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About the Barbarian...

About the Barbarian

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#1
KulltheBarbarian

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What are the advantages of playing Pillars of Eternity as a Barbarian?!


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#2
Heijoushin

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Well, they have the curious role of being melee range AOE. So they're most effective against a horde of weaker minions and less effective in a one-on-one duel with a powerful opponent.

Please await Boeroer's answer for more details ;)
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#3
Boeroer

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Advantages are:

- melee attacks do AoE damage ("Carnage")

- very high endurance

- very high health

- Carnage gets +1 accuracy per char level: only class they gets +1 accuracy per level for auto-attacks

- on-hit/on-crit effects of weapons work with carnage and therefore AoE, will trigger more often. Lots of powerful appliances come from this. Great synergy with Carnage's +1 ACC per level.

- highest possible attack speed buffing (self only) of all classes. Can reach 0 recovery attack speed with two handers without consumables.

- the most powerful special attack (melee) in the game (Heart of Fury). Kills most trash mobs with one attack if positioning and build are right.

There are also some drawbacks of course... ;)

Edited by Boeroer, 15 April 2017 - 10:20 PM.

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#4
firkraag888

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What are the advantages of playing Pillars of Eternity as a Barbarian?!

that is debatable.

 

The conclusion I have come to is that they can be fun to play in there later levels 10+

 

Before level 10 trust me they royally suck but after that it is fun wiping out mobs  relatively quick if you build them right


Edited by firkraag888, 16 April 2017 - 03:22 AM.


#5
Boeroer

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Depends how you use and build them. For me, even lvl 1 barbs don't suck. You have to play out their strengths and avoid the weak spots. They have low deflection but good endurance and health. Veteran's Recovery for example adds a lot of survivability - especially when paired with Frenzy and high INT.

A barb with a reach weapon can be very beneficial in the early game when you like to use chokepoints. And with reach weapons it's also easier to place the center of carnage better so you hit more foes.

#6
firkraag888

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Yeah but a barb is never going to be as effective as a ranged caster and you have to sacrifice a slot in your party to accomodate a barb.

They definitely don't cut it as tanks (especially in the early levels)

So there is no point really in picking a barb.

For front line you are better of with fighter, paladin, monk,

For back line you are better of with wizard, priest, Druid, cipher,

The barbs carnage will never be better then ranged spell damage

#7
Boeroer

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Heart of Fury kills whole encounters without using up resources. I'd say it's better than most spells if used properly.

Also, a barb with an overbearing or stunning weapon will be a great walking CC effect that doesn't use resources and at the same time deals great damage.

Of course you can nuke everything to pieces with a caster after the early game if you have to. And that's the strength of the casters. But you will have to rest all the time if you want to unleash everything you've got in every encounter. The barb however can unleash most of his potential in every encounter and thus can be a lot of fun and effective. It's relatively easy to solo with one after Act I is over without kiting and pulling while it's difficult with other non-casters.

And they can make awesome tanks, too, if you want more than the usual tincan that can't do anything but standing around and get rushed by. You just need to follow a different approach:

https://forums.obsid...barbarian-tank/

Not only will they have high virtual defenses (by lowering the acc of attackers) but all other party members will profit from their debuffing, too.

#8
firkraag888

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Heart of the fury killing entire trash mobs of encounters once you hit level 14 is not in my mind on par with effectivenes of any back line caster.

And wizards have carnage aswell, ranged carnage, why on earth would your want to stand in the front line and do it

#9
Livegood118

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I have to say, I tried a Barbarian main tank on my last playthrough and I found that it only really got going once Heart of Fury and certain items became part of the equation. Apart from that it felt just a little bit ... lacklustre? It's hard to describe – it just felt like I was missing something.

 

I'm not even sure if it was better much better than a sword and board fighter and I definitely died a fair bit more. With low Dex I attacked soooo slowly most of the time and Heart of Fury doesn't really have a massive radius.

 

Maybe I've been spoilt by playing Dragon Thrashed Chanters so much. Dropping 70 – 100 damage bombs on hit every 4 seconds in a massive radius with no friendly fire is just to good.

