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I'm playing a Barbarian and would like to know if i should look for Vitality or Strength?

Diablo 3 seems to use a "totally random" System to drop Items. I'm only finding stuff like Strength and Intelligence.

How much Life and Damage do I need in Hell?

So Barbarians. Please tell me how do you play in hell with Intelligence?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've played a Barbarian since release now, read several forums for Barbarian discussion from time to time, and I'm in Hell difficulty right now.

I will give you a break-down of what you, and potential readers of your question, have to expect in the future when playing a Barbarian.

All the way through normal, Barbarian was a blast to play as DPS. You don't have to invest heavily in Vitality. In fact, I went with Strength and other stats over Vitality wherever I could, simply because I wanted to be badass. And surely, I was. You will crush the skulls of legions of enemies with your fingertips. What this means is: In normal, play whatever you want, it won't matter.

However, throughout Act IV you might want to keep some gear with more Vitality that you find, since Act I in Nightmare will be a big change. For me, I had around 4k life I think, and champion packs killed me in a matter of seconds.

In Nightmare, the first thing you will probably have to do is change your gear out for some gear that has higher Vitality on it. The exact amount that you need will probably vary with your playstyle and build, but you will have a hard time if you have less than 10k HP by the middle of Act II, and about at least 17-18k at the end of Act IV (I personally had 22k, which made playing really comfortable). You can reach much higher life-numbers in Nightmare, if you want to. I think it's probably possible to reach 30k and a bit further, if you purely use Vitality-focused gear and gems, however, it's probably not necessary. With my 22K, I already didn't do an enormous amount of damage, and it can only get less with more HP.

I'm still at the beginning of Hell, but from the few Champion packs that I have seen, I think that what most people on forums write might become true very quickly: Playing a DPS-focused Barbarian in Hell is very hard, and impossible in Inferno. When you get to Inferno, simple "white" mobs will hit you for 30-40k. This means that you have to have a lot of HP to survive for enough time to make a difference. This usually means that you have to favor Vitality over Strength wherever you can, and you also pretty much have to use a Shield + 1H weapon, since the lost survivability with a two-hander or two one-handers is usually not bearable. However, I can not give exact numbers on what HP-numbers you need to reach in the various Inferno acts, since my experience in that difficulty are just theoretical (reading in forums) for now.

Another thing I'd like to mention, which probably is true for all classes, is that you should also look into raising your actual resistances (physical resistance + elements), since they are pretty easy damage reduction, especially early on. I have around 100 or so intelligence on my gear, just because some good gear that I needed happened to have intelligence on it as well, and just from those little points and War Cry + the rune that raises your resistances, my damage from everything is reduced by a little over 10%, which is pretty huge. Since the rune also increases your resistance percentage, instead of a flat value, I'm assuming that it will become much more important later on than, for example, the rune that raises your HP by 10% (remember: Essentially, taking 10% less damage is the same as having 10% more HP).

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hmm i'am doin something wrong :D i'am level 35 got ~5000 HP and ~470DPS. My Girlfriend and i playing are now in Nightmare Act 2 and getting crushed all the time. How do you get so much Damage and Life? I try to get Items with Strength and Life. – Michael Malura May 21 '12 at 18:20
Well, equipment makes an enormous difference. As such, drop-luck also makes a huge difference. It seems that even if you roll two items with the same stats (let's say strength and vitality) of the same level, one can have +25 of each and the other can have +60. Might be that you're just not having enough luck. If you can gather up some gold, looking in the auction house will surely help. Some people sell really good gear for relatively low prices (around 10-15k, regardless of level it seems) because the supply is so huge. – heishe May 21 '12 at 18:27
do you prioritize the base equipment stat or the bonuses? I have been forgoing higher base armor numbers in order to keep the bonuses. So far I have redone the first half of act2 nightmare twice, and rewalked the full nightmare act 1 (I soloed normal diablo without healing, killed the "shadow me" in 3 hits: cakewalk) and never get any decent stat bonus items. The ones I do find are always a downgrade from items I got in Normal. It is becoming a little frustrating, though because now I am getting killed before I even have a chance to react. – horatio May 22 '12 at 21:19
Sorry, but your last sentence is entirely incorrect... not even "essentially" close. – Snailer Jun 5 '12 at 2:50
Explain why it's incorrect and I'll change it if you're correct. Of course there are side effects like life on hit weapons having a bigger overall impact on your performance if you have 10% more defense instead of 10% more HP, but that's why I wrote essentially. – heishe Jun 5 '12 at 13:47

As a wizard, I typically go for Intelligence/Damage. However, I do have a PvE Solo set that has more Vitality. When I'm in a group with friends, it's clear that I'm the cannon. We have a monk that will group on adds and I'll AoE them down. In Hell, as a lvl55, I was around 15k Health and 8000 DPS. On my PvE Solo set, was around 29k Health and 5500 DPS.

Alive DPS will always be better than Dead DPS...

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Simple: you WILL die (and have little chance of using revenge before the mob kills you). If you find yourself dying too often, then get MORE vitality. Getting more strength will NOT help.

When I finished hell, I had ~45k hp, 7000armor, and 130ish all resistance. I can literally stand in front of Diablo, not press anything, and barely lose any hp. In phase 3, tanking the entire lightening will take away about 20% of my hp. Sure I had to sacrifice some dps, (I had ~6500 with berserker rage talent active) but its much more efficient than dying once every 10 steps.

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You will need both. You should prioritize gear that gives both of your main stats over one that gives one or the other. You will often have to choose whether a trade-off of damage vs. health is worth it or not, and those can be very difficult decisions. You should base your decisions off how how close to death you usually come when fighting. If you can afford a little less vitality for some more damage will be very situational.

You will want at least 20k health heading into Hell, and will want to quickly ramp up to over 30k health to stand a chance later on in the acts. The barbarian I play with frequently has just over 30k health and dies much too frequently. You should get as much as possible, and these numbers are just guidelines of what to look for.

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I'd rather prioritize gear that gives the most of one or the either, but then balance it out across all gear. – Nick T May 21 '12 at 16:44

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