Malkien's Barbarian guide

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Introduction

To shrug off magic like tickles, to make the blood of foes our mother's milk: such is the life of a Barbarian. Though lacking the flashy glamor of a magical career or the esteem of a Paladin's life of honor, victory in battle and warfare always falls to those most skilled in the art of killing.

Overview

Barbarians are DragonRealms' prototypical warrior class. Durable and deadly, Barbarians have a variety of abilities that make them premier front-line or melee fighters. Being masters of all form of weapon combat, however, they are as deadly at a distance with ranged weapons as they are up close. Their hatred of magic runs deep in their lore and history, so they are also one of the premier anti-magical guilds in the game, with many powerful magical barriers as well as offensive abilities designed to disrupt spell-casting.

Abilities

Inner Fire Explained

All living beings possess Inner Fire, the pool of indomitable inner strength from which Barbarians derive their power, but only Barbarians have learned to tap into this primal force to power their superhuman potential. Barbarians are granted the Flame meditation for free upon joining the guild, which will allow them to check their inner fire levels. The syntax is MEDITATE FLAME:

>medit flame You struggle to meditate without the focus of chakrel present. Your inner fire swells as you center your mind, body, and spirit. Roundtime: 2 sec.
Deeper into the flame you go, your mind racing forward until you finally reach its essence.

Surrounding your reflection is a tiny aura of beautiful flames.
A strong gust threatens the aura forming around you.

You recall that you have 1 training sessions remaining with the Guild.
You have received training in 0 abilities from the Path of the Horde.
You have received training in 0 abilities from the Path of the Flame.
You have received training in 0 abilities from the Path of the Predator.

As the messaging indicates, buying a chakrel amulet will speed up the process considerably. The first line indicates your overall level of Inner Fire, while the second line (if applicable) indicates how much your forms (if any) are interfering with your inner fire regeneration. Outside of combat, your inner fire will only naturally regenerate to about 33.3% of it's maximum: the longer you are in combat and the more you kill, the quicker your inner fire will regenerate, allowing you to power your abilities further.

Meditate power is an ability down the Flame path that will give you a further break-down. Let's take a look, as the graphical representation provided by this meditation will allow an easier explanation of how inner fire functions.

>meditate power
You begin to meditate upon the chakrel amulet, your inner fire swelling as you center your mind, body, and spirit.
Roundtime: 8 sec.

Symbolic representations of your inner fire manipulations begin to form.
The threads of control maintaining your focus, rage and calm are now clearly visible.

You are currently practicing the Buffalo Form and will hold focus of it for some time.
You are currently practicing the Swan Form and can only hold focus of it for a little longer.
You are completely consumed with the Famine Berserk.
>>>>>>>>>>>-------|--------------------------------------------------------------
You feel a jolt as your vision snaps shut.

The > marks indicate your current level of inner fire, while the - marks represent empty inner fire. The vertical line | represents the point where your passive regeneration will stop; you can only raise your inner fire past this point in combat while killing enemies. With this understanding, we can explore the various abilities of Barbarians in greater detail.

Paths Explained

Barbarian abilities are divided into three paths: the Flame Path, the Horde Path, and the Predator Path. Each path has a specialty, though each path also has a great mixture of useful abilities, so it is recommended that you choose abilities from each path according to your needs or interests. For a breakdown of these paths, go to Barbarian#Inner_Fire_Abilities.

The Flame Path focuses primarily on inner fire control and resistance to magic.
The Horde Path focuses on melee domination and damage mitigation/output.
The Predator Path focuses on survival skills, both in combat (stealth/perception) as well as outside combat (athletics etc.).

Each path has seven "tiers" of abilities, graphed in the page linked above. In order to unlock additional tiers for each path, you must choose another ability from that path. Important: you do not need to choose an ability from the last "tier" to unlock an additional tier, merely another ability from that path.

Example: You are interested in unlocking Swan Dance to train Warding. Swan Dance is tier 4, so you need to choose 4 abilities from the Flame path in order to unlock it. Keep in mind Flame Meditation is free (and it counts), so you automatically have access to Tier One abilities. You could then choose Buffalo Form, Famine Berserk, or Power Meditation to unlock Tier Two (Contemplation Meditation and Monkey Form). To unlock Tier Three, you do not need to choose Monkey or Contemplation: you can still choose Buffalo or Famine or Power.

In order to fully unlock a path, you must select eight abilities from that tree.

