Barbarian Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Barbarian RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Queens of Blades: Top 10 sword-swinging divas Wed, 02 Sep 2015 02:30:02 -0400 David Fisher


This brings us to the end of our top 10 list of sword-swinging divas. I have got to admit... unlike the Girls with Guns list I did last week, this list was actually quite difficult to come up with. It's great that there's a decent selection of swordswomen, but the problem is that not many of them are well known or playable.


I guess this is where I leave it to you, readers! What other sword-maidens can you come up with? Where would you put them on this list? Do you disagree with my placements? Leave your opinions and ideas in the comments section below!


#1: Nariko - Heavenly Sword


When people think of swordsmen with a god complex, over-the-top fighting, and twin chained blades they often think of God of War's Kratos. When angry feminist extremists ask me why there isn't a female "God of War", my answer used to be the most obvious: "Athena's Revenge" doesn't exactly fit the character. However, ever since 2007 I've been able to avoid getting slapped across the face by pointing at this beauty here.


Nariko is the oppressed heroine of Heavenly Sword, a character who has literally spent her entire life being belittled by her clan on the grounds that ever since her birth she "should not have been." Everyone believed Nariko to be a curse, a portent of doom, and she eventually accepted this as truth. However, this would not stop Nariko from becoming the savior of her people by wielding the Heavenly Sword, fully aware of the fact that it would consume her soul as a result.


Aside from essentially being a copycat in terms of gameplay to Kratos from God of War, Nariko is one of the strongest female protagonists in the history of gaming. Why? Because she literally takes the place of the male hero without any modifications for the sake of gender roles. When she says that a deity "would be reborn, in the body of a mortal man" she is quite literally quoting the archetype of a Kratos-like hero. As such, she is the embodiment of the female power fantasy.


Nariko - to date - is the only female character who does this without a love interest, without losing a loved one, nothing. She doesn't even have the tired cliché of a woman using her cunning or agility over brute strength. She slaughters her enemies with brute force alone, and does this because it is her duty as the hero. Nothing will stand in her way of saving her people. Plain and simple.


Since Nariko is such a stellar representation of what a warrior lady should be like, she earns the spot of #1 on this list.


#2 Bastila - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


If Darth Revan is the most powerful Jedi in the history of the Star Wars universe, then Bastila Shan is the most powerful female Jedi. Why? Because she was the one who took Revan down during the Jedi Civil War.


Bastila Shan is by definition one of the most force talented Jedi in the Star Wars franchise. Able to use the power of Battle Meditation, Bastila is capable of micro-managing entire armies while simultaneously demoralizing their enemy. On top of that, Bastila is a skilled Jedi Sentinel, capable of adeptly wielding force powers while combining them with various lightsaber techniques.


While fighting alongside her commander - and later lover - Revan, she is an unstoppable force. To this day, she is considered one of the greatest Jedi of the Old Republic. Her legacy has continued on for generations, survived by Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan in Star Wars: The Old Republic.


Considering the fact that she is arguably the second most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, Bastila Shan earns the place of #2 on our list of female warriors.


#3: Sonya - Heroes of the Storm/Diablo III


While the Barbarian's official name in Diablo III can range from 5up4h_S14y3r to Barbie thanks to the name-your-own-hero system, her canonical name is found in Heroes of the Storm as Sonya.


Sonya is a simple barbarian. She sees demon, she hits it until it is dead. Sonya's dream date consists of hunting demons, collecting legendary items - usually only to smelt them at the armory later, and killing the Lord of Terror, Diablo. Her other interests include: smashing boxes, destroying tombstones, and defiling sacred temples... or maybe that's just my play-through.


In any case, Sonya definitely gets my seal of approval for being a stand-up kind of gal. With a huge list of abilities used to smash, decapitate, and otherwise mangle demon hordes, I can't imagine a better candidate for the 3rd on this list.


#4: Rayne - Bloodrayne


7 years before we got the sexy power-trip video game that was Bayonetta, we had Rayne of Bloodrayne origin.


With Rayne, what you see is what you get. Besides her obvious sex-appeal design, Rayne is a confident, sarcastic, intelligent, and somewhat deadpan character. A dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) brought up as an assassin, Rayne's number one talent is killing absolutely everyone in the most brutal way possible. This means tearing people in two, spinning them around on her blades and cutting them up into pieces, or simply taking a bite into her prey and drinking their blood. She is not your professional assassin type though, for constantly flirting or taunting her opponents is basically second nature to her.


