2. SKILLS - RECOMMENDED
3. PASSIVES - RECOMMENDED
4. SKILLS - VIABLE (other abilities that you might want to pick up, depending on your personal preferences)
5. PASSIVES - VIABLE:
6. BALANCING YOUR STATISTICS
7. GEARING (potential BiS items that are worth looking at)
8. Solo play and Co-op play (differences between both, what follower to pick for use etc.)
9. USEFUL LINKS (as an example:
10. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL AND EXCEPTIONAL BARBARIAN IN INFERNO DIFFICULTY - INTRODUCTION
The aim of this guide is to help people who are struggling with progressing through inferno difficulty level. If you chose barbarian class and after finishing hell, just entered inferno with not that good nightmarish/hellish gear, you will die. You will die a lot. All the other difficulty levels before Inferno are a complete faceroll, roflstomp (call it whatever you want) - you can do them with minimum effort put into 'theorycrafting'. As for the inferno itself - completely different story, here you have to strive for perfection because of the gear barrier (jump between hell and inferno is SO MUCH HIGHER in terms of damage you receive and the damage you need to deal) that the highest difficulty of diablo 3 is. Champions with arcane, molten, plague or fire chains buff shall be your bane, and you will cry out loud and run for your life if you see them. You will pray to whatever god you believe in that you don’t get all of these buffs on one champion at the same time…
But that does not mean that you still can’t be successful at playing barbarian in inferno. There are more barbarians out there than you think, that already killed Diablo, cleared inferno and have it on farm (yup, including act IV champions).
So, what am I doing wrong? – You may ask. Diablo is the kind of game in which the gear of your character is essential, maybe even more important than skill and knowledge of your class. If you don’t have good enough gear, no matter how good you are, you just won’t be able to carry yourself through some boss , champion or even add pack.
Thus, first of all you need to understand the concept of farming and gearing. Here is how it works:
The further you progress through acts, the better gear you get. So inferno act IV drops the best gear in the whole game. You won’t be able to obtain 1k+ dps weapon by farming butcher endlessly on inferno act I. If you want to find out more about how to farm inferno gear, check out my other guide that you can find HERE.
Now, back to barbarian guide. Even if you get good gear, you still need to be able to play your class and understand its basic mechanics, advantages and disadvantages. In other words, you also need to have chosen good, viable build - if you want to be successful, that is.
Barbarian can wield one handed weapons (he can also dual wield them), shields and two handed weapons. The latter is not viable, unless you want to die constantly. Despite 25% additional passive DMG reduction, that other classes are lacking, barb is still INSANELY squishy if you do not play him the right way. Don’t get me wrong, wielding big and badass 2h sword is awesome. I always dual wield in all the games I play – but unfortunately, at this moment in time it is just not worth it. Using 2h might be viable or even better once you get good gear and have the whole inferno on farm. But if you just entered inferno and still have not best in slot gear, one handed weapon along with shield is a way to go. You need to be tanky. Barbarians can’t kite mobs or burst them down like other classes. You need to go in, smash things and survive. Still, you can’t just stack vitality on its own along with tank stats. If you do that, you will be having problems as well. You need to balance out all stats, and now I will try to help you do that.
First of all, the most vital part of your build – the abilities itself.
2. SKILLS - RECOMMENDED:
Here are the abilities that I recommend using and that I find best. Of course a lot of things depend on your play style and personal preferences, hence I will later list other viable skills that you might choose to use.
This skill is just insane for single target dps. I always had problem with choosing between bash and frenzy, but after some testing, in the end I fell in love with frenzy. As for rune, I saw a lot of people use Sidearm - while it is good for add packs, I find maniac to be better for boss fights without adds or situations in which you need to focus one target and nuke it down fast (there are a lot of such situations when you face champion packs, killing one champion out of the pack might be the only way to go with some combos you will get in inferno). And if you will be stacking life per hit stat (and I recommend doing that actually, more about that later), 75% bonus attack speed is just insane.
Decent weapon dmg, but that is not the best thing about it. Knockback, insanely good AoE knockback. It will help you survive A LOT. If it were not for seismic slam, I would still be struggling with Belial on inferno. Once I picked Shattered Ground rune, it became piss easy fight and problem of adds on phase 1&2 was solved. Cracking rift rune is also decent, if you want some more weapon dmg at the cost of smaller aoe and worse knockback.
