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    Turbine Community Team FordyTwo's Avatar
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    Default Feedback: Barbarian 101 (Work-in-Progress)

    Howdy,

    Below is an early version of the template for Barbarian 101. Written for newly-starting DDO free players, we've opted for a dwarf Two Handed Fighter (THF) template with a 28pt build. The skill, feat and enhancement selections are designed to output solid damage with reasonable survivability (for a new player).

    Is there a factual mistake somewhere that we haven't shaken out? Do you have suggestions on a more ideal skill, feat or enhancement progression? Please share!

    What to do: Give use constructive criticism and feedback!

    What not to do: Derail Barbarian 101 feedback with off-topic posts or inflammatory comments.

    -------------------

    ==Every New Barbarian Should Know …==

    • (Got advice? Please share in a comment below!)

    -------------------

    ==Template: Two Handed Weapon Dwarf Barbarian==

    This template is a great starting point to create a melee powerhouse with lots of hit points (and even more damage output).

    Note:
    While these templates typically avoid equipment suggestions, for the Two Handed Weapon variant it's suggested that a greataxe or greatsword is used in conjunction with the Improved Critical: Slashing feat.

    ===Ability Point Buy===

    Dwarf will be our racial choice for the +2 Constitution (CON) and various defensive bonuses.

    • STR:
    18
    • DEX:
    14
    • CON:
    16
    • INT:
    8
    • WIS:
    8
    • CHA:
    6

    • Ability Point Buy:
    Point grants at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 all go to STR.

    ===Skills===

    • Tumble:
    Invest two skill points into Tumble, a skill that comes in handy but cannot be used without 1 Rank trained.

    • Balance:
    Barbarians are constantly on the front lines of battle, so keep Balance maxed to ensure a speedy recovery upon a knockdown.

    • Jump:
    Having a total score of 10 in Jump (which barbarians can easily meet with their high strength) is enough to get you across chasms and traps -- especially with help from Jump-enhancing spells and potions. You can choose to invest ranks in jump if you don't want to be dependent on magical items.

    • Spot:
    A skill useful for its ability to help you detect hidden enemies. Invest any spare skill points here as you level.

    • Intimidate:
    Use of Intimidate can help even without any invested ranks because it increases the amount of threat generated with every attack for a short period of time.

    ===Feat Order===

    • 1) Toughness:
    This feat adds survivability by increasing hit points by +3 at level one, and +1 hit point for each additional level. More importantly, Toughness opens up "Toughness Enhancements," opening the way to further hit point bonuses as you earn Enhancement points.

    • 3) Power Attack:
    Able to be toggled on and off, Power Attack mode trades up to 5 of your attack bonus for equal extra damage on melee attacks. Using a two-handed weapon in this build makes Power Attack mode more appealing: the feat offers double bonus damage when using two-handed weapons.

    • 6) Cleave:
    Activate this ability to attack one or more enemies within a forward-facing arc.

    • 9) Improved Critical: Slashing:
    This feat greatly increases the likelihood of your attacks dealing critical damage by increase the "critical threat range" of any slashing weapon you use. This means axes and swords, more or less – weapons that deal bludgeoning, piercing, ranged or thrown damage will not benefit from this feat.

    • 12) Two Handed Fighting:
    Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks when wielding a two-handed weapon by 10%. Also grants a 3% chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows. A glancing blow is a free, additional attack that only two-handed weapons are capable of doing.

    • 15) Improved Two Handed Fighting:
    Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks (See "Two Handed Fighting" feat above for more info) when wielding a two-handed weapon by an additional 10% on top of the Two Handed Fighting bonus. Also increases the chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows by an additional 3%.

    • 18) Greater Two Handed Fighting:
    Increases the damage of glancing blow attacks when wielding a two-handed weapon by another 10% on top of the previous Two Handed Fighting feats. Also increases the chance for weapon effects to trigger on glancing blows by an additional 3%. At this point, your barbarian will have a 50% total chance to produce glancing blows (the base is 20%).Optionally, grab Stunning Blow at level 1 (but remember you'll lose the extra Toughness enhancement line):

    • Stunning Blow:
    This potent feat allows you to stun enemies for 6 seconds and increase all the damage they take from you and your allies by 50% for the duration of the effect. Having higher strength increases the chances of a success.

