The Diablo Podcast #75: Barbarian Battle Royale


Flux is joined by regular guest Xanth and first time guest Sarnakle to discuss all things Barbarian. Why is the class the most popular in the game, what types of play styles are most popular, what are the best and worst (and most fun novelty) skills and rune effects, sword/board vs. dual-wielding vs. two-hander, the best Inferno builds, the magic of Critical Hits, selecting a Fury-spender, defensive options, PvP expectations, and more.

There’s even a bonus digression into Diablo III’s lacking multiplayer incentives, which are largely responsible for the lack of public games (especially in Inferno Hardcore) and how that could be addressed by the developers.

As with the last podcast focused on the Demon Hunter, we made an effort to explain the basics and to keep the conversation accessible to even non-Barb experts. You’ll probably still benefit by referring to a full list of Barbarian skills and passives while you listen. If you really want to educate yourself, you should skim over AlexanderBaron’s titanically-informative Hardcore Barbarian guide, as it’s referred to several times during the conversation.

Due to a technical issue, the audio of both guests is about .25 seconds ahead of Flux’s, so a few times they seem to answer questions before they have been completely asked. (Either that or they’re both impatient psychics.) This is most noticeable during the intro chat, but isn’t an issue for 99% of the show.

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Tagged As: | Categories: Barbarian, Diablo 3, The Diablo 3 Podcast

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  1. Great discussion guys, thanks for mentioning my guide!
    Few small notes in regards to group play:

    Certain team abilities are ridiculously overpowered, namely Impunity Warcry – 50% to all resists and 20% armor. Another good one is Mob Rule Ignore Pain for team shield wall – that’s huge for a ranged class that doesn’t have that innate 30% dmg reduction and simply can’t survive sticky situations.

    The big example: DH is very fragile solo (I mean, certain boss combos can kill you no matter what unless you just skip them) , and even A1/A2 Inferno are a humongous challenges for her. Pairing up with a tank barb though? A breeze. She can now tank FAR better with Mob Rule in extreme situation (like being walled in with a Golgor boss blocking her way out) as well as War Cry’s 20% bonus armor and 50% bonus All Resists. DH alone has almost no chance in HC Inferno A3+. Along with a tank barb, they’re practically unstoppable, simply due to barb’s cry/IP and DH’s huge dps.

    You’re right that teaming up breaks many strategic crowd attacks like Revenge, Charge or WW/Sprint, but this remains true only up to a point. Very soon in Inferno HC, you simply can’t afford to have more than a 1-2 elites attacking you at the same time anyways, so if you have another barb in your group picking off 2 out of 4 elites, you’re in a much better position, even knowing that the mobs are much higher in HP.

    Another important point you’ve brought up is that if you’re doing 17k dps and your partner is only doing 10, it’s going to take alot longer to kill the mobs than solo, yes, this is a pretty important flaw in the game, I find, that heavy tank-based characters bear least risk and aren’t able to contribute all that much (because CC doesn’t last long in Inferno, so a CCing tank/offtank in WoW sense doesn’t work all that well). I really hope blizzard adds ways for players with lower dps but higher survivability to contribute to group play.

    Hopefully Blizz heeds the feedback, and we see some of team play tweaked such that it has its perks and challenges, and gets well balanced against solo in more than just dps vs hp equation!

  2. Fun podcast. I have loads of thoughts on the Barb / discussion. I’m deliberately not sharing any of the many times where I totally agree with the guests or have only a trivial example to add. That said, I want to weigh in on a couple of things anyway.

    Regarding WW being weak in multiplayer, this is an example of you want to have a coordinated group rather than a public game. One night last week I was running with two guildmates, Act II Inferno, one a Barbarian using Ground Stomp (Wrenching Smash), and the other a Wizard using Blizzard. The other Barb pulled them in, Blizzard slowed them, and WW mowed them down. It was beautiful. There you also have a use for Ground Stomp in the end game, by the way.

    I guess the takeaway is it’s good to have friends / guildmates to play with.

    Also, nitpick, but regarding Overpower: Forget Revel. Crushing Advance + Life on Hit = mega healing from AoE damage. For example, when using it I can stand and tank Ghom while dual wielding. I don’t usually use it, but it’s definitely one of the most OP Runes in the game.

