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Mechanics

Character AttributesEdit

There are three character attributes in Grim Dawn, which are similar to the traditional ARPG Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence stats. They are:

  • Physique
  • Cunning
  • Spirit

Physique Edit

Physique is the primary item requirement for armor, melee weapons and shields. It provides the following benefits:

  • +0.04 (1/25) Health regeneration per second per Physique beyond the base of 50.
  • +2.5 Bonus Health.
  • +0.5 Defensive Ability (chance to be avoid hits, avoid crits, and reduce crit damage dealt to you).

Assigning 1 Attribute Point to Physique grants +8 Physique (+20 Bonus Health, +0.32 Bonus Health Regen, and 4 Defensive Ability.

Cunning Edit

Cunning is the primary item requirement for ranged weapons, and provides the following benefits:

  • +0.33% Bonus Physical Damage (Counts the base of 50 for a bonus of +16.67% at level 1)
  • +0.285% Bonus Pierce Damage (Counts the base of 50 for a bonus of +14.25% at level 1)
  • +0.333% Bonus Duration Damage (Counts the base of 50 for a bonus of +16.67% at level 1)
  • +0.5 Offensive Ability (chance to hit with attacks and spells, chance to crit, and damage dealt by crits)

Assigning 1 Attribute Point to Cunning grants +8 Cunning (+2.67% Bonus Physical Damage,+2.28% Bonus Pierce Damage, +2.67% Bonus Duration Damage, and 4 Offensive Ability.

Note: Bonuses to physical, pierce, and duration damage from cunning apply to both spells and attacks that deal those damage types.

Spirit Edit

Spirit is the primary requirement for rings and amulets, and for caster-oriented weapons, armor, and off-hand items such as tomes. It also provides the following benefits:

  • +0.33% Bonus Magical Damage (Counts the base of 50 for a bonus of +16.5% at level 1)
  • +0.333% Bonus Duration Damage (Counts the base of 50 for a bonus of +16.67% at level 1)
  • +2 Bonus Energy
  • +0.01 Bonus Energy Regen (not a percentage)

Assigning 1 Attribute Point to Spirit grants +8 Spirit (+2.67% Bonus Magical Damage, +2.67% Bonus Duration Damage, 16 Bonus Energy, and +0.08 Bonus Energy Regen.

Note: Bonuses to Magical Damage and Duration Damage from Spirit apply to both spells and attacks that deal those damage types.

Note: Cunning will only increase Bleed and Internal Trauma Duration Damage Types, while Spirit increases the remaining.

Damage TypesEdit

There are (10) damage types in Grim Dawn, some of which have an additional Duration Damage sub-type.

Pierce Damage bypasses all armor and is reduced solely by Piercing Resistance.

Internal Trauma, a physical damage DoT, is reduced only by Physical Resistance.

"Elemental Damage" refers to Fire, Lightning, and Cold. If a source lists only "Elemental Damage" it will add the resistance to each Fire, Lightning and Cold types.

CombatEdit

Armor Edit

Armor protects against Physical Damage only. It does not reduce any other type of damage, including Pierce and Internal Trauma.
Armor in Grim Dawn is location-based. Whenever an enemy attacks you with a physical attack or skill, an area on your body will be randomly selected to take the hit. The chance for each area to be hit is:
  • Head: 12%
  • Shoulders: 12%
  • Torso: 24%
  • Arms: 16%
  • Legs: 20%
  • Feet: 16%
This means that upgrading your equipment is equally important across all armor slots. If you have low protection in a slot, you are vulnerable to hard hits in that area.

Landing Hits and Critical Hits Edit

The ability to hit and critically hit is directly tied to your Offensive Ability (OA) and your target’s Defensive Ability (DA). When your OA is higher than your opponent’s DA, your chance to hit and even critically hit will increase.
As you continue to gain more bonuses to your OA, you will reach higher critical multipliers. The highest possible critical multiplier is x3.5, but to achieve this threshold you must either significantly out-level your target or have invested heavily in your OA.
Both weapon attacks and abilities rely on OA to hit and critically hit, so OA is an important attribute for any character. Offensive Ability and Defensive Ability can be increased through Cunning and Physique, respectively, and directly through equipment and skills.