    ==Enhancements ==

    The enhancements suggested in this section have been chosen to build upon the barbarian's damage-output and damage reduction traits.

    All enhancements below effectively upgrade the barbarian Rage ability, making it even more potent than vanilla Rage.

    The rundown on Rage enhancements:
    Extend Rage increases the Rage ability's duration, Extra Rage adds additional Rage uses between rests, Hardy Rage increases Constitution (CON) while Rage is active (adding more hit points) and Power Rage increases Strength (STR) while Rage is active (adding more damage per attack). Extend/Extra Rage is usually sufficient at Tier 2, but you can take Tier 3 if you find it helps.

    Simply put, the below enhancements transform a raging barbarian into stampeding death-machine.

    • Barbarian Extend Rage I - II
    • Barbarian Extra Rage I - II
    • Barbarian Hardy Rage I - II
    • Barbarian Power Rage I - IV

    Attack & Damage enhancements: Power Attack I–III will bolster Power Attacks extra damage at the cost of lowered accuracy; the high Strength (STR) of barbarians, decent weapons, and good Base Attack Bonus more than negates a slight loss of accuracy. As a dwarf, it's a good idea to invest a bit into boosting accuracy and damage with greataxes, a solid weapon-of-choice for most of DDO.

    • Barbarian Power Attack I - III
    • Dwarven Axe Attack I
    • Dwarven Axe Damage I

    Defensive enhancements: Dwarven Spell Defense makes you more resistance to spells, boosting all your saves by one against spells. Willpower grants you an additional +1 Will save when raging, a useful bonus when going up against magically-inclined baddies.

    • Barbarian Willpower I
    • Dwarven Spell Defense I

    Survivability enhancements: Barbarians rely on hit points (HP) and damage reduction (DR) to survive any attacks enemies might land before their demise. Ideally, a barbarian drops all opponents to the ground before they get a chance to attack. In the event a kobold or two slips past, it's a good idea to have the extra hit points (HP) offered by the below enhancements.

    • Racial Toughness I - II
    • Barbarian Constitution I
    • Barbarian Toughness I – II
    • Dwarven Constitution I

    Damage Reduction (DR) enhancements: Damage Reduction is a great choice for barbarian enhancements, lowering the amount of overall damage received, resulting in longer survivability.

    • Barbarian Improved Damage Reduction I - II

    The rundown on Frenzied Berserker: An ever-important barbarian enhancement line, Frenzied Berserker adds to the damage multiplier on critical hits while raging, two-handed weapon glancing blows have a greater chance to add magical effects (such as flaming, etc), you may spend 10 hit points to use Supreme Cleave – and most importantly, you can spend 20 hit points to enter a Death Frenzy (at rank III).

    Think of the frenzy (unlocked via Frenzied Berserker I) and Death Frenzy (Frenzied Berserker III) as an optional "Super Mega Ultra Rage" mode. Damage Boost is an enhancement that does two things for a barbarian using this template: activates for increased damage, and meets the requirements for Frenzied Berserker.

    • Barbarian Frenzied Berserker I - III
    • Barbarian Damage Boost I - IV

    Barbarian capstone enhancement: A player must take 20 levels of the barbarian class to obtain the capstone enhancement, but it's worth the investment. A barbarian who takes Barbarian Might receives +2 STR, and when wielding two-handed weapons receive increased glancing blow damage and an increased chance of applying weapon special effects on glancing blows. By the capstone point in DDO magically-infused weapons are something of a regularity, and Barbarian Might – combined with other elements of this template – ensures their magical effects occur as frequently as possible.

    • Capstone: Barbarian Might

    In case of Stunning Blow (optional enhancement): As mentioned above, you can boost the DCs of your tactical feats like Trip and Stunning Blow as a barbarian if you actually decide to take Stunning Blow instead of toughness. Use the 6 AP you spent in toughness enhancements above (which you no longer have access to without toughness) to boost the DCs of all your tactical feats using the following enhancement.

