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Backup skills for zerker

Discussion in 'Barbarian' started by Grandar King of Trolls, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Backup skills for zerker

    I'm starting a new barb (only 17 right now) and I'm thinking of doing a zerker build, but I'm a little worried about doing it. I've never done one before and have always done ww build. I haven't played in a while, and I haven't played at all on 1.10 until now. Looking around on bnet channel at the other barbs, I don't see many sword/shield barbs at all. And honestly, I don't see how I cold be a zerker and not have a shield to block at least SOME of the damage I'll definitely be taking.

    I'm currently planning on maxing out sword mastery, bo, & maybe bc. Is the berserk build a good one to go with? To be honest, I'm a little bit worried about not having ww at all. Maybe I could do a weapon swap w/two swords for ww to leach and then berserk with a shield & sword the rest of the time. If so, how do you think I should do my point distribution? Or maybe I should just throw a few points into conc and just work on my singing? (hork hork hork)

    (Thanks... This is my first post here. :) Yay, noob)
     
  2. ventilator

    ventilator IncGamers Member

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    You can always throw a single point into ww for escaping and leech. Furthermore I think warcry is an essential skill for any non ww barb (and even for those, when they need to resort to zerk because of im) since it prevents you from getting swarmed.
     
  3. JohnofTesh

    JohnofTesh IncGamers Member

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    You are correct that most Zerkers use a shield. There are a few of us who do zerk 2-handed. I have a 2-handed axe barb who hit lvl 86 last night. I can solo anywhere, but tal-rasha's tomb because that is the only place you find a high concentration of magic-immunes. I orginally built the berserker 2 handed because Eldritch dropped a rare feral axe the had 293% cruel and fool mods on it and I couldn't resist. The feral axe has no dexterity requirements but the fools mod gives me +16 ar per lvl which meant that if I didn't use my switch for fighting weapons I wouldn't have to put any points in dex to improve my hit percentage (I did have to put 2 pts in so that I hit high enough dexterity for dual ali baba's). The extra points I saved went into vitality, so that allowed me to go low on Battle Orders (A sorc told me the other night I had the sorriest Battle Orders she had ever seen). I would only put 1 point in Battle Cry. It is a great skill at lvl 1, but with the +skill items/charms you wear, it will be more than good enough. Also, because of its pitiful range, it is a good complementary skill to War Cry. My War Cry has 15 points in it and I get 6 points from items. That gives me 5+ seconds of stun. I do not use WW for my escape skill, I use Leap or simply run away. I use the one point I put in concentrate along with the +7 from items and it kills the magic-immunes fine. Remember that axes have an inherent 150% damage to demons, and almost everything worth killing is a demon.

    The hardest part of playing the way I do is that War Cry and Battle Cry are great for melee monsters, but if I stand in one place, ranged attackers will hole me like swiss cheese.
     
  4. royalesse

    royalesse IncGamers Member

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    If you're going to use zerk then you should look at howl. There's a zerk/conc barb guide if you want to use shout instead. Personally you may want a low lvl Grim ward to keep you from getting swamped. If you end up with a lot of plus skills and the grim ward becomes to strong then you should just stay in tight areas. Large open spaces like the canyon are a pain with the grim ward. There's a faq on the lurkerlounge.com on how to use the grim ward. The short of it is that you fight around it so that your flank is always covered by the ward.

    Lastly if you've been gone for a while and you're used to WW barbs then you may only want to put 1 point in your mastery. You'll get higher damage output putting points into synergy over the mastery (in this case 10% per lvl vs 5% per lvl... you won't need the AR from mastery since Zerk AR is so much higher than WW AR). Masteries are one of the few damage adders to WW... if you're not going WW then you want to consider something else. Lastly, get a cold charm, Iceblink, or socket a Cham into your weapon so you can control your targets better (Doom would be awesome in relation to the Grim wards).
     
  5. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Wow. This is quite possibly the best forum I've ever posted to. And I'm a computer engineer. Thanks :)

    I have a preference for the sword for the versatility. I may go with a dual leech sword weapon swap later on to concentrate some mana/life off in a pinch. But if I do ever see a really good drop for something else, I may well go for it with a new build.

