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Hey all forum members!

 

I recently finished my first complete playthrough of the first Pillars game with all the dlc and my class was a dual sabre wielding fighter and had a really good time. For the sequel I'd wish to mix things up a bit and go for some kind of barbarian.

 

I want to be able to smack enemies in melee with some AoE so I have been looking into the single class barbarian and the multiclass brute (berserker/devoted) but I really can't picture how different the two are. It seems there has been discussion about the single/multiclass but what is the consensus nowadays after all the patches? I mean are the things the devoted fighter brings to the table worth giving up the higher level powers the barbarian has? The high level abilities seems really cool (damaging AoE shout, Barbaric Retaliation, HoF) but how horribly would I gimp myself by going for them? How does the single class barbarian (any subclass) fare in the early mid game? Is it good when it finally gets some of its better abilities or is the multiclass brute simply the stronger option with the synergy it has between fighter and barbarian?

 

How should I go about such a character? I will be playing on veteran difficulty if that makes any difference. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! =)

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Single class barbarian are the strongest barbarians mid-late game. It's all about a broken level 13 SC ability called "bloodthirst". MC also gets it but at level 19. Heart of fury and other good stuff come also late game to SC barbs. Any combination of melee/barb is also good, even things like barb/wizard (warlock) are pretty fun to play.

Carnage is not what it was in POE1 but it still free raw damage so it's welcomed. Barbs are weak early game, but late game shine in their glory :)

The problem with barbs is that with -10 deflection, at least on POTD, there are enemies that are going to make your life miserable (fampyrs, for example) because no matter how much HP you have when they spam deathblows against you. Any kind of rogue is going to focus your barb and there are a lot in this game. About the subclasses, the berserker is the strongest one but it comes with a penalty that can't be avoided (raw damage) and the highest your MIG the more raw damage you take. You can soften it with accesories or skills like constant recovery but you can't remove it.

Brutes are very strong but they get the good barbarian stuff later. If you like a melee AOE character a single barb is what you want, but you need patience to wait until the good stuff came late on.

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You might want to look through this thread for build ideas.

SC Barbarian is better than Brute in just about every way other than self-healing, I think. So unless you really, really want to heal yourself a whole lot I wouldn't go that route. I use SC Serafen as a main tank every playthough (POTD upscaled) and he doesn't really die so I don't think you need so much survivability once you have a squad.

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If you go single class: in my opinion Heart of Fury (absolute killer ability in PoE) isn't even as good as the last two shouts. That is because they only cost 1 Rage and they are - as long as Power Level scaling is concerned - level-1-abilities. 

That means the base damage they show in their description already gets scaled by 40% due to Power Level scaling. That is a multiplicative bonus, so MIG and crits will use that improved dmg for dmg  calculation. They don't use weapons though so no fancy procs.

Heart of Fury on the other hand uses weapons - but it is a Power Level 7 ability which means at PL 9 is will only scale its damage by 10% multipl.

In terms of cost/effect the shouts are much better, especially Driving Roar which also prones enemies. With Blood Surge and Blood Thirst you can sometimes make it so that a group of enemies that you shout at from stealth will never get up again until they are all dead.

Just as an info which can be useful when you want to know where to spend your precious Rage. SC Barb's tend to spend it all for HoF...

Here's a gif of Driving Roar in action with Serafen:

Driving_roar.gif?dl=1

Keep in Mind it's PL9 - so no fun to focus your Barb on it right from the start. But once you get it it's very, very good.

Another very good ability is Barbaric Retaliation, especially with Battle Axes(+modal Bleeding Cuts activated). Even as the slowest brick you will kill enemies quickly with it as long as you catch crits. Which you always do because of Frenzy (-10 deflection) and the Barb's low starting deflection. You can also drop RES for even less. But you'll have to wear heavy armor (the higher the better) - else you're dead too soon.

Edited by Boeroer
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Thank you for answers! SC Barbarian sounds like something I should go for.

I'd wish to additionally ask what is the suggested stat spread for such character? Like max MIG, CON and high PER? How much of an impact does the race have?

Also regarding the subclasses I see that the Berserker will deal more damage. I am somewhat aware of the methods for removing the confusion (like having the sword Modwyr) but wouldn't I be killing myself faster than than the enemies on high levels if the self damage scales? Is it still the recommended subclass for a single class Barbarian?

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4 hours ago, P-Stache said:

I'd wish to additionally ask what is the suggested stat spread for such character? Like max MIG, CON and high PER? How much of an impact does the race have?

For my last barb game I went max MIG,CON,INT. Human race + bloodied is 25% + 15% dmg + 7 accuracy. Max CON + gift from the machine + durance effigy + 16 HP/level is more than 600HP late game. Action speed is not a problem because of frenzy + bloodlust + bloodthirst so 10DEX is fine. Dump RES.