This is A MUST skill. You just have to pick it, if you do not, than you will fail badly (unless you picked other survival ability with relatively low cooldown, that is Leap with Iron Impact, in fact it is better if you got not that great dps, but high amount of armor meaning 9k+). 65% reduced DMG is godly and will help you survive all the time. As for runes, all of them are useful in some ways. I would suggest picking up Ignorance is Bliss, if you have relatively good damage output. You will be surprised when you see the amount of self heal you can put off with that rune.
Another skill that you just have to take. While it is not so good for boss fights without adds, it will keep you alive when you are overwhelmed by huge packs of mobs. The more mobs there are, the more indestructible you shall become. Two viable runes for this spell are: Either Vengeance Is Mine or Provocation. By taking the first one, you gamble more. I tested both runes out and I died way to much with VIM. With Provocation, you are a lot more likely to survive, trust me. Anyway, the choice is yours.
The rumor is that this skill will get nerfed soon. I fear the day that this will happen... Blizzard truely does not want Inferno to be doable by barbarians.
20% increased armor buff for the whole party is nice, but that is not the most important part of this ability. You will find out the hard way, that having resists is essential in inferno. Without resists, you will die. With Impunity rune, you will get HUGE boost to all of your resistances, depending on how much of them you have at the moment. Other runes seem useful, but in my opinion, resistances are the most important stat for barb in inferno. Thus, Impunity rune is just the best.
Wrath of the Berserker
With this baby active, you become freaking god of war. You obtain insane boost to all stats like critical hit chance, attack speed, dodge chance and movement speed. Best skill for barbarian in the whole game (in my humble opinion). Now as for runes, all of them look good but 100% DMG boost is just way too good to pass up. With Insanity rune, I find my dmg output to be rising by 4 or even 5 times (for example, without WotB up I have constant 15k damage displayed in my profile, after popping it I get something above 60k dmage).
Wrath of the Berserker also gives you immediate immunity to CC effects (breaks any current CC on you as well), this is totally worth noting if you are facing champion pack with crowd control ability. Are you being driven mad by champion with nightmare buff? Use WotB = win, mob can kiss your arse.
3. PASSIVES - RECOMMENDED:
Nerves Of Steel
If you stack vitality, this passive is just overpowered. And you need to have a lot of vitality if you want to survive in Inferno, I will explain more about gearing and choosing stats later, but suffice to say that 40k HP is the absolute minimum. And if you have above 40,000 hp, this passive is so worth it (you will probably end up having even more HP in later acts in inferno, maybe something around 50-60k).
Tough as Nails
Works very well with Nerves of Steel. I would say that picking NOS with Tough as Nails is just essential for inferno. You will have a lot of armor, vitality and strength as barbarian (if you are gearing correctly) and both those passives benefit in some way from the following stats. 25% boost to thorns works well if you have a lot of gear with “meele attackers take X damage per hit” stat. But that stat is not so good, and we are mainly picking this passive because of 25% increased armor. Though overall, you should avoid thorns on items if you have an option to pick items with other stats like + All Resistances.
My personal favourite. Imagine that you are struggling to survive in inferno, your screen stats to glow with red and you panic. What do you do? You smash your Ignore Pain button. You still die? Well, now you have additional 50% damage reduction which provides you with total of 82.5% (1-(1-0,5)*(1-0,65)=0,825=82,5%) damage reduction for OH FUCK situations. If you have Revenge skill with Provocation rune, along with Relentless passive and Ignore Pain up, you are simply immortal. You will be on low health A LOT of times in inferno, and this passive will save your life countless times. You will find out the hard way, and mark my words - you will get to love this passive as well as I did.
Another thing that is worth noting about Relentless is its another passive effect - you can now endlessly spam all abilities that cost fury (so if you took Seismic Slam for example, mobs won't be able to even come near you).
4. SKILLS - VIABLE (other abilities that you might want to pick up, depending on your personal preferences, if you see (!) icon next to certain ability, it means that you SHOULD use it instead of core build abilities, in certain situations and that i highly recommend doing so).
