New to the game? Returning for Season 20? First-time Barb? All the above? This is the thread for you!
This thread contains some useful starter info to get you up to speed. Read this carefully and follow the appropriate links. If you have questions, post in the appropriate thread linked below. This is the easiest way to make sure you get accurate, informative replies.
Part 1: The Barb Primer
Here is a brief list of our class’s strengths and weaknesses:
- 8 solo builds capable of GR 130+, 3 capable of 137+, and 1 capable of 147+
- 1 solo build is among the strongest in the game
Several options for efficient speed-farming, gem-ups, and Bounties
Always have a place in groups as a zDPS Support Barb
Aside from off-meta compositions, we do not DPS in groups
2 builds are very tough to gear (H90 and LOD HOTA)
Here is a suggested outline to maximize your efficiency in Season play.
Early on, pick a single major build (see below) to use for the Season. Very often, this is determined by your Haedrig’s Gift set, but you may peruse the info below and opt for a different build. Regardless, by the time you are 200-400 Paragon, you should have chosen a build. This will be the focus as you farm gear and Paragon. Everything you do will help complete this build. You may use a different build to speed-farm.
Farm efficiently using the 1-70 guide found below in Part 2. Farm at a difficulty you can clear Neph Rifts in 2-4 minutes, GRs in 3-5 minutes, and bounties in 5-10 minutes. For bounties, try to do split-farming in groups.
Collect gear for a zDPS Support Barb (guide links below). Make a separate Barb and get him or her power-leveled to 70. This new Barb will be your zDPS Support Barb.
Continue to farm gear and keys with your main Barb. Farm Paragon, gem upgrades, and gear with your zDPS Support Barb. Funnel all resources into perfecting the major build you chose early on.
Push solo and group GRs.
For a complete breakdown of how to progress from level 70 to end-game content, scroll down to the second part of this post.
Deciding what build to play will also decide how you approach all of the various in-game activities. For an in-depth look at each build and how they rank in terms of power, read this thread.
The following tiered list ranks builds according to their viability at specific activities. Viability is determined according to the following rankings:
A = Excels at the specified activity and offers maximum power and efficiency
B = Efficient and strong and offers excellent power and efficiency
C = Capable, but is significantly slower and less efficient than other builds
D = Severely inefficient and/or weaker than other builds
F = Waste of time and effort–do not use this build for this activity
|Build||T1-16 Neph Rifts||Bounties||Low-level Gem-ups||Solo GRs||Best GR Range|
Part 2: 1-70 Leveling Guide and Haedrig Starter Sets
This section is going to provide a step by step guide on what skills to use while leveling and the best steps to take while leveling to maximize your efficiency. This section has been pulled from creators such as Desolacer, Bluddshed, Lord Fluffy and others and combined into a single guide that has worked well for leveling and getting your season started with whatever the free set is for each season.
- Create Seasonal Character, log into Adventure Mode, Take Follower weapon, equip your cosmetics and pet (F1) then log out
- Complete the Challenge Rift solo or with a group
- Set game to Master, log in, and gamble Blood Shards
- For Barb, your best bet is to roll bracers for Bracers of Destruction and/or Bracers of the First Men, then roll rings for Band of Might (You can also roll for Boots for Lut Socks, especially if MoTE is the free set from Haedrig’s)
- Go get Kanai’s Cube in Act 3 Ruins of Sescheron
- Level up Blacksmith & Mystic
- Craft 1 lvl 70 2-Handed Mighty Weapon
- Upgrade Weapon in Cube to Legendary (Recipe 3) and Cube Power if you got something good (Recipe 1)
- If you got an ancient weapon with a bad power, keep it to reroll reduced level requirement by 40
- Complete a boss bounty (Zoltun, Maghda, Azmodan are best bet here)
- If playing in a group, have each person create a game and if someone has one of these bounties then everyone jump into that person’s game
- Lower Difficulty to Hard and Run:
- Solo – Massacre Bonuses in Halls of Agony Level 3 or Darkening of Tristram event (Look for Cursed Events)
- Group – Halls of Agony or Darkening of Tristram Event (Map Levels 1-4 only)
- Level 5 Skills:
- At Level 8, craft a 2-Handed Axe and CHECK BACK EVERY 5 LEVELS OR SO!
