When Diablo III launched, I was sorely disappointed. It's a fairly widely-held opinion that the game was underwhelming at launch, and like so many others, I left within the first month. When patch 1.0.4 came out, I got interested again and came back to check it out. Seeing potential in the game now, I started playing again just before patch 1.0.5, and suddenly this previously awful game was decent. Many of the original problems were ironed out, the gameplay was more enjoyable, and I actually felt like playing D3 again. However, one problem remained: the (RM)AH. I always felt like this was such a blemish on the game, to the extent where I felt no joy in playing because the whole experience was tainted by the AH. Instead, when I returned, I decided to play self-found. I now play D3 as though it was the single-player game that Blizzard wouldn't give us. Now, this requires a different approach. When played like this, Inferno is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of work and preparation to farm even A3 MP0 with any kind of efficiency, and you can't always trust the various builds and guides on the web. Here follows a guide and a build for playing a self-found barbarian. I personally went all-out legit, starting from zero and refraining from using any crafting recipes I hadn't found with that character. The first thing to keep in mind is that you can never count on having anything. You can never expect to have lifesteal, you can never rely on a certain set item or access to a crafting recipe that isn't baseline. Accept that 'star' is probably the highest quality of gem you'll ever own, prepare to play without lifesteal gear, know that you won't be grinding 50mil exp per hour for quite some time, and get ready for a serious challenge. The build is as follows: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#ahPkRi!YZb!YbZcYZ Notes: Bash [Instigation] is my current choice, but I suspect I could find a better solution if I cared to look into it. The rune feels overkill and I'll soon be experimenting with [Punish] or perhaps even with Frenzy. Try for yourself and determine whether or not you need the extra fury. Whirlwind [Blood Funnel] is the foundation of the build. Blood Funnel is simply required if you have no lifesteal, and you can never expect to have that when playing self-found. If you ever get good weapons with lifesteal, feel free to move on to the traditional Sprint build -- this is a different build. If any one thing defines this whole build, it's the assumption that you'll lack lifesteal. The only way to overcome this is with [Blood Funnel], simple as that. WotB [Insanity] is important to this build. You need it to overcome various kinds of crowd control, and you'll often want the enormous damage boost to ensure victory over particularly tough elite packs. Don't bother with Thrive on Chaos with this build -- you can't sustain it, and you need the +100% damage from Insanity. War Cry [Impunity] is my choice because my resists are now high enough to take advantage of the rune (despite its nerf). If your unbuffed resists are under 400, you might get more out of Invigorate or perhaps even Hardened Wrath. Battle Rage [Into the Fray] is pretty mandatory. You'll need both the damage boost and the chance to gain fury. This is what will let you whirl forever in crowds. If you have to stop whirling, you often die. Ignore Pain [Iron Hide] is optional and I've used several other skills in this slot. I ruled out Revenge pretty quickly since you have to stop whirling to cast it, interrupting the flow. I used Overpower for a while with both Revel and Crushing Advance, and it was alright but I needed something with stronger survivability. I tried Leap and Charge with their respective armor and healing runes, but they didn't pack enough of a punch and I didn't actually need the mobility so much. I finally resorted to good old Ignore Pain as it helps me overcome those near-unbeatable combinations of arcane enchanted and molten. The passives should be self-explanatory. Ruthless and Weapon Master are staples of the build even by those with billions of gold, and Nerves Of Steel was always a solid rune. You might choose Superstition instead for much the same result, and I've even considered trying Pound of Flesh due to the fact that I have no kind of LS or LoH on my gear. I did entertain the thought of using Bloodthirst to overcome that problem, but I don't think a sole 3% is enough, especially when it comes at the expense of raw survivability. You're welcome to give it a shot, but with a low DPS (mine's 55k) you'll barely notice 3% lifesteal (which is really 0.6% in Inferno). GEAR This wouldn't be a guide without a section about gear, but note that it's difficult to say very much about it when it concerns self-found play. I can't tell you to get a Skorn or IK chest, it just isn't that easy. In a lot of cases, you'll be venturing into Inferno using items that would be worthless on the AH. You'll be embarrassed about your own gear and you'll feel so tempted to hop on the AH and buy just a weapon, just one, maybe with LoH and a socket and... no. Don't. You're legit. Shut up. Take it from me (because I tried): caving in and buying something (I bought a crafting recipe) taints the whole project and you'll quickly feel like there's no point. I now have a 6-slot shoulder recipe that I don't craft despite the fact that my shoulders are so bad the warrior from Diablo 1 wouldn't wear 'em. STAY LEGIT. Your weapons are what you'll need to focus on a lot. Craft rare axes and hope for 800 DPS and a socket. If you're insanely lucky, you'll get 800 DPS, a socket and native critdmg. I haven't got that yet despite crafting at least 50 Galrakis. I did get one with 840 DPS, 240 str, 150 vit and a socket, and I found a DPS 880 sword with 60 critdmg, 10% IAS and a socket. Both are socketed with 70% emeralds -- these are surprisingly easy to get since the only other thing to use gold for is crafting. Not much else can really be said in specific terms. You want a good deal of crit in order to heal from Blood Funnel -- I'd go for 40%, much of which is gained from passives and the Scoundrel (21%, to be exact, plus the 5% baseline). You can probably get some on your gloves as well. 30% should suffice as a minimum, but more is always better. Crit damage is excellent, but it's very hard to get gear that has it without sacrificing huge amounts of survivability stats. I consider this the minimum for farming A3 MP0: 35-40k health 50k DPS 30% crit chance (but you really want 40%) 600 resists 6000 armor From there, you can focus on increasing your DPS and on the final lofty goal: lifesteal. Once you have 40k health and 600/6000 armor/resists, you're okay for defensive stats and will benefit more from ensuring that you clear areas faster. Often, the best defense is a good offense. If you can't kill things quickly, you'll just get worn down by molted, plagued, arcane and so on. Those are the biggest threats, by the way. You'll pretty quickly reach the point where the physical damage output of most mobs is negligible and easily countered by the health gain from WW, but you'll never stop getting wrecked by elemental affixes. Arcane enchanted will make you scream and weep, and molten is just not fair. Combined with frozen or jailer, they'll make up 90% of your deaths. This is why WotB is so crucial, you simply can't beat certain affix combos without it as you'll auto-die to a badly timed jailer+arcane or waller+frozen. As an epilogue, I'll just mention that you will die a lot. It's unavoidable. This game is not really made for self-found play, it's just that the latest patches have made it marginally possible whereas it used to be completely futile. It's challenging, but usually in a good way. Dying isn't so bad and I find that success feels much more satisfying this way. It'll take much longer before you hit that point where finding upgrades is statistically almost impossible, whereas that'll happen almost immediately if you use the AH. I have played at least a hundred hours like this and am only just getting vaguely comfortable farming A3 MP1. Without a market to keep up with and rich players to make me feel insignificant, I find the game much more relaxing and rewarding. Few things compare to the thrill of finding a legendary ring when you're wearing a crappy blue one, and I think there's something to be proud of in a character whose accomplishments are all his own instead of the AH's.