 % Weapon Damage Edit

Skills that deal % Weapon Damage take the damage and effects you would deal on a regular attack with your weapon and multiplies it by the displayed %. This includes things such as life steal, bonus magical damage and chance on attack item skills.
For example: 125% Weapon Damage on a skill will take your basic attack and multiply it by x1.25.

Flat vs. Percent Damage Edit

Damage on equipment comes in two forms: Flat Damage and Percent Damage. Flat Damage applies only to your weapon attacks and does not increase the damage from your skills unless they include a % Weapon Damage component. If found on a weapon, the Flat Damage bonus applies only to that weapon.
Percent Damage bonuses affect all damage dealt of that type, which includes skills and weapon attacks. So if you have a 20% bonus to Fire Damage, all of your fire-based skills will do increased damage, as well as any fire damage you deal on weapon attacks.

Elemental Damage Edit

Elemental Damage is a combination of the three basic magical elements: Fire, Ice and Lightning. When it appears as flat damage, Elemental Damage will be dealt as 1/3 Fire + 1/3 Ice + 1/3 Lightning, divided equally.
Percent Elemental Damage on the other hand is a bonus to all three elements equal to the full value. It is not split evenly. This makes percent Elemental Damage a powerful way to increase several damage types at once.
Note that Elemental damage bonuses are not applied to burn, frostburn or electrocute.

 % Current Life Damage Edit

Percent Current Life Damage is dealt as a fraction of the monster's current health. This causes Percent Current Life damage to be less effective the closer to death the target is. The damage is not a temporary reduction to the target's maximum health.
Note that Hero and Boss Monsters have a high resistance to this damage type.

Life Steal Edit

Percent of Attack Damage Converted to Health is a form of life steal available in Grim Dawn. It functions differently depending on whether you find it on equipment or on a skill. When on equipment, life steal applies only to your weapon attacks. If you use a skill with % Weapon Damage, that component of the skill benefit from the life steal.
When found on a skill, Percent of Attack Damage Converted to Health applies to all of that skill's damage.

Passively Activated Weapon Skills Edit

Some abilities in Grim Dawn are passively activated on your basic attacks. The Soldier and Nightblade masteries provide several examples of this. Each of these abilities has a chance to activate, which is displayed as a percentage. What that means is that on every basic attack you do, you will have a chance of using the ability instead.
As you invest in these skills, their chance of activation will increase. It is possible to get the total chance of activating passive weapon abilities to go beyond 100%. When this occurs, all of your basic attacks will be replaced by abilities and their chances of activation will be used to determine their relative frequency.

Shields Edit

Shields are the definitive defensive option for the off-hand. When you are struck by an attack with a shield equipped, you will have a chance to block some of the damage (shields can block any damage type). When this occurs, you will be unable to block again until the shield’s Block Recovery time has expired. This cooldown can be reduced through various skills and equipment.
Some abilities can use the shield when striking, rather than your weapon. In this case, the % Weapon Damage component of the ability will use the shield’s damage rather than your main-hand.

Crowd Control Edit

There are many ways in Grim Dawn with which you can lock down your target’s ability to react to you. These effects are known as crowd control. The following are the various effects players (and monsters) can use to get advantage in battle:
  • StunStun - This effect prevents all actions for its duration.
  • Freeze - This effect prevents all actions for its duration.
  • Petrify - This effect prevents all actions for its duration.
  • Knockdown - This effect sends the target flying and crumbling to the ground. The target will stand back up at the end of its duration. Players are immune to knockdowns.
  • Trap - This effect immobilizes the target for its duration. It is particularly strong against melee monsters.
  • Confusion - This effect causes the target to wander aimlessly for its duration. Players are immune to confusion.
  • Fear - This effect causes the target to flee from the caster for its duration. Players are immune to fear.
  • Sleep - This effect prevents all actions for its duration, but will end early if the target takes damage.
  • Convert - This effect causes the target to fight on your side for its duration. Players are immune to convert.
  • Slow - This effect reduces the attack speed, cast speed, move speed or a combination of all three of the target for its duration.

