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Hello everyone.

I need help with choosing Abilities and Talents—maybe also Skills—for a human barbarian. I want to build him as a full melee DPS character, dual wielding swords and/or battle axes.

I came up with this Attribute spread:

  • MIG    16
  • CON    13
  • DEX    14
  • PER    12
  • INT    13
  • RES    10

I'm not looking to min-max since I'm playing on Normal, I just need to plan which Abilities and Talents to take at each level, so I won't spend too much time thinking about my options whenever I level up.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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You said dual swords or battle axes. Couple of thoughts about that:

  • Good unique swords come very late.
  • Good Battle Axes come fairly late. Except Rimecutter, which is awesome - but that's a random item (you might never get it)
  • If it must be Swords and/or Battle Axes: the good thing is that both use the same Weapon Focus (Knight) - which is handy. 
  • Barbarians can pick Blood Thirst which favors heavy hitting weapons (that's mostly two handed weapons - it's very strong if you build around it). It also favors weapons which might destroy on hit (look at St. Ydwen's Redeemer which has a chance to instantly kill a vessel on hit - hits from Carnage also count
  • Barbarians can pick Heart of Fury. It is very good and best with a dual weapon setup with the highest dmg per hit (usually sabres).

If dual wielding is your thing: good alternatives for Swords/Battle Axes would be Sabres. There are good unique ones and most of them come fairly early. They also yield the best results with Heart of Fury. Their downside is the single damage type (slash damage). Bittercut has corrode/slash though (which is great). Another good pick is warhammers (good early uniques, great late unique one, two damage types).

A Great-Sword build that is very fun to play is this:  


Also works well with your stats above. You do not need to be a Fire Godlike. That was mostly for stylish/theme reasons. Any race works.

I saw that your INT is not very high. Carnage's radius depends on your INT score (like all AoE effects). Just saying. :)

In the early game Barbarians do miss a lot of their attacks, also and especially with their Carnage. If you miss your initial target there will be no Carnage rolls. So try to target the enemy with the lowest deflection. Barbarians' starting accuracy isn't supergood. Carnage (as a passive ability) gains +1 accuracy with every level until it hits even better than your main attack, but in the early game it's missing a lot because it starts with -10 ACC (compared to your main attack ). Don't let that discourage you. With every level it will get better. Still your main focus as Barbarian should be to get additional accuracy quickly. The earlier you can stack it the easier the game becomes. 

For a fairly straightforward damage dealing dual wielding build you could take the following taletns/abilities:

  1. Frenzy
  2. Veteran's Recovery
  3. Savage Defiance (your CON isn't too high and Barbs have awful deflection. This can be your "oh s!hit" button if you see your endurance dropping too fast)
  4. Weapon Focus (Knight - or whatever weapon you want to pick)
  5. Bloodlust (usually triggers even after 1 kill, not 2 as description says. Speed bonuses from Frenzy and Bloodlust multiply with several other speed bonuses. Every additonal speed bonus (like from weapons) is golden)
  6. Two Weapon Style (speed bonus like I mention in the next point)
  7. Blood Thirst (very powerful, especially in tandem with Heart of Fury)
  8. Accurate Carnage (lets your Carnage have better accuracy than your main attack now)
  9. One Stands Alone (nothing better to pick at that point, it's pretty good though)
  10. Vulnerable Attack (you want to maximize damage per hit for Heart of Fury - see below)
  11. Heart of Fury (the best - if you have a Wizard with Combusting Wounds: cast that on the mob before executing HoF. Or wear a Ring of Searing Flames for tough encounters)
  12. Savage Attack (at this point you will have enough of ACC buffs from level/talents/party and items so the ACC loss doesn't hurt as much - you can swap this with Apprentice's Sneak Attack if you have party members you can CC a group of enemies for you - e.g. Wizard or Cipher. The CC then unlocks the Sneak Attacks)
  13. Dragon Leap (jump into the crowded mob, daze them and execute HoF right after that)
  14. Apprentice's Sneak Attack (will get triggerd by Dragon Leap - if nobody else in your party wants to put some CC on enemies to unlock its dmg bonus) or Blooded (if you have no problem with operating a lot with endurance < 50%. By now you will have a pretty big endurace pool so it's not that hard to manage anymore)
  15. Blooded
  16. Spirit of Decay/Scion of Flame/etc. (element of your weapon lashes)

WIth the right items you might find yourself at 0 recovery suddenly when activating Frenzy. For example if you use Durgan Steel on your weapons and armor or find Gloves of Swift Action. At that point Blood Thirst might become redundant (as long as Frenzy and Bloolust are active). You can either retrain then and pick something else (like Thick Skinned) or you just stick with it: usually, when Frenzy wears out, you will again have some recovery (especially if you leave Vulnerable Attack activated all the time or are wearing thick armor like Plate or Brigandine). At that point enemies are already weak and more will drop dead. Then Blood Thirst can remove the remaining recovery. Frenzy uptime isn't that long alltogether.

Note that when frenzied you can't see your remaining eundurance. What you can see though (once you hover over your char with the pointer) is a colored question mark. Green means healthy (>=75%) and so on. That way you have a bit more control. If the question mark turns red it's really time for a quick heal (from party member or Savage Defiance). 

One last thing: lashes are multiplicative dmg bonuses. Most other bonuses are only additive dmg bonuses to your weapon's base damage (that's the damage without enchantments, Might, quality and so on). Lashes on the other hand take all that and multiply it (usually by 0.25) and apply it seperately (has they have to overcome 1/4th of DR).  So make sure to put a lash onto your weapons asap. It's a big dmg increase.

If you want to use Bittercut then pick Spirit of Decay. Also apply corrosive lashes onto your weapos then. Bittercut gains an +20% dmg increase from Spirit of Decay and also all corrosive lashes will get a boost from 0.25 to 0.3 (increase of 20%).

Edited by Boeroer
  • Like 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thank you @Boeroer, that is a really nice guide. I've already tried the Cauterizer in a previous run (which I didn't finished), but this time I want to try Two Weapon Style.

But, what about level 14, 15, and 16?


Also, shouldn't Blooded be placed at like level 15?

Edited by diazexmachina
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Oops, I planned without the last DLC levels. Don't ask me why. :facepalm:

In this case I would maybe pick Veteran's Recovery at lvl 2 and shift all the others one slot up.

Yes, you can then pick Blooded at lvl 15. Dazing Shout is also ok... but 1/encouter... and I like it better to start the fight with a Dragon Leap.

I'll edit my list.


Edited by Boeroer
  • Like 1

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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