**Table of Contents**

**1. Introduction**

**2. Offensive Stats**

-2a. Damage-relate 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. Survival-Related 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, Bul-Kathos 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 gear-related decisions.

By the time you've read this guide, hopefully you will have a better understanding of Barbarian itemization.

**2. Offensive Stats**

**2a. Damage-related stats**

Here are a list of damage-related stats to consider:

**Weapon Damage (Min & Max):**How much damage each attack will deal.

**Weapon Speed:**How many times you will attack per second.

**Strength:**A bonus multiplier to your weapon damage.

**Attack Speed:**A bonus multiplier to your weapon speed.

**Crit Chance:**A % chance for your attack to become a critical hit, dealing more damage than normal.

**Crit Bonus:**The bonus damage granted by each critical hit.

**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:

**Weapon DPS**

x

1 + (Strength / 100)

x

1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)

x

1 + AttackSpeed%

x

1 + DamageMultiplier

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 vice-versa.

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.

**i. Weapon DPS**: - Increase your Weapon's DPS by 10%

Simple and straightforward, since your weapon is the the base by which all other stats are applied to.

**ii. Strength**: - Increase your (Strength + 100) by 10%

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.

**iii. Attack Speed**: - Increase (Attack Speed Increased + 1) by 10%

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.

**iv. Critical Hit**: - Increase (1 + (Critical Hit Chance * Critical Hit Bonus)) by 10%

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 re-calculate 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:

**3. Defensive Stats**

**3a. Survival-related stats**

The following defense-related 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".

**Vitality:**Increases your life total by 35 per point.

**+Life%:**A bonus multiplier to your total life.

**Resistance:**Reduces damage taken. Functions independently of Armor.

**Armor:**Reduces damage taken. Functions independently of All Resist.

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.

**Elemental Resist:**Reduces damage taken, specific to one of the six unique elements: Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning, Poison, Arcane.

**Specialized Reduction:**A Damage Reduction stat that only works on a specific damage source, such as Melee, Ranged and Elite mobs.

**Dodge:**Your chance to completely avoid certain attacks. Only certain sources of damage can be dodged.

**+Block %:**A chance to reduce incoming damage from a single hit, by a flat, random amount. You need a Shield to block, and only certain sources of damage can be blocked.

**Block Value:**Determines the amount of damage that is reduced when Blocking an attack.

**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))

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:

*Note: Divide Armor by 10 for Resistance numbers*

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.

**Bracers of Brute Force**

208 Armor

88 Strength

121 Intelligence

78 Vitality

69 All Resist

**Bracers of Dumb Gorillas**

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:

**Health Potions**: Because it heals you for a flat amount, increasing your damage reduction would indirectly increase the effectiveness of Health Potions. Basically, increasing your damage reduction makes every life point more valuable, while increasing your Maximum Life simply gives you more of it.

**Life on Hit, Life per Kill, Life per Second**: Same as above. These things heal you for a flat amount and therefore benefit from increased Damage Reduction.

**Life Steal, Bloodthirst, Ignore Pain w/ Ignorance is Bliss**: They don't necessarily heal you for a flat amount, but the amount it healed is based on something other than your life pool. Again, same concept as the above.

**Block**: Block value is the last damage calculation to be applied, and your shield blocks for a flat amount. Having higher damage reduction means that blocking X damage will block a higher percentage of the attack's total damage.

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**

Nice, good to know.

Weapon DPS *DOES NOT* take into account any other stat, such as Strength, Crit Chance, Crit Bonus, and Weapon Damage added by socketing a Ruby. If these stats appear on a weapon, they must be calculated independently of the Weapon DPS.

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.

Weapon DPS *DOES NOT* take into account any other stat, such as Strength, Crit Chance, Crit Bonus, and Weapon Damage added by socketing a Ruby. If these stats appear on a weapon, they must be calculated independently of the Weapon DPS.

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??

Weapon DPS *DOES NOT* take into account any other stat, such as Strength, Crit Chance, Crit Bonus, and Weapon Damage added by socketing a Ruby. If these stats appear on a weapon, they must be calculated independently of the Weapon DPS.

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.

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.

06/12/2012 11:10 AMPosted by GSWANGcan u add me and help me a little bit on gear decisions??

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.

06/12/2012 11:16 AMPosted by HammertimeThanks for this, the SEP concept is a great way to grade gear as a dps boost.

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.

Your damage rating, as it appears under "Attributes" in your Character screen, is calculated as follows:

Weapon DPS

x

1 + (Strength / 100)

x

1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)

x

1 + AttackSpeed%

x

1 + DamageMultiplierNote: "DamageMultiplier" refers to bonuses your character gains from Skills (Battle Rage), Runes (Maniac) and Passives (Berserker Rage).

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

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

Your damage rating, as it appears under "Attributes" in your Character screen, is calculated as follows:

Weapon DPS

x

1 + (Strength / 100)

x

1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)

x

1 + AttackSpeed%

x

1 + DamageMultiplierNote: "DamageMultiplier" refers to bonuses your character gains from Skills (Battle Rage), Runes (Maniac) and Passives (Berserker Rage).

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

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.

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

06/12/2012 09:59 AMPosted by BokchoyUnfortunately, Bul-Kathos 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 gear-related decisions.

Bul-Kathos guide your hand.

sticky requested...

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 wreck-it 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.

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.