Buffs, Debuffs and Damage over Time Edit

There are many effects in Grim Dawn which can be applied through several different sources. Whenever this occurs, the strongest effect always takes precedence. For example, if two players in a multiplayer session have the same aura active, the player who invested more skill points into the aura will have theirs take effect while the other player’s will not apply its bonuses.
This works similarly for debuffs and damage over time effects. If you apply a % reduction to a monster’s damage by using a skill and then do the same thing with a weapon attack, only the strongest debuff will be take effect. The effects do not stack.
Damage over time (DoT) effects are different. Unlike debuff effects, DoTs stack from different sources and always do full damage. For example, if you apply Poison with your weapon, and then another Poison effect with a spell, both will deal full damage. (source)
In the case that a strong effect has a shorter duration than a weaker effect, the weaker effect will become active once the stronger effect expires.

Constitution Edit

Constitution is a secondary health regeneration system which activates outside of combat. Commonly referred to as Out-Of-Combat Regeneration, its purpose is to reduce a player's overall reliance on health potions and eliminate the need to drink potions after battles to refill health before engaging the next group of enemies.
Constitution-Full

A health bar with full constitution.

Constitution-Activating

Constitution activating to restore health.

Constitution-Used

A portion of Constitution used up to restore a player's health.

Constitution is represented by a yellow overlay on the health bar. Whenever Out-Of-Combat Regen activates, the Constitution pool will be drained as the health bar rapidly refills. After running out of Constitution, health will no longer regenerate outside of combat. To exit combat, the player must avoid dealing or taking damage for 2.5 seconds.

A character starts with 300 points of constitution, and each point heals 1% of maximum health. This means a character can fully regenerate three times before constitution runs out.

Constitution can be restored in various ways:
  • Gaining a level
  • Picking up Vital Essence (33%) or Food Rations (75%) from a fallen enemy or a Journeyman’s Pack
  • Looting an Untouched Meal
  • Dying
  • Speaking to the Cook in Devil’s Crossing or Homestead (available once per game session)

Potions Edit

Potions serve as a means to restore health or energy in an emergency.
  • Tonics of Mending restore 35% of your health instantly and another 40% over a few seconds. They are on an 8 second cooldown.
  • Elixirs of Spirit restore 33% + 500 of your energy instantly. They are on a 30 second cooldown.

Pets Edit

Pets are powerful companions you can summon to your aid. These can be anything from a trusty raven familiar to a devious thermite mine. All pets scale separately from you and benefit from special bonuses, found on equipment and skills, which only apply to pets.
Some pets last for only a few seconds, while others can be summoned indefinitely. Some pets can also be issued direct commands, such as to attack a specific target or to move to a specific location. These pets will have their health status displayed in the upper left of the screen. Controllable pets have three stances: Normal, Defensive and Aggressive.
  • Normal Stance is the default used when a pet is summoned. It is a balance between the Defensive and Aggressive states.
  • Defensive Stance forces the pet to stay close to you and causes it to attack anything that attacks you.
  • Aggressive Stance allows the pet to roam and attack anything that comes within its line of sight. It will aggressively seek out targets, even ones that have not attacked you.

Advanced Mechanics Edit

Order of Defense Edit

Grim Dawn provides many methods of defense for a character, and it is important to know how the various levels of defense stack up. In order for an attack to land, it must make it through the following defenses:
  • Dodge and Projectile Deflection
  • Chance to hit via Offensive Ability vs. Defensive Ability
  • Damage Absorption
  • Armor
  • Resistances
  • Shield
Because shields absorb damage only after it has gone through all your other defenses, they can be a very powerful tool for survival and should not be underestimated.

