Why barbs are OP (after leveling all classes to 60)

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02/04/2013 10:02 PMPosted by bearr
I don't really like the term OP, as I don't want barbs to be nerfed. But I wanted to share my experience with barbs after playing a lot with my demon hunter, and after leveling all other classes to 60.

Yes I hear you. And I disagree with you. I do feel some classes need a little better gear to clear equivalent content. But that does not make any class more or less OP then the other. I believe it's the gear and not the class that makes a character OP. Gear any of the 5 classes well enough and it'll steamroll the game's content.

So I don't think Barbarians are OP. They just seem that way with the high geared barbarians.
02/05/2013 09:37 AMPosted by Asadian
Game is beyond repair at this point.

I hope that you're wrong. I fear that you may be right.
Try playing HC. You'll change your tune. There is no way you will survive with that OP Barb. LOL You SC people wine to much
02/05/2013 06:31 PMPosted by Amoeba
If the current dev team had shown previously that they could buff classes worth a damn, this would be a different discussion. Whoever is the person in charge of buffs and skill overhaul has the intellect capacity of a hamster with head trauma.

I'll agree that Blizzard's track record in this area ain't good, but still... a little harsh, there.

1.07 does mark the first time that the devs have attempted the "building of build diversity" by buffing underused skills, without directly nerfing anything. They're far wide of the mark, of course, since monks, wizards, and witch doctors all have more fundamental problems than Blizzard seem to be willing to address or even admit, but... baby steps, I guess.
I have had a considerable amount of experience playing and learning each class. All my characters are capable of high MP. If I gear and spec for high MP with every character, they all have roughly equivalent gear value (Barb - WW/HotA; DH - Bola/EB; Monk - Cyclone w/ Combo; WD - 0Dogs; Wiz - SNS). The distinction, however, is very clear in high MP. My Barb wins in both farming speed and survivability.

At low MP however, he is outmatched in speed by my Monk (TR), DH (Legacy Nat's with Bola/CA or Strafe), and Wiz (Archon). If I run Bears with my WD and spec/gear for speed farming, he's still just as fast as my Barb. However, I have also geared all my characters to a similar extent, so differences are evened out at low levels. I can say though, that my Barb reached a high efficiency level earlier on in character progression (i.e., with less gold) compared to the rest, but only due to the efficiency of the WW build. However, this experiences diminishing returns with increasing DPS, as it becomes harder to generate Fury when monsters die too quickly. His efficiency is going to reach a drop off eventually, but such a problem does not exist for the other classes.

What this all tells me is that Blizzard has done a decent job of balancing out the classes for the end game, but it's ultimately the result of three factors that Barbs have the clear advantage in almost all other areas: 1) CC Immunity from WotB 2) Blizzard did not anticipate the WW build that came to be; 3) the game poor end-game itemization and Inferno design at launch.

Number one is self-explanatory so I won't address that, but going back to what I said above, the way the WW build works right now seems like a dumb mechanic if you look at the big picture: the more powerful your character becomes, the less effective the build becomes. The way the build works is also part of the reason why Alkaizer leveled as effectively as he did (and also his farming strategy of course). If I remember correctly, his DPS during the grind to 100 was no higher than 75-80K DPS unbuffed, which, though relatively high by standards at the time, was by no means top tier even then. He was able to do it by finding the perfect balance between killing efficiency and Fury maintenance. Or maybe he was just lucky that his DPS was exactly where it needed to be. Either way, it seems apparent to me that Blizzard didn't anticipate a combination of skills being used in such a build.

Monster Power helps because high monster health allows WW Barbs with higher DPS to maintain regular Fury generation. With the exception of the WD, all other classes can benefit from improved resource generation due to increased monster health, but the ones that benefit the most are the Barb and the Wiz due to the speed of Sprint (RltW) and Energy Twister ticks, respectively. However, not only do Barbs benefit in resource management, they also benefit greatly in survivability in a way that surpasses Wizards.

A WW Barb's main form of life return lies in life steal once they reach a certain DPS whereas a CM Wizard's main form of life return lies in life on hit, as their boundary of effectiveness for life steal over life on hit has a much higher DPS requirement. This is partly because of lower possible crit damage for a CM Wiz compared to a WW Barb versus frequency of attacks, and also because of the maximum possible life steal attainable on both characters (12% Barb vs. 4.5% Wiz). Because of this, it's just not worth using life steal with a CM Wiz. Due to the difference, Wizards are stuck at a flat rate of life return independent of DPS, while Barbs gain more life with increasing DPS. On top of that, Barbs have the highest attainable life steal from gear because of Bloodthirst and mighty belts. Monks get 6%, WDs get 3%, and DHs get 6% (though it doesn't matter because of SP).

