When Diablo III launched, I was sorely disappointed. It's a fairly widely-held opinion that the game was underwhelming at launch, and like so many others, I left within the first month. When patch 1.0.4 came out, I got interested again and came back to check it out. Seeing potential in the game now, I started playing again just before patch 1.0.5, and suddenly this previously awful game was decent. Many of the original problems were ironed out, the gameplay was more enjoyable, and I actually felt like playing D3 again. However, one problem remained: the (RM)AH. I always felt like this was such a blemish on the game, to the extent where I felt no joy in playing because the whole experience was tainted by the AH. Instead, when I returned, I decided to play self-found. I now play D3 as though it was the single-player game that Blizzard wouldn't give us.
Now, this requires a different approach. When played like this, Inferno is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of work and preparation to farm even A3 MP0 with any kind of efficiency, and you can't always trust the various builds and guides on the web. Here follows a guide and a build for playing a self-found barbarian. I personally went all-out legit, starting from zero and refraining from using any crafting recipes I hadn't found with that character.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you can never count on having anything. You can never expect to have lifesteal, you can never rely on a certain set item or access to a crafting recipe that isn't baseline. Accept that 'star' is probably the highest quality of gem you'll ever own, prepare to play without lifesteal gear, know that you won't be grinding 50mil exp per hour for quite some time, and get ready for a serious challenge.
Bash [Instigation] is my current choice, but I suspect I could find a better solution if I cared to look into it. The rune feels overkill and I'll soon be experimenting with [Punish] or perhaps even with Frenzy. Try for yourself and determine whether or not you need the extra fury.
Whirlwind [Blood Funnel] is the foundation of the build. Blood Funnel is simply required if you have no lifesteal, and you can never expect to have that when playing self-found. If you ever get good weapons with lifesteal, feel free to move on to the traditional Sprint build -- this is a different build. If any one thing defines this whole build, it's the assumption that you'll lack lifesteal. The only way to overcome this is with [Blood Funnel], simple as that.
WotB [Insanity] is important to this build. You need it to overcome various kinds of crowd control, and you'll often want the enormous damage boost to ensure victory over particularly tough elite packs. Don't bother with Thrive on Chaos with this build -- you can't sustain it, and you need the +100% damage from Insanity.
War Cry [Impunity] is my choice because my resists are now high enough to take advantage of the rune (despite its nerf). If your unbuffed resists are under 400, you might get more out of Invigorate or perhaps even Hardened Wrath.
Battle Rage [Into the Fray] is pretty mandatory. You'll need both the damage boost and the chance to gain fury. This is what will let you whirl forever in crowds. If you have to stop whirling, you often die.
Ignore Pain [Iron Hide] is optional and I've used several other skills in this slot. I ruled out Revenge pretty quickly since you have to stop whirling to cast it, interrupting the flow. I used Overpower for a while with both Revel and Crushing Advance, and it was alright but I needed something with stronger survivability. I tried Leap and Charge with their respective armor and healing runes, but they didn't pack enough of a punch and I didn't actually need the mobility so much. I finally resorted to good old Ignore Pain as it helps me overcome those near-unbeatable combinations of arcane enchanted and molten.
The passives should be self-explanatory. Ruthless and Weapon Master are staples of the build even by those with billions of gold, and Nerves Of Steel was always a solid rune. You might choose Superstition instead for much the same result, and I've even considered trying Pound of Flesh due to the fact that I have no kind of LS or LoH on my gear. I did entertain the thought of using Bloodthirst to overcome that problem, but I don't think a sole 3% is enough, especially when it comes at the expense of raw survivability. You're welcome to give it a shot, but with a low DPS (mine's 55k) you'll barely notice 3% lifesteal (which is really 0.6% in Inferno).
