2H Bow vs Crossbow?

  • #1
    Hey guys, I just hit 60 and I need some help determining if I should spend my saved up gold on a 2 handed bow or crossbow.

    I recently discovered how awesome the crit build is with sharpshooter and nether tentacles so I'd like go for a xbow for the + crit dmg from archery but I could go for a bow for +15% flat damage.

    I guess could put an emerald in a bow that already has + crit damage to make up for it? Thoughts?

    If I'm gonna drop a lot of gold on a weapon then I want to make sure I make the right choice. Any help is appreciated.
  • #2
    Hi, I prefer going with a slow crossbow and crit build. But thats just my kind of playstyle. I think it's a personal decision. Some people like to go with a fast bow and some with a slow xbow.
    In Inferno (act II+) you wont benefit from a fast weapon imho, cause all you do there is hit and run and try to avoid everything.
    But these are just my 2 cents...
  • #3
    but you also want to blow the crap out of everything before it sneezes on you and you die, meaning the burst from crossbow opening fights up can be very useful, and bows aren't exactly consistent damage either, their min/max vary by several hundred so it's not much different from praying for crits after you've opened and depleted full stacked sharpshooter using a crossbow.

    With all the IAS everyone stacks end game I'd be surprised if people could really stutter step a full IAS set of gear with a bow or hand crossbow set. You'd probably get yourself killed more than it would save you, having more mobility from quicker attacks.
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #4
    thanks i'll take that into consideration.
    On the point about IAS not being taken advantage of when you're constantly running from mobs.
    Does that warrant instead going for +crit chance or +crit dmg on items like rings?
  • #5
    Sadness... dualwielding hand Xbows is so awesome, and yet it is so useless... Wish they buffed dual wielding
    -
    To be honest, I do think that 2h Xbow deals the most damage. however, I hate the slow attack speed... I really hate it, and I wont ever use 2h xbow. But it has higher dps.

    Quote from Kodachii

    With all the IAS everyone stacks end game I'd be surprised if people could really stutter step a full IAS set of gear with a bow or hand crossbow set. You'd probably get yourself killed more than it would save you, having more mobility from quicker attacks.


    I can get a full 2.40 ias stutter step...
  • #6
    Quote from Xailoh

    I can get a full 2.40 ias stutter step...


    You would be attacking at the same speed while moving between shots with around 2.0 AS aswell... at 2,4 by the time the animation lets you move, you could be firing your next shot almost... Even if you hardly move at all you still lose some AS check it with a streak of nether tentacles... But of course you're better than what game mechanics allow, teach us master :D
  • #7
    well, in that case i am just blind and I see me attacking at the same speed as attacking while standing...
  • #8
    2.4 is a bit slow for using a bow in end game isn't it? without ias on my chest, helm, bracers, AND neck i'm 2.40 equipping a bow that doesn't even have %ias on it, itself.
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #9
    Very surprised at the XBow answers in this thread. I have been playing around in a spreadsheet with the bonuses you get from Archery and it is quite hard to find a practical stat allocation that shows XBows pulling ahead. For example, at 30% crit chance and 250% crit damage, bows are ahead by a fair margin. If you raise either crit value independently from this baseline, bow dps remains ahead of xbow dps. Only when you have a relatively high crit % chance and relatively low crit damage % do xbows pull ahead.

    Furthermore, xbows are slow as ****. Good luck avoiding Belial claw void zones or mortar affix if you're in mid xbow cast. I still have trouble sometimes moving away in time with a bow and 2.7 APS.

    Regarding stutter stepping, unless you are playing solo and kiting, I don't think this is an issue. From what I have seen in groups, you need a fast weapon for those "oh crap" moments when you need to stop holding/clicking your mouse button and move away asap. Your ability to do this with slow xbows is severely hampered.

    Am I missing something here?
  • #10
    from my browsing the AH, xbows seem to simply come in higher dps. I've seen 1.5k dps xbows, the highest bows i've seen were around 1.1-1.2k.

    This could just be what was available at the time, but i've checked repeatedly and it seems to hold true.
  • #11
    Figure id right something while servers are down

    You all are missing the basic underlying principle, the tradeoff: average damage vs. attack speed. --there is a difference between the two.