As a result of her dhampir blood, Rayne has a number of vampiric abilities such as feeding on her enemies, enthralling opponents, super-high reflexes, and a number of strength enhancements.


With this repertoire of skill and power, Rayne earns a spot at #4 on this list.


#5: Momohime - Muramasa: The Demon Blade


Momohime is the female protagonist option for Muramasa: The Demon Blade. According to the instruction manual, Momohime is a "princess of Narukami who has been possessed by a demon", the demon in question being Jinkuro. A talented warrior, Momohime's abilities are only enhanced after she is possessed by the spirit of Jinkuro - a fallen demon warrior who seeks to reclaim his demon blade.


Over the course of her journey, Momohime slays countless hordes of Japanese mythological creatures and warriors using the Oboro Style of fighting. With a demon blade of her own, she is a nearly unstoppable powerhouse of destruction. However, she does lose some points due to the fact that her personality - outside of her fusion with Jinkuro - basically boils down to protecting her betrothed, and others she loves.


As such, Momohime gets the 5th spot on this list.


#6: Hildegard von Krone - Soul Calibur IV


Hildegard stands as one of the most respectable characters on this list. Unlike the greater portion of female characters in the Soul Calibur series, Hilde is not sexualized in the least, choosing to wear gratuitous amounts of armor instead. Not only that, but Hilde uses a unique fighting style in the game that blends together quick swordplay and a spear. Hilde is also one of the few newcomers to the Soul Calibur series that has fought both the Soul Calibur veterans, and the newcomers since Soul Calibur IV was the last game to feature many of the original cast members.


Oh, and she's technically fought Ezio Auditore, Yoda, Darth Vader, and Starkiller too... so I guess there's that.


This set of accomplishments places Hildegard von Krone at #6 on this list.


#7: Impa - Hyrule Warriors


While Princess Zelda displays her skills with a sword in Hyrule Warriors as well, it's Impa who best represents women in a battlefield setting. Cool, collected, and able to effortlessly wield a sword almost twice her size, Impa is the toughest of the tough. In Hyrule Warriors, Impa is constantly on the vanguard against Ganon's forces. Whether it be the fire-breathing King Dodongo, The Imprisoned, or even Ganon himself, Impa is ready to take them down.


Since Impa usually takes the back seat in Legend of Zelda games, I'm glad to see what Team Ninja did to her character in Hyrule Warriors. This iteration of the classic Legend of Zelda character gets the spot of #7 thanks to her over-the-top delivery of enemy horde desolation.


#8: Ciri - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, the Lion Cub of Cintra (ain't that a mouthful?) is the secondary protagonist of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and is a talented sword-fighter, much like her adopted father, Geralt. She tends to prefer a faster-paced style of combat, dashing between enemies before striking them with her two-handed sword, making her a lethal foe to face. However, her abilities are somewhat limited as she only has the ability to quickly teleport around.


I could go on to rant about her backstory, but it is so convoluted that I probably wouldn't be able to do it justice. You can, however, check it out on this wiki or, you know, play the game yourself.


Considering her limited skills, and her somewhat basic concept design, Ciri gets the spot of #8 on this list.


#9: Lyndis - Fire Emblem 7


If I had to choose a swordwoman to best represent the females in Fire Emblem, I would have to choose none other than Lyndis. While Lucina is the fan favorite nowadays, Lyndis is much better, and for a number of reasons at that.


Let's talk about her character first. Lyn is a 15 year old young woman from the plains of Sacae. While living there, Lyn has fought off numerous bandit attacks after her mother and father were slain. It was not until a wandering tactician came about that she eventually learned that she is the granddaughter of the Marquess of Caelin (basically the king). In her time traveling across the war-torn landscapes of the Fire Emblem world, Lyn has fought numerous assassins, archers, knights, and even a dragon! That's quite the rep for someone who's younger than her fandom rival, Lucina.


Then there's the matter of plain old statistics. While Lucina has a slightly higher luck and resistance rating at level 10, Lady Lyndis pretty much doubles or at least surpasses all of Lucina's other stats at the same level. These differences only get further separated once the two become great lords at which point Lyndis actually triples Lucina's resistance while everything else gets doubled. When equipped with the Mani Katti, Lyn's critical hit ratio would rise so high that she would basically make minced meat out of Lucina before she even had the chance to blink.


Besides, who could possibly turn down a girl with this awesome critical hit animation?



All of this lands Lyndis at #9 on the list.


