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Free #1746
Simple Buff Requests: Waste, BK, and Skull Grasp(1)Category: PTR FeedbackMarch-11-2016 7:05 PM PST (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
Hi everyone.

The 2.4.1 PTR has brought a very nice buff to Whirlwind build's in the form of the revised Skull Grasp ring -- specifically, the damage increase is now multiplicative rather than additive, and that's a welcome buff to WW builds.

Unfortunately, Whirlwind builds using Wrath of the Wastes still lag behind other popular Barbarian builds. Compared to Might of the Earth (commonly used for LeapQuake builds) and Raekor's (commonly used for various Furious Charge builds and often combined with the Immortal King set), Whirlwind builds that use Wrath of the Wastes (the only type of Whirlwind build capable of pushing tiers in Greater Rifts) suffer from several severe disadvantages.

The goal of this thread is to outline the problem, suggest some easy-to-implement changes to the development team, and request changes be made to specific items. These suggested changes are made in the spirit of open communication between an active player base of Barbs, the developers, and the CMs. The suggested changes were developed with a specific goal in mind (restore Whirlwind to a competitive place among the other sets) and with several factors in mind:

    1. The changes would require no new art assets to be created.

    2. The changes would not revamp the set, but would only unlock runes and adjust numbers.

    3. The changes would not require large amounts of coding.

With that, let's get into things!

The Problem with Whirlwind

As of 2.4, the Zodiac Whirlwind Build (a popular and powerful build comprised of the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, the Wrath of the Waste set, and the Bul-Kathos's Oath set) fell behind Might of the Earth and Raekors in terms of Greater Rift potential. Now, even with the change to Skull Grasp to boost Whirlwind builds, I have very good reason to believe it will continue to lag behind for several reasons:

    1. The set does not do enough damage.

    2. Skull Grasp needs to provide a larger buff.

    3. The accompanying Bul-Kathos sword set (necessary for the build) also needs a buff.

If these three things can be adjusted, the set and resultant builds will achieve greater equilibrium with other popular, powerful Barb sets.

First, let me briefly explain the Zodiac Whirlwind build. Unlike Might of the Earth builds (LeapQuake), it has to prioritize five crucial rolls on gear:

    1. Increased Attack Speed must be rolled on weapons and gear to produce enough Dust Devils (a by-product of the Wrath of the Waste set) and to trigger Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs (responsible for resetting the cooldown of two crucial skills and without which the build would fall apart).

    2. Critical Hit Chance is required for damage and for healing via Blood Funnel (a Whirlwind skill rune).

    3. Critical Hit Damage is required for damage.

    4. Cooldown Reduction (also known as CDR), in conjunction with Increased Attack Speed, helps reset crucial cooldowns without which the build falls apart.

    5. Area Damage, which has long been a crutch for this build. While it's a good thing that Whirlwind builds can take full advantage of Area Damage (itself a very powerful stat), we're required to stack it in addition to the other four stats in order to do enough damage to clear Greater Rifts that other builds clear with no Area Damage. In other words, the base damage of Whirlwind builds is too low without Area Damage.

In addition, the build requires two perfect ancient swords with very specific rolls, excellent secondary resists on gear, and lots of augmentation and/or paragon to clear past 75 on PTR. While playing the build, players manage two crucial cooldowns, negotiate constant melee combat (and thus have to tank tons of damage), and must fish for extreme density and open map tiles to be able to group enough monsters together in order for Area Damage and Dust Devils to provide progression.

Even then, the set doesn't quite have the damage reduction to focus on acquiring more damage. While some sets allow players to leap from danger or charge through frozen enemies, Whirlwind players are stuck in the thick of things. Yes, we are able to pass freely through mobs, but we take a lot of damage for doing so and our main source of healing (the Blood Funnel rune on Whirlwind) means we have to stay in constant combat or be unable to heal.

In other words, Whirlwind players have to jump through a lot of hoops to play build that is not as powerful as either Might of the Earth or Raekor's, both of which are also easier to gear and roll stats. Even the addition of a revised (mulitplicative) Skull Grasp ring is not enough.

