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What are barbarians good at?


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#1
MortyTheGobbo

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That's a clickbaity title, I know. But as I play through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor on level 20 and try to use Konstanten a bit more, I just can't see what he really does well. He does adequate damage with Oathbreaker's End, wearing One Dozen Stood, but... not much beyond that. I guess it's cool that he can terrify enemies with his rage. Barbarians are supposed to be a crowd control class, but between Carnage being nerfed and their having few active abilities that all compete for resources, it doesn't come up.

 

Multilclass barbarians (Rekke in one game, Serafen in another) seem to work a bit better, but still not spectacular.



#2
Purudaya

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That's a clickbaity title, I know. But as I play through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor on level 20 and try to use Konstanten a bit more, I just can't see what he really does well. He does adequate damage with Oathbreaker's End, wearing One Dozen Stood, but... not much beyond that. I guess it's cool that he can terrify enemies with his rage. Barbarians are supposed to be a crowd control class, but between Carnage being nerfed and their having few active abilities that all compete for resources, it doesn't come up.

 

Multilclass barbarians (Rekke in one game, Serafen in another) seem to work a bit better, but still not spectacular.

 

Their action speed/recovery bonuses should synergize well with Konstanten's invocations, making him cast faster. A single-class barb eventually gets access to Heart of Fury, which is especially devastating with AoE weapons like mortars or (to a lesser extent) rods. They multi really well with monks: Brute Force combos well with abilities and spell debuffs that lower fortitude (morning star even has a modal for it iirc), which means more crits and more bonus attacks from swift flurry. Wahai Poraga and WotEP used to allow you to apply carnage multiple times per attack by hitting multiple enemies at once, but I'm not sure if this is still the case.

I wish they had more attack abilities (basically just crushing blow for most of the game) to make use of, but they really take off at higher level or as half of a martial multi.


Edited by Purudaya, 27 January 2019 - 05:02 PM.


#3
Nights86

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great passives when multi classed and great actives when single

 

carnage is inconsequential but that's ok



#4
MortyTheGobbo

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That's a clickbaity title, I know. But as I play through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor on level 20 and try to use Konstanten a bit more, I just can't see what he really does well. He does adequate damage with Oathbreaker's End, wearing One Dozen Stood, but... not much beyond that. I guess it's cool that he can terrify enemies with his rage. Barbarians are supposed to be a crowd control class, but between Carnage being nerfed and their having few active abilities that all compete for resources, it doesn't come up.

 

Multilclass barbarians (Rekke in one game, Serafen in another) seem to work a bit better, but still not spectacular.

 

Their action speed/recovery bonuses should synergize well with Konstanten's invocations, making him cast faster. A single-class barb eventually gets access to Heart of Fury, which is especially devastating with AoE weapons like mortars or (to a lesser extent) rods. They multi really well with monks: Brute Force combos well with abilities and spell debuffs that lower fortitude (morning star even has a modal for it iirc), which means more crits and more bonus attacks from swift flurry. Wahai Poraga and WotEP used to allow you to apply carnage multiple times per attack by hitting multiple enemies at once, but I'm not sure if this is still the case.

I wish they had more attack abilities (basically just crushing blow for most of the game) to make use of, but they really take off at higher level or as half of a martial multi.

 

 

Konstanten is a single barbarian here, so no invocations. Having to use rods or mortars is incredibly counter-intuitive, so I won't be doing that. I just want him to work well in melee, and I don't think he does.



#5
Enoch

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First, the passives are great.  Purudaya has already mentioned Brute Force, which is fantastic because FORT is much easier to debuff than Deflection is.  (Specifically, MIG and CON afflictions each lower FORT by 10 and stack with each other, while DEF is only sensitive to one type of affliction, which only lowers it by 5.  Also, the Morning Star modal gives -25 FORT, while the Pike modal only gives -10 DEF.)  Also fundamental to a good Barbarian are Thick Skinned, One Stands Alone, Bloodlust, and Blood Thirst.  Interrupting Blows and Bloody Slaughter can also be kewl.  (The latter gets washed out a bit because of overkill situations, but it will help get more kills attributed to the Barb, which translates into more effectiveness through Bloodlust and Blood Thirst.)

