You might be talking about US but if it is EU, there is no way you can find anything usable in legendary department for 5m gold. If you only shop on AH, you will heavily pressed to buy 1.2k DPS weapon with socket for 5m.
Anyway, weapon of choice depends on the build and whether you prefer hard or fast hitting--2hnd crossbow or 2nd bow. I always preferred hard hitting 2nd crossbows, therefore, I look for the following:
1300+ DPS--mileage may vary on your budget and how far you are in the gearing
No IAS on weapon
LOH or LS
DEX or VIT
First of all, I would always look for at least 100DPS difference when upgrading your weapon. Buying new weapon is significant investment that very often loses value very quickly, therefore, you should only upgrade when the gain is meaningful.
Socket is nearly mandatory nowadays, especially when running 2hnd crossbow build. You can look for crossbow with critical hit damage affix with at least 80-85%, which is probably the most you will put into an empty socket. Socket is probably still better choice because it can be used for LOH gem if need be.
No IAS on weapon is also important for 2hnd crossbow builds. While generally IAS is good way to increase your DPS, the way it was implemented in weapons is bit unfortunate. IAS is already baked into weapon DPS calculation, which means that faster attack speed means that min and max damage range will be lower. As a result, weapon with IAS and comparable DPS as other weapon without IAS will always have its damage ranges lower. This goes against slow but hard hitting concept that 2hnd crossbow builds are built around. Summary, dont get IAS on your weapon unless you are already in 1.5k DPS range when it is probably not avoidable.
Rest of the priorities on the list are really optional but will help you. LOH or LS is nice help when you encounter damage reflecting mobs. DEX or VIT will help you hit harder or survive more.
either you kite or either you kill them before they kill you
so 2h bow : alot more mobility shoots faster, but less damage
2h xbow : harder hits less mobility
I prefer 2h bows myself and I have a 1.2k windforce, and I just like it. I use Hungering arrow/crit run/cluster arrow. 120-30k without sharpshooter or so. Only 40% crit, but am shooting at 1.99 ... So I almost have 2 arrows a second. This really works out nicely for hungering arrow. I also run at 3.2 hatred regen (got it on my cloak/quiver/bow), which really makes me get to use cluster arrow very fast. The problem I personally have with a 2h xbow is that the animation takes long, even with lots of attack speed. For some mobs if they have the fast affix and they shoot stuff at you, you're screwed. I have 40khp with gem, 350 all ress, and 3k armor, so got some good reduction. This just works out for me. A 2h xbow gets better with more attack speed, just try it out both I would say. Get something very cheap test out the animations and mobility and then choose to go for either a 2h bow or 2h xbow
you always want to look at the following
- socket or very high crit damage (combination of both add a zero to your price)
- minimum and maximum damage (for a bow this really matter, always pick the one with the higher minimum damage)
- if it has dex on it, nice but it's not a must
- if it has life on hit/lifesteal on it, nice, but not a must its just helpfull
I used to run with bow for quite some time. My main issue with it was the range of damage. Thats why I switched to Xbow lately.
Bow makes up for it with attack speed, but thats not what I am looking for. Steady dps is what I like.
As for stat prios - its been said pretty well here. I always look for socket and dex. Having more stats gets very expensive on weps with high dps.
I got pretty lucky with a 2h bow with a socket and crit damage for 5 mil and 1.1k dps. It had no other significant stats, but it was a major increase in DPS. I think it is only possible to find these kind of cheap upgrades now because the market has been flooded with so much gear recently.
I think 2h bows are the best cheap upgrades in my opinion. You will do higher damage with the slow firing 2h crossbows, but if you don't have very high critical chance it doesn't matter anyways. Sharpshooter will help until you can afford some crit chance gear, but I think bows give great survivability using gloom because you can hit so many more times. I currently use a manticore, but it was only my second 2h crossbow after making the transition from bows.
Thanks for the info, everyone! I found an entry-level Manticore on the AH (992 DPS, 191 Dex, 79 Vit, 10 IAS, 75 Crit Dmg, 1 Slot) and it was definitely an improvement for me! Hopefully it'll tide me over for a while...