I used this skill for a long time, but in the end went for Frenzy. There is one situation that I can think of, in which bash might prove better than frenzy. If you are going for huge fury consumption build in which fury generation is essential, bash with Instigation rune will grant you insane fury. What I suggest you do is: test out both bash and frenzy and just pick whatever suits you best.
Hammer of the Ancients
Best ability in game if you are going for pure dmg. With Smash rune, you will be doing 270% weapon dmg. And that is a lot in comparison to other skills we have in our arsenal. In addition, HotA is AoE skill, so you will hit multiple targets with it (if they are any obviously). Also, you get 5% additional crit chance which is very good! The problem with HotA is that you gain only damage and nothing that will help you survive. I would say that this skill might be better if you want to burst some target very fast in single target encounter. The Devil’s Anvil rune is nice if you are in situation in which you need some slow. So you if you want to slow things, go ahead and take this skill.
I used Rend for a long time because of Blood Lust rune. I was struggling to survive in Inferno and I just continuously stacked rend on adds and kited them while being healed from dots left on mobs by rend. Nice ability, but in the end I find knockback to be better for survival. By all means, test it out and decide what you prefer.
Now, that is the skill that I miss the most in my current build. Leap was my favourite skill (and probably still is). It gives you great mobility and escape mechanics. I would say that the only viable, insanely good rune for it is Iron Impact. It increases your armor by 300%, effectively tripling your armor! THIS IS JUST INSANE! If you are tanky and have like 9k armor, you will end up with something around 36k armor which is OP like hell. Every 10 sec you are basically immortal for 4 seconds. I actually pick this rune up for some fights.This skill might prove to be better than lets say Ignore Pain , IF you are going for pure tank build with relatively low dps (and if you have decent amount of armor, something around 9k+ I would say). Its HUGE advanatage is the ability to get out of practically everything - if you find yourself in a bad position, this skill will save you and help you position yourself accordingly.
Furious Charge (!)
I actually did not use that skill at all. I maybe tested it like once without any rune, when I obtained it for the first time and was like "meh". How silly of me... and I just do not know how I managed to miss the potential of FS. One viable rune here (or rather one that shines out in comparison to all others) is Dreadnought. OBVIOUS CHOICE, no other options here. Why? Well, now carefully read what it does. It regains 8% of your maximum life for EACH TARGET you hit. You got that? When I first realized what this rune does, I thought it was to beautiful to be true. And when I saw it in action... oh man. So basically, if you hit 10 targets with it, you will regain 80% of your health by using this ability. Is it just me, or does this seem a bit OP to you as well? In addition - the more HP you got, the better this skill gets. I actually use FS now instead of some abilities in certain situations.
Another great thing about FS is that you can use it as escape mechanism ability. Do you often find yourself in a situation in which you are blocked by nasty, big mobs? Well, it shall not be a problem for you anymore, now you will be able to just run pass them.
Another ability that I had hard time dropping. Disadvantage of it is, that it is the only shout that is not generating any fury, and actually costs 20 of it. Sometimes you may end up not being able to use this because you will be trying to stay alive by using Seismic Slam. DO NOT drop War Cry in favour of this shout. WC is just too good to pass up with its boost to all of your resistances. If you lack some damage, you may pick up Battle Rage and War Cry at the same time. Unarguably, Marauder’s Rage is the best rune for it. Well, I suppose that Swords to Ploughshares might be worth looking at, if you decide to pick Pound of Flesh passive and depend on health globes. I would say that Battle Rage complements well with Ruthless passive and Hammer of the Ancients ability. In other words – heavy crit based build (you might need some crit on your gear for that).
This ability might also be good if you need some high DPS along with strong burst for certain encounter (for example for Inferno Rakanoth). You could sacrifice your fury spender (for example Seismic Slam) and replace it with this shout. You should get a lot more damage by having BG up, being on max fury with Berserker Rage passive on and by just mashing your Frenzy button.
20% flat damage reduction every 15 seconds is nice, but I done some testing and in my opinion War Cry with right rune gives you more survival and damage migration in the most O SHIT situations. Tempting thing about Threatening Shout is its rune: Demoralize. You get to actually TAUNT your enemies for 3 second. Yes, you can capture aggro on mobs the same way tanks do in WoW by using this ability.
