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 Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!

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WilliamBlake
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PostSubject: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:16 pm

After focusing on humanoid form for the first 30-odd levels of my character, I realise now that this was a complete waste of resources. Tiger form is better for pretty much any situation, despite the lower damage. This is because of the ridiculous array of tanking skills, the hugely increased hp and defense, and the unmatchable level 59 skill "Sunder".

Here are the key skills needed for tanking:

Buffs: All buffs are important. If you have the coin, max them ASAP. Priorities are Beast King's Inspiration (HP buff) and Blood Bath (Accuracy Buff). The HP Regen buff is nice, and cheap for the first few levels, so feel free to get it. The Damage buffs (+phys and +wood dmg) are useful, but not nearly as important as the max hp or accuracy; you're first job is to survive and maintain aggro. Axe Mastery is similar as well, although I advise getting this to help your grinding and to offset the lowered damage of tiger form.

True Form: Extra HP, and enables the following skills. Enough said.

Flesh Ream: Max this ASAP. It does a lot of damage when stacked, and the best thing about it is that it draws aggro no matter what. Using Flesh Ream, you can keep a monster's attention even when it is being nuked by 40k wizard crits! Spam as often as you can, just remember to cancel spells with:

Alacrity of the Beast: Level this to at least 7 ASAP. As you level your barb, learn to use this skill because it is the 2nd absolutely necessary skill for barbs. At higher levels, almost all mobs have a spell cast, and with a barb's low magic defense, this skill saves you a LOT of hp. Not to mention the necessity of cancelling the spells of 4000+ magic damage bosses!

Shapeshifting Intensity: A passive skill granting extra Physical defense. Max it, 5% per level doesn't seem like much, but it will pay off big-time down the line.

Bestial Rage: Free chi, for 20 mana, and a ridiculously low spirit cost to buy it. Get it, and spam it.

Talk is Cheap: I only have this at level 5 right now, it supposedly has a "greater effect" per level, but I still haven't seen any change from level 1. The mechanics are bugged I think. Still, invest in this skill because it will help you save your party from wiping when someone accidentally pulls more than 1 mob.

Surf Impact: Only a couple of levels are necessary for this skill, the only reason you really need it is to help you maintain aggro against more than 1 mob, by doing dmg to all of them first. A roar and then surf impact will usually let you keep aggro for a while as long as your party isnt aoe nuking the crap out of everything.

Frighten: This is an easy way to get chi and reduce boss damage at the same time. If you have extra sp/coin after focusing on the core skills (the first 4 listed, and the lvl 59 skills), this is a good way to spend it. However, the long cast time means that you have to be VERY careful that you don't lose aggro while casting, so a good tactic is to cast Frighten immediately after a Flesh Ream, and then Flesh Ream again since it will be cooled down.

Invoke the Spirit: A necessary skill for tanking certain tough bosses. 90% dmg reduction is pretty ridiculous, but the movement reduction means you need to be 100% sure that you can maintain aggro standing still. That means you should NEVER lead off with this-- that will just result in party wipe. The best way to use this skill is against bosses that debuff: that is, those that cast a status on you that causes extra damage. Invoke the Spirit will allow you to tank that extra damage until a cleric can purify you. One other note--this skill takes 2 sparks, but ZERO mana! So a good way to slow mana usage while grinding is to use alternate spark usage between Invoke the Spirit, Sunder, and Advanced Spark Eruption, depending on the situation.

Sunder: The most useful personal skill in the game for a barb. Not only does it do decent aoe damage, Sunder heals you a set amount even if you miss. This will help your grinding immensely--1 mana pot will allow you to cast Sunder numerous times, which means you won't need hp pots/charms except in emergencies. I've recently discovered that this skill is also amazing in duels. The only downside to it is that the hp regen will never be enough against tough bosses, which means Invoke the Spirit is the better way to use your 2 sparks in those cases.

