The Crucible is a cruel arena devised by its Celestial master to draw in powerful adventurers and force them to battle for their lives, all for his amusement.
The Crucible is the first DLC for Grim Dawn, available now on Steam, Humble and GOG.
Once you own The Crucible DLC, you can select it from the Main Menu (the same way you switch between the Main Campaign and Custom Games).
The Crucible is a cruel place where even the mightiest heroes meet their match. But we couldn’t stop with just one deadly arena. The Crucible will feature several battlegrounds, each with a different layout and defensive positions.
Crucible of the Dead
Countless bones of failed combatants litter the floor of this Crucible. This tomb lies within an endless sea of bones and misery. Will your bones join them? Or will you triumph where countless others have failed?
Crucible of the Deeps
Deep beneath the earth, where no natural light can reach, this deadly Crucible was formed from the surrounding stones. What little light remains only serves to illuminate the terrors that await you within every shadow.
Crucible of the Grove
Hidden away within a treacherous forest, this Crucible gives a new meaning to survival of the fittest. The warding power within the sacred stones at the center of this arena have long ago lost their strength. The gods will not spare you from a painful end at the claws and fangs of the Crucible’s fiends.
Crucible of the Sands
The shifting sands have nearly consumed this forgotten temple, now used as a Crucible to test the hardiest fighters. With the hungering fiends of the Crucible crawling in from every corner, it is inevitable that your sunbleached bones will soon join the ruins.
Crucible of the Void
Not even the most forsaken depths of the void are off limits to the Master of the Crucible’s machinations. Within the realm of the dead god, the Master of the Crucible tests aspirants against the horrors of his arena. Will you succumb to the maddening aura within the void realm, or will Lokarr’s creatures get you first?
Crucible of the Legion
Once a proud fortress of the Black Legion, it stood abandoned for ages, slowly consumed by time. The stronghold now serves as the final resting place of hundreds of aspiring gladiators that succumbed to the Master of the Crucible’s whims.
The Crucible will test your characters like nothing has before as you battle through its three difficulty modes. You will begin as an Aspirant, untested and unscarred by the ravages of the Crucible. But once you defeat the first 100 waves of the Crucible, you will earn access to the Challenger difficulty. Likewise, defeating 100 waves as a Challenger will allow you to play on the Gladiator difficulty.
Each difficulty presents tougher challenges, but also greater rewards.
In the Crucible, death marks the end (especially true for Hardcore players). Every 10 waves of enemies, you have to make a difficult choice: continue 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). Cheer your allies on and perhaps together you will triumph!
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.
The Crucible is cruel, but you are not without options. Spend your valuable Tributes to create powerful defenses around the arenas, giving you an edge on the seemingly endless waves of enemies.
- Deathchill Beacons launch icy orbs at distant enemies, slowing their advance and reducing Offensive Ability, with a chance to freeze, but their damage is lower than the other Beacons.
- Inferno Beacons frequently release intense bursts of flame at nearby enemies that reduce Armor and Damage Dealt, but their range is limited.
- Stormcaller Beacons occasionally release a bolt of chain lightning at distant enemies that reduces Resistances, but they hit a limited number of targets and attack slowly.
- Stonewall Banners grant nearby players bonus Health, Defensive Ability and Health Regeneration.
- Vanguard Banners grant nearby players bonus Damage, Offensive Ability and Crit Damage.
All Defenses can be upgraded twice, first gaining a new ability, then empowering their abilities:
- Deathchill Beacon Upgrade: periodically Slow all nearby enemies and reduce their Resistances and Offensive Ability with a massive surge of cold. When fully upgraded, the Surge is cast more often and on a larger area. Effectiveness is increased by 33% with each upgrade.
- Inferno Beacon Upgrade: periodically unleash a Fire Storm on a target area that reduces enemy Damage Dealt. When fully upgraded, Burst of Flame area is increased and the Fire Storm is cast more often. Effectiveness is increased by 33% with each upgrade.
- Stormcaller Beacon Upgrade: periodically Shock a nearby enemy for heavy damage and reduced Defensive Ability, with a chance to stun. When fully upgraded, the Shock is cast more often and affects two nearby enemies. Effectiveness is increased by 33% with each upgrade.
- Stonewall Banner Upgrade: periodically cast an area Heal. When fully upgraded, the range and effectiveness of the Aura and Heal are increased.
- Vanguard Banner Upgrade: periodically cast an area Frenzy Buff. When fully upgraded, the range and effectiveness of the Aura and Frenzy are increased.
Much debate remains over the involvement of the gods in the grand weave of Cairn’s destiny, but for a price, a ghostly apparition will bestow upon you Celestial Blessings:
- The Blessing of Ulo will shield you and your allies from duration Effects, such as poisons, increase all your Resistances by 25% (8% against Physical) and reduce the duration of Crowd Control applied by your enemies.
- Empyrion’s Guidance will grant you and your allies unparalleled fortitude by increasing Health by 80%.
- The Might of Amatok will embolden you and your allies, causing every blow to be mightier, every spell to be brimming with arcane energies by multiplying damage by an additional 33%.
- Ulzuin’s Pact will fill you and your allies with fiery fury, increasing Offensive and Defensive Ability by 30 + 5% and reducing skill Energy Costs by 25%.
As you progress through the Crucible, its master will throw another twist into the formula through Mutators. 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.
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.
Corrupted: Players experience slowed Casting but are more Resistant to Chaos.
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 you choose to claim your reward, or perish.
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.