 

And I don't really think anything can solve the age old problem of Barbarians being completely useless against strong single targets - i.e. having no class abilities whatsoever that really help with these. With smart ability/talent selection a Fighter can switch from main tank to 2H single target DPS monster very quickly.

 

For me at least Barbarians will always be about blowing heart of fury with two weapons and then moving on to a massive two hander like Tidefall (for draining) or the Hours of St. Rumbalt (for prone) to get good damage in. That's where they shine imo.


Edited by Livegood118, 17 April 2017 - 03:43 PM.

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#10
Boeroer

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Nothing can compete with Dragon Thrashed to be honest. It's the best combination of tank + damage that you can have without using any resources at all.

 

About barb tanks: we have different perceptions then, because my barb tank (like described above), who stacks at least -30 acc malus on enemies in every fight, was absolutely awesome and added a lot of survivability to the whole party, not only to himself, while doing more damage (countin carnage damage, too) than most other tanks. He's not as tanky as a full tank paladin of course, but who needs that in a party?

Heart of Fury is the best "active", per encounter damage ability in the game. But you have to do some preperations to make it superpowerful. It is also able to kill dragons - if the dragon is surrounded by enough of his minions.

 

First of all you have to be dual wielding or wearing Badgradr's Barricade or Dragon's Maw, then you have to skill everything for maximum damage on hit (not dps). Because speed is of zero use when using HoF.

Also, the radius of HoF is bigger than the initial circle you see when you apply it. That's because every enemy who gets hit by your HoF radius will trigger a carnage attack that reaches beyond that radius. So, you can even hit enemies utside that circle, but with less hits overall. It's good to have a wizard with Pull of Eora if you want to use HoF.

Another advantage is that HoF generates a lot of hits (with enough enemies around) and thus works with Combusting Wounds (unlike Dragon Thrashed) and it also works with things like Vulnerable Attack (you don't have to care about attack speed here) and all on-hit/on-crit effects of weapons. For example using We Toki (left hand, in order to attack with it first in a Full Attack - offhand hits first with Full Attacks) + another battle axe will result in tons of crits with annihilation.

Every additional enemy will increase the overall HoF damage exponentially (literally, not just figuratively). So you want to have max INT and an overseeing item, too. With 4 enemies in that initial range of HoF you will generate 16 hits, with 5 enemies 25 hits, with 6 enemies 36 and so on. You will trigger 36 Combusting Wounds with one attack. You can imagine how much damage this will be - even without the damage from HoF itself (which is also huge, at least you will hit every enemy 5 times, not counting additional effects from weapons with spell chance or whatever).

With Combusting Wounds + Heart of Fury, maybe even adding Vengeful Defeat + Second Chance, you can solo upscaled Magran's Faithful without kiting and splitting. Whiping them out in a few seconds. Watch Kaylon's video where he did it. You can't do that with most other builds or classes.

This can be very valuable! Even better than Dragon Thrashed if you look at the tactical perpective, because you will kill right at the start of an encounter, instantly, not over time. You can even combine instant AoE CC and AoE killing with one attack. It needs better positioning and preperation than Dragon Thrashed of course, but is has its advantages.

HoF is level 11 by the way, not 14. Quite the difference...  :getlost:

 

And how can a barb with be useless against a single enemy? His abilities evolve around AoE damage, that's true, but he will have things as Frenzy, Blooded, Barbaric Retaliation, Barbaric Blow and other stuff that also work well against single enemies. Therefore he's better against single enemies than the usual chanter for example. He will never be the dedicated single target damage dealer, but he's far from being "useless". 

 

Wizard's Blast is very nice as well, I will not argue with that. But it is not connected to the weapon damage, it doesn't profit from talents that benefit weapon damage, not from dual wielding and has crush only. It does work with spell chances and on-crit-effects, but it will not cause draining in a AoE like Tidefall + carnage, it will not apply lashes or durgan steel's enhanced cit damage, it will not profit from Vulnerable Attack or any other DR bypass other than its own (Penetrating Blast, you need to put a precious talent point into that) and its AoE size is smaller, too. It works very well with Kalakoth's Minor Blights & Combusting Wounds though and I like it a lot. But that's a totally different way of playing. There is fun in jumping into the fray an hacking at stuff rather than standing aside and swinging an implement.


