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Barb Passive Skills Improvements/Changes

Discussion in 'Barbarian' started by Flux, Mar 1, 2013. | Replies: 7 | Views: 3385

  1. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    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.


    http://www.diablowiki.net/Barbarian_passives

    http://www.diablo3ladders.com/skills/mostused/barbarian

    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:

    [TABLE="class: skillUsage passive"]
    [TH="class: headerHeader addTextShadow, colspan: 3"]Passive Skills for Barbarian in Softcore [/TH] Pos Skill Percent 1 [TD="class: left"]Ruthless(Passive)[/TD] 84.19% 2 [TD="class: left"]Weapons Master(Passive)[/TD] 80.89% 3 [TD="class: left"]Bloodthirst(Passive)[/TD] 32.64% 4 [TD="class: left"]Unforgiving(Passive)[/TD] 20.00% 5 [TD="class: left"]Tough as Nails(Passive)[/TD] 19.95% 6 [TD="class: left"]Nerves Of Steel(Passive)[/TD] 19.67% 7 [TD="class: left"]Superstition(Passive)[/TD] 12.43% 8 [TD="class: left"]Animosity(Passive)[/TD] 8.49% 9 [TD="class: left"]Brawler(Passive)[/TD] 4.15% 10 [TD="class: left"]Boon of Bul-Kathos(Passive)[/TD] 3.93% 11 [TD="class: left"]Inspiring Presence(Passive)[/TD] 3.75% 12 [TD="class: left"]No Escape(Passive)[/TD] 2.83% 13 [TD="class: left"]Relentless(Passive)[/TD] 2.76% 14 [TD="class: left"]Berserker Rage(Passive)[/TD] 2.16% 15 [TD="class: left"]Pound of Flesh(Passive)[/TD] 1.13% 16 [TD="class: left"]Juggernaut(Passive)[/TD] 0.93% [/TABLE]

    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.
  2. Ivan E

    Ivan E IncGamers Member

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    Kind of funny thing about the Barb passives -- I mostly try to play without dying (I use self-imposed rules that force me up an MP level if I can complete a run without dying, and force me down an MP level if I die more than 3 times on a run) -- and I find that the defensive passives are much more valuable for me than some of the ones at the top of this list. My Barb can dish out damage effectively on a higher MP (3/4/5) than he can effectively take it due to the ease of finding IAS/CC/CD/STR gear relative to gear with a good balance of that and all res, so I find that taking multiple offensive passives is overkill.

    If I had to tier them, I'd put Ruthless, WM, TaN, NoS, Superstition, and IP in the "awesome" bucket, Unforgiving and possibly Bloodthirst in their own "decent but why bother over the awesome ones" bucket, Berserker Rage in its own "eh at least it kinda does something with the right build," bucket, and everything else into the "terrible" bucket.

    There's a ton of (relatively more) creative stuff that can be done with Barb passives akin to those in other classes -- a passive that stacks an attack speed increase on crit, a passive that allows you to spam revenge with a cooldown after being hit just once by an enemy (so long as that enemy is still alive), defensive passives that fully negate CC and provide flavorful defensive boosts, a passive that increases knockback distance and damage dealt on knockback hits, a passive that gives you an innate ability similar to the Sprint rune that knocks all enemies back upon touching you, etc. etc.

    Also, for additional amusement, I'd like to see a passive (Boon of Bul-Kathos) be reworked so that it casts all three 2-minute cooldown nukes whenever you cast any of them (and maybe increase the cooldown to compensate... maybe). It would be complete overkill, b8t also complete hilarity.
  3. WebDragon

    WebDragon IncGamers Member

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    Well, the main problem is that even if the passives at the bottom of the list were to be buffed, they still need to do something useful for one or more builds to gain more popularity.

    For example, Juggernaut tackles one of the main sources of barbarian deaths, which is getting CCed, usually while standing on something nasty. However, a 20% reduction is barely noticeable, and the fact that its healing is a CtC is insulting. This results in someone who picked up Tough as Nails to be more likely to survive a CC in a bad spot situation than someone with Juggernaut. Tough as Nails also works against all other kinds of damage, so it really blows Juggernaut out of the water.

    If Juggernaut is buffed to the following:

    Reduce control impairing effects by 75%
    100% chance to recover 35% of your life when CCed


    This would make it much more worthwhile. It gives the option of finding 25% more CC reduction on your gear to become CC immune, making it an alternative way to gain CC immunity besides WotB/ToC. Also, the recovered life would be non-trivial, making it a real contender against Tough as Nails in CC situations.

