Ironbreaker + Barkskin = Ridiculous

I’ve been playing Bardin Ironbreaker recently (Don’t usually play Da Stuntie) and I have to say Ironbreaker Gromril Armour coupled with Barkskin is stupidly tough. Feels like cheating.

I had zero reservations about windmilling into a patrol with a 1h axe as even if I sucked up several halberds to the top of my head… meh. 1/4 health gone, if that.

Block Berzerkers with your face. No problem.

This needs a bit of a tweak I think, as Barkskin is quite good on it’s own and useful for flimsy people to avoid being punished to harshly, but as IB it blows raspberrys in the face of danger, and puts ice cubes down the vest of fear.


I was testing this out the other day and I have to agree with you. It is crazy powerful when stacked with Gromril Armor. I already thought Ironbreaker was stupid tough, but this combo brought it to a whole new level. I was laughing and having a grand old time at how broken it was.

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I tried to make FS pay attention to the EHP, THP/HP gain influenced by DR as well as the disparity caused by characters like IB, Unchained, Zealot and Slayer having 50% DR (30% for IB but he has Gromril), and how it is ridiculous compared to classes with no DR available.
This was during the beta - they didn’t listen.

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Beta was tangled up in so many changes, I’m not really surprised they passed over your (probably justified) comments.

I’ll try it on something squishy like HS to see if Barkskin makes a big difference there. IT might be that Barkskin is just too tough.

None of those classes have DR except for IB, let alone 50%. You didn’t mention Foot Knight either which makes it sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

He can already pop his ult whenever he wants for a whopping 80% damage reduction. Adding barkskin on top of that will have a minimal effect because you have to get hit more than once to get any benefit from barkskin and all of those first hits that would normally activate barkskin tend to get eaten by gromril instead. So IB has to get hit three times in a row and then finally that third hit takes the 40% reduction. Where barkskin is more useful for IB is unavoidable things like a gas globe landing on your head, constant low DoT ticks. In that regard it’s no better or worse than it would be for any other class.

In short, barskin on IB is fine.


Saying he can pop his ult whenever he likes is a bit steep. I consider being able to faceroll patrols and zerkers, windmilling around with impunity and completely disregarding any kind of self preservation style gameplay as not fine. Playing IB on legend with barkskin is like everyone else playing on veteran - you simply don’t care whether you get hit or not because it just doesn’t do enough damage to raise an eyebrow. Add into the fact 1h axe can armour pen on light spam and you don’t really need to be remotely concentrating.


Yeah but how much of that is Barkskin being OP and how much of that is Ironbreaker simply being awesome? Try using Barkskin on any other class and you’ll realize how much work your Gromril is doing.


Hmm… I wonder if this is simply a question on whether a hit on Gromril is enough to trigger Barkskin? If a hit that Gromril eats is enough to trigger it, then I can easily imagine that it ends up being quite ridiculous, but if that first hit that activates BS needs to actually damage you, it’ll probably just add some to the IB’s already impressive capability to withstand damage.

In the latter case, it could still be a valid pick if you want to play berserker IB and trade hits constantly, but I don’t think it would really help that much normally. In the former case, if you can ignore that initial hit that activates BS, you’ll essentially get a permanent addition ( of, in reality, ~20%, due to the calculation order) to your DR, which is a significant addition.

I’d say this bears a bit of research, but I’m lazy and don’t have effective tools, so I’ll leave it to someone else.


I don’t know what I’m talking about:


  • Flagellant


  • Oblivious to Dodge (Pain)


  • Blood Magic

These are all effectively 50% DR.

Footknight has 10% DR coupled with an aura that can stack up to 20% multiplicatively giving him 28% effective DR, but he has no Gromril, which is why I didn’t mention him.
I didn’t mention BW or Handmaiden DR either because they are not the same “always active” DR.


Ib greatly synergizes with Barkskin. His THP generation is crap still, and Handmaiden has better damage output and survivability anyway. Is he tough? Yup. But Zealot and Slayer are tough too, and can kill faster. If we want to nerf IB, we have to nerf several other classes that, to be honest, are simply better.


I just tested this and it only triggers when you take damage. So gromril does not give you another 40% freebie DR.

I don’t think the combination is OP on it’s own, meaning the baked in 30% DR and adding Barkskin on top of that.
Gromril gives single hit immunity, while barkskin gives multihit burst and dot protection. And it’s all lowered by his 30% armour as well.

Yes Zealot, Slayer and Unchained should be altered slightly. You’re not supposed to get that much increase in damage combined with 50% damage reduction, when you look at any of the other classes, their DR tools are way more situational and not remotely as powerful.

