Been looking for a decent guide that can be adapted to hardcore playstyle. I'm looking to use a HotA build for higher mps, but want to be very sure about the best way to go about it since there's a lot at stake! So can anyone offer advice on build/gearing, or link to a guide in which that info can be found?
Well, as for high end chars and sc, hota is used by pretty much identical spec as ww.. in this game most builds use exact same bis items, and nothing really changes, there is not much to theorycraft.
You want high speed, to be able sustain wrath of berserker, you don't really want reduce cost of hota for same reason (burning 20 fury per hit is good).
This is also the reason why 2h is usually inferior, since speed is so crucial here, by not using berserker in your build (even if replace it with rend), you lose so much important stats and cc immunity, that simply makes it not worth it.
I'm not sure that HotA is adaptable to Hardcore straight across because you're going to have to run some more defensive passives to farm inferno safely and the loss in attack speed/crit is going to hamper your fury generation. You could probably do this on to and up to Hell, but then you aren't getting good farm items anyway...
HotA is superior DPS to WW by a country mile, that said, the gear requirements to make it efficient also differ by a country mile, you need more APS and more CC than you would to sustain the WW build.
The biggest issue for HC with HotA build is that you have to stand still to deliver your DPS = you will end up getting hit by fires, pools of goo, frozen blah blah, not only that but WW build you are out-ranging mobs most of the time as you DPS = they cannot hit you, while with HotA build = face mauling on you 100% of the time.
WW build is definitely superior for HC - as you mentioned yourself - there's a lot more at stake and you really don't want to stand in stuff and taking hits.
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