The Whirlwind Barbarian has been a favorite of mine since the beginning. He is one of those characters that can be used for all sorts of builds and strategies, making him perfect for new players who want to experiment with something they’re unfamiliar with. In this guide I will show you how to play as your very own Whirlwind Barbarian!
The “diablo 2 whirlwind barbarian leveling guide” is an in depth guide that will teach you everything you need to know about the class. The guide will cover skills, abilities, and gear.
As a long-time barbarian player, I wanted to provide a comprehensive whirlwind barbarian tutorial for players that like playing barbs and want to start from the beginning. I’ve searched around and it seems that many of the better guides from the past are no longer available, and the one on Icy-Veins leaves a lot to be desired, with incorrect information and poor gear recommendations. I’ve left a note on their message boards asking if they’d want assistance creating a guide, but in the interim, I’d like to post this on Reddit as a resource for new players and even veterans who aren’t familiar with barbs. I hope this guide is useful, and if you have any recommendations or feel any information is incorrect, please let me know and we can discuss it. I can assist you, or you may assist me in improving the guide.
This tutorial isn’t intended to offer you a copy and paste format to copy; rather, it’s intended to educate you how WW barbs function and ideally provide enough information for people to understand why certain things are better, allowing them to equip barbs themselves while understanding why they’re doing so. Please let me know if anybody is adept at formatting stuff like this with contents and such.
Why would you want to create a whirling barbarian?
- Extremely tanky – whirlwind has no synergy, allowing for maximum investment in shout and battle orders early in the game, something that is sometimes neglected in frenzy versus whirlwind disputes. Lategame, a well-equipped barbarian is almost unkillable; the only purpose to equip a shield is to defend yourself from fatalities caused by client crashes/disconnects, as well as to combat stygians when amped.
- One of the highest melee damage specifications in the game, only bested late game by highly costly Dream Paladins or Fireclaw Druids, although neither equal the whirlwind barb’s all-around numbers, and both are far more expensive to make effective.
- If you have the correct expertise, there are several good possibilities for gear growth.
- It’s entertaining and capable of clearing all content; with end-game gear, it can easily conquer high-end agricultural areas.
- You are unable to be placed in hit recovery.
- More gearing possibilities than other barb specifications — you don’t have to worry about being frozen.
- Buff up your pals.
- Endgame Sorc/Paladin/Amazons farming Chaos Sanctuary may be the greatest rune finder for online play, but it’s a close call.
Basic D2 Gameplay Mechanics to be aware of while creating a Barbarian or any other class.
- Diablo 2 used to operate at a frame rate of 25 fps. Although D2R currently exceeds this, the great bulk of essential game features continue to work at 25 frames/segments per second. Changing hit recovery/block/attack/cast speed, for example, reduces the number of frames necessary for your character to execute these animations, making them quicker.
- Hit recovery – When your character takes damage that equals or exceeds 1/12th of their maximum health in a single hit, they enter the hit recovery animation. Because this animation’s basic frame duration is 5, a barbarian in a standard attack/running (non-whirlwind) animation will be unable to move or attack for 5 frames, or little under 0.20 seconds. This is significant since whirlwind barbarians do not lose dps when struck, unlike Frenzy and Berserk barbarians do. This is just another reason why WW is so much more powerful than other barbarian specs.
- Rate of blocking – the same as above, but for blocking. Our default block rate is 4 frames per second, or around 0.15 seconds.
- Attack speed is the same as before, however it’s worth mentioning that whirlwind functions a little differently in that we don’t have a “base” attack speed outside of punching since our attack speed is determined by the weapon(s) in hand.
- https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Faster Hit Recovery
- https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Faster Block Rate
- https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Increased Attack Speed
What is the mechanism of Whirlwind?
What I can say is this:
- Whirlwind is based on weapon speed and improved attack speed, both of which are unique to the weapon.
- Every 4th and 8th frame, Whirlwind does a hit check (the game determines whether you hit any targets in range).
- While dual wielding, the game only does a hit check with the primary hand on the fourth frame, then performs hit checks for both weapons on the eighth frame and every x frames after that, depending on weapon speed.
- When using a two-handed weapon, the game checks for hits every 4th and 8th frame, then every x frame after that, depending on weapon speed.
- While whirlwinding, a character cannot be placed into hit recovery or blocking animations, although they may still be struck and blocked.
- During whirlwind, the chilling effect from cold damage has no impact on your attacks each second.
- While whirlwinding, Decrepify does not lower your attacks per second, but it does lessen your damage.
