Well, lets face it. The Beta has been out for a while now, and you've likely watched enough footage to write one of these yourself. So, why exercise your eye muscles on this instead of more furious, Hulk smashing gameplay? Truthfully, if I may turn the camera towards myself for a second, I love the Barbarian class. Throughout the Diablo franchise I've been intrigued by no other class, and even with the introduction of the Monk, I've yet to budge in my interests. That being said, I've focused my playtime almost entirely on this class, and have done my best to learn its ins and outs in Diablo III so far. Rather than take you through the story line of the Beta through the eyes of the Barbarian, I'll be diving into the different aspects of the class itself.
Throughout the Diablo series there has been one primary tanking archetype, be it the Warrior in Diablo I, or the Barbarian in Diablo II and now Diablo III. While other classes can often be built to play a similar role, one could argue it comes most easily to the Barbarian. This is due to three main factors.
Warning:No information from my experiences will be withheld.
Through a multitude of skills the Barbarian uses super natural strength to pulverize foes (and barrels ;)). Most of these skills help enforce the feeling that the Barbarian is a heavy hitting character, dealing large chunks of damage with each hit, while not typically as quick or agile as the other classes. The Barbarians' skills are broken down into three groups, Fury Generators, Fury Spenders, and Situational. Though we only get access to a few of each in the Beta, there are still many potent combinations to play around with.
Many of these skills surprised me with their efficiency. When the Fury System was first announced I had some concern the Fury Generators would pale in comparison to the damage and efficiency of the Spenders. While the Spenders do typically pack more punch, either through pure damage or other effects, the Generators get the job done just fine.
I found myself hard pressed to choice between these skills when all of them became available. Since for the most part the Beta is easy as pie, I narrowed it down to which I took the most pleasure in using, which is Bash and Leap Attack. All of the skills are efficient though, and could easily fit into many different builds. Speaking strictly for the Beta, at level 13 (level cap) you out class the monsters by enough that it really doesn't matter what skills you use, so it comes down to preference rather than necessity.
Sure, the Generators get the job done, but the Spenders bring more to the table in general, after all you have to work for these. These skills are so fun to use; each time I swing my Hammer Of The Ancients I feel like a boss.
Each one of these skills is a blast to use, though in most cases some seem to be more preferred than others. Since this is about my honest impressions of the class, I'll say I rarely use Threatening Shout, or Rend. While I could see their use when things get challenging, I find their effects less desirable than other more powerful skills such as Weapon Throw, or Hammer Of The Ancients in the easy atmosphere of the Beta. Even Weapon Throw seems to fall short, not in damage (it does an insane amount), but instead in availability.
At full Fury you only have enough to use Weapon Throw five times, and un-runed the skill only hits one enemy. So at best, you only get five kills out of a full Fury orb by using it. There is a Passive Skill to remedy this though, No Escape, which offers not only a 100% damage boost to Weapon Throw (and Ancient Spear), but returns 20 Fury for each enemy killed with it. Sadly, this Passive Skill is not available in the Beta.
Unlike the other categories, we only get access to two of these skills in the Beta.
Both certainly will have their uses come challenging encounters, but like some other skills, they are just unnecessary in easy environments. Either way, I gave them a try to understand how they could be used if need be. Ignore Pain could be great for a whole bunch of clutch situations, need those extra few seconds to rush through a crowd and attack a primary target? Low on heath and need to get out of there? Ignore Pain certainly has a niche.
Revenge also has plenty of situational uses, and saved my life once during early gameplay. During one of my early play-throughs of the Beta I came across a mod of Illusionist Grotesque mixed with some Skeletal Archers and regular Skeletons. Mods who are classified as Illusionists split into three when at 30% health or lower, each of the copies spawn with the same amount of heath the original creature had when it split.
So upon my slaying of the first Grotesque, it predictably exploded. What I didn't realize was the explosion had brought all of the other Grotesque to below 30% heath, so they each split into three. There was now give or take 15 Grotesque surrounding me. On top of that, the explosion killed the two Grotesque the original one split into, so a chain reaction of explosions occurred all around me, nearly killing me instantly (I wish I had a screen shot). Lucky for me, I had Revenge equipped and it had activated. I swiftly deployed the skill, killing most of the Corpse Worms which would have surely taken me, regained a good amount of health from the hits, which granted me enough time to grab some nearby health globes; effectively saving me from a certain and comical death.