- Levels 10-15, Check Fence Vendors for Damage+ Rings and Amulets and CHECK BACK OFTEN!
- If Running Solo, stay in Halls of Agony Level 3 on Hard until Level 14, then raise difficulty to Master and continue run HoA 3
- If in a group, switch it up and run Rifts until 70
- Level 11 Skills:
- Level 14 Skills:
- Level 21 Skills:
- At level 23, you have the option of completing bounties for Born and Cains set for XP bonus.
- Level 29 Skills:
- At Level 33, switch to Fields of Misery if playing Solo
- Levels 33-70 Skills:
- At Level 40, craft a level 70 weapon with hopefully life on hit and a slowing effect as the secondary and attempt to roll reduced level requirements on it. If successful start at T1 and work up if you are killing easily.
- Keep an Eye out for Leoric’s Crown to use while leveling for bonus XP
- Red Gems in Helm/Armor and Weapons
If you get either set of Bracers from Kadala then substitute Rend for either HOTA (Rolling Thunder) or Seismic Slam (Stagger) for a MASSIVE DAMAGE BOOST!
Fresh 70 WW Build (can be tweaked depending on drops/Kadala)
- Craft Level 70 gear (yellow Level 70 gear will be stronger than a sub 70 Legendary)
- Craft 1-Handed Mighty Weapons for Resource
- Mighty Belt with LPFS is very helpful for survivability
- Stat Priority
- Lightning Dmg
Seasonal Sets 4/6p Build Recommendations
Legacy of Raekor
- Roll Bracers and BoM on Level 1 Barb and cube both
- Craft Weapon
- 2H Mace (High Damage)
- 2H Mighty Weapon (Max Fury/LPFS)
- Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
- Diamonds in Gear/Helm
- Emeralds in Weapon
- Stat Priority
- 20% CDR
- Physical Dmg
Might of The Earth
- Roll Lut Socks on Level 1 Barb and put in cube
- Craft Mighty Belt and Weapon with LPFS and Max Fury
- Diamonds in Gear/Helm
- Emeralds in Weapon
- Stat Priority
Wrath of the Wastes
- Roll Band of Might on Level 1 Barb and put in cube
- Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
- Craft 2H Mighty Weapon
- Diamonds in Chest/Pants
- Topaz in Helm
- Emeralds in Weapon
- Stat Priorities:
- Skill Dmg
- Elemental %
- Roll Bracers and BoM on Level 1 Barb and cube both
- You can switch HoTA for SS (Stagger) if you rolled on the Bracers of Destruction
- Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
- Craft 2H Mighty Weapon
- Diamonds in Gear
- Emerald in Weapon
- Stat Priority:
- Elemental %
Part 3: Season Play & Gear Rolls
If you’re very new to the game and just hit level 70, you might be looking at all this info and feeling completely lost.
Don’t worry! In this post, I’ll walk you step by step from level 70 to end-game play. This post is a work in progress and much of it is copied from forum vet Conquistador’s old Sub-400 Paragon Guide, so credit to him for most of this information.
Let’s get into it!
Get your Set
Your first priority should be follow the 1-70 guide posted above in Part 2, then to get your Haedrig’s Gift set. After that, you need to complete Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey. That will unlock three Haedrig’s Gifts and give you a free class set–make sure you open them all on the same character (your Barb)!
To complete those above chapters, set the game on a difficulty you can quickly and easily manage (or that it requires as per the Season Journey instructions).
Here’s a tracker: https://d3resource.com/journey/
You’ll note that by Chapters 3 and 4, you’ll need to be able to tackle tougher content. Don’t worry–as you’re doing your Season Journey, you’ll get legendary and set item drops, and at least a few can be combined into a semi-useful piecemeal build.
Set up your Early-Season Build
Now that you have a complete set, it’s time to set up your early-Season build. Consult the stickied guides in this forum based on the class set you received. Try to get your build to align as closely as possible to what’s in the guide. You will likely need to farm or craft additional items (commonly called supporting legendaries), and that’s okay–work with what you have, and remember: farm efficiently!
Also–and this is essential–make sure your Follower has an Oculus ring. This is often overlooked, but is absolutely crucial!
