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Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Offensive Stats 2a. Damagerelate stats 2b. Weapon DPS (aka Tooltip DPS) 2c. Damage Rating 2d. Weighing Damage Stats 2e. Strength Equivalency Points (SEP) 2f. Other Considerations 2g. Overview 3. Defensive Stats 3a. SurvivalRelated Stats 3b. Effective Health 3c. Maximum Life 3d. Damage Reduction from Armor and Resistances 3e. Armor and Resistances Expanded 3f. Weighing Damage Stats **coming soon** 3g. Vitality Equivalency Points (VEP) **coming soon** 3h. Other Defensive Stats **coming soon** 3i. Overview **coming soon** 4. Miscellaneous Itemization Tips **coming soon** 1. Introduction One of the most commonly asked questions: "Which stat is more important to Barbarians: A or B?" I've read a ton of guides and some of them give pretty misleading information on this topic. For example, stat priority rankings/lists are complete nonsense. Some guides out there will tell you that All Resist is more important than Armor and Vitality. Would you consider 10 Resist All to be better than 230 armor or 70 Vitality? Probably not. Some guides will tell you that you need X All Resist in order to do Act Y or that you shouldn't bother going above Z Life. Where the heck do these imaginary numbers come from? There are tons of misconceptions floating about the Barbarian forums, causing confusion and ultimately bad gear decisions. When it comes to the question: "Which stat is more important to Barbarians: A or B?" The answer is always: "It depends." It depends how much of each stat we're comparing. It depends how much of each stat you already have. It also depends how much of each other stat you have. There is a lot of math behind the answer to this question, and it's never as simple as "A is better than B". This guide will break down exactly how to measure stats and how to determine their relative value. The content of the guide will be very mathematical since that is the nature of a "spreadsheet game" such as Diablo 3. Unfortunately, BulKathos was not a big fan of math and the same can probably be said about most Barbarians, so I will try my best to draw simple and definitive conclusions on how to apply these concepts with the purpose of making the better gearrelated decisions. By the time you've read this guide, hopefully you will have a better understanding of Barbarian itemization. 2. Offensive Stats 2a. Damagerelated stats Here are a list of damagerelated stats to consider: 2b. Weapon DPS (aka "Tooltip DPS") When you hover your mouse over your weapon, the tooltip shows your weapon's base DPS. This is the most important number when evaluating the quality of a weapon with respect to how much damage it deals. It is calculated as follows: Weapon DPS = ((Min Damage + Max Damage) / 2) * Weapon Speed Important things to know about "Weapon DPS": When evaluating a weapon's damage output, you can more or less ignore "+Elemental Damage", "Increased Attack Speed", and "Damage Increased by". Instead, the Weapon's DPS is the only actual important number here and the game has already done the math for you. Bear in mind, there are some benefits to having a faster weapon or a slower weapon, but that is a different topic altogether. For the rest of this discussion, we will consider "Weapon DPS" as one stat, even though there are several components that are involved. 2c. Damage Rating Calculations Your damage rating, as it appears under "Attributes" in your Character screen, is calculated as follows:
x 1 + (Strength / 100) x 1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%) x 1 + AttackSpeed% x 1 + DamageMultiplier Note: "DamageMultiplier" refers to bonuses your character gains from Skills (Battle Rage), Runes (Maniac) and Passives (Berserker Rage). As you can see, each of the following stats have a multiplicative effect on each other: What this implies is, as you increase any of these stats, it makes each of the other stats more valuable. Having a higher DPS weapon makes each point of Strength more valuable, and viceversa. Having a higher Attack Speed bonus makes each point of Crit Chance more valuable, and vice versa. 2d. Weighing Damage Stats "How much of each individual stat would you need in order to your total DPS by exactly 10%?" The answer to this question is the key to determining the relative value of each stat. Simple and straightforward, since your weapon is the the base by which all other stats are applied to. Why (Strength + 100) and not just (Strength)? Because your Strength increases your damage by X%, and not to X%. The bonus weapon damage from Strength is added to your base weapon damage. 900 Strength would add 9x your weapon damage to your base weapon damage. Therefore, 900 Strength would actually multiply your damage by 10x, and not by 9x. Your "Attack Speed Increased" stat is hidden and is automtically factored into your character's Attack Speed stat. To find out how much you already have simply add up your Attack Speed Increase from each piece of gear. This calculation is a little more complicated because there are two stats involved. However, since there are two stats involved that multiply with each other, and then subsequently multiply with all other stats, the benefits of increasing your Critical Hit stats are exponential. If you are going to go this route to increase your DPS, you will need to commit very heavily to it. If you do, the benefits are huge. 2e. Strength Equivalency Points (SEP) To make it easier on yourself to determine the relative value of each respective stat, try to figure out how many points of Strength one point of each other damage point is equivalent to for your character. Here's an example of how I did it: At one point, my stats were something like: I know that 100 Strength increases my DPS by 6.67%. To increase my DPS by 6.67% with other stats, I need about: By dividing 100 by the above figures, I came up with the following: IMPORTANT!!! Your SEP value for each stat will vary, depending on how many of each stat you have and your numbers might be completely different than mine. Calculate your own! I make a point to recalculate these numbers after every upgrade, and memorize these numbers. This makes it way easier for me to make the best gear decisions. I've been doing this for the past few weeks, ever since I hit level 60. (Coming Soon  A Spreadsheet to calculate the above) 2f. Other Considerations Sometimes, the benefits of certain damage stats go beyond increasing your damage rating: 2g. Overview So what can we take away from all this? Memorizing formulas is not important. Knowing how your stats work and how they interact with each other is important. Here are some key realizations from the above:
Edited by Bokchoy#1328 on 6/15/2012 8:29 AM PDT


