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While playing D3, I got some good Fist weapons with my monk, but even better swords, axes, etc.

So I chose the one who give me more dps, even using dual-wield.

But then I read this:

Fist weapons allow monks to utilize their well-practiced hand-to-hand combat styles, but supplement them with knife blades, toughening hand wraps, or knuckle spikes.

Source

Here is a list that I found of unique class gear.

Wizard

  • Wands
  • Orbs
  • Wizard Hats

Demon Hunter

  • Hand Crossbows
  • Quivers
  • Cloaks

Witch Doctor

  • Ceremonial Knives
  • Mojos
  • Voodoo Masks

Barbarian

  • Mighty Weapons
  • Mighty Belts

Monk

  • Fist Weapons
  • Daibo
  • Spirit Stones

Should I pick Fist weapons even when they do a little less dps than, for example, a sword?

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1  
afaik there are no inherent bonuses from using a fist weapon –  z ' Apr 23 '12 at 21:12
    
The text you quote is flavor text; it doesn't have gameplay implications. –  Oak Apr 24 '12 at 5:12
    
The quiver is an offhand item like the orbs for the mage –  James Apr 24 '12 at 5:54

4 Answers 4

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Class specific weapons can provide some class only enchantments that you cannot get on standard weapons. Whether or not this is worth a trade off for damage, that is entirely up to you to decide.

For instance, you can find a demon hunter only 1 handed crossbow that provides hatred regeneration or a wand for mages that provides improved arcane pool.

Like James mentioned in his answer, the demon hunter is the only class that has a unique situation where you MUST have a ranged weapon equipped or you can't use his ranged attack skills. And his one handed crossbow is the only ranged weapon you can dual wield.

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From my own experience (read below), as long as you can use the weapon and it has better stats, it will increase the effectiveness of your characters abilities which are all weapon damage based.

However, as I approached level 10 or so I started finding versions of weapons that could only be used by their respective classes. This was most notable with bows/crossbows that could only be wielded by a demon hunter. Also some 2h weapons that I believe were either for the barbarian (Hammer) or monk (Daibo) sort of deal.

I cannot say for sure for another couple of weeks as they had us pretty limited in the open beta this weekend, but I do look forward to getting more information in this area. I played up to level 7 using my noob wand on a Wizard until it was pointed out that I can use just about any weapon and my skills will still work. NOTE: This did not work for the Demon Hunter actually. Using a melee weapon stopped most 'shooting' base skills from working.

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this agrees with what I saw. Its entirely possible fists can have monk only benefits (more spirit generation perhaps?) which will make the decision more interesting later on. –  z ' Apr 23 '12 at 21:18
    
I Think I'll change my question to include more and fits the answer. Just taking a while because need more source... =X –  Michel Apr 23 '12 at 21:23
1  
A wand has the huge advantage that you do not start walking to melee range when you are out of arcane power. –  ThiefMaster Jun 1 '12 at 10:23

Class-specific items do not have any intrinsic benefits, other than the ability to spawn with class-specific affixes, as yx mentions.

On a pure stats basis, I do not believe class-specific items are any better either. In every category I checked, class-specific weapons had equal or lower DPS than the class-neutral variant, and the same number of possible magic affixes.

Here are some data points:

2-handed Monk weapons:

Daibo: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/daibo/
normal: 535.2 dps
crafted: 442.2 dps, 4 magic properties

Staves: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/staff/
normal: 584.5 dps
crafted: 484 dps, 4 magic properties

Polearms: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/polearm/
normal: 601.3 dps
crafted: (none)

1-handed Monk weapons:

Fist weapons: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/fist-weapon/
normal: 248.5 dps
crafted: 210.0 dps, 6 magic properties

One Handed Swords: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/sword-1h/
normal: 248.5 dps
crafted: 210.0 dps, 6 magic properties

One Handed Axes: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/axe-1h/
normal: 285.3 dps
crafted: 238.5 dps, 6 magic properties

Of course this does not affect set or legendary items. But what it comes down to is, use the item with the best stats and bonuses present (as long as you like its attack speed), regardless of item type.

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What are the best weapon types for each class in Diablo III? is closed as a duplicate of this question, so I'm going to answer that question here. My answer doesn't quite fit this question, but there's no other place to answer it.

Given two weapons in your inventory that are otherwise identical, there is no advantage to picking a class-specific weapon over a general weapon. A class-specific weapon may have stats that are impossible to find on a general weapon, so in some cases, you may prefer it because the class-specific weapon happens to be better.

It's also worth noting that class-specific weapons are often cheaper on the auction house than the more general weapons (assuming the same stats on both). For that reason, I like to equip class-specific weapons and sell the more flexible weapons.

All that does not mean that all weapons are identical for each class. Several classes, in particular, Demon Hunters, Witch Doctors, and Wizards, have channeling spells. A channeling spell uses your resource (Hatred, Mana, or Arcane Power respectively) with each attack. For those spells, slower weapons are better (assuming that you are comparing two weapons with the same damage per second). The fewer attacks per second, the less resource you use. Two-handed weapons are often slower than one-handed weapons, so there are spell-caster builds that favor them.

Demon Hunters have abilities that require ranged weapons to use. If you want to use those abilities, you need to equip one of a bow, a crossbow, or a hand crossbow. Demon Hunters can also use quivers with two-handed weapons like a bow or crossbow as well as with the one-handed hand crossbow. Combining minimal resource use with maximal choice of abilities means that Demon Hunters favor crossbows with a quiver.

Witch Doctors can go two ways. First, they can choose a fast one-handed weapon like a ceremonial knife. Second, they can choose a slow two-handed weapon. Overall, Witch Doctors tend to favor the one-handed ceremonial knife with a mojo.

A Wizard also has an alternative build called the Critical Mass/Windup Wizard. This build relies on getting as many critical hits as possible. For that reason, you want to maximize attack speed (as well as critical hit chance). The dagger is the fastest weapon that a Wizard can use, so it is optimal for that build. Wands are slower and less suited to that build. However, if attack speed is already high enough, Wizards often choose to use a wand to gain class-specific abilities like Arcane power on critical hits.

A Barbarian has a number of options. They can use a two-handed weapon, dual-wield, or use a shield. In hardcore, shields with a one-handed weapon are most common (defense first). In softcore, Barbarians favor dual-wielding. Barbarians tend to prefer faster weapons which generate Fury quickly to keep their Wrath of the Berserker running.

Monks favor dual-wielding, except in hardcore, where they favor shields with a one-handed weapon. Monks favor fast weapons that generate Spirit quickly. Fist weapons are popular but not overwhelmingly so.

As a rule of thumb, when dual-wielding, the weapon that does more damage per attack should be in the main hand. There are some skills that use just the damage of the main hand weapon.

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