    2h xbows have a higher average damage while bows have a moderate average damage and a higher attack speed. Along the same lines dual wielding xbows have the highest attack speed but lowest average damage.

    This fact holds for items of the same level and ignoring for now other stat modifiers. There are plenty of xbows that read a higher dps than a bow but this is because they are simply a higher level weapon (i think devs said they are putting ilvl on weapons after a patch so this should help)

    So the real question is what are the advantages of high average damage? advantages of a high attack speed?

    Both depend on your build, from my experience having high average damage works well if your build uses more high costing skills to output damage quickly, i like to call them shotgun builds because you can dish out big hits but have to "reload" a lot more. Thus go with the xbow. Ive also found that if you want to depend on your critical hits to do a substantial amount of damage go xbow. The range between minimum and max crit damage drastically increases as your average damage goes down.

    Now if your build has a lot of spammable skills (i.e. elemental arrow, chakkarm) then you probably want attack speed (the machine gun builds). You will still get plenty of critical hits if you are using sharpshooter, just some of the numbers may not be as sexy (youll see a 80000 crit one time and a 5000 crit the next). Also as someone mentioned, attack speed works great if you like to run-n-gun a lot.

    So to sum it all up, choose your weapon based on your build:
    1. If you are looking to deal damage primarily through criticals or are using a "shotgun" build-- I would go crossbow.
    2. If you want to 'run-n-gun' or want to use more of a machine gun build-- go 1-handed crossbow (you can dual wield, use a quiver, or a shield , but dual wield has higher attack speed).
    3. And if your build uses a mix of everything go bow.

    This is just the optimal logic Ive been following and its worked well for me. The real trouble is staying alive...
    Blizzard used to care about releasing Diablo III, then they all took an arrow in the knee...
  • #12
    something i've been theorycrafting a bit is a handxbow build where your ias slots are reallocated to crit damage bonus. since you need so little to hit 2.5+ with dw pistols, you can stack crit bonus and additional dex with the slots you save. also, the stat budget on weapons seems to be a lot better than the stat budget on quivers, and with 2x1 socket weapons you can completely override the archery bonus for xbows with emeralds and get 10% free crit. Dunno, with the right gear, everything is possible, but lets be honest.... you look a lot cooler going john woo style with dual crossbows.


    my .02
  • #13
    I've been experimenting with the 2 x hand crossbow builds the last couple of days. I've been using hungering arrow with rune that splits into 3 if it pierces and frost arrow. I've been using cull the weak instead of sharpshooter since my crit is 35%. I've found that replacing the second 1h crossbow with a dex and crit chance quiver to be superior to dual wielding identical 1h crossbows of any damage with double crit dmg emeralds. This could change at some break even point of course. Also if the quiver is 15% ias then then the attack speed remains identical. I have a 5% crit chance / 56% crit dmg 129 dex amulet that is surely compensating for the lack of 70% crit dmg gem gained from socketing the second bow. Now that I think about it though, i'm using blue bows with no stats such as dex or ias, only a socket. So with 2 1h crossbows with nice stats and a socket would likely surpass any quiver. Long story short it appears to me this build will never compete with the burst damage of a big filthy xbow but the build is much more fun to play. It also appears to be the most gear reliant build to realize its full potential.
  • #14
    Quote from RaX

    Very surprised at the XBow answers in this thread. I have been playing around in a spreadsheet with the bonuses you get from Archery and it is quite hard to find a practical stat allocation that shows XBows pulling ahead. For example, at 30% crit chance and 250% crit damage, bows are ahead by a fair margin. If you raise either crit value independently from this baseline, bow dps remains ahead of xbow dps. Only when you have a relatively high crit % chance and relatively low crit damage % do xbows pull ahead.

    Could you share those spreadsheets you are playing with? I'm extremely interested.
  • #15
    Quote from Dryaan

    Quote from RaX

    Very surprised at the XBow answers in this thread. I have been playing around in a spreadsheet with the bonuses you get from Archery and it is quite hard to find a practical stat allocation that shows XBows pulling ahead. For example, at 30% crit chance and 250% crit damage, bows are ahead by a fair margin. If you raise either crit value independently from this baseline, bow dps remains ahead of xbow dps. Only when you have a relatively high crit % chance and relatively low crit damage % do xbows pull ahead.

