Barbarian skill archive

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This page archives original versions of Barbarian skills that were changed during development. These are archived for future curiosity and reference. This page is not to be updated with current info; see the Barbarian skills article for the latest information about this classes' skills.

The Barbarian's skills were first revealed in October 2008, at Blizzcon. They were shown again, in much-expanded form at Blizzcon 2009. The biggest changes occurred at Blizzcon 2010, after all the passive skills had been moved to the Barbarian traits, this removing all passive skills, while freeing up space for more active skills.

Please note that the Fury development has changed how many skills work as well. It started out as Mana, but was changed to a Fury globe, much like a Warrior's "Rage" in World of WarCraft, then a set of three Fury Orbs, before changing back to a larger, numerical pool. The costs and cooldowns of many Barbarian skills have changed many times during development.

See the skill article for further details on how the tier systems evolved, and the skill system in general.

Blizzcon 2010 Skills to Traits[edit]

The biggest change to the skills came in Blizzcon 2010, when the new non-tree skill tree was debuted, with all of the passive skills modified into various traits.

Five skills were added:

The following skills were removed entirely between 2009 and 2010. Many of these were turned, more or less directly, into Barbarian Traits.


Here's how the Barbarian skill navigation looked prior to Blizzcon 2010. Many of the skills remain, though most are modified in various ways.


Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Berserker Tree[edit]

The Berserker tree was first seen at BlizzCon in October 2008. At that time the tree had a very different layout, with more skills concentrated into the top tiers. Expect further changes during ongoing development.

Berserker Skill Tree. April 2009.
October 2008.


Tier 1 Skills[edit]

Frenzy - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: When attacking with Frenzy, the Barbarian's weapon damage and attack speed are increased. Frenzy can be used repeatedly, stacking the speed bonus up to three times.
    • Rank 1: Deals 120% weapon damage. In addition, attack speed is increased by 6% for 10 seconds. (Up to 18%, with stacking.)
  • Fury Cost: None

The popular D2 Barbarian skill returns, with much the same function. The particulars are tweaked a bit, in terms of the damage, attack speed bonus, duration, and stacking, but the function is similar. The biggest change is the Clvl: Frenzy was a level 24 skill in D2, and only worked while dual wielding. It's level 1 in D3, and it apparently works with any type of weapon or weapons.

Higher levels in this skill (which were not enabled at BlizzCon 2008) will presumably increase the bonuses to damage and other properties as well.



Bad Temper - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Reduces Fury degeneration by 3%.
  • Fury Cost: None

This skill causes the Barbarian's built up Fury to reduce less slowly, (theoretically) enabling the character to carry enough over from one fight to be able to use skills immediately at the start of the next battle.


Power of the Berserker - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases damage of all Berserker skills by X%.
    • Rank 2: Increases damage of all Berserker skills by 25%.
    • Rank 3: Increases damage of all Berserker skills by 30%.
  • Fury Cost: None

A nice passive bonus to all skills in this tree. The figures were very hard to read on this one, so take the 25% and 30% with a grain of salt. The damage bonus will definitely increase with each point spent in the skill, though.

Like the other Barbarian passive damage bonuses, this one does nothing for his to/hit. In fact, there aren't any Barbarian skills that boost to/hit, which is one of the mysteries of the game design, at this point.



Heightened Senses - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Grants the Barbarian an inherent chance to dodge attacks.
    • Rank 1: 4% chance to dodge.
    • Rank 2: 8% chance to dodge.
    • Rank 3: 12% chance to dodge.
  • Fury Cost: None

It's unknown if the skill continues to increase by 4% forever, or if diminishing returns set in at some point.



Tier 2 Skills[edit]

Terrifying Shout - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Shout with great intensity, enhancing damage done by something ______ something 30% for 12 seconds.
  • Fury Cost: None

The name and description of this one couldn't be read clearly, but enough could be made out to be sure that it's a war cry that boosts damage for a short duration.

NOTE: Not too clear if there is the same skill or another. But in the BlizzCast, a screenshot showed this skill inside the Berserker Skill Tree: Threatening Shout

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 5
  • Description:
  • Rank 2: Shout with great ferocity, reducing damage done by enemies within 24 feet by 60% for 15 seconds.
  • Rank 3: Shout with great ferocity, reducing damage done by enemies within 24 feet by 70% for 18 seconds.