    And yet, all of that buffing would be for naught, because still very few will use it. With the MP system's MP10 sitting tantalizingly close, offering impressive drop and exp payouts, what most people are looking at is moving up the MP system, which means DPS... more and more DPS. Even being able to tank MP10 comfortably is useless if it still takes 15 minutes to kill each boss pack.

    As long as there are reliable DPS passives, they'll top the charts in usage no matter what. I'm rather glad that Blizzard didn't throw in a 3rd reliable DPS passive, else most barbarians would set their character to 3 offensive passives, full speed ahead and not look back.

    Based on all of this, I would recommend buffing the less used passives, not just in numbers, but functionality. Then, reduce the number of passive dps boosters and passive defense boosters to one each, buffing them as needed. That would force difficult decisions on the players where they have to pick passives that would have to be exploited correctly in combat to be of any use. For example, if Blizzard buffs Ruthless and drops Weapon Master, you'll most definitely see people scrambling to find the optimal skill/rune combo to make use of Brawler and/or Berserker Rage.

    Additionally, if Blizzard folds Nerves of Steel into Tough as Nails like so:

    Gain 100% of your Vitality as armor
    If using a shield, also gain 25% armor and 250% increase to thorns damage


    Something like that would spark new interest in S&B builds and perhaps even thorns builds.

    Variety is what keeps people playing in the long run, so you want your passives to enable a variety of builds, similar to what No Escape does for thrower builds.
  4. Athenau

    Athenau IncGamers Member

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    The barb actually does have a 3rd dps passive. Animosity buffs fury generation by 20%, which is a big deal considering how strong the fury spenders are now.
  5. Katniss

    Katniss IncGamers Member

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    Most people probably feel they generate enough Fury within The Build (I'm referring to Sprint/WW of course) to the point where Animosity is probably a nuisance for refilling Fury faster than you can spend it, so I don't think it's really viable in The Build. Then again, I don't play it, so I'm not speaking from experience. I guess, observing Animostiy from a stand-alone viewpoint, you would be correct that it allows you to potentially generate more DPS by using Fury Spenders more often, but it's not a DIRECT buff to DPS per se.

    You could make the same argument for Unforgiving, which is the "other" passive I personally use in my current farming build to always constantly generate Fury even when not in battle.

    It's the difference between a constant, always on buff like Brawler and Weapons Master versus a situational/potential buff like Berserker Rage, et al.
  6. Athenau

    Athenau IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, I'm not referring to Spin2Win here. Obviously that build is pretty restricted in terms of what's optimal and, IMO, doesn't really say much about how good the barb's passives are. Although, it does bear mentioning that Hammer of the Ancients and Seismic Slam put out more damage than Sprint/WW in single-target/AOE scenarios respectively, and for those builds Animosity makes a pretty big difference. Unforgiving as well, but animosity scales better.
  7. Katniss

    Katniss IncGamers Member

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    Can you talk more about Animosity versus Unforgiving?
  8. Athenau

    Athenau IncGamers Member

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    Ok, so Unforgiving is a flat 2 fury regen per second. This is nice if you have a low attack speed (2-hander builds for example) and at low MP levels where you spend less time fighting and more time running between mobs but it doesn't scale upwards since it's a flat bonus. Numbers-wise here's a quick rundown of the animosity bonus for fury generators at 1 and 2 attacks/sec respectively:


    [TABLE="width: 500"]
    Skill Crit % Animosity Bonus Fury/Sec@1 APS Animosity Bonus Fury/Sec@2 APS Bash NA 1.6 3.2 Frenzy NA 1.05 2.10 Cleave NA 1 2 Into the Fray/Bash* 50% 1.5 3 ITF/Frenzy-Sidearm* 50% 2.49 5.92** ITF/Cleave (1 target)* 50% 1.2 2.4 ITF/Cleave (3 targets)* 50% 3.6 7.2 [/TABLE]

    * Animosity bonus to the ITF proc alone, total bonus is the bonus from the base skill and the ITF summed together
    ** Assuming frenzy IAS bonus stacks multiplicatively with other IAS

    As you can see, the potential for animosity is much higher than unforgiving in the right circumstances, whereas Unforgiving gives you a stable lower bound. Also, animosity buffs ALL sources of fury generation. That includes fury from getting hit and fury from cooldown skills (war cry, threatening shout, etc) which can add up to quite a lot by itself.

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