Build for Success
As you work on your early-Season build, you need to start building for future success. First, let’s talk about gems. Get your Gems and level them up! Seriously, I have lost count of the number of noobies who haven’t got gems or leveled them up or who still think it’s okay to play with unsocketed jewelry. Legendary Gems trump any available stat on amulet and rings and they get better the higher their rank.
Start with leveling Bane of the Trapped, and the following high value gems, all of which should be leveled to 25+:
Bane of the Trapped
Bane of the Powerful
Bane of the Stricken
Wreath of Lightning
The following gems are not required in ANY currently useful Barbarian build. You can level these last as you’ll mainly use them to Augment your armor at a later date:
Kanai’s Cube is required. Find it in Ruins of Sescheron.
Kanai’s Cube can do a lot of things, but here is a brief rundown of its powers that are important for new players:
Upgrade Rare Item (more on this later)
Extract Legendary Power (extract the most important ones, usually build or utility related, and don’t waste bounty mats on extracting nonsense like Trang Oul’s Coils).
Don’t waste time and mats with the following Cube powers yet:
Reforge Legenday – waste of mats
Convert Set Item – waste of mats
Remove Level Requirement – stupid
Convert Gems – may be useful for early game if you run out of rubies for whatever reason (but use carefully if gold is scarce)
Convert mat types – occasionally useful when desperate but it costs DBs.
As for Augment Item, you’re unlikely to have sufficient gems (and if you do have them they would be low-ish level, and if you do you are unlikely to have fantastic rolled ancients to augment them on). So it’s practically out of the question. It’s a necessary end-game thing to do, but not worth it for Noobs.
Farming Better Gear
Now you’ve got the basics covered, how do you gear up to Ancient gear? Keep on rifting and farming, and hoping that RNG delivers? Not efficient. Loot share? This is viable, but somewhat limited because really great loot will be kept, not shared. Randomly try your luck with Kadala? Ask around the forum?
No! Instead, here are the only 4 things you should do:
Cube for Weapons
Kadala for Armor
Natural drops for Jewelry
Mats are precious, don’t waste mats[/ul]
If you follow this advice, you should be well-geared within a week. Here’s an explanation of each point.
1. Cube for Weapons
The Upgrade Rare Item function in Kanai’s Cube is by far the best way to get you your build-defining weapons, including ancient versions.
What you want are yellow 1H swords or any 1H or 2H Mighty Weapons (which are exclusive to Barb), which once upgraded in the Cube will get eventually net you the Istvan’s Paired Blades set and various Barb-exclusive Mighty Weapons, such as Blade of Tribes, Gavel of Judgement, etc.
For this reason one key aspect of your gameplay from now on, all the way till you roll a GG end-game ancient weapon, will be to pick up ALL 1H and 2H Mighty Weapons that drop, and buy ALL 1H and 2H Mighty Weapons from the vendors in whatever town you’re in. NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS.
Keep the yellows in your stash and once you have enough mats (especially DBs), go to Kanai’s cube, insert the correct mats and bingo! you get a Legendary weapon, guaranteed. You’ll of course get a few Madawc’s Sorrows and Ambo’s Pride (which are useless) while Upgrading Rare–but that’s par for the course. By my reckoning, within 15-20 tries you would expect to nail a IKBB/GOJ/FOTVP/Blade of Tribes. If your RNG is super, you might even get an ancient. But if your RNG is bad, do another 10. And another 10. Then rinse and repeat until you get top-rolled ancients.
Remember, even if you get a crappy Gavel of Judgement, you can still Cube it for its full power. And right now, Cubed items are more powerful than equipped items since Cubed items automatically give you their full legendary power.
Keeping the above in mind, in addition to picking up weapons (NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS) you will also collect the following crafting mats:
Get them any way you can, as fast as you can. Remember, your strategy is not really to wait for RNG drops, it’s to get the 4 mats in volume. Then take whatever blood shards and legendary items which you get along the way, as a bonus.
2. Kadala for Armor
Kadala is for armor only. Never ask her for weapons and jewelry, she will rob you. Once in a blue moon she may hand a friend a GG ancient Sword of Awesomeamazingballs, but rest assured you’re being stupid if you ask her for weapons and jewelry.