    I never considered using just synergies to boost my berserk, but that may be the way to go. I already have 4 or so points in sword mastery, but I can hold off on that now. Luckily, I'm saving my points for when I turn 18. So, I'll look into howl and see what I want to do there (I've never done much singing before). And I'll invest in BO and WC with one point in BC. Of course I'll max out berserk and I'll look into it's synergies. Synergies are still new to me, and I'm not entirely sure what all of them are yet. I need to do a little bit of homework, but that is fine. You guys have been more than helpful, thanks. :)
     
  6. warlock_666

    warlock_666 IncGamers Member

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    hey man, best forum youve ever posted to?

    these are the only forums you EVER need to post to!! everyone knows what their on about and newbies are welcome to our knowledge!!
     
  7. JohnofTesh

    JohnofTesh IncGamers Member

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    The synergies for Berserk are Shout and Howl. Each hard point adds 10% to your zerk damage. After maxxing Berserk and Axe Mastery, I maxxed Shout first since even though the defense boost doesn't help me while I am zerking, it does a lot for my merc. Howl I am adding points to last. It is also a nice escape skill. I will get put about 15 hard points into it (remember that +skill items don't add to dmg gained from synergies). I Use a Holy Freeze Act II merc for the cold to slow everybody down. He wears Crown of Thieves for the life leech, Shaftstop for the damage reduction, and a nice ethereal stygian pike for dealing out damage. With the 2 of us, that halves or more the attention turned my direction, and if I put him closer to the ranged attackers than I am, he gets all of their attention. With maxxed shout, and not trying very hard, his defense is over 11k, so he survives better than I do.
     
  8. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    And modest, too. ;)

    Ok, I just did my homework on synergies. Those made some huge changes to the barb build. I'm a little bit confused about the shout synergy bonus to berserk, though. I understand that shout gives 10% magic damage to berserk per level, but doesn't berserk counter the defensive bonus from shout?

    Does the synergy bonus to conc from berserk make investment in conc a good idea as a backup?

    I think I will try to find something to give me % damage goes to mana so I won't have to worry too much about leeching. I was also thinking of a Sigon's Gaurd for this build as a possible long term choice. It looks like def isn't going to be a big deal to me, but blocking will be and the +1 to skills makes it very attractive. As I told my buddy last night while playing when he was shocked that my act1 merc had a higher def than my barb did, def is for wussies.

    It might be important to note to you guys that I am trying to be a purist this time. I'm not trading with higher players or rushing at all. I'm trying to live off the land, so to speak. Just doing solo or paired up with one of my rw friends with chars <= my level. You know, actually playing the game straight out and questing my way through. I figured the zerker would be a fun, reasonable way to do this.
     
  9. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Sorry, JohnofTesh, I got sidetracked at work midpost there and you beat me to the punch. That answers my question about the zerk/shout combo.
     
  10. royalesse

    royalesse IncGamers Member

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    If that's the case then you may want to go witht he Conc Barb with the Zerk Back-up. 20 Concentrate, Battle Orders, Bezerk, Shout... you can go mostly Conc then switch to Zerk for Phys Immunes. If you really want to go straight zerk then get the grim ward or look for a helm or an ammy with Grim Ward on it. If you get swamped you'll need to either rapid fire howl or cast a Grim Ward.

    Reason being the way howl works is it sends the outer ring of mosters running and the inner ring running into the outer ring whereby they run into each other and it negates the howl (for the monster closest to you). The other option is an Act 3 Cold Merc with a BUNCH of fast cast on it. He needs to spam Glacial Spikes to keep the baddies off you. Other than that you need 86 Faster block rate (FBR) for a 3 frame block and 86 Faster hit recovery (FHR) for a 2 frame recover so look for those stats. FHR pops up on charms so watch for it. FBR... I only saw three ways to do it. Orphan call sheild with a shael in it, and Guardian Angel, or Guardian Angel, Rhyme, and Swordguard.

    Personally, I'd go:
    20 Zerk
    20 Shout
    20 Battle Orders
    10 Grim Ward
    10 Nat Resists
    1 Concentration, Leap, Leap Attack, Battle Command, Find Item, Find Potion, Increased Stamina, and Increase Speed

    Hard skill points that puts you at 111 which is lvl 99... so tweak it down to 83-87 for lvl 75
     
  11. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Ok, well, all badmouthing def aside, maybe I will use Hal's conc barb as a guideline. He seems to know what he's talking about. I am pretty much building my barb exactly so far as to what he suggested, anyway, not having seen the guide. Although I may put a bit more into strength than he is suggesting. At any rate, so long as I can take out those annoying PI's, I'll be ok. I cursed them the day that patch came out and they ultimately made me get tired of playing. Besides, cow runs and mephy runs get old after a while. I'm willing to give 1.10 a shot, though, so let's see how this build goes.
     
