Diablo III – Beta: Barbarian

Diablo III is set to release on May 15th, and I felt that now would be a good time to give my thoughts on the playable classes from my experience with the Beta. Each of the classes are very different from one another, and each class offers a large amount of variety in the forms of skills and equipment. I’ll go in depth with each class to help you decide which sounds like the best fit for you. This week we’ll take a look at the Barbarian.

The Barbarian is the only returning class from Diablo II. They focus on causing as much destruction as possible, in short bursts. When using most attacks Barbarians will generate Fury. The Barbarian will then use this Fury to unleash devastating attacks. Their only downfall is the fairly significant cool down time associated with many of their skills. Moves like Leap Attack and Ground Stomp are incredibly useful in removing distance, and taking down a large group of enemies. However, they each have a 10 second or higher cool down. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s certainly enough to pull from the flow of battle.

Luckily, the Barbarian has other skills to fill in the time between cool downs. Earlier in the Beta, Barbarians could learn Weapon Throw. This was a great supplemental skill to the barbarians arsenal, allowing one to ignore the distance to foes by using a ranged move. There is also no cool down associated with Weapon Throw. This allows a Barbarian to move in on their foes while continually throwing ranged attacks their way, so long as they don’t run out of Fury. As of now, Weapon Throw has been pushed to level 15 as opposed to level like 9 it once was, so this move is currently out of reach of other Beta players.

The Barbarians also have some Situational skills, that allow them to increase defense, or attack power for a short period of time. I’m sure they can be useful when in a pinch, but during my time in the Beta I rarely found a use for them.

Each class has their own specific equipment type, along with all of the generic weapons and armors. Barbarians are graced with the use of one and two handed Mighty Weapons, such as scythes and massive clubs. These weapons tend to do more damage then most other weapons of the same level, and have high strength bonuses. Be on the look out for any Mighty Weapons you can to optimize your damage output. From what I could tell there aren’t any specific Barbarian only armors, but that may change.

My overall impression of the Barbarian class is that they’re incredibly powerful. Barbarians leave nothing standing in their wake, and they’re a blast to play! Attacks feel heavy, and the power behind each swing is clearly visible. The slightly higher cool down times tend to be less of an annoyance, and more of a chance to try other moves, so it works out in the end. Higher hit points, and armor ratings, mean less time being worried about healing and more time spent causing havoc, which leads to more loot drops. And who doesn’t like loot?!

Let me know what you think about the Barbarian in the comments below. Don’t forget to suggest the class we write about next week!

is not a boss.

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