Noob questions about Frenzy barb


I pretty much never had a barb, but next season I will try the Frenzy one. I mostly play alone and not a hardcore player, so keeping this in mind I have a few questions:

  1. Is maxed out Berserk (to give 20% magic dmg bonus to Frenzy) worth it? I mean for Hell when there are quite a few PImmunes. I prefer not to avoid mobs I cant easily kill (I know, I am… :smiley: ), but using the d2 planner I simply wont have enough skill pts to max out all necessary skills and synergies. So, is the extra 19% magic dmg better than putting those pts to Dbl Swing to get 19*8% normal dmg bonus?

  2. I never truly understood the usefulness of Dexterity. How do you calculate the amount you need for attack rating and chance to hit? I know some weapons requires X amount of Dex that you can gather (even partially) from gear and charms, but is there a sweet spot when +Dex just not worth it? Or is it more like “if you start noticing that you cant hit mobs then add points to Dex”? I know Clvl and MobLvl are also a factor in CtHit calculation, but is Dex a factor as well or is it only the attack rating that matters (that you can get as raw attack power from gear, charm and set bonuses)?

  3. Attack speed vs raw damage? Or with other words: fast weapon with lower damage (and possibly CBlow) or slow weapon with high damage (w/wo CBlow)? I know CB is in 1/4th effectiveness in Hell and mobs usually have higher base PResistances overall.

  4. Does weapon TYPE matter? I mean not factoring in the given mastery that should be maxed out. Is there any advantage of - for example - using Axes over Swords?

  5. Should the two weapons in each hand have the same attack speed?

  6. If I have multiple different elemental damage bonuses (let’s say a small charm with 4-8 cold dmg and another small charm with 5 psn dmg over 3 secs), will they apply randomly or additively? And if additively, does it mean their effects are also applied, so the mob will be both chilled (= slowed) and poisoned (= no health regen)?

I think for a start these are the most important questions for me. :smiley: Thank you in advance!

My take is I’d rather do 1 point in Berserk and just have Berserk on a hot key for PIs. PIs can be a pain to Zerk down when you’re under geared or in a WW build with a slower weapon, but with Frenzy you keep the IAS stacks long enough to get pretty fast Zerks as well, so it’s nice. My Frenzy Barb runs Grief PB and LB PB and the Sanct aura Lawbringer provides removes PI in undead and gives a large damage bonus against undead. Most PIs are undead, so that takes care of those, but Lawbringer also procs Decrepify which can break most other non-undead PIs. But sometimes in the Halls of Vaught there are PI Succubi (non-undead) in packs and I don’t necessarily want to wait for Decrep to proc. I’ve found switching to Berserk just obliterates them super fast with Berserk damage and Frenzy charged up attack speed. Obviously Grief damage helps a ton there. I have the “back” button on my mouse set to Berserk and RMB set to Frenzy so if I get to a pack of PIs I can just hold the “back” button in the direction and I run over and start Berserking them down.

Find Item is also one of the nice benefits of Barbs. Patch 2.4 added Find Potion as a syenrgy that gives 1% more chance to find Item for every point, so that makes Frenzy Barb’s points even more in demand, making it harder to justify more points in Berserk, IMO.

Having Reaper’s toll on merc is another way to get decrp procs that can break most PIs.

In general I’ve never felt that the magic bonus damage to Frenzy from Berserk synergy is worth it.

Chance To Hit = 200% * {AR / (AR + DR)} * {Alvl / (Alvl + Dlvl)}
You get a 5 AR per 1 point in Dex, IIRC, so you could use that equation to calculate it. In general I think having enough dex for equipment and trying to “over level” areas so your level is as high as practical against monsters is the approach I tend to take. AR in charms and ring slots is very powerful. Obviously there’s popular setups like Angelic combo. Ravenfrost is also great for AR since it gives a large AR flat bonus as well as Dex.

I play online but often quest either solo or with one other buddy. I’ve found with physical damage characters it’s nice to level up to mid 40s before starting NM and mid 70s before starting Hell, using public Baal runs. That gives you a more manageable chance to hit and I’ve never really felt like dumping massive points in dex was required above that for PvM. Granted my Frenzy barb uses Phase Blades so I’m pumping dex quite a bit anyway, and Grief has ITD, but I still was deep in Hell before I was able to get him a Grief. I’ve also had IK barbs (maul has no dex req) that did fine at those levels, but the set provides a lot of nice flat AR, so maybe not the most fair example.

