Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

Why waste runes on a two-handed sword?

Discussion in 'Barbarian' started by Psychonautical, Oct 7, 2013. | Replies: 23 | Views: 3613

  1. Psychonautical

    Psychonautical IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Don't let the stats fool you, I've been here before, this is just a new account.

    I am also very familiar with Diablo II, but recently I have noticed something that I never bothered questioning.

    Throughout my gaming experience, one of the most coveted weapons for almost any barbarian is the mighty Breath of the Dying Colossus Blade, with Death CBs also being in pretty high demand.

    But... why? I always just took it as the way things were for a while, but I recently was comparing stats, and neither colossus blades nor colossus swords have any benefit over using a berserker axe.

    Here's the stats compared:

    CB: 25-65 dmg, 5 speed, range of 2, 189 req str, 110 req dex
    CS: 26-70 dmg, 10 speed, range of 2, 182 req str, 95 req dex
    BA: 24-71 dmg, 0 speed, range of 2, 138 req str, 59 req dex

    According to the stats, literally THE only thing that either of the swords have over the axe is 1 or 2 more minimum damage.

    The range is the same, the berserker axe STILL does more damage overall (even if only negligibly so) AND to top if off, the stat requirements for the axe is a whopping 80 points fewer than that of the CS, or to translate, a difference of 360 more base life before Battle Orders if you are not going for max block.

    On a related note, even Oath doesn't seem worth it in any two-hander compared to the axe. Sure, you get 75 instead of 71 max dmg, but that's IT. A Balrog Blade suffers a 9 point minimum damage difference and again has the issue of way higher stat requirements.

    Am I missing something here? To this day I still see trade games where people are looking for socketable two-handers and ebotd cbs. But if these are how the numbers stack up, than isn't a berzerker axe objectively the best weapon for (almost) any runeword, at least when concerning a barb who is considering wielding a two-handed sword with one hand?
  2. Archone

    Archone IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Colossus Blade
    58 To 115dmg. Two handed dmg. Add 50% for being ethereal = 87 to 172,5 dmg.

    Compared to a berserker axe which would have 36 to 106,5

    Who would use a CB as a one handed weapon?


    Youre welcome.




  3. Psychonautical

    Psychonautical IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Uh... I can't believe I am telling this to a veteran like you, but... a barbarian(?)

    I have never once in my entire ten years seen ANY character wielding a sword with two hands. Why would you? Thunder mauls, ghost spears, and several polearms make far superior two-handed weapons.

    I am still reeling from your question. You really didn't catch on that I was talking about a barbarian one-handing an ebotd cb (something I have seen MANY times in my D2 experiences.)

    That is what I am refering to; why would ANYONE want an ebotd CB for their barb to use one-handed when berserker axes are superior in EVERY way save for 1 point of minimum damage?

    Also, as as curious side question, why are you using a comma as a decimal place? You use periods normally, yet when you typed 172 point 5 damage, you wrote it at 172,5 instead of 172.5. I am just wondering why you would do that. It looks a tad silly :D
  4. Archone

    Archone IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Because afaik not everyone use points, some use commas instead.
    In sweden we use commas.

    By the lack of politeness, Ill still keep your question unanswered.

    Some things arent meant for everyone to understand.
  5. Namtar

    Namtar IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    77
    I know, right? There are only 67 countries around the world that use a comma to denote the radix point. Why can't the barbarians in Sweden (and France, and Germany, and Russia, and Brazil, and Italy, and Turkey, and Denmark, and Poland...) become civilized and join the 42 countries around the world that use a period to denote the radix point like the gods intended?
  6. AreEyeSeaKay

    AreEyeSeaKay IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Decided to delete my sarcastic comment.
  7. Archone

    Archone IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Wont start about the metric/feet system.. :ponder:
  8. AreEyeSeaKay

    AreEyeSeaKay IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    I work in a scientific field that uses the English system. It is painful.
  9. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    121
    As far as one-handed Elite weapons with six sockets are concerned, there are only four options for the Breath of the Dying Rune Word for a Barbarian:

    Code:
    Elite Weapon     Base Damage         Weapon   Range   Requirements
                     Min   Max   Avg     Speed    adder   Str   Dex
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Berserker Axe     24    71    47.5        0       2   138    59
    Colossus Blade    25    65    45          5       2   189   110
    
    Phase Blade       31    35    33        -30       1    25   136
    War Spike         30    48    39        -10       1   133    54
    
    The Phase Blade and War Spike tend to be dismissed out of hand because of much lower maximum and average damage (and range), and PB cannot be ethereal (although there are some specialist builds for which much higher weapon speed is preferable). Taking into account the remaining two possibilities being ethereal, and the Rune Word's Requirements -20%:

