Back in 2e there was a class called the barbarian. It was sort of like a mix between the rogue, ranger, and fighter, but with no magic. It had a large hit die. It attacked with a good thac0. It got poor armor proficiencies. I can’t remember what its weapon proficiencies looked like. It also got a bunch of the percentile “skills” from the rogue list. I can’t remember if it had hide or not, but I do remember that it had great jumping, running, and climbing abilities. Then you picked a kit to finalize your character type. There were LOTS of kits. The berserker was only one type of barbarian. Other barbarians focused on very different types of activities.
I HATED the 3e barbarian because it forced all barbarians to be berserks. The class went from being one of my favorite classes to being one of my least favorite classes. Then the 4e barbarian came out. The 4e barbarian still used “rages.” Except, rages were not actually rages, per se. I mean, they could be. But, sometimes they gave you lasting benefits that really had nothing to do with getting angry. Look at swift panther rage; it has more to do with moving at inhuman and animalistic speeds than berserking. A paragon path like the “swiftrunner” really re-cemented the 2e notion that not all barbarians are berserkers. The 4e rages were more like channeling primal spirits to focus on performing some particular activity. The mechanics were not the same, but it felt more like the 2e barbarian class to me. You could be a stereotypical Viking inspired berserker, but you did not have to be.
The current DDN barbarian class looks very fun. But, it is once again a pigeonholed berserker. If they add alternative options instead of the existing features then fine. Otherwise, I really want this class to be renamed berserker. Maybe “barbarian” could become a background skill package with some sort of thematic trait. Then again, maybe that already exists in the form of the “wanderer.” Either way, if the barbarian class keeps the barbarian name I would like to see the class offer more of the various archetypes offered in 2e and 4e. Otherwise, I would like the class to be renamed berserker.