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Tag Archives: Diablo 3 Barbarian
Well it seems the Wizard’s invulnerability exploit has been taken off the table by Blizzard, which is a good thing as it could’ve destroyed the economy (or has it already?). But just yesterday there was another game breaking discovery where the Barbarian was able to use Furious Charge’s 8% Life on Hit on every hit. When combined with Run Like the Wind from the Barbarian’s Sprint Skill, this made the Barbarian nigh invulnerable. Each tick of every tornado created by Run Like the Wind would cause the Barbarian to replenish up to 8% of their total Life.
Below is the link to the video made by Kripparian which explains further how to replicate the exploit as well as some short clips of him taking advantage of the bug. Sadly, this was removed about 5am PDT yesterday (On the Euro servers at least) but it’s very likely that Kripparian may not have been the first to discover it (He states that in the beginning of the video) and has probably been in the game for quite awhile.
If you haven’t played any of the classes in Diablo 3 yet, the Barbarian is the melee centric class among the group and is known to be in the front lines of every battle and is usually the first to die in an encounter should things get a little sticky. Make no mistake; the Barbarian isn’t for the faint of heart as your Life tends to jump from 100% to 50% back to 100% in a mere second. This post is going to be my journey using a Barbarian from Level 1 to 40 (Completing Nightmare level Diablo).
Starting out, as with all the classes, you’ll be limited in the Skills you have available to you which makes the game seem to be a very hack and slash style of gameplay. It is, but as your choices are limited, you won’t be able to deal with a wide variety of situations yet. For example, you only unlock “Weapon Throw” at level 14 which is great for taking out enemies which try to out-range you.
Now I know the Skill itself doesn’t seem appealing… Weapon Throw… It’s THE Barbarian where you Leap in, deal massive amounts of damage, and walk out unscathed. That’s how I’ve always imagined it. But the truth is, without the proper gear and build, the only thing the Barbarian will be doing it walking back from town to where their body was pounded into the ground.
They do specialize in dealing tons of damage later on in the game when they’ve unlocked most of their Skills and obtained the gear they need. But from the get-go, when you first start leveling, you’ll first need to learn how to survive the endless torrents of enemy waves. And more than that, your team mates need you to do so. Because once the Barbarian goes down, their team has to scatter to survive. The chances that the Barbarian’s body is buried under tons of live enemies and being trampled is high, making it nearly impossible for a friendly to resurrect them on the spot.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build in Normal Mode
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 1 – 10
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 1 – Bash – Nothing much to say here other than this is the first Skill the Barbarian starts out with. Later on some of the Skill Runes are useful but you will generally replace this with Cleave during the early levels.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 2 – Hammer of the Ancients – The first Secondary Skill you have access to, this Skill has an increased probability of 15% to deal critical damage. Decent as a Fury Dump and single target damage dealer.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 3 – I went with Cleave replacing Bash as it there are no other logical choices for dealing melee Area of Effect damage yet. At level 8, enemies you kill using Cleave will explode to deal even more AoE damage.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 4 – This is when you unlock your Defensive Skill slot along with Threatening Shout. Nothing much to do except to activate Threatening Shout on your Action Bar. To be honest, at level 4 in normal mode this Skill isn’t needed as enemies don’t hit hard enough to warrant the Fury spent using this Skill.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 5 – To maximize melee Area of Effect damage, I replaced Threatening Shout with Rend at this point. To do this, you will need to turn on Elective Mode under Options and Gameplay.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 6 – The Barbarian unlocks their first Skill Rune called Instigation for the Bash Skill. It increases the amount of Fury generated by Bash so I replaced Cleave with it. Don’t forget I did this with the idea that Rend was already a decent area of effect and I could spam Hammer of the Ancients and Rend more often if I increased the amount of Fury I could spend.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 7 – In addition to Rend as my splash damage Skill, the Barbarian unlocks Rolling Thunder which causes your Hammer of the Ancients to slam and hit multiple targets wherever the Barbarian is facing.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 8 – As mentioned at Level 3, Cleave unlocks Rupture here and I once again replaced Bash with it as I was more intent on dealing as much damage to multiple enemies as possible. Having this many Area of Effect Skills may seem overkill but I would still use Hammer of the Ancients over Cleave on high health pool targets as it has a 15% increased chance to deal critical damage.
The Ground Stomp Skill is also unlocked at Level 8 but I didn’t use it due to it’s fairly long cooldown. The Skill itself is great but I only had 3 Active Slots to choose from. Later on when more Active Skill slots are available I would highly recommend this as it does prevent enemies from casting or using skills and abilities which have a long cast-time.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 9 – This is when the Barbarian unlocks the Tactics Skill slot as well as the Leap Skill. There’s no argument here as this is your first mobility Skill and allows you to close the gap between enemies as well as an escape mechanism should your life get perilously low.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 10 – All classes unlock their Passive Skill slot at Level 10. The Barb immediately has to choose between Pound of Flesh which provides extra healing from health globes or Ruthless which increases the chance to deal a critical strike by 5% and the amount of critical strike damage by 50%.
