Jun 08 2012

Diablo 3 Guide: Rings & Amulets

Comparing Accessories

What stats bonuses should you be looking for in an accessory?

Welcome to another one of my quick guides to getting the most out of your Diablo 3 character.

In my previous guide I talked about equipment optimization in general. This time I’m going to talk about rings & amulets.

More after the jump…

Attack Speed Bonuses

When you are looking for accessories in Diablo 3, the first question you have to ask yourself is “what do I want out of these slots? More damage? Health?” Personally, I think you should focus on gaining maximum DPS bonuses out of these slots because you can simply get a bigger damage bonus out of them than any other slots barring weapon slots. This is because (aside form legendary items) only gloves, rings, amulets, and off-hand items can have attack speed bonuses (I am aware weapons can as well, but that is irrelevant because it’s already factored into that weapons base displayed DPS).

The combination of an attack speed bonus with a bonus to damage (and/or a bonus to your primary damage stat) is one of the most potent DPS boosters you can get for a character.

While Blizzard have suggested that they may reduce the effectiveness of attack speed bonuses in the upcoming 1.03 patch, attack speed is likely to remain a very valuable bonus given the way that bonuses on accessories work (i.e. Bonus Damage & Attack Speed or Primary Damage Stat & Attack Speed are likely to remain better than Bonus Damage & Primary Damage Stat because of how they add to total DPS).

Assuming they decide to nerf attack speed by re-speccing existing attack speed bonuses on items (which I would much prefer to stacking penalties for transparency) it will remain fairly simple to understand what the DPS implications of an attack speed bonus are: Simply multiply the decimal form of the bonus (1.10 for +10% bonus, or 1.01 in going from 9% to 10%) by your existing base DPS to see its effects on total DPS.

Edited to Add: I forgot to note when I originally put this article up that there are some exceptions to my recommendation of pairing attack speed bonuses with another bonus. These would primarily be for characters that are built around maximizing critical damage (i.e. Demon Hunter sharpshooter builds) and builds that focus almost entirely on burst damage abilities. Though for burst damage abilities, attack speed still affects how quickly those abilities are cast, so it is still useful in my opinion.


Bonus Weapon Damage vs. Bonus to Primary Damage Stat

The next major question with accessories is: Do I want Attack Speed & Bonus Damage or should I go for Attack Speed & Primary Damage Stat (again, Str for Barbarians, Dex for Demon Hunters and Monks, Int for Wizards and Witch Doctors) instead?

When comparing Bonus Damage to Bonus Primary Damage Stat there is a simple equation you can use to see how many points of your primary damage stat are worth one point of bonus damage (kudos to LessPop_MoreFizz for this formula):

(Primary Damage Stat + 100)/(Average Weapon Damage) = Points of your Primary Damage Stat worth as much DPS as one point of bonus damage.

Primary Damage Stat can simply be taken directly from your inventory screen. Average Weapon Damage is simply your weapons displayed DPS + bonus damage you receive from other items (Off-Hand, Rings, Amulets. Add the minimum and maximum bonus for all these non weapon damage bonuses, divide by 2, and add to your weapons DPS stat).

The result of this formula will tell you how many point of your primary damage stat are worth as much as 1 point of bonus damage, allowing you to compare which bonus is better for your character. As a general rule, low level characters will benefit much more from Bonus Damage while high (i.e. Level 40+) level characters will almost certainly benefit much more from Bonus Primary Damage Stat.

This is because (simplifying out average critical damage, ability bonuses and attack speed) your base damage is calculated as follows:

Base Damage = (Average Weapon Damage + Average Damage Bonuses from Items) x (Primary Damage Stat x 0.01 + 1).

What this means is that damage bonuses are added to your damage while primary damage stat bonuses (divided by 100 and added to one) are multiplied against Average Weapon Damage. The issue is that low level weapons have very low base damage so multiplying a large primary damage stat bonus against it has a small effect, while flatly adding bonus weapon damage still has a large effect. Conversely for high level characters, adding base weapon damage isn’t that big a bonus compared to increasing the amount your base weapon damage is multiplied by.


Two Examples: Bonus Damage vs. Bonus Priamry Damage Stat at Low Level and High Level

Two examples will show you the implications of this for low level vs. high level characters:

Lets take a Level 15 character with a Weapon DPS of 20, no bonus damage from items, and a primary damage stat of 400.

Primary Damage Stat per 1 point of Weapon damage = 500/20 = 25 PDS per 1WD

If you consider that even a +3-6 damage ring is thus equal to adding 112.5 points of primary damage stat at this level, you can see that bonus damage is far better.

Now lets look at a high level character (my Lvl. 45 Wizard with a Lvl 60 weapon with a reduced level requirement bonus) note I’m rounding my stats here for ease of use: 700 DPS weapon, 1100 Intelligence

Primary Damage Stat per 1 point of Weapon damage = 1200/700 = 1.71 PDS per 1WD

This means for my character, a bonus of +65 Intelligence (as pictured) is worth as much Base Damage as an Average Damage Bonus of 38, which is far beyond what you can get on any accessory a Lvl 45 character can wear. Thus for my character, intelligence bonuses are way more powerful.


Conclusion and Shopping Tip

A convenient bonus to everyone’s gold stash is that magic rings and amulets that have both a Bonus to Attack Speed and a Bonus to Weapon Damage or a Bonus to Primary Damage stat can generally be acquired at fairly reasonable prices on the Auction House. Just make sure to shop around and realize that paying ridiculous sums of gold for rares that have both of these plus a socket is generally not worth the difference in price (that gold would be better spent on a higher DPS weapon most likely).

I hope this guide has helped you to understand how to get the most out of your character’s accessory slots. Stay tuned for more D3 guides at TYG!

That’s Yo “Why yes I’m a raging DPS whore, why do you ask?” Garbage

About the author


Lorenzo tends to utterly emphatic opinions on the things that interest him: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Video Games, Anime, Tabletop Games, Technology and Internet Spaceships.

2 pings

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