    Code:
    Elite Weapon     Base Damage         Weapon   Range   Requirements
                     Min   Max   Avg     Speed    adder   Str   Dex
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Berserker Axe     36   106    71          0       2   101    38
    Colossus Blade    37    97    67          5       2   142    78
    
    On the face of it, the Berserker Axe requires 41 less Strength and 40 less Dexterity than the Colossus Blade, or 81 attribute points in total. However, this is without taking into account attribute bonuses from items: for example, if you're equipping a perfect Annihilus Unique Small Charm and Hellfire Torch Unique Large Charm with +20 All Attributes each, the difference is reduced to 59. The difference in requirements becomes a non-issue if you require Strength > 141 and Dexterity > 78 to equip other items, or you can achieve Strength > 141 and Dexterity > 78 without investing attribute points or replacing items.

    There remain the issues of the slightly higher maximum damage, average damage and weapon speed of the Berserker Axe. Either weapon with 60 Increased Attack Speed achieves maximum attack rate with Whirlwind, and for other attacks the difference in weapon speed isn't likely to be significant enough to prevent achieving maximum attack rate with both. The difference in average damage is just 4, although 400% Enhanced Damage increases it to 20 and +% Damage will increase it further still (for example, +900% Damage increases it to 200). However, in the context of thousands of points of damage, this might be overlooked, particularly in PvM.

    I think it must come down to aesthetics: a Colossus Blade or any other two-handed sword looks like a formidable weapon, whereas a Berserker Axe... definitely does not (it might if it resembled its inventory graphic, but it really doesn't). This might not be a consideration in PvP (where every advantage is sought) but for PvM, players may make minor practical sacrifices in the interests of style.

    Aside from aesthetic preferences, Colossus Swords tend to be preferred for Death and Balrog Blades for Oath because it's much easier to get an ethereal CS with five sockets and an ethereal BB with four than it is to get a similar ethereal Berserker Axe. Larzuk always places the maximum number of sockets in a non-magical item, and the maximum number of sockets a CS, BB and BA can have are 5, 4 and 6 respectively.

    Even if you use the Horadric Cube to put sockets in an ethereal weapon, there's 1/3 chance of a CS getting five sockets but only 1/6 chance of a BA doing so, while there's 1/2 chance of a BB getting four sockets but only 1/6 chance of a BA doing so.

    This is debatable, even if the scope is limited to ethereal Breath of the Dying weapons for a Barbarian:

    Code:
    Elite Weapon     Base Damage         Weapon   Range   Requirements
                     Min   Max   Avg     Speed    adder   Str   Dex
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Champion Axe      88   141   114.5      -10       2   124    38
    Colossus Blade    87   172   129.5        5       2   142    78
    Ghost Spear       27   232   129.5        0       4    88   121
    Giant Thresher    60   171   115.5      -10       4   141   102
    Great Poleaxe     69   190   129.5        0       4   134    70
    
    Archon Staff     124   148   136         10       1    17     0
    Glorious Axe      90   186   138         10       3   122    34
    Ogre Maul        115   159   137         10       1   170     0
    Thunder Maul      49   270   159.5       20       2   193     0
    War Pike          49   267   158         20       4   122    75
    
    Archon Staff, Ogre Maul and Thunder Maul also have +50% Damage to Undead, while the latter two have 110 Strength bonus, not 100 (so 100 Strength adds +110% Damage, not +100%).

    Whirlwind is arguably the most popular skill for Barbarians, and only the first five can maintain maximum attack speed of 4 frames after the first two hit checks (in frames 4 and 8 of the sequence); the second five only achieve 6 frames thereafter.

    Although Colossus Blade, Ghost Spear and Great Poleaxe have the same average base damage but the latter two have rangeadder 4, Whirlwind only searches for targets in a 5 sub-tile or 3 1/3 yard radius, which is a little less than range 5: there is no difference between a CB and the other two against size 3 targets (rangeadder 2 + size 3 = range 5), and minimal difference against size 2 targets (CB still covers ~85% of the search radius).
  10. Psychonautical

    Psychonautical IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    No no, I didn't mean it like that at all! Pardon my American ignorance. I didn't mean to assume, it was indeed a question I was asking simply because I didn't know why, but I assumed you had a good reason. When I said it looks a tad silly, it was simply from my perspective, but not meant to be offensive. Not silly as in, "You folks from non-American countries are stupid! Do it like us!" But silly in the way that anyone who does something outside of another's social norm would seem to them. I would not be offended if you were to say any American thing I do was silly, because I understand that from your perspective it very well could be.