Because Blizzard didn't anticipate the WW build we have now, I suspect their original intention with giving the Barb additional life steal was because most of their skills focus on single target damage with a low area of effect compared to the other character classes and they needed it to compensate for life return versus large mobs. A wealth of good defensive passives was likely given to the Barb for that very same reason.

Additionally, Blizzard most likely did not originally anticipate DPS and crit numbers reaching the height that they're at now to have an effective gauge on life steal's potential. This is a mistake that arose as a result of poor end-game itemization for an Inferno mode that was too difficult when the game was released. Legendaries and sets got boosted because of this, and Inferno subsequently got several nerfs. Even higher possible DPS numbers were made possible in the form of increased ilvl 61+ drops with the implementation of Monster Power levels. With vastly improved DPS, the effectiveness of life steal was also boosted. The powerful passives given to Barbs in conjunction with high life steal and the overall reduced damage dealt by monsters in Inferno afforded them the ability to sacrifice defensive gear stats for greater DPS. This is also the reason why even non-WW builds such as Rend/HotA still possess a great level of effectiveness at high MP.

TL;DR: Other than WotB, Barbs have an unfair gear cost advantage because when Blizzard designed their skills, they did not have something like the WW/Sprint build in mind, but instead designed the class around low AoE builds. The gap between Barbs and the other classes only widened as a result of poor end-game itemization for Inferno at launch and its subsequent fixes.

wow.. well put. from someone that actually played all 5 classes at high mp levels.
I play all classes, too, mainly barb, though. But that is just personal preference. I like to tank. And here is the thing: My barb has the lowest dps of all my classes, although I have invested into him the most compared to my other toons. Most gear on my other characters my barb found in game or I got really lucky in the AH. However, most gold I have spent on my barb so far (and probably more than 10m in total over time), and still he doesn't kill a fly in MP7 (for instance), and if then really, really slowly, whereas my other characters can do a much quicker job (for obvious reasons).

Every class has gear that is very cheap in AH, particularly the ones with so-so stats, but also very expensive items, that you cannot get under a few ten or hundred millions. The thing might be that monks compete with DHs for certain dex items, and Wizzes with WDs for int gear, whereas barbs just with barbs. However, there are plenty of barbs in D3. The competition is there. And good gear for doing higher MP levels isn't that cheap, for no class. I actually disagree that barbs are cheapest to gear up for higher MP levels. For walking around in them without getting killed right away, maybe, but not really for playing it.

My own experience is actually very different from yours, bearr. My barb is actually kind of struggling raising his dps, without loosing his tankiness (that is what a barb is for, right?).

DHs have lots of good skills to kite around and taking down the packs quickly. DH can vault out of situations or just vanish. :P Besides, they have very good LS with their skills. A LS belt in addition would be op, probably.
Wizzes can keep monsters in place (perma-freezing them) and/or take them down in Archon mode. They can teleport out of situations, if it is necessary anyway.
Monks have very useful healing/immunity skills.
WDs have lovely pets that tank for them while they can attack from afar. Spirit Walk is very powerful in many ways, getting into a pack to harvest or to get out of situations.

All classes are so different and have very useful skills. Not just barbs with their WoTB.
Barb is best at tanking (not at surviving, since they are worst in HC: http://diablo.somepage.com/info/hardcore-deaths), but not necessarily at killing off things. If you check DiabloProgress (http://www.diabloprogress.com/rating.stat_dps_unbuffed), you can see that DH and Wizzes are leading with DPS, followed by monks and WDs. Yes, Barb is last. And that said, it makes sense that Barbs have more LS to get enough heal for less DPS and being in close combat (more damage taken). If you check, Revenge, a very powerful skill, only works if your barb takes actually damage. That says much about the barb class, I think. Barb is not op, imo, just different to play.

And that a barb made it first to paragon level 100 doesn't mean necessarily that they are the easiest to level (maybe they are, I don't know), but that barbs are most popular in D3 (http://diablo.somepage.com/news/1450-class-popularity-and-hardcore-deaths-charts-expanded).

