Act 5 Merc - A few issues and possible upgrade
While I appreciate the effort to allow other mercs to be used to ensure that they are not the only ones being used. Act 2 mercs are not the only ones that are being utilized but the Barbs require some tweaks to ensure that they are not only useful but also very effective on their own.
The current issue I am seeing is their yells. Battle Cry and Taunt will be able to override curses thrown on objects like Decrepify, Amplify Damage, or Tap to name a few of the most effective. They are ineffective when compared to an A2 Merc.
It would be great to see them use Axes also, instead of swords only, irrespective of changing the design of the merc's model to show anything other than swords.
The mechanics should be able to replace the emersion to cover this aspect. Since people are putting polearms on mercs in act 2 frequently, but they still show them with a spear, it's not that significant.
This is my suggestion: offer both the two hand and frenzy mercs Battle Orders. Start at a minimum level of 5, and then increase it by one every 20 levels to 10 levels. After that, any skill like +warcry or +barb etc. would boost the level. It should be made so that the mercenary will only give battle commands when it's already free of it.
Any character that is based on physical damage will likely move to a merc from Act 5, leaving act 2 mercs the most popular choice for players. Act one and three mercs have their own niche applications occasionally however by making this change, it will provide a top-tier choice.