The Evolution of the Diablo Barbarian

Gamespy has posted a nice article that traces the evolution of the Diablo DiabloWikibarbarian. They include coverage of the Diablo I DiabloWikiwarrior, the Hellfire secret Barbarian, the Diablo 2 DiabloWikiBarbarian, and of course Diablo III’s version of the brutal, brawny, brooding, Bashioked, brainless, battle-scarred, bro-come-at-ready, brawling, basher.

Here’s the article, and here’s a quote. Thanks to Murdoch for the tip.

No foolin’, the Barbarian exists in the Diablo: Hellfire expansion — you just have to know where to look. The developers (fun fact: Hellfire was made by Synergistic Software, not Blizzard!) apparently toyed around with creating a new Barbarian class, getting as far as building a set of stats and abilities. For whatever reason he didn’t make the cut — his essence was banished from the final version of Hellfire and entrapped in an obscure text file. With a few magical tweaks you can unlock him and restore him as a playable character.

This secret Barbarian is essentially a modified Warrior — he even borrows the same character sprites — but when he uses his enhanced strength to pick up a huge two-handed weapon with one hand, and uses it to cleave (an attack that would later appear in Diablo 3) multiple enemies in a wide arc during a 12-second fit of stat-boosting Rage, there’s no mistaking him for his calm, weakling twin.

But man, is he dumb. For starters, he can’t seem to figure out how to use shields and bows effectively, so sell ’em if you’ve got ’em. He also lacks any magic ability whatsoever. Sure, you could equip some type of gear that grants some magic or mana bonus, but that’d be a waste — the Barbarian’s strength lies in, well, strength. But this also means he can never learn the town portal spell, so expect a lot of TP scrolls to take up valuable inventory space.

The Barbarian is regularly at or near the top of favorite D3 class votes, and I don’t think he’s getting there on the strength of his personality or witty dialogue. He smashes, and a lot of you guys like to smash. Is that all there is to it?

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17 thoughts on “The Evolution of the Diablo Barbarian

  1. Who doesn’t like to smash? We also like to cleave, leap, and yell – even when there’s no reason. But don’t rule out his personality so quickly. He’s got a serious warrior culture vibe that’s easy to admire; that’s the reason the Barb is the only class to return in DIII. Plus – GIANT AXES. I mean that’s really all you need.

  2. I personally like the Barbarian cause he is just fun to play.  Up in the fray, no combos, just pure unadulterated violence.  Sure it’s fun to obliterate hordes of enemies from a safe distance, but beating multiple enemies skulls in at once is just pure satisfaction.

  3. Barbarian just feel very connected to the game, from the way he looks to his movement to skill animations, it’s the only hero that actually seems to use melee weapon as real weapons, and does so in a visceral fashion.

    Has the most Diablo fitting voice acting. It’s hard to get into the lore and take the story seriously when your hero sounds like a 12 year old girl with an attitude problem, or has a heavy Jamaican/Russian accent (say what).

  4. The barb wasnt my fav in d2, however i think he is now when it comes to d3. I had fun smashing around the environment during the beta play.
    I didn’t really play around with the hellfire barb lol now that takes me back a number of years.

  5. Actually one of the reasons I’ll be playing barb first is his dialogue are less idiotic than of Witch Doctor or Wizard’s.

  6. His ability to crush groups is amazing who doesn’t love to leap in and ground stomp and watch a dozen enemies get stunned it was amazing for me I’m so glad I got a lil time with the beta and the ability to play with my buddies was so easy from my friends list simply put amazing 

  7. I fell in love with the first Barbarian in Hellfire after finding a Useless Axe of Peril. Ownage.

  8. My most favorite thing in the beta was to leap down a level to pick up a gold coin. That just felt SOOOOO fucking awesome. Swooooooooosh…..BOOOOM. + 2gp. 😀 

    I was so gonna play WD at launch but after the beta weekend I must say all other classes pale in comparison to the Barb. 

  9. Barbarian so much fun in D3 I agree, real sense of power with his skills.

    Me Barbarian me smash, smash, SMASH, SMASH!

  10. I prefer traditional melee type classes like fighters, relying on weapons and armour, and the barbarian comes closest to that archetype in Diablo 3. Hoping to see a templar/paladin/knight type class in the expansion.

  11. The Barbarian has lost everything he holds dear. His homeland in ruins, his purpose for living destroyed and his sense of selfrespect vanished. He could run away from it all, just not giving a toss about anything, but instead he chooses to try and regain not only his own honour, but the honour of his people. He knows how to fight, how to survive and he’ll use that knowledge to show his mettle.
    That, in my book, makes him a very strong character, and infinitely more exciting than some stupid girl, who just wants to show how powerful she is by throwing a few spells around. 

    Of course, the fact that he’s the most awesome, badass and over-the-top-without-being-silly combatant ever seen in a game, makes him my number one choice in D3 by far 🙂   

  12. I put up a quick ‘n’ dirty poll yesterday on first class to play and the top one is barbarian.  Wizard and DH are kind of close for 2nd place but both way behind the barb.  I was quite surprised at the gap.

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