How To Fix The Problem

Fortunately, there is an easy way to help make Wrath of the Wastes and Whirlwind builds powerful. To that end, I suggest the following changes with brief explanations between each:

Wrath of the Wastes
(2) Set:
- Increase the damage per second of Rend by 500% and its duration to 15 seconds.

(4) Set:
- During Whirlwind you gain 75% damage reduction and your applied Rends deal triple damage.*

(6) Set:
- Whirlwind gains the effect of every rune and Dust Devil damage is increased to 3500% weapon damage.

    - When compared to Might of the Earth and Raekor's, Wrath of the Waste has much less mitigation. Those builds have built-in stuns and freezes respectively, and Might of the Earth also has a built-in Armor bonus. Both sets may also use Band of Might which grants an additional 60% damage reduction, and both sets have skills (Leap and Furious Charge) that help them quickly escape dangerous situtaions. Wrath of the Wastes relies on Whirlwinding into monsters to deal damage and lacks stuns, freezes, or additional Armor bonuses. And though we're able to combine the set with the Ignore Pain skill and the Unity ring or Aquilas Cuirass legendary chest piece, we're still too fragile to endure the constant combat needed to deal damage. Raising the Waste set's innate damage reduction to 75% provides a much-needed boost to toughness. For specific data about Wastes DR deficit compared to MOTE, see Nubtro's post: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/20743034304?page=1#17

    * Another way to address the issue of damage reduction (courtesy of Hagi) is to keep the Waste bonus at 50% and allow the Bul-Kathos sword set to contribute an additional 25%. This would be great considering the swords are all but mandatory for a Waste set Whirlwind build.

    - Unlocking all of Whirlwind's runes on the 6-pc bonus will both provide total elemental diversity to builds (right now, every Whirlwind build has to be Physical to accomodate the crucial Blood Funnel rune) and will give the skill some much needed utility in terms of pulling monsters (Hurricane), dealing damage in a large area (Dust Devils), and generating Fury (Wind Shear). The damage boost here from 2500% Dust Devils to 3500% will help Whirlwind Barbs deal enough damage to remain competitive with other Barb sets and is crucial to the build remaining useful outside of TX speed farming.

Bul-Kathos Oath (aside from their current set bonuses, each sword rolls with):
- Attack Speed Increased by 5-7% as fifth affix
- Whirlwind deals an additional 80-100% damage.

    - Since Whirlwind builds absolutely depend on attack speed for a number of mechanics and must roll them on swords, an innate attack speed roll on these weapons makes sense. Please understand: it is very, very, very difficult to farm Bul-Kathos swords with the correct stats and rolls, and much harder to find ones that have enough damage. An attack speed roll and some additional additive damage will greatly assist the Waste set produce enough damage when using Whirlwind (the primary purpose of the swords).

Skull Grasp
- Whirlwind's damage is increased by 300-400%

    - While the new Skull Grasp's damage multiplier is a fantastic addition, it's slightly under-powered compared to other set bonuses. By increasing it from 200-300% to 300-400%, all Whirlwind builds--even those that do not use the Waste set--will be rewarded with more damage from the skill and fine more success in both farming Torments and pushing Greater Rifts.


By adjusting the above items, one of the most popular and enduring Barbarian builds will once again be competitive. Best of all, it will not overshadow other Barb sets, and will offer more build diversity to players of every level.

I thank you for reading and considering these suggestions and hope to hear back from you.


PTR 2.4.1 Discussion: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/20742765137

Proposal to Revise Wrath of the Wastes: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/20742934194

Zodiac Whirlwind Build Guide: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/18706416963
Avatar of Nevalistis
Simple Buff Requests: Waste, BK, and Skull Grasp(219)March-23-2016 1:11 PM PDT (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
Great feedback. Thanks for making your points clear, concise, and well-supported!

Usual caveat: while we're always reading and passing on feedback, I don't have any plans or updates to share at this time. Just want to let you all know we're passing this on.
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