    • Dwarven Tactics II
    Last edited by FordyTwo; 08-08-2011 at 08:51 AM.
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    Community Member Bombalo's Avatar
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    Why wouldn't you take Improved Crit: Slashing at level 9 and improved two handed at 12? I thought for max DPS you would want to pick up Imp Crit as early as possible?

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    Community Member oberon131313's Avatar
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    The odd point into dex and wis seems a bit off to me. I think you were trying to point out those stats as "save" stats, but leaving them as odd is useless unless you get tomes. I personally would change it to be one or the other.
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    Community Member edragoon148's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon131313 View Post
    The odd point into dex and wis seems a bit off to me. I think you were trying to point out those stats as "save" stats, but leaving them as odd is useless unless you get tomes. I personally would change it to be one or the other.
    I agree with this point, I would recommend the two extra points be kicked to intelligence for an extra skill point per level. As a side note that goes hand in hand with that recommendation, UMD is a viable and highly recommended skill for all classes. The ability for a barbarian to scroll fire shield before entering combat or use scrolls for utility purposes is great.


    Additionally, this is of course my opinion and feedback would be appreciated, but many of the Barbarians I play with at endgame find no use in the Two-Handed Fighting feats. The glancing blow damage isn't worth investing 3 feats to obtain and many players often forego this feat line for Toughness feats. I agree with the aforementioned lack of use in Great Cleave as well.

    EDIT: Given the responses, explanation, and raw data I've been provided with, I realize my recommendation to disregard THF feats was silly and misinformed. They are highly recommended.
    Last edited by edragoon148; 08-31-2011 at 11:09 AM.
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    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edragoon148 View Post
    I agree with this point, I would recommend the two extra points be kicked to intelligence for an extra skill point per level. As a side note that goes hand in hand with that recommendation, UMD is a viable and highly recommended skill for all classes. The ability for a barbarian to scroll fire shield before entering combat or use scrolls for utility purposes is great.
    Getting enough UMD to have a decent Fire Shield scroll chance is beyond a 101 guide. Even getting enough UMD to put race-required items to use or to use Pure Good weapons on a non-good Barbarian requires quite a bit of gear.

    I don't recommend UMD be included as a baseline skill in the 101 guide. Maybe mention it as an advanced option.


    As for race selection, I'd post a comparison of the pros and cons of the four best races:

    Half-Orc - Highest damage potential using any two-handed weapon, best race for Stunning Blow, comparatively low hit points.
    Warforged - Second highest damage potential. High hit points. Difficult to heal, but can be healed by Wizards and Sorcerers as well as Clerics and Favored Souls. WF make good Barbarians, but aren't recommended for new players as they are very hard to heal through the lower levels.
    Dwarf - Good all-around Barbarians, with the same high hitpoints as Warforged, extraordinarily high saves (due to Dwarven Spell Defense), good damage potential with a greataxe.
    Human - An extra feat (allows you to take Toughness as well as Stunning Blow, all other races can take only one of these powerful feats). But the main benefit of choosing Human is increased healing amplification - friendly healing spells heal you for more than they heal other players. With Barbarians taking a lot of damage, and having a lot of hitpoints, this is powerful indeed.

    Half-Elves work in a similar way to Humans, but require 13 Wisdom to hit their maximum Healing Amplification potential - viable on 34/36 point builds, but not really on a 28 pointer. IMO the other races bring nothing to the table as Barbarians at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    Barbarians have so many more HPs at low level than the other classes, you can definitely wait on taking toughness until at least 9th level.
    You can also skip Toughness altogether if you aren't human.

    It's Toughness or it is Stunning Blow. I prefer the latter at endgame, except on a Barbarian that wants to tank raid bosses.

    When you are fighting three monsters, Stunning one of them will help you stay alive more than having an extra 62-102 hitpoints.
    Last edited by sirgog; 08-02-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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    Community Member Noelemahc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edragoon148 View Post
    Additionally, this is of course my opinion and feedback would be appreciated, but many of the Barbarians I play with at endgame find no use in the Two-Handed Fighting feats. The glancing blow damage isn't worth investing 3 feats to obtain and many players often forego this feat line for Toughness feats. I agree with the aforementioned lack of use in Great Cleave as well.
    Those are the less successful and more inexperienced barbs. Glancing blows are a huge portion of your damage. Granted, the 3rd feat is less important if you're always twitching (not many people can do it right at all, and definitely wouldn't expect beginners to be able to or even know what it is), 30% extra damage on glancing blows is nothing to scoff at. Saying the two-handed feats aren't worth it is exactly like saying the two-weapon feats aren't worth it.

