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Fan Suggested Barbarian Buff/Rework

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The Barbarian class has seen better days, and with the latest season some of their major flaws were accentuated even more with the lack of solid LoN builds. Two Diablo 3 community members, Rage and Free, have taken it upon themselves to take a good look at the class and figure out what should be done to put it on at least a bit more equal footing with the other classes and to return some variety within the class itself.


The ideas presented in this pitch would fix long-standing issues with sets and skills, increase parity between major builds, elevate some minor builds to major status, and buff LoN and Primary skill builds to minor, and potentially major, status. It would also increase build diversity by offering Slam- and Avalanche-centric options for MOTE-based builds, a two-handed option for Rend builds, and more legitimate choices skill selection. - Free

Their efforts are concentrated on getting as much attention to their proposed changes, and after having looked said changes over ourselves, we decided to help them out by sharing them. For all the in-depth analysis and details, head on over to the aptly named barbarianbuffproposals.strikingly.com, while we take a look at the general idea here. 


The main problems Free and Rage focus on are twofold:

  • Certain parts of sets and/or builds are simply not working, such as Rend in WotW or Avalanche in MoE.
  • A lot of supporting legendaries are either outdated or just bad, and so a lot of BiS slots are taken by generic cross-class items, so LoN and primary skill builds are weak as a result.

The solutions are manifold and very detailed, but are also separated into 3 categories, with the first being a simple (but also very detailed) fixes to the broken sets and skills, as well as buffs to the under-performing legendaries, while the second goes much deeper and suggests larger gameplay changes, such as set and item overhauls. The third category is somewhat separate and focuses on passive skill changes/buffs.

The actual solutions presented in these 3 categories are truly massive and detailed, so we'll just focus on category 1, aka the "simple" number increase only solutions, and direct you over to the barbarianbuffproposals site for all the rest:


Proposal List 1

This list represents the bare-bones buffs needed to various items to achieve the desired parity between builds, and to increase build diversity for LoN and primary skill builds.

Wrath of the Wastes and Whirlwind:
Skull GraspSkull Grasp bonus increased from +400% to +600%
Wrath of the Wastes (4) mitigation increased from 50% to 60%

  • These two changes provide enough damage (+40%) to move the build forward +2 GRs, and survive a little more easily outside density.

Might of the Earth:
Girdle of GiantsGirdle of Giants bonus increased from +250% to +400%
Fury of the Vanished PeakFury of the Vanished Peak bonus increased from +500% to +600%

  • The change to GoG (+43% damage) will move Fire and Physical Leapquake +2 GRs. The change to FotVP (+16% damage) will move Physical Leapquake an additional +1 GR.

Frenzy Thorns:
Bastion's ReveredBastion's Revered bonus increased from 10 stacks to 20

  • This change (which adds about +60% damage), in addition to a major buff of the Tough as NailsTough as Nails passive, will move Frenzy Thorns approximately +14 GRs, to around GR 120, at high paragon.

Primary Skill Builds:
OathkeeperOathkeeper damage buff increased from +200% to +1000%
Dishonored LegacyDishonored Legacy damage increased from +400% to +1000%
Blade of the WarlordBlade of the Warlord damage increased from +500% to +1000%
Arreat's LawArreat's Law extra Fury generated increased from 20 to 30

  • These changes will help Primary skill builds move from around GR 100 at high paragon to around GR 112 at high paragon.

Weapon Throw and Boulder Toss:
The Three Hundredth SpearThe Three Hundredth Spear bonus increased from +60% to +800%
Skular's SalvationSkular's Salvation bonus increased from +100% / +150% to +150% / +275%

As mentioned, this is just 1 of three proposed solutions and you should really check out the full page as it not only gives a great overview of where Barbarians are at the moment, but also some great solutions that go beyond simple number tweaks. In any case, big thanks to Free and Rage for keeping the Barbarian community alive and caring so much about the class and game in general.

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This kind of thing needs to happen for every class, skill, and item in the game.  I'd also argue that before they do something like this, they should also remove RoRG, set bonus requirements decreased by 1 (minimum 2), and change Legacy of Nightmares to a single legendary ring.

Diablo 3 has become a joke in the aRPG community due to a lack of ability to truly build a character any way you want.  I've spoken up to defend it because it does have potential, but that potential will never be fully realized until Blizzard makes the choices we have worth making.

I also understand that they avoid buffing legendaries because they don't want to trivialize the early game more than they already have, but they could have an unlocking mechanism like primals and have legacy gear drop before then.  Diablo 3 needs more player choice.

I mean, what's holding them back?  Power creep?  They do it every patch, but they don't seem to put a lot of effort into how they do it.  I guess they think nerfing is a bad word, but I'm all about it if the end result is that for every build that's weaker, a dozen more become strong.

Edited by DeadOfKnight

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Hi folks,

I'm Free, one of the authors of the proposal discussed in this thread. I want to thank Starym and Icy Veins for the coverage. We feel that the more we spread the word, the more likely Barbs are to get the buffs they so desperately need.

I'm writing to let you know that since this thread went live the proposal was heavily updated to address the relative weakness of Barbs compared to other classes. The updates are live on the original proposal site and are demarcated in blue text: 


Every section has been updated and specific attention has been paid to the following:
1. How Barbs compare to other classes (spoiler: we're the weakest by a global average of 4.1 GR tiers) and how to fix it
2. How to enable group play options to let Barb DPS in "off-meta" compositions and speeds
3. What broken game mechanics are currently masking our relatively weak power potential
Check it out and let us know what you think!
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4 hours ago, Marto358 said:

Hello Free! Just wondering if you had considered WW doing increased damage against targets affected by rend? Just a thought 🙂

Hi Marto,

We considered it, yes. And fun fact: That was the design of the original Wastes set that was previewed at Blizzcon, but never publicly released. In the end, though, we felt that we didn't need more items to buff WW damage--Skull Grasp already does that, so all we need there is a larger multiplier. Instead of jacking WW's damage through the roof, we needed to make Rend meaningful, so we did exactly that with our List 2 ideas. 

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