-4 hours but could grow once it has some questing. It can also currently be replayed up to level 30 since I haven't put the enemy level cap on the starting area yet. [...]

    Tuesday - March 27, 2012

    Grim Dawn - If we had more money...

    by Dhruin, 23:45

    A post on the Crate forums gives some thought-bubble examples of the things they could do with Grim Dawn if their Kickstarter really succeeded. And I mean "really":


    • More equipment, enemies, and quests!
    • More quests with meaningful choices
    • Dual-wield pistols


    • MORE equipment, enemies, and quests!
    • Additional randomly generated quests for endless adventure
    • Two-handed melee weapons
    • Larger world with a couple extra environments
    • Translation to EFIGS
    • Intro voice-over for all main quest dialog


    • EVEN MOAR! Equipment, quests, enemies!
    • More sandbox and faction based gameplay elements
    • Additional larger quest-lines with alternate endings
    • An animated story intro for the game
    • Full voice-over for main quests
    • Intro Voice-over for side-quests and most NPC dialog

    Head over for tiers going up to $4.5M+

    Monday - March 26, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Kickstarter Update

    by Dhruin, 21:22

    A general update from Crate as they get their Grim Dawn Kickstarter campaign ready:

    Kickstarter Project from HELL!

    Just wanted to update you guys since I've pretty much been working on this god damned beast of a Kickstarter project for about 4 days now and haven't produced any GD updates.

    Man, I knew this was going to be some work but its taken a lot more time and been more of a challenge than I was expecting. Not only have I learned that my friends and I are not professional film people but trying to write out the story of your "life's work" for the past two years in a way that will interest and impact other people is really tough.

    I feel like I am honing in on a final product but even when I'm finished, I feel like there will still be so much left unsaid.  

    Actually, that reminds me, one of the pledge rewards I've been thinking about is a book to tell the story of Crate Entertainment and cover the development of Grim Dawn.

    Saturday - March 24, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Kickstarter Coming

    by Dhruin, 21:59

    Perhaps we should rename the site to KickstarterWatch? Back in January the prospect of a Kickstarter campaign was raised on the Grim Dawn forums but the thought at the time was not enough money would be raised to be worthwhile. I followed up a tweet that suggested they had changed their mind and, indeed, a Kickstarter campaign is being developed for Crate's action/RPG. From their forums:

    I'm actually working on a Kickstarter project right now. It is a fair amount of work to get set up and the biggest thing will be trying to produce a decent video. We're hoping to get it up in the next week or so.

    When I initially looked at Kickstarter, my thought was that it seemed unlikely for us to be able to generate much more than a $100k or so based on what other projects were doing. However, given the level of money Double Fine and Wasteland have generated, I think it is definitely worth trying out.

    What would we need to do something useful? Well, we could do amazing things with a million or more but even $300k would be enough for us to bring on 2-3 more people full-time, which would be a HUGE help.

    We're basically at this point right now where we have the technology mostly finished, the core gameplay is fully functioning and actually quite fun but it is just taking a looooonnnggg time to build out content. Just as an example, we currently have a backlog of 5 monsters that are finished but waiting on animation. Our animator is working as hard as he can but he lost a few weeks crunching on that Warhammer 40k MMO. So, really, just being able to get a few more people working full-time would speed things up tremendously.

    I'll share the project link with you guys before I make it live so you can provide feedback.   

    Friday - March 16, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Occultist Class Video

    by Dhruin, 23:40

    It's been a while since there was new Grim Dawn footage, so I know this will excite a bunch of you: Occultist class video.

    Wednesday - February 29, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Underground Prototype

    by Dhruin, 22:25

    Crate has posted an update on the Grim Dawn forums along with some screens of a cellar:

    Been working out a better way to do undergrounds that utilizes the heightmap, instead of the old tile grid, which was limiting and required a lot of unique geometry just to make a very basic scene.

    Here are some screenshots of a "cellar" style underground. This was just supposed to be a prototype but I think it is getting close to a finished product. Just needs a little polish and more art.

    Getting the undergrounds constructed is one of the larger tasks left to finish before alpha release, so this is a big step forward.

