Diablo® III

...::: Short HotA Guide by TK :::...

OK guys, another "short" guide by me (I'm sure it will be huge wall of text when I'm done btw : ) but this seems to be needed, so for the good of community......

HotA build has lately become more interesting, as of latest patch serious exp bonus is rewarded for playing at higher MP (every level 30-40%, more then ruby gem in helm for example ; ) so playing higher MP has became increasingly popular, when before even 300K dps toons have played MP1. HotA is also perhaps our most powerful build, peaking unparalleled damage to any other skill combination. Compared to popular ww build it's more difficult to gear, more demanding to play, it's not that foolproof or safe and it takes some time and skill to learn to play properly. Overall it's comparably fast (lower MP build variants use sprint/marathon rune), it kills large mob packs faster and safer and it brings down elites much faster.

GEARING_____________
HotA gearing demands are relatively high EHP and good cc, since you won't use warcry-impunity. You need to be able to stand your ground and take some beating. I would advise 40-50K of health, 550+ of AR, 5%+ of life steal, 5K+ of armor. IAS gear is not required but if you using 2H weapon setup it could be welcome as it will make things go smoother. Unbuffed (with passives) cc should be around 50%

WEAPONS, to skorn or not to skorn?_____________
HotA can be done with 2H weapon /ie.. skorn, with DW(2 weapons) and with sword and board. 2H weapons are most efficient furry users and they probably do highest damage output but some people dislike slow attack speed so they use 2 weapon setup. High IAS can be addictive, in zerk state you swing that hammers like machine guns. Hitting often can have it's advantages, furry generation, less of excessive damage overloads (skorn critt on half dead white mob) etc. I've tried both setups, they both work fine, I advise you to try for yourself and see what you like most.

Recently I've tested skorn and DW at MP10. Skorn indeed conserves furry (more dps per furry unit) but it's slower in generating it (obviously), I believe dmg output is somewhat larger, more sturdy critts, bigger base rend damage/healing calculation etc - it has it's advantages.

On the other hand, DW has more evenly placed damage/healing spikes. It seems like machine gun you can control while skorn feels more like shotgun :) Most of my HotA high level friends use dw and I know why (beside longer zerking I mean), but it's not easy to explain. Game feels more smooth and safe, still, I wouldn't give definite advantage to any setup, both have pros and cons, but after skorn, returning to DW feels like step forward to me. Take a note that if you want to achieve permazerk setup DW is the way to go as well. Maybe I'm biased I'll admit, and it also depends on many other parameters and stats of your toon, skills etc.Also to mention that my DW setup was priced 50M and skorn was only 10 (and had more paper dps btw.) So my initial recommendation stays, don't think, try both setups (with some cheap weapons) and then decide what suits you most.

WEAPON STATS___________________
For Skorn is simple, good STR skorn, LS if you can afford it. It's not mandatory but it would relieve your passive slot and your belt for other choices (witching...) so you can be more adaptable to various situations. For example animosity generates more fury, which is more HotA = more dps. Or unforgiving so you can sprint constantly on lower MPs. Or superstition for ubers... It's nice to be able to have a choice. Again, it's not mandatory especial if funds are in question - LS skorn is quite pricey.

With DW this is the usual path I take: Mainhand: 150+STR/socket Echoing Furry (arrange by DPS top, in given price range, pick one with 0.23+ APS and as less fear as possible, 12-13% or less) and some STR/CHD/LS/socket weapon, again arrange by dps in given price range and check best gain by linking them in game via chat. Play with search parameters, more str, no str, lower CHD, higher CHD. LS above 2.5 is preferable but search for DPS first. Weapon speed is not that important.

Ofc you are free to experiment with other types of weapons (like str/chd/socket EF) but these usually net best results. If low on funds, socketless EF with STR/CHD can be a good alternative.

Some ppl play without LS in offhand, you need LS belt and DPS above 200K. Still I feel safer with LS offhand and you usually won't lose more then 10K of DPS in that DPS range. For me defense comes first, especially if you're new to this, but it's possible to play with one LS source (with some experience and DPS later) except on ubers ofc ;) bring two sources of LS there /passive counts too.