#10: Wonder Woman - Injustice: Gods Among Us


In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Wonder Woman is both the bad guy, and the good guy. Depends on which world, I guess. What is constant, however, is that she kicks butt. Hard.


Wielding a sword and a shield, Diana is able to take on just about every other superhero in the game. In fact, she is such a great warrior that she is the only one the alternate world Superman could possibly imagine replacing his long-time love interest Lois Lane with. Considering her abilities are almost identical to the Man of Steel's, who can blame him?


Considering the fact that Wonder Woman is a superhero (meaning she's just about invincible thanks to plot armor) there might be some questioning as to why she doesn't rank higher on this list. There are two simple reasons: the first is that she's not technically a video game character, and second is that she is better known for fighting with her fists. Want to argue against me on that? Go ahead. But this Amazon is only getting the position of #10 on this list.


Honorable Mention: Sarah Kerrigan - Starcraft


Okay, so technically Sarah Kerrigan doesn't use blades in game. In fact, she rarely uses them at all. But we do know two things about Kerrigan: when Narud takes on her form to fight her, he uses a Psi-Blade, and when she is the Queen of Blades she uses her exceedingly sharp claws to cut through the tough armor of enemy tanks. While these don't necessarily count as "swords" or "blades" per se, Kerrigan gets an honorable mention on the grounds that if Wolverine can get on a list with sword masters, then so can she!


Besides, what kind of list about the "Queens of Blades" would this be if the Queen of Blades herself wasn't on it? Huh?


(Tough crowd...)


Last week I did a top 10 list of gun-totting women in video games, but after a bit of research I found an even less represented group of females: sword maidens! Just about every top-10 list about masters of the blade in video games has a slew of beefed up males. Few of them - if any - have women! Seriously guys, women with swords are awesome too, right?


So today I'm going to fix that void, and fill it up with this top 10 list of sword-buckling heroines! To fit the criteria of this list, the character must rely on some form of bladed weapon during combat (excluding daggers), and be able to take on at least one enemy twice their size or multiple enemies at once.


With our criteria set, let's take a look at the Top 10 Video Game sword-swinging divas!

Blizzard releases first-looks at Diablo III Season 4 Tue, 11 Aug 2015 20:14:04 -0400 David Fisher

With Diablo III's PTR coming to a close, and patch 2.3.0 approaching a public release, it would seem only natural that Diablo III would enter Season 4 in the near future. Just like in earlier seasons, Season 4 will introduce a slew of season-exclusive legendary items, new cosmetics, and transmogrifications. The season will start on August 28th, at 5 p.m., likely released alongside patch 2.3.0. For a brief overview of what to expect, take a look at the image below:

All of these unlockables are just some of the reasons to return to Diablo III for Season 4!

New Patch, New Season Interface

While previous seasons were simply a ranked version of regular Diablo III servers, this season aims to make the leaderboards a little more friendly for the casual players. The new Season Journey Interface that comes bundled with patch 2.3.0 provides players with a streamlined and simplified achievements system. This interface gives information to Seasonal Characters, such as what conditions are required to unlock transmogrifications, portrait frames, and so on. It also tracks the player's progress through the season, how many objectives they have completed, and what objectives are currently available.

Unlike previous seasons, Season 4's challenges have been divided into Chapters and Tiers, each with various levels of difficulty. The chapters have all been designed to have challenges that most players will be able to complete, and if a sufficient number of challenges have been completed players will be awarded a new pet and portrait for their account. Tiers on the other hand are presented as the true challenges for players, granting exclusive portrait frames that will only be attained by the bravest of Nephalem.

New Legendary Items and Cosmetics

Let's face it, the biggest reason to return each season to Diablo III is for the exclusive legendary items. In Season 4, players will find a new Legendary Gem - Bane of the Stricken - as well as new class-specific items.

Dishonoured Legacy increases the damage of the Barbarian's Cleave skill, while Henri's Perquisition reduces the damage the Witch Doctor takes while simultaneously charming them. Other items not yet revealed are said to be found exclusively inSeason 4, however, Blizzard has not revealed what classes these items would be for or what features they will have.

New Conquests and Achievements

Achievements are sometimes the redeeming factor of a game. While Diablo III is certainly not a game in need of redemption - or maybe it is, considering all the demons players will be fighting - new conquests and achievements will be available during Season 4. These can be found in the images below:

If the prospects of completing achievements alone is not enough, players who have not already unlocked the Conqueror's transmogrification from previous seasons will be able to unlock the shoulder and head pieces by completing Season 4 achievements.