There are a few important exceptions to this such as getting Band of Might. Here’s a snippet from forum vet Tom to explain further:
I am not sure if you have got your Band of Might yet. If not, create a level 1 barb and gamble ring. There are only 2 possible rings (BoM and Leoric Signet) in the ring pool when your toon is level 1. It is the fastest and cheapest way to get your first BoM. You will get a level 16 BoM but it doesn’t matter. All you need is its legendary power. So you may simply cube it.
Band of Might is essential in many of our strongest builds, so getting one early is a very good idea. Having the Band of Might power in the Cube will more or less make you invincible during your Season Journey.
With that said, gamble armor at Kadala. Pants, Boots, Shoulders, Bracers, Gloves, Chest, Helm, Belt. In that order. Rinse and repeat. Until you get absolutely top rolled ancient armor in every slot.
For belts, you should note that buying them at Kadala is gonna be more difficult than the other categories because K doesn’t distinguish between Mighty Belts and regular belts. As a result, you’re better off saving Mighty Belts you find and upgrading them in the Cube.
So again, when you’re doing your Torment 1–Torment-whatever runs, or Gem-leveling runs - the focus isn’t on waiting for items to RNG drop, which can get quite disheartening and take weeks and weeks. The focus is on shards and mats. If you get a goblin pack, get the Blood Thief and Mats Collector first! And on your way, you can also keep an eye out for yellow 1H or 2H Mighty weaps.
In between all those runs, you’ll be accumulating alot of GR keys. So definitely, interspersed with regular rifts, run your GR keys for loot and gem upgrades. GRs are great for legendaries per hour and blood shards per hour (but you depend on RNG for what type of legendaries drop for you).
3. Natural Drops for Jewelry
The only time when you’ll be depending on RNG would be for jewelry. You don’t buy them at Kadala because they’re expensive (rings cost 50 shards and you’ll end up with hundreds of Manald Heal and Stolen Rings before getting a Unity, and amulets are even worse at 100 shards). Neither do you cube for jewelry, because, well, you need the mats for your weapons (and maybe belts).
The good thing is, jewelry drops pretty often. By my own unscientific observation, rings or amulets drop in nearly every single TX rift I do and probably at least 70% of Grifts over 40. And nowadays there are a ton of useful and decent rings: COE, Unity, Zodiac, Focus and Restraint, Band of Might, Compass Rose… the list goes on. There’s a good chance you can get a decent ring doing all that farming and your chances of getting decent rings and amulets is reasonably good. For amulets, spend some time farming HF keys and share them with friends. HF ammies are a lot of RNG but useful ones stay with you for a very long time and they are worth the investment.
4. Mats are precious, don’t waste mats
As I said earlier, you’ll need mats for Kanai’s Cube and a whole host of other things in the game. Mats are precious, don’t waste em. Avoid wasting mats by taking these steps:
Here are some basic rules for re-rolling gear.
Don’t reroll non-ancient gear if you can. The important thing is to get the correct arrangement of stats and be done. For example, you have non-ancient EQ helm with Str, Vit, and Regen. Reroll regen to Crit Chance – any crit chance roll will do (4.5% to 6%), don’t bother rolling it perfect to 6% that because it will get replaced by an ancient soon enough.
For ancient items, if the best rerolls are gonna make the item good don’t spend too many mats trying to make it the best it can because it is fundamentally limited. For example you have an ancient gloves, with 800+ Str and Vit, 8.5% crit chance. Do you roll up to 50% chd? I’d say no. 45% will be fine, the gloves will never be GG so try to get another that will.
Only when you’ve got absolutely top potential ancient items, then you spend whatever mats you need to get those top rolls. Eg, Mara’s Kaleidoscope with socket, 10% cc and 19/20% elemental damage – in such a case don’t hesitate to break your bank to roll up to 99% or 100% crit damage.
Just to keep this short – Reforge Legendary is, by its design, a huge and unreasonable mats sink. It is not for when you’re starting out. Try your luck, once in a while, but in general, stay away.[/ul]
Part 4: Optimization
The number of people running around with Life Regen, Thorns, and a whole other bunch of useless stats on their gear makes me sad. This is apart from the people who think it is okay to run around without socketed jewelry.