Onslaught - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Increases attack speed by X%. Drains Fury while in use. Lasts for X seconds.
  • Fury Cost: None

This was another description that was very hard to read, so no values are available. The skill's function is clear, though. It increases the Barbarian's attack speed for a few seconds, and drains Fury all the while. It runs for the allowed duration (around 10 seconds per use) or until the Fury runs out. (More Fury can be added while this skill is in use, of course. Hitting things with a super speed Barbarian is a great way to add Fury, after all.)



Double Strike - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Grants a dual wielding Barbarian the chance to strike nearby enemies with both weapons.
    • Rank 1: Gives a 6% chance of striking with both weapons.
    • Rank 2: Gives a 7% chance of striking with both weapons.
  • Fury Cost: None

This one was also hard to read in our notes, so the figures are suspect. They were single numbers though, so the odds are clearly pretty low for this skill to trigger.

The Barbarian uses both weapons to attack when dual wielding; the attack just isn't much faster than it would be while holding a single weapon. This skill gives a % chance to hit an individual enemy twice, very quickly, once with each weapon.



Strong Constitution - Unchanged since BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Enables health regeneration.
    • Rank 1: Regenerates 10 health per second.
  • Fury Cost: None

A skill that sounds like it will be mandatory for most every Barbarian, unless equipment with health regeneration is common. The amount of regeneration was hard to read in our notes, but it is a low double digit number. Something like 10 or 12. Most likely one point will be enough for regenerating to full health while you are away from keyboard or in any way staying out of combat for a long time. Regeneration is usually not that handy in the middle of intense combat, since it works quite slowly, even at high levels.



Berserker State - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the duration of Frenzy and Onslaught by 1 second.
  • Fury Cost: None

A typical D3 passive skill; boosting one aspect of two other skills from the same skill tree.



Tier 3 Skills[edit]

Leap Attack - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Leaping over a chasm.
  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: The Barbarian makes a mighty leap, causing ? damage to enemies when he lands.
    Damage of Leap Attack increases with strength.
  • Fury Cost: None

Leap Attack is not much changed from D2, and has been demonstrated repeatedly in the gameplay movies. The main difference with the D3 version of this skill is that minor damage is dealt to everything nearby when the Barbarian lands, rather than big damage to one particular monster.

This skill enables the barbarian to leap a considerable distance, and quite quickly too. When landing the barbarian drives her weapons down from overhead, creating a blue shockwave that damages and knocks back any enemies within several yards. It appears to combine the powers of the d2 skills leap and leap attack, and seems to deal quite a bit of damage, as rapidly as it dispatches multiple ghouls with every Leap, in the WWI movie, although this may have been due to the barbarian revisiting an old area in the movie.



Enrage - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Enter a reckless rage, increasing Fury gained but also damage taken.
    • Rank 1: Increases Fury gained by 100% and damage taken by 25%, for 10 seconds.
  • Fury Cost: None

An interesting skill, grants the Barbarian an orb of Fury and enables him to increase Fury generation, but taking more damage while doing so. This would be a useful skill to power up just before entering battle; the Barbarian would fill up one of his Fury orbs very quickly against one or two initial attackers, and by the time the main mob was in range his Fury would be full and the increased damage penalty would have worn off.



Dual Wield Specialization - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases physical damage dealt by weapons while dual wielding
    • Rank 1: Increases damage by 12%.
  • Fury Cost: None

A skill any dual wielding barbarian will want to invest heavily in.



Savage - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Increase all Fury generation for X seconds after scoring a critical hit.
  • Rank 1: Increase Fury generation 30% for 8 seconds.
  • Fury Cost: None

This tree has a variety of skills to increase fury generation. Something barbs who specialize in the other trees will surely be envious of.



Increase Speed - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Your Frenzy and Onslaught abilities also increase your movement speed.
    • Rank 1: Movement speed increased 5% while using Frenzy or Onslaught.
  • Fury Cost: None

More improvements to other skills in the same tree. Frenzy and Onslaught do not increase movement speed normally, just when this skill is enabled. This seems like a lovely convenience, but perhaps not worth the points, with fast run boots and other speedier movement options. (PvP players will probably find it more useful than PvM players, as is the case in D2.) The increased moving speed will make it easier though to keep your fury bar up, since you take less time to get from one pack of monsters to the next one.