2000% weapon dmg is HUGE. I find this ability to be working best along with Wrath of the Berserker. Do not pick it up instead of WotB – it is just not worth it. You will do less damage (well maybe not in aoe situations, but it is still not worth it ) and also, you won’t get survival bonuses from WotB. As for runes, pick whatever you like. Chilling Earth gives you very nice CC and The Mountain’s Call works very well with Boon of Bul-Kathos passive.
Some people like to use this, so if you are one of them then by all means... 4 sec long AoE stun is very nice (less effective in inferno, because inferno mobs have default cc reduction time), and 12 sec cd on it is not bad, not bad at all. Try it and see for yourself if you find it useful.
5. PASSIVES - VIABLE:
Pound of Flesh
This passive is surprisingly good and if you have gear that increases the health you get from health globes, it becomes even better. I sometimes pick it up if I know I will be facing a lot of mobs. The more adds are there, the higher is the chance of you getting a health globe.
I was using this passive for some time instead of Relentless. I thought to myself: It is better to prevent the situations in which I am below 20% HP, so this passive will help me achieve that right? Short answer: No. You will be on low health a lot of times anyway. Nevertheless, test both passives out and decide which one suits you best. If you are low on resists, have higher physical res (or maybe have string of ears?) then you might consider picking this up in order to migrate some magic damage taken.
Boon of Bul-Kathos
You might want to pick this passive up if you decide to pick Earthquake and Wrath of the Berserker at the same time. You will be able to enter god mode more often. Remember, your Earthquake and WotB are long cooldown abilities so once they are on CD, you become kind of useless. This passive will help you deal with that.
If you see yourself sitting on maximum fury all the time and if you lack some damage - this passive is great. If you do not use any fury spender, it is great as well and works very nicely with Battle Rage shout (BR costs only 20 fury and you will use it every 30 seconds, so do not worry abour your uptime on this passive).
6. BALANCING YOUR STATISTICS
Now that I helped you decide what abilities to chose, we will look at gearing and stat balancing.
As barbarian, you will need to be able to balance out your stats. If you go for tank only stats, you will have issues. If you pick too much damage and will not be tanky enough, you will have issues as well and will keep dying.
I would say that +All Resistances is the MOST IMPORTANT stat for barbarian (at least until certain point). If you don’t have any resistances, you will get insta-killed by champion packs in inferno. Monks have easier time with resistances, because they can just stack one resistance of their choice and all of their other resistances will profit from it. It is not same for barbarians. We need to balance all resistances. Sure, sometimes they might prove useless. But if you stack one type of resistance and then face champion pack with buff that you don’t have any defense for, you will die and will be forced to skip it.
Here are my rough estimates on the resistances you need for each act if you want to be relatively tanky and abstain from dying while fighting champions:
For Act I you will need around 300-500 all resistances.
For Act II – 500-800
For Act III – 800-1000
Act IV – 1k+
While these numbers might seem high, remember that War Cry with Impunity rune will help you achieve them.
While for example act II is doable with 500 resists, you might be struggling at it with such res values (especially while doing some nasty champ packs). If you want to just go in and kill stuff without taking damage that can threaten you, you need to have the maximum value for certain act (in that case: 800+ resists).
Also remember that sometimes you might be able to do certain act with lower res values than suggested, if you are sacrificing some of them in favour of damage. Basically - the more damage you deal, faster the mob dies. Logical right? Sometimes offense is a best defense.
So overall, I would say that stat priority for barbarians is as follows:
Weapon DMG (probably best stat for all classes in Diablo, almost all abilities have their damage based on it) > % Chance to Block (best stat for shields) > % Life (depends what % it is of course, as an example I would say that you just NEED to have helm with socket as barbarian) > All Resistances (until caps for each act that I mentioned before) > Vitality=Strength (you need to balance those stats around so that you are able to both survive and kill stuff, if you have for example twice more vitality than strength then you are doing something wrong) > Fire resistance=Physical resistance > Armor > Attack Speed % > Life on Hit > Life regen.
Keep in mind that it is hard to state the definite stat priority. Everything depends on the build you chose and how you play. As an example, your life on hit will be useless if you don’t have decent amount of attack speed. On the other hand, a lot of attack speed without some life on hit stat on your gear might prove to be a lot weaker.