Forms

Forms are a Barbarian's most basic buffs. They last longest, have no start-up cost, and cost very little to maintain; conversely, they lower the maximum level of passive regeneration, leaving you less inner fire to power other abilities. Thus, the best way to maximize inner fire usage is to mix in a form or two with your other abilities.

Dragon and Eagle form are two of the strongest offensive boosters in the game. It is recommended you pick them up early and use them often. Piranha is a wonderful, low-cost evasion booster, making it a great all-around defensive buff. Swan form is a quickly-regenerating ablative magic shield, and a great way to learn Warding. I would recommend you focus on obtaining all these forms as early as possible.

Berserks

Berserks are our shortest buffs and many are quite costly, but they have some of the most powerful effects available in the game.

Avalanche berserk will essentially give you infinite fatigue for a short duration, and is wonderful for training heavy weapons or using high-damage, high-fatigue maneuvers without keeling over in exhaustion. Famine berserk will drastically increase vitality regeneration, and will probably save your life on multiple occasions, so it is recommended young Barbarians pick these up as soon as possible.

Tornado berserk is a powerful defensive buff to shield and stamina. You might consider getting this when convenient.

Meditations

Meditations are unique in that they cannot be started in combat like all our other abilities. Activation requires you to sit down and concentrate for several moments, so you need to plan their usage in advance. Like berserks, they cost a good amount of inner fire to start. Once you activate one, do not try standing until the meditation is completed, or you will lose the inner fire without activating the ability!

Power Meditation is not an active buff, but allows you to receive more in-depth information about your current inner fire level and how long your buffs will last, so you may consider picking this up. Contemplation meditation is low-cost (for meditations) and provides a nice defensive boost, so consider picking it early.

Serenity meditation is one of the most powerful magical barriers in the game. Be warned, however, that while it is active it restricts roar usage: the moment you roar, the barrier will fall.

Roars

Roars are instant, powerful disabling or debuffing abilities that can be made to affect the whole room using a feat, or to affect all engaged enemies using ROAR QUIET. They cost very little inner fire to activate, but drain voice pool: every time you roar in succession, your next roar will be less powerful unless you give yourself a few moments to rest.

The cruel, cruel DragonRealms developers put our most powerful roars at the very highest tier of each path! You will not be getting our most fearsome roars early as a result, but look forwards to roars like Wail of Torment and Kuniyo's Strike. In the meantime, you have two roars available to you immediately which are incredibly useful: Everild's Rage and Anger the Earth. Everild's Rage provides a defensive debuff to your foe(s), making you damage them more, while Anger the Earth penalizes their balance and positioning. Use these abilities liberally to smash your foes.

Circle Requirements

A barbarian's life is a life of combat, through and through, and our circle requirements reflect such. Barbarians, being the only weapons primary guild in the game, will primarily be focused on the slaughter, though their education extends to all factors of combat, as well as some training in survival skills and the use of our supernatural abilities for the sake of being well-rounded.

Weapons

A minimum of four weapons are required for a barbarian's training. Two of them will be your primary weapons and two secondary if you consider only minimum circle requirements, but I would heavily suggest you train all four (or more) equally, as doing so will be easy with proper hunting routines (do not leave combat until all four of your weapons are mind locked).

Deciding which weapons to use is perhaps the most difficult, and fun, part of the Barbaric life. Every weapon class has merits, though you will most certainly want as your two "primary" weapons one melee weapon and one ranged weapon. Edged weapons like blades tend to have better damage spreads than blunt weapons, though blunts have a higher force of impact, which makes them more prone to stunning foes.

In general, I would recommend:

  • A blade
  • A blunt
  • A thrusting weapon
  • A pole-ranged weapon
  • A ranged weapon that can be AIMed
  • A thrown weapon

Note that you can easily find weapons that cover multiple categories. A pike, for example, is both pole-ranged and a thrusting weapon, whereas there are two-handed edged weapons available that reach pole range, so it could cover multiple categories. You do not need to cover every category, though the higher spread of diversity, the better. I would optimally recommend two melee and two ranged weapons, with one ranged weapon being a thrown weapon (light or heavy thrown) and another being an aimable weapon class (slings, crossbows, bows).

You will be required to learn one mastery skill of either melee or missile mastery at the same rate as your two primary weapons. Just as before, though, if you pick your weapon classes well, you will be able to train both melee and missile mastery equally well, and will have no trouble keeping both masteries as high as your four weapons.

Parry is the melee-focused defensive skill and is required, though the requirements are low compared to your weapon requirements. If you keep training it at all times while in combat, it should easily outstrip the circle requirements.