More on class balance at the momebt: Slayer kills faster, has fast-recharging ulti that allows you to easily escapre trohble and on top of 50% dmg reduction can also get 30% g reduction from 3 stacks of Trophy Hunter and on top of that Barkskin.
So Slayer can survive even more than IB, and without IB’s overal low dmg output.
Zealot has excellent dmg reduction talents too, tons of dmg/power increase talents and career skills and can get loads of THP by simply spamming ult and left click, something IB can’t match with his horrible THP on stagger (which doesn’t synergize with axe at all) and THP on kill (which is horrible on low output class like IB and generally is vastly inferior to thp on cleave or thp on crit/HS of crit-heavy classes.

To sum it up - IB doesn’t really have anything on Zealot and Slayer other than a bit bigger HP pool. Now I’ll take THP generation over HP pool any time.
Handmaiden with glaive can just dodge the horde all day long, remove CW with 2 heavy combos in like 2,5 seconds, remove good chunk of horde with ulti and on top of that has 3s invisibility every 20s of horde combat or so.

IB is tough but this game is not about being tough but about killing md movement and special/elite removal. He’s not really great at that, pistols do funny things with slave horde up close though :slight_smile:

The main problem? Dodge is now the way to avoid almost all hits. Parry trait is useless. And by proper-dodging only stray hits and bosses and specials re a n issue.

It is fine.

IB + Barkskin will allow you to survive a hyperdensity barrage, whereas any other character would die instantly. On top of that, it activates every 2 seconds, so it only takes 2 hits for damage reduction to activate when Gromril is active otherwise it’s only 1 hit and then damage reduction. I’ve gone back and forth with and without Barkskin, and Ironbreaker is significantly stronger with that trait. I agree it is super useful with DoT from gas and other things as well, but like you said that part is the same for all classes. This is specifically about being able to run into hoards and just left click with zero worries and requiring no strategy.

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Under certain circumstances. If you want to talk about game balance you can’t just make a broad sweeping statement like “the disparity caused by characters like IB, Unchained, Zealot and Slayer having 50% DR (30% for IB but he has Gromril), and how it is ridiculous compared to classes with no DR available” without going into the details. Yes Unchained has 50% DR, IF she can keep her overcharge under control so that she doesn’t explode and die. Slayer and Zealot can have 50% DR IF they take one of three talents for it and IF the damage they take is 20 or more. Just having access to damage reduction doesn’t automatically make these classes better than those without it. Unchained has overcharge to worry about, Slayers don’t get a ranged weapon and Zealot abilities don’t activate until you take damage.

Ironbreaker and Foot Knight are the only two classes that get DR as a passive with no strings attached because they are fully specialized towards tanking and don’t gain any offensive bonuses, it’s all about preventing and soaking damage.

But if you just walk forward spamming LMB while making no effort to block or dodge you will die in seconds. If you’re playing “normally” but still getting hit in melee often enough to activate barkskin then your play is very sloppy. The IB ult plus gromril is what’s really keeping you alive if you try to facetank like this. Without the ult barkskin is no more or less effective than any other class with a 30% DR talent or passive.

I don’t think mixing the two is in any way OP. You are stacking further DR onto a class that already has the best DR. It would be like saying Barrage is OP because a Shade can use it to deal 250 damage instead of 225. Plus if you take barkskin you’re giving up all of the other necklace traits you could be using that could have much more of an effect over the course of a run.


Only things that do not deal 20+ damage is ratling gun fire, perhaps bubblebutts poison ghosts or whatever the hell they are. So that means flagellant and OtP are both effectively 50% DR. Making them significantly tankier than even a Footknight. I went in to great detail in a post during beta, I’m not about to do so again.
Unchained can easily use her ult to prevent herself blowing up, not to mention she can spec so blocking vents as well. Combined with the fact that she gets 0.5s cooldown for every point of damage she takes, and 0.25s cooldown for every enemy she hits, it is rarely due to anything but her own foolishness or misplay that she should be blowing up.

If you look at only DR on their perk tree, you’re right. I’m looking at comparable available DR and how effective it is in most scenarios. And I never said anything about their overall power, just that this amount of DR presents a problem in terms of game balance.

The disparity is caused by the 50% DR. It is too powerful compared to anything else available in the game. Not 30%, not 20%, not 10%

Yeah it’s a shame that the beta forum is now set to private, I’ve got a lot of detailed posts in there I can’t link back to. Oh well.