The Passive Skills for the Barb add a mammoth amount options to toy with. Each has a very appealing buff, so choosing between them largely comes down to what you have in mind for your build. These are the toppings to the Barb pizza, adding just the right flavor to your build.
As with the Active Skills, some of these Passive Skills will have more appeal to the in high difficulties. Take Pound Of Flesh (Pictured right) for example, during easy, or even mildly difficult situations this may seem unnecessary, maybe the occasional life potion is enough. I'll willing to bet though, that during Inferno Difficulty the cooldown on potions will hinder their usefulness greatly, making health globes all the more valuable. These are the situations where less exciting, more tactical skills (both active and passive) will be used.
Life And Fury
As with the previous installments, the heavy melee class starts with more life points, a necessary aspect of a tanking class. The Barb starts off with 84 life, compared to the Witch Doctors' 80, and the other classes' 76; this gap only increases with level. Aside from life, the Barb also starts off with 11 Defense, compared to the Monks' 10, Demon Hunters' and Witch Doctors' 9, and the Wizards' 8. Those few points make a world of difference. The Barbarians' 11 Defense grants 50% reduced damage, while the Wizards' 8 offers none at all.
Fury has sure turned out to be a great system for the Barbarian. Since the only way to build it is to smash things or take damage (unless you have the Unforgiving Passive Skill), it pushes you to participate in combat. While some of the other classes have mild issues with their resource, as it stands right now the Fury system works wonderfully. There is no abundance, or lack of Fury during combat. If you need Fury you build it, if you have Fury you spend it, and everything around you is dead by the end of it all.
If I could think of anything to be tweaked regarding Fury, it wouldn't be Fury itself, but instead how much Fury some Fury Spending skills use. As I mentioned before Weapon Throw is expensive, costing 20 Fury, which only goes into 100 five times. I'd like to see some changes to skills like that, where even if you don't have the perfect build (No Escape for Weapon Throw for example), you can still somewhat efficiently use the skills. This isn't game breaking, but it does deter the use of those over priced skills to some extent.
Also, I support this message. Special thanks to CherubDown for relaying it.
Blizzard is making sure all classes rely heavily on gear in Diablo III. The recent switch-up of base damage, to % weapon damage of almost every skill on every class pushes this even further. This change isn't reflected in the Beta, but you can head over to the
Being a Barbarian player through the series, you get used to the fact that you are your gear. Small upgrades in armor or weapons can have a huge effect in gameplay. Throughout my experiences with the Barb so far, this holds true in Diablo III just as much as the previous games. The excitement of finding a new, better weapon is relatable to finding a $20 bill on the ground.
Sadly though, the Beta currently has a very limited amount of content. The only rare items I've seen drop are from the first slaying of the Skeleton King, and the only Legendary item I've seen is Griswold's Edge, which is only found on a randomly appearing Anvil in the Old Tristram Ruins, to which I have found three. I personally am near certain this isn't how the drop tables will be come release.
Aside from drops, crafting is a very viable means to get great items. In fact, most of the best items in the Beta right now can only be crafted. This is due to the fact that you are able to level your Black Smith higher than you normally would have by the time you defeat the Skeleton King on this difficulty, thus granting you access to gear that out classes the drops at this point in the game. This isn't to say you can just craft a perfect item, there are many variables which lend itself to a great crafted item. These variables are completely random, so getting a great roll can be very rare. This is where the Auction House comes in. I personally have used to Auction House for most of my gear. I tried to roll good items, but it just didn't happen.
What's interesting is for the most part, every class is looking for the same armor. Since the only restriction is level (unless it's class specific), and the Beta has so few sought after stats, as a Barb I'm looking for the same Gloves of many Wizards. This makes for a very competitive atmosphere in the Auction House, which is a great sign for the future.
As one would expect from a player based economy, most items are ridiculously overpriced at first. Something wonderful is starting to happen though, those overpriced items are not selling. Even in the Beta where players know nothing they're accomplishing will carry over to release, people are still refusing to pay for overpriced items. This brings the item price down, and slowly but surely will come to a standard price for that item depending on stats.