3. Defensive Stats
3a. Survivalrelated stats The following defenserelated stats are universally beneficial against all types and sources of damage. They will help you survive against anything that can hurt you. These are the stats that contribute to "Effective Health". There are other defensive stats that contribute to damage mitigation, but are situational in the sense that they only apply to certain types/sources of damage. 3b. Effective Health Effective health is a measure of your character's ability to survive damage. The formula is simple: Effective Health = Maximum Life x Damage Reduction It's possible to break this formula down even further and calculate your actual Effective Health according to individual stats such as Vitality, Life%, Resistances and Armor. People have made spreadsheets that can do this for you, but in my opinion this number is only actually important when it comes to comparing your survivability to the survivability of someone else's character. When it comes to selecting gear for your Barbarian, the concept of Effective Health is very important, but the actual numerical value is not important at all. All you really need to know about Effective Health is that Maximum Life and Damage Reduction multiply with each other to form your Effective Health. The reason this concept is important is because it allows you to relate life stats to damage reduction stats for the purpose of comparing them and weighing them against each other. It's also important because it illustrates how each point of Life makes Damage Reduction more valuable, and each point of Damage Reduction makes each Life more valuable. 3c. Maximum Life Your Maximum Life is your most basic stat. I don't think I need to explain what it is. It is calculated as follows: Maximum Life = (1 + Life%) * ((35 * Vitality) + 276) (1 + Life%) obviously represents your Life% bonus. (35 * Vitality) obviously represents the 35 Life points from each point of Vitality. That 276 is the amount of Life your character has if he had 0 Vit. Because +Life% and Vitality have a multiplicative relationship, having Vitality makes +Life% more valuable and having more +Life% makes each point of Vitality more valuable. As you may have noticed by now, stats that multiply with each other is a recurring theme with Diablo 3 statistics and encourages a balance of multiple stats rather than stacking a single stat. 3d. Damage Reduction from Armor and Resistances Armor and Resistances are your main damage mitigation stats. Contrary to some early misconceptions, Armor does indeed reduce all damage from all sources and not just physical damage. The damage reduction from Armor is universal. Resistances work very similarly to Armor, but is categorized under six different "elements" of damage: Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning, Poison, Arcane. Every source of damage falls under one of these types. You can increase your resistances individually by finding the corresponding resistance type on gear, or by finding gear with "Resistance to All Elements" which, like Armor, is universal. Having 50 Resistance to All Elements is exactly the same as having 50 Resistance to each individual element. The damage reduced by Armor and Resistance is obviously dependent on how much Armor/Resistance you have, but is also dependent on the enemy's level. Damage reduction is calculated as follows: ArmorDR% = Armor / (Armor + (50 * EnemyLevel)) ResistDR% = Resistance / (Resistance + (5 * EnemyLevel)) As you can see, the formulas are almost identical. Having 5000 Armor will reduce amount of damage as having 500 Resistance. If you are curious as to what your total damage reduction from Armor and Resistances is, here is the formula: Total Damage Reduction % = 1  ((1  ArmorDR%) * (1  ResistDR%)) At this point, we know that Armor and Resistance are pretty useful. We know that having a higher number means taking less damage than having a lower number. We've now figured out how Armor and Resistances work and how Damage Reduction is calculated. Sooo... how do we actually determine its actual value? In order to do that, we need to figure out how much Effective Health is gained by having X Armor/Resist. We can figure this out by combining the following formulas: 1a) ArmorDR% = Armor / (Armor + (50 * EnemyLevel)) 1b) ResistDR% = Resistance / (Resistance + (5 * EnemyLevel)) 2) Damage Taken % = 1  DR% 3) Effective Health % = 1 / Damage Taken which can be simplified to... ArmorEH% = (Armor + (50 * Enemy Level)) / (50 * Enemy Level) ResistEH% = (Resistance + (5 * Enemy Level)) / (5 * Enemy Level) ArmorEH% and ResistEH% are actually important for calculating what Armor and Resist actually do for you. These two formulas can be multiplied with each other to determine your total Effective Health increase from damage reduction. TotalEH% = ArmorEH% * ResistEH% 3e.Armor and Resistances Expanded Here are some important facts to know about Armor and Resistances: #1. Enemy Levels in Inferno. Act 1: Level 61 Act 2: Level 62 Act 3: Level 63 Act 4: Level 63 Whimsyshire: Level 63 This has a small influence on your Damage Reduction calculations. #2. The relationship between Armor/Resist gain and your Effective Health % is linear. Using the formula from the previous section: Contrary to popular belief, there are no diminishing returns on Armor/Resist gain. As you can see, while the Damage Reduction % increase decelerates as your Armor increases, but your Effective Health % maintains a linear growth. #3. 10 Armor does not necessarily always equal 1 All Resist In fact, it rarely ever does. This is another very common misconception. While the benefits of having 5000 Armor is equal to the benefits of having 500 All Resist, the relative value between 10 Armor vs 1 All Resist is dynamic and completely depends on how much of each stat you currently have. Let's compare the effects of adding 2000 Armor vs 200 Resist. As you can see, adding 2000 Armor and adding 200 Resist has the exact same effect on your Effective Health, giving the illusion that 10 Armor is equal to 1 Resist. So, if you trade 200 Resist for 2000 armor, your Effective Health should remain the same, right??? As you can see, trading 2000 Armor for 200 Resist resulted in an overall reduction of Effective Health, indicating that 10 Armor is not always equal to 1 Resist. As a rule of thumb: How much more/less valuable you ask? This can be calculated in the VEP calculator. (Coming soon!) #4. Every point of Strength & Vitality* gives 1 Armor and every 10 points of Intelligence gives 1 All Resist. *Assuming you're using Nerves of Steel like you should be. Barbarians want Strength/Vitality and will naturally pursue it for the purpose of increasing their DPS anyway. However, it is astonishing how badly Intelligence is blatantly ignored by Barbarians.
208 Armor 88 Strength 121 Intelligence 78 Vitality 69 All Resist
208 Armor 88 Strength 78 Vitality 73 All Resist 12% Better Chance of Finding Bananas Which gloves are better? Barbs have been taught that All Resist is king, so most people will naturally gravitate to the item with higher All Resist stat, since Str/Vit/Armor are the same. What some people fail to realize is that the Bracers of Brute Force is strictly better than the Bracers of Dumb Gorillas (by "strictly better", I mean that it is better in at least one important aspect and at least equal in all other aspects besides fruit production). I buy and resell a lot of Barb gear as my primary source of income, and I know that I wouldn't be able to sell the first Gloves for nearly as much as the second despite the fact that is strictly better. Don't be a dumb gorilla. Factor Intelligence into your gear evaluation. You can have better stats and save gold this way. #5 Increasing your Effective Health by Damage Reduction is better than by adding Life Effective Health is a measure of your character's ability to survive damage. Doubling your Maximum life vs halving the your damage taken would each have the same effect on your Effective Health. However, there are certain factors that benefit more from having increased Damage Reduction over increased Maximum Life, even if they both have the same effect on your overall Effective Health: Note: Keep in mind that Revenge, Furious Charge w/ Dreadnaught, and Health Globes heal you for an amount based on your Maximum Life, so it does not have an increased benefit from Damage Reduction. 3f. Weighing Effective Health Stats 3g. Vitality Equivalence Points (VEP) 3h. Other Defensive Stats 3i. Overview
Edited by Bokchoy#1328 on 6/15/2012 7:29 AM PDT