Berserker hits hard but die faster that's it. If you want a glass cannon go berserker. If you want a barbarian with more survivability then choose no-subclass.

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53 minutes ago, indika_tates said:

For my last barb game I went max MIG,CON,INT. Human race + bloodied is 25% + 15% dmg + 7 accuracy. Max CON + gift from the machine + durance effigy + 16 HP/level is more than 600HP late game. Action speed is not a problem because of frenzy + bloodlust + bloodthirst so 10DEX is fine. Dump RES.

Berserker hits hard but die faster that's it. If you want a glass cannon go berserker. If you want a barbarian with more survivability then choose no-subclass.

Would a Fury Shaper be the better option then compared to a no sub class? It could potentially provide a bit of a boost.

Edited by P-Stache

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I think MIG isn't very good for barbs. PER is similar as a DPS stat. MIG helps healing, but Barbs isn't great at it. PER helps Debuff which is far more useful for a Barb.
For Berzeker, MIG is even detrimental due to self damages.

CON is good for barbs cause it provides a (nearly) bottomless pool of HP.

I would say PER then INT/CON then DEX/MIG and then dump RES.

For Single Class Barbs, I think Spirit upgrades are superior for Frenzy. 
Spirit Tornado really does a fair amount of damages with high PL given it has 0.8s cast time and 0 recovery. It's crazy DPS when you think about it. Terrify effect is neat too.

I'm playing Serafen as SC barbs and I'm basically only using Driving Roar, Spirit Tornado and a few Panther Leaps when needed. Other abilities are not that great IMHO, but these 3 are enough to make him awesome. 

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56 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

I think MIG isn't very good for barbs. PER is similar as a DPS stat. MIG helps healing, but Barbs isn't great at it. PER helps Debuff which is far more useful for a Barb.
For Berzeker, MIG is even detrimental due to self damages.

 

Legendary morningstar with +16 accuracy + modal (-25 Fort) + spirit frenzy (-10 fort from staggering) + chanter's long night (-10 fort) + aware inspiration +30% hit/crit conversion makes choosing PER over MIG a poor choice. Barbarian is one of the few classes that can crit the enemies without needing PER at all. You increase the raw damage you receive from frenzy, that's true. MIG increases the damage from carnage and while it may not seem to be a lot, when you apply 15-20dmg per carnage to everyone around the barbarian it makes a better investment than perception. DEX is not needed at all for SC barbarians. You get 0% recovery at level 13, and a +45% bonus action speed from frenzy + bloodlust.

 

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MIG can indeed be important for melee Barbarians due to Carnage. It scales its base dmg by PL and then MIG comes into play.

For a Berserker it means more self damage, but it also means more healing via Savage Defiance. If you pick Savage Defiance-->Stalwart Defiance and later wear the Voidward ring then the self damage is not a big deal at all - even if scaled. Berserkers do profit from high CON, that's also right. 

In certain cases (Berserker/Monk) the self damage actually helps since it generates wounds. You can then use all your Rage for self healing and Frenzy while your attacks get fuled by wounds.


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I have trouble to justify Savage/Stalwart Defiance.
It's very expensive. Even with the cost reduction from upgrade, it's still meh for 2 ability points.
It also stacks poorly with Frenzy CON inspiration.

Only upside is instant cast, but Barbs have good Rage point instant sink if needed (Spirit Tornado).

I can see some people may want it for their build, I suppose it can save a couple of lives, but it is better to leave Healing to the pros (aka priest, druid, chanter and pal... even Cipher) IMHO.

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If you have a Druid in your party, you can have them stand in the middle of the party at the beginning of combat and cast Nature’s Balm, which gives everyone the Robust Inspiration. I do that all the time.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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2 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

I have trouble to justify Savage/Stalwart Defiance.
It's very expensive. Even with the cost reduction from upgrade, it's still meh for 2 ability points.
It also stacks poorly with Frenzy CON inspiration.

Only upside is instant cast, but Barbs have good Rage point instant sink if needed (Spirit Tornado).

I can see some people may want it for their build, I suppose it can save a couple of lives, but it is better to leave Healing to the pros (aka priest, druid, chanter and pal... even Cipher) IMHO.

Of course it's better if the general healing is handled by somebody else, but in case of SC Berserker it's still good to have Stalwart Defiance - since it counters the self damage effectively in a "self contained" way and you can still get stacking healing from another source (which does not apply Robust but heals directly without inspiration). You don't need to use it in every encounter - but if you see that your Berserker suffers too much (question mark turns orange or Blooded triggers) you can quickly activate it. It is indeed great that it is an instant cast. Lots of other healing abilities take too long to be cast spontaneously but have to be cast kind of predictively - so Stalwart Defiance is a good "oh crap" button for a Berserker. If you have a single class Barbarian you might also have more Rage due to Blood Surge in the later game. Especially when "abusing" Driving Roar you don't run out of Rage quickly then.

 


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