The Crucible is a 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. Each contains 150 waves of enemies for the player to face (170 with the Ashes of Malmouth expansion). 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 ten battlegrounds, each with different layouts and defensive positions. The player can select their preferred map or opt for it to be randomized.
- 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 (particularly 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 they’ve earned and not risk their own demise.
Should the player die, they cannot continue further in the Crucible. However, in (softcore) Multiplayer, it is possible to revive if another party member finishes the wave.
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 are defeated and whether the player died or chose to cash out, with an additional treasure chest earned for successfully completing the Crucible.
Tributes are the currency of the Crucible, granted after every 10 waves. Tributes can be spent to restart the Crucible at various checkpoints (wave 50 or 100), or to increase the 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 increasingly difficult 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 and reducing offensive/defensive abilities, with a chance to freeze, but with relatively low damage.||Icy orbs are 33 % stronger, periodically Freeze is cast on all nearby enemies reducing their resistances.||Damage is further increased by 33%, Freeze is cast more often and on a larger area, other effects are amplified.|
|Inferno Beacon||Release intense bursts of flame at nearby enemies, reducing their armor and damage within a limited range.||Flame bursts are 33 % stronger and cover a larger area, Fire Storm is periodically unleashed on the target area.||Damage is further increased by 33%, Fire Storm is cast more often, other effects are amplified.|
|Stormcaller Beacon||Occasionally release a bolt of chain lightning at distant enemies, reducing their resistances, but the bolt hits a limited number of targets and travels slowly.||Chain lightning is 33 % stronger, periodically Shock is cast at nearby enemies for heavy damage with a chance to stun.||Damage is further increased by 33%, the Shock is cast more often and affects two nearby enemies, other effects are amplified.|
|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 retaliation damage.||Periodically cast an area Frenzy Buff, increasing total speed.||The range and effectiveness of the Aura, and the duration of Frenzy, are increased.|
Tributes can also be spent to purchase Celestial Blessings from the NPC Torralia, the Immortal Archmage.
Each Blessing costs 12 Tributes and provides a buff to players for a duration of 25 minutes.
|Blessing of Ulo||
|Might of Amatok||
As the player progresses through the Crucible, various Mutators will be introduced into the gameplay. Mutators are global effects applied to all monsters or players, each one strengthening monsters/players in one way, but weakening them in another.
The Crucible begins without any Mutators, and the first one is introduced at Wave 31. Every 10 waves, the Mutators are randomized.
The number of active Mutators increases in later waves, up to a maximum of five.
|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 are resistant to Chaos, but more Susceptible to the Aether.||
|Crippling||Monster attacks slow opponents, but they attack slower.||
|Cruel||Monster critical strikes are extra lethal, but their 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 cold.||
|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.||
|Swift||Monsters have greatly increased movement speed, but are more susceptible to crowd control.||
|Time-Warped||Monsters have greatly reduced spell cooldowns and increased casting speed, but deal reduced physical damage.||
|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.||
|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 also 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.||
The Crucible scores each game to let players measure their performance and compare it with that of other players. Each time an enemy is killed, the score is increased based on the type of the monster, the current wave, and the game difficulty. Beating the bonus timer applies an extra multiplier to the score.
Score is only saved if the player claims the reward or dies.
At the start of each wave, a bonus timer is reset and starts counting down to 0. If all enemies are slain before the timer expires, the score multiplier will increase by 1 to the maximum of 10. This in turn magnifies all the points earned for each subsequent enemy slain. However, each time the multiplier is increased, the bonus timer for the next round is reduced. At the end of the Crucible, an extra chest is awarded based on the player's final score, so maintaining a high multiplier helps receive better loot.
Defeating a Hero, Boss or Nemesis monster will add several seconds to the current bonus timer.