That's all folks!

Remember, Season 4 starts on August 28th at 5 p.m. PDT in North America, 5 p.m. CEST in Europe, and 5 p.m. KST in Asia. This also means that Season 3 will be coming to a close soon. Don't worry about losing your characters from Season 3 though, as all characters, gold, and items from closing seasons become regular heroes that can still be used in normal and hardcore modes. Your leaderboard scores are safe too, although they will be kept on file as a previous season and do not carry over to the newer seasons.

So with nothing else to add, let's turn to the readers! Are you excited for Season 4 of Diablo III? Is the new season enough to get you back into the game? Are you the type of player that shows up only during the first part of the season to get the cool new gear and never touch the game again until the next update? Leave your opinions and Diablo III confessions in the comments section below!

Heroes of the Storm - Barbarian Guide Sun, 06 Apr 2014 13:44:12 -0400 Joseph Rowe

Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm build guide for Sonya, the Barbarian from Diablo 3. In this guide, you will find basic information on the game and the Barbarian, as well as tips on how to play and build her.

This guide will break down into six categories:

  • Introduction - A breakdown of the kind of character you're playing
  • Starter Abilities - The abilities your character starts with at the beginning of the match.
  • Heroic Abilities - Pick from one of these two ultimate-like abilities at team level 10
  • Talents - The character improvements you can choose from to custom build your hero
  • Talent Builds - Recommended builds that I have personally found success with
  • Playstyle Tips - Extra information about the character to help you play your best


In Heroes of the Storm, Sonya, the Barbarian, is a melee warrior with a kit that allows her to do some serious single-target and AoE damage.

Like many of the warrior heroes, she has the potential to be a damage dealer or a tank/initiator for your team. She has a lot of options for increasing her damage and her survivability that allow you some flexibility in how you want to play.

She works well in lane with characters that can keep her health up or that can CC. Her Whirlwind also makes her a great match for pushing lanes along with specialist characters.

Starter Abilities

  • Fury (Combat Trait)
  • Generate Fury by taking and dealing damage. Dealing damage also restores health.

  • Ancient Spear (Q)
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds
  • Throw a spear and pull to the first enemy hit, stunning and dealing damage.

  • Hammer of the Ancients (W)
  • Cooldown: 1 second
  • Deal a large amount of damage to an enemy.

  • Whirlwind (E)
  • Cooldown: 1 second
  • Damage nearby enemies. Can move while using this.

Heroic Abilities (Choose One)

  • Leap (R)
  • Cooldown: 40 seconds
  • Jump on enemies to stun and damage them.

  • Wrath of the Berserker (R)
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds
  • Duration: 12 seconds
  • Gains attack and move speed and becomes unstoppable.

Talents (Choose One from Each Tier)

Tier 1

  • Path of the Warrior: Your Hero gains an extra 25 Health for every level gained.
  • Endless Fury (Trait): Increases maximum Fury to 150.
  • Shot of Fury (Trait): Activate to gain 25 Fury. 45 second cooldown.
Tier 2

  • Amplified Healing: Increases healing taken and regeneration effects by 30%.
  • Focused Attack: Every 5 seconds, your next Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage.
  • War Paint (Trait): Increases your Lifesteal to 20%.
  • Massive Hammer (W): Damage of Hammer of the Ancients is increased by 50% and the Fury cost is increased to 20.
Tier 3

  • Block: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Basic Attacks by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Poisoned Spear (Q): Ancient Spear deals an additional 50% damage over 4 seconds.
  • Seismic Slash (W): Hammer of the Ancients deals splash damage behind the target.
Tier 4

  • Leap (R): Leap into the air, dealing 50 damage to nearby enemies, stunning them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Wrath of the Berserker (R): Gains +100% bonus Attack Speed, +40% bonus Move Speed, +10% additional Lifesteal and silences, stuns, slows, and roots against your Hero have their duration reduced by 50%.
Tier 5

  • Spell Shield: Periodically reduces the damage received from Hero Abilities by 50%. Stores up to 2 charges.
  • Composite Spear (Q): Increases the range of Ancient Spear by 30%.
  • Wind Shear (E): Casting Whirlwind removes all movement impairing effects and increases move speed by 10%.
  • Cyclone (E): Increases the radius of Whirlwind by 80%.
Tier 6