It is of course true that D3 game mechanics are opaque and inconsistent, but it is completely not an excuse to have dumb stats on gear. Here’s a basic primer:
All jewelry must have a socket
All jewelry must have CHC and CHD – the third roll depends on build and needs
All weapons will have Strength and two other stats (not including the base damage range)
All weapons must have sockets. If they’re Ancient weapons, you give them a socket through Ram’s Gift consumable items. Emeralds always go in weapon sockets.
Shoulders, chest, belt, pants, and boots must have Strength, Vitality, and All Resist. Shoulders will have different or additional stats as dictated by builds. Boots will either have a relevant skill damage or Armor. Belts will also need either Life % or Life per Fury depending on build.
Gloves will have Strength, CHC, CHD, and one other roll depending on build needs (most often Area Damage or CDR).
Helmets will have Strength, Vitality, and one other roll depending on build needs (often CHC). Later on, some builds trade Vitality on helmets for skill damage.
If you follow this simple formula, you’ll quickly compile really good gear.
Here are some other generally sound tips for new Barbs:
Build up your Kanai’s Cube library by extracting legendary powers from legendary items; you will need bounty mats to do so (never trun bounties alone).
Join Communities for loot sharing, and a good clan if possible. Remember though that loot sharing is somewhat illusive, the best loot will almost always be kept by its finder – the main idea is that loot share is for plugging gaps in what you don’t have, rather than to obtain GG ancient upgrades for end-game pushing.
Do rifts and GRs at a difficulty which you can comfortably manage. D3 is all about killing stuff, and the faster you kill the more drops, mats, and XP you get. The game however scales such that if you go too low the XP you get becomes meaningless, so find a balance where you can kill comfortably (meaning, reach and kill the RG in a regular rift within 2-4 minutes) and at the same time get decent loot XP and mats.
Don’t forget to accumulate GR keys by doing normal rifts, you will need them to level your gems and they get burned super quick in group play.
At first, damage in this game might seem simple. Bigger numbers on items is better, right?
Optimizing your damage in Diablo III is all about stacking the right kind of numbers. Here’s a brief overview of how damage is calculated:
Weapon damage is the foundation of (almost) all the damage you deal. There are exceptions, like Thorns damage, but most of the damage you deal is built from one base number: weapon damage. This means bigger weapon damage is always better right?
Not always. See, Weapon damage is calculated by a variety of factors, the most important of which is the base damage range. This can be seen directly under the big damage numbers when you mouse-over your weapon. You’ll want a weapon with the highest possible base damage range, but in many instances, you’ll need to re-roll a different property on the item. The rolls you want on weapons vary from build to build, but there are several key traits that all truly great weapons should have:
- Highest possible base damage range
- Area Damage
You will always use Ramanaldi’s Gifts to socket weapons. In addition, you may ignore the elemental property of your weapon damage; for example, if your weapon’s damage range reads “1740-1860 Arcane damage,” you may ignore the “Arcane” as it does nothing.
Skills act as multipliers to your weapon damage. Generally, the bigger the multiplier offered by a skill, the more damage a skill will deal. But this also depends on how the skill works, how its different runes further modify this, and how different types of elemental damage complicate matters.
Items typically offer two kinds of modifiers to your damage:
Additive Bonuses: These combine with other additive bonuses, such as damage increased by skills (dibs), into one large total. That total is then applied to the damage you deal as a multiplier. Since all additive sources are combined into a total multiplier, this means that stacking too many additive sources will offer diminishing returns. Generally speaking, additive bonuses are not as powerful as multiplicative bonuses, though there are exceptions. Additive bonuses show up on your character sheet and are easily calculated. Some examples of this are the Battle Rage skill, Rend’s Mutilate rune, and the Taeguk legendary gem.
Multiplicative Bonuses: Each multiplicative bonus acts as a separate multiplier. This means the more separate multipliers you stack from items, the more powerful you will be. Unlike additive bonuses, multiplicative bonuses don’t show up on your character sheet and aren’t taken into account when comparing the damage between two items. Very often, you’ll equip a better, more powerful item with a bigger, better multiplier only to see your sheet damage drop substantially. This makes it hard to evaluate gear, so make sure you ask questions in the relevant build guide. Some examples of multiplicative bonuses include the Wrath of the Berserker skill, most of the orange legendary affixes found on items, and the Bane of the Trapped legendary gem. In most instances, multiplicative bonuses are much stronger than additive.