    Could you share those spreadsheets you are playing with? I'm extremely interested.

    Me too, I'm wondering if you took the naturally higher base dps from crossbow (376.6–380.8dps for bow 501.1–514.3 for xbow) into consideration.
    Also, smokescreen for those oh shit moments. :D
  • #16
    I like the burst damage of a crossbow, so I go for sharpshooter and focus on dexterity and crit damage.
  • #17
    Quote from RaX

    Very surprised at the XBow answers in this thread. I have been playing around in a spreadsheet with the bonuses you get from Archery and it is quite hard to find a practical stat allocation that shows XBows pulling ahead. For example, at 30% crit chance and 250% crit damage, bows are ahead by a fair margin. If you raise either crit value independently from this baseline, bow dps remains ahead of xbow dps. Only when you have a relatively high crit % chance and relatively low crit damage % do xbows pull ahead.

    Furthermore, xbows are slow as ****. Good luck avoiding Belial claw void zones or mortar affix if you're in mid xbow cast. I still have trouble sometimes moving away in time with a bow and 2.7 APS.

    Regarding stutter stepping, unless you are playing solo and kiting, I don't think this is an issue. From what I have seen in groups, you need a fast weapon for those "oh crap" moments when you need to stop holding/clicking your mouse button and move away asap. Your ability to do this with slow xbows is severely hampered.

    Am I missing something here?


    Yes. For those of us soloing, especially those of us undergeared, hitting elite packs extremely hard with opener damage is kind of useful.
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #18
    Xbow is superior because critical hit damage scales better than flat damage the more critical hit chance you get.

    Also, Xbows shoot slower thus you don't burn your hatred extremely fast, thus giving hatred regenerating abilities more bang for your buck, whilst maintaining same DPS.

    And last, when you fight elites, then you can utilize your fast attack speed as well as you'd want, so again slow weapons hitting harder comes out ahead.
  • #19
    Xbow > Bow


    Why? You might be thinking: but hey, Archery passive for bows is better dps, and that's true, however it's a negligible difference. So the cons outweigh the pros.

    Now the reasons why Xbow>Bow are the following:

    1. Tier 18 Xbow higher dps than tier 18 bow

    2. You spend your hatred much faster with a bow (you could be thinking you also regain it faster, but with a bat companion and good dps with an xbow you can kill champs/elites/etc. before you're out of hatred.
    Say you're doing 300k dps/second with Nether tentacles for 10 seconds with a xbow, with a bow you now do 300k dps/second for 5-6 seconds before you have to switch over to hungering arrow. With a 10% elemental arrow quiver like I have this becomes huge. (this does not mean that getting atkspd in gear is bad, it just means that there's no reason to get more atkspd from your weapon when it's just gonna lower your dps there.

    3. Critdmg = very good with sharpshooter passive for your first 5-6 elemental arrows.

    4. You can stutterstep just fine with anything over 1.9-2 atkspd
  • #20
    Quote from Diisfunk

    Xbow > Bow


    Why? You might be thinking: but hey, Archery passive for bows is better dps, and that's true, however it's a negligible difference. So the cons outweigh the pros.

    Now the reasons why Xbow>Bow are the following:

    1. Tier 18 Xbow higher dps than tier 18 bow

    2. You spend your hatred much faster with a bow (you could be thinking you also regain it faster, but with a bat companion and good dps with an xbow you can kill champs/elites/etc. before you're out of hatred.
    Say you're doing 300k dps/second with Nether tentacles for 10 seconds with a xbow, with a bow you now do 300k dps/second for 5-6 seconds before you have to switch over to hungering arrow. With a 10% elemental arrow quiver like I have this becomes huge. (this does not mean that getting atkspd in gear is bad, it just means that there's no reason to get more atkspd from your weapon when it's just gonna lower your dps there.

    3. Critdmg = very good with sharpshooter passive for your first 5-6 elemental arrows.

    4. You can stutterstep just fine with anything over 1.9-2 atkspd

    Point 2 does not make sense. Attack speed will always increase DPS--at any given time or situation.
    Point 3 is also strange as it is hard to believe you can shoot 5 or 6 elemental arrows within the window of 1 second. Not realistic with current level of gear.
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