The Hellfire Barbarian could only be played after editing the Command.txt file in the Hellfire folder, and only in the 1.01 patch. He was similar to the Warrior class and used the same graphics, but he has unequaled prowess in melee combat, even when reduced to the same tactics as the Warrior, at the costs of no innate magic power and reduced chance to-hit.
From the shattered lands of the South this proud race of people hails. A tribal and nomadic culture, the southern Barbarians prayed to no deity and swore allegiance to no leader. This was the reason that when the kingdoms of the East invaded the Barbarian lands, little resistance was found. The scattered villages fought valiantly, each man, woman and child battling to the death against the hordes of magic users from the distant lands, but to no avail. The lands of the Barbarians, beautiful forests and the majestic jungles, were conquered by the East, and the tribes scattered to the four winds. Still proud, the tribes still gather occasionally, but they are small in number. They despised all magic, for it was this mystical force that was used against them in the wars they had fought. Their battles in the war taught them much about magic however. Because of the war against the Eastern mages, all Barbarians have a certain immunity to magic bound within them as a result of so much exposure to the powerful forces. Training in brute strength and physical force was the norm for Barbarians, with great endurance and vitality being praised. They came to be large people, with flaring tempers which makes the blood of a Barbarian truly boil when he is outraged. Chief weapon to the Barbarians was the axe, for it was this weapon that proved most useful to them in the forests and jungles where they resided. Their great strength allows them to wield other weapons in a single hand, but the axe is still the weapon of choice for most Barbarians.
The Barbarian had the following differences from the Warrior:
- +5 max Strength
- -5 Dexterity
- +50 Vitality. In addition, he earns a bonus to damage equal to (Vitality x clvl/100) in almost all circumstances(specially noted below)
- -50 Magic (that is zero mana)
- Two handed Maces and Swords could be equipped in one hand.
- When using any Two-Handed Weapon without a shield, the Barbarian can strike monsters in the three squares in front of him at the same time (i.e. in an arc), much like the Monk and his staff.
- He hits faster with maces and axes than everyone else (including the warrior). In addition, he receives a greater bonus from Strength when utilizing those weapon groups (Strength x clvl/75).
- The barbarian is not very effective with shields. While equipped with one, he only receives half of the defense the shield provides. In addition, his base damage decreases because he loses his bonus from Vitality for not using a shield. This disadvantage, however, seems to only take away 50% of the shield's base Armor. If it has a +Armor % affix, the % added does not take the Barbarian's penalty into consideration.
- To counter his lack of protection, every 4 levels a Barbarian earns will grant him a passive +1 bonus to his Armor Class
- In order to stun a Barbarian, the damage dealt from the blow must be equal to or higher than his clvl x 1.25. To tell the short story, this means that at max level, attacks directed towards the Barbarian must do at least 63 points of damage before he is put into hit recovery. Additionally, when he uses a mace or axe type weapon, he passively gains the effect of the affix 'of Stability', reducing the time he spends recovering from a stun.
Additionally, he had gained more damage per strength point and more life per vitality than the warrior (when leveling up, he gets 2 hit points and every attribute point spent on vitality also gives him 2 hit points each, but when equipping an item that gives "+X to vitality", the barbarian gets 2.5 hit points per vitality point added by this item). Also, the barbarian gains some base damage per vitality point as long as he does not make use of a shield, which can cause his damage to develop into significant amounts at higher levels. Coupled with the 1-12.5% life steal of the Undead Crown, high levels of Strength and Vitality, and a King's Axe of Speed or Haste, he could be efficient with less need for potions than a Warrior of the same level
He also gained a +1% resist all each level up and gained more life per level up than the warrior. Zero magic was not a major drawback for him. There were two problems caused by his complete lack of spells. He had to carry around many scrolls of town portal whereas all other characters had this as a spell. Unlike in Diablo II, these scrolls could not be compacted into a tome, so they took up a large portion of his small inventory. A Barbarian can learn spells using +Magic from equipment, and can cast spells using +mana from equipment. Thanks to his resistance bonus from levels, another +mana prefix is affordable without destroying efficiency. Given his natural +1 for every 4 levels bonus to Armor Class, as well as his stun threshold/hit recovery, if the Barbarian is using a shield, he may find benefit in choosing to have a moderate quality Jade or better prefix instead of an +Armor % prefix- since one of the more efficient builds for him involves using the Undead Crown in his helm slot, he would be hard pressed to have the Armor Class needed to avoid the 85%+ attacks from a Blood Knight in Hell/Hell. Seeing as Warrior guides suggest stopping at the first sign of melee foe movement instead of running blindly into a big mob, a Barbarian with a weapon+shield combo could follow the same guidelines.