  12. Aksama

    Aksama IncGamers Member

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    20 Zerk
    20 Shout
    20 Battle Orders
    10 Grim Ward
    10 Nat Resists
    1 Concentration, Leap, Leap Attack, Battle Command, Find Item, Find Potion, Increased Stamina, and Increase Speed

    This thou shalt not.

    I put 4 into nat Res. None into grim ward.

    20 zerk, max the mastery (go for 1 point into sword for early game and then max axe later) imo, a BOTD eth zerker is the best wep in the game (better dam and faster then any BOTD sword IIRC)

    I'm level ** I have Maxed shout, 16 howl, 20 zerk, 1 WW, 4 res, 1 r/w 1 nat speed, 20 BO. And the rest is going into Axe Mast.(And leap attack/prereq) I realize the number aren't even, but I can't handle most all of hell with my MF gear on, not shabby at all IMO.

    And no you don't have to be rich to get a BOTD zerker... I've been playing for a month and a half or so and I already have that and all the stuff I needed to make this barb with no help from friends and minimal equipment starting out. (A bloodletter, an SS, and an arreats are all "loaned" itme I had, although I've paid 'em back now)

    He's a God in the pit. I clear levels 1 and 2 in 5-7 minutes in 8p games. Even though I've had little luck as far as drops go lately. He carriers about ~400 mf, for rushing I take this down to about 200 or so. (no skullders/chances)
     
  13. royalesse

    royalesse IncGamers Member

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    Aksama, 1 month playing time for a student is vastly different from 1 month of playing time for a programmer, or for myself a guy with both a family and a job... I'm lucky if I get 2 hours of play time in 30 minute increments over a week.

    Furthermore, try doing it completely untwinked (NO loaners) and see how much harder it becomes when the best equipment you come across is at the shop in town.

    Other than that to each their own... my suggestion is that if a +Grim Ward skill helm drops give it a shot. You'd be surprised how much easier it could make your life. If I'm wrong then you loose nothing.

    When I first left this game (i.e. I un-installed it on my computer so I could get the extra gig of space) it was cause I'd spend hours trying to find cool equipment then I spent hours trying to get magic find equipment so I could find cooler equipment... then after awhile it felt like some twisted video cocaine addiction.

    So Grandar... if you want to keep the game fun... keep an eye on alternative builds cause it's always fun to prove someone wrong... then build characters to stomp your friends into the ground (cause lets face it that's what friends are for). Other than that try low lvl dueling... no uber equipment, necessary or possible... just a guy in a feild with a stick vs. a guy in a field with a pocket knife... The game doesn't get any better than that.

    P.S. Welcome back to the game and a belated wecome to the Forum
     
  14. Fire_Dragon

    Fire_Dragon IncGamers Member

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    Ok Grandar, you said you like ww, well so do I! I have a lvl ** zerk barb on ladder with MAX zerk, MAX sword mast, MAX bo, and 8 points in ww. The 8 points in ww raises the skill just enough so that the dmg is no longer negative. I use zerk to kill everything, but whenver I hit a magic immune I can go 2 handed (or one if I'm using one of my high dmg swords) and kill it. This build is also good for PvP. Only player types it's weak against are BvB cuz all they do is ww. If you want zerk, but don't feel safe w/ out ww, use this build, works great. Also I put a point in battlecry, excellent for bosses and when u get surrounded ;).
     