I would say that you need at least 40k+ HP in later inferno acts (act 2 and above that is, you might be able to do the first act with 35k+ or something a bit lower). Once in act 3 and 4, you should have somewhere around 40-50k HP (maybe even more, up to 60k - if you stack more vitality along with % life).
As for damage, as I said before - stacking ONLY defensive stats and buying items with only vitality on them is bad. You need some STR (it also gives armor!) and you need some DMG. In act 1, something like 5k damage should be enough but later on if you will be below 8-9k dmg, then you will be having problems for sure. You need to have AT LEAST 8-9k damage for act 2 and 3, preferably more. So if you see that your target is simply not dying, try to get a new weapon with more dps or even replace some vit with str (or even play around with your build and replace some defensive ability with offensive one).
Also remember, that having some life on hit is nice and helps a lot. It is sometimes better to lose 100 DPS on your weapon at a cost of getting 200-300 life on hit stat. I would say that for acts from II to IV you will need somewhere around 500-1k life on hit. If you can't get your hands on weapon with loh then try to buy some rings or amulets with it (decent weapons with life on hit tend to get really, really expensive).
At this moment in time, % AS is undoubtedly the best DPS stat for all classes (especially barbs that are stacking LOH). If you stack attack speed on every possible piece of gear, your dps increases like mad. So why not stack it? Well... because it will get nerfed to the ground soon (it was already confirmed by Blizzard in one of blue posts). It is insanely OP indeed... for now. I suggest getting % AS just on your neck and one ring. Focus on str/vit/+all resists on other pieces of gear. That way you will avoid DRs once patch hits.
(potential BiS items that are worth looking at)
There are some items out there that are exceptionally good for us, the most manly class players in the game. % block chance is SUPERB stat for barbarians (and overall for characters who are using shield for defensive puproses). Thus at this moment in time, Stormshield is unquestionably the most sought after item by barbarians, and if there is any chance that you can get your hands on it - DO IT (though prices for it tend to get a bit crazy on auction house, I wonder how much people will be willing to pay for it once RMAH hits live servers).
Anyways, here is the list of legendary items that I consider worth taking a glance at (not sure if they will be buffed in 1.1 patch, I would wait untill then before actually buying them):
+(10.0-25.0)% Chance to Block
2800-3800 Block Amount
+7% Chance to Block
Reduces damage from melee attacks by 4%.
Reduces damage from elites by (4-5)%.
+(61-70) Resistance to All Elements
2 Random Magic Properties
Stats speak for themselves, if you want to buy it on AH, then prioritize % block chance over anything else. As for 2 random magic stats that are good - % life or vitality. Any of these will do well and shall increase the price of this beauty even further.
7.2. The Helm of Command
+8% Chance to Block
4 Random Magic Properties
Another AMAZING piece of gear with even more amazing itemization. First of all, make sure that it has socket. The amount of % life you can get from socket slot in head is just to great to pass up. And I just can't stress enough how important the HP for barbarians is, especially if they go for tank build based on lifeleech. After socket, prioritize + All resists stat, + Strength and preferably +% life.
7.3. String of Ears
Reduces damage from melee attacks by (10-20)%.
Each Hit Adds +(55-94) Life
+(11-20) Resistance to All Elements
3 Random Magic Properties
The best thing about this item is its built-in reduction from melee attacks. Make sure that you get the most of it, thus buy item with the highest possible % of reduction. 20% would be best obviously.
7.4. Justice Lantern
+11% Chance to Block
Reduces the duration of control impairing effects by (7-8)%.
2 Random Magic Properties
While this ring might not seem so good at first in comparison to other rare rings with for example +% AS, + Life on hit, its insane amount of bonus block chance is what makes it worthwhile. Two another random magic, best stats for it would be + Strength and + All resistances.
7.5. Mara's Kaleidoscope
Reduces damage from melee attacks by 4%.
Reduces damage from ranged attacks by 4%.
+(11-20) Resistance to All Elements
2 Random Magic Properties
Flat damage reduction against both ranged and meele attacks is what makes this item very good (so in a nutshell, we basically get 4% reduction against all types of damage) in addition to always needed + All resistances stat and decent amount of other stats like str and vit. Blackthorne's Medal with the right stats might be better than this neck though (especially if it will grant you 2 or 3 set piece bonus of the Blackthorne tier set). It depends on whether you are stacking legendaries along with very powerful rares or if you are aiming for tier pieces and thus their respective set bonuses.