What about globadiers? Or flame rats, or fire barrels, assassins, friendly fire, packmasters, blightstorms, leeches, troll bile, stormfiends, catapults, rockets, buboes…

Not saying you don’t have a point but you need to be more specific here. What anything else? Any other character? Any other class? Any other talent? The only thing you can directly compare against OtP and Flagellant are the other two talents at level 10.

I don’t think DR makes a character more powerful. Yeah sure a Slayer might tank a hit to the face and take 40 damage instead of 80. But DR only applies when you get hit, and you only got hit because you made a mistake. Getting punched in the face by a boss doesn’t kill the boss any faster.

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Globe damage is 20 per tick, Flamerats it might not work against, honestly don’t know how much damage they deal, friendly fire is negligible for all but the most extreme cases of idiotic teamamates, and the rest are rare instances of dot damage, that rarely is enough to impact a run even for the squishiest of characters.

I am being as specific as I can be. 50% DR and above is too powerful, when they are not something that has extreme conditions applied to them, like short duration, long cooldown, specific circumstances that are rare to achieve or a mix of all them…
This creates a shitshow to balance.
IB has 65% during his ult. And that makes him stupid tanky, but it’s limited and it used to have a long cooldown tied to it, that’s not the case any more.
Zealot and Slayer have 50% DR against 95% of the damage they take (is that specific enough?) and that creates a shitshow, same with unchained.

50% DR is not just damage mitigation, it is effectively also:

  • 100% increased healing received (including Temp. HP)
  • 100% increased healing received
  • 100% Increased Effective HP

It makes the character easier to play, and the easier a character is to play the easier it is to be effective with it.
DR forgives mistakes, and it mitigates “unfair” damage that you could not have prevented. That’s extremely powerful.
I think DR is a vital component in how powerful a character is. And there’s a balance to be had. I wouldn’t want to see a Shade get 50% damage increase, just because slayer and zealot get a choice of 50% DR.
Both buffs would be so strong it would ruin the game balance.
In terms of power I would put 50% DR all the way up against 50% damage increase, if we’re looking at the state of the game right now.

Toughness indirectly translates to increased DPS, as when you can out-trade enemy damage through THP generation and toughness, means you can stay in the fight constantly, without having to go on defense.

This thread is about IB however, and he is the ONLY character where it makes sense to give him this much damage protection, because he has no damage buffs available to him. Barkskin brings him close to the overpowered territory however, but not overly so as he only has 42% damage reduction when Barkskin is active and it is only active for 2 seconds. The problem is Gromril Armour ignoring any type of hit in my opinion, not barkskin, which is short in duration, and can be a great asset for all characters to mitigate burst and dot damage to an extent, and it scales with the amount of DR available to each character.

Actually has anyone tested if Friendly Fire can trigger Barkskin? If so it shouldn’t

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Chances are, it can, just as it can trigger any other ability with on-hit trigger (Gromril Armor as a prominent example).

Personally, I don’t think the high DR itself is a major problem. As @Tamren stated, Unchained balances it with risky gameplay, and so does Zealot. Slayer lacks a ranged option to keep safe, and has less Health to boot. And for IB and FK it’s their specialty, albeit at differing amounts and styles. A bigger problem (for Zealot and Slayer) is, I think, that it’s dependent on a Talent pick that’s too strong to really pick anything else. Slayer’s alternatives are just bad too, while Zealot has at least some merit to his options, so they’re what needs rework.

I’ve played a bit of berserker IB before (and it’s frankly way more fun than the “standard” style), but this thread has prompted me to think I could reroll at least one necklace to retry it with BS. That might take a while, though, but we’ll see.

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I don’t disagree that some sort of toughness trait would be suitable for their standard line of perks, but I do think that 50% is too much, 30% is a more suitable number, and perhaps have choices to increase that with an armour multiplier.
Imagine Slayer having 7.5% stacking DR with his attack buff. That puts it at 22.5. Then a talent that replaces OtP with an increase to that stacking buff by 5% putting him at 37.5% DR.
Or something along those lines. It’s be a great DR effect, but it would require that he maintains stacks, which is very much in line with his “character” so to speak.

Look at this table;
See what happens to EHP and healing received once we get over 20%?
At 20% DR we already have 25% increased healing received, as well as 25% increased EHP.
At 50% it is double (100% increase)
At 75% it is quadruple (300% increase)
And so on…

Compare that to other talents and stuff that adds healing received, which is at max 30% each.
HP increases are at max 25% each.

I don’t mind DR, but it should be weighted very carefully, in order to not create imbalance compared to everything it affects.

There’s a reason so many games use a special formula for armour (DR) having diminishing returns as you go higher and higher. To keep the EHP gain curve linear. In this game we also have THP, which is a huge thing affected by DR.

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