  15. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir IncGamers Member

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    my advise:

    no backup combat skill, it will only weaken your build as a whole (unless its with your last points you dont know where to put em)

    there are 2 ways to make your zerker barb:

    -with a shield
    -with warcry.

    with warcry you will have 2 handed weapon thus twice the damage output.

    warcry keeps you alive much better than a shield when you are fighting monsters that you can warcry. the problem ones are uniques and ranged.

    against ranged, you can use lvl 1 taunt. Works pretty well really.

    against uniques, use lvl 1 battle cry. it helps you hit them and decreases the damage they deal. if they are singled out you can beat them well. (warcry singles them out by stunning all other monsters)

    All in all, i would say the warcry build is slightly more difficult to play, but a lot stronger than the shield build. really quite a LOT.

    next thing is, have all the vitality possible. that is the reason you should NOT use a sword, their requirements are too high. better use an axe or mace and have low or no dexterity at all. strength minumum needed, the rest vitality.

    max zerk
    max BO
    15 warcry
    10-max mastery
    4 natural resist
    rest shout + howl

    150-180 str
    base - 60 dex
    al else vit (300 or so)
    base energy

    items will increase the strength to a desired level

    edit: and short i have read previous replies, short i will comment:
    grim ward does not belong on a zerker.
    10 natural resist is 6 wasted points.

    if you do not want to go the warcry build like i advice, but rather go the shield build, then:

    20 zerk
    10 - 20 mastery
    20 BO
    4 natural resist
    rest shout + howl

    120-140 str (less needed for 1 handed)
    ~200 dex (for max block)
    rest vitality.
    -you will die soon with this much wasted on dex, having low life and eating 25% of the attacks done to you.........
     
  16. wind

    wind IncGamers Member

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    I think the bottom line is there are a number of ways to build a workable beserker.

    Just a few suggestions here from playing and equiping from scratch.

    Don't underestimate the power of maxing howl and shout. Howls greater range makes it a lot easier to deal with ranged attackers, a LOT easier, plus it reduces how many monsters you confront at one time, usually 1-3. Just be careful in small rooms and get your life to +2k with BO eventually. I find it a comfortable level to react to and dieing is extremely rare, (I finished the game without dieing) even with a shield. Try and get your attack speed as fast as possible too.

    Shout as you said:

    "I'm a little bit confused about the shout synergy bonus to berserk, though. I understand that shout gives 10% magic damage to berserk per level, but doesn't berserk counter the defensive bonus from shout?"

    Yes it does but it's a multiplayer game and it will benefit anyone else in your game as well as a merc .

    But one thing I noticed between equiping a beserker compared to a concentrater, the latter is harder to find stuff for. You see one of the most important things to do is "max your resists". It's harder to find items that give both good resists and defense, than it is to find stuff that will only give good resists, going the purist way.
     
  17. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for the forum welcome. Like I said, this forum is great. I've been telling some of my work buddies about the ammount, speed, and quality of the responses, and they are all very impressed, especially since I am a relative newbie.

    This is all a lot of great information. I fell behind with this thread when I left work and concentrated on playing a little bit. That is, the half hour usually allotted to a guy with a job and friends who like to come play xbox before going downtown at night. Luckily, I don't have a family yet. :) My barb 18 now, and I have about 7 points in sword mastery, 1 in conc, 1 in leap attack, 2 in find potion (I get bored going to town all the time - of course the second act SUCKS for horking), and 2 in shout (plus all necessary pre-reqs).

    I really like the idea of making an axe zerker, but obviously, this guy ain't gonna be him. I think the conc barb looks like a nice, conservative approach to the style I am playing now. I realize that high def, high res items are hard to come by, but that should be part of the fun of the build. I do think that I will make an uber axe zerker once I have a conc barb pretty well set and finding good items. This axe zerker looks like too much fun to not be a little bit richer than I am right not to start him off with.

    By all means, keep giving me info on the zerker build. I will start him as soon as I can. I may have him be a ladder barb so that I can mooch off of one of my friends who is a pretty wealthy player. (he swears up and down that he invented the tesladin)
     
  18. royalesse

    royalesse IncGamers Member

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    If you're going the conc barb build consider putting only 1 point in bezerk... you'll get +200% magic damage from shout in addition to the bonuses of 1 point in bezerk. If you come across too many phys immunes then you can put more in zerk latter, or if you can survive hell just fine then you can play around with WW like you did in the past.

    FYI % to cast XXX doesn't work with WW. You may want to read how WW changed in 1.10... what works and what doesn't work.
     
  19. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    I will definitely put a point in zerk for the PI's. I may add more over time. Right now, I have a pally that I am teaming with and I think I have a friend who is about to start a bowazon to join us. Maybe I can get another friend to do a sorcy. Hopefully this build with all it's def will allow a certain ammount of MF later on so that I can start working on my uber botd axe zerker barb. Any thoughts on an MF conc barb?
     

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