This wouldn't be a guide without a section about gear, but note that it's difficult to say very much about it when it concerns self-found play. I can't tell you to get a Skorn or IK chest, it just isn't that easy. In a lot of cases, you'll be venturing into Inferno using items that would be worthless on the AH. You'll be embarrassed about your own gear and you'll feel so tempted to hop on the AH and buy just a weapon, just one, maybe with LoH and a socket and... no. Don't. You're legit. Shut up. Take it from me (because I tried): caving in and buying something (I bought a crafting recipe) taints the whole project and you'll quickly feel like there's no point. I now have a 6-slot shoulder recipe that I don't craft despite the fact that my shoulders are so bad the warrior from Diablo 1 wouldn't wear 'em. STAY LEGIT.
Your weapons are what you'll need to focus on a lot. Craft rare axes and hope for 800 DPS and a socket. If you're insanely lucky, you'll get 800 DPS, a socket and native critdmg. I haven't got that yet despite crafting at least 50 Galrakis. I did get one with 840 DPS, 240 str, 150 vit and a socket, and I found a DPS 880 sword with 60 critdmg, 10% IAS and a socket. Both are socketed with 70% emeralds -- these are surprisingly easy to get since the only other thing to use gold for is crafting.
Not much else can really be said in specific terms. You want a good deal of crit in order to heal from Blood Funnel -- I'd go for 40%, much of which is gained from passives and the Scoundrel (21%, to be exact, plus the 5% baseline). You can probably get some on your gloves as well. 30% should suffice as a minimum, but more is always better. Crit damage is excellent, but it's very hard to get gear that has it without sacrificing huge amounts of survivability stats. I consider this the minimum for farming A3 MP0:
30% crit chance (but you really want 40%)
From there, you can focus on increasing your DPS and on the final lofty goal: lifesteal. Once you have 40k health and 600/6000 armor/resists, you're okay for defensive stats and will benefit more from ensuring that you clear areas faster. Often, the best defense is a good offense. If you can't kill things quickly, you'll just get worn down by molted, plagued, arcane and so on.
Those are the biggest threats, by the way. You'll pretty quickly reach the point where the physical damage output of most mobs is negligible and easily countered by the health gain from WW, but you'll never stop getting wrecked by elemental affixes. Arcane enchanted will make you scream and weep, and molten is just not fair. Combined with frozen or jailer, they'll make up 90% of your deaths. This is why WotB is so crucial, you simply can't beat certain affix combos without it as you'll auto-die to a badly timed jailer+arcane or waller+frozen.
As an epilogue, I'll just mention that you will die a lot. It's unavoidable. This game is not really made for self-found play, it's just that the latest patches have made it marginally possible whereas it used to be completely futile. It's challenging, but usually in a good way. Dying isn't so bad and I find that success feels much more satisfying this way. It'll take much longer before you hit that point where finding upgrades is statistically almost impossible, whereas that'll happen almost immediately if you use the AH. I have played at least a hundred hours like this and am only just getting vaguely comfortable farming A3 MP1. Without a market to keep up with and rich players to make me feel insignificant, I find the game much more relaxing and rewarding. Few things compare to the thrill of finding a legendary ring when you're wearing a crappy blue one, and I think there's something to be proud of in a character whose accomplishments are all his own instead of the AH's.
Nice post. I've recently started a self-found/crafted Barb and got him up to Act three Inferno without re-running any zones. While I tried a similar build to the one you linked, I found a lot of success with the following: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculato...VTP!ZYV!YYbcbZ
Having either Earthquake or WotB available is amazing for champ packs. You'll normally want to alternate between the two so you'll always have at least one for a fight. In Act 2 I made sure to save WotB for bees. It's a bit silly how much damage they both do combined for boss fights or tough champ packs(when casting WotB then Earthquake).
Aside from champ packs, Bash and Seismic Slam will be your song and dance for most of the game. It's a pretty fun style where you'll want to line up mobs for maximum damage, then bash them in the face when you need rage. It's not the worst for boss fights when your other spells are on cooldowns, Bash when you can melee, then Seismic Slam when you have to run away due to a specific enemy spell.
