Bashiok replied to a question about the rate of the Barbarian’s Fury decay with an overview on resource system design. As well as repeating what we’d heard recently; that there are some low level Barb skills that can be used for attacks without any Fury cost. So the Barb won’t be stuck using just plain Attack the first time he leaves town, or joins an Arena Game for some PvP. Here’s the quote:
With fury now a meter instead of a Stoplight, I got to thinking about the Barbarian’s viability in PvP and against solo monsters. I suggest that while the current system of “hit to build up fury, decays if not used” be kept, there should be a threshold of rage that will not decay unless used. For example, a Barbarian’s fury will not decay below 10 points, but it can still be used and if used, must be replenished normally. It would allow some more options while starting a fight other than “basic attack”, and the threshold is another stat that could be tweaked for specific builds.
Your fury could also be restored to its threshold limit whenever a healing NPC is visited, to avoid players beating up weak creatures to store some fury.
There are only so many ways to make a resource system before they start becoming overly complicated, confusing, annoying, esoteric, or maybe even just meaningless. We know. We’ve been through many skill system revisions and continue to be in the midst of them. None of the ones put into practice wildly flared in any of the aforementioned directions, but even minor tweaks to established concepts can have an enormous effect.
There’s a reason why a few basic resource system concepts have existed since the beginning of game-time, and permeate game after game after game.
ANYWAY, we’ve tried a lot of things regarding fury build up and decay. I think we’ve hit a good place of mixing what skills can be used whenever, what skills have cool downs, what skills require fury, and what skills require fury and have a cool down. At least a good place where more play testing is needed. And of course there’s all the different ways to affect fury gen/decay. Of course!
You can see a thorough history of the Fury resource’s development and changes over time in the wiki article.