SKILLS /PASSIVES___________________
Classic core HotA consists of: LMB attack like Bash, HotA, Rend, Overpower, Battle rage and Beserker. There are several variations and build crossbreeds, some will be mentioned but we'll keep on typical build here.

On LMB you have few choices, Bash-Punish is very popular because it's fury generator and very decent buff in same pack (8% per strike, up to 24%, it lasts 4-5 sec, you can refresh it with single hit on occasion) but some people prefer frenzy or even cleave with 2H weapon. LMB skill is least important, pick whichever you like, experiment, but remember that more furry you can generate more often you can HotA smash so make it support skill of HotA. Because of that - I recommend bash-punish.

HotA is generally used with smash or thunderstrike rune. Smash has highest damage, it's often used for ubers or very high MP while TS for somewhat lower MP and for farming. I prefer TS not only because is stuns everyone around, but also because area of hit is bigger and you can hit more enemies =generate more furry =HotA smash more =more dps.

Rend is your important healing /small AoE damage skill, you use it with blood lust. Overpower is great little almost spammable buff/AoE damage skill. You can use it either with killing spree (offensive, more cc, more furry, more HotA, more dps) or with crushing advance (defensive, damage reduction and reflect damage) variant. Furthermore, you have Battle rage /into the fray which should be always on and you'll feel when you forget it : ) That's why you need high cc, you will generate furry (and buff damage too) with this skill as more the more you critt. It's essential part of build, same as with ww. Finally we have Zerk/thrive on chaos, classic, use it when in trouble (at elites mostly) and it will stand as long as you have things to hit.

TECHNIQUE__________________
Several things you need to be aware of:
cc chance of HotA increases more furry you have stocked. Each 5 furry give you 1 point of cc. In practice I recommend always to keep an eye of your furry globe. Nearly full - hold that RMB (smash HotA), below 50%, use your LMB attack (bash-punish). Combine RMB/LMB attacks. Use that rule always, it takes some time to adapt but after some time you'll do it automatically. In practice this means (using larger AoE thunderstrike rune) when you see small group of mobs - just hold RMB on them. When you see single mob (or elite) combine RMB/LMB attacks on it.

You don't need to click. In groups just hold your HotA button (RMB). When using overpower (key 1) and rend (key 2) use them beside HotA smashes - do not release RMB button. It not necessary and it's faster this way. When you see group of enemies, run in middle of them, rend them and smash one side of group, while other side slowly dies and keeps you alive. Remember, if mobs are dead you cannot suck life out of them with rend.

Remember, rend lasts 5 seconds and it's not stackable. Refresh it every 5 seconds or when new mobs arrive around you.

Since "picture says more then thousands of words" here is nice video of how things are done. This guy is skilled HotA user, it's obvious at glance. Watch and learn ; )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrQF-4AsQzE

BUILDS_____________________
OK, here is the few builds I use, each for different occasion.

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZUcRP!ZYh!bYbZYc
HotA Farming build
Low(er) MP HotA farmer, I use it up to MP5. Sprint and unforgiving combo give you great farming speed.

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZQcRP!ZYe!bYbZYc
HotA High MP farmer
This is recommended in higher MP's, I use it over MP5 but it depends on your EHP/DPS

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZQcRP!ZYe!bZbZYc
HotA uber build
For ubers. Some guys prefer smash, I remain with TS rune, I just like it.

END__________________
That's all folks. If I've left out anything, please ask. If you want more help add me ingame and I'll help as best as I can. I'll add more material /updates later if necessary .

