The Crucible is a Downloadable Content (DLC) that introduces a challenging new arena gameplay mode to Grim Dawn.
The Crucible was conceived as a stretch goal during Crate's successful Kickstarter campaign. Originally called Survival Mode, it was described as follows: “In survival mode players will fight to stay alive against increasingly difficult waves of monsters.” The DLC was made available for free to those who purchased the game prior to or during the Kickstarter campaign.
The Crucible features three difficulty modes for the player to test their characters: Aspirant, Challenger and Gladiator. Defeating the first 100 waves of enemies of a difficulty will unlock the next. Each difficulty presents tougher challenges, but also greater rewards.
The Crucible features several randomized battlegrounds, each with different layouts and defensive positions.
- Lokarr, Master of the Crucible
- Kandral - Immortal Peddler
- Ignotius - Immortal Smuggler
- Kracius - Spirit Guide
- Yvalla - Ancient Inventor
- Torralia, the Immortal Archmage
- Garrius - Cursed Smith
In the Crucible, death marks the end (especially true for Hardcore players). Every 10 waves of enemies, the player has the choice of continuing on for the next 10 encounters for a chance of greater reward, or cash out what you’ve earned and not risk your own demise.
Should you perish, you cannot continue further in the Crucible. In Multiplayer, you still have a chance if your allies survive. Should they manage to finish the wave that bested you, you will be resurrected (for Softcore characters only).
The quality of the treasure contained within the Treasure Chamber, the experience earned and the Tributes earned depend on the difficulty of the Crucible, how many waves you defeated and whether you chose to cash out or perished, with an additional treasure chest earned for successfully ending the Crucible.
Tributes are the currency of the Crucible, bestowed upon you by its cruel master as compensation for your bloody perseverance. Tributes can be spent to Restart the Crucible at various Checkpoints, or to increase your odds of survival with the aid of Celestial Blessings and Arcane Defenses.
Tribute points can be spent to create defenses around the arenas, giving the player an advantage against the seemingly endless waves of enemies. All Defenses can be upgraded twice; the first adds a new ability, the second empowers their abilities.
|Defense||Abilities||Upgrade 1||Upgrade 2|
|Deathchill Beacon||launch icy orbs at distant enemies, slowing their advance, with a chance to freeze, but their damage is relatively low||periodically Freeze all nearby enemies||damage is increased by 25%, Freeze is cast more often and on a larger area|
|Inferno Beacon||release intense bursts of flame at nearby enemies, but their range is limited.||periodically unleash a Fire Storm on a target area.||damage is increased by 25%, Burst of Flame area is increased and the Fire Storm is cast more often.|
|Stormcaller Beacon||occasionally release a bolt of chain lightning at distant enemies, with a chance to reduce resistances, but they hit a limited number of targets and attack slowly||periodically Shock a nearby enemy for heavy damage with a chance to stun.||damage increased by 25%, the Shock is cast more often and affects two nearby enemies.|
|Stonewall Banner||grant nearby players bonus Health, Defensive Ability and Health Regeneration.||periodically cast an area Heal||the range and effectiveness of the Aura and Heal are increased.|
|Vanguard Banner||grant nearby players bonus Damage, Offensive Ability and Crit Damage.||periodically cast an area Frenzy Buff||the range and effectiveness of the Aura and Frenzy are increased.|
Tributes can also be spent to purchase Celestial Blessings, from the NPC Torralia, the Immortal Archmage.
Each Blessing provides a buff to players for a duration of 25 minutes.
|Blessing of Ulo||
33% Resistance to all Crowd Control Effects
|Empyrion's Guidance||+60% Health|
|The Might of Amatok||All Damage Modified by 30%|
|Ulzuin's Pact|| +100% Energy Regeneration|
+20% Cooldown Reduction.
As progress is made through the Crucible, Lokarr will introduce various Mutators to the gameplay. Mutators are global effects applied to all monsters or players, each one a unique twist that strengthens monsters/players in one way, but weakens them in another.
The Crucible begins with 0 Mutators, but up to 5 can become active at once. Every 10 waves of enemies, the Mutators are randomized.
|Aetherwarped||Monsters are resistant to the Aether, but more Susceptible to Chaos.|
|Armored||Monsters are nearly impervious to Physical harm and armor Piercing, but are more Susceptible to the Elements.|
|Berserking||Monsters are berserking, Attacking faster but also becoming more Susceptible to Attacks.|
|Brutal||Monsters land Critical Strikes more often, but deal Reduced Damage.|
|Corrupted||Monsters resistant to Chaos, but more Susceptible to the Aether.|
|Crippling||Monster attacks Slow opponents, but attack Slower.|
|Cruel||Monster Critical Strikes are extra lethal, but attacks are more likely to Miss.|
|Ignited||Monsters are infused with Fire, dealing additional Fire damage and Retaliating Fire damage, but are more Susceptible to the Cold.|
|Time-Warped||Monsters have greatly reduced Spell Cooldowns and increased Casting Speed, but deal Reduced Physical Damage.|
|Leeching||Monsters leech health back with every attack, but have Reduced Health.|
|Poisonous||Monsters are tainted with poison, dealing additional Poison damage and Retaliating Poison damage, but are more Susceptible to Vitality draining attacks.|
|Regenerating||Monsters have highly enhanced health and energy regeneration, but are more Susceptible to Acid, Poison and Bleeding.|
|Resistant||Monsters are nearly impervious to Magical attacks, but are more Susceptible to Physical harm.|
|Toughened||Monsters have greatly increased Health, but have reduced Health Regeneration.|
|Unstoppable||Monsters are highly resistant to Crowd Control, but Move Slowly.|
|Vengeful||Monsters have greatly enhanced Retaliation effects, but have Reduced Armor.|
|Swift||Monsters have greatly increased Movement Speed, but are more susceptible to Crowd Control.|
|Aethermarked||Players experience slowed Attacks, but are more Resistant to the Aether.|
|Afflicted||Players have reduced Health, but are more Resistant to Vitality drains.|
|Drained||Players have reduced Health Regeneration, but are more Resistant to Poison and Bleeding.|
|Exposed||Players have reduced Armor, but Cooldowns are Reduced.|
|Marked||Players have reduced Defensive Ability, but Damage is Magnified.|
|Shattered||Players have reduced Damage and Retaliation effects, but Armor is Increased.|
|Slowed||Player Movement Speed is greatly reduced, but Crowd Control doesn't last as long.|
|Tainted||Players are Slowed, but Critical Damage is Increased|
|Voidmarked||Players experience slowed Casting but are more Resistant to Chaos.|
|Weakened||Player Critical Attacks are weakened, but attacks are more likely to hit.|
As a way to track your successes across the Crucibles, and to compare your prowess with your friends (and adversaries), the Crucible scores your performance.
Each time you slay a monster, the score increments based on the monster slain, the wave you are on and the game difficulty. You can further magnify your score by beating the Bonus Timer.
Note: your score is only saved if claiming the reward, or dying.
At the start of each wave, a bonus timer will count down to 0. If you manage to slay all enemies before it expires, the Score Multiplier will increment by 1. This in turn magnifies all the points you earn for each subsequent enemy slain. At the end of the Crucible, you earn an extra chest based on your final score, so maintaining a high multiplier is beneficial to maximizing your loot.
Note: defeating a Hero, Boss or Nemesis monster will increase the current Bonus Timer by several seconds.
However, each time the Multiplier is increased, the Bonus Timer for the next round is reduced. Maintaining the maximum multiplier of 10 is quite a feat, but it will set the true Champions of the Crucible apart from the Aspirants.