Let me explain why I find those "weak, underpowered legendaries" to be better than rares with perfect stats.
You will have a block chance of around 50% which is rather good - if you have good enough overall damage reduction, it is basically same thing as 50% flat dmg reduction (still highly dependent on RNG though).
Reduction against meele attacks is also nice because tbh, the most creatures that you encounter in Diablo are actually melee.
Here is the possible BiS list I made, excluding insane rare items with perfect stats (with current state of legendary items, perfectly rolled rares are much, much better - keep in mind that this may change once patch that will significantly buff legendaries hits live servers):
HEAD: The Helm of Command
SHOULDERS: Seven Sins / Rare
NECK: Blackthorne's Medal
TORSO: Immortal King's Soul Cage
WRISTS: Wondrous Deflectors with Vit, Str and + All Resistances or Rare.
WAIST: Immortal King's Detail
FINGER: Justice Lantern , Rare with % AS > Vitality > Life on hit, > Strength
8. Solo play and Co-op play
There are two most obvious differences when it comes to comparing singleplayer aspect of the game and the multiplayer one.
When you play wiith other people, all mobs/champions and bosses
deal more damage to you (it is confirmed - this was hotfix'd, that change right here changes hell of a lot for us and makes playing barb tank in group a lot more fun, easier and viable) and have more HP. Lets say that you played with your friends all the time until now. Solo play might require you to adapt to completly different type of playstyle in order to be successful in it. As an example, you might think twice before going for pure tank build with very low dps (like 4-5k for example). If you will have such dps but lets say very good survivability, you still might fail in some situations. Well, lets say that you are able to kill everything. But still, it will take way too long. Diablo 3 is a 'farm' based game (well, you know what I want to say, I didn't mean that d3 is farmville or whatever...) time in it counts along with how fast you can clear stuff. TIME IS MONEY! Make sure that you balance your stats right, I can't stress this enough.
As far as picking of your follower for inferno goes: both the Templar and the Enchantress are viable. It is only that Enchantress is so much better and useful in overall terms. Let me explain why. Templar is great when it comes to saving your life (if you pick correct abilities for him of course). He might be even better than Enchantress during early levels.
But as far as Inferno and late game goes, you just have to pick Enchantress. She provides you with a passive aura called Powered Armor that increases your armor by 15% (!). On top of that, all your attackers are slowed by 30% for 3 seconds. The best thing about this aura is that it is active even when Enchantress is dead. Lets be honest, companions are kind of derp and tend to die a lot. 100% uptime on 15% increased armor aura is so damn good...
Now, here are the builds that I suggest picking for your followers:
Intervene (TAKE IT!)
Heal is nice during early game but later on becomes useless. 4k heal every 30 seconds? Imagine that in Inferno... no use at all. Intervene is one of the reasons for which you would even consider picking Templar.
155 life regen per second is not that bad I guess... though pick whatever you want here (if you are in need of slow, feel free to take Intimidate).
Same here, pick what you prefer. Though i doubt that you will be able to equip your templar with decent 1h so that Onslaught is actually worth it... and charge got a potential to save you.
Guardian (TAKE IT!)
This ability will save your life, same as Intervene so take it if you decided to pick templar. Inspire might be nice if you are going for pure dps, fury generation oriented build I guess...
7.1 Enchantress (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR INFERNO)
I find Charm to be a lot more useful than AoE knocback.
Powered Armor (TAKE IT!)
No questions asked, just take it.
I would say that Barbarians are more focused on burst damage because of WotB. Thus, syngery of WotB with this ability is pretty nice. Can't think of any use for Disorient (maybe for early phases on Inferno Belial encounter).
Another nice aura that provides you with passive 3% AS bonus. I think it gives somewhere around 500 additional damage. Though it works only when Enchantress is alive, unlike Powered Armor.
If you disagree with something I wrote go ahead and point it out, I welcome some constructive criticism and your own opinions on the matter. I will try to keep this class compendium up to date and add stuff to it on the weekly, maybe even daily basis.
Edited by devlolz666, 19 June 2012 - 12:36 PM.