GL and HF.
Edited by ThorienKELL#2134 on 03/04/2013 18:56 BST
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For ones who want moar, here are few interesting links and alternative approaches;
=================================================================

This is one Older HotA guide from Freudian, slightly different approach, some interesting experiences, comments and some videos in there;
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5723492856

This is one very interesting (but more expensive) approach by MorgNThorg based on HotA reduction items. PermaHotA anyone?
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6200801910

One thorough and comprehensive guide for Throw Barb made by our respected forum denizen, OioxFûl.
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7089078888
In a case you feel like a change after all that bashing and smashing ^^
Edited by ThorienKELL#2134 on 28/03/2013 09:44 GMT
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great work, bro. ill give you some feedback soon
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I conffirm every word in that post:)
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Thanks alot TK, been waiting on this for a while :)
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works like a charm for me. mp10 is kinda slow but i dont die even in molten/plagued simultaneously (with tough as nails). mp8-9 is pritty comfortable, ill keep testing. thanks a lot again, mate.
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missing the S & B part with Hota in your guide :p its pretty much is the same as with DW or skorn just a question of preference :)
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Maybe iam reading this wrong, but i think you are missing the most important difference between 2-handed and dw.

And that point is maintaining thrive on chaos..

Its much easier when you dw, as you attack faster --> get more fury income, and spend more fury.
There are very few barbs thats able to maintain perma wotb thrive on chaos with a skorn on a hota build. (i have only seen a few videos of barbs able to do that)

But this is a good guide for the barbs that are new to the HotA build :)

I have uploaded quite a few HotA videos on my youtube channel if anyone want to see, although they are on a very different gear level. (~900k inventory dps when fully buffed)

http://www.youtube.com/user/domdtxdissar/videos
Edited by Det0x#2856 on 19/03/2013 04:33 GMT
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Nice Guide!
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Maybe iam reading this wrong, but i think you are missing the most important difference between 2-handed and dw.

And that point is maintaining thrive on chaos..


I've mentioned that 2H setup has better furry generation. Conclusion is self explanatory but tbh I've never bothered trying permazerking because that hasty way of playing is somewhat stressful to me, always in hurry pick nothing etc. I fire it up and it lasts until it lasts, sometimes I can clean up half of map, sometimes just little patch, depending on MP, do I have sprint or not...etc. I even believe that mighty weapon in MH would be useful, as full IK's set in builds that rely on zerking but I simply haven't explored that method further because I don't use it.
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Great guide TK,

Played last night and worked upto MP10, never died once, still feels slow (only 1.46aps) and I might try it with my DW weapons and see how that goes.

I noticed one thing, upto MP6 I could just rend my way through mobs which was very very fast at clearing maps.

Great work keep it up.
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Community
Another great guide, TK :)
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19/03/2013 08:10Posted by Takralus
Another great guide, TK :)


Sticky again!!!!

The mans on a roll :)
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That was a nice read, thank you :) and congratulations on the sticky.

While we're on the topic: When I looked at the skill details on d3rawr yesterday, I noticed there were specific breakpoints for Hota listed. Does that actually mean you only attack faster with hota once you reach the specific breakpoints, similar to rltw?
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19/03/2013 07:59Posted by Golgoth
I noticed one thing, upto MP6 I could just rend my way through mobs which was very very fast at clearing maps.

That's why ppl use Rend-Lacerate and not Bloodlust on low MP. With a huge AoE and high dmg bleeding out of them, you dont need to hit them, just run in, rend and run to next pack/mob.
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Sticky again!!!!

The mans on a roll :)

He does VERY good work and is very active. It's brilliant! And commendable.

GZ Thor!
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Great post mate!
One more thing I would like to add to your guide related to high mp farming using HotA build - since this build has a great output damage (in my case .6k - 1mil dmg on hit to regular enemies), some people might find SoJ very efficient against elites since they are the real time killers in mp7+.
Especially if you have SoJ with resource reduction either for rend or HotA. It's true, most of the players would loose about 20 - 25k dps from their regular rings, but you still would be one-shooting most of the mobs. Another thing that affects this build, as mentioned is the fury generation. I found it most useful to have IK set for some fury regen and unforgiving as one of the passives ( http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#ZckQRU!YZh!ZZcZYZ ). This way, the main attack is HotA, and the alt is Rend. Using this build, and having 175k dps outputs dmg to elites about 1mil - 1.6mil on hit. Another plus is the IK belt since it gives 2.8-3.0% ls, and based on 1 mil you are getting quite a healing when hitting. This would not work in general for most players, but for those who have SoJ with resource reduction, or similar Mara, this would be a good thing to try :)
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Maybe iam reading this wrong, but i think you are missing the most important difference between 2-handed and dw.