Just my 2 cents...
maybe if you stop focusing on xp and MP gear on ur barb, your dps might be better. and droppign ur shield for dual wield, etc.. of course your barby is gonna have !@#$ty dps; its your %^-*ty gear on him, rather than the class

and there is no need for a tank, find the balance between dps and survivability.
Thanks for starting this excellent thread, bearr. Monk players have been posting about our class's problems for a while, but it's good to have impartial confirmation from someone folks who have played all of the classes so extensively -- I was starting to doubt my own sanity for a sec, there.

I really don't want Blizzard to nerf Barbarians, or in any way reduce the fun of those that play Barbs. I just want Blizzard to properly balance the other classes by comparison, so that we can all have just as much fun.

I've played both the barb and the monk extensively, and while the monk does have some flaws with the design the standard thunderclap-cyclone-overawe is quite effective. The problem is that there isn't much flexibility to move away from that cookie-cutter build without sacrificing efficiency. However, I don't consider the barb to be overpowered compared to the monk.
I have leveled all the classes now played mostly the monk as she was my first toon. Played a barb in D2 back in the day when spamming health pots and town portals was cool. People are too harsh about this game its not a monthly subscription like WoW, its a standalone game with free online support, free servers to use, free updates and patches. Blizz works hard on this game even if people don't see it. Forums are full of people that are pissed off and frustruated that they dont get drops and cant farm uber mp's and that things arent just given to them. I think people have lost perspective, if all you want from this game is loot and money and for it all to be a cake walk then you are in it for the wrong reasons imo.

Personally I enjoyed this game a lot more when inferno mode was insanely hard and actually a challenge, its not often they release a game thats actually hard to win these days, probably because all people do is QQ about how they cant win and its not fair and its because my class sucks and the game cheats and everything is unfair, maybe people should just learn how to play and stop complaining and begging for changes.

That said, I still find it easiest to farm with my monk because it suits my playstyle the most. I like the immunities and self healing abilities. I love how much aoe they have and the different specs I can play at different Mps. In her gear now i farm MP5 comfortably without dying more then a few times a run. I can farm mp3 with full dmg spec and no defensive abilities except breath for the bonus dmg.

As for my barbarian, i dont really find that he survives any better then my monk but maybe thats just because I actually use defensive talents on my monk and am not stuck in a cookie cutter mold based on people that 'theory craft' and claim 'best dps from this spec' and exploit game mechanics just to eek out more dps, which in the end means nothing if its boring to play and you only spam 1 or 2 talents. I gave up playing my DH and gave away her gear to my GF because I hated the playstyle. I basically stopped playing my wizard and witch doctor for the same reason, I just like the run in and smash everything playstyle of the monk and barb.

What I'm getting at is people should stop complaining about classes being different and some better then others at certain things, thats what makes the game fun, find which you like to play and learn how to enjoy it, stop comparing dps numbers and what MP you can farm. Learn how to be effective with your class.

The biggest problem I find with most people when I check their profiles is they dont spend the $$ on resist all, its the most important attribute in the whole game. The OP has an easy time on his barb because he has over 500 res all + the shout for an extra 20%. Maybe if he spent the $$ and sacrificed the dmg on his other classes life wouldnt be so hard. Just because you are a kiting class doesnt mean you arent gonna be hit by random crazy mobs with annoying affixes that will roflstomp your squishy !@#$....
I just got a third class to level 60 yesterday. I still haven't even played Wiz or WD, but I do plan on having all of them to 60 at some point or another.

Just from the experience I have though.

Ease of leveling:


Ease of gearing upon reaching 60:

Barb>DH (honestly I started gearing him so long ago, I can't be sure this is still true)> Monk

Fun to play:


Alot of that last one might just be how much more gear my DH has.
maybe if you stop focusing on xp and MP gear on ur barb, your dps might be better. and droppign ur shield for dual wield, etc.. of course your barby is gonna have !@#$ty dps; its your %^-*ty gear on him, rather than the class

and there is no need for a tank, find the balance between dps and survivability.

Yes, she had her mf and xp gear on. With other gear she is higher dps, but if I push it much higher (around 70k unbuffed, I logged out on it if you want to check) she can die easily (mainly amor and all resist goes down, which my mf gear provides). My point is, that for higher dps AND survivability, gear gets expensive for a barb, too (something the op claimed that it won't).

Thanks for your comment!