    When you are swinging for 110+ damage a swing, that's an extra 33 damage on glancing blows 3/4 swings (glancing blows are normally 20% damage and only proc 2/4 swings). So that's an average increase of 24.75 damage/swing. Granted, it will be a little lower when first starting out and not epic geared out yet, but still in the ballpark of an average of 20 damage/swing. That's a lot of damage that adds up fast. Especially when people kill themselves over gear sets that just add 2 damage, epic marilith chain that only adds another +4 seeker, or epic abishai set that only has a net gain of 1 str over a "normal" epic geared barb (which is a totally different discussion... I think abishai set is stupid on a melee for such a small and otherwise unnoticeable gain), it's kind of silly to say that such a large increase in damage isn't worth it.

    I have 1 toughness feat and don't have any of the toughness enhancements, and still hit 800 hp on a non-tr. That's more than well enough to tank even elite ToD. I'm also missing about 100 hp in gear too. Honestly taking more toughness feats not only isn't needed, but definitely not worth losing that extra dps from not taking the two handed feats. Glancing blows are a very underrated form of damage, and is definitely the difference between an average barb, and a great one (even twitchers get glancing blows still).

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    Community Member dingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelemahc View Post
    Those are the less successful and more inexperienced barbs. Glancing blows are a huge portion of your damage. Granted, the 3rd feat is less important if you're always twitching (not many people can do it right at all, and definitely wouldn't expect beginners to be able to or even know what it is), 30% extra damage on glancing blows is nothing to scoff at. Saying the two-handed feats aren't worth it is exactly like saying the two-weapon feats aren't worth it.

    When you are swinging for 110+ damage a swing, that's an extra 33 damage on glancing blows 3/4 swings (glancing blows are normally 20% damage and only proc 2/4 swings). So that's an average increase of 24.75 damage/swing. Granted, it will be a little lower when first starting out and not epic geared out yet, but still in the ballpark of an average of 20 damage/swing. That's a lot of damage that adds up fast. Especially when people kill themselves over gear sets that just add 2 damage, epic marilith chain that only adds another +4 seeker, or epic abishai set that only has a net gain of 1 str over a "normal" epic geared barb (which is a totally different discussion... I think abishai set is stupid on a melee for such a small and otherwise unnoticeable gain), it's kind of silly to say that such a large increase in damage isn't worth it.

    I have 1 toughness feat and don't have any of the toughness enhancements, and still hit 800 hp on a non-tr. That's more than well enough to tank even elite ToD. I'm also missing about 100 hp in gear too. Honestly taking more toughness feats not only isn't needed, but definitely not worth losing that extra dps from not taking the two handed feats. Glancing blows are a very underrated form of damage, and is definitely the difference between an average barb, and a great one (even twitchers get glancing blows still).
    Absolutely 100% correct. Glancing blows are huge. A capped barb is better off with the full line + capstone + spacebar twitching than attack chain twitching and now with supreme cleave being useful the dps output of glancing blows is insane.

    Not to be ignored.

    Toughness is also unnecessary for a geared barb. An undergeared barb should definitely have it. Once you get geared up 780-800hp and good healing amp will get you through any content.
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    Community Member Emili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon131313 View Post
    The odd point into dex and wis seems a bit off to me. I think you were trying to point out those stats as "save" stats, but leaving them as odd is useless unless you get tomes. I personally would change it to be one or the other.
    Int makes a lot of sense yet, odd points can actually be helpful in a high level barb if you can pump them to a point above 10. When you have silver flame pot access and layered a number of +2 tomes (far easier than +3s) because you're most likely not wearing six different stat items. An 11 in a stat will prevent you from a helpless state by drinking such a potion. May be the only benefit but is one.


    It all comes down to when the player crosses the line into 32 point build or tr's into another race as for longevity of playing.