And that point is maintaining thrive on chaos..


I've mentioned that 2H setup has better furry generation. Conclusion is self explanatory but tbh I've never bothered trying permazerking because that hasty way of playing is somewhat stressful to me, always in hurry pick nothing etc. I fire it up and it lasts until it lasts, sometimes I can clean up half of map, sometimes just little patch, depending on MP, do I have sprint or not...etc. I even believe that mighty weapon in MH would be useful, as full IK's set in builds that rely on zerking but I simply haven't explored that method further because I don't use it.

Sorry but you can't describe this build as "our most powerful" while neglecting perma-berserker, which is totally needed to compete with sprint-WW. Dual wielding and IAS are simply better for this very reason, we need high APS to keep WOTB up. Skorn is borderline viable at higher MP in conjunction with Rend, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Some tips:

- full IK set with Unforgiving means perpetual Sprint/Marathon. IK set may be expensive for beginners and inefficient for top barbs (in comparison to Mempo, Ice Climbers etc.)... BUT take in mind that sprint shortens the distance between packs, so keeping WOTB up is easier and thus the real dps is higher.
The set bonus also grants +5 fury (along with +15 from the belt) which is +1%cc (+3%) for hota.

- War Cry isn't entirely out of question, it's still good for whoever needs EHP and fury generation. I used the rune Charge for months, same reason as before: those 40 fury saved my WOTB countless times.

- Smash has a proc coefficient of 80%, Thunderstrike 66% instead. In both cases it is very important to hammer at least a couple of mobs each shot to keep fury up.

Just for reference, I have used this build for 400 hours. :D
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I don't understand, you consider HotA and gear buffed permazerk HotA as different builds? Funny :) Permazerk is just way of playing, it's not a build per se. Did you notice that "your" original permazerk build that you are using right now is exactly the same as "HotA Farming build" I've linked? lol.

Also I don't feel that we do not "totally need" anything to compete with ww, they can zerk so can we. Higer in MP you goo, more damage you need to emulate HotA kill speed, so it's hardly an issue.

For me "perpetual" sprint is almost feasible with unforgiving alone. I know it's not technically possible but in practice I run as long as I like, maps are never empty of things to smash occasionally, except in PvP
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There are a couple of points I'd like to add, more regarding playstyle than anything else.

Awareness - a 4 Second stun is massive, be aware of trash that has under 600k HP, it's important to utilize the stun of Thunderstrike (my preferred rune). You can effectively skimp on defenses slightly if you take Thunderstrike, very often I will move and manipulate the pack to keep an Elite Pack near permanently stunned - even on high MPs.

Wrath - This build, even at high MPs is strong enough without PermaWrath. I prefer Insanity - it utterly melts Elite Packs who don't have a chance to freeze me etc because they are either dead or stunned. Regarding rage gen and PermaWrath, it's perfectly easy to keep up even with a 2H (assuming you take the below passive).

Animosity - Increased Rage gen is one half of the coin here, the other half is an extra 20 Fury - which is an extra 4% Crit @ full fury.

DPS - If you are new to Barb and you're comparing DPS, remember than the Paper DPS of both WW and especially HoTA mean very little. HoTA get 20%+ crit chance on their main attack and WW is just mental.

Choice? - I will always go back to HoTA, faster at killing elites, safer, rend (love rend), just as fast at clearly trash and without all the dancing around. For Team Play, WW doesn't come close to HoTA imo, you stun mobs providing vital CC and reduce the graphics overload some team games have.

May be worth trying to create a bit of a gear guide, if you're freshly dinged etc I would suggest using a Fury of the Vanished Peak with reduced HoTA cost + Animosity, I think you'd get a good feel of what this build is capable of, all the way through the MP levels.
Edited by Seawad#2453 on 19/03/2013 14:30 GMT
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