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The idea of a bow in each hand barrelling into the depths of Hell has an appeal reminiscent of an old gun slinger movie, six shooter in both hands.

Thus far, however, I've been lugging around a big ol' crossbow because of its superior DPS.

DPS aside and bonuses provided by a particular item's affixes or suffixes (as these are pretty easy to compare) are there any other bonuses a Demon Hunter would gain that would make one of these types more favourable than the other?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The most obvious difference is that the Archery passive gives you a different bonus depending on your weapon type of choice.

A second difference is the choice for the secondary hand - with a hand crossbow it's either another hand crossbow, a shield or a quiver, while with a bow or crossbow the only option is a quiver.

Finally, there's another very important attribute beyond just the affixes and DPS: attack speed. While DPS dictates how much damage you can do per second, different attack speeds really encourage different styles of play. Slower attack weapons can get rid of enemies before they can to you, but higher speed weapons have a mobility and no-overkill advantages. I usually prefer higher-speed weapons even when it means sacrificing some DPS.

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I forgot about the Archery passive... that's a very important point for builds that use the passive (and I imagine most will). +1! –  Beofett May 16 '12 at 12:54

It really boils down to play style. Slower weapons with comparable dps will hit harder than faster weapons, but the faster weapons allow you to use more abilities in a shorter period of time.

Faster weapons also gain more benefit from "on hit" abilities, such as life leech.

It is worth noting that if you are dual-wielding, make sure the weapons are as close to each other in dps as possible. Using one weapon with a much higher dps than the other will result in less dps than just using that weapon by itself.

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I have been grappling with this question as well. The loss of DPS from the Archery passive skill is disturbing, but what I have concluded is that only the 1-Hand crossbows can have extra Discipline.

I play Inferno, and if I am out of Discipline then I am dead. I currently use a 2-Hand crossbow but if I could find a 1-Hand crossbow with good DPS and additional discipline, I would switch. I am curious what other Demon Hunters think about this observation.

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I use a handbow with +10 discipline and a quiver with +10 discipline. It's a must-have for a serious DH. –  Kenneth Posey Oct 23 '12 at 4:21

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