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I'd like to start a thread discussing the differences between the Secondary Skills: Rend, Hammer of the Ancients, Seismic Slam.
Hammer of the Ancients
Cost: 20 Fury
Call forth a massive hammer to smash enemies directly in front of you for 200% weapon damage. Hammer of the Ancients has a 5% increased Critical Hit Chance.
Rune: Rolling Thunder
Create a shockwave that deals 155% weapon damage to all enemies within 22 yards in front of you.
Cost: 20 Fury
A sweeping strike causes all nearby enemies to Bleed for 210% weapon damage as Physical over 3 seconds.
Increase the range of Rend to hit all enemies within 17 yards.
Cost: 30 Fury
Slam the ground and cause a wave of destruction that deals 155% weapon damage and Knockback to targets in a 45 yard arc.
Rune: Shattered Ground
Increase damage to 202% weapon damage and increases Knockback distance by 100%.
Regarding Rune Selection: I have selected these runes because they seem to be best for AoE (range and damage) and are widely used in posted forum builds. There are lots of other runes with valid utility effects but they either don't serve the AoE spirit or make the skill too hard to compare against the other two.
A lot of Builds have one of these three skills in them if they are not made totally without spenders for a max fury build. They seem to be the main fury spenders for AoE damage. I do not want to discuss skills like Overpower or Revenge here because the former is on cooldown and the latter will be in most builds anyway but just for additional damage and heal. Skills like Earthquake have too large of a cooldown to be compared to the other skills. I do now want to pack Whirwind in here because it has a quite different mechanic and wasn't featured that prominently in Beta so theres not enough data for it.
I have made some builds that include one slot that can be filled with either one of them but I am not 100% sure which one might be best. I will give my two cents here on the strengths and weaknesses of these three skills to clear my mind about them:
Hammer of the Ancients
- Greater Crit Chance for Procs and exploiting higher Crit damage items
- Immediate damage
- Relatively low fury cost makes it spammable
(unconfirmed but likely: item buffs to the skill will reduce fury cost -> end levels by 1-5 for one affix http://diablonut.incgamers.com)
- Area aimed in one direction
- Smallest area of the three skills
- 360 Degree Area
- Easy to use while mobile
- uses DPS not raw damage, so no drawback from fast weapons
- Can proc other effects multiple times
(not 100% confirmed, please discuss)
- DoT is not immediate high burst damage
- DoT does not stack multiple times, so not spammable
- Farthest Range of the three skills
- Immediate damage
- Knockback disrupting channel and helps against being encircled by mobs
- Cone shape has small width right next to you
- Area aimed in one direction
- Higher fury cost
- Knockback might be bad at times when mobs get out of range for other abilities or you have to run to them
(I listed knockback for Pro and Con... please discuss)
Feel free to discuss these or add additional PROs and CONs. I am also interested in your thoughts on which one you prefer or maybe your experience with the skill from beta usage. Here my current strategy on which I will select:
As of now I might be using HotA through normal and parts of nightmare difficulty. Reason for this is I will have an offensive crit build using the early available Crit Passives. Crit Procs and Overpower CD reduction will benefit from an additional 5% especially on an AoE.
As the game gets harder I switch to a more defensive build and want more range for my AoE because I won't fight in the center of the crowd anymore. Instead I fight on the flanks of crowds, therefore not getting hit that often but still being able to place my AoE into the crowd. I think my selection of Rend VS SeismicSlam will largely depend on my fury generation rate.
When I realize that I will still be wasting alot of fury while constantly refreshing rend I might switch to Seismic Slam. You do not want to waste that precious beer, ahem I meant fury. When my Fury generation rate drops again maybe because I have to do too much evasive maneuvers in Hell/Inferno I will switch back to Rend.
Thank you for reading this long post of mine, I hope part of it was useful or interesting.