Personally I would recommend Ruthless as the enemies at this point shouldn’t be dealing much damage to you. Of course, if you feel there is too much downtime, swapping in between them isn’t too big a deal.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 11-20
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 11 – Frenzy is unlocked here. This Skill is good with Skill Runes later but there is no reason to swap from Cleave at this point as Frenzy has increased attack speed, Cleave hits multiple targets which still kills multiple enemies quicker than Frenzy.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 12 - Nerves of Steel, a Passive Skill is unlocked at this level. As you only have 1 Passive Skill slot at this point, skip it, as Ruthless or Pound of Flesh are undeniably more useful at this point.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 13 – Onslaught Skill Rune unlocks for Bash here. It increases the damage further but removes the chance for enemies hit to be knocked back. I would still keep Cleave unless you were killing a single target Boss and feel it would perform better. But overall, Cleave still gets the job done.
In addition to that, you unlock the Weapons Master Passive Skill. The bonuses are based on whichever weapons you have equipped. Personally I stuck with Ruthless but I can see how having BOTH Weapons Master and Ruthless equipped at Level 20 with Maces and Axes equipped would provide amazing synergy.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 14 – Ravage Skill Rune unlocks for Ravage and I simply added it to my current Rend Skill which I still had activated. It isn’t amazingly useful unless you are absolutely surrounded by enemies; which is seldom the case if you’re spamming Cleave all the time.
Quite a large jump in DPS here as you unlock an additional Active Skill slot as well as Battle Rage. Snap this up as it’s a flat increase to overall DPS. Just don’t forget to constantly maintain the buff as the duration isn’t very long compared to the Monk’s Mantra and the Wizard’s Armor.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 15 – Smash Skill Rune for Hammer of the Ancients unlocks here which further increases the total damage dealt but in a smaller radius. If you’re still using this as your main Fury dump, remember to activate this Skill Rune like I did.
The Passive Skill Inspiring Presence is also unlocked here which is probably a good choice if you have survivability problems. I recommend against it though as Ruthless still provides better DPS. In a group setting, activating this Passive Skill will also affect your party members so it can be suitable in those situations. It’s important to note that in a group, enemies have more health and deal more damage as well which does make survivability skills paramount.
Under the Tactics category you also gain access to “Weapon Throw” which does add a little variety to your tool belt. This is the first ranged Skill you have which is single target but snares enemies. I don’t recommend it during Normal mode and at this level.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 16 – The Barbarian unlocks the Sprint Skill which is viable but I still preferred Leap as my mobility Skill because it does damage where Sprint does not. One thing to note is that Sprint does not have a cooldown where Leap does. However, my goal is to kill everything as quickly as possible.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 17 – Reaping Swing Skill Rune for Cleave unlocks. I did not replace Rupture with it as I had no problems generating Fury.
The Passive Skill Berserker Rage is unlocked at this point as well which increases your damage by a significant amount while your Fury is at its maximum. I still stuck to Ruthless as I felt picking this would be counter productive to using any of my other Fury dump Skills.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 18 – Triumph Skill Rune for Frenzy is unlocked. Each enemy killed with frenzy will heal you for a percentage of your total health. It sounds great but that would mean I would be using Frenzy all the time which was a single target damage dealer. I passed on this and stuck with Cleave Skill Runed Rupture.
The Overpower Skill unlocked. This is an absolute beast of a Skill as it does massive damage to everything within melee range. The down-side is the cooldown attached to it. However, if it crits any of the enemies, the cooldown is reset which means you can keep using it. At level 20, with two Passive Skill Slots I intend to be using Ruthless and Weapons Master along with Maces and Axes to increase the chances of me critting with Overpower.
The Passive Skill Bloodthirst is also unlocked at Level 18 which directly heals you for a small percentage of all the damage you deal. I can see how this will be extremely useful but not right now when Health Globes can keep my Health topped off. I chose to stick to DPS increasing Ruthless once again.
Death from Above which is the Skill Rune for Leap is unlocked. This provides a chance to stun enemies for 2 seconds where you land. If you use Leap as your gap closer/escape mechanism, go ahead and activate it as there isn’t much of an option.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Barbarian Build Level 19 – The final Active Skill slot is unlocked. Along with an extremely powerful Skill called Earthquake. It costs 50 Fury in itself and has an absurdly long cooldown. Test and experiment if it’s your thing. For all intents and purposes I would only have it activated if clearing huge packs of enemies were a problem.
The Passive Skill Animosity unlocked. This provides an increase in the total amount of Fury you can have as well as Fury generation by a percentage. This does not affect your DPS directly but will allow more frequent use of Fury dump Skills.
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 20 – Another huge jump in DPS, your 2nd Passive Skill slot is unlocked. As I mentioned before, using Weapons Master would be the best flat increase to damage per second. However, simply have 2 slots will open up the flexibility of having 1 defensive Passive Skill and 1 offensive one should you feel the need to.
Seismic Slam which is a Fury dump which causes an Area of Effect damage is unlocked. At this point if you want to replace Cleave with either Bash or Frenzy, it’s viable as you now have a spammable no cooldown Fury dump. It also has a slight knock-back which may prove useful to interrupt attackers you face.
Later on, I’ll go more in depth with more Diablo 3 barbarian build, so stay tuned!