Points in STR and DEX as little as possible. The rest goes to VIT. Stock up on Lifeleech. Put 20 Points in Battle Order. Don't let your warcries run out. Try to max your resists. Take is slow.I'm attempting to play a Barbarian through HC untwinked...this is a bit dangerous.. is it not?
((I play only single player, and multi-player of single player))
Any tips for playing an untwinked HC barbie? :scratch:
Hm.. Berserk sounds a little dangerous! With low str/dex, then I can't equip items can I?
I suggest letting your Merc do the killing in the Chaos Sanctuary and in the Worldstone Keep, at least until you know whether there are Oblivion Knights around
OK, now that we have a valid question at hand...
Choose a build first, and focus on that (referring to a guide would help). Some barb builds are Whirlwind, Frenzy, Berserk, Concentrate, Double Swing, Double Throw, War Cry barbs, in order of popularity (of course, the first 4 are very close and the order is arguable). Obviously, you'll need a good weapon more than anything else. WW might not be a very good choice, as it requires very specific mods on the weapon, and is more dangerous than others for HC. Frenzy barbs can make good use of CB and ctc effects, while Zerkers deal huge amounts of dmg but can't leech. Conc barbs have the advantage of high defense, but you'll need decent armor to make use of the defensive bonus, which is difficult in HC. Throw barbs, singers or dual swingers are simply not good candidates for a first time HC barb. My suggestion would be Berserk...
As you'll see in the guide, you'll have a high level Warcry for protection. In addition to that, every barb has to make good use of the war cries. Max BO will more than double your life and mana (this is a MUST for every barb build). Shout is a synergy for your main attack, and will help your merc immensely. 1 pt in Battle Command is enough, but it should always be active and cast before your other war cries. When you're surrounded, or when there are too many monsters around, Howl them away. Use Taunt to call the ranged attackers to your feet (and their doom). Stun the crowd with Warcry before smashing them with Berserk.
If you find that your equipment is too crappy, either for kill speed or safety, and if you can safely do it, run NM Mephisto for a while. He should give you some decent items. A high dmg, fast weapon is essential. Keep in mind that you can upgrade rares and uniques in SP (Nightfish likes Steeldriver for this purpose). Going 2 handed would probably be a better idea, as your defense comes from stunning enemies, and you'd want to kill them as soon as possible (ie. before the stun duration ends). Keep your resists high, this is important. At least one point in Natural Resistances, boosted by +skills and charms should cover up a nice portion of it. One point in Find Item, again boosted by +skills (having +War Cry skills weapons on switch is a good idea) and used on all unique monsters, if not simply everything, will significantly increase your drops (but it doesn't work on Meph).
Don't be ashamed of hiding behind your merc. They're extremely durable, especially with the help of your war cries, and deal some serious dmg with a semi-decent weapon. Keep him close to your level.
Your concentrate skill will have a 200% bonus from the BO synergy only, and it can be a useful tool to leech back some life/mana towards the end of battles. Watch out your mana bulb around Oblivion Nights (Chaos Sanctuary and WSK), you'll use a normal attack if you don't have enough mana for Berserk, which will spell your doom if you have IM on.
Get enough str and dex for equipment, and pump the rest of your stats into vitality, leaving energy alone. It is difficult to predict what you'll be using, and if you're not a perfectionist, you can put a few extra points in those stats as a buffer, but don't go out of your way to put 150 in dex when you're using maces.
Hope that was helpful...
note: My experience with barbs is limited to a WW barb still in Hell Pits, running the area for around 1 year. The content of my post is based on what I've learned through extensive reading of these forums and various guides. Although the suggestions are intended for a Berserker barb, most of them apply to other barb builds as well.
I have a HC concentrator in Act 2 Hell right now, and it's felt pretty safe so far. He has an unusual equipment setup which I wouldn't recommend, but he's mostly self found. (He's using the full Cleglaw's set, which was the only thing twinked on.)
It's a slow build, but I enjoy it.
Some equipment things to keep in mind are some of the low end runewords have nice mods like OW and Crushing Blow. Also, blood crafted axes get some extra ED as an automod, and you can choose one handed or two handed. Anya in NM is a nice place to shop for some Echoing throwing spears that you can put on switch for an extra +6 war cries to boost your Battle Orders and Battle Command when you cast them.
I think the hardest mod to find on equipment that is importnant to have is CBF. If you go with a shield, you can use Rhyme to get it, otherwise you are going to have to get lucky with sets/unique items with the mod. (I got lucky and picked up a Spirit Shroud in Act 3 NM, which made a huge difference.)
I'm not at my D2 computer right now, but here is the basic build I am using:
20 Battle Orders
20 Weapon Mastery
~5 Natural Resists (more than normal, but with Spirit Shroud, his defense will never be that high, so I put them here instead of shout.)