Patch 1.0.4 Preview: Barbarian

Important: Also check out the 1.0.4 Legendary item preview.

Patch 1.0.4 Preview: Barbarian
Blizzard has just posted the first of the class preview blogs.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

One of our primary goals with class changes in patch 1.0.4 is to help improve build diversity. Of course, this has been a goal for the Diablo III development team since launch, but our approach this patch has been a little different. For 1.0.4, we're taking a good look at some of the most unpopular skills for each class, figuring out why they aren't being used in your builds, and then seeing how we can make them better -- either by redesigning how they work or just buffing the hell out of them.
For barbarians, we focused on improving the following areas:
  • Bash and Cleave are not very attractive compared to Frenzy
  • Many of the damage-oriented Fury Spenders don't do enough damage to justify the spot on your bar

Fury Generators
Frenzy:
It’s easy to see why Frenzy is the most popular Fury Generator right now. It generates a solid amount of Fury, it has the highest single-target damage of any Fury generator, and it has the highest single-target healing using Life on Hit. The bonus attack speed also provides good combat mobility as well as the option to focus all your damage on a single target or distribute it between multiple targets as needed. We're going to buff Bash and Cleave to be viable alternatives to Frenzy for people who would like to try a different play style.


Bash:
From a design perspective, Bash should be the definitive choice when it comes to maximizing your Fury generation. That’s not currently the case, and given the current state of the game, this means attacking the problem from two sides. First, we need to make Fury a more attractive resource to build up (which also means making Fury Spenders more attractive, which I talk about below). Second, we’re going to increase the amount of Fury generated by Bash from 6 to 8, as well as the amount of weapon damage done by Bash from 150% to 165%. The goal is to make Bash not only a very compelling option if you decide you want to focus on Fury generation, but also an appealing single-target alternative to Frenzy if you don’t enjoy its mechanics (like having to manage Frenzy stacks). Currently, Frenzy surpasses Bash in single-target damage as soon as you have your third stack of Frenzy, and it feels like the breakpoint should be around the fourth stack instead. These changes should help better balance the appeal of the two skills.


Cleave:
Looking at the three basic Fury Generators (Frenzy, Bash and Cleave), the role of Cleave is fairly straight-forward: it should be the clear winner when there is more than one target to hit. In a single-target situation, however, Cleave will always perform worse than Bash and Frenzy. While this is intended to a degree, the amount of single-target damage you currently have to give up feels too great to make the trade-off worthwhile. At an extreme, if Cleave did almost exactly the same damage as Bash or Frenzy, but had the ability to hit a second target when one was around, Cleave would definitely become that “clear winner.” So, to make it more appealing to some players, our goal is then to find that sweet spot between where Cleave is now and doing the same single-target as Frenzy and Bash. We’re going to increase both the damage and proc coefficient on Cleave to close the gap when fighting a single target.






Fury Spenders
For many players, using Hammer of the Ancients, Seismic Slam, or Rend just doesn’t seem worth it. To make these skills more attractive, we're going to straight up buff their damage across the board. How much? Well, we noticed that more players useBattle Rage than any of these other Fury Spenders, but Battle Rage is less exciting to use and doesn’t quite evoke the same visceral joy. So, we used Battle Rage and Frenzy as our starting point. We basically asked ourselves the question "How much damage would Hammer of the Ancients have to do in order to make Frenzy + Hammer [of the Ancients] as appealing as Frenzy + Battle Rage?" Players who really want to go the extra mile for the most damage could go so far as to combine all three skills together, so we kept that in mind as well.
Hammer of the Ancients vs. Battle Rage was a simple starting point, but we used similar approaches with Seismic Slam, and Rend. The basic idea was: Fury generation isn’t attractive to players because Fury spending isn’t attractive to players, so what do the numbers need to be to fix that? To continue using Hammer of the Ancients as an example:
  • We're increasing its base damage from 200% to 325%
  • We're increasing the damage for Rolling Thunder from 155% to 275%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Smash from 270% to 406%
And to provide another example, here’s what we’re doing with Rend:
  • Weapon damage increased from 210% over 3 seconds to 700% over 5 seconds
  • Lacerate weapon damage increased from 271% over 3 seconds to 903% over 5 seconds
  • Bloodbath weapon damage increased from 60% over 3 seconds to 100% over 5 second
With these improvements (Whirlwind and Seismic Slam will be receiving similar tweaks to improve their viability), we hope to see Fury Spenders become more appealing for all levels of play.