Blizzard has done a fine job at maintaining the heaviness that characterizes this class. Every time I see an enemy I'm drawn towards it like a magnet. The feeling that comes from knocking skeletons clean from your enemies' flesh is empowering, and extremely satisfying. The physics that ensue after these powerful strikes may look silly while watching gameplay footage, but let me assure you it feels just right when you're behind the controls. There are some tweaks to be done in this area if you scrutinize it, but nothing that will ruin your ground and pounding experience with the Barbarian. This class is for those who love being toe-to-toe with yo foes, ya dig?
In the old days, Diablo II characters were about as unique as an Arctic Binding (Diablo_II) belt. The prevalence of cookie-cutter builds only compounded the limited amount of visual differentiation between equipment, and cosmetic distinction ended where player biographies did.
Enter Diablo III.
To speak nothing of the tons of l33t loot our characters will gather as they transverse the demon-ridden landscape of Sanctuary and beyond, player banners add as much customization as you have patience. In this article, we'll explore the components, limitations, and uses of banners, and discover how they will let you leave your mark on Sanctuary.
Every banner has three essential components: the base banner, the sigil, and dyes. These three parts each have even more options of their own, lending more player choice to the mix.
If we think of the banner as the bread and butter of your character's identity, then the base banner, itself, would be the bread. But do we cut that bread into triangles? Perhaps squares? Diagonal strips? Rhombuses? Tetrahedrons? After all, geometry is fun!
A screenshot of the
No. Every banner has a variety of cloth shapes, ranging from battered to suave and everything in between; meaning, Blizzard has gone through the trouble of pre-defining shapes and designs for every banner. Selecting any one of these causes selected banner colors to morph with the new design, at which we'll get a closer look when we discuss dyes.
For more hardcore players, we have option number nine, looking something like a flag that's taken a ride in Hell's dryer. For the more whimsical player, we have option number four, featuring a delicate (-ly whimsical) array of tassels.
Whether you're trying to be the baddassiest Barbarian on Battle.net or want to treat your online persona like a meme, it all begins with the banner shape. Whatever you choose, you will be influencing how other players see you, including your attitude and playstyle.
Think of your sigil like your signature. It's the backbone of your Diablo III identity, your stamp of approval on every action you carry out in the game world. The sum epicness of all your adventures, all your daring feats, and all your accomplishments is symbolized in this monochromatic, two-dimensional seal.
Or it could be something completely stupid and meaningless, like a unicorn. Your choice.
In addition to symbols representing each of Diablo III's character classes, ones that appear to personify iconic Diablo factions, two demons, and a fanciful unicorn, there are even options for the Alliance and the Horde, as well as representations of each of Starcraft II's races.
Just below the sigil selection list, there is also a tickable box called Variant. For many of the sigil designs, there are two options: the variant and the original. The variants often have additional flourishes or other graphical elements that make the sigil even more unique. Example:
Variants on select sigils
What if the sigil just doesn't look classy enough? In addition to the sigil, itself, there is a further do-dad that you can stamp on your banner: an accent. (If you're overwhelmed at this point, take a look at this diagram.) Accents appear just under the sigil, a bit of nonsense to make your personal sigil all the more personal:
But there's more to a sigil than its appearance.
In addition to the rather boring, front-and-center default position, sigils may also be moved around on the banner and duplicated by predetermined options.
As pictured on the left, a sigil can appear as a big, fat version in the absolute center, or in a miniature version in any of the four corners or the center. Miniature versions can also be duplicated so that one is in the top-left and another is in the bottom-right. You can even have four miniature versions in all four corners.
Diablo III gives you
the power to make your banner
as ugly as you like
Last but certainly not least, we have dyes. You can stain three components of your banner: the pattern, the sigil, and the base banner. Often times, the color for the base banner will come through as the borders of the cloth, but this isn't always the case.
It should be noted that banner dyes are the not same as the dyes that we see in-game. At this point, we have no reason to believe that dyes you gather for your equipment can be applied to your banner, as there is currently no inventory correlation. This may change during or after the beta, but it looks safe to say that the two are entirely separate.
While there are a number of awesome features that help make each banner unique, there are some things you just can't do. As far as Diablo III is concerned, what you see is often what you get.
For instance, don't hope to position your sigil at any (x,y) coordinate beyond the choices presented to you. Your sigil goes where Blizzard says it goes, end of story. You also can't layer sigils over each other or choose more than one, as seen in the layering feature of Call of Duty: Black Ops' player card emblem designing interface.