Edited by Boeroer, 18 April 2017 - 01:09 AM.


#11
Livegood118

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Heart of Fury stuff

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a heart of fury evangelist in any thread about Barbarians. Also, to be fair to me I did say at the top of my post that things got going once Heart of Fury and certain items came in to the mix  :grin:

 

Levels 1 – 10 in my experience were not good though with a tanky barbarian, particularly with low Con and low Dex. I'd die too quickly and wouldn't do enough damage to justify having the character around. I would have much rather have had a Fighter or Monk or other class in the same position but more modestly defensively specced.

 

Also I noticed something with Heart of Fury - sometimes if you killed the first target with the initial spin the second spin wouldn't happen. Maybe I was just imagining this?

 

And how can a barb with be useless against a single enemy? His abilities evolve around AoE damage, that's true, but he will have things as Frenzy, Blooded, Barbaric Retaliation, Barbaric Blow and other stuff that also work well against single enemies. Therefore he's better against single enemies than the usual chanter for example. He will never be the dedicated single target damage dealer, but he's far from being "useless". 

 

My experience is that in fights with tough single enemies:

 

– Frenzy will have typically worn out by the time it comes to take them down the tough guys

– Blooded is nice, but in fights against tough guys you'll probably want to keep your health above 50%

– Barbaric retaliation is more useful vs multiple light hitting foes rather than with more dangerous individual ones with stronger, less frequent attacks

– Barbaric Blow's ok I guess...? Nothing to write home about imo and probably not worth the talent point

 

I mean, theoretically, yes you could group the weaker enemies around strong single targets but in these fights (I'm thinking Llengrath, Dragons, Concelhaut, Thaos) does this ever really happen that much in reality? Usually I'm so caught up trying to make sure CC lands on the tough targets to prevent my party from getting wiped that the locations of the other guys is kind of immaterial to the wider picture. (My thought processes in these fights are usually Buff -> CC Everything -> Take out weaker targets -> Take out stronger targets)

 

As regards the Chanter and single enemies, any Chanter can start chanting Come White Winds and use Seven Nights She Waited every 10-12 secs or so to hit smaller enemies for 3 icicles and larger enemies for 4 icicles. In my experience, a well aimed one of these can do around 300 damage and up against large targets (about 500 if petrified).



#12
Boeroer

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Also I noticed something with Heart of Fury - sometimes if you killed the first target with the initial spin the second spin wouldn't happen. Maybe I was just imagining this?

That is correct. You should always target the toughest foe if you are dual wielding + HoF. If the initial target dies after the first swing then HoF will not execute the second swing of the Full Attack. (same with Torment's Reach by the way, just for info). This is no problem of course if you are not dual wielding.

 

Blooded triggers at 50% endurance, not health, but I guess you meant endurance. Just want to be clear. ;)

 

Barbaric Blow (BB) seems to be a bit meh - but it can be really good when you're dual wielding. First of all it's a Full Attack, but the best feature is the hit-to-crit conversion and the +0.5 crit damage mod. With annihilating sabres or battle axes, Doemenel Talent, Dungeon Delver, Rabbit Fur Gloves or Azalin's Helmet and Barbaric Blow you will deal +50(crit)+50(annihilating)+50(doenemel+delver+items)+50(BB) = +200% base damage on crit. So it's one of those abilites that you have to shape for yourself - like mst of the barb's stuff is to be honest.

 

Barbaric Retaliation: that's right. But it's raw damage and thus works reasonably well against high DR foes as well.

 

As I said I didn't mean the barb is particularly good against single enemies - but he's better than other melee guys (e.g. chanter) who don't have any abilites that improve their performance against single enemies a bit. At least the barb has some tools that also work okish against single targets. Nothing fancy of course.

 

 

 

Levels 1 – 10 in my experience were not good though with a tanky barbarian, particularly with low Con and low Dex. I'd die too quickly and wouldn't do enough damage to justify having the character around. I would have much rather have had a Fighter or Monk or other class in the same position but more modestly defensively specced.