But What About…
I'll close by adding that there are no changes planned for either Sprint or Battle Rage, so all you crazy double tornado barbarians will still be able to log in after 1.0.4 goes live and continue with your current build. Or, you can try out some of the new toys we’re adding. Either way, we hope you have fun and are looking forward to 1.0.4!





Be sure to check out our other class previews for patch 1.0.4:
  • Demon Hunter (Coming Soon)
  • Monk (Coming Soon)
  • Wizard (Coming Soon)
  • Witch Doctor (Coming Soon)
Wyatt Cheng is a Senior Technical Game Designer for Diablo III. He is currently trying to convince a friend to make him a baneling plushie doll. (Any takers?)




Patch 1.0.4 Class Preview Schedule
It looks like will be seeing the Wizard later today, and the rest of the classes sometime tomorrow.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

All five heroes are getting buffed in 1.0.4, and we'll be posting previews for each class over the next couple of days to give you some insight into what's changing.

Wednesday (8/15): Thursday (8/16):
  • Monk
  • Demon Hunter
  • Witch Doctor
As each preview is published, we'll update this post with a link, so be sure to stay tuned to see what improvements we have in store for your favorite character!

Comments

  • #1 AudioCG
    As a Barbarian player, this is really, really nice!

    The only thing missing is a buff to Barb Bros and Quake, to make them as potent as WoTB.
  • #2 snowhammer
    Sounds like my Barb will come out of semi retirement - having the option to play with out Frenzy would be nice :)

    I bet the Monk gets some similar stuff when it comes to EVERYone using Fist of Thunder cause of its faster Attack Speed (LoH)
  • #3 DenkaSaeba25
    Lolwut? Sorry? 700% over 5??
  • #4 Slayerviper
    What!? I might use a fury spender... interesting concept!
  • #5 Aldrek
    I wanna know what they're doing with Whirlwind and Seismic Slam! This sounds awesome.
  • #6 _MrBubbles
    Wow. That is a really gread preview. Looking forward to read the whole changes in the final Patchnotes!
  • #7 helpme123
    Quote from aldrek

    I wanna know what they're doing with Whirlwind and Seismic Slam! This sounds awesome.


    Double tornado is already too strong. Don't think they are going to do anything about it.

    I would have them to bluff Slam.
  • #8 TheAdziK
    WotB + Earthquake + Rend and elites will melt even faster...

    I hope Monk will get some love too, because as a HC player, I find that barbarian have it 10x easier to clear act1 inferno than monk... :(
  • #9 dethroned1
    what are the incentives to go 2h barb when you as 1h+board can just bypass all the trashmobs and just slam down the elites? i dont even take down the minions when i dont have to. (i think 2h i way cooler tho, but effective?)
  • #10 EleSaturate
    Now all I need is one perfect Skorn drop and the hammering can commence.

    Looking at how they buffed the already solid barbarians I think that the other classes are gonna get some serious love too, especially the witch doctors.
  • #11 TheAdziK
    Quote from dethroned1

    what are the incentives to go 2h barb when you as 1h+board can just bypass all the trashmobs and just slam down the elites? i dont even take down the minions when i dont have to. (i think 2h i way cooler tho, but effective?)


    They are buffing trash drop 4 times, you might want to rethink your strategy.
  • #12 shootingbull
    For 1.0.4, we're taking a good look at some of the most unpopular skills for each class, figuring out why they aren't being used in your builds, and then seeing how we can make them better -- either by redesigning how they work or just buffing the hell out of them.


