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Advice for HC Barb

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by SlashRox, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. SlashRox

    SlashRox Diabloii.Net Member

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    Hello fellow SPF forumites!

    I'm aware that most of you are gearing up and doing trial runs for RFL or maybe trying out the new 1.07 crafts (which I find fascinating), but I bring about simpler endeavours. (I'm trying to Guardian in time for RFL though)

    I'm almost at NM Baal with my necro, and this means Hell is right around the corner. Taking into account that this is my only character I'm actually gonna start up another one, just in case of deeds. (oh my)

    Does anybody have experience with untwinked WW barbs? I haven't ever played a WW barb, and I'm on the lookout for any HC tips.

    Things I learned from research:
    - Block and leech works with WW.
    - WIAS is the only source of IAS that matters.
    - 'short' and lateral whirlwinds are safer .
    - Nobody makes Weapon & Shield WW barbs.

    1. But I'm actually tempted to go for blocking, does it sound reasonable?

    2. Any specific weapon that you consider I should focus my gambling on? I read some things about weapon range being important for WW, but I'm not totally sold on that.

    3. PDR (I never actually cared for this affix before), are a couple Sol runes on the gear worth it?
    I'm thinking that if PDR actually makes a difference, I could try and craft some safety gloves/belts with some res and leech on them to boot.

    If the general consensus is that WW is a bad idea for HC, I'll just roll with the more familiar beserker.
    Thanks for reading!
     
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  2. bgalakazam

    bgalakazam Diabloii.Net Member

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    Shield would be safer. Some of the higher 1handers and runewords are quite viable with shield. I always like the idea of hc, but mostly played it on bnet.
     
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  3. Shuffleblast

    Shuffleblast Diabloii.Net Member

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    My first char when I started to play D2 again a couple of years ago was a WW barb, so it was a twink in a sense. :) WW doesn't need any specific crazy gear to make it work, just be sure to max out fire resist and get some life and mana leech. I remember I was struggling in A1 hell and went back to farm NM Baal for a while until he dropped me a uniq tomahawk. WW is probably one of the safest HC chars once you get some basic gear.

    The best budget weapon would be an ethereal oath for you and obedience for your merc (with the runeword mod) or 5/6 IK set or something like that. You can play with a shield, but blocking is rng and it's generally safer to invest points into vitality in the long run. As far as PDR, I don't think it makes any sense outside of running Nihlatak.

    Things to watch out for are fire enchanted bosses, cursed/aura and gloams/conviction. Everything else you can probably just whirl through.
     
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  4. MizzouFTW

    MizzouFTW Diabloii.Net Member

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  5. SlashRox

    SlashRox Diabloii.Net Member

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    @MizzouFTW ofc! That guide is timeless. It introduced me to the power of barb CC skills. Howl+Taunt+Warcry is extremely powerful. You made me re-read it thoroughly.

    Your words bring peace of mind. :)
    Sadly I don't use RWM, so Oath and others are out of the question. Those are really great weapons.

    Thank you all for your suggestions.
    After some careful considering, I have outlined the following plan:

    - Max warcry, so I don't need blocking. Therefore, big 2H weapon and easy untwinked damage. Definitely easier to gear than a 1hander with shield.
    - Howl + taunt for extra safety.
    - I'll just forget about PDR.

    I was just trying to get a Sword & Shield style on a barb for once, and thought about WW. But in reality, a barb has such great CC skills that blocking is really not necessary at all.
     
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  6. logoutzero

    logoutzero Diabloii.Net Member

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    If you aren't opposed to using Akara:

    I've recently been working on a Barb myself, completely vanilla. Concentrate is really great I think for going untwinked. Just tanked Frozenstein (granted, in Normal) on /p8 with only shopped gear without any life leech and didn't use a single pot. He's usually a pretty decent challenge for untwinked melee builds in my experience.

    Also, the Ancients were about the same, used 2 red pots.

    Keep improving your gear's Defense, actively work on those resists, and pump a good bit of Vitality from the start. Killing is slow (I'm doing ~60 average damage with a Crystal Sword, haven't had luck on weapons so far) but the mercenary can handle just about all of Normal pretty easily. Once you've got some levels, and found a good weapon, swallow that red pill and go for WW.
     
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  7. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'm doing a SC WW Barb in the untwinked 99er challenge. It may be me, but I found it hard to keep alive. Although I mainly play SC, I still hate dying, so I try not to as much as possible. However the Barb has already died 15 (!?) times. He is currently farming Hell Pits.

    The big issue for me with WW is that you can't do anything while WWing. Specifially use skills like Taunt, Howl, ... and use pots. On any other character, whenever things get hairy, you can just hit a full rejuv. That is not the case with WW. But obviously that might just be me not being good at WW Barbs.