Since the Barbarian has no magic, it is probably best to sell most of all the spellbooks you find. Barbarians, like Warriors, only need a few spells for the most efficiency. After he has learned those spells, books should not be sought out after anymore, because this will force him to find equipment with higher and higher magic bonuses, and the spells themselves will prove a little too costly for his dangerously low mana pool. The Barbarian also takes a very long time to cast his spells as well, so it is probably best to focus on Strength and Vitality rather than try to increase Magic.
Spells most useful to a Barbarian:
- Town Portal, slvl 7+ for maximum efficiency. Same reasoning as everyone else: a quick transport to town, no inventory space taken up. You only need around 55 Magic from equipment to reach maximum efficiency as well
- Healing, as high as you can for maximum efficiency. Same reasoning as everyone else: free Life without having to use up a potion. Needs 1 Enchanted Shrine for maximum efficiency, however.
- Teleport, slvl 8+ for maximum efficiency. This allows him to cover the distance between him and ranged attackers quickly. Must use Enchanted Shrines to reach maximum efficiency.
- Reflect, as high as you can for maximum efficiency. This will compliment his higher stun threshold more than it will the rest of the classes, and due to his specialties with Two-Handed weaponry, he is more likely to be in a big mob, so as to take advantage of his sweeping attack. This may impose hunting an Enchanted Shrine or two to max out on, however.
- Stone Curse, although not exactly the best with mana efficiency, does allow a Barbarian some time to catch a ranged attacker without having to move into the next room, allowing for a stealth(ier) kill, compared to choosing to Teleport. After reaching the appropriate slvl and clvl, Stone Curse will be at its maximum efficiency.
Also, ranged attackers such as succubi run away when melee characters walked close. When fighting these foes, a warrior would have cast Teleport to chase them or Stone Curse to paralyze them. Learning these spells as a barbarian is tedious, as it requires gathering lots of +magic gear. A King's Axe of Vampires can help replenish mana used from teleports and stone cursing. A barbarian can use Enchanted Shrines to boost his spell levels (to reduce the casting cost of Teleport and Stone Curse). This is the recommended route to go after getting enough +Magic gear to reach Teleport, as gold is limited by your inventory, and with all the gear a Barbarian would need just to reach it, he'd be hardpressed to carry enough gold to get by with the costs he must endure to get back in top fighting form.
The Barbarian's major weakness is his low Dexterity, the worst of all the character classes, and oddly, no class bonus to-hit aside from levels. He will need lots of +% to-hit on his equipment to be able to strike his enemies. Given the facts that he can use a mace and shield combo or an axe and that he swings a mace/axe weapon faster than even a Warrior, a Strange/Weird mace/axe of Swiftness, Speed, or Haste should give him some leeway. Damage dealt per blow is a secondary priority, considering his greater bonus from Strength, as well as his Vitality bonus for going shieldless; a Barbarian does too much damage based on those values to really need a damage affix (+210 for using jewelry with perfect Zodiac suffixes when using maces/axes, and an additional +105 from Vitality for going without a shield, vs. Warrior's +155 at lv. 50 with the same jewelry). If one were to allow the bugs present in Hellfire to do the work for them, though, they would really only need the to-hit % for up to maybe Catacombs or Caves, Hell Difficulty. After that, enemies are treated as though their Armor Class was 0
The Barbarian's special ability is Rage. For 12 seconds it adds 2*Character level to Strength and Vitality and 1.5*Character level to Dexterity. For 12 more seconds during his rest phase, it decreases Strength, Dexterity, and Vitality by the same values. Afterwards, you lose 2*Vitality of your Life points, but a bug exists so that if you do anything that would potentially change your hero's stats, such as remove an item in your inventory, or even applied an attribute point, it will return to normal. Usefulness is debatable. While a Barbarian loses nothing permanently from using this, the fact that he suffers penalties during his rest phase is what makes players gauge the skill's usefulness. If it did work effectively and have its duration scale with level, however, a Barbarian could have been a true force to be reckoned with in almost every way- +250 HP, +66-67 points of damage with maces/axes, +37-38% better to-hit + armor and blocking chances, all at max level.