 

It strongly depends on your party composition and how you play. When the barb is your main tank and you don't have other tough frontliners than maybe 3 CON is too low for the early to mid game. I had a two handed priest of Berath and a Ploi paladin as additional frontliners, too, and I think he went down 3 times in the whole playthrough. The healing alone could balance out the lower starting deflection if he missed the shouts or got diabled too quickly. 

 

About barb in general: despite people saying he isn't viable for soloing or he isn't good for this and that - I did a solo PotD run with a dual wieldung sabre barb and is was one of the most "easiest" solo runs with a melee (non-caster) guy. Mostly due to the AoE capabilities and the very high endurance and health pools.

 

It's true that a barb needs more levels and some special items to bloom. Their advantages around endurance and health are not visible in the early levels and you don't know yet how aweseome the combination of carnage + special weapons enchantments can be. I think that's the main reason why a lot of people think that barbs suck. Since I have no problem to work around his weaknesses (especially not with a party) that's no problem for me. I really like barbs. Also they way how you play them.

 

Due to the nature of casters (very strong in tough fights, good enough in trash fights) those will always be superior to the other classes after some levels, but in terms of fun (also concerning build variability and in comparison to other dedicated melees) the barb is a good class.

 

I wouldn't substitute a barb with a caster - not because the later isn't more powerful, but because they play differently and usually I play to have fun. If I would be looking for the most OP party I would use 6 chanters with Dragon Thrashed and will have the most boring playthrough ever. Or 6 wizards... Wait... why did I say "would"? I already did it... ;)


Edited by Boeroer, 18 April 2017 - 03:28 AM.


#13
Livegood118

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Yeah, I think the issues my Barb in the early game stemmed from the fact that you have (a) fewer reliable ways of disabling your opponents and (b) less ways of compensating for the innate deficiencies in the class (In this case, primarily deflection) at that time. To that extent, I feel like having higher defences is important earlier on because you're going to be taking waaaay more hits overall (which is why Fighters/Paladins/Monks feel much more sturdy at this stage). Couple that with my decision to go for low Con and Dex early on and well, things didn't work out great.

 

Barb is overall a great class though imo.



#14
Boeroer

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Yes, I agree to that. In the early game the shortcomings of the barb (mainly his lower starting value in deflection) are very obvious. At the beginning of the game +15 deflection is a huge advantage while having a bit more endurance just means you can take one more hit. This totally favors fighters and monks for example which feel a lot sturdier. You need quite some levels in order to balance out the 15 points of deflection with a lot more endurance and health. The high health is very beneficial later on though because if you rely on healing (Veteran's Recovery, Savage Defiance and stuff) a lot you want to have as high health as possible or you have to rest all the time.

Of course, the 3 CON barb only has the same endurance and only a little bit more health than a 10 CON fighter - so he needs to stack more defenses (or ACC debuffs) than a usual barb in order to survive.

The best thing about that barb tank isn't even his own tankyness, but the ability to stack his ACC debuffs with every other deflection buffs the party can give. That was a reason why he was pairing up so well with a Shieldbearer Paladin: the deflection buffs of the paladin plus the AoE ACC debuffs of the barb result in a super sturdy party even though the other party members where build squishy.

Edited by Boeroer, 18 April 2017 - 05:26 AM.


#15
firkraag888

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I have to say, I tried a Barbarian main tank on my last playthrough and I found that it only really got going once Heart of Fury and certain items became part of the equation. Apart from that it felt just a little bit ... lacklustre? It's hard to describe – it just felt like I was missing something.

 

I'm not even sure if it was better much better than a sword and board fighter and I definitely died a fair bit more. With low Dex I attacked soooo slowly most of the time and Heart of Fury doesn't really have a massive radius.

 

Maybe I've been spoilt by playing Dragon Thrashed Chanters so much. Dropping 70 – 100 damage bombs on hit every 4 seconds in a massive radius with no friendly fire is just to good.

 

And I don't really think anything can solve the age old problem of Barbarians being completely useless against strong single targets - i.e. having no class abilities whatsoever that really help with these. With smart ability/talent selection a Fighter can switch from main tank to 2H single target DPS monster very quickly.

