I never played hardcore solo, i played a lot with friends and i still play but we always had great team (singer, auradin and 2 lightning sorceress for example) so i didn't have any problems and even if worst happens there is always someone to salvage your gear.
I always wanted to make a HC Frenzy Barb untwinked and bring him to 90+ level, until i do this i wont have the feeling that i beat diablo 2, but i never started because there are places in this game where i know i will 90% die. Seeing how some ppl here got their untwinked HC characters to guardian status, and even with some quite harsh self imposed rules like one-pass or dice rolls to pick your skills, mercs etc. i decided to give it a shot but i need some help.
My list of problems >
-dolls, even with my pala that currently has over 100FHR and Holy shield they attack so fast that they bring me to semi stun-lock, and yeah they explode in your face when you kill them
-wisps in act 3 jungle, when i am in a narrow pathway between a river and a wall, and run into a pack that simultaneously shoots like 30 lighting bolts in my face, and i have no room to evade at all
-all archers in hell difficulty in large packs are a huge pain, even with ****load of armor they hit me all the time and also if the pack is big enough they can semi stun-lock me, i rarely die in this situations but still its a pain
-sometimes when im teleporting and land in a group of mobs i cant teleport out, even with max FCH and great FHR, i don't go into recovery animation and i do actually cast the spell and nothing happens. This probably wont be a problem since i wont have an enigma soon (and probably never) but maybe i get a puzzler or ammy. I guess the obvious solution is don't blindly teleport around
-large packs of casters+mana burn monsters+melees that can stun you or knockback or shoot fire in your face kill me
Also some bosses are a pain
-Normal diff Duriel, especially with a melee since you will be frozen, when he connects 2-3 fast hits in a row he will kill you, and rejuv potions are not exactly easy to come by in act 2 normal, since the fight will be long when you are poorly geared and frozen barb this is a great place to finish early
-Normal (and sometimes hell diff) diablo, when he just spams lightning hose all the fight, and you are in the middle of attack that you cant cancel to move out
-Hell diff Mephisto, i can do like 300 runs in a row and don't spend more than 5 pots on average, and in my 301 run he kills me 20 times before i get him, poisons me then spams charged bolts like mad, when most connect my 2k hp paladin with max resists dies in less then one second.
How to deal with this as a frenzy barb? Also some questions about build, i was planing to get double swing to 10 because it is a nice round number and it costs 0 mana at that point, then wait for frenzy and battle orders and prioritize one or the other depending on weapons and gear i have. What then?
Should i max taunt for damage or go for more defensive talents like shout?
Is taunt worth it as a skill to use seeing it is only single target?
Is putting points in War Cry for longer stun worth it, also does stun work on all mobs except uniques and bosses?
Should i get berserk early (or ever) or spend that 3 points elsewhere.
Should i get find item talent early or wait until hell?
Since there are respecs now should i use different builds as game progresses? For stat points i was thinking 2 to strength and 3 to vitality each level (i really don't like swords). Also all other tips are welcome, especially easy obtainable gear progression.
Dolls - I've never had a problem with them stun/block locking. But their explosion has taken out many chars, mainly sorc's and freezing arrow amazon's. For a frenzy barb, you'll have huge life, so the stun lock shouldn't mean a thing. The explosion from uniques (Fire/Lightning enchanted + Doll explosion + ??? could do some damage though.) Let your Might enchanted mercenary with a good polearm (try cubing a few, or do some shopping in NM/Hell for one with good mods) take them down. They have low health, so he should be able to kill them fairly quickly. Stay safe, and only experiment if there's one on you to see how much damage. If there's a chance of a few popping, don't take it.
Wisps - Max Lightning resist, and pump Vitality/Battle Orders. You'll have some good runewords for your weapon damage (assuming you allow yourself to rerunning a little bit,) so Lionheart/Smoke runewords are good cheap armours that improve resists greatly.
Archers - I believe have bugged AR. Armour is the last thing you should look for, unless you are specifically building something intended for pure defense. And still, between bugged AR and ignores target defense, lots of mobs won't care. Lure them with Taunt, and have enough Life Leach.
Also for any range/mana burn.
A lot of this, you'll learn and understand as you progress with your barb. It's about using your 1-point wonders, and investing in survival abilities. Use tactics, instead of just powering through believing you can run into everything. I've met a demon that not even a fully decked out barb could tank. Something that did up to 1000 damage per hit. You'll learn as you progress to play more safely and strategically, and use those key 1-point wonders.
Normal Duriel is no longer too bad. If you play at /players8, and drop it to /players1, your level should be enough. Play safely, stack potions, and drop a portal before the fight begins. For a barb, at a decent level, Duriel shouldn't hit you too much. He'll do damage, but you'll have warning and time to make it out if you prepare for it. You can also shop...
Is it Bone Shields of Deflecting, or javelins with strong lightning damage? Either or will help significantly.
Normal Diablo can be somewhat difficult. But you can easily see when he's about to use Lightning Hose. If you can't, watch his animation. He gives you plenty of time to move. In Hell, his Lightning hose is cast away from him. Melee characters can stand up next to him, and it'll miss 100% of the time.
Meph - Lightnig/Cold resists. Max them. And with a barb, you should have at least 2000 hit points, even untwinked I reckon. If you still aren't sure, shop a Wand of Life Tap, and use items that lower target defense, or strongly boost AR (charms are good for this.)