Nice, good to know.


Thanks for all the great info. I found this to be very informative. Can't wait to see the rest when you are all done


I do believe that part of this sentence is not correct. Adding weapon damage through a socketed Ruby does indeed update the Tooltip DPS. Other than that, fantastic post and thank you for the time it took you to create it so far. 

it does but it is added after the base wep damage. when you add a ruby it increases your str. but it does not add to your wep dps, it adds to your dps. 

can u add me and help me a little bit on gear decisions??


You're right and I should have been more clear. The bonus from socketed Ruby will reflect in your weapon tooltip DPS when it is in your inventory, but not from the Auction House. However, when you sort by DPS, the Ruby socket will reflect in the sorting order. Thanks, Blizzard programming! 

Thanks for this, the SEP concept is a great way to grade gear as a dps boost.


Feel free to add me. I'm happy to help or discuss the contents of this guide. However, the point of this thread is to help you make gear decisions on your own. I cannot be anyone's gear consultant or personal shopper. By reading my guide, you should be able to do that on your own. 

Well done and thanks for your share, keep it up bro.


I'm glad to hear that you like the SEP concept. Coming soon: VEP (Vitality Equivalence Points) to measure survivability stats, such as Life%, Resistances, Armor. 
Bokchoy, Thank you for the time and effort to put this together for the community. Quick question on your Crit factor. Does it account for the default crit bonus dmg. Even if you have 0% CritBonus your Crits are still going to be +100% you base dmg correct? (Example: You have 100% crit chance but 0% bonus; your base dmg is 10k ... you are hitting for 20k by default. Is this accounted in your formula). I am not sure if my theory is correct you have put more time into this and would know better  still I think the cirt bonus dmg is applied to the original 100% of default crit dmg. Thanks
Edited by RaKuRa#1976 on 6/12/2012 11:41 AM PDT

Thank you for the write up sir ... good info ... I look forward to your bit on defensive stats


Great question! Your calculation should include your default Crit Chance (5%) and Crit Bonus (50%), as well as passives (Ruthless, Weapon Mastery w/ Axe/Mace), in addition to Crit stats gained from equipment and gems.
Edited by Bokchoy#1328 on 6/13/2012 11:53 PM PDT


nice write up, looking forward to reading about the other sections.


BulKathos guide your hand. 

sticky requested...


Sticky requested as well.
I've been stacking crit hit chance and crit hit damage on my Barbarian. Attack Speed % is after that, then finally strength. I've been giving up a little bit of strength for vitality/all resist, but I've been trying to keep it balanced. I'm not quite in Inferno yet (level 59, Act 3 Hell), but I can still wreckit and hit hard. Fully buffed, I get a 62.5% crit rate with (thinks) 340%ish plus crit damage. It's pretty fun. It's nice to see the mechanics behind everything and it looks like the calculations are working in my favor for my play style. 

Balls to the walls crit is awesome. The reason is, like I've mentioned in my guide, Crit Chance and Crit Bonus directly multiply with each other to form your "Crit Multiplier", which is then multiplied with all other damage stats. The benefits of stacking crit stats is exponential, while other stats are linear.
As a result, stacking Crit does crazy things for your DPS if you can get enough of it. In my opinion, this grants the largest benefit to having a high DPS weapon for 2H builds, as long as your gear is good enough for it. Crit Chance/Bonus is very underexplored right now and I might write a whole section on it in the future.
Edited by Bokchoy#1328 on 6/12/2012 1:58 PM PDT

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