 

For me at least Barbarians will always be about blowing heart of fury with two weapons and then moving on to a massive two hander like Tidefall (for draining) or the Hours of St. Rumbalt (for prone) to get good damage in. That's where they shine imo.

finally some common sense getting spoken

 

Barbarians are good I think from a role playing perspective if your into that kind of thing. A lot of people backing them on these forums have an emotional attachment to them so naturally they stick up for them. @Boerer I think fits into this category. don't get me wrong I do the same with rogues because I like the role playing perspective of dual wielding swords anf being stealthy.

 

Ive said it before and Ill say it again. Barbs are not that good.



#16
Boeroer

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I'm not emotionally attached to any class. I'm just judging from (somewhat large) experience. I just think that barbs are way better than most people think. I guess you haven't watched Kaylon's video.

#17
Livegood118

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finally some common sense getting spoken

 

 

Barbarians are good I think from a role playing perspective if your into that kind of thing. A lot of people backing them on these forums have an emotional attachment to them so naturally they stick up for them. @Boerer I think fits into this category. don't get me wrong I do the same with rogues because I like the role playing perspective of dual wielding swords anf being stealthy.

 

Ive said it before and Ill say it again. Barbs are not that good.

 

 

Actually, my comments were reserved specifically for Barbs as a main tank between levels 1 – 10.

 

Damage Barbs are pretty fantastic from the beginning to the end of the game with a reach weapon early on then a Draining Weapon or a Stun/Prone on hit weapon depending on your party composition. Highest might and highest intellect possible with Tidefall, Shod in Faith and the Girdle of Mortal Protection and with the right ability/talent choices you'll be an unstoppable murder machine with 0 recovery, of course switching to dual wield weapons when you want to proc a big Heart of Fury. 

 

Also accusing someone who hasn't been anything except rational of being "emotionally attached" to a class is ridiculous. Boeroer and I were able to to agree and disagree on the relative merits of the class through a discussion based on evidence and the value it can provide in certain circumstances. 

 

Functionally when we're discussing damage a class can do we place a lot of value on how fast they attack (like your Rogue build with 0 recovery).

 

Carnage – the Barbarian's core ability – effectively means the damage that they do is multiplied by the number of enemies they can hit in an AoE. Assuming you're surrounded by 5 enemies, a Barb will effectively be able to attack five times in the time it takes any other class in the same situation to attack once (and probably even faster because of various speed increasing abilities the Barb has). Carnage has insane accuracy later on, with the +16 bonus from levels and the +5 bonus from accurate carnage meaning you get a passive +11 bonus to carnage hits' accuracy that stacks with everything else in the game. 



#18
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The lvl-bonus for carnage is another reason why barbs get better and better with every level. At the beginning of the game they start with a big malus in ACC and damage for carnage and their base ACC also isn't top notch. In later levels it's the opposite. No wonder some people think that barbs suck when you only look at the first few levels, how can they not? It's those "hidden" improvements that make the barb effective.

 

But, as was said before: probably the class whose usefulness depends on items the most.



#19
firkraag888

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I've tried damage barbs with a reach weapon early to mid game and I'm sorry but they are absolute crap. The damage you deal is a lot but it is eveny thinly spread out amongst whoever is effected by carnage. This results in the enemies just standing around and attacking back for too long.

At least a rogue will drop then down one by one quicker. Sometimes offence is the best defence.

#20
Livegood118

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I've tried damage barbs with a reach weapon early to mid game and I'm sorry but they are absolute crap. The damage you deal is a lot but it is eveny thinly spread out amongst whoever is effected by carnage. This results in the enemies just standing around and attacking back for too long.

 

 

That's kind of the the point. The single target damage isn't going to be anywhere near to the Rogue, but you'll probably do way more damage overall with the Barbarian overall than the Rogue. 

 

Let's say you've got 5 enemies, each with 100 endurance, the rogue does 30 each hit and the Barbarian does 20 each hit. After 5 hits the Barbarian will have finished the encounter, whereas the Rogue will have to hit 17 times.

 

Now compare vs a single target with 500 endurance – Rogue takes 17 hits, but the Barb has 25.

 

Each class has different value. The fact that the damage is dissipated over a large number of enemies doesn't make the Barbarian "crappy" vs the Rogue, it's just a different way of dealing damage. 







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