    Also, you might notice we've been playing around with the UI based on prior feedback about it being a little too crowded and noisy. Rhis hates it, of course, but me let know what you think.

    Monday - February 13, 2012

    Grim Dawn - New Screens

    by Dhruin, 20:16

    Crate has released some new Grim Dawn screens showing off the Abandoned Waterfront district and some UI changes:


    As promised, here are a few screens of the new area I've been working on. These show some intense combat in the alleys and buildings in the interior of this level. I hope you enjoy!

    Also, note the new targeting UI, which we finally updated based on some feedback from the forum that we got a few months ago. It's nothing fancy but I think it is much cleaner and easier to read than the old one, which had a noisy border that people complained about.

    Please proceed to the media section in an orderly fashion...


    Wednesday - February 08, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Development Update

    by Dhruin, 20:54

    A small Grim Dawn update from the Crate forums:

    Just wanted to let you guys know we're working on some new stuff that I hope to share soon but it is taking a little longer than expected to finish it up.

    One thing I hope to show soon is a sort of warehouse / waterfront district that is shaping up nicely. It will feature a lot of big buildings and narrow alleys to fight through, with several places where randomized barriers can alter the flow of the level.

    Also finishing up some work with the Occultist class and I should have some more to share about that.

    Tuesday - January 10, 2012

    Grim Dawn - Development Update

    by Aries100, 01:23

    Arthur Bruno from Crate Entertainment has made an update on the development for this game. But first, a screenshot and then a quote:

    I'm currently in modular house hell, attempting to reconfigure the modular house assets so that they use a smaller texture space, create fewer draw-calls to the graphics card and are easy to place in levels. It is an extremely tedious process but, in an effort to ensure the best performance possible, it is something that must be done. Some texture / model improvements happened along the way, so that may be noticeable in future screenshots once this is all done. These modular pieces will provide a ton of flexibility to modders though, allowing them to go crazy creating all sorts of unique building layouts.

    Source: GameBanshee

    Tuesday - December 13, 2011

    Grim Dawn - New UI Layout

    by Dhruin, 22:41

    Crate Entertainment has revealed a new HUD layout for Grim Dawn. It's a single work-in-progress screen that doesn't have final art but head to their forums for a look.

    Tuesday - November 08, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Two Screens

    by Dhruin, 20:14

    Two screens have been released on the Grim Dawn forums showing "the randomized barrier feature we've added that will help to provide some variation in the flow of levels from one play-through to another".

    Wednesday - September 21, 2011

    Grim Dawn - New Music Track

    by Dhruin, 23:48

    From the Grim Dawn site:

    New music track "What Once Was," has been posted to the media section. Hope you enjoy; more to come soon!

    Monday - August 29, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Two Screens

    Thursday - August 11, 2011

    Grim Dawn - New Screens

    by Dhruin, 00:59

    Crate Entertainment has kicked up some new screens for Grim Dawn.

    Wednesday - August 03, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Interview @ RPS

    by Dhruin, 23:20

    It's been a while since we've seen anything on Grim Dawn beyond some screens, so it's nice to see a full interview at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Arthur Bruno provides some lengthy answers, so here's a partial snip on a very long rant about dumbing down and what Grim Dawn will do differently:

    I love systems that are asymmetrical and chaotic, where the player can’t easily see the tell-tale structure and patterns of deliberate, organized human design. The real world isn’t always perfectly planned or sensible and I don’t think game worlds should be either, otherwise you see the hand of the developers everywhere you look and it erodes the magic of feeling like you are in a living and unpredictable world. Exploration of game systems is all about the discovery of what is possible. When there is too clear a structure and pattern to the design, not only does it feel artificial but the player is much more quickly able to assess the limits of the system. Unfortunately, most of the industry is moving away from this sort of design.

    There has been a growing realization in the industry, propelled in previous years by Wii sales and more recently by the astronomical success of social games like FarmVille and smartphone games like Angry Birds, that the vast scale of the casual market makes it a veritable goldmine. Publishers and developers are increasingly looking to boost their sales by attracting more of the casual market and increase their revenue by getting this larger audience to make a lot of small purchases.

