I'm following the Nightfish guide so I maxed out War Cry and left Shout and weapon mastery with only a few points between them.
The Nightfish build maxes out War Cry and uses it as the main crowd control ability. But, that build maxes out Howl also which seems slightly redundant to me. Howl is perhaps the better choice as it is a synergy for Berserk.
So, as Shout adds 10% damage per level and weapon mastery 5% per level to Berserk, would it make sense to use 1 point of Taunt to retain a monster or two then Howl (20) to scare the rest away? That would free up points to max Shout and weapon mastery to boost Berserk damage output to the limit.
I've heard that Howl might not work on a few monsters, namely Lister's minions... but that's OK, I can't stand up to Lister for long anyway, might as well just lead that pack around the zone picking at them..... besides Lister, for a level 85 barb is there anything else that could be a problem with this setup?
Well, take into account that the guide is written for pre-1.13 HC untwinked play, before respecs and the boost to rune drops. As you'd probably have a crappy weapon and no +skills, both a high level Howl (so you can immediately scare away most monsters) and War Cry (so you have time to kill stunned monsters) would be pretty handy.
If you're level 85 and have some +skills and/or a good weapon then maxing Howl (for its crowd control) or War Cry may not be necessary at all. It's tough to give specific advice without details. Whatever works ;D
Thanks for your reply, Hubb! Well, as to details, I have (for the berserk build):
wep: Bonehew with 2x Shael for 70 IAS
hat: Andariel's Visage (Ral)
ammy: 72 life, +3 to masteries
hands: Lava Gout
rings: random rare with attack rating, resists
waist: Verdungo's Hearty Cord
feet: Aldur's Advance
merc: might with kelpie snare, stealskull and vipermagi
Alternatively I have Immortal King's boots and gloves which offer a nice set bonus for 2 pieces, but then I lose the "damage taken goes to mana" mod on the Aldur's, which I think I need on a non-leeching Berserker.
I know these items are not the best, but they are the best I've found (although I do have a stash with other things that could be possibly better like a Smoke runeword armor.)
They are both (Howl and Warcry) useful in different situations. Howl is truly only great when it's maxed and since it's a synergy I always max it. I have started putting less into WC than I used to into my zerkers, but I still put one or more point(s) into it.There's always going to be times you cannot use howl so I'd really only say WC is necessary. It is more necessary the crappier your gear is.
Edit: My suggestion is to put at least one point into it and use it. Add more points in if you want a longer stun duration. DO NOT max it for damage sake, it will never be a killer.
Last edited by crawlingdeadman; 09-07-2012 at 17:40.
No specific areas, what I had in mind was the bad case of an overlapping boss aura or two coupled with a champion pack. The worst example I can think of this is a pack of champ frenzytaurs backed up by might, fanat, cursed or something like that. There are other monsters like oblivion knights that aren't susceptible to AI curses that can be stunned instead. If you're playing SC I guess that wouldnt bother you much, dying and all, but from a HC perspective I don't like leaving something to chance when I can spend a few points into a skill to avoid it killing me.
Having nearly wrapped up on my untwinked single pass conc barb ( A5 hell now ) I can safely say that warcries are THE key to untwinked barbs. All of them have their uses.
Howl- it scares away the monsters as long as your level + level of howl > level of monster. If you're leveling up quickly this won't be a problem but the radius also increases with level. Mainly, you want to use this against boss packs, to single out bosses and not have their minions crowding around.
Taunt - An amazing skill if you know how to use it. It stops monsters from using ranged attacks ( they try to walk up to you ), and it stops their special attacks, like frenzy of frenzytaurs, carver shamans resurrecting, etc. Give a thought to maxing it- it also reduces damage which is very helpful. You have to aim it though, and it has small aoe
Battle cry - Mainly used against bosses ( it is the only warcry that works against them anyway ), to reduce their defense and damage.
Warcry- It stuns all the monsters so that you can pick them off one by one. Works against champs/bosses but only 10% time so don't rely on it.
For almost any build, you will want to put 20+ points into warcries. Berserk is rubbish in my opinion ( and one of the reasons I think that guide is crap, but that's besides the point). 20 points into skill-of-choice ( conc/whirlwind/berserk/whatever ) , 20 battle orders, 20 weapon mastery. If your unsure of what weapon you're going to end up using you can skimp on weapon mastery ( put 1 point only in it ), and put even more into warcries. For me it was different because I found a 292 ed bonesnap and then a Pul rune to upgrade it so I knew which mastery I was going to be using. Split the points into warcries like this:
1 battle cry
0-5 find item ( useful for single pass if you remember to hork )
Howl gives synergy to berserk and taunt to frenzy, but you shouldn't think of it that way, concentrate on what the warcry does and not it's synergies. It really depends on which warcry you like.
I never knew how useful warcries were until I played untwinked barb. I mean forget about grief+fort, just have full IK and you can whirl through the mobs and let warcries be damned.
I think investing into warcry is rubish. It is a skill not on the way to berserk, has the same duration as Stun, but costs way more, and keeps potentially many monsters around you what is bad.
If I'd need a stun effect, I'd just go with Stun instead. The only advantage Warcry has is the 100% hit chance, but that should be minor issue.