Devour is pretty useless, since you will not be the damage dealer and it costs a huge amount of valuable chi. Only get it for the skill tree.

All of the humanoid skills are completely optional, and really should not be levelled if you can help it. I wasted 120k on perdition only to learn that it really really sucks at low levels of the skill. So it's better to focus on the MUCH more useful tiger skills.

Stats should be allocated as follows: Put only as much Str/Dex as you will need in order to use the corresponding dual hammer/axe for your level. So if the level 9 Short Handled Hand Axes require 20 Str and 7 Dex, make sure you will have exactly that much Str and Dex when you hit that level. The rest of the points can be put into Vitality, which will slowly but surely make you an impressive meat shield.

Here is a handy chart that I stole from someone else:
Gear Requirements for Axes/Hammers and Heavy Armor:
lvl str dex excess
1 5 5 0
2 6 5 4
3 8 5 7
4 9 5 11
5 12 6 12
7 16 6 18
8 16 7 22
9 20 7 23
10 20 7 28
11 24 8 28
12 28 9 28
13 33 9 28
15 40 10 30
16 44 11 30
17 48 12 30
18 52 13 30
19 56 14 30
20 60 15 30
21 65 15 30
22 66 16 33
23 70 16 34
24 74 17 34
26 79 17 39
27 83 18 39
29 90 18 42
30 92 19 44
31 95 20 45
33 100 21 49
34 104 22 49
36 107 24 54
37 110 26 54
39 120 26 54
40 120 26 59
41 125 26 59
43 129 26 65
44 134 26 65
46 137 31 67
47 143 32 67
49 151 32 67
50 151 32 72
51 155 32 73
52 160 32 73
53 160 32 78
54 164 32 79
56 169 32 84
57 173 33 84
59 181 33 86
60 182 34 89
61 185 35 90
62 185 38 92
63 189 38 93
64 194 38 93
66 198 38 99
67 203 38 99
69 212 39 99
70 212 39 104
71 215 41 104
73 220 46 104
74 224 47 104
76 232 49 104
77 236 50 104
79 246 50 104
80 246 50 109
81 246 50 114
83 252 53 115
84 256 54 115
85 261 54 115
86 263 55 117
87 267 56 117
88 272 56 117
89 277 56 117
90 277 56 122
91 277 58 125
93 281 59 130
94 285 60 130
95 290 60 130
96 294 61 130
97 298 62 130
98 303 62 130
99 308 62 130
100 308 62 135
101 308 62 140
103 309 62 149
104 314 62 149
105 314 62 154

Excess points should be put into vitality. However, for the first 35 levels, it's not a bad idea to do put 1 excess point into dexterity every level until you hit 40 dex. This will allow you to refrain from using low levels of bloodbath for most mobs, thus preventing the steep 25% penalty to max hp. It will also give you a handy +2% crit rate (increases by 1% every 20 dex). Once you hit 40 dexterity, just focus on str and vitality until you need to increase it for your axes (lvl 70). Remember to level Blood-Bath and Beast King's inspiration so that your high vitality will give you accuracy as well as survivability.


If I ever hit level 79+, I will update this guide again. Hope this helps those few up-and-coming Barbs out there! Good hunting!

Thanks to Braw for pointing out some holes!


Last edited by WilliamBlake on Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:28 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Braw
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PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:58 am

Hrmm... "Talk is Cheap"... is that the skill that's now called "Roar"? I think they changed some of the names.

I keep eyeballing the debuffing skills, too. Got level 1 of each, and they seem to make a difference even with higher mobs and even some bosses. Could just be wishful thinking on my part, though. drunken

Still, a great tips guide for skills. Thank you for sharing, William!
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WilliamBlake
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PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:52 am

ah, you're right, it is called "Roar" in the game. I wrote this using the skills on ecatomb's fansite.

You are also right that I forgot to mention one of the useful (but not critical) debuff skills: Frighten. I have edited the guide to include it.

