Today brings the first of what I hope will be a regular feature; in-depth conversations with players who are experts and advocates for their favorite character class. This one stars ZappaFan, the long-time moderator of our Hardcore forum, leader of our IncHC2 clan, and a man who has played a lot more Barbarian than you have. Like a thousand hours more.I started this conversation off during the Reaper of Souls beta when the “OMG they nerfed teh Barb!” complaints were coming fast and furious from former Spin2Winners who had turned into Spin2Whiners thanks to the nerfs balances Blizzard made to a few of that class’ abilities. It was obvious those changes, such as no more perma-Wrather of the Berserker, weren’t just some test on the PTR, but were coming long term.
Since ZappaFan was the most dedicated Barbarian player I knew, I wanted to hear what he thought about all the changes to the Barb, if he thought they were needed, how his gear and old D3v1 build was working in the new reality… and then we continued the conversation this weekend, after he’d had some testing time on in D3v2. Click through for the full exchange, which covers Barbarian gear, builds, Hardcore style, cheesiness (or not), passive changes, other class enjoyment, why he’s older than dirt, and much more. Here’s a quote:
Flux: How did you feel the Barb in the Reaper of Souls beta compared to the Barb in D3v?
ZappaFan: My barb definitely felt improved in RoS. I wouldn’t have even considered running dual-wield in D3V and I was happy doing that in RoS. …from what I’ve seen I don’t see the changes to Barbs being a big deal, something that people won’t adjust to once they really start playing the game. I think anybody that actually played the beta and is highly critical of the changes to barbs simply doesn’t want to change.
And to illustrate my point, I also had a lvl 70 Crusader. He had the same 191 account Paragon points at his disposal as my Barb did. I shared all the same equipment between my Barb & my Crusader, except of course my Crusader had a shield and a pretty nice 2H weapon. And even with the same gear… it wasn’t even close. My Barb was a much better killing machine than my Crusader, and definitely felt more hardy with better healing. Maybe I just really suck with Crusaders, but I tinkered with different builds quite a bit, looked at builds other people were using, etc.
Barbs still rock in RoS, no doubt about it imo.
Click through for the full interview / conversation / debate, and I’d like to conduct these with other knowledgeable fans to cover all the classes in the game. See the note at the very end if you’d like to participate in one.