Armor Formula Edit

Armor in Grim Dawn has both a defense value and an absorption value. By default, the armor absorption is 70% across all equipment. When physical damage is inflicted upon a character, armor will mitigate 70% of the portion of the damage that is within the armor's protection value. 30% of damage within the protection value, along with 100% of damage above the protection value, will always get through.
For example: A piece of chest armor has a protection value of 100, and an enemy hits the character in the chest for 120 damage. 100 of the damage is within the armour's protection value, and so is reduced by 70%, giving 30 damage inflicted. 20 of the damage is unaffected. The total damage taken by the character is 50.
With the same armor, an enemy hits for 80 damage. This time, 80 of the damage is within the armour's protection value, giving 24 damage inflicted. There is no unaffected damage. The total damage taken by the character is 24.
Items that increase the armor absorption rate will result in reductions of greater than 70% for damage within the armour's protection value, but have no effect on damage above the protection value.
Hence, if an attack for 100 damage strikes an armor piece which has 100 armor, as well as a 20% bonus to armor absorption, the armor absorption is 70% * 1.2, or 84%. 84 damage from the blow is absorbed, and the character takes 16 damage.

Offensive vs Defensive Ability Formula Edit

Offensive Ability (OA) and Defensive Ability (DA) are critical to both your ability to deal out damage and in your own survival. If you let your Offensive Ability fall behind as you level, you will find that more and more of your attacks will miss. Similarly, an insufficient Defensive Ability will result in your enemies not only landing blows more frequently but also sometimes landing devastating critical hits. The Percentage to Hit(PTH) is determined by the attacker's Offensive Ability and the defender's Defensive Ability.
The Base Value of PTH is at 90%. So, the same amount of Offensive Ability against the same amount Defensive Ability will result in an attack hitting a target 90% of the time.
The exact PTH formula is:
PTH = 3.15 * (OA / (3.5 OA + DA)) + 0.0002275 * (OA - DA) + 0.2
where OA = Offensive Ability, DA = Defensive Ability
Furthermore exist the following dependencies:
  • The higher the PTH already is, the more Offensive Ability will be needed to get additional PTH
  • The higher the Defensive Ability of the target, the more Offensive Ability will be needed per % PTH
Some values:
  • Striking the Training Dummy at Lv 51:
    • 1195 OA, 88.2% PTH
    • 1498 OA, 98.5% PTH -> +303 OA resulted in 10.3% PTH gain -> 1% per 2.94 OA
    • 1817 OA, 106.9% PTH -> +329 OA resulted in 8.4% PTH gain -> 1% per 3.92 OA
  • Striking the Training Dummy at Lv 85:
    • 1696 OA, 88.1% PTH
    • 2019 OA, 98.1% PTH -> +323 OA resulted in 10% PTH gain -> 1% per 3.23 OA


The value resulting from this calculation is your chance to strike the target. You may notice that it is feasible for this chance to go over 100. This is where critical multiplier thresholds come in.
PTH Threshold 1: 75 (1.0 damage)
If your PTH is lower than 75, any attacks that land will do reduced damage. The damage reduction multiplier is equal to your PTH / 75 (ex. if your PTH is 70, you will do 93.33% of normal damage on a hit, or 70/75). It is highly uncommon to go below a PTH of 75, though it can happen against targets that are significantly higher level than you
Example: PTH = 70, 70% for 93.33% damage, 30% misses

Critical Strikes Edit

PTH Threshold 2: 90 (1.1x damage)
After this Threshold you will start to see critical strikes. The chance to critically strike is PTH - 90.
If you have 95% PTH, you will have a 5% Critical Chance .
If you have 110% PTH, you will have a 20% Critical Chance.
Critical Strikes appear in different multipliers, depending on the PTH Threshold.
Equipment and Skills granting +% Critical damage will be added to PTH Threshold multipliers.
(Critical behavior beyond 20% yet unconfirmed, remove this if confirmed)


Example for 95% PTH:
5% of all attacks miss
(*)95% * (**)95% = 90.25% of all attacks hit normally
(*)95% * 5% = 4.75% of all attacks critically strike with 1.1x damage
[(*) this value of 95% consists of 100% - chance to miss]
[(**)this value of 95% consists of 100% - chance to crit]


PTH Threshold 3: 105 (1.2x damage)

