Hi there, I was playing a DH up til a week ago and decided to roll a barb and deck him out with some nice gear.
Having looked around for concise advice on how/what to gear for, there are plenty of barbs with nice stats. However they did not put in very clear and definite terms, the most cost efficient way to get optimal gear, and after a week of bleeding my eyes out on the AH and inputting numbers into calculators I hope I can offer some help and advice to everyone, irregardless of current wealth.
My guide is pitched at mostly 2-Hders as it is oriented on offensive itemization but I''m pretty sure there's something to learn for everyone.
Cobbled together in a week:
List of gear with prices paid for : (Disclaimer - dont expect to find those pieces at those prices easily, took me a week of trawling the AH)
Stats with warcry on: (nerves of steel, ruthless, tough as nails)
An important concept in choosing what to buy off the AH, is the fact that STR and VIT are interchangeable. To make your life easier, just treat str and vit as one as the same. If you have more str, you do slightly more dmg, if you have vit, you become tankier (EHP). Sockets are your best friend here, try to get gear with sockets as it allows you more freedom with your purchases and not to be limited by "omg must balance str vit so I cant get that 200 str amulet even though it's really cost efficient". This is an extremely important point which will make your life much easier.
Chest, pants (vit)
shoulder, boots, belt (str)
These parts are the ones which are purely defensive in nature, they dont add any other attack modifiers beyond primary stats (with the exception of legendaries and mighty belt: frenzy)
Try to get armor with at least: 50 AR and 100 to each stat. For shoulders, boots, and belt, search 150-200 STR. Why? those are the places in which str has the highest chance of occuring in high amounts. It is more cost efficient to get 200 str 50 AR on shoulders as opposed to 100 str 100 vit 50AR, theres even a chance of additional vit on shoulders. Life% is optional but strongly recommended if you can get it cheap. If you can't, don't be too hung up, for the most part its extremely cost inefficient as you dont get armor out of life% like you do with vit and life% is overpriced (assuming you're on a tight budget).
If you cant find anything cheap, lower AR to 20 and hit search. Now look out for armor, as a rule of thumb 1 point of resist = 10 points of armor. AH Listings are naturally sorted out by armor rating, so its easier to see right at a glance on the first page.
Helm, Bracers, Gloves
Now this is where things get tricky. These are the pieces of armor which can have attack modifiers (namely crit chance). Crit chance is extremely important to a 2-H/DW barb as it is the 2nd best attack modifier (1st being attack speed but it's going to get nerfed), and you should try to aim to get at least some crit chance on these armor pieces as it'll go a long way to boosting your dps. Of course, survivability should be prioritized and AR should always be on those pieces.
Once again, apply the same rule as above - Str and vit are interchangeable, so try to look for pieces with a combined stat total of 150 with 50 AR and some crit chance (extremely doable, you can find such pieces for less than a million apiece). Helms obviously must have a socket.
Gloves is trickier, if you're poor just shoot for Str/attackspeed/AR. Why str? Because vit is a universal stat as opposed to str, so 150 Str/15% aspd /60 AR gloves are much cheaper than the vit equivalents. Once again, shoot for 150 stat total or 150 raw STR with aspd/ar. The wealthier might want to consider getting a 2 dps mod glove, and your 2nd mod of choice should always be crit chance over crit dmg. Why? 1. Gloves/shield are the only place in which 10% crit chance can occur 2. 17%attack speed = 10% crit chance > 50% crit dmg in terms of adding to your dps rating, as such, try not to get crit dmg if you can help it, its cost inefficient.
Ah. Alot of people underestimate the importance of accesories, this is your attack modifier dump. Attackspeed, Crit chance, crit dmg all occur on accessories and it is your duty to stack as much you can inorder to obtain optimal dps at a reasonable price.
There is only one option - offense in defense, and vice versa.
Try to get a mix of offense and defense. Case in point: 200 combined attributes, 50 AR, 6.5 crit chance would be a very decent amulet. Try not to get an accessory without any primary stats, as tempting as the aspd/critdmg/crit chance amulet maybe , for STR and vit add survivability and damage at the same time.
Max attack modifier rolls on Amulet = 17 aspd, 65% crit dmg , 8.5% crit chance AFAIK.
As a rule of thumb, 8.5% crit chance > 200 STR = 65% crit dmg > 17 ASPD which is what I found from personal observation. As such, when looking for primary stat heavy amulets try to prioritize crit chance over other attack modifiers.
Max attack modifier rolls on ring = 17 ASPD, 35% crit dmg, 4.5% crit chance. As such, try to prioritize attack speed over the other dmg modifiers. I would recommend searching for ASPD, primary stat, AR.
Attack speed is always very powerful, but remember it's headed for a nerf in 1.0.3 so try not to invest too heavily into an attackspeed ring. Crit chance, once again, should be the 2nd best attack modifier.
Look for socketed weapons on the cheap with primary stat/ inherent crit dmg. There is nothing much I can say about this section as I only upgrade my weapon if they are cheap. For example, I bought a 1290 dps socketed axe with 200 vit for 2m. I only upgraded it to a 1400 dps socket with 50% inherent crit dmg and 150 vit for 10m as it was a steal. Otherwise, I don't really look out that much for weapons. Sockets/inherent crit dmg are essential to boosting your dps, I believe a net 150% crit dmg is equivalent to 200 points of weapon dps.