Vetting a Hero: the Barbarian

  • It can be difficult to choose which hero you want to take into battle against the legions of the Burning Hells. To help inform your decision we’ve compiled all of the gameplay and story information you need broken down by class.

    The Barbarian

    Barbarians are savage wanderers who never flinch from close-quarters combat. Mighty ground stomps, leaping attacks and dual-wielded slashes leave a barbarian’s enemies dead in their boots and send any survivors fleeing for cover.

    Thanks to their size and strength, barbarians can dominate a melee with nearly any combination of weapon and approach, though they tend towards massive and imposing weaponry. Barbarians are no strangers to the pains of battle, and often fare better in the midst of several opponents, taking and giving cuts, than when attempting to chase down single targets.

    Barbarians’ attacks are primarily melee focused. Their quick weapon swings whittle down the number of weaker foes in seconds, while their slower, ground-shaking slams and stomps can send approaching hordes reeling and crack the armor of mightier foes.




    Character Background

    Wayfarer (Excerpt)

    It was a man. A giant of a man who towered over even these hulking things. A man who stood dripping in hot blood that steamed in the cold morning air. He wore a bearskin cloak across mountainous shoulders, and his legs were girded with piecemeal armor of mismatched plate and mail. Heavy oxhide boots. Chest bare and scarred. Thick hands, knotted and rough, were wound around the haft of a terrible weapon that matched his size. It was easily three times the length of Aron's axe, forged of angry black metal and notched along both sides of its uneven blade. It was a coarse and brutal tool of death, held aloft as though it were part of the man's own arm.

    This could only be a barbarian.

    Vagabond Warriors of Arreat

    Since time immemorial, sacred Mount Arreat was known as the resting place for an artifact of untold power, an artifact vital to the very existence of humanity, known as the Worldstone. The guardians of this revered place were the barbarian tribes of the Northern Steppes, led by their enigmatic and legendary king, Bul-Kathos. Rumors abound of this primal barbarian's great size and strength. Some tales say he was nephalem, the self-appointed protector of the Worldstone. Regardless, the barbarians refer to themselves as the "Children of Bul-Kathos," and none can deny the tangible witness they bear to his mighty stature, or the valiant resolve with which they performed their vigil.

    Their charge transformed the barbarians from simple farm folk to nomadic zealots—faithful warriors who roamed the boundaries of their realm with tireless watchfulness. The barbarians fulfilled their purpose with unwavering determination for centuries, dwelling in a pristine state of isolation. Anything that could lead toward distraction or weakness was pushed aside, including politics, magic, trade, and machinery. Tribes patrolling Mount Arreat brooked no intrusion from outsiders, without question or parley. It was a pure existence, a life committed to the sword, axe, spear, shield, and duty above all else.

    Everything changed after Baal and his demonic army fought their way to the Worldstone. The Prime Evil corrupted the artifact so that it would spread his darkness to all of humanity. In a desperate attempt to stop the legions of Hell, the archangel Tyrael hurled his divine sword at the Worldstone, destroying it… and Mount Arreat. In one disastrous moment, the barbarians' vigil was ended. The shame and sacrilege of this unholy event have shattered the barbarian tribes into a crumbling echo of their broken mountain.

    The guardians of Arreat are scattered. Those who survived Arreat's fall wander the ruined lands of the north, aimless and inconsolable now that their cause is gone. Some have fallen to madness or worse.

    And now a star has fallen to the south, in the humble town of New Tristram. There, dark forces have awoken, and the need for strong arms and heroic hearts is great. For the wandering barbarians, there is hope that this event might bring a new charge, a new vigil, and perhaps some new purpose to their lives.