Edited by CyberianK on 16/04/2012 13:53 BST
Now what? I was going to ad infos like this to my The Art of War:Barbarian thread this week and now I will look like a little thief. I have to come up with another approach.
+ uses dps not weapon damage as it factors attack speed in.
+ You can use different skills while rend ticks and so add "passive" rend damage
- need close up grps to be useful
I'm not sure the multi proc is intended as from my point of few it will completely imbalance "to hit" effects like health on hit etc.
Hammer with Smash rune is our highest single target spammable dps. If you look for a single target killer than you found a friend.
Seismic Slam is a battle opener. It works best at the beginning of a battle when many foes are inside the cone. Because of this you will need quiet some fury before a battle to use it efficiently. Strength of Earth seems to be the best rune damage wise.
The +skills will change many many balancing issues and the choice what +skills you use on your equipment will be nearly as important as the basic build you use.
All 3 skills feel very different and strong right now to me. They fill different roles and are very good balanced in damage/resource.
Edited by Rhaloz on 16/04/2012 13:21 BST
Rend is automatically not an option for me, straight up damage over damage over time any day.
And then its between hammer and slam, the biggest difference really is the knockback. I don't like knockback for a melee character. It just doesn't feel right.
I know this thread of yours and I find it highly useful. I got no problem if you take this content and add it there. Maybe reduce the amount of text to be more useful and add your own thoughts.
Yes I forgot this, already added
I saw a feed where somebody tested Procs on AoE and DoT and found out that it does indeed proc but the strength of the effect will be reduced. But I don't find the video anymore. Thats why I put the brackets there that this needs confirmation. Would be nice if somebody tested this in beta.
With a build that contains Leap, Hammer and Seismic Slam single direction are not a big problem. Without, this could be a problem except for Seismic Slam as an opener.
Rend is nearly mandatory ... nearly. At least when mobility is a problem, this is the best AoE.
With Seismic Slam, I would prefer the Rumble or Strength from Earth runes.
And in corridors (which happens a lot in fact) the Cracking Rift would be powerful.
I can add one more PRO to SSlam : its pretty cool visually ... which is important when playing hours and hours and hours ...
Maybe in difficulties higher than normal the Stagger rune of SSlam will be quite intersting : fix things with SSlam and then Rend ...
When playing nightmare and more, we will die often but that will provide us with informations about the forthcoming mobs so we will swap runes and techniques to adjust our gameplay to situations I suppose.
In fact, playing Inferno in solo we will probably have to prepare 2 or 3 builds to manage different situations.
Edited by D3BETA on 16/04/2012 23:00 BST
I am not really getting what you are trying to say here. Do you want HotA AND SSlam in one build? I would normally not recommend that and get more utility or survival skills instead. Maybe if you do HotA with Slam for Single Target it could be OK when each skill fills a seperate role.
I agree, Strength from Earth could be really good. Maybe it will be better than Shattered Ground.
well, for range AOE it is obviously SS with strength from earth rune. why not cracking rift rune? it is simple because CR reduces the AOE area for %255 wd while SfE gives a solid %310 wd with its reduced fury cost and that skill's knock back gives the chance to spam it without being hit through one direction, or %155 weapon damage through 2 diffrent directions with the same cost with that CR can produce only 1 SS. well it is pity to see the last rune is less effective than the previous one all the way! I guess it is a sign of poor game design if I do not miss a point examining these 2 runes.
for close combat AOE, the answer is none but cleave with rupture in terms of damage output. so far it is the best AOE close combat skill with its gigantic chain reaction damage output plus it gives fury. in beta, when I fight those 4 coloumbs which summon skeletons I one shot them one by one with cleave+rupture while I have enough number of enemies front of me. the only drawback of cleave is it is not 360 degree angel aoe but neither hammer nor SS.
for the Hammer the answer is simple: NO. I don't understand why would anyone expend his highest single target spammable dps for weak AOE!
Edited by endeffect on 20/04/2012 11:32 BST
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