  3. I usually really enjoy listening to The Diablo podcast!

    That said, i am sorry, but this just got to be the worse podcast i have ever listened to. The main thing that pissed me off were the so many occasions on which the speakers were straight out wrong and i wasn’t even half way through the podcast.

    I stopped listening (and no, i am not just saying it, because it’s a troll phrase, i really got pissed off enough to terminate the podcast) at the part at which one of the speakers said something along the lines of “The Wrath of the Berserker is not really needed for softcore, you might as well use Earthquake”. I am not going to even try to explain how stupid that claim is on so many levels, especially to people, who mentioned that they don’t play softcore.

    I am not gonna go into deep analysis on every sentence to back my feedback up, you can either accept it or ignore it — up to you guys, but i am going to finish with this:

    I have noticed for a while, mainly after the release of the game, that some of the speakers (and i am not even talking just guests here) don’t really know what they are talking about, probably because they are not talking from experience. That really pisses me off and prevents me from actually enjoying the podcast the way i used to.
    I am not saying that you should get a the biggest experts, professors or whatever. I am just saying that you better get players who had the chance to play the game more than just casually, probably ones that are doing at least OKish at Act3 Inferno, regardless of whether or not they are softcore or hardcore.
    I cant’ really imagine anyone wanting to listen to a guy with several dead hardcore characters and his advise about softcore builds…

    • Oh get off your high horse man. The absolute vast majority of players aren’t even playing past A1 Inferno, and absolutely vast majority play to have fun, not to be 100% efficient minmax e-peen out on the official forums, bragging about their 300k dps.

      The podcast was a fun discussion of feedback based on the overall trip, not what’s best at the destination.

      • Pff, it’s got nothing to do with being on a “high horse”, neither it’s got something to do with what the “vast majority” of the player base is doing.

        It’s got to do with the fact, yes a fact, that prior to the release of the game this podcast used to be more factual, mainly because it discussed news by merely repeating them and i could also hear some opinions that i pretty much shared 99% of the time.

        Now, post the release of the game more than half the time i listen to this podcast i am wondering if the speakers even know what they are talking about. If it goes on i will simply stop listening to the podcast.
        I know that i am merely one man and nobody cares, but i decided to state plain and simple how i feel about the podcast as of recent, with the hope that the speakers take note. You are free to interpret this how you want, me being on a high horse or whatever…

        • You’re welcome to contact Flux and volunteer to be a guest on the podcast. As for the shift in podcast tone, News reports are well and good but prior to last week there hadn’t been much to report on or recap in a podcast. I myself enjoy Elly and Flux rehashing the news as well. That being said I enjoy the concept of the podcast focused on a class or concept and the conversation that follows. Sorry if you feel differently.

      • I stopped listening too. I play a barbarian and these guys are idiots. Overpower being useless? It’s one of the best skills. This podcast was the worst one I’ve ever listened to. Normally I just give them a pass because I don’t care, but so many stupid things were said that I just stopped listening.

    • I do think that the quality of analysis in this podcast was legitimately lower than in the DH podcast. Maybe because none of the people on it had played extensively in Inferno, whereas in the DH podcast all three had.

      Oh the other hand, Alexander is right, the point of the podcast is to be a fun intro, and I thought it was just fine as that.

  4. 3 month old game
    they still talk pre-endgame.

    really?
    sooo bad

    plz get better guests. Pre inferno is just getting throu – nothing more.
    As you reach inferno you have to respec almost all of the time.

    (And yes, i know what i talk about 4lvl 60 2Classes cleared 500+hours farming.)

    +flux plz get a new mic, that breathing-noise really hurts

  5. I agree that this is fine as an intro to the characters – probably great for somebody curious about whether they should start a Barb.

    That said, it did feel that the speakers just didn’t have a lot of insight on the ins and outs of the class (which was what I thought the whole point of focusing a podcast on each class was).

    I wasn’t really expecting in depth theorycrafting, but nobody could explain the reasoning behind frenzy + sidearm? The life on hit + crushing advance with overpower? The scaling of WoTB? It just seemed like all the speakers had dabbled in some barb through the leveling process, but nobody had actually really looked in depth at the barb and what he was capable at later in the game.

    I really don’t want to come off harshly, but would it not be helpful to maybe have people that have experienced more fully the endgame and that character to offer a ‘more full’ perspective? After all–shouldn’t it appeal as a discussion for people new to barbarian AND those barb veterans?

    Just wanted to offer some feedback.

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