Tier 4 Skills[edit]

Whirlwind - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Whirling up some goat jerky.
  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Become a cyclone, delivering multiple hits to everything in your path.
    • Rank 1: Each hit deals 25% of weapon damage.
    • Rank 2: Each hit deals 30% of weapon damage.
  • Fury Cost: None
Whirlwind
Rank: 1/20

Swirl in a cyclone, delivering attacks to everything in his path.

Current level: 1
Fury: 1
Hits for 25% of weapon damage

Next level: 2
Fury: 1
Hits for 30% of weapon damage.

Everyone's favorite spinning, multi-hitting tornado of a skill returns in D3. As it did in D2, Whirlwind lands multiple hits to anything in the barbarian's path, and it can strike multiple monsters per use. The whirling graphic is much improved in D3, with the weapon visible tracking around in a circle, leaving a glowing light as it spins and pausing an instant when it makes contact with a hapless enemy.

The damage values listed above were seen in the WWI 2008 gameplay movie. Updated values at BlizzCon 2008 in October were not recorded, so regard these numbers with suspicion.



Slashing Strike - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Your melee attacks have an X% chance to hit all nearby enemies.
    • Rank 1: 12% chance to hit all nearby enemies.
  • Fury Cost: None

Sounds like a very powerful skill, granting a chance to hit all nearby enemies with every attack. This would be hugely valuable when taking on large packs. On the other hand this probably won't affect some skills (like whirlwind or furious charge), making slashing strike less tempting for those specialized in those attacks.

Relentless Attacks - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the damage of Frenzy and Whirlwind by X%.
    • Rank 1: Increases the damage by 5%.
  • Fury Cost: None


Destroy Armor - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 0
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Reduces enemy armor.
  • Fury Cost: None

This skill was marked with the NYI (Not Yet Implemented) tag, and had no values listed for how much it would reduce armor.




Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Juggernaut Tree[edit]

Juggernaut Skill Tree, Blizzcon, Oct 2008.


Tier 1 Skills[edit]

Bash - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Rune Sockets: 1
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Bash the enemy for 100% of weapon damage.
  • Fury Cost: 3 (?)

Like all the active skills in the BlizzCon demo, Bash could only have one point added to it. This was not the case with skills when D3 debuted at the WWI in Paris, and it will almost certainly not be the case with active skills in the final game.



Inspiration - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the damage of critical hits and added hits. Can stack up to three times.
    • Rank 1: Increases critical hit damage by 3% and increases the damage of added hits by 5% for 15 seconds.
  • Fury cost: None

The figures on this one are suspect, since our notes were very hard to decipher. The function is clear though. This mastery boosts all critical hit damage, and increases the damage of other hits as well. It's not clear what "added hits" are, though. Possibly a mis-transcription of the skill hover text.



Power of the Juggernaut - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases damage of all Juggernaut skills.
    • Rank 1: Damage is increased by 10%.
    • Rank 2: Damage is increased by 20%.
    • Rank 2: Damage is increased by 30%.
  • Fury cost: None.

This is possibly the most straight-forward skill in the entire game. Obvious function, straight linear progression of improvement. It's almost akin to a Juggernaut Weapons Mastery, but note that it only increases the damage, not the to/hit.



Unnamed Skill - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Whenever the Barbarian is below 50% health, all damage is reduced by X%.
    • Rank 1: Damage is reduced by 21%.
    • Rank 2: Damage is reduced by 34%.
  • Fury cost: None.

We missed the name of this skill, but got the description. The stats are sketchy, and may not be exactly these numbers, but the overall function is clear. This one causes the Barbarian to take less damage as his/her hit points decrease. Handy!



Tier 2 Skills[edit]

Cleave - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Cleave.
  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: The Barbarian swings at multiple targets, dealing 130% of weapon damage at up to 2 targets.
  • Fury cost: 1 orb

This slashing melee strike that can hit multiple targets at once, Cleave leaves a streak of bright red light behind. It is a fast hit but has a slight delay between uses, making it slightly slower than normal attack. Cleave can be delivered with one hand, seems to alternate forehand and backhand when used repeated with a single weapon, and can be used while dual wielding.

This skill was a handy way to hit multiple enemies in the Blizzcon build. More points in this skill will likely increase the damage and perhaps the number of hittable targets as well.



