So, Sword and Board, DW or 2-hander?

Barbarian
Is there a definitive answer for this?

Is the increased survivability provided by a shield useful enough to forgo the damage from DW or a 2H?

Are 2H weapons even that good? I'm not in the higher level difficulties, but currently DW always gives me the best DPS. I get that damage abilities with a 2H will be much stronger, but on the other hand they'll also take longer to build up Fury.

I'm just wondering if I should just start getting accustomed to using a shield on my Barbarian to actually survive later on.
I don't think I'll be the only one to say there will never be a definitive answer to this. Simply put, you can make any weapon choice work as long as you're willing to properly set out your builds in a way that will fully benefit the playtstyle you're aiming for i.e. You want to wade into melee, soak up a lot of damage and do a huge amount back? Make sure the skills you're picking help accomplish that. Use your playstyle as a framework you can slot skills with good synergy that do what you want in to. Extend that by making sure your stats synergise with the build. It's no good wanting to tank if you have a smaller health pool than the wizard in your party (just one example).

Take my build as an example:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aeXRki!ZYX!YZZbbY

Survival is always gonna be important, but there are more ways to survive than just kiting or standing there with a shield and not dying. I personally run a 2 handed Mace barb whose skill set is based around using the CC, high damage and range of Seismic Slam to kill enemies before they reach her. I can pinpoint each skill and rune choice and say exactly how it helps either keep me alive, or keep demons dead. It also strikes a healthy balance between defence/mobility/offence from my experience.

Also, for what it matters, I'm only in the last act of hell so far (level 59). Haven't had a single issue yet in anything but 4 player co-op games with randoms. Solo play she just blasts straight through things. In co-op when everyone else dies she can usually survive and kill off multiple groups by cycling leap and ignore pain cooldowns...unless of course she's going up against stupidly painful affixes/suffixes :D
I'm far from endgame, but at my current level in Act III normal (lol I know) I can't seem to find a 2H that gives me better DPS than DW.
I have stuck with Sword n Board so far. Definitely my favourite :)
When you get to hell or late nightmare you're going to realize that you can't do anything but sword and board and think you're going to live. I just got to act 2 inferno with 30k hp, 6k armor, my highest resis is holy/arcane with 270, and my lowest is lightning with 198. I get wrecked by zombies in act 1. I am forced to kite and kill things very slowly. You just wont be able to survive in Inferno without stacking vit and resis. So, start getting use to a sword and board set up and start getting your vit/resis gear. Or, you could roll another class and kite while still doing damage. In inferno you are going to be more of a support class. You're going keeping mobs off of the ranged while they kill everything. I like the barb's playstyle in Inferno. If that's not how you want to play your lvl 60 barb when you get him/her there then re-roll now and save yourself the heartache.
05/20/2012 07:47 AMPosted by Sapmatic
When you get to hell or late nightmare you're going to realize that you can't do anything but sword and board and think you're going to live. I just got to act 2 inferno with 30k hp, 6k armor, my highest resis is holy/arcane with 270, and my lowest is lightning with 198. I get wrecked by zombies in act 1. I am forced to kite and kill things very slowly. You just wont be able to survive in Inferno without stacking vit and resis. So, start getting use to a sword and board set up and start getting your vit/resis gear. Or, you could roll another class and kite while still doing damage. In inferno you are going to be more of a support class. You're going keeping mobs off of the ranged while they kill everything. I like the barb's playstyle in Inferno. If that's not how you want to play your lvl 60 barb when you get him/her there then re-roll now and save yourself the heartache.


I'm using a 2H and I can destroy zombies very fast in Act 1 inferno, without ranged attacks even. I've soloed Nightmare and Hell with some difficulty, but doable, with a 2H.

Elite packs are more of a challenge (some impossible), and Act 2 is still impossible by a HUUUGE gap.

You overall armor seems low, and your HP is low. I'm sitting at 55k and 8.5k armor. I have about ~100 less resists than you though.
so 2h out damages DW mighty weapons...
thats gonna drop the barb a rung or two in my order of char leveling
im destroying hell with a 2h.
ALL THE THINGS!

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