Decided to roll a Hammer of the Ancients (HotA) Barbarian last night for some casual leveling. I had one on the Eternal Realm that I never completed and figured that with the new Malignant Rings, Vampiric Powers and ease of getting gear, as well as everyone saying HotA Barbarians are OP this season, it made sense just to give it a go. So far, I managed to hit level 30 and it has been far smoother than my Druid, who is taking a break.
I decided to push to level 30 last night just to get the basic powers and rage to a reasonable level. I did a dungeon early on to unlock Imprinting since I have most of the key Aspects for a Barbarian. Along the way, I managed to secure a few legendaries too which was just a cherry on top. But compared to the Druid, leveling a Barbarian feels so much easier at the moment. I think part of the issue is that the Aspects required for the key Druid builds have to be uncovered. Like with Trample/Landslide, you need roughly 4 on top of the ones from dungeons. With a HotA Barbarian, you just need 1 key Aspect that can be unlocked by an OP character instead.
The other really nice thing that made me want to play a HotA Barbarian is the single target damage. Your AoE isn’t great but one of the vampiric powers takes care of the primary issues just through using any ability and doing a massive AoE. Also, you aren’t as cooldown dependent compared to a Druid and can build up Rage fairly quickly. Mind you, this process is just for leveling. I’m sure that the end game build will change drastically. But for now this build works quite well.
Unfortunately, the HotA Barbarian isn’t going to be as fast as a Rogue nor Sorcerer and won’t clear the way a Blood Surge Necromancer can. But it’s a nice spice that feels pretty clean regardless. Honestly, I prefer having good single target rather than AoE. Normally, the place where my HotA Barbarian gets jammed is when she’s swarmed by enemies and just “gets stuck” or some CC disables me from retaliating. I don’t think that’s a huge issue currently because I’m still leveling.
So this weekend, I’ll probably finish up my non-WT3 characters and try to push either my Rogue or Barbarian into WT3. I might return to my Druid since he’s level 45. But the strategy for him has been to just do vampire zones when they’re up since I keep getting bad powers whenever I spend Potent Blood. Also, I want to try and find more Pulverize/Shockwave Aspects so that I can transition easier once I get into WT3. I’d like to switch to Pulverize before WT3 unless I’m able to find the two remaining Trample/Landslide Aspects that really make this build work. If I can’t find anymore by level 49, I’ll simply find a +2 Pulverize gloves and apply Shockwave onto that.
My Rogue is at level 49 and I think I was just waiting on vampiric zones to spawn so I can get last minute Potent Blood rewards. But I feel that doing the Capstone Dungeon for her should be reasonably easy. There just hasn’t been a great deal of motivation to push her. My Necromancer is on hiatus. None of the upper echelon builds really appeal to me and I don’t feel like doing Elias on her. The most interesting character of the bunch though is my sorcerer because of how geared up she has become. I still need to find another Conceited Aspect because I managed to find an upgrade of a wand. But in all likelihood, I’ll be pushing her to WT4 first on her own. Some of my Clan has offered to do the Capstone Dungeons for us but I haven’t taken them up on the offer just yet. I might do so on my Druid unless I can make Pulverize or Landslide/Trample work. But I think if I can get my Barbarian leveled up, I should be able to do the Capstone Dungeon on her with no help. The key for her until then is just acquiring more Potent Blood and ensuring that her key vampiric powers are leveled up as much as possible before that point.