Survival

Barbarians, being warriors, are required to learn evasion. Much like parry, this requirements is much lower than your weapons, and will naturally out-strip the circle requirements if you keep it training at all times while in combat.

Barbarians are required to learn four other survival skills. One of them will most likely be skinning, as the high kill count you need in order to learn your weapons will naturally result in many opportunities to train this skill. Stealth is another recommended skill, as it can be trained in combat via hiding, stalking, ambushing with your weapons (or poaching with a bow/crossbow).

Locksmithing is a valuable skill to learn, though creatures that can be both skinned and drop boxes are few and far between, so you may wish to consider this for a lower requirement.

I would recommend you train first aid even if you do not use it enough for circle requirements. Being in combat constantly will often result in bleeding wounds, and the ability to tend them is a valuable skill.

Athletics is a valuable skill to learn, as it will let you traverse rivers and climb obstacles. Outdoorsmanship is valuable for finding herbs or mining, and is easy to train anywhere.
.

Recommended survivals: Evasion, skinning, stealth, first aid, athletics or locksmithing.

Armor

Barbarians are required to learn two armors. Much like your parry and evasion requirements, these will probably handle themselves naturally as you hunt for your weapon requirements.

Train shield, as it is a valuable defense, especially against long-ranged attacks. The only real point of discussion here is which armor class(es) to select. Training more than one type of armor is recommended and easily accomplished by mixing armor pieces.

If you plan on training stealth heavily, I would recommend you consider light armor as your primary armor class, as it will not hinder your stealth skills much. Chain armor is not too hindering either. If you plan on training brigandine or plate, I would recommend you keep them only on the extremities, such as a helm or greaves or gauntlets: wearing full heavy armor, especially plate armor, can be very hindering at low levels of skill, and it is quite possible for the evasion penalty to supersede any benefit you might receive from additional protection.

Plate mail is feasible, but Barbarians are not Paladins, so for a player new to Barbarians (or especially new to heavy combat guilds), I would recommend you stick with lighter variants.

Lore

Our lore requirements are very light. Tactics is knowledge of the siege warfare as well as the application of positioning in combat, so Barbarians are expected to have at least a rudimentary understanding of this. Train it by using non-damaging maneuvers like circle, bob, weave, and shove: these skills are useful anyways, so you should consider throwing them into your combat routines.

We must learn a token amount of one other lore skill. If you have any interest in pursuing a crafting career, barbarians get three free forging techniques, though I would not let this determine your career choice: pursue your passions. If you have no interest in crafting, you can easily train appraisal while in combat by appraising your foes every now and again.

Magic

Barbarian abilities are powered by ranks in the "magic" skillset even though they are not a mana-using guild. As such, I would heavily recommend you train every single skill available to you instead of going only by circle requirements.

Barbarians abilities fall into four magic skills: Inner Fire, Augmentation, Warding, and Debilitation. Inner Fire is the primary skill, and determines important factors such as how quickly your Inner Fire regenerates after using abilities. Any ability you use will train Inner Fire.

Most of our abilities and standard buffs, such as Famine/Avalanche berserk or forms like Dragon or Eagle or Buffalo, use the Augmentation skill. It is very easy to train through natural ability use: keeping a form active at all times should be sufficient to train augmentation to hundreds of ranks.

Debilitation powers our roars, which include some of the most powerful debuff abilities in the game. Two roars are available immediately from the outset of the game: choose one as early as possible and keep it trained whenever you are in combat. Remember that you can use use ROAR QUIET <roar name> to affect all enemies engaged to you at pole or melee range, which makes training very easy.

Warding powers defensive barriers such as Tenacity meditation as well as all our anti-magical barriers. It will be the last ability you gain access to, but it is an important ability nonetheless, especially if you ever find yourself in conflict with spell-casting critters (frequent during invasions) or have any interest in PvP. It powers the following skills: Swan Form, Badger Form, Toad Form, Turtle Form, Hurricane Berserk, Bastion Meditation, Tenacity Meditation, and Serenity Meditation.

I would recommend you prioritize working your way up the Flame tree to get Swan form, as that will allow you to easily train Warding skill at all times for a very low cost if you keep it active along with an augmentation form.

Recommended starting abilities (in any order): Flame meditation (free), Buffalo form, Dragon form, Eagle form, Swan form, Famine Berserk, Avalanche Berserk, Meditate Power, Meditate Contemplation, Anger the Earth roar, Everild's Rage roar.