Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Diablo 3: Thriving on chaos - a Barbarian build

I was intrigued by one of the runes for Wrath of the Berserker. Wrath of the Berserker is designed as a powerful short duration buff. Normally it buffs you for 15 seconds and has a cooldown of 120 seconds. Adding a golden runestone gives the following effect: Every 9 Fury gained while Wrath of the Berserker is active adds 1 second to the duration of the effect.

Here's the six million dollar question: can you perma-Wrath?

If we can gain 9 Fury every second all the time then this buff never runs out. That's +10% critical hit, +45% attack speed, +20% dodge and +20% movement speed always.

Let's start by looking at the passives.

There are quite a lot that improve Fury generation and I think the most intriguing is No Escape which improves the damage of Weapon Throw by 100% and gives us 20 Fury every time we kill an enemy with Weapon Throw. OK, so now to perma-wrath all we need to do is kill an enemy with Weapon Throw every 2 seconds or so. We'll add in another couple of Fury-generators: Animosity and Unforgiving. Now we get 22 Fury every time we kill an opponent with our double damage Weapon Throws and we regenerate 1.1 Fury every 2 seconds.

Now let's look at our actives. We already know two of them.

1) Wrath of the Berserker runed for perma-Wrath.

2) Weapon Throw runed with something that gives us more kills.

Mighty throw rune boosts its damage which is nice but there's two even better choices.

Ricochet allows it to hit 8 extra foes which is very strong but I think there's something even better than that.

Dread shot will spend all remaining Fury to do a huge aoe to all opponents in 22 yards. As long as that kills something we get 22 Fury back and can cast it again. We have a huge spammable AOE that keeps us in perma-Wrath for as long as there are things to kill. Assuming the passive applies this does 18% damage of weapon damage per Fury point and a full Fury globe on this character is 120. So OVER TWO THOUSAND PERCENT OF YOUR BIG TWOHANDER'S WEAPON DAMAGE TO EVERYTHING IN 22 YARDS. And if you kill 6 things you get another go with a full Fury bulb. In a Diablo series game where much of the combat is about fighting small weak creatures that's astonishingly good.

3-6) OK so we know how we want to kill things - Weapon Throw. As long as we keep killing with Weapon Throw we don't need to use Fury builders and we do massive aoe damage. So most of these extra skills I've picked for mobility. Staying in perma-rage will be a race against the clock, we have to be moving fast, killing fast all the time. Note too that we don't want to kill with these skills, it suits us much better if we set up Weapon Throw kills because they give us more Fury.

3) Furious charge glyphed for bonus Fury generation.

4) Leap Attack. Our signature mobility skill, it allows us to jump over obstacles like rivers without having to run round the long way.

5) Sprint. Because sometimes you do have to run round the long way and it's good to get to the next pack before Wrath drops off.

6) Frenzy. Decent Fury builder for times when we don't have any Fury plus we move faster when it's up.

Here's the link.


  1. Stop talking about Diablo 3. Between you and Tobold, I'm getting so jealous and angry and irritated. Throw in the fact that I don't have SW:TOR or Prime:BFD beta access, and I'm just ... sad-faced.

    That being said ... I've enjoyed the D3 posts from you lately. Keep 'em coming!

  2. Well you can play with the skill calculator :)

    I don't have D3 beta yet, that's what I've been doing.

  3. the idea of permanent wrath is a nice one, but as I read dread shot you need a fallen enemy to start your carnage. And after you have killed the group, the next one needs to be in throwing range of the enemies you just eliminated. A dungeon with a lot of obstacles would prevent a throw too, so you need to run over an whack one enemy in melee.

    I consider steamrolling the earlier game as a normale offense barbarian and later in hell/inferno switch to a throwing barbarian. the Riochett on the throw with no escape should be a good support for an area farming mage. the longer wrath would be a bonus.
    As there arent any throwing weapons, you throw your normal weapons, so you can take the hammer of the ancient skill on golden to finish bosses.

  4. on a second thought, no escape states that it returns the fury, opposed to you gaining 20 fury, so i fear that it isnt affected by aminosity and also doesnt prolong wrath of the berserker. But I have another idea how to abuse wrath of the berserker:


    The Idea is, start the fight with fury leftover from the last fight, or from bashing some lone fallen.

    Activate Wrath, you now have 0 fury
    War Cry, +51 Fury, +7 sek
    leap into your enemys, +15 fury, +1 sek
    Weapon Throw with richochet for all your fury until all enemies are low on health, you have a minimum of 3 throws
    Now use ancient spear for the finishing blows, each kill gives you 15 fury, so with 5 monster left you gain 75 fury.

    In total, you gained enough fury for 15 seconds more wrath, in 10 ability activations, and have around 70 fury to:

    jump into the next group, +15 fury
    use up to 4 weapon throws
    finish them with ancient spear for fury and an even longer wrath.

    This build wont work, if it is possible to miss with the spear, as that would mess up your cooldowns.
    more downsides:
    - bad against single bosses
    - no time to pick up loot, you have to backtrack later
    - complex, so maybee not a good idea when you are tired after 10 hours of grind