After the eighth frame of the whirlwind animation, the frames per attack are:
Weapons that are only used with one hand
|Weapon Quickness||16 years old or older||15||10||-10||-34|
|After the eighth frame, the frames each attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack||10||12||8||6||4|
Weapons with two hands
|Weapon Quickness||16 years old or older||-10||-30||-60|
|After the eighth frame, the frames each attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack per attack||14||12||10||6||4|
How can we increase the speed of our weapons:
Find your weapon on this site: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/items/weaponsandarmor.shtml, look at the square bracketed number, and remove the IAS on the weapon you’re using from it.
IK Maul is a good example.
%27s Stone Crusher%27s Immortal King%27s Immortal King%27s Immortal King%27s Immortal King%27s Immortal King%27s
The base weapon speed, indicated in brackets, is 10, however it has a 40% boost in attack speed. -30 = 10 – 40.
Therefore the IK maul hits the second to final whirlwind breakpoint, and the last breakpoint requires 30% more ias, so if we put two sheals in it, or two 15 ias gems in it, it reaches max attacks per second with whirlwind.
I can’t tell you what I can’t tell you:
*Some allege that on the fourth frame, both weapons, not just the main hand, perform a hit check, and that after the eighth frame, the weapons hit at alternating intervals (not at the same time; it’s incredibly difficult to gain accurate information on this.)
Dual wield whirlwind features a few more in-depth mechanics depending on weapon speed and range, but it doesn’t always classify each weapon separately. I don’t want to put this in the book since I’m not sure anybody knows anymore. I’ve discovered a number of sources on old pvp forums, but none I’m confident enough to put in the guide as truth. If anybody has any useful information, please share it. I’d rather put my hands up and admit that I’m not certain about anything than offer you incorrect information or advise.
As a result, we’re certain that no matter what happens, we’ll be able to:
- With a two-handed weapon, Whirlwind always strikes on the 4th and 8th frames, regardless of weapon speed.
- When dual wielding, Whirlwind always strikes on the 4th frame with the mainhand and on the 8th frame with both weapons.
- Weapon speed has no influence on our hits per second, or FPA, until after frame 8. (frames per attack).
- We can compensate for the lack of speed on slow 2 handers by doing short whirlwinds, as we always hit the same amount of times for the first 8 frames (just under 0.25 seconds) – this is crucial for early-mid game gearing options, as it means we aren’t limited in weapon choices as long as we understand the disadvantages of slow weapons and how to compensate for them.
- To figure out our damage reliably, we need two one-handeders with the identical ias.
- On whatever weapon we utilize, it’s preferable to hit the maximum breakpoint.
https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Whirlwind (Diablo II))
Game mechanics for physical harm
*chance to hit* attack and defense ratings
- The value used by the game to assess whether or not your hit check was successful. To determine if your attack hit or not, a computation is performed using your attack rating + level vs. your opponent’s defensive rating + level.
- Dexterity (4 per point) and equipment provide raw attack rating. It’s important to note that increasing dexterity is a rather ineffective approach to increase attack rating.
- Skills and items give you percent improvements on your basic value.
- In addition, the game assesses your likelihood of hitting according on your level, which is critical. You will get a few percent chance to hit versus level 85 enemies by leveling up from level 80 alone, but your attack rating will not increase.
- The weapon mod – percent target defense is incredibly powerful, lowering an opponent’s armor value and improving your probability of hitting greatly. It works on bosses.
- With the exception of bosses, the weapon mod ignores target protection and gives you a flat 95 percent probability of hitting. This is one of the best melee modifications in the game, if not the best, since it allows us to totally nullify attack rating, harming us mainly against Baal and Ubers with end-game gear.
Calculating Damage and How to Calculate Our Damage
Our augmented damage percent found on skills/items doubles basic weapon damage in the game.
To make things easier for us, we compute our mean damage as follows:
To calculate the average for a weapon that produces 50-100 damage, add both figures and divide by two. 150/2 = 75, 100 + 50 = 150.
The average damage is then multiplied by the percent increased damage. If we have 150 percent increased damage from whirlwind and 150 percent increased damage from weapon mastery, we have a total of 300 percent increased damage. 75 multiplied by three is 225, plus 75 from our basic damage equals 300 average damage per hit. *Deadly/critical strike rates are then multiplied by this (please see below).
On-weapon percent increased damage has an influence on our basic weapon damage and is multiplicative with off-weapon percent enhanced damage. The percentage of non-weapon increased damage is cumulative.
Strike that is both deadly and critical
- Both of them function in the same manner, giving us the opportunity to cause double harm.
- They are rolled separately.
- They can’t both work at the same time; either one or none of them can work at the same time. A 4x damage hit is impossible to achieve.
We have a 30% critical strike rate and a 50% fatal strike rate:
The game checks to see whether we hit a critical strike; if we do, we get double damage; if we don’t, we get half damage.
The game then checks to see whether we’ve hit a lethal strike, and if we have, we’ll take double damage. We no longer have a chance to deal double damage for that hit if we miss.
As a result, we know that a 65 percent chance of doing double damage comes from a 30 percent critical strike and a 50 percent deadly strike. Because 30% of our strikes score a critical hit and 70% of our strikes miss, 50% of those missed hits land a lethal hit. 50 percent of 70 percent equals 35, and 30 plus 35 equals 65. So, in this scenario, we double our total damage by 1.65 when calculating damage.
Although there is no use for whirlwind barbs, it is worth noting that it is possible to get 100% deadly strike from gear, negating the need for critical strike. This means that a frenzy barb using two death runewords can actually forego weapon mastery in favor of more damage from synergies, provided they have enough attack rating. This also means that a really nice Axe + Sword frenzy build is now possible.
Wounds that are still open
- Attacks have an increased chance of inflicting a bleed DOT effect on creatures.
- Monsters are unable to regain life when under this spell.
- It’s good for bosses with a lot of HP, but not so much for ordinary PVM.
Blow That Crushes
- Allows you to cut a monster’s current health by 12.5 percent.
- It’s important to note that this is the present situation, not the maximum.
Monster Heal should be avoided.
- Prevents creatures from regenerating life; however, open wounds accomplishes the same thing, making this one of the weakest melee stats unless you have open wounds.
What makes a whirlwind barb dangerous?
For most material, whirlwind barbs are almost unkillable. To really be killed, you hit too quickly and drain too much. Because the odds of them all successfully hitting you while you not hitting them enough times in succession to leech back the damage are astronomically tiny if you are in endgame gear, you could spin through 10 packs of fanat minotaurs for hours without dying. However, some things are extremely dangerous to us, and it’s critical to understand what they are in order to best deal with them, particularly if you play hardcore.
- Mana Burn – We can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind if we can’t whirlwind
- Physical Immunities – We can’t drain life or mana if we can’t deliver physical harm.
- Mana burn and physical immunities imply we may be pushed in to hit recovery as a result of the aforementioned two factors – this is awful.
- To cope with these things, we need to become berserk, which means we have no defense and will be pushed back into hit recovery — manaburn/physical immunity creates a really horrible cycle for whirlwind barbarians of no damage + no leech + hit recovery animations, which is our kryptonite.
- High elemental damage/gloam Monsters with conviction auras — Barbs have easy access to strong resistances, but foes with conviction and high damage represent a threat.
- Stygian dolls – a stormshield or max block with considerable damage mitigation from other sources is the only true answer to this. In hell, you can outleech them, but it takes 45 percent + lifeleech, which isn’t the best amount to strive for. Sit back and let your merc do the hard work if you grow enraged while battling them.
- Any circumstance involving the aforementioned elements. A room with gloams + a conviction aura, minotaurs with physical immunity + mana burn, and anything like fanaticism is a very hazardous environment; I’ve almost torn my main barbarian twice since launch, both times in rooms like this when he was a little poorer equipped than he is now.
- Please keep in mind that, although these creatures are hazardous, with proper game and itemization expertise, you may kill them safely and fast. A well-prepared whirlwind barbarian can kill anything.
What are our options for dealing with these situations?
By equipping our barbarian with the right equipment.
- We get off weapon IAS for Minotaur/Phys immune/Mana burns to ensure we berserk quickly, then we dump all available skill points after our core build in to berserk. The idea is to ensure that when you need to berserk, you do it quickly and with a lot of damage to get rid of the threat as soon as possible.
- For Gloams, don’t think of your fire or lightning resistance as being maxed at 75 in hell; an extra 50-75 points will go a great way toward making your barbarian a true tank for whatever condition the game throws at you.
- By piling our HP, it takes a colossal amount of damage to knock us out of hit recovery.
- By utilizing Arreats to get us to a very excellent Faster Hit Recovery breakpoint while also providing us a lot of + points into berserk, we can get to a very good Faster Hit Recovery breakpoint.
In ascending order of importance:
Mastery of 20 Weapons
20 Battle Commands
Natural resistance till it reaches a limit
Boost your speed.
a war yell
Using battle cry for bosses is pretty plain explanatory; you’ll need more natural resistance with early game gear, but as your gear improves, you’ll need less and less. On leveling barbs/ladder beginnings, I usually have 5-8 points in this, then respec later and have 1-3.
