SEISMIC SLAM Skill issues
1. Relatively low eDPS among Fury spenders.
Slam is one of the main 3 (spammable) Barb Fury spenders beside WW and HotA, so its damage aspect should be the #1 priority. WW (with the help of Sprint RLTW) outperforms Slam in large AoE and utility and HotA in small AoE due to the following reasons:
1.1. Slow(est) animation speed between casts (78/aps), which is 37% slower than HotA, so the actual relative dps of the skill is more like 175% and not 240% when compared to HotA; even stutter-stepping doesn´t help here much. Note that this hidden slow frequency is quite a problem for the average joe who tries to compare skills.
1.2. No real synergy with other skills that would stack more damage beside the Slam on the target.
Close combatants may use Punish/Maniac stacks, Rend and Overpower to increase their effective damage output. From a pure ranged perspective, Slam only has very limited options. Rend isn´t ideal because monsters are continuously knocked out of its range. The same applies to Bash/Frenzy, you can´t use such skills on targets that you just sent a screen away. Overpower isn´t hopeless with Storm of Steel and I really like that animation, but you´re losing the much needed 10% crit chance bonus from Killing Spree this way.
The Barb´s ranged skill options Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear are both separate high priority attacks that interrupt Slam usage, deal less damage and bring no damage increasing bonuses to the table. There´s a few easy fixes to this situation, which are suggested below.
2. Relatively high base Fury cost. With high crit chance and ITF, Rumble is spammable just fine but the other main damage dealers have a lower cost and higher damage output, which makes Slam the least cost efficient spender.
3. Knockback being the default CC for all of Slam´s runes.
Knockback is very useful for keeping monsters away from you and promotes a ranged playstyle, not to mention it fits well with the Slam animation, but it´s simply not very party-friendly. I have a difficult time imagining a party where Knockback would be welcome as most other skills rely on aiming and hitting a target, which is not possible if it gets regularly thrown out of position.
4. Skill runes are too similar (no real variation), could use some spice. Opinion
The concept of the skill, its animation and AoE is amazing, but it currently lacks in a few aspects and their sum prevents Slam from being used more often (it´s actually the 3rd least used active skill right now). I think that´s a shame, because it´s one of, if not, the coolest Barb skill(s).Skill improvements1. Damage:
largest AoE so you have to be careful to not go overboard
1.1. Keep frequency but make a buffed Rumble the default rune for damage and utility (Rumble is still just 220% relative weapon damage compared to HotA) and or increase its base animation frequency between Slams.
1.2. Ranged synergy:
-> rework Ancient Spear to a DoT as suggested here http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9786108545?page=2#24
-> WT Mighty Throw should grant a damage bonus similar to Punish and Maniac, slightly lower (15-18% max stacks for 6 sec) due to faster cast frequency of WT and slow frequency of Slam (to get in more Slams between refreshing stacks)
-> all Overpower runes should grant a crit chance bonus (shift Killing Spree to base rune) in which case Storm of Steel becomes a viable support rune for ranged (damage oriented) Barbs
-> create a new passive similar to DH´s Steady Aim with (no enemies within x yards), increase the damage bonus to 15% (or grant an IAS + mobility bonus) and make it reverse scale with pickup radius (more pickup radius -> less yards for the effect to become active) 2. Availability:
reduce the base cost to 25 Fury and/or grant the skill itself the ability to generate 3 fury on crits 3. No rune
-> damage - main shockwave deals 250% weapon damage and 2 additional shockwaves deal 30% each (like Rumble)
-> CC - Knockback stays 4. Runes
(1) element (2) on crit (3) on kill effectsa) Stagger:
the initial shockwave pushes enemies towards you (like Call of Arreat or Wrenching Smash)
- element – just your weapon damage, reverse Knockback
- on crit – stun the target for 1.5 sec
- on kill - affected enemies have an increased chance to leave behind a health globe when they die b) Typhoon:
initial shockwave creates a dense cloud of tornadoes
- element – physical DoT, loses Knockback
- on crit – immobilize the target for 2 sec
- on kill – slain enemies are lacerated into small pieces that deal direct damage to nearby enemies c) Rumble:
- element – direct physical damage, damage and Knockback increased by 25%
- on crit – affected targets inflict 50% weapon damage to enemies where they land
- on kill – create a tremor that slows the movement speed of affected enemies by 80%d) Strength from Earth:
initial shockwave releases magma from the ground
- element – direct fire damage, keeps Knockback
- on crit – create a small explosion that generates 1 fury for each enemy hit
- on kill – slain enemies leave behind a pool of fire that deals Dot damage to enemies passing through ite) Arctic Rift:
initial shockwave creates sharp ice shards
– element – direct cold damage, keeps Knockback
- on crit - ice shards Blind affected enemies
- on kill – ice shard explosion that deals damage to nearby enemies