I went 20 Frenzy, Double Swing, Battle Orders, 19 Taunt. I assume Taunt is a synergy to Frenzy, otherwise I wouldn't've pumped it. One point in all 1-point-wonders, including Berserk.
But my biggest advice - play it. You can plan all you want, and still die. Give it a shot, see how it fares, and if you actually come up against something that gives you trouble, post it. Or maybe create a thread where you share your progress, so that if there's ever any challenge, or you aren't sure about a mob or another, ask for some good ways to deal with it. But we can give you all the advice, and it won't mean much, until you actually make some progress, and learn about/experience the char solo. It is a lot different than relying on other builds.
Str: Only enough for gear (maybe keep 10 points saved in case an item drops, but don't keep any more than 20 - that 20 is better in Vit)
Dex: Enough for gear
Also, to be honest, an Act 2 merc with the Savage Polearm recipe can SOLO Normal /players8, as long as you protect him a little. So don't worry about normal too much. Don't rush, and he can kill everything but the bosses.
Especially for the archers, learn to use taunt on them as it makes them immediately stop attacking and move closer. Both are great things for a melee char. Also, learn to use shout as well as taunt effectively. That is, shout if you're terrified and taunt back a monster or two so they don't all run away from you.
Another thing I find effective s Battle Cry (for bosses, at the very least). I have a singer with this skill very high, and it reduces enemy damage by about 50%, and their defense by about 90%. Of course, you don't want to spend too much on this, probably only one and let your + skills make it a bit better, but it's something to think about. I think it is especially useful for bosses since you can drop their def to an amount that lets you hit them easily, especially with a char like a frenzy barb who has high AR already.
for normal Duriel use some thawing potions before the fight, as their duration stacks and I think his cold damage is actually significant in normal.
My suggestion for finding more gear is put the first few points you can into find item, and learn to use it on every boss pack (preferably with a mf switch!)
Thanks for tips, i am gonna man up now and start it. I am still scared just thinking about that i can die 80 gameplay hours from now but i guess that fear should keep me careful, and more importantly keep the fun factor high.
Everything is running smoothly, i am on act 2 nightmare now, and i never felt so powerful playing barb, even when i had 10X better gear, i never really cared to use taunt, war cry and battle cry to cc the enemies in sc, just kept going with frenzy on left button and leap attack on right like a retard.
Now i have a couple of questions regarding end game gear, since im in the spot where i really need to start putting stats correctly in str/dex. Considering the great rune drops this patch and the ability to stack a lot of them and cube them efficiently with GoMule im kinda hoping this guy can get himself grief/death or two, and in the meantime go with two oaths.
Considering Grief i don't quite understand why the most popular choice is Phase Blade, yeah it has the best speed but dex requirements are extreme for this build, and since in sp you don't have access to ani or torch even with 2x ravenfrost and arreats you still have to waste ~50 points into dex. On the other hand ordinary longsword with -10 speed can reach final ias breakpoint with 2-3 +skills in combat three and 30-40ias on gear depending on grief ias roll. (according to that german calculator everyone is using around here). Also what about war spike elite axe as a base?
On the other hand what to use as a base for oath, since im going to use that for a long time it would be good to be same weapon class as my [potential] future grief so i can start spending some points in mastery.
Also if i understood correctly frenzy is uninterruptible attack, do i need FHR? Never understood that
Phase Blades are indestructible, which is pretty awesome. Some extra base AR from dex never hurt, and as a barb I don't think you really need to worry about investing another 50 in VIT that much. Barbs have huge life regardless. That's all I can contribute
I'll second Drystan on one-pointers. Perhaps I'll list them (at least those that worked for my 1-point-BO Berserker).
1). Taunt and howl. Learn, try and love to use those both as a combo and separately.
Howl will scare away dangerous minions from key monsters so that you could fight them one-on-one.
Taunt will bring back some of monsters previously scared away with Howl.
2). Use battle cry untill you get your hands on Lawbringer or Reaper's Toll. This is basically your chance-to-hit boost and damage resist at the same time; note that i does work against boss monsters!
3). War Cry. If you can't handle monsters, stun them. This is cheezy, but effective.
War Cry can stun unique monsters, but that's not something you should aim to as your FCR and mana pool is somewhat inferior to those of a singer barbarian.
Get at least one point in those skills and take some time to practice in Normal and early NM.
You'll learn very soon when and how you should use those skills.
Generally, a melee barb is kind of a hard choice for untwinked play.
If you are willing to experience different playstyles throughout the game, I'd suggest you a singer barbarian for Nightmare and A1 Hell.
Reasons: it's cheap (basically the build needs 2 Spirit swords to be descent), it's safe and easy to play, and you can get some gear for meleeing. Also, singer is a good choise for Pits running.
Last edited by naranjadita; 12-06-2012 at 09:34.
Reason: durr hurr speleng iz difecult
As always I support everything positive word about singers
And yes taunt. Taunt is friggin awesome.
On the swords: you will hate your self if you do your grief in a normal base (like long sword). You will have to repair it ALL the time. I've always used PB myself. Mainly for the indestructable mod. But also because I know that if I wanna change it to another char, speed won't be a problem. The second most popular option is probably Beserker Axe. Never tried one but again I hate repairing and I think that those teeny tiny axes look silly on the barb (yes, even more so than the blue plastic sword).
Edit: as for the oaths basically just find any eth elite sword. cryptic sword, balrog blade, highland blade, collossus blade, whatever.