    Last edited by Emili; 08-04-2011 at 01:46 AM.
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    As others have pointed out, some information about the inability to use many potions (unless it's a Guild potion) and most clickies when raged is pretty important.

    Also, every Barbarian, except WF, needs to carry Lesser Restoration potions to prevent fatigue when their rage needs.

    There should be something about CON being tied to the length of time that Rage lasts.

    Perhaps a small section about Healing Amp being useful for Barbarians.

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    In skills you really need intimidate for barbs, barbarian intimidation is a nice effect and shouldn't be ignored in a 101.

    I'd rather see listen than spot on that list because it is weird to take the off class skill if you have another very similar one that is a class skill. Unless you have search there is no benefit to spot over listen.

    You probably should loose umd, it has only very limited use on a pure barb, if you want to keep it at least mention human versatility in the enhancement section because it does have a skill boost among other boosts.

    If you take human as race you should get human healing amp, with the lack of usefulness stunning blow has as of late it is pretty much the only thing going for that race on a pure barb.

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    The Hatchery SisAmethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supp3nhuhn View Post
    ...

    I'd rather see listen than spot on that list because it is weird to take the off class skill if you have another very similar one that is a class skill. Unless you have search there is no benefit to spot over listen.

    You probably should loose umd, it has only very limited use on a pure barb, if you want to keep it at least mention human versatility in the enhancement section because it does have a skill boost among other boosts.

    If you take human as race you should get human healing amp, with the lack of usefulness stunning blow has as of late it is pretty much the only thing going for that race on a pure barb.
    While it may sound wired to take an off-class skill I guess that is exactly the reason for a 101 guide to show the non obvious. Only because it was written in the core books that listen is a class skill doesn't mean other skills may not perform better.

    I agree with other posters that UMD is much to difficult for a first timer to bump to 20. We shouldn't forget that a first time player even not get the +1 Firetouch Veteran weapon. Heck they even may give away by mistake or because they want to be polite something like a Carniflex as they just don't know this item.

    Maybe because of I loved to play my human paladin I really like healing amplification. But even from a logical standpoint I see a huge advantage for it as a Barb is a massive pile of HP and like WF should take healers friend it makes the healers life much easier to top this HP back up.
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    Turbine Community Team FordyTwo's Avatar
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    Howdy all,

    A big thanks to you all for the great feedback! Looking over the discussion, I agree that dwarf makes a very strong argument for a free player opting for the barbarian class. Additionally, with the contention on UMD for the purposes of a 101 guide, I'll be reevaluating it as I go through and make other changes based on the feat, skill and enhancement feedback.

    The mention of premium races and their usefulness for the barbarian class was something that Tolero and I discussed when beginning this guide- and we agreed that it's a good idea. This will be in a section before the actual template, but I'll make sure there's a mention (or call-back) to it for any new players skimming through the guide.

    Again, thanks for the continued feedback!
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    Community Member dingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FordyTwo View Post
    Howdy all,

    A big thanks to you all for the great feedback! Looking over the discussion, I agree that dwarf makes a very strong argument for a free player opting for the barbarian class. Additionally, with the contention on UMD for the purposes of a 101 guide, I'll be reevaluating it as I go through and make other changes based on the feat, skill and enhancement feedback.

    The mention of premium races and their usefulness for the barbarian class was something that Tolero and I discussed when beginning this guide- and we agreed that it's a good idea. This will be in a section before the actual template, but I'll make sure there's a mention (or call-back) to it for any new players skimming through the guide.

    Again, thanks for the continued feedback!
    It might also be worth mentioning some of the gear a barbarian might seek out. This can be both named and non-named items. Weapon choice for me has change somewhat due to helplessness changes. I would no longer select a Greataxe as my primary weapon for instance.

    What weapons should every barbarian carry?

    1. A Maul that breaks /good DR - This is very important for newer players as they are likely to be running into undead mobs at lower levels
    2. A Falchion or Greataxe, preferably a pure good or holy or even keen for general purposes

    Armor Selection:
    For newer players AC is your friend! Just because everyone likes to say AC is meaningless that doesn't make it true. AC is very relevant at lower levels even for barbarians. With a combination of a decent medium or light armor and a barkskin spell or potion it is very easy for a barb to maintain a mid to high 20's AC even while raged.