 

As for actives, Heart of Fury is great, even if you don't use an AoE weapon.  That aside, in a world where Spirit Tornado and your top-tier Shout ability (Driving Roar and Dazing Shout can both be strong choices) only cost 1 Rage each, who really needs attack abilities?  At high levels, that's the best bang-for-your-buck with Rage in most situations.  (Yes, you can use Spirit Tornado when Frenzy is already active.) 

 

Alternately, take Barbaric Retaliation, max Armor, minimize Deflection, Leap into a crowd of melee opponents, and watch them all die. 


Edited by Enoch, 27 January 2019 - 05:36 PM.


#6
Ophiuchus

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Be sure to boost his low INT if you can. Otherwise he'll spend too much time recasting Frenzy.



#7
UltimaLuminaire

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You need to keep in mind that Barbarians are not reliable damage. In order to do big damage, the Barbarian relies on several key abilities.

 

Frenzy: +15% damage/healing (Strong)
Blooded: +25% damage while bloodied (!)

Barbaric Blow: +20% damage, 30% hits to crits, +50% crit damage (!)

Bloody Slaughter: +20% hit to crits, +50% crit damage (!); near death enemies only. Note that this applies to weapons, so it works with ranged.

One Stands Alone: +20% damage while near 2 or more enemies (!)

 

And that's not considering other factors for unpredictable nova potential.

Bloodlust: +20% Action Speed (counts as passive so it stacks with all other sources of Action Speed) after downing an enemy
Bloodthirst: Wave recovery time after downing an enemy. Note that reload time is not the same as recovery time.
Barbaric Retaliation: Melee full attack when crit by an enemy

So if you are being underwhelmed by a Barbarian then it is likely the class simply isn't for you. You will achieve more consistent big numbers with other classes, and that's just looking at one facet of gameplay. There are a crazy number of ways you can play Barbarian when you aren't limiting yourself to being a solo front-line DPS. Switch hitting, modal debuff abuse, raw damage abuse, all of that is there but untapped because most of the community can't stand how underwhelming and random the solo Barbarian's damage is. That said, in all of my 50+ playthroughs using Barbarian, they have never failed to hold their weight. The hit to crit conversion just skews the numbers in their favor.


Edited by UltimaLuminaire, 27 January 2019 - 07:20 PM.

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#8
Purudaya

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That's a clickbaity title, I know. But as I play through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor on level 20 and try to use Konstanten a bit more, I just can't see what he really does well. He does adequate damage with Oathbreaker's End, wearing One Dozen Stood, but... not much beyond that. I guess it's cool that he can terrify enemies with his rage. Barbarians are supposed to be a crowd control class, but between Carnage being nerfed and their having few active abilities that all compete for resources, it doesn't come up.

 

Multilclass barbarians (Rekke in one game, Serafen in another) seem to work a bit better, but still not spectacular.

 

Their action speed/recovery bonuses should synergize well with Konstanten's invocations, making him cast faster. A single-class barb eventually gets access to Heart of Fury, which is especially devastating with AoE weapons like mortars or (to a lesser extent) rods. They multi really well with monks: Brute Force combos well with abilities and spell debuffs that lower fortitude (morning star even has a modal for it iirc), which means more crits and more bonus attacks from swift flurry. Wahai Poraga and WotEP used to allow you to apply carnage multiple times per attack by hitting multiple enemies at once, but I'm not sure if this is still the case.

I wish they had more attack abilities (basically just crushing blow for most of the game) to make use of, but they really take off at higher level or as half of a martial multi.

 

 

Konstanten is a single barbarian here, so no invocations. Having to use rods or mortars is incredibly counter-intuitive, so I won't be doing that. I just want him to work well in melee, and I don't think he does.

 

 

I dunno, a barbarian switching to a pair of blunderbusses and going to town doesn't seem that counter-intuitive in this setting. Kind of fitting, actually. Barring that, at least make sure you're dual-wielding to make the most out of heart of fury when it becomes available. Lion's Sprint also helps with recovery and accuracy on top of the various passives.

I do wish they'd let you see companions' stats before deciding what class/multi to go with. I haven't looked at his sheet in a while, but I'm not sure Konstanten is that well optimized for a single-class barb. 

 



#9
Ensign

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So if you are being underwhelmed by a Barbarian then it is likely the class simply isn't for you.