The key to maximizing your damage output is to stack as many multipliers for a skill as possible. For example, in the IK HOTA build, we receive multiplicative bonuses for the Hammer of the Ancients skill from the following items:
- The IK set’s 6-piece bonus
- Gavel of Judgment
- Bracers of the First Men
- Wrath of the Berserker
- Bane of the Trapped
- Elemental damage on bracers and amulet
Note that only two of those multipliers, those deriving from Gavel and Bracers, are specific to HOTA. The multipliers from Wrath, the IK set, Trapped, and the elemental damage are “global” modifiers and work on any skill that deals damage.
There are some general rules to follow when considering items, multipliers, and damage bonuses:
- Focus on stacking bonuses for one skill. Some builds buff more than one skill, but it’s rare for more than one skill to deal meaningful damage. That will hopefully change in the future.
- When comparing two of the same item, the one with the bigger multiplier will, in most instances, be the superior item.
- Elemental damage on gear (Physical, Lightning, etc.) is always a separate multiplier and thus very valuable.
- Multiplicative bonuses often come with a very specific language (“X skill deals XXX% increased damage”). So do additive bonuses (“Enemies take XX% increased damage from…”).
For a great video guide to damage, check out this tutorial by Filthy Casual:
Finally, if you have questions, do some homework on these forums–and especially in this thread. If that doesn’t provide you with an answer, post in this thread and I or another forum vet will assist you.
Finally, you’re welcome to add me in-game: Free#1746
If I’m farming keys and you’d like me to carry you through some content, you’re welcome to join. I’ll even donate any gear I find that you need. I do have a couple of conditions for joining me:
I farm T16 and I do it pretty fast. You’ll need to be able to survive T16 and you’ll need to keep up. If I’m playing with new or low-Paragon players, I’ll intentionally slow down a little, but my slowed-down speed is much, much faster than public rifts.
You’re welcome to ask me questions while we play, but I don’t want to have to stop and answer questions every five seconds, especially if it is stuff covered in this thread.
I ask for no payment of any kind. Nothing. My assistance is, well, FREE.
Part 5: Skill Coefficients
The following information was copied from Nubtro’s old thread. If you’re not testing for a new patch, you can probably ignore this information.
0.667 Reaping Swing
0.667 Scattering Blast
0.400 Broad Sweep
0.667 Gathering Storm
1.000 Mighty Throw
1.000 Throwing Hammer
1.000 Balanced Weapon
Hammer of the Ancients
0.400 Rolling Thunder
0.667 The Devil´s Anvil
0.333 Blood Lust
0.333 on kill Bloodbath
0.333 Shattered Ground
0.111 Rumble (main)
0.111 Rumble (each tremor)
0.333 Strength from Earth
0.200 Dust Devils (WW)
0.200 Dust Devils (tornado)
0.200 Blood Funnel
0.200 Wind Shear
0.200 Volcanic Eruption
0.3925 Harpoon (2 procs)
0.4710 Jagged Edge
0.4710 Boulder Toss
0.3925 Rage Flip (2 procs)
0.250 Deafening Crash
0.200 Wrenching Smash (2 procs)
0.250 Trembling Stomp
0.250 Foot of the Mountain
0.250 Jarring Slam
0.333 Iron Impact
0.333 Launch (takeoff)
0.333 Launch (impact)
0.200 Toppling Impact (2 procs)
0.200 Call fo Arreat (2 procs)
0.333 Death from Above (2 procs)
0.0056 Run like the Wind
0.200 Storm of Steel (main)
0.200 Storm of Steel (axe)
0.333 Killing Spree
0.333 Crushing Advance
0.333 Blood Law
0.333 Best Served Cold
0.500 Battering Ram
0.500 Merciless Assault
0.500 Cold Rush
0.080 Volcano 25 total
0.045 Lahar 1 on cast + 9
0.000 Snow-Capped Mountain bugged
0.050 Tectonic Rift 1 on cast + 9
0.050 Glacier 2 on cast + 9
0.050 Giant’s Stride 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Chilling Earth 2 on cast + 15
0.040 The Mountain’s Call 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Molten Fury 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Cave-In 3 on cast + 15
Wrath of the Berserker
1.000 Arreat´s Wail