Grim Dawn 2018 (ft. Diablo 2 Reign of Terror Mod!)

edited May 2018 in Video Games
I couldn't find the original Grim Dawn thread in the last two years, so I thought I'd just start a new one. They recently announced a second expansion (Forgotten Gods) coming later this year, so I'm excited for that. I haven't finished the first one yet (Ashes of Malmouth) but I'm fairly close.

What got me excited recently, though, were some mods I ran across. (Major mods have a thread somewhere here if you seek more detail: )

The first one was called Insanity: Infinite. I love the core vision behind this one. Basically the modder has scrapped all the questing and other extraneous details in favor of just focusing completely on skills/builds and massive battles and big big bosses. If you leave camera shake on, the game will be exploding on your screen within the first few seconds, with giant mobs stepping all over your puny ass. It makes for a considerably different game experience and removing the quest aspect is very freeing. Sure, it becomes less of an RPG and more of an action/strategy game, but that's always been the case for the endgame of any of the best ARPGs. Unfortunately, the balancing is a bit insane (I kept dying every few steps even with every point in physique which eventually got tiresome) and there is a very limited loot system (on purpose), but it appears the modder either gave up entirely or is reworking it.

The next one is the one which I think I'll be playing more regularly. Seems like the modder is very experienced and has already iterated on his design a couple times. It's called Cataclysm Redone. It offers a bunch of additional class choices and other niceties, and also ramps up the mob volume by 2x. There's also a secondary loot system which is designed so he can add his own new pieces while not impacting the drop system from the original game. Very clever. It could also be because I'm more experienced, but for whatever reason the pacing just feels much better balanced in terms of leveling pace and game flow. Hopefully that continues on through the expansion.

And finally, the really special mod. It's called Reign of Terror. Somehow the modder has reworked Grim Dawn into a perfect recreation (in some ways better because it's now in full high resolution glory) of Diablo 2. OK, that's a little misleading as he's only completed Act I and is working on Act II, but if you were a huge fan of D2 you owe this one a look. I don't know how legal it is, but he's using the original music and voiceovers, and has done a beautiful job of translating the game (particularly the mobs) over to the Grim Dawn engine. But that's not all - he has ported all the D2 classes (and skills) over as well. So you can mix and match Grim classes with D2 classes, or put two D2 classes that were never meant to be, together lol. For my first outing I'm trying a (male!) Rogue/Druid. It's not very effective so far but who cares? It's a blast, a mix of nostalgia and freshness all in one. It's a huge endeavor so I think balancing of all the options probably needs a lot of work, but the core of the game is looking fantastic thus far.


  • rittchard
    GT Member
    Note: Changed the title to focus more on the Diablo 2 mod/conversion.

    I can't say enough good things about this mod. It breathes new life into both Grim Dawn AND Diablo 2, which is just an amazing accomplishment. The amount of care the modder has gone into to try to recreate the feeling, nuances and details of D2 is flat out amazing. But on top of that, he's included many of the best features from GD as well. The content is also scaled with harder difficulty levels so you can keep playing/levelling after you finish the existing content.

    He released a new update today which adds a few more Act II maps.

    The modder is also very responsive to feedback. I made a side comment about a couple of skills and he integrated fixes into the patch in a couple of days.
  • EngineNo9
    GT Member
    That is super cool that somebody has been doing all that work to bring Diablo 2 with all the classes and everything into Grim Dawn!

    I still never finished the vanilla Grim Dawn, and I know they've been adding more to it in free updates (including as recently as this week). But I think what you said about getting rid of the "fluff" and focusing more on just the action and loot might be just what I would need to keep momentum.
  • rittchard
    GT Member
    I pretty much only played the Diablo mod this weekend. It is incredibly fun, but really tough! I think it's at least partially because I didn't commit to any skills. Instead I've been playing the way I always play TQ and GD, basically just dropping a point in some to get to the higher level stuff. Also I presume there's no way the modder could have balanced all the skills at this point by himself, so I'm sure there are weaker skills that may need tweaking.

    Monster levels are geared similar to GD, so they scale up with you everywhere (I think up to some fixed limit but I'm not sure). I got stuck at the end of Act I, basically getting torn up in the Catacombs, but I was able to go back to basically the very beginning to level up. I know some people don't like this style, and I'm kind of mixed, but the good thing is you can go back to areas (even Den of Evil!) and still get challenge and rewards from them. In this aspect, the game is much more like GD.

    What's interesting is that because of this difficulty, all the drops and cash are much more significant. I find I'm even needing to horde/save potions, which I haven't done in a game like this in ages. Somehow this mod has created a game that honors, but transcends both the original AND the source material. Example: I clearly need a better weapon. Haven't had a decent rare or unique drop so I'm stuck with Magic. I've had a few with OK damage but... I can boost it with components, plus the component gives me an extra spell that is surprisingly useful. I'm really desperate for a socketed version so I can craft one of the runeword weapons but I'm not getting the type I need. Grrr! Ooooh I just got a Thul rune! But now I need to save up 50,000 cash to complete the craft. Back to farming!!!

    Progress can be frustrating at times, but this is the gameplay I remember and love. Decisions matter. Drops (including components, crafting materials, runes) matter. Cash matters. Every level and every skill point matters. This is the type of gameplay that Diablo 3 essentially destroyed. As much as I love PoE, it's also gone a different route, for better or worse.

    For hardcore Diablo 2 fans, this mod, while officially in Alpha, is really fantastic to play.
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