Ground Stomp - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Barb-stomp1.jpg
  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Stomp the ground, knocking back and stunning all nearby enemies for X second.
    • Rank 1: Knocks back and stuns enemies for 3 seconds. 5 second cool down.
  • Fury cost: None

This foot stomping skill has a function much like the War Cry skill, from Diablo II. It stuns and renders motionless monsters in a small radius around the barbarian, though it does not seem to deal any damage. Stars can be seen circling around the heads of stunned monsters, and their defense is greatly reduced for the duration of the effect. Skeletal Shieldman, for instance, drop their shields while stunned.

This skill has an impressive and very powerful graphic. The earth trembles when the Barbarian stomps, and glowing yellow lines radiate out from the impact point, like pavement cracking under the weight of a dropped safe.

The figures are suspect on this one, since they were heard to read from our notes. The function is clear though, and in fact this skill has been seen in use in gameplay movies. It's a simple war cry-like skill that knocks back and stuns nearby monsters. It would presumably not work on bosses and other larger enemies, but that's not clear yet. As of June it was said to have no cost to Fury reserves but would be subject to a cooldown[1].



Focused Strength - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the effect of strength on your physical damage.
    • Rank 1: +10% to the effect of strength on damage.
  • Fury cost: None

An interesting way to add damage. It's not an increase to damage, or to strength; it's an increase to the effect of strength on damage. Since we do not yet have any idea how the damage formulas will work in D3, there's no way to say how big of a bonus this will give.

This one is somewhat muted by the fact that attributes can't be player-assigned in D3, since that keeps a player from going with a "titan" build and putting 400 points into strength, which would make this skill enormously powerful. As it is, this will be most useful for barbarians who have a lot of +strength equipment on.



Stubborn - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Resist all slowing effects by 27%.
  • Fury cost: None

As with all of these skills, the values will likely change during development. This skill lets the Barbarian be less slowed by enemy slowing effects, which may be a huge bonus, depending upon how common such effects are and how common equipment with such resistances are. We have no idea, at this early point, but clearly there will be some, to make this skill useful.



Recovery - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 0/15
  • Description: Increases the amount of health gained from health globes by 12%
  • Fury cost: None

Health globes heal 25% of a character's max hit points as of October 2008. This figure may go up or down during further game balancing, but as of now 12% bonus is impressive, essentially increasing the healing by 50%.(Unless the 12% is calculated from what a health globe heals, instead of how much of the Barbarian's total hit points, which would be a far smaller bonus.) It's not clear if this increase will share to other players in the party, but it seems unlikely.

The tier 2 skill Scavenge in the Battlemaster Skill Tree increases the odds of health globes dropping. Points in both would certainly make for a healthier Barbarian.



Tier 3 Skills[edit]

Revenge - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Smash the ground dealing 100% weapon damage to nearby enemies. You gain 2% of your maximum health for each enemy hit. Revenge has a % chance to be usable when hit by an enemy.
    • Rank 1: 10% chance, deals 100% damage and returns 2% of maximum health for each enemy hit.
  • Fury cost: None

Apparently this one is an active skill. The description isn't clear, but it sounds like you can use it whenever you want as a sort of war cry. It deals your full weapon damage to all enemies in range, and works as a sort of life leech as well.

The first line about a 10% chance to be usable isn't clear. Is being hit a requirement before this may be used? Or does the skill trigger automatically on 10% of the times the Barbarian is hit? Triggering automatically would make it very powerful; giving the barbarian a free hit on and plenty of life from every enemy in range during every battle.



Taunt - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Taunt monsters to attack you at close range.
  • Fury cost: None

No other description of this one was provided in the Blizzcon build. Range, % of working, effect on monsters, rage cost, etc. Presumably it would be useful to bring running enemies in close, but aside from some very low damage bats, there weren't any monsters seen in the BlizzCon demo who didn't do this anyway. Perhaps the skill causes ranged attackers and monster mages to move into melee range? Or could it be useful in multiplayer games to lure dangerous foes away from weaker party members?



Stunning Blows - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Grants all Juggernaut skills a 3% chance to stun attackers for 2 seconds.
  • Fury cost: None

A powerful passive indeed, giving every skill in this tree a chance to stun enemies. A very small chance, albeit it, and it's just for Juggernaut skills; not skills in the other trees.



Two-Handed Weapon Specialization - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases physical damage dealt with two-handed weapons by X%.
    • Rank 1: Increases damage 12%
  • Fury cost: None

Basically a two-handed weapon mastery, but one that does nothing for attack rating, just damage. Two handed swords can not be equipped in one hand, by Barbarians in Diablo III.