OP, I think its your title that pique all the sensitive barb out there. It's nice to share experience and views but you shouldn't use such strong words that seems like crying for injustice.

I played all 5 characters, kept all the gears for different builds and I dare to say no one play as extensively as I do for 5 classes. I try to focus on wizard, but gearing cost is much too high, and majority of drops for wizard either can't be used or witch doctor can use them more effectively.
Spent too much resource for my DH achievement and dual wielding that my DH dps is gimped, don't like the all so powerful manticore and versatile DML.

Right now, I'm out of gold to upgrade any one of them, and to upgrade my barbarian, I have to spend more than the amount I spend for my wizard.

I agree with you that Barbarian is the cheapest to gear for higher mp but to each own playstyle and view, Barbarian is fun too. I understand that nados barb, archon wizard and TR monks are good in pLeveling, but I didn't use them. Each class have a certain breakpoint for cost of gear and effectiveness, which in the long run, equalizer pretty much, just that Barbarians has a more gradual slope for early inferno and witch doctor has the steepest for late mp.

Hota barb, Ice wizard are more fun to me and although I use Tempest Rush for my monk, he/she's the lowest pLevel among all my characters.
@ bearr

In regard to your farming of MP8. 2 minutes is slow for elite packs. General rule of thumb everyone seems to go by for MP5 and under is 10 to 15 seconds per elite pack and 1-2 shot whites. So extrapolate as you will for MP8. People feel free to correct me. I can do MP10 with my monk but at 3-5 minutes per elite pack it is just a waste of time. I timed it with a champ pack of scorpions in core of arreat and it took a little over 3 minutes to kill 4 of them with 24 mil HP. Not efficient in my book. Then again my monk is not a beast.

All classes have their benefits and drawbacks, the Barb just seems to have less drawbacks. Monk has been by far my favorite though.

Glad to see you are challenging each class though, keep up the good work!
who cares which class you think is OP?

I use my TR monk to farm legends in mp0
I use my cm wiz or ww barb to farm keys.
I use my strafe DH or haunt WD in PvP.
And I use whichever class role isnt filled in the party yet, for ubers.

go ahead and keep "thinking" one of the tools in the box is OP. hard fact will remain that every class has its strengths and being strong in just solo high MP is hardly everything.
Cyberlisk is a hater.

02/04/2013 10:02 PMPosted by bearr
as I don't want barbs to be nerfed

good, because if the barbarian was nerf'd he would be very bad against PvE especially if Wrath of the Beserker was nerf'd. The barbarian//monk are up close and personell attacking characters and they deserve 30% damage reduction and all the other attributes they have over other heros.
ofc a !@#$ty barb worth 10m for doing mp 8, but when you try to upgrade your items, it costs much more than any other class, all the items for barbs are more expensive than the others.

you loved d2? well, you have barb from your favorite game, that's why he's OP!

02/05/2013 08:36 AMPosted by Clarimax
Fastest paragon levelers you say?! Isn't it the first character to reach paragon level 100 was ding! ding! ding! ding! our survey says BARB - Alkaizer.

If Alkaizer would had a DH or a monk, he would reached P100 in lees time than the barb, DH's and TR Monks gain more millions/hour than the barb, you seem new about exp runs...
OP: Barbs can survive higher MP more easily than any other class; that is hard to argue. However, this isn't a great measure of imbalance. I am not saying Barbs don't have some built in advantages, because they clearly do, but just surviving is only the beginning. Doing MP6+ efficiently is the hard part, and the required gear for all classes starts to get really expensive.

It is not realistic to expect that every class will be equal at every MP level and/or every spend level. The hope should be that they all have their fair share of pros and cons. If barbs or any other class were the best at everything that would be a clear imbalance and eventually corrected (you would hope).

I have played all five classes moderately geared and my two biggest issues are with the monk's resource replenishment and the wizard being CM build or bust at high MP levels. I haven't spent more than 50m on any of my characters but they can all do MP6 or better with the exception of the wizard. I built my wizard before MP levels were introduced and the cost to do a proper CM build is a lot more than 50m, so that won't happen any time soon. One last thing, my most efficient character at MP7 is my DH, not my Barb.
Uhh let's see...
Life steal on belt, dual wield, passive skill
Passive 10% CC
Passive 5% CC and 50% CD
02/06/2013 03:00 AMPosted by Umbra
I have had a considerable amount of experience playing and learning each class.

You're not kidding. Excellent post.

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