    To court the casual audience, developers are simplifying game systems and minimizing the potential for inexperienced players to make bad choices. They’re reducing the amount of time it takes to finish games, adding a constant stream of visible rewards for increasingly simplified achievements, and allowing players to pay for success when the effort of achieving it through the game proves too challenging or time consuming. We’ve come a long way from my childhood, where failure in most games caused you to start completely over from the beginning, to a point where it is impossible to fail in many games and in some you can just pull out your credit card when you decide it is time to win.

    The sad reality though, is that this isn’t some evil corporate executives have perpetrated upon humanity, it’s what people want. At least, some people. Well, as it stands, it appears to be quite a lot of people and that is why the industry and gaming is largely trending in this direction. This is all anathema to what I love about games and is much of the reason that I’ve forgone earning an income the past couple years and instead slave away, with a few other dedicated souls, to create a game that we hope will embody some of what we loved about the games of yesteryear.

    While the casual market is certainly large, the hardcore gaming audience has also grown tremendously over recent years. As the heavyweights of the industry move to grab a piece of the massive casual market I think this creates an opportunity for a smaller company like us. I believe many in the more traditional, core gaming audience are starting to become frustrated with the changes they’re seeing to their most beloved games. They say you can’t please all of the people all of the time and I think this is certainly true. Our belief is that we can perhaps better please some of the people most of the time by catering Grim Dawn more closely to the desires of that traditional, core audience (and ourselves).

    So yeah, what are we doing that is unique? Moving backwards some might say…

    Friday - July 29, 2011

    Grim Dawn - New UI Screens

    by Dhruin, 00:49

    A couple of new UI screens have been released at the Grim Dawn site, showing some of the improvements they have made:

    Two screenshots showing updates to the HUD and character screen have been posted in the media section. The updated character screen incorporates many of the suggestions made by fans from our previous post, including fixes to text formating, darker backgrounds to make items pop better, a touch more color, cleaning lines, etc. Now on to the rest!

    Wednesday - June 29, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Two Screens

    by Dhruin, 01:02

    Two new Grim Dawn screens:

    A couple new screenshots have been posted in the media section. One shows the after-effects of a freezing blast emitted by a piece of magical armor. The other two are sequential, showing a demolitionist taking down a group of grobles and their dranghoul chieftain.

    Monday - June 20, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Main Menu Screen

    by Dhruin, 22:45

    Head over to the Grim Dawn forums if you'd like to see how the Main Menu is coming together.

    Monday - June 13, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Occult Mastery Revealed

    by Dhruin, 23:07

    Head over to the Grim Dawn forums for a single screen revealing the third skill mastery in Crate's action/RPG:

    Here is a peak at the 3rd mastery as it is shaping up.

    It is still early in development and anything could change. So far though, it is shaping up to include two powerful pets, crippling debuffs, and damage over time spells. The first pet is a mystical great raven, a familiar that supports the Occultist with healing spells, buffs, and attack spells of its own. The second pet is a hellhound with vicious melee attacks and hellfire breath.

    Friday - May 13, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Merchant and Inventory Screens

    Tuesday - March 29, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Combat Video Redux

    by Dhruin, 23:29

    Looks like the Grim Dawn pre-Alpha combat video one of our readers noticed a few days back has been officially released and you can now watch it (again). The blurb from the official site:

    Huzzah! At long last, we are very proud to present our first video of Grim Dawn gameplay. This video shows a mostly soldier class character rampaging through the Burrwitch Slums area outside Devil's Crossing. Behold as zombies are gibbed, furniture is trashed, and... well, more things are gibbed! Rounding out the end of the video is a peak at one of the demolition class skills: canister bomb.

    Thanks also to juanpablo87 for a similar submission.

    Wednesday - March 23, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Pre-Alpha Combat Video

    by Dhruin, 08:26

    Crate Entertainment has kicked up a pre-Alpha video with the first look at combat in Grim Dawn.

    Thanks, MrSanta78!

    Edit: This has beenmarked "private" now, unfortunately, but hopefully it will be back.

    Wednesday - March 16, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Two Screens

    Wednesday - February 09, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Arthur Bruno Interview

    by Dhruin, 21:21

    The Grim Dawn site is pointing out a profile interview of Lead Designer, Arthur Bruno.  The interview was actually conducted by a fan for a class of theirs, so the article focuses on the industry and Arthur's background but might be worth a read for fans:

    How did Crate come to be with the employees that it has?