Invigorated - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Picking up a health globe increases strength by 15% for 10 seconds.
  • Fury cost: None

A boost to strength every time the Barbarian heals, or just picks up a health globe (if he's already at full strength). It's unknown if more points will raise the strength increase, the duration, or both.



Tier 4 Skills[edit]

Seismic Slam - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Shock waves travel forward.
  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Slam the ground causing a wave of destructive fire death. 100% of your weapon damage in front of the Barbarian.
  • Fury cost: None

This transcribed description is not quite right, due to our indecipherable BlizzCon notes. There was no Fury cost listed on the skill, though it's hard to believe that will be the case in the final game, as powerful and useful as this skill is.

When launching a Seismic Slam, the barbarian lifts one foot and brings it down with her weapon, slamming them into the ground and sending a wave of energy forward, dealing heavy damage to anything directly in front of her. Multiple monsters can be hit by each use, and the ground is torn and fractured by this skill.

During the WWI 2008 Denizens of Diablo panel, The D3 team spoke at length about the creation of this essential skill, and how it was used to focus the design of the character.

This is a skill where the Barbarian raises his weapon overhead and slams it down into the ground. Anything in front of him, in a sort of cone-shape, gets rocked and destroyed. This skill was first skill we made for Barb, and one of the first we did in the game. Getting it right took longer than it did with most skills. We did many iterations. Animation especially. Had to make barb feel physically powerful. Traditionally we associate big bold movements with power. But if you want a game that feels fast and responsive, you want the movements to be really fast. Getting balance of fast movements and powerful feel. It's a big challenge in many ways to get that animation right.
Once we got through all that, we didn't still didn't really like the skill. We got programming done and wasn't that great. Got effects done, and still not that great. Somehow didn't quite sing to us. Wasn't until we got sound that it was really awesome. Really fun. Key to that was faith to get through process. Once you do get through it, all the skills that come after that come much quicker. What's the Barbarian about? Look at Seismic Slam. With that he rocks the world with power. Next few skills we did almost required no communication between art and programming, since art knew what the barb was about. Knew what we were designing for, since we had a great example.



Iron Will - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Provides resistance to stun, slow, and freeze attacks.
    Not yet implemented.
  • Fury cost: None

A powerful protective mastery.


Crushing Blows - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increase the damage of Bash and Cleave.
    Not yet implemented.
  • Fury cost: None

The function is clear, but without any figures for it yet in the game, it's impossible to say how powerful this one will be. It seems a good bet to change names too, since Crushing Blow was a special modifier in D2, reusing the name for a very different function would be confusing.


Seismic Effect - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the damage of Revenge and Seismic Slam.
    Not yet implemented.
  • Fury cost: None

Another higher level skill that's too far from completed to judge. Revenge and Seismic Slam both work as ranged attacks, damaging multiple monsters per hit (when aimed/used properly).





Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Battlemaster Tree[edit]

Battlemaster Skill Tree, BlizzCon, Oct 2008.


Tier 1 Skills[edit]

Battle Rage - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: The barbarian enters a rage which increases damage done by 100% and increases Critical damage by 30%. Lasts for 15 seconds.
  • Fury Cost: 50

This warcry boosts damage substantially. The amount of Fury required sounds considerable, but in the BlizzCon demo a Barbarian of around lvl 6 or 7 had about 100 Fury, and could fill the bulb in a battle with just 4 or 5 enemies. The duration at level 1 wasn't long enough to last between battles, so players had to remember to cast this one as soon as they had enough Fury, just after a battle started. Remembering to recast it during longer battles was trickier.

The Perseverence skill increases the duration of this and other warcries, so more points in this one would presumably increase the damage bonuses.



Perseverance - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive
  • Max Rank: 0/15
  • Increases the duration of Battle Rage, Battle Cry, and Ignore Pain by 10%

A basic war cries mastery, increasing their duration but not boosting their effect. Likely this one increases 10% per skill point invested.



Power of the Battlemaster Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases damage of all Battlemaster skills%
    • Rank 1: Increases damage of all Battlemaster skills by 10%.
    • Rank 2: Increases damage of all Battlemaster skills by 20%.
    • Rank 3: Increases damage of all Battlemaster skills by 30%.
  • Fury Cost: None

This passive sounds like the weapon mastery skills of D2, but note the differences. This does nothing to boost Attack Rating, and furthermore, it only boosts the damage of skills in this skill tree. Not overall weapon damage, or the damage of skills in the Barbarian's other skill trees.



