An interesting thread in the Demon Hunter forum asks which DH passives should be "baked in" to the character, basically making them full time abilities. The whole thing was spurred by a blue post about Monks:
The most commonly proposed solution is to simply bake One With Everything directly into the Monk's class. In essence, give the passive away for free. This has a few issues. We don't currently bake a mechanic like this into other classes, so it would be something that’d need to be explained to new players or otherwise exist as a hidden bonus. It also represents a big boost to one class that's inequitable with the other classes.
Looking at the barb skills that are used, the passives are wildly unbalanced. Ruthless and Weapons Master are both over 80% use rate, and then you've got a bunch that aren't used at all:
Passive Skills for Barbarian in Softcore Pos Skill Percent 1 Ruthless(Passive) 84.19% 2 Weapons Master(Passive) 80.89% 3 Bloodthirst(Passive) 32.64% 4 Unforgiving(Passive) 20.00% 5 Tough as Nails(Passive) 19.95% 6 Nerves Of Steel(Passive) 19.67% 7 Superstition(Passive) 12.43% 8 Animosity(Passive) 8.49% 9 Brawler(Passive) 4.15% 10 Boon of Bul-Kathos(Passive) 3.93% 11 Inspiring Presence(Passive) 3.75% 12 No Escape(Passive) 2.83% 13 Relentless(Passive) 2.76% 14 Berserker Rage(Passive) 2.16% 15 Pound of Flesh(Passive) 1.13% 16 Juggernaut(Passive) 0.93%
Obviously any/all of those last 7 could or should be buffed, (since nerfs don't ever seem to be on the table for the Barb class alone in D3). So how to improve? Can you combine 2 or 3 of them into one new passive? Add features? Or just improve the numbers (which seems to be all Bliz does in patches lately).
It's weird to think about fixing Barb skills, since the class is so designed to achieve huge DPS, and does that very well. And since big DPS cures all ills in Diablo 3, making more passives add more dps is kind of beside the point.
Passives like Pound of Flesh, or Relentless, or Inspiring Presence are irrelevant since Barbs get life leech so easily they don't need it. Juggernaut is irrelevant since WotB does the same thing but much better.
Honestly, I don't really know what to do with Barb passives; it seems like larger game changes are required to make them matter, since as long as the S2W build is so OP, everyone's going to use the passives that work best with it. There are some interesting passives that seem based on a tanking barb, but those hardly exist in the current game. Perhaps you guys have some more creative suggestions?
Similar threads are now running for all five classes: Monk Passives, Wizard Passives, Witch Doctor Passives, Demon Hunter Passives.