    Second thing is that it's already hard as it is to find good weapons for a physical damage based melee character. So even more so if you need to find two of them for your Barb, and even more so because of no RWM.

    The first HC melee character I have ever built was a Concentrate Barb. Slow, but very safe. I'd go with Concentrate at first, then respec to WW if you happen to find the gear that suits that build.
     
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  8. Maltatai

    Maltatai Diabloii.Net Member

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    I made an untwinked barbarian that never died and whose mercenary never died. PDR and MDR were a huge factor.
    https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/guardian-izzor-the-leapfrog.927643/

    Whether a Sol rune is worth socketing with is always dependant on what the alternative is and your personal taste. If the idea of damage reduction intrigues you, go for it. Barbarians battle cry or taunt together with PDR can reduce most enemies attacks to light tickles.
     
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  9. Hutton

    Hutton Diabloii.Net Member

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    I have a level 94 hardcore barbarian in the Untwinked 99er thread.

    You can search for my posts in there for details on how I progressed through the game, but essentially it was along the lines of:

    Maces and Double Swing through Normal -> Polearms (Insight in an Exceptional base) and WW through Nightmare -> Singer until I could get an Elite weapon from The Pit -> Polearms (Obedience in a GPA) and WW all the way through Hell including Guardian title.

    I used tokens to respec to swords once I had runes for Grief and Death, but you could easily save the respec back from Singer by waiting for an Oath base, I was just very impatient (though I've still not found an Oath base that's a sword)!

    I found the character very safe- the closest I've come to dying was Act 4 Normal...

    The "transition periods" between weapons (i.e. early NM and Hell) are the most dangerous, but are fine if you play slowly.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions!
     
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  10. sanguillen

    sanguillen Diabloii.Net Member

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    Howl and Taunt are absolutely CRITICAL in HC, in my opinion. Similarly to @Shuffleblast , I too ran an untwinked HC barb as my first toon after coming back. And like you, I went 2H. While I did use RWM to make him an Insight Partizan (which he used up until early Hell), what I eventually found (and then upped and used that for the rest of Hell) was a Ribcracker. 50% WIAS helps get it to the final breakpoint, 50% Crushing Blow is awesome, 50% FHR....and the sound of it smacking everything in sight is awesome too!
     
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  11. SlashRox

    SlashRox Diabloii.Net Member

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    Yes, I even read that if you take enough damage to die you actually don't until the WW animation is over. Blizz really didn't want anything to interrupt the whirlwind :p
    Actually, I imagine encounters going something along this lines:
    - Get to some mobs and optional: (howl + taunt) a few if they are too many.
    - Warcry and once stunned, WW
    I suppose I'm over-imagining this as a pretty safe build, did you use warcry with your 99er? I'd say WW without some heavy CC can be pretty dangerous, at least if going the no-block route.

    @Hutton I have now read all your adventures with your barb. Loved them! Definitely a source of inspiration.
    In particular I really liked your analysis of map routes, exp efficiency and gear selection.
    I'd actually like to avoid respeccing into other builds, and since I don't use RWM I don't have access to Obedience, Oath or Death.

    @logoutzero
    Hopefully we'll get a Guardian write-up! Glad to know that you've also embarked on a similar quest.

    @Maltatai
    That is one impressive Guardian, I really enjoyed the read. Popping the evil urn in the 2nd Halls of Nihl was crazy, but the way you dealt with the Tomb Vipers was really instructive.
    You really make a point for using (Battlecry + PDR), I can see how it would make for a very safe character. I am now torn between this option or simply max Warcry for the stun (but maybe a bad chance to hit with low AR).

    A lvl10 Battlecry provides: -34% target damage, -68% targed defense and 33.6 seconds duration.
    (none of this is reduced by NM/Hell difficulty, right?)
    I imagine this could be enough and I'd get to free up 10 extra skill points, which could maybe go into shout, howl or natural resistances to make up whatever is lacking.

    Also, @logoutzero and @Maltatai, you are really tempting me into this whole vanilla 'no extended stash' thing. A seducing challenge, and sounds more fun than doing single-pass full clears with GoMule like I am now (which takes forever and is generally depressing on ActII).
    Maybe vanilla style but with re-running allowed could be fun!

    Thanks everyone for your input!:D
     
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  12. Shuffleblast

    Shuffleblast Diabloii.Net Member

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    Not really, I don't even use or spec any of those. You don't need to WW in the middle of a huge pack, you can always WW on the edge where there are only 2-3 monsters attacking you. Besides, with maxed shout and 10k+ defence, melee don't hit you much outside of fana/blessed aim.