Iron Skin - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Toughens the Barbarian's skill, increasing his/her armor.
    • Rank 1: +10% armor.
    • Rank 2: +20% armor.
    • Rank 3: +30% armor.
  • Fury cost: None

Like Power of the Battlemaster, this one seems to increase at a steady 10% per skill level.



Tier 2 Skills[edit]

Hammer of the Ancients - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Hammer of the Ancients Skill Icon
Hammer of the Ancients.

Rank: 4/5
A massive attack that has increased chance to critically hit.
Stamina: 16
Deals 225% weapon damage plus an additional 14 physical damage.
25% chance to critical hit

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: A massive attack that deals bonus weapon damage plus additional physical damage. It also increases the damage from critical hits.
    • Rank 1: Deals 100% weapon damage, an additional 2 physical damage, and increases critical hit damage by 20%
  • Fury cost: None

This massive damage attack is dealt with an overhead slam; the Barbarian brings his weapon down straight overhead, like a man driving a railroad spike with a sledgehammer. The Barbarian's weapon vanishes when he uses this skill, the graphic replaced by a giant golden mace.

It's a huge attack, and hits quickly, but the Barbarian takes a second to recover after the strike, leaving him vulnerable to nearby enemies. This looks like a skill that's best used against single large targets, rather than while swarmed. It's not clear if the strike will hit multiple enemies, or just the one targeted.




Battle Cry - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Battlecry Skill Icon
Battle Cry

Rank: 5/10
Shouts out a warning, increasing defense of all nearby party members.
Radius: 15 feet.
Stamina: 35
Additional defense: 200%
Duration: 300 seconds.

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: A battle cry that increases the armor of the Barbarian and all other party members.
    • Rank 1: +80% armor. 60 second duration.
  • Fury Cost: None

This warcry is basically Shout, from Diablo II. It increases the defense of the Barbarian and any party members in range. The defense and duration increase with additional skill points.

The skill hover was shown in the WWI gameplay movie, and that text is reproduced in the table below.




Scavenge - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the chance that a monster will drop a health globe.
    • Rank 1: +7% increased chance
  • Fury Cost: None

This would not only help the Barbarian; it would make him more popular in parties, since the healing from health globes is shared to all nearby characters.



Critical Attacks - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive skill
  • Description: Increases the damage bonus of critical hits.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: +20% critical hit damage.
  • Fury Cost: None.

This looks like a very powerful skill, since critical hit damage is going to be a huge part of Diablo 3. Also note that it enhances all types of critical hits from all of the Barbarian's attacks, not just those in this skill tree. Furthermore critical hits impart various bonuses on top of their damage; critical hits from lightning stun monsters, critical from cold freezes them, etc.

This skill should also make the game more visually fun and vibrant, since monsters that die to critical hits explode in various entertaining ways.


Shield Specialization - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases the Barbarian's chance to block with a shield and the amount of damage he can block.
  • Rank 1: +8% chance to block, +6 damage blocked.
  • Fury cost: None

The figures on this one were hard to read and are very suspect. They were small, single-digit numbers, at least. The function is correct though, and makes for some interesting questions about how blocking will work in D3. It sounds like blocking has a % chance to succeed, but that unlike in D2, successfully blocking won't entirely eliminate the damage. Different shields will probably have different damage absorption values, and the various shield skills will apparently boost the amount of damage absorbed per successful block.

This makes logical sense. Pebbles will bounce off of a shield without effect, but if something huge hits, it's still going to hurt; just less than it would if you hadn't blocked it at all.



Tier 3 Skills[edit]

Furious Charge - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

Furious Charge Skill Icon
Furious Charge

Rank: 1/1
Description: Charge directly at an enemy, smashing everything in the way.
Current level: 1
Fury: 20
Primary damage: 110%
Secondary damage: 100%
Range: 85 feet
As of June 2008

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Description: Charge directly at an enemy, dealing weapon damage to the target and to enemies in the area.
    • Rank 1: Deal 120% of weapon damage to the target and 80% to enemies in the area.
  • Fury cost: None

A dashing attack that is improved over the Paladin version. In Diablo 3 this one works almost like teleportation, moving the Barbarian to the targeted monster in a blink, leaving a blue streak behind and hitting every monster he seems to pass through on his way to the target. It also deals damage to other monsters in the area of the target.