Which other debuff were you referring to? Devour is the only one that I can see, and it really is quite a waste of chi for only 10sec of extra damage. On bosses, you need every bit of chi that you can get, and on normal mobs, it is more efficient to save chi for Sunder, or even Invoke The Spirit (if you get ganged and don't want to run, or are low on mana).

Thanks for the comments!
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Braw
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PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:07 am

Penetrate Armor. It's one you'd probably not use because it's only available in the humanoid form. I may not either... but I think I'm fighting far more in humanoid form than you did at 58. Sometimes I'd just rather take the damage for the sake of a faster finish - at least when I'm soloing.
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Akky
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Character Stats
Class: Cleric
Level: 80

PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:30 pm

Cleric buffs = Twisted Evil
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WilliamBlake
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PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:51 am

The problem with humanoid form is that almost all higher mobs have a magic attack, which they will cast once on first aggro and then again in 9 seconds. So unless you can kill them in <12 sec (2 sec mob cast time) in humanoid form, or get a lucky initial stun off, you will be taking 1 or 2 magic hits, which for me is about 600 dmg per nuke. In other words, you will take a potential extra 1200 dmg for ONE mob. It's better to just use tiger form and spend the 50 mana to cancel.
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WilliamBlake
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PostSubject: Re: Quick Guide to Barbarian Power!   Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:49 am

new edit for all you inf barbs looking ahead to level 90+.

tiger skills.

max roar to level 10. it does make a difference.

max devour to level 10. the increased aggro doesnt work very well, but the pdef debuff at level 10 is 50%, which is the highest pdef debuff skill in the game except for demon ironwood scarab (20% chance to reduce pdef to 0) and the veno myriad rainbow skills.

max surf impact. the extra damage is negligible, but the extra aoe range is very useful, especially since it is the only spammable aoe skill in tiger form.

human skills.

same info applies. even if you plan to pvp, the only useful human skills are mighty swing, bestial onslaught, penetrate armour, and perdition. even when pking, you will need to switch often between human and tiger forms to make full use of your skills. for instance, starting in tiger will give you extra hp and ms to tank/catch up to archers or clerics who will stun and run. once you reach your target, alacrity to freeze them (50% chance), devour, human form, mighty swing, etc.

if you have extra sp/coin, feel free to max slam and swell, just for extra aoes. slam is also used very often in rebirths alpha to gamma (but not in delta!) to push mobs around.

firestorm is not worth the spark - bestial onslaught will do more damage for no sparks.

79 skills.

both barb skills are mostly pvp based.

the untamed wrath skill (aoe 1 second stun) does not actually draw aggro, despite its description. it seems useless then, but it is invaluable in group pvp fights, where you are trying to interrupt a wizard or archer zhen.

violent triumph is most useful for pvp, since it can only be cast in human form. however, it is still useful for pve, esp in frost (frost bishops, ugh) or in tt3-2,3-3, or in rebirth delta. cast it in human, switch to tiger, and go aggro those stun mobs!

in conclusion, if you must choose only 1, choose violent triumph.

sage/demon.

go sage if you like taking more hits, go demon if you like killing things in pvp.

i chose sage, and i do not regret it mainly because sage will allow you to build up chi a lot faster, which is very important for tanking. the combination of sage flesh ream and sage bestial rage will allow a sage barb to spam flesh ream every 3 hits and still gain chi, which is a very neat trick.

keep in mind, though, that a high level (99+) demon barb is one of the best pk classes in the game. fully skilled (though this will not be likely), demon barbs have an extremely high natural crit rate. however, the clincher is in having demon sunder and demon perdition (both 99 skills, not uncommon since they are made with pages of fate). demon sunder will make all hits for the next 6 seconds critical, and demon perdition increases the damage done by 10%. so, a sunder followed by a perdition will make the perdition critical. combine this with a lucky berserk (axe double damage) and you will easily do 15k damage in one hit to a target with 10k pdef.
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