Threatening Shout is a Tactics Barbarian skill unlocked at Level 17, which debuffs enemies around the Barbarian, making them deal less damage for a period of time.
This is one of the Barbarian's shouts.
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Threatening Shout in action.
The Barbarian shouts threats at his enemies, demoralizing them greatly.
See the Threatening Shout rune effects page for a more thorough description of rune effects, or any of the individual rune pages for numbers, screenshots, blue quotes, and much more.
This skill is a warcry, and a good one at that. If the Barbarian runs into enemies with really high damage, this skill is a life saver, making the fight that much easier. It is unknown if this warcry will affect bosses (highly doubtful since bosses always have more WAAAAGH than the characters).
The following Barbarian passive provides a benefit to Threatening Shout, runed or not:
Threatening Shout was introduced in the WWI 2008 gameplay video when Diablo III debuted, as a Tier III skill in the Berserker Skill Tree. This skill was available for play in the BlizzCon 2009 demo, but as Flux said:
Another of the “sounds cool, but no reason to use it in this easy build” low level defensive skills.
Threatening Shout was still around for the BlizzCon 2010 demo as a Tier 4 skill, but there are no gameplay reports detailing any use of it.
Skill tiers were removed for the July 2011 Press Event, allowing skills to unlock steadily from levels 1 to 30. Consequently, all skill levels were adjusted and Threatening Shout became a level 9 skill.
The Diablo III Beta started in September 2011, and while it ran, all of the skills continued to undergo extensive iteration. Skill changes varied from changing the levels the skills are unlocked, to changes in resource cost, damage, and even function. A few skills were removed altogether, and a few new ones were added. Also, the entire skill system received an overhaul with the Beta Patch 13 update in February 2012, with physical runes replaced by rune effects that automatically unlock at various levels for the different skills.
Threatening Shout was dropped to level 1 for the beta, but was soon moved to level 2. With the Patch 13 changes, it was classified as a Defensive skill and moved to level 4. For the Beta Patch 14, it was re-classified as a Tactics skill and bumped to level 17, putting it out of reach of beta players.
See the Barbarian skill archive for more details on previous versions of Threatening Shout and other Barbarian skills.
This skill is designed very much like Diablo II's Barbarian skill Battle Cry, except this skill only gives a reduction to damage while Battle Cry gave a reduction to enemy Defense as well. Shouts in Diablo III are very similar to the warcries in Diablo II, except having smaller statistical bonuses and requiring Fury to use.
Threatening Shout can be seen in action on video here:
You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery: