Fresh Meat N' Greet - Samir#1547

  • The world of Sanctuary is a BIG place, defended by hundreds of thousands of heroes each and every day. To help you get to know some of these fellow nephalem a little better, we've created the Fresh Meat N' Greet.

    The Fresh Meet N' Greet is a recurring series of interviews featuring you, our community. A few times each month, we'll sit down and chat with six different community members, one for each class, and then post our Q&As right here in these forums.

    Up this week for Barbarians: Samir#1547

    Read on below to find out more about your fellow ally in battle!

    General Info
    Bul'Kathos Guides My Hand
    Who's Up Next?

    Grimiku: Tell us a bit about yourself.

    Samir#1547: I am less enlightened than Tao, less wise than Page, less intelligent than Shadow, less witty than Baconinja, less thorough than Nubtro, less talented than det0x, less original than kingdo, less professional than CC123, less loquacious than Wordmaster, less charismatic than Mikhail, and yet, here I am.

    I am a pretty eclectic person and though I am not particularly awesome at any one thing I tend to be a versatile person with friends from all walks of life.

    Grimiku: Got any cool hobbies or talents?

    Samir#1547: I would say my life-long hobby has been learning about humanity and the human condition. This has led me to push myself in many different spheres including in many different martial arts, bodybuilding, powerlifting, soccer, philosophy, languages and literature - oh, and gaming. The one common thread was, as I learned more about the hobby and the people in it, I would find it deepened my understanding of us, as a species and as a way for the Universe to know itself.

    These days I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, play the odd videogame, lift some weights, go for bike rides and practice Tai Chi.

    Grimiku: What’s your history as a gamer, and with the Diablo franchise?

    Samir#1547: You could say my history is one of successive chapters, defined by what hardware I was using in each one.

    Chapter 1 was the Apple //e, which my dad had gotten himself to learn programming when I was a kid (he ended up getting a degree in physics with it instead). I played a lot of forgotten gems on that thing, including some Atari ports: BC’s Quest for Tires, Jungle Hunt, Pick-a-Dilly Pair, Karateka, Spy’s Demise, Star Blazer, Centipede, and this one Activision game called The Great American Road Race. It’s crazy to think how long some companies have been in gaming!

    Chapter 2 was probably the Nintendo era. I got into a few specific games only, because I wasn’t a huge gamer in that phase of my life. My favorites were Super Mario Bros. 2, Double Dragon, Final Fantasy, basically. Those three games probably took up 90% of my NES time, while Tetris was probably 95% of my Game Boy time.

    Chapter 3 was a shift to Sega; I grew weary of Nintendo’s juvenile style. On the Genesis is where I played the Phantasy Star series, which I grew to truly enjoy. I also played Sonic (because it came with the console), Streets of Rage, Shinobi III, the NFL Sportstalk series, and Mortal Kombat without the Super NES-like watered down fatalities.

    Chapter 4 was a return to the computer as we finally got a Windows PC, first 3.1 and later Windows 95. I got into Master of Magic, Roger Wilco’s Space Quest, Civilization and a few games by a little known company called Blizzard, namely Warcraft I and II, which were my first online experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed WC I and II, to the point where I would quote the humans and orcs in real-life conversations. It’s amazing to see where that RTS franchise has evolved today, into the most successful MMO of all time.

    Near the end of this Chapter, Blizzard also released an unheralded but dark and gothic game called Diablo. As soon as I played it, I was hooked; I’d never seen anything like it. The grim horror, the macabre overtones and the grittiness of it were awesome. I played the Warrior, eventually working up to a teleporting King’s Sword of Haste build. Today I’d say it would play a lot like a Leapquake HOTA build!

    Chapter 5 was a brief sojourn in the land of the Sega Dreamcast, where I played another Diablo-like game called Record of Lodoss War (based on the anime series). I truly loved this game, as it was more of the same good stuff I had on Diablo. You played the story mode, but the real longevity of it was improving your gear. The open world was awesome, it was probably the first time I ever got “lost” in a gaming world. The console also allowed me to renew with the Phantasy Star series, where I played PS Online. It was a great console, and a clear harbinger of what was to come with its ambitious open-ended and persistent worlds.

    I played D2 briefly, but you could say after the Dreamcast, I stuck mainly to consoles until Diablo 3. In succession I got the N64, Game Cube, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and Xbox 1. In that time the only game I truly played deeply was Phantasy Star Universe. However, my Xbox 360 red-ring’ed in 2010 and that is when I decided to finally get a more updated PC. Knowing Diablo 3 was in the latter stages of development, and anxious to play a loot-based Action RPG again, it was only logical.

    I got the PC in December 2011, and Diablo 3 was released in 2012. I played it for a year, exclusively as Barbarian, before taking a break. I returned shortly before Reaper of Souls in 2012, and here we are. I played Reaper of Souls extensively since its launch, but I recently decided to take a break from the PC version. I now play the UEE on my Xbox 1. Playing both editions of the game has given me a pretty good perspective, I can say, on why some of the changes in the game are made, though that’s a whole other discussion.

    Grimiku: What are some of your favorite games?

    Samir#1547: The Diablo Series, the Phantasy Star Series, the Forza Motorsport Series and the Civilization Series. More casually, Plants vs Zombies.

    Grimiku: Do you play any other classes?

    Samir#1547: Right now I’m focused entirely on Barbarian, on Xbox One. I am much more casual than I used to be on PC where I played all classes and got 10,000 elite kills on every class. Barbarian was always my favorite, and always will be. It also has the best forums!

    Grimiku: Are you in a great clan or community? If yes, tell us about them!

    Samir#1547: I am not currently in a clan as I’m mostly a UEE player these days; but I’ve been lucky to be in three great clans. The first clan I joined was <MISC>, which came from (yes I lift). It was there I first played multiplayer D3 with Raidcall. Eventually the guild thinned itself out and I joined <FRAY> run by Tao. I had some great memories as the guild was Barb-centric and I got to play with amazing guys like Siladil, Tao, and of course, the mighty Baconinja. Kingdo wasn’t in <FRAY>, yet, but we played with him too. I met Shadow (previous M&G) along the way and have enjoyed life discussions with him while rifting.

    After <FRAY>, I joined the renowned <DRAGON> clan where I was fortunate to play with a lot of leaderboard superstars on a regular basis. I loved going onto Teamspeak with them and chatting it up. I think once you’ve played D3 quite a bit, gotten all the achievements, done well on leaderboards and what not, the most appealing aspect of it is definitely social.

    Grimiku: What's your most embarrassing moment while playing?

    Samir#1547: Going for Top #10 4-man with my Crusader set-up for XP farming. Going into trials with Rift set-up. Having EQ passives on playing Raekor. Having Raekor passives on playing Wastes. There isn’t one specific moment, but the amount of times I’ve embarrassed myself with the wrong gear for the task at hand and caused everyone to groan at the thought of another wasted key and another trial is staggering. Luckily, I hear trials are going away!

    Grimiku: Okay, what about your most AWESOME moment while playing?

    Samir#1547: Clearing a 50 in Era 2 without an Ancient furnace. It was bittersweet, as I’d found about 20 non-ancient ones by then and the era was fading out. It made me realize how flawed the Ancients were in their initial deployment; thankfully it looks like Kanai’s Cube mitigates most of those issues. However, it was still a huge triumph for me!

    Grimiku: What drew you to the Barbarian?

    Samir#1547: I can’t play a character that doesn’t even lift.

    Grimiku: What type of Barbarian are you: sword-and-board, in-your-face melee master, long-distance damage dealer?

    Samir#1547: I’d say I love builds based on constant motion, like Whirlwind or Furious Charge. I do not like builds where you sit in 1 place spamming a skill, like Hammer of the Ancients. I’ve never been a HOTA guy, I’ve always tried to make my barbs play like “a rolling ball of chaos”. The slowest tempo I’d ever want to use is Leapquake, and both Wastes and Raekor feel quite pleasing to me.

    Grimiku: What's your favorite skill (or skill rune), and why?

    Samir#1547: Furious Charge. The Raekor era of 2.1.0 to 2.1.2 was easily my favorite. I felt the skill truly embodied the Barbarian in every way: direct, strong, fearless, high-risk, high-reward. Exactly how a Barbarian should play.

    I hope one day that the Dev team introduces an item that allows Furious Charge to pull again; as I felt it made for some truly unique game play. In the hands of a practiced Barbarian, the pull could turn most terrible maps into decent ones, and was highly strategic in how it could be used to help parties – either by focusing on trash mobs, by adding a layer of crowd control, or by corralling loose ranged mobs away from other glass-cannon toons like a Demon Hunter.

    After that, I’d say I love Whirlwind with a side of Rend. I used Nubtro’s 2.1.0 Whirlwind build for a long time, and I am happy the Wastes set is a good spiritual successor to the old vanilla WW set-up.

    Rend, I love, because it fits perfectly with the “rolling ball of chaos” fantasy. You make things bleed on the entire screen, especially with Wastes buffing the duration. They may die, they may not. Either way, you’re moving on to make more things bleed. You may come back, you may not!

    Grimiku: What build are you running currently?

    Samir#1547: Right now on UEE, I’m running a slightly modified but basic Wastes WW set-up with Sprint- Run Like the Wind and War Cry and Chilaniks Chain. I guess I’m nostalgic, but I love the triple-tornado of yore. I would love to try Furious Charge on console but I’ve only found two Raekor pieces!

    Grimiku: Are you currently chasing a specific item? What is it, and why are you after it?

    Samir#1547: On PC, I have everything except new and seasonal items like the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. I may end up going back to PC eventually so this along with the new Bracers of the First Men and Bracers of Destruction are going to be fun to loot.

    On console, I only have Wastes and IK completed. So I wouldn’t mind picking up MOTE and Raekor along with their corollaries like Lut Socks and Vile Ward.

    Grimiku: If you could build a set around a skill, what skill would you pick and what would the set do?

    Samir#1547: Ground Stomp, for sure. I’ve used it on and off since Vanilla. I always felt it was a very Barb-like skill that would be a great for strategic play. The first thing I would do is give the Wrenching Smash rune as a 2-piece. Then I would make the effects last longer and do more damage. Finally, I’d add a complimentary skill buff for damage. Ground Stomp + Hammer of the Ancients would be a really neat play style.

    Alternatively, it’s got a very “tectonic” feel, so it could be baked into the reworked Might of the Earth everyone’s expecting, along with Leap, Earthquake, Avalanche and Seismic Slam. Can you imagine a set where Leap would cast EQ and Ground Stomp would cast Avalanche? There’s a boot-slot conflict at present, but they should find a way to make that happen.

    Grimiku: If there was one thing you could change about this class, what would it be?

    Samir#1547: There are a lot of forgotten passives that need to be addressed. We all use the same types of passives (Rampage, Ruthless, Nerves of Steel, etc.) I see Demon Hunters debate their passives quite a bit more than us Barbs. I would love it if Pound of Flesh, Tough as Nails and a few of the other lesser used ones got some love. We could especially use a single target damage booster, along the same lines of the Demon Hunter Singled Out.

    Grimiku: Pick a Barbarian quote!

    Samir#1547: I honestly think the entire game’s dialogue (in Campaign mode) was written for the Barbarian and then cloned for everyone else. The artists behind D3 did an excellent job with the flavor and vocabulary in Campaign mode, using some great, antiquated vocabulary to give D3 some medieval flare. Some of my favorites:
    “I will find him, and I will cleave his skull asunder.”- Said in Act 2, about Belial
    “Soon your fetid soul will be trapped [inside the soul stone]” – Said in Act 2, to Belial
    Tell me those don’t sound 10 times cooler when the Barbarian says them.

    Among his unique toasts, I find “The Ancients grant me Strength”, “You cannot stand before me,” and “Your flesh is weak” to be the coolest.

    Grimiku: Name one piece of advice that you think every Barbarian should know:

    Samir#1547: Take a long view of the game, it’s the only way to stay sane. When I started out, Barbs were not very powerful and the game was heavily biased towards ranged characters. Barbs could only advance by using ranged skills such as weapon throw, which may have a niche among certain players, but isn’t necessarily the play style we sign up for when we play Barb. By the end of vanilla, Barb was the reigning king of destruction. When ROS was launched, the only things I ever heard were “I need fury” and “Not ready yet”. It was a frustrating time, until we completed our Might of the Earth sets. When 2.1.0 launched, everyone bemoaned how Raekor was clunky to pull with, until we got the hang of it. Then we bemoaned the loss of the pull, until we realized it made the game easier (in conjunction with density adjustments). Now, Wastes has come to give us back a speed version of Whirlwind. In the upcoming patch, Immortal Kings Call is receiving a buff and it is a great “generalist” set for any build. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for the Barbarian, but there’s always a fun way to play it.
  • [WHO'S NEXT?]

    Grimiku: Which Barbarian should we interview next?

    Samir#1547: There’s one guy hiding out on the hardcore side of the Universe, and he thinks we are going to forget him, but we won’t. At approx. 14,000 posts, I think it’s high time to interview Endeavor#1429, or as we know him, Bryan.

    Grimiku: Pick a question to ask in the next interview!

    Samir#1547: I think these interviews are pretty thorough, as they are now. But how about this: “What question would you like to address to the Diablo 3 development team?”

    It would be neat if they actually answered it, too.

    Grimiku:Shadow#11506: Question to ask Samir: "from your experience, how many Furnaces must drop before one will be ancient?"

    Samir#1547: I’ve found once Ancient Furnace out of 36 since Ancients became available on PC, and none on console (of course).

    Recently, I watched The Cosmos, a show narrated by Neil De Grasse Tyson. In the show, he mentions that Earth is but a planet in a galaxy with billions of planets, in a universe with billions of galaxies. Somewhere, on one of these planets, some guy is playing Diablo 3 and finding all my Ancient Furnaces instead of me.

    Got any questions yourself for Samir#1547? Post them below!