The way Frenzy attacks to me just “feels bad” if it’s super slow, but in general I’d recommend using an IAS calculator to figure out what you need for reasonable break points, and go at it that way. With masteries it can be somewhat tough to swap weapon types around while leveling, since you want the damage/AR from masteries and you don’t necessarily want to burn a ton of respecs either. So it can be helpful to decide what weapon type you’ll be using ahead of time, but playing untwinked that can be rough too. In general though I think IAS tends to win out in most situations, which is why PB is so popular of a base. Like you said, things like CB and other procs have a chance to be applied every hit, so getting those extra hits in faster can be helpful.

I think Axes generally have lower str and dex requirements for most of the bases you’d want to use in a Frenzy barb, but there are some trades to consider, like IAS and available RW. For instance, Beast can not be made in Swords, and Lawbringer cannot be made in Axes. I have always thought Beast would be a fun way to get Fant and the benefits therein, but Lawbringer is one of my favorite off hands due to the Sanct aura and Decrep procs. Oath is a very powerful weapon for pre-Grief, and it can be made in both, as can Death. Unbending Will is sword only.

Grief should likely be your end goal in at least one of your weapons, and for PvM many prefer Phase Blade for the speed and indestructibility, so that can push you to swords. Not that you can’t make Grief in a BA, WarSpike, or Ettin Axe, but for PvM constantly repairing is annoying especially with how much you hit with Frenzy. For PvP the range of the axes can be a benefit.

I think previous version of the game only counted main hand weapon speed but the current one does some averaging. This is another situation where playing around with an IAS calculator can be beneficial.

Yes it all adds together and is applied at the very end. So all the %ED modifiers you get from attack skills, masteries, and some off weapon gear (like LoH or Fort) do not increase the charm damage. So in end game 4-8 cold damage is rather lack luster. But it does add and does count as cold damage to chill/slow enemies. Many barbs who plan to “hork” (Find Item skill) do not want cold damage, since it has a chance to shatter corpses, making them unable to be used for Find Item.

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Thank you for the detailed insights!

I did not think of Find Potion/item points, I will keep them in mind in my last respec.

Unfortunately, I was not successful in item finding so far as for my weapons. I only found 2 Crushflanges that I already upped once, but their damages are pretty low right now. I am level 62 and in Act 5 NM. I tried Dbl Throw, too, but it was even worse than Frenzy, so I specced back. I dont mind it, I look at this barb as a “trying out a few things”-barb, so in worst case I will farm a few tokens later. :slight_smile:

I made a Myth armor because I just found a Fal and a Lum to have Lionheart. I have a +2 barb skills helm, Sigons gloves and boots, res/life/stat rings and amu, so pretty much standard good enough armory and charms. Resists are all 75 in NM, with BO I have about 1500 life, still have about 30 stat points left. I am currently using the Act 1 fire merc (+2 bow Reflex bow with some plus dmg, Peace armor and a Cure helm).

Since end of Act3 I have needed a lot of extra dmg and AR, so I maxed out Frenzy, Mace Mastery, Dbl Swing and BZerk also has 10 pts on it. The rest are on the standard skills. Right now I dont need more points on BO, because it is the dmg that I am lacking. I am trying to farm Eldritch for weapons as his group is killable with these weapons within a reasonable time, but so far they only dropped an Eth Bloodletter, so I am still waiting for the lucky drop. :stuck_out_tongue: Sometimes I join a few runs to get lvl, so if Eldritch will not give me anything usable I will just lvl up as much as I can and either run NM cows or try to farm early Hell.

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Yeah I always find that time period rough. I played my Frenzy Barb twinked so I had an easier time of it. The times I’ve done fresh start Barbs I usually do DS/Frenzy until NM then respec to WW. I find Insight Partizan is usually not bad to get ahold of early NM and will take you thru most of NM damage wise, but then you have to figure something out for Hell again…Which often for me has worked out just to be IK set b/c of how common it is, but that doesn’t work for you for Frenzy!

GL finding a decent weapon, my usual go-tos for 1H weapon to get through NM are things like Butcher’s Pupil, Head Striker, sometimes even hexfire/Ginther’s Rift, but I have less experience on the mace side. Don’t count out Scepters either, Mace Mastery applies to them! Things like Moonfall or Alders might be easy enough to get your hands on also!

Exactly my thoughts so far! :smiley:

Right now I am at lvl76, finished only the Den’s quest in Hell. Tried 1 round of NM cows (funny that my merc did the most damage there with her exploding shots :smiley: ), but no new weapons yet only a decent one for my merc. I think I need to head back to NM to Eldritch and Pindle…