Category Archives: Theorycrafting

Weapon Speed and Channeled Skills

Recently we were given some new information about weapon speed and channeled skills. This may not have surprised you after what Wyatt Cheng stated after Blizzcon, but the clarification is nice. Here is what Bashiok had to say:

The tick rate of channeled skills is currently scaled by your weapon speed. This has the side effect of making the resource cost go up, which we’re okay with. It’s consistent with the philosophy that faster speed weapons consume more resource but may do more damage. Channeled skills might still be better with slower weapons though because on a channeled skill, you have as much mobility as you want, so the “mobility” and “overkill” advantages of faster weapons are eroded with channeled abilities, so all you’re left with is increased mana cost for increased damage.

We’ve been thinking of changing the tooltips and going with “ continuously does X% weapon damage”. The reservations we currently have are:

  • Even though we say continuously, there’s a pulse rate under the hood, so do players want to know this pulse rate?
  • If we did show a pulse rate, we’re adding more complexity to an already complicated tooltip.

However, the benefit of being able to directly compare 135% weapon damage on Disintegrate to X% weapon damage on another skill is super high, so we love that.

Stepping back and going big picture, we’re currently working on greatly simplifying tooltips. It’s too early to give details at this point, but our general feeling is that we provide way too much information in the skill tooltips in general.


With the added damage of off-hand items, finding a two-handed weapon worth using over them paired with a one-hand weapon is nigh impossible in the beta- and likely to be the same at release. But as Bashiok points out, the main difference is mobility and resource cost as faster weapons will put out more damage.

The Relation Between Weapon Speed and Caster Damage

Theorycrafting from the beta raised some interesting questions regarding weapon choices for casters (more specifically for Wizards) that resulted in a very mathy forum post on the official Wizard forums and a question in the Q&A at Blizzcon. To help explain the relation between weapon speed and caster damage, Bashiok made a post with a wonderful response from Wyatt Cheng, the Technical Director for Diablo 3.

The response post can be read here, but be advised- it is quite involved. However, it is totally worth the read.