Ignore Pain - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Active Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Reduce all damage taken for X seconds.
    • Rank 1: Reduce all damage taken by 79% (?) for 10 seconds.
  • Fury Cost: 50

The image of this one is very hard to read, so the % damage reduction is dubious. Seventy-nine percent seems too high, though. At any rate, the figure is subject to tweaking in later development. It's not known if more points would increase the damage reduction, duration, or both.

However much it reduces damage by, it would clearly be a valuable skill for most Barbarians, especially for Hardcore players. If the duration remains this short even with more points, it's an indication that the D3 team wants Barbarian combat to be a very busy, intense activity. Most of his skills, including the war cries, require Fury to cast, Fury can only be built up during combat, and most of the skills have a fairly short duration. It looks like barbarians are going to be very busy clickers, constantly cycling through their skills and adding buffs, and rebuffing, right in the middle of intense combat. In fact, that's the only time they can add buffs, since they don't last very long, and they require rage to cast.




Deliberate Defense - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 0/15
  • Description: Critical hits increase the Barbarian's armor.
    • Rank 1: On a critical hit, +10% armor for 15 seconds.
  • Fury cost: None

Another indication that Blizzard wants the Barbarian to realize his (or her) full strength only during combat. This one increases your defense when you land successful critical hits. So it's a sort of passive buff, but one that only triggers during combat. It's unknown what more points in this will increase; defensive bonus, duration, or both.




Improved Battle Rage - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Gives melee attacks a % chance to make Battle Rage cost no Fury for X seconds.
    • Rank 1: 7% chance to active no-Fury cost Battle Rage for 8 seconds.
  • Fury cost: None

Another interesting "bonuses in combat" type skill for the Barbarian. Battle Rage is a WarCry that substantially boosts the Barbarian's damage and critical hits for a short time. This skill will make battle rage cost no fury if used after improved battle rage triggers. More points in this would presumably increase the % chance to trigger, and perhaps the duration as well. In that case, having this skill in high levels will possibly be enough for it to be refreshed before it dissapears, even inbetween battles, so this skill in practice permanently eliminates the cost of battle rage.


Death Proof - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: The barbarian resists even death. Upon receiving fatal damage the Barbarian is kept alive and gains 30% of maximum health.

This effect cannot occur more than once every 300 seconds.

  • Fury Cost: None

A creative approach to a skill on this one. It does nothing for the Barbarian while he's alive, but if he dies it will instantly resurrect him, returning 30% of his maximum hit points to give him a fighting chance. If he dies in a huge mob, that 30% won't help much. But if he dies to a bit of lag, or one bad break from a really fierce boss, this could be a very helpful skill.

The real power of it would go to Hardcore players, for whom death is forever, rather than just a moment or two of inconvenience while running back to battle from the nearest check point. If death remains without penalty and is so easy to bounce back from, it's unlikely that softcore players would have much use for this skill, other than as a convenience.

Whether or not Death Proof is overpowered, underpowered, or somewhere in between has become a hot issue, touching off numerous contentious forum threads. One fine example, with players making points on both sides of the argument, can be seen here.




Tier 4 Skills[edit]

Inspiring Presence - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive Skill
  • Max Rank: Rank 15
  • Description: Increases the effect of Terrifying Shout and _______.
  • Fury cost: None

We couldn't read the name of the skills listed in this one. Terrifying Shout was a decent match for one name, but it's in another skill tree, so it's probably wrong. The other skill name doesn't look like any Barbarian skill. At any rate, this skill is planned to increase the effect of two other skills, which is a fairly standard application of masteries in D3. It was not yet activated in the Blizzcon build.



Natural Resistance - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

  • Passive skill
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Description: Increases all resistances.
    • Rank 1: +10 to all resistances.
  • Fury cost: None

The passive from D2 returns, but with a much reduced initial bonus. How much this one would be worth long term depends on how much the returns diminish by, as well as how easy it is to achieve a high resistance just from equipment. (And how useful/necessary resistances are in D3.)



Mighty Hammer - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009.

This one is clearly a work in progress, without any listed bonuses to damage or critical hit. If you're a Hammerdin fan, you probably got your hopes up for a second when you saw this name, eh?