Furthermore, the colors you have are what you can use. No fancy color wheels, hexadecimal color code boxes, or any of that modern nonsense is present here. Of course, the twenty-two dye options seem to cover the bases well.
But enough about the details. What does the banner actually do?
Banner: pocket edition
Banners appear in a number of places, but they don't always look like waving standards. In banner creation mode, you will notice that in the lower, right-hand corner of the banner interface there is a little square that mimics the sigil area of the banner. This little guy is what I like to call the "banner thumb," much like images often have a thumb version which represents the larger one.
The most obvious usage of banners is to represent characters in a party. In Diablo III, parties remain persistent, whether you're in a game or just hanging around chatting between games. The party leader has the privilege of banner representation in this instance; it billows just behind the party leader, with party members gathered around it. Outside of games, the banner thumb of each party member is also shown on the right-hand side of the screen in a neat column.
The social interface
The social interface makes heavy usage of the banner thumb. Here, as in the out-of-game party screen, friends are represented by a number of data bits, including Battle.net account, character name, level, class, and so forth, but the most visual element in the left-hand list is the banner thumb. The "recent" tab, which shows a list of players that you recently stomped the forces of Hell with, shows player information in a likewise fashion.
In-game, banners play several roles. Pressing the G hotkey will drop your banner from the heavens into the earth, there to be adored by any nearby players. For the life of me, I can't figure out what good this really does, except to serve as some kind of primeval testament to territorial ownership (much like a dog pissing on a fire hydrant.) Some have speculated that it might be some manner of call-to-arms for PvP, although that would seem to require entrance in a separate arena game.
UPDATE: Negropotamus has confirmed that the place-able banner allows team players to define where their other team members appear when using the banner near the waypoint. Useful for those tricky moments when you know waves of angry Undead will be spawning all over you during, say, the Jar of Souls quest in the Defiled Crypt.
But far more interesting than that is pictured at the left: Banners serve as portkeys to the player represented. A feature inline with Blizzard's focus on getting players into the action as soon as possible, clicking any companion's banner will send you hurtling through the Ether to where ever that player currently is. No consumable items required, and the process takes only as long as your crappy computer needs to load the next area.
There are also a number of banner features that have not yet been implemented in the beta, features that we will likely not get a hands-on preview until the game actually releases. Among these are various adornments to your banner in your character's profile.
A Throne of Bones: Hardcore players get to show off their status with a special pile of ghastly ruin at the foot of their banners. This grizzly marker helps distinguish the regulars from the sadistic thrill-seekers.
Banners for Your Banners: In a redundancy scandal similar to NeoPets' PetPets (pets for our pets? really?), your character's advancements further specialize his or her banner with streamers hanging from the crossbeam at the top.
Whether you're a gear-hording hermit or a player-assassinating homicidal maniac, images speak volumes louder than actions. Your banner represents the core of your character, your online persona, and will go before you as a precedent to future relationships.
And any way to distinguish yourself from clamoring hordes of n00bs isn't such a bad thing, either.
Blizzard posted information about a sweepstakes on Facebook today that puts fans in a position to win one of two hundred beta invitations each week, in addition to a second key to every fourth winner.
For those of you that weren't fortunate enough to get into the beta yet, it's simple: All you have to do is sign up for the drawing through Facebook.
The drawing is running today through December 12, so get to it!
Official Blizzard Quote:
Want to lead the charge against the minions of the Burning Hells before the game releases? Then join the fight for the fate of Sanctuary by entering the Diablo III Beta Key Sweepstakes!
Starting October 17, we'll be randomly selecting 200 winners each week to receive a key to our exclusive Diablo III beta test. In addition, every fourth winner chosen will receive a second key to share with a friend! Drawings will occur every Monday for eight weeks for a total 2,000 keys.
Interested? Good! Signing up is easy. Simply follow Diablo on Facebook and complete our official entry form between now and December 12 for your chance to win. For more information about how to participate, check out the sweepstakes rules and eligibility page. Good luck!
Thanks to Molster for posting this in his status!
UPDATE: For those of you wondering why your country or province was left out of these sweepstakes, Zhydaris was able to provide an official reply to those concerned. Apparently sweepstakes such as these are classified differently in different places, which fortunately provides an explanation, but unfortunately means that the countries allowed in the sweepstakes is unlikely to change because it is a legal issue.