    So, in all the examples they give, the fix is just to buff the number values of under used skills. Don't get me wrong, I think this needed to be done, but it could have happened months ago in a simple tuesday patch. I kind of expected something new... maybe Cleave building stacks of a bleed on elites or something. Maybe when the patch notes are released we will see more redesigns and not just buffed values added to existing skills.
  • #13 Prostasisx
    This is definitely going to be a very interesting ordeal - and I think one of the best things Blizzard is doing is NOT nerfing the builds that are going on right now. I do play a double whirlwind barb (just started) and it is absolutely a ton of fun - so having my bash buffed is fantastic - but now we're going to see if these other abilities will allow for some more viable builds besides double WW - I'm just not sure, but I guess we will see.

    Re: the 2H vs 1H/Off - I think we're going to start seeing some 2H Whirlwind builds and some other 2h builds - especially since 2H in general are getting a buff in how the damage scales to DoT spells (Run like the wind) - Not to mention, some of these legendaries are insane, and have some incredible procs that will be fantastic for WW barbs...

    On the Legendary train now - I think every WW barb will be going for the Firechains and Molten proc legendaries... I mean... hello... fill the room with fire... GG - guess we'll see :)


    *** Shameless Self Plug Signature ***
    I will be covering some of the changes (more importantly the Wizard changes) on my youtube channel and live streaming on twitch.tv/prostasisx - I'll see you guys there
  • #14 antrodax
    With the LE-GEN-DA-RY and this barb previes (I use HoA, I'm a romantic), my only real concern is the nerfing of Inferno. Why now when the skills are being buffed?

    Blizzard is delivering, at last...
  • #15 Slayerviper
    Quote from antrodax

    With the LE-GEN-DA-RY and this barb previes (I use HoA, I'm a romantic), my only real concern is the nerfing of Inferno. Why now when the skills are being buffed?

    Blizzard is delivering, at last...


    They stated that they shouldn't have put inferno in... or at least the way they have designed the item hunt and inferno. They are basically just making it "another difficulty" and not an endgame tactic. I believe they announced they would be adding something new for end game... don't remember if that was in 1.0.4 or a future patch.
  • #16 snowhammer
    Quote from Slayerviper

    Quote from antrodax

    With the LE-GEN-DA-RY and this barb previes (I use HoA, I'm a romantic), my only real concern is the nerfing of Inferno. Why now when the skills are being buffed?

    Blizzard is delivering, at last...


    They stated that they shouldn't have put inferno in... or at least the way they have designed the item hunt and inferno. They are basically just making it "another difficulty" and not an endgame tactic. I believe they announced they would be adding something new for end game... don't remember if that was in 1.0.4 or a future patch.


    Exactly - Inferno's whole concept failed - Blizzard knows it.

    It started as flat difficulty, somthing to provide a challange at all times
    That didnt work
    Then they made it just a stupidly (we doubled it!) over tuned 4th difficulty - all that did was highlight the games flaws (bad items, poor pacing for upgraded.. you name it, inferno made it more obvious and bad)
    Now, they've basically brought inferno more in line with just another difficulty, nothing special about it except its the last one. Thats how it should be.

    Now we all just need to wait while they plug in some kind of end game fun (Levels of excelence?)

    They're on the right track though. Good job Bliz :)
  • #17 xMantasx
    Seem like 'ok' changes. Now i wonder if Rend with Blood Lust rune will be better choice than Ignore Pain. We'll see :)
  • #18 lorien1973
    900% damage over 5 seconds? Crazy.

    Can't wait to see the WD.
  • #19 dethroned1
    wizz is also coming today it seems.

    but someone here mentioned witch doctor needs buff. at the same time this is the least played class so they have cheaper items.

    theadzig: yes i am aware of that, so probably killing everything is the way to go after the patch. i still wonder what the droprates of trash is compared to elites. this 4x would be the same as having 400% mf i think, but only if the legendary droprates also would have increased (which they will not for some reason).
  • #20 lorien1973
    Think about it:

    Elites getting 25% less health. Damage going up about 100% on abilities.

    It's essentially a 50% nerf to all difficulties. Not to mention the new legendaries.
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