    After Iron Lore closed, there were a number of us that wanted to find a way to continue working together.  I’d had aspirations to eventually try opening a company but I hadn’t expected to be doing it so soon.  Sometimes though, you just have to go for it when the right opportunity arises and there we were, a bunch of experienced developers all out of work at the same time.  Unfortunately, not many people were in a financial position to go for very long without an income.  So, I started out by calling around trying to see what sort of opportunities were out there for us.  I was able to find contracting work with another local studio that had more projects underway than they could effectively manage and were looking for some art and design leadership on one of them.  We were only able to bring over a small number of people, so other’s were forced to take jobs elsewhere.  Eventually the contracting work dried up as the economic crisis of 2008 / 2009 hit.  The guy’s I started out with eventually couldn’t continue without income and had to seek jobs for themselves.  It was a tough time and I almost gave up on Crate.  For a while it was just me pursuing funding for smaller projects that would allow us to get the team back together.  With the economic conditions being what they were, no one wanted to take that kind of investment risk in a small startup like Crate.  As I was on the verge of giving up and looking for a job myself, I made one final effort to ponder my options and think about what else I could do.  About the same time, the owners of Iron Lore had just about given up trying to sell the Titan Quest engine and they’d found their way into new jobs.  So, I approached them and was able to work out a deal to acquire the engine.  With the Iron Lore engine and tool set, we’d be able to start building a game immediately without any outside funding.  First only a couple of the Iron Lore guys were working with me to get the project up and running.  Eventually, as we gained momentum, more people became interested.  Only a couple people have been able to devote themselves to it full-time but others work nights and weekends.  The further we’ve progressed, the more I think people have bought into the idea that we can really finish this game and the more help we’ve gotten.  I’m fairly confident now that we will finish Grim Dawn, the challenge is just trying to get it finished in a reasonable amount of time.  Once Grim Dawn releases, we will be faced with a new, and perhaps equally great challenge of taking the company to the next step.  

    Monday - February 07, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Yet More New Music

    Friday - January 14, 2011

    Grim Dawn - More New Music

    Tuesday - January 11, 2011

    Grim Dawn - Music Sample

    by Dhruin, 22:59

    Head over to the Grim Dawn site for a new music sample:

    Our sound guy's have been busy and, I have to say, I'm impressed with the results. They'll be releasing some new tracks over the next few weeks and the first of them, titled "They Come," has been posted to the media section.

    Wednesday - December 15, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Two Screens

    Tuesday - October 26, 2010

    Grim Dawn - First Video

    by Dhruin, 22:50

    Huh.  I posted a Grim Dawn snippet yesterday for the sake of some minor news on the game and today they have their first video.  It's a short environmental showcase with the camera rotating around a static character but it does look pretty.  The accompanying blurb warns Grim Dawn is "pre-pre-pre-alpha and I might have even missed a pre", so take that into account.

    Monday - October 25, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Items with Skills

    by Dhruin, 21:40

    This is a bit of a minor update but we haven't had anything on Grim Dawn for a while.  There's an update on their forums on items that affix skills.

    Saturday - August 07, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Recap & Pre-Order

    by Woges, 16:26

    There's a snippet of details on Grim Dawn @ Rock Paper Shotgun.

    One Mr Afifi reminds me of the existence of Grim Dawn. It’s being created by veterans of the sadly missed Iron Lore – who you’ll remember from Titan Quest. Last time I checked there was no images, but there’s a mass of early Alpha shots to nose at now, as well as talk about its features such as destructible scenery, building characters from five skill-classes and NPC-faction-relations. Oh – and multiplayer. They’re also giving the option to pre-order now, for twenty dollars basic version or pay more to get special editions (and your name in the credits). I strongly suspect this will be worth keeping an eye on so – er – I will. I’m a bit of a Beholder in terms of the amount of eyes I’m able to access to keep track of RPGs. Very handy.