    IMO the basic build is:
    - 20 ww
    - 20 weapon mastery
    - 20 battle cry
    - 20 shout
    - 1 battle command
    - 1 berserk
    - 1 battle cry /*until you find a reaper's for the merc*/
    - 1 passive combat masteries
    - any extra points into natural resistance or whatever you want

    And you might not hit rejuvs during WW, but you can esc+exit. :p
     
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  13. Maltatai

    Maltatai Diabloii.Net Member

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    Glad you found it inspiring :)
    Keep in mind that PDR won't be a complete defence. That seems to be the mistake in most discussions about it. It is highly useful against specific dangers - high numbers of weak (or in your case weakened) or moderate hits. Neither will fire resistance be a complete defence. None of them should be discarded because o that.

    Yes, stay off the urns. Urgh... The dreadful Black Snarl actually had his revenge on me later, nearing the end of post 84 here:
    https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/the-misadventures-of-two-untwinked-javazons.847133/page-5

    Here is another character that used damage reduction to great effect, and could go with a two-hander in many situations because of that. I wrote a more thorough reply about the effects of PDR in post 9 in the thread. The asessments of being locked into hit recovery are not comparable to a barbarian due to his usually huge life pool but the rest should be pretty generally applicable:
    https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/guardian-askungen-the-green-amazon.867045/
    And the comical overdoing of PDR/MDR and absorption, absolutely hilarious against elemental attacks:
    https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/guardian-sigfrid-the-cleric.784432/

    Battlecry or warcry?
    I won't tell you to go for either before the other because as I mentioned I think such things are a matter of taste first and foremost. Since you like both options I will make an argument for maxing/focusing in battle cry though.
    Battle cry's effect improves with more points, it works on enemies that can't be stunned and it improves your chance to hit as you mentioned, so you have a lot of freedom in your choice of gear and other skill points since attack rating is less important. And yes, the durations stays the same in higher difficulties.:cool:
    War cry on the other hand improves duration with more points (damage will be negligible since you don't synergize like a singer) but the effect is the same, stun is stun. With for example just six points in warcry the duration goes up to 2 seconds. That is enough to attack and recast, or whirl to another spot. I used a level 3 or so warcry with Izzor in some situations, it was hectic to slash and shout and slash consistently but it worked. So the threshold for getting a workable skill out of warcry is very low in my opinion.
    Because of this I would vote for maxing battle cry and putting some points in warcry to use as a more safe approach when you need it.

    I certainly recommend going totally vanilla and rerunning areas if you feel like it. I tried out twinking during one short period but it only led to me losing the feel for the characters, which cost me the highest level deeds ever.
     
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  14. SlashRox

    SlashRox Diabloii.Net Member

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    @Maltatai
    Your tips on PDR from the Askungen's Guardian post are very good !! That's exactly what I had been looking for, some more info on the benefits. I'm enjoying your character adventures threads, they are very well written and have some interesting builds.

    Some PDR gear I plan on getting:
    - Once a 4os armor drops in actV NM, farm the countess for some Sol runes.
    - Amulets & Circlets: 'of life everlasting' 10-25 PDR is alvl=42, gambling a nice circlet rare with this affix and throwing a Sol at it with Larzuk could be pretty sweet.

    Decided to go 100% vanilla, no extended stash. I even 'converted' to this dogma my necro and I'm definitely enjoying it a lot. Feels more rewarding and fun than full-clear single-pass runs, which can get old pretty get.

    Settled on the (Battlecry + PDR) option, which not only sounds pretty effective but it also gets style points for being something I have never tried. In case there's anybody interested, this is what I'm going for:
    20 WW
    20 BO
    10+ Battlecry (I'll probably just max this)
    10 Howl
    5 Natural Resistance
    1 Taunt
    1 Leap
    1 Berserk

    Extra points into shout or a mastery of choice

    Started the Barb and I'm already halfway through act II. I actually tried to deeply understand the 3-chippie re-roll recipe, and it paid dividends :)

    Maul
    qlvl = 21
    ilvl = 25 because of the cube chippie re-roll

    If you follow the usual affix level formula you wind up with this conclusion:
    alvl = 15

    Which opens up the following affixes:
    Prefixes: 'brutal' 41-51% ED,
    Suffixes: 10% IAS, 3-4 min damage or 8-10 max damage

    A Brutal Maul with any of those suffixes and 2os sounds pretty godly for a young barb :D
    So basically I saved some chippies from act I and gambled a maul once I hit lvl20 or lvl21 (can't remember!) and on only my third try I got this:

    Screenshot001.jpg

    Too bad it rolled only 1os, but I didn't really have anything other than that cute jewel to put on it (8%ED, some dmg and cold resists).
    Average damage with concentrate is now about 150. Progress is being pretty smooth!

    Learned a lot from this thread, thanks everyone. I hope to make a Guardian write-up sometime later this year!
     
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