I'd like to substitute Revenge with Ignore Pain, but unfortunately I don't have any Life on Hit yet. But I suspect Ignore Pain would be amazing for the dangerous moments of a champ pack fight, which has really been the only threat.
And I agree about not using the Auction House. I've deleted my characters and started over recently, and it's been much more rewarding. Before 1.0.4 I felt it was not worth the effort, but now I'm surprised how accessible Inferno is with the improved drops and balance tweaks. It's no longer a game about how much gold can I make in an hour, instead it's about actually playing the game and trying to find items
If you're playing a self-found barb I don't see why you don't just go with the standard good old tank build. It's by far the least gear dependent. As long as you have enough EHP revenge will keep you alive. Only real problem is butcher and belial due to their enrage, and maybe bosses in general due to revenge not being that good for single target.
Of course, with rend buff you might consider fitting it into the build, using something like this:
Since elite packs no longer enrage, swapping WotB with another defensive skill might be worth it. Ignore pain is an option, though I think leap iron impact or threatening shout (any rune) might prove more useful in the long run.
Going with WotB EQ combo is an interesting option which I've used back in 1.0.0 days, but in the end results in a lot of deaths if you're not very well-geared. Overall I think you can progress further with less gear using a tank build. If you aren't dying all the time, though, the WotB EQ combo will possibly end up farming faster once you do decide you want to re-run areas (either because you finished the game already or because you decided you can't and must farm some).
I've done something similar with a DH, waiting for 1.0.5 before venturing into inferno, and clearing act 1 without any kind of farming. I don't even spend gold on anything other than repairs, not even gem upgrades or even gem removal. After all, my gold still belongs to my "main" barb on which I spend most of my time. The amount of damage I was taking in act 1, though, made me not very enthusiastic to go through act 2 just yet, as it will most likely be more like a self-torture and repair-fest than actual fun. With DH build didn't seem to matter too much, as it was all about simply avoiding getting hit. Killing them a bit slower or faster didn't really matter too much.
If you're playing a self-found barb I don't see why you don't just go with the standard good old tank build.
I certainly agree a tank build could get you the furthest on self-found gear, but in all of my years of playing Action RPGs I've never played such a boring build. And that's coming from someone who loved his Concentrate Barb from D2
But choosing the rune "The Mountain's Call" allows you to have minimal downtime between Earthquake and WotB. I'll usually get caught only once out of a dozen+ champ packs without either one up, and if I do they're not too far away from becoming available. As you mentioned the farming potential is quite good with the build, the Butcher went down faster with my Barb's first kill than my Wizard who downed him 100+ times.
Depends what kind of play style you're looking for. Thankfully D3 allows you to switch to and fro without a hassle, I've been trying a ton of builds with my self-found gear (I'm still trying to get a Weapon Throw, Dread Bomb build going).
The tank build has an awful killing speed. Since it's no longer the only way to play a barbarian in Inferno, I don't see much reason to use it unless you're playing hardcore. You'll never get even close to the 50k DPS that is the bare minimum for effective A3 play.
The reason to use it is because killing slow in later acts is better than killing fast in earlier acts (especially after 1.0.5 changes), and if you play self-found you will not have the gear to kill fast in later acts because you will just die if you try to go with a fast killing build.
Besides, if you play with "no farming" in addition to "self-found", then you have no choice but to go to act 2 with whatever you found in act 1, so even if you could farm act 1 more efficiently with a damage spec, it's not an option simply due to the rules you are following.
50k DPS is something you simply won't have with any build if you play self found with no farming. You should maybe try and see what items you actually end up using before you comment on build viability for people who play with such gear. My DH just finished act 2 never farming a single zone and never spending a single piece of gold on anything other than repairs, and has like 22k DPS, 27k HP, less 100 resists and less than 3000 armor, so those are the stats you can expect to have if you go damage-heavy on self-found gear. Some elite affix combos do kill her more than once before she can kill them, but she did kill the butcher in 1 try and belial on 2nd try. I believe finishing act 3/4 will be possible but extremely frustrating and inducing a lot of repair bills. After all, with butcher and belial enrage timers behind, there isn't much that can stop me. Maybe ghom, but 22k DPS (plus whatever upgrades I may find, and plus sharpshooter) might suffice.