 

This really is the core of it.  Of all the martial classes Barbarian scales the most with attention - both deliberate micro from the player, and support / buffs being pumped into it from other party members.  It is fantastic as the 'star' of the party that everyone else is setting up to carry.  It's not dissimilar to rogue, in that timing and positioning are very important to making the most of the class, and if you just set the AI on one and forget it's going to feel like a bad fighter.


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#10
Boeroer

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Lvl 20?

Variant 1: The Pulverizer
Put on the Tricorn.
Pick Blood Storm, Bloodlust, Blood Thirst, Blood Surge and Driving Roar.
Try to target groups of foes. Once fight starts just roar enemies to pieces. Bonus points if they stand near a wall. It's foe-only and doesn't care for INT (Konstanten has only 10).

Proof:

Spoiler

We those dmg numbers? Yeah... that's a totally unoptimized Serafen doing it. Konstanten would do equally well.



Variant 2: Knocks Fort

Willbreaker, Body Blows, Ring of Ov + Ring of Ov., +INT gear, Aloth's armor, Spirit Tornado, Bloodlust, Blood Storm Thirst, Blood Surge, Heart of Fury, Panther's Leap.
Leap into crowd, do Spirit Tornado, do HoF with Body Blows, leave for your nuker to target crowd with whatever fort spell suits you. Enemies will be Dazed, Terrified, then Staggered and under the effect of Body Blows which results in -45 -35 Fortitude and -20 -10 Will (and more because Willbreaker does lower Will as well per hit). Very good at debuffing while dealing damage. You can also use Blood Storm and Barbaric Shout instead of Spirit Tornado. But the latter is safer.

Variant 3: Heart of Lightning
Dual mortars and same procedure as Knocks Fort. But Blood Storm. Put on Heaven's Cacophony, cast Avenging Storm. Cast Blood Storm. Jump in and do HoF with Mortars (Powder Burns). Bonus points if somebody did cast Combusting Wounds first.

Variant 4: Bloody Backlash

Patinated Plate (Juggernaut), Thick Skinned, Blunting Belt, Blood Storm, Blood Thirst, HoF, Bloodlust,Blood Surge, Barbaric Retaliation, Panther's Leap. Dual Battle Axes (Oathbreakers also works) or Willbreaker or Saru-Sichr, Sanguine Sword. Cast Blood Storm, jump in and let them hit you while you hit them. Dual Battle Axes are best. Recovery will not matter with retaliation. Will not matter with HoF. If somebody dies: Blood Thirst. And so on. Whirlwind of Bleeding Cuts. Nice Variant: Grave Calling + Scordeo's Edge with Blade Cascade.


The Pulverizer works like a super easy AI bot, too. Needs no special gear. Not much works with Driving Roar. But the hat is nice since it gives +5 ACC.


Edited by Boeroer, 28 January 2019 - 08:26 AM.

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#11
Boeroer

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So... overwhelmed by the awesomeness of Barbarians, eh? ;)


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#12
MortyTheGobbo

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I was asleep and couldn't comment, but those are good builds. Maybe I can try them out. That being said, Konstanten isn't level 20 yet, due to the dumb way XP works for companions who aren't in your team. I can't remember if I've got Willbreaker, though. I should, because I cleared out Crookspur.

 

Konstanten's low Intellect is a real pain for both of his possible classes. Maybe less so when he's a pure barbarian. I don't have any items to boost it, since I sort of put whatever I had on hand on him when I brought him to SSS. I wish there was a way to access why whole team's inventories at once.


Edited by MortyTheGobbo, 28 January 2019 - 03:16 AM.


#13
Boeroer

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I always undress them competely once I swap them out. 

 

The build with Driving Roar needs no INT. So it's good for Konstanten. The retaliation one also works with lowish INT. For both you need to be lvl 19. Else you can't have Driving Roar or Bariaric Retaliation. The debuffing one works well as soon as you get to PL 8. What is that? Lvl 16?



#14
Elric Galad

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I really like Unflinching by the way. Almost feels like a 3 for 1.



#15
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Yes, especially for a ranged barb it's pretty great. *points at da Pulverizer*

By the way: Instrument of Boundless Rage is also very good. It's just a tad too expensive. THe great thing about Blood Surge + Driving Roar is that is does insane damage and hits a lot of people even if you have low INT (hello Berserker). And the chances to not run out of rage via Blood Surge are a lot higher if you can kill stuff for 1 rage and not for 3.