    Monday - July 19, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Interview @ Big Download

    by Dhruin, 22:39

    Crate co-founder Arthur Bruno speaks to Big Download about the closing of Iron Lore, establishing Crate and, of course, Grim Dawn.  Here's a snip on the game itself:

    We have seen action-RPGs before. What will make Grim Dawn stand out from the rest?

    We're not really trying to stand out so much as we're trying to make an exceptional game for an existing audience that improves upon their previous experience. That said, we have added quite a few new features. Most of them though are just tried and true mechanics that have existed in the RPG genre since I was kid but just weren't in Titan Quest. I would say our top two goals are to make the combat more satisfying and the questing / fictional world deeper and more robust.

    For combat we've created a new hit-effect system, added blood and dismemberment death effects for some enemies, and improved the physics. On the questing side we now have a faction system a new quest system that provides the ability for the player to make choices that could lead to different quest paths. We've also spent a lot more time developing the fictional world of Cairn, in which Grim Dawn is set; its history, conflicts, and characters. There is both an older history that provides a backdrop for the game's events and gives the world character but also a newer history that the character can pick up on and become involved in through questing and the collection of journals.

    Saturday - June 19, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Screens @ Official Site

    by Magerette, 17:23

    The folks at the official site for Crate Entertainment's work in progress, Grim Dawn have posted a few screenshots since our last report. Head over to check them out.

    Wednesday - May 26, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Screen @ Official Forum

    Wednesday - March 10, 2010

    Grim Dawn - First Screenshots @ Official Website

    by Aries100, 16:55

    The company behind Grim Dawn has updated their site with the first screenshots from the game. The game is still very early in development as this disclaimer shows:

    Please note that developers do not usually allow their audience to see a game this early in development while the art is still in such a rough, unpolished state. However, we felt it was worth the risk because we want you, our fans, to be involved in the development of the game and to watch as things progress. So, please, keep in mind that we're not releasing materials to drum up buzz a few months in advance of release, rather, Grim Dawn is still pre-pre-pre-alpha and I might have even missed a pre. Thank you for your understanding!

    Source: GameBanshee

    Wednesday - January 20, 2010

    Grim Dawn - Website, Fan-funding

    by Dhruin, 06:06

    Remember Crate Entertainment, the ex-Iron Lore devs working on Grim Dawn using the Titan Quest engine?  They've had a website up for a couple of weeks that we've only recently noticed (thanks yerkyerk on our forums) and they're also trying fan-funding.  There are three tiers - $19.85, $32 and $48 - for donations that will help keep them independent and also get you a copy of the game once released.  A snip:

    We have received many emails from enthusiastic fans asking if they could donate money to Crate Entertainment and Grim Dawn. After the success our friends at Unknown Worlds have had with pre-orders of their upcoming “Natural Selection 2” (Gamasutra article: Pre-Sales Completely Changed Our Financial Picture), we've decided to follow their lead.

    We hope that with your donations, Crate will be able to keep Grim Dawn privately funded, develop more content for the initial release and perhaps even sneak in some of the new features most requested by our fans.

    The greatest impact of pre-ordering now is that it will help save us, the developers, from having to give up the intellectual property rights to Grim Dawn in exchange for additional funding. This is not only important for us as a company but it has benefits for you, our audience, as well. It means that Crate will be able to continue interacting openly with the community and freely sharing information. Post-release we will be able to decide when to work on updates for the community and what to include in them. Most importantly, you will be giving us control over the future of our creation; allowing Crate to produce expansions and sequels without having to pitch each new project to an IP-holder that could potentially decide to discontinue the Grim Dawn franchise.

    Wednesday - October 07, 2009

    Grim Dawn - Named: Crate Entertainment's Game

    by Dhruin, 09:01

    Nor surprisingly, is following Crate Entertainment - formed by several ex-Iron Lore staffers - and a change of name for the forum for Crate's upcoming hack'n'slasher reveals the title: Grim Dawn.  There's no new information at this stage but a name is a start.

    Source: GameBanshee

    Information about

    Grim Dawn

    Developer: Crate Entertainment

    SP/MP: Single + MP
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: Hack & Slash
    Combat: Real-time
    Play-time: 20-40 hours
    Voice-acting: Partially voiced

    Regions & platforms
    · Homepage
    · Platform: PC
    · To be announced
    · Publisher: Unknown