Example for 110% PTH and +15% Critical Damage:
0% of all attacks miss
80% of all attacks hit normally
15% of all attacks critically strike for 1.25x damage ( 1.1 + 0.15)
5% of all attacks critically strike for 1.35x damage (1.2 + 0.15)
this behaviour continues with the following Thesholds.
PTH Threshold 4: 125 (1.3x damage)
PTH Threshold 5: 145 (1.4x damage)
PTH Threshold 6: 165 (1.5x damage)
[PTH THRESHOLD 4, 5 and 6 UNCONFIRMED, PLEASE REMOVE THIS IF CONFIRMED]
Critical base multipliers themselves are very low, so without any support from items or skills, stacking up a lot of Offensive Ability will not result in high damage gain. Getting to about 100% hit chance should be tried to achieve though in most cases, as missing attacks on the other hand will result in high dps loss.

Conversion Edit

Conversion is a special stat found on equipment and skills that changes one damage type to another. Conversion will always, without exception, use damage modifiers of the damage type that will be dealt in the end.
Example:
Your Character has:
+ 100% Physical Damage resulting from points in Cunning
+ 200% Magical Damage restulting from points in Spirit
+ 50% Fire Damage
10% Conversion from Physical Damage to fire Damage
You are using any form of attack. The attack deals the following damages:


Without Conversion, before any multiplier would be applied:
100 Phyiscal Damage
50 Fire Damage
50 Cold Damage
Actual damage dealt without the Conversion:
200 Physical Damage
175 Fire Damage
150 Cold Damage
After the Conversion, before any multiplier would be applied:
90 Physical Damage
60 Fire Damage
50 Cold Damage
Actual damage Dealt with the Conversion:
180 Physical Damage
210 Fire Damage
150 Cold Damage


There are two different cases to be aware of where Conversion can be found:
On Equipment
On Equipment, the Conversion affects all damage your character will deal, completely regardless of source.
Exception to this would be pets, which have their own modifier for this


On Skills
On Skills, the Conversion will only only affect that skill itself.
Example: Discord in the Soldier Skill Tree
Putting 3 points into this Skill would affect only Cadence and Convert 50% of the physical damage dealt by only that skill to Elemental damage.
Exception to this are buffs/auras, which will work the same as Conversion on Equipment.
(for Example Stormcaller's Pact in the Shaman Skill Tree)
Buffs which grant Conversion(like Iskandra's Elemental Exchange in the Arcanist Skill Tree) will never grant any Conversion to another player in multiplayer games.
The order of events for Conversion is as follows: Base Skill > Skill Modifiers > Conversion on the Skill or Transmuter > Conversion on Equipment and Buffs > Equipment, Auras and Passives
Example: Discord + 10% fire Conversion on an amulet + Stormcaller's Pact, using Cadence as attack
Lets simplify this calculation by assuming cadence deals 120 Physical Damage with every strike. Discord converts 50% Physical Damage to Elemental Damage and Stormcaller's Pact converts 15% Physical damage to Lightning Damage. Not taking into account any % Damage Modifiers.
Steps:
Cadence: 120 Physical Damage
-> Discord: 60 Physical Damage 20 Fire Damage 20 Lightning Damage 20 Cold Damage
-> Amulet: 54 Physical Damage 26 Fire Damage 20 Lightning Damage 20 Cold Damage
-> Stormcaller's Pact: 46 Physical Damage 26 Fire Damage 28 Lightning Damage 20 Cold Damage
Important Note:
All Modifiers from Equipment will not result in the "diminishing returns" from above. Their percentages get fully applied to the remaining damage.
(Only Equipment was tested, but this probably applies to all other groups belonging together as well)
Example: 10% Fire Conversion on Weapon(as Stat of that Weapon), 10% Fire Conversion from a Searing Ember embedded to the weapon, 10% Lightning Conversion from an amulet:
Weapon Basic Attack (without Conversion): 100 Physical Damage
Weapon Basic Attack (with Conversion): 70 Physical Damage
20 Fire Damage
10 Lightning Damage
In the Example Above with Discord this Conversion would take place instead of the Amulet of that example, resulting in the remaining 60 Physical Damage at that point getting converted to 42 Physical, 12 Fire and 6 Lightning Damage.

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