While Diablo 3 items have quite a few character stats there are only a few that are actually that useful. Most stats are kind of garbage, and almost every character desires this same subset of stats on their items. In this post I have listed all of the useful stats. Ignore any stats you see in the game that are not on this list.
- +X – Y (Element) Damage – I like to call this flat damage. It’s a flat damage bonus to the minimum and maximum damage that a weapon does. The damage can be particular element or just Physical damage. It appears on Weapons, Rings, and Amulets.
- +X% Damage – This stat only appears on Weapons and can give a big percentage boost to the weapon’s damage. It stacks with any flat damage above.
- Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence – Each class has a Primary Attribute that increases all damage they do by 1% per point. It can appear on every item type.
- Attack Speed – Attack speed bonuses reduce the time between attacks. More attacks go off in the same time period results in more DPS. It appears on Weapons, Gloves, Rings, and Amulets.
- Critical Hit Chance – All characters have a base 5% chance to get a critical hit for a base 50% more damage on that hit. This affix will increase that chance. Critical hit chance is one of the most important stats because many builds have skill runes whose effects only proc from critical hits. It can appear on Helms, Bracers, Gloves, Rings, Amulets, and Off-hands (Shields, Orbs, Mojos, Quivers).
- Critical Hit Damage – Critical hits have a base damage bonus of 50%, but this can be increased with the Critical Hit Damage affix. This is one of the greatest sources of damage since it can be stacked up to 400-500%. It appears on Weapons, Gloves, Rings, and Amulets.
- Vitality – Increasing your character’s life total is the easiest way to increase survivability. It can appear on all items. The amount of Life you get per point increases with level, up to 30 Life per point of Vitality at level 60.
- Life on Hit – This is a flat heal amount that you get per hit. Some skills do more than one hit, so you don’t always get 100% of your Life on Hit value per hit. Every skill has a hidden coefficient (you can look up online) that determines what percent of the value the skill will give you in life. It appears on Weapons, Rings, and Amulets.
- Lifesteal – This affix directly scales with your damage, so it is ultimately the most desirable at high DPS levels. While it suffers an 80% penalty in Inferno, there are no coefficients for the effectiveness of Lifesteal as there are for Life on Hit. After the 80% penalty, you get the full percentage health no matter how many hits the skill does. Area of Effect skills scale very nicely with Lifesteal. You can find Lifesteal on Weapons and Mighty Belts (Barbarian)
- Life Regeneration per second – This stat gives you a flat amount of Life every second whether you are fighting or not. There are many situations where you can’t DPS, but this affix will keep giving you Life. It can be found on Helms, Belts, Shoulders, Bracers, Gloves, Pants, Boots, Shields, Orbs, Mojos, Quivers, Chest Armor, and Amulets. Chest Armor and Amulets can roll the highest numbers.
- Resist All – This stat reduces both Physical and Elemental damage. A high life total and a bunch of Resist All will keep any character alive for awhile. It shows up on Shields and all Armor pieces, including Rings and Amulets
- Armor – This is just a flat Armor bonus for the item. Armor reduces physical damage, such as melee hits and arrows, by a percentage. Most damage taken is Physical, so high Armor can go a long ways. It appears on Shields and all Armor pieces, except Rings and Amulets.
- +X% to Life – The value of this is dependent on how much Life you have. If you already have high Vitality, +X% to Life may be a much bigger health bonus than straight Vitality. It can appear on everything except Weapons.
- Block Chance – Some of the endgame shields have high Block Amounts. With a high Block Chance that can translate into a nice damage reduction bonus for your character. This affix can only appear on Shields.
I put this one in it’s own category because it’s both a damage and defensive stat. Movement speed does not directly improve your character’s damage or defensive stats, but gives you, the player, more control over any combat situation. Offensively, high movement speed let’s you position monsters more easily so that your Area of Effect skills hit the most monsters possible. It also greatly improves farming efficiency. The faster you find the next champion pack, the faster you get the good loot drops. Defensively, high movement speed makes it easier to kite monsters, so your glass cannon characters survive longer. Other than legendaries, it only shows up on Boots.
I won’t make a list here because there are too many of them. Basically, if a particular stat is not on one of the above lists, it is a garbage stat. Don’t use it unless a build specifically requests it. Some of these stats can be okay with the right passive skills. Otherwise, just avoid these stats whenever possible.
Since most items can only have 6 affixes, you don’t have enough to get an item with all offensive and defensive stats. In general, you should use as few defensive stats as possible with the most affixes dedicated to offensive stats. This will boost your DPS, making farming runs much quicker. The faster you kill monsters, the faster you get loot.
This particular “best” item will depend on what affixes are available for that item slot. For example, Gloves can have Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, and Attack Speed in addition to a Primary Attribute. The ideal Gloves will have those four affixes plus two defensive affixes, most commonly Resist All and Life Regeneration. Another item slot, say Bracers, can only have Critical Hit Chance and a Primary Attribute. That leaves four affixes for defensive stats, such as Vitality, Armor, Resist All, and Life Regeneration.
The only difference between classes is which Primary Attribute you want on the items. Barbarians will want Strength while Demon Hunters will want Dexterity, and so on for all the classes. All other stats are basically the same.
This was really the fundamental problem with Diablo 3 affixes. There were just no interesting gearing decisions. Everyone pretty much wanted the same gear with the same stats. This created incredible demand for those few items that had the stats and virtually zero damage for the countless items that didn’t, leading to rampant gold inflation and the eventual closure of the Auction Houses.