Generally she dies in 1-4 hits depending on monster, so with a barb using similar gear (for high DPS to make EQ+WotB actually kill something) I don't see how one would survive without dying at least as much as my DH. A tank barb, on the other hand, while killing slowly, actually has a chance to survive stuff with self-found gear.
An additional problem with the EQ+WotB build, putting cooldowns aside, is that if the elite pack spreads out you're basically dead (again, assuming real self-found gear with no farming and no getting gear from your other characters).
I also beat Act 2 Inferno without re-running a single zone or twinking and had about 35k health, 15k dps, and 100 resists. So yea, very similar stats to galzohar.
As far as elite packs spreading out, that's not an issue if you play smart. Use WotB for range, packs that run, or that have fear. Use Earthquake for stuff that you know will stay next to you (which is why I'm so tempted to use ignore pain to avoid that initial damage while you get earthquake going).
I also have to agree with galzohar that the killing speed is not all that slow for tank build. If I play that spec I avoid killing every enemy, instead go after meaty packs, revenge until most are dead, and move on.
For reference here's my profile with my current no twink self-found/crafted barb only (I deleted my previous 60s that used the AH): http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/M.../hero/27543357 - feel free to add to friend's list as well. I'm currently farming previous areas since I'm not quite ready for Act 3 yet (I do have some better resist gear he found that's in storage, for when I want to progress).
Thanks for the useful guide! Some good things to think about. I'm currently working through MP1 with my barb (self-found, as are all my guys). Gear is here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/S.../hero/15447707 (ignore the passives, was messing around to test paperdoll DPS under different conditions)
In general, I've found that MP1 is a pretty good difficulty setting with my current level of gear. I occasionally die to an elite pack if I get lazy or forget to hit WotB, but I can melt packs with WotB pretty quickly. I've tried a bunch of different skill set-ups -- I have to say that the double WW barb was the most fun, and RltW and Hurricane are both really fun skills to use even though I'm not facerolling the content. In general, the biggest problem I've had is that self-finding all-resist gear is really annoying. There are multiple chances to get an affix rolling +str or +vit, and obviously you can get an awesome item if you roll +str, +vit, and +str/vit on a rare. However, since there's only one chance to roll all res, I generally find that unless I get a really great rare roll, I have to sacrifice tons of str/vit to keep all res, which I haven't been willing to do. As a result I'm a lot less tanky than I'd like, but the +armor from strength and the bigger life bulb somewhat compensate. I'm trying to find a sweet spot for figuring out how many points of all res are worth how many points of str or vit. Obviously they are all complements -- every point of all res and str makes every point of vit more meaningful, but so far I haven't found a good balance and have just subbed out all res gear as I've gotten better and better values in terms of str and vit on stuff (e.g., swapped out a belt with 127 str, 90 vit, and 70 all res for a belt with 190 str and 140 vit). Is that a good call?
Here is my untwinked Barbarian. He uses this skill-setup. I am using him for running Act1 at MP1. I found that the fastest way to deal with the champion packs is WOTB + Earthquake. Problem is staying alive. That's why I use 2 stun skills (Leap/Death From Above and Ground Stomp/ Wrenching Smash. Most packs can be killed while stunned with WOTB+Earthquake. Rend doubles the normal (non-Earthquake) damage when you use it at the beginning of combat (assuming you have to hit 3 or more times to kill the creature which is probable when you are self-found). Cleave because I usually fight against more monsters at once. Also it combos nicely with Ground Stomp/Wrenching Smash.
Finding that 2H Axe with 5K live after each kill was a real difference for me.