    I feel I shouldn't, because I didn't mean it with that intention, but out of respect, I do apologize for the misunderstanding.
  11. Psychonautical

    Psychonautical IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Your entire response was brilliant, but this was the biggest point I think.

    I agree, I believe it is more of an aesthetic choice, or they, like I used to be, were simply convinced that since Barbarians can one-hand a big sword, that it simply must be better. But that kind of brings me to the bigger picture here: is that ability to one-hand a big sword REALLY that significant? I don't think it is, at least where runewords are concerned.

    For uniques, all day. Barbarians I feel are the only class who can make good use of the unique two-handed swords out there.

    OH! But I just realized an even BIGGER issue at hand:

    So sure, the damage difference IS negligible, and the speed isn't an issue with the 60% IAS.

    BUT, the other HUGE deal with it is that by making a BOTD CB, you are virtually limiting it to the use of a barbarian and NO ONE else. Yes, it can be argued that a Paladin or Druid can make use of a two-handed sword, but c'mon, be real here. Druid's would get a much better bonus from their trusty polearms, and Paladin shield options offer way to much power to ignore.

    By using a zerker, you are creating a fantastic go-to weapon for literally ANY class that swings instead of casts. Hell, there is even a necromancer build based on using a BOTD and maxing out the Poison Nova synergies to cast big rings of death upon each regular attack kill.

    Maybe I am ranting or being overly critical. I just see NO reason WHATSOEVER to EVER waste a Zod and Vex on a BOTD Colossus Blade when a zerker axe is superior in every conceivable way.

    Unless you want a barb running around with an intimidatingly large sword, in which case, hey savor the flavor, you know? But from a statistical perspective, CB gets two major thumbs down for me.
  12. Namtar

    Namtar IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    77
    Well, technically there are barbarian mercenaries, who can only use one sword, might as well use an ethereal, two-handed runeword sword, right?
  13. Spankeh

    Spankeh IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120

    Another thing you may have overlooked is:

    What weapon is to be used in other hand?
    Sometimes the offhand maybe a sword - unique/rare/runeword
    An example for a Frenzier could be - Grief PhaseBlade + ebotdcb
    Or ebotdcb + Lawbringer PB
    Some axe weapons are undesirable when choosing a specific main weapon.

    Just my two cents
  14. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    121
    Breath of the Dying has become less popular as a one-handed weapon since the introduction of the 1.10 Ladder Rune Words, particularly Grief (since the lowest Grief damage roll is still higher than a perfect ethereal BotD Berserker Axe, and relatively speaking it requires less rare runes and base weapon).

    This is posted in the Barbarian forum, and some players only play Barbarians: aside from what Namtar and Spankeh have posted, an ethereal Breath of the Dying Colossus Blade could also be more desirable as it could be used as both a one-handed and two-handed weapon; although a Barbarian can achieve a maximum attack speed of 10 frames per attack for skills like Concentrate and Berserk with all two-handed weapons, it takes significantly less IAS with a two-handed sword or spear (for example, 194 IAS for a Colossus Sword (weapon speed 10) vs 280 IAS for a weapon speed 10 axe, polearm, hammer or staff); and Leap Attack is also one frame faster when equipping a two-handed sword compared to all other two-handed weapons.

    Believe it or not, but some players do play two-handed Avengers, Chargers or Fanatic Zealots (although the latter two are more likely to use an ethereal Death axe or sword, since IAS is either irrelevant or less important).
  15. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    11,656
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    479
    I built Oath Eth TH

    Had the runes to waste, was fun.

    Why not?

    :D

    But I played realms and ladder
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  16. NoisemakerArrow

    NoisemakerArrow IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    121
  17. TaxxiDriver

    TaxxiDriver IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I also agree that Berserker axe is in some points superior than other two-handed swords when equipped as one-hand for WW barbarians. One downside of it is the graphical aspect, you know ;). When equipped two ethereal Berserker Axes, barbarian looks like a hungry man holding two giant forks or something; it never looks like a monster-smashing weapon... But well, I still prefer Berserker axe, though.

    Oh, but I actually prefer to put more points into str than just putting all other points into vit so in that case Colossus Sword would be a nice option.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  18. imakeigloospat

    imakeigloospat IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Just another consideration is the masteries. Sword mastery is worse than spear- / polearm mastery.
  19. royalairfarce

    royalairfarce IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    98
    The sound of a swordswing is better for the ears!
  20. NoisemakerArrow

    NoisemakerArrow IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    121
    The second tier of masteries have 2% AR more at each level compared to the first tier ones. That's hardly a big deal.

Share This Page