  • Imposing Presence: Enemies that attack you have their Attack Speed slowed by 30%.
  • Mystical Spear (Q): Ancient Spear will pull the Barbarian to the target point, even if it misses a unit (but will not generate Fury.)
  • Hamstring Spiral (E): Whirlwind slows enemy move speed by 25% for 1 second.
  • Stoneskin: Activate to gain 30% of your max health in Shields for 5 seconds.
Tier 7

  • Resurgence of the Storm: Upon dying, revive back at your Altar after 5 seconds. This can occur once every 120 seconds.
  • Fury of the Storm: Basic Attacks bounce twice to nearby enemies for 50% damage.
  • Arreat Crater (R): Leaves behind an impassable crater for 3 seconds.
  • Anger Management (R): Increases the damage of other Barbarian abilities by 50% while Wrath of the Berserker is active. Increases the reduction of silences, stuns, slows, and roots to 75%.

Talent Builds

Tank Barbarian
  • Path of the Warrior: Extra health is always beneficial for tanking.
  • Amplified Healing or War Paint: Lifesteal helps you sustain yourself if there is no support with a heal nearby; if there is such a support, take Amplified Healing.
  • Block: What's a tank without the ability to block?
  • Leap: This is great for initiating team fights.
  • Spell Shield or Wind Shear (E): Wind Shear gets you movement speed to get into the fray, but Spell Shield gives you better defense against enemy abilities.
  • Stoneskin or Imposing Presence: A shield is always useful, but Imposing Presence punishes your enemies for hitting you.
  • Arreat Crater: This greatly enhances your Leap ability.

This is the kind of build you would choose if you wanted to be a tank/initiator. You will be the first person to enter the team fight and try to disorient them so your teammates can get their abilities off and kill the enemy team. This works really well if you have a character like Malfurion supporting you.

Heavy Area Damage Barbarian
  • Endless Fury (Trait): Having extra Fury allows you to spam Hammer of the Ancients and Whirlwind more often.
  • War Paint (Trait): Lifesteal will help sustain you in lane.
  • Wrath of the Berserker (R): Greatly increases your ability to do damage, as well as giving you better survivability.
  • Cyclone or Wind Shear (E): Cyclone lets you hit more targets, but if you're having a hard time getting out of tough situations, Wind Shear will give you a better escape mechanism.
  • Hamstring Spiral (E): Slowing the enemy with Whirlwind effectively guarantees that they will be stuck in your Whirlwind for more of its duration.
  • Anger Management (R) or Fury of the Storm: Make your abilities do even more with Anger Management or do more AoE damage with Fury.

This build focuses on using your Whirlwind and having as much Fury as possible. This is a great setup for pushing lanes, doing damage to multiple Heroes, and clearing merc camps with more than one in them. When you want to do more single target damage, pop your Heroic ability.

Barbarian Playstyle Tips

The Mercenary Queen
  • Whirlwind is one of the best abilities for clearing mercenary camps with multiple enemies.
  • You can take mercenary camps a level or two above you if you have enough Fury and can spam Whirlwind on multiple enemies.
  • Not as effective against single target camps like the Skull Golem.
Spear Tips
  • Do not use Ancient Spear for damage alone. If you use it at the wrong time, it can pull you towards multiple enemies and get you killed.
  • Be sure you can take an enemy if you are going to pull yourself towards them.
  • Once fighting an enemy 1-on-1, feel free to use it to give chase or stun as you please.
Look Before You Leap
  • To maximize the effectiveness of Leap, make sure your enemies are all bundled together.
  • Hitting as many enemies as possible means stunning as many as possible.
  • Stunning enemies is great for team fights.
  • Well placed Leaps win team fights.
Why Kratos is Red: The Diablo 2 Connection Mon, 17 Dec 2012 02:29:37 -0500 Imayen Etim

Director David Jaffe posted on his blog that Kratos, the protagonist of God of War, had a little makeover just before he was unleashed into the world.

Kratos the First was a slightly less intimidating (but perhaps more symbolic) blue, instead of his current red hue. However, a member of the team showed Jaffe a picture of a Diablo 2 Barbarian, and the resemblance was uncanny -- too uncanny to let slide.

I had played Diablo I but never II, and this was sure news to me. As it was to clearly to many/all others on the team, as this was the first we'd heard of the character, let alone the similarity.

So you can bet we changed it, lickity fuckin' split!

Not a huge overhaul, but enough to make it work, especially under a time crunch. The original blue was probably a reference to the colors of the Greek flag, but the red looks much more badass. 

Although, I'm sure he could be pink with glitter, and I probably wouldn't mess with him.

Source: David Jaffe (via Joystiq)