However, every country is still able to participate in the Beta Opt-in, so if you don't have that set up on your Battle.net account, be sure to update your settings!
Official Blizzard Quote:
Hey Aice, I can perfectly understand your point here. You're correct, some countries are usually not able to take part in some of our promotions / offers / deals / sweepstakes.
First of all, I would like to point out that there is no benefit to us to not offering these promotions in all European countries. We always try to reach out to all of our players and we definitely don't want to keep countries out of the loop. Unfortunately, this isn't always our call.
Every country has different legal restrictions, and this restrictions will determine if a particular offer or initiative will be available to a specific country.
I cannot go into details because there are just too many examples, it's impossible to examine them on a case by case basis.
Long story short, some of our initiatives are classified as "gambling" in some countries, as "pyramid schemes" in others, and so on. Some laws just state that any promotion, deal, or offer that allows additional benefits to be gained as a result of bringing further people to the game would be classed as unacceptable.
As you can imagine, it's a difficult situation, but we're definitely aware of the fact that all of our players would like to have the opportunity of taking part in our initiatives.
We don't care about the number of players we have in a specific country, we just want to involve as many people as possible.
If you believe that we may be missing out a country that would indeed allow this kind of scheme without issue then you’re welcome to contact our legal team purely to draw their attention to the situation.
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DiabloFans has seen a veritable onslaught of new information in the last few weeks. The Friends & Family Beta start, leaked information, community site updates, skill calculators, live streams and then finally the start of the Closed Beta have all come. It has been very exciting, but for those few (read: 99.98%) who have in fact not gotten access to the beta, it's been less about the gameplay and more about what is actually in the game.
Wading through this information has partly been like hunting treasure, and partly like bleeding your eyes to death. And sometimes your ears. But since few find that fun, we're doing our best to consolidate the available information in the wiki.
As some of you may have noticed, the main page of the wiki has had a lot of new stuff added to it lately. Perhaps you've browsed the main page and continued from there, or perhaps you've been directed there from elsewhere.
Most of this information is still very hard to get a good grip on. Try browsing through the item category and while pretty much every item in Diablo III is placed here, you're likely not going to get very much out of it unless you know exactly what you're looking for.
Similarly, we have around a thousand new images (and we're not done yet) that have yet to be placed in any specific categories, making it even worse to navigate.
Add to that the 3,000 affixes, hundreds of crafting recipes and, well, I think you get the point.
Indeed. Now that the information is in the wiki, it's time to structure it and make it more useful for everybody. A couple of these things have already been started, but there's much more to do. Here's a quick overview of what's been happening in the wiki recently.
The various skills (for instance the wizard skills) have all been added to the wiki. And fellow member Talkerst has dedicated a lot of time recently to updata all skill information in the wiki to make sure it's up to data as well as pleasing to the eye. You can see the results to far on the various class pages, such as the Demon Hunter. The discussion about these changes has been happening in the wiki forum.
The item data is currently being reworked into all kinds of lists for easy viewing (like Chest Armor List) but it doesn't stop there. Armor tier pages, set pages, crafting templates, lots of stuff has to be done in the item department. And you can help out with this if you want to! Head over to The item list thread and check it out. If you want to create one yourself, you can use the Help:Item page as a reference.
For stuff that isn't currently also available in one form or another on Blizzard's site, there's also a project started up to create area pages for all known places in the beta. You can see an idea of what's happening on the New Tristram page. So if you're in the beta, or know information from the beta, don't hesitate to create addditional pages similar to this one.
Well, this sounds positively intriguing!
I sure hope so, otherwise this article would have been a pretty big time waste that I could have spent doing more important stuff. Like sleeping.
But if it does sound interesting to you, then I urge you to hop over to the wiki forum and of course the wiki itself to take a peek at what needs doing and lend a hand where needed. You should also check the http://diablowiki.com/Community Portal" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Community Portal"/> Community Portal if you want to get updates on what's happening and what needs doing. This is a tumultuous but interesting time for us DiabloFans and the wiki, and it would be a shame for any of you to miss this opportunity in helping develop our community further. If you're interested, ask any of us sysops how to get started or look over the Help page.