 

It's just a bit sad that a ranged barb is no fun at all unless you reach the highest levels. I tried it, it's meh. Luckily there is retraining so you can switch from your usual barb to Pulverizer just by investing some money.

 

If you meet crush immune foes you are a bit screwed by the way. Better carry some decent ranged weapon with recovery (War Bow or Hunting Bow) or a pike or so. 


Edited by Boeroer, 28 January 2019 - 06:42 AM.


#16
MortyTheGobbo

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The non-casting classes are very melee-heavy in general. The only one that leans towards ranged is ranger. Rogues can do both and the others are encouraged to melee without specialized builds. It's a bit of a problem.

 

If by "debuff" you mean the "Knocks Fort" one, then Konstanten is at least level 16. So I can try it. I'd just have to make sure I have the gear. I think I've missed Willbreaker, so I'd need to go back to Crookspur and search.


Edited by MortyTheGobbo, 28 January 2019 - 06:29 AM.


#17
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You can also use Saru-Sichr as alternative with the Paralyze-upgrade enchantment. On paper it looks bad, but all the "poison dipped" DoTs stack in parallel. So with HoF and some attacks here and there you will see some paralyzes. 



#18
Enoch

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Variant 2: Knocks Fort

Willbreaker, Body Blows, Ring of Ov + Ring of Ov., +INT gear, Aloth's armor, Spirit Tornado, Bloodlust, Blood Storm, Blood Surge, Heart of Fury, Panther's Leap.
Leap into crowd, do Spirit Tornado, do HoF with Body Blows, leave for your nuker to target crowd with whatever fort spell suits you. Enemies will be Dazed, Terrified, Staggered and under the effect of Body Blows which results in -45 Fortitude and -20 Will (or more because Willbreaker does lower Will as well per hit). Very good at debuffing while dealing damage.
 

Minutiae:  Can't have both Blood Storm and Spirit Tornado.  (I'd suggest the latter.)  Also, Staggered and Dazed are different tiers of MIG afflictions-- can't have them both at the same time. 

 

Anyhow, I'm not sure how you're getting to -45 FORT and -20 WIL.  Body Blows is -25 FORT (direct), the MIG affliction gives -10 (indirect), but I think you need either a CON affliction or an "all defenses" debuff in there to get that last -10.  Similarly, the RES affliction gets you -10 WIL (and makes all the other afflictions last longer), but I don't see where the other -10 comes from. 


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#19
Boeroer

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Eh - Blood Thirst, not Storm, sorry.

 

You are right. Dazed will get overriden by Staggered once you cast Spirit Frenzy.

 

But since you are jumping into the crowd you want them first to be Dazed and get -4 PEN. Because there will be some recovery until you can cast Spirit Tornado which will Stagger them. Taht dazing It's not a big deal - but Leaping comes with it. You could also pick Blood Storm instead of Spirit Tornado - but since you are not heavily armored the Terrify is really helpful for not getting attacked so much while you prepare your HoF circle which will apply Body Blows.

 

I hastily wrote down the stuff and made some mistakes. +45 Fort ist when you also have somebody weakening your enemies (I used a Chanter with the Weakening Chant at the same time and forgot that he was doing additional -10 on top the barb's -35). It's only -10 Will + Willbreaker. I guess I had my Wizard cast Confuse and the occasional Miasma. All in all Fort and Will defenses where constantly superlow just from Barb + Wizard.

 

I edited the original post so that it's clearer and correct. Thanks for reading it thoroughly. :)

 

Since Konstanten has such low INT this is not the best build though. You want max INT for this to hit more enemies and for Body Blows to last long. 


Edited by Boeroer, 28 January 2019 - 08:27 AM.


#20
Enoch

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I read it closely because Rekke is almost a high enough level to pull off the multiclassed version of this in my current game.  Clear Out replaces Heart of Fury, you don't get the benefit of Blood Surge, and it takes longer to get to Brute Force, but the Fighter-tree benefits to ACC, defenses, Stances, etc., help make up for that. 

 

(Also, Rekke starts with 14 INT, and has access to an INT inspiration with Tactical Barrage.)






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