    This will mitigate a TON of damage up until around levels 10-12ish when they start venturing into some of the more challenging content.

    I cannot stress enough how helpful AC can be for newer players and it does not need to be at the cost of DPS or versatility in any way. When I TR or run lower level characters I always try to maintain a 25-30 AC at least until GH and for many of the early quests that makes you nearly unhittable.

    That said - Newer characters should seek out medium to light armor that enables them to maximize the total value of their dexterity bonus and whenever possible seek out Mithral Chain, Mithral Breastplate, Mithral Fullplate etc. All good selections, readily available and typically pretty inexpensive.
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    Turbine Community Team FordyTwo's Avatar
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    Just a quick reminder, everyone: Historically, we've kept gear out of the 101 guides to avoid inundating new players with too much information. Once a 101 guide is live, we do encourage anyone interested in adding suggestions or advice (on gear or otherwise) in the comments section.
    Kyle "FordyTwo" Horner
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    Community Member dingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FordyTwo View Post
    Just a quick reminder, everyone: Historically, we've kept gear out of the 101 guides to avoid inundating new players with too much information. Once a 101 guide is live, we do encourage anyone interested in adding suggestions or advice (on gear or otherwise) in the comments section.
    Fair enough
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    This is an impressive min/min build.

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    Turbine Community Team FordyTwo's Avatar
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    I've updated the original post with the new dwarf THF template. Please feel free to continue feedback, as this is still a work-in-progress.
    Kyle "FordyTwo" Horner
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    Community Member FrozenNova's Avatar
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    Stunning blow, not great cleave.
    Great cleave is laughably obsolete given that barbarians recieve a free whirlwind attack with no cooldown at level 12.
    Admittedly on a human stunning blow is not quite up there with the dwarf, horc or 'forged varients, but is nonetheless important.
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    I would drop the random point of WIS and put it into DEX. The extra two points of CON cost 4 points and could be used to raise DEX to 14 as well, but that's arguable since pure Barb AC is questionable even in the lower/middle levels. If 16 CON is really needed... and you can afford 1 less feat... go Dwarf with better stats (the CHA penalty is clearly irrelevant). And the skill point you lose comes from Listen.

    As for feats, swap out Great Cleave for Stunning Blow. 'nuff said.

    As for skills, dump Listen. Get UMD - even as a cross-class skill with a crappy CHA modifier, you should be able to use race-restricted and some alignment restricted items.

    The enhancements are rather up to personal choice, but...
    - Extra Rage I and II are plenty; no need to waste 3 AP for a 3rd rage.
    - Same with Extend Rage - limit it to Extend Rage II. Already you have freed 6 AP.
    - Grab Barbarian Willpower II and III. That uses up 5 AP; 1 freed AP now left.
    - Get Trap Sense I. The bonus to your saves is rather nice, and you'll be very happy when you don't have a rogue in your party.

    Also, minor typo: You say "Ability Point Buy: Point grants at levels 4, 8, 12 and 16 all go to STR." but it should be "Ability Point Buy: Point grants at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 all go to STR." Along comes the nitpick that in the section titled "Feat Explanation" you are really doing "Enhancement Explanation".
    Last edited by Lord_of_13; 08-02-2011 at 11:49 AM.

  19. #19
    Community Member t0r012's Avatar
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    • Ability Point Buy: Point grants at levels 4, 8, 12 and 16 all go to STR.
    And 20

    Also a minor thing but I got a little confused reading the feats before I realized that the exPlination was given prior to the feat. So you may want to consider a small format change to clarify.

    One last thing , that I feel s very important. I should skip using THW or THF abbreviation as you did in the begining. It is For new players who will see those letters and wonder what language your speaking.
    Last edited by t0r012; 08-02-2011 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Darn auto spell correct on iPhone
    Move along , Nothing to see here

  20. #20
    Community Member stainer's Avatar
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    I would switch out great cleave for stunning blow. I think it would be more useful to any player. You might want to mention that Dwarf, Horc and WF are nice variants for a barbarian at some point. You might also talk about respeccing your enhancements for power/hardy rage to free up AP when you end up with an uneven str/con when raged.

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