BiS = double whammy Axes of the Berserker
Runner-up – twice the misery Blades in Phase
BOTD 2 hander/1hander 3rds
Berserker Axe versus Phase Blades – An explanation Zerkers have a larger AOE radius, inflict somewhat more damage, and don’t need a lot of dexterity, giving us a substantial 500+ HP advantage over phase blade users. The AR boost from the dex required for phase swords is substantially squandered when Grief is used as disregard target defense. For a WW barb, berserker axes are the actual minmax choice.
Argument Against – Phase blades allow for speedier and hence safer berserking, plus they don’t need to be fixed. During regular attack animations, Phase blades are marginally quicker than Berserker axes, but they are substantially faster when decrepified or frozen.
Individual preference I suppose I like the smoother clears provided by Zerker axes.
Enigma – Bis
Fortitude/CoH/Skulders came in second and third, respectively.
Guardian Angel, Shaftstop, and Leviathan are the thirds.
Rings and amulets:
Highlords – Bis
Ravenfrost/dual leech rings
Angelic combination was the runner-up. Mana leech ring with high stats if you don’t have disregard target defense.
Personal preference: War Travelers or Gore Rider (a little more damage vs. a little more mf). I like Gores, but War Travelers are also a good option, albeit they are much more costly.
Do not use Verdungo’s if you want to string your ears 100 percent. The belt of Verdungo is a pvp belt. Battle commands have no impact on life acquired by +Vitality items, while Verdungos provides a slight 120-160 life boost over string, as well as a 10% quicker hit recovery. Assuming we’re using Arreats, hit recovery doesn’t get us beyond a certain point, and is overshadowed by damage reduction + life leech from string.
A berserker is the only barb who should take a Verdungo; for everyone else, String is much better; it just makes you tankier for most material.
Threats to ordinary people
For maniacs, Guillaume’s Face.
Arreats is the superior all-around helm, while Guillaume’s is stronger for raw damage; nevertheless, although being cheaper individually, it ends up costing a little more since you need to obtain resistance elsewhere.
Act 2 has a fortunate goal or, better still, Might.
It’s almost a need to pay the reaper’s toll.
Weapons that may be upgraded:
Runeword of Insight
The runeword for obedience is
Both are slow, but provide access to high percent ed weapons in exceptional and elite polarms, and we can get around the slow attack speed with short whirlwinds without losing as much dps as we need to, insight helps with this, especially due to the mana costs of short whirlwinds, so they’re both good choices.
Budget-friendly items include:
Maul, IK (double sheal)
Windhammer is a fantasy role-playing game (sheal)
Budgetary equipment from BIS:
I looked on a softcore trading site and found that for the price of 1-3 Lem runes and a few pgems, this is definitely the best configuration. And that’s definitely pricey; with the exception of Gore Riders and Guillaume’s, I’d guess you can get all of the following gear for excellent diamonds.
Arioc’s Needle (sheal) https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Arioc%27s Needle – a sleeper powerful weapon that is perhaps one of the most underappreciated in the game. 50% lethal attack, maximum whirlwind breakpoint, +2-4 skills, and ignoring target defense are all available. In terms of damage potential, this is on par with a terrible sorrow, which is absurd given the price. If you ever perform a single player playthrough and come across this item, don’t discard it; it’s powerful enough to comfortably wreak hell with. The lethal strike does much more damage than Bonehew, and the disregard target defense frees up a ring and amulet slot for resistances or leech.
IK Helm OR Guillaume’s Face – if you’re short on resistances, go with IK and add some Ral/Ort runes.
Resistances or mana/life leech ring 1
Mana/Life leech or resistances ring 2
Mana/Life leech or resistances amulet
The laying down of hands
If you’re looking for resistance, you have two options: IK Belt or string.
Gorerider or IK Boots
I’ll probably do the above budget build to show how powerful Arioc’s is, but I’ll have to make another barb to do it since all of my characters are hardcore and I don’t want to tear a level 90+ barb in test gear.
Please let me know if anybody has anything to contribute!
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The “barbarian whirlwind build” is an in-depth guide on how to play the Whirlwind Barbarian. The guide will teach you everything about playing this class, including its skills and abilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is whirlwind Barb good?
How do you play Whirlwind Barb?
A: The game is played with two-handed swords. You must first find the sword to play it, and then you can use your free hand to block or charge forward using a shield. There are also abilities that can be used during gameplay like shooting fireballs, flying through the air, jumping over obstacles, swinging up into the sky etc.
How does whirlwind Barb generate fury?
A: The whirlwind Barb generates fury from the air passing by it.
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