According to a few other questions, while dual wielding, skills will alternate weapons, dealing a different amount of damage in an alternating pattern (so maybe 100 damage, then 50 damage, then 100 again and so on).

How does this work for abilities that are channelled? For example, the demon hunter skill "Rapid Fire".

Does it alternate each weapon for each tick of damage? Or does it alternate each weapon for each successive cast, but keep damage consistent with one weapon for the duration of one cast?

  • 1
    I don't actually know this for a fact, but based on my experience of the game I would bet it alternates for every tick of damage
    – Hubro
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 10:34
  • You also get a (multiplicative) 15% attack speed buff for dual wielding.
    – Krazer
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 13:25
  • clicktoloot.com/p/combat.html#dualwielding Mentions that some skills use mainhand only. But I believe this might just be for long cooldowns. An easy way to confirm would be to use a very low damage offhand and a high damage mainhand, and see if you notice considerable changes in each tick of damage.
    – path411
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


I decided to test this by removing my gear and all increased attack speed. I then test the weapon I chose for my main hand, over 400 base damage with 1.60 attack speed. During Rapid Fire I was averaging 800 never below 450. I then tested weapon #2 which i later put in offhand barley over 200 damage and used rapid fire. I was averaging around 200, never over 375. I then duel wielded each weapon. #1 in main and # 2 in offhand. I recorded myself shooting creatures with short bursts of rapid fire. The outcome was this.

Barrage #1: 253, 133, 58, 301

Barrage #2: 898, 882, 884, 715

Barrage #3: 636, 100, 469 (crit), 156 (crit)

Barrage #4: 532, 649, 544 (crit), 490

Barrage #5: 80, 185, 84, 122

Barrage #6: 220 (crit), 1200 (crit), 823, 743

In barrage one you can see that all 4 shots were fired from the offhand due to none of them deals over 400 damage. In barrage #2 you can see all 4 shots are from the main hand, due to all the weapons damage being over 500, but in barrage #3 you can see both the main hand and the off hand dealing damage. the main hand being the 636 and the off hand being the rest of the damage in the barrage. In barrage #4 I believe that the main hand did all of the damage due to the fact the the off hand never crit for over 375. This also makes Barrage #4 mimic #1 but for the opposite hand. In #5 it is all off hand damage that mimics #2 except for the opposite hand and in #6 it is mixed again with the offhand dealing the 220 crit and the main hand dealing the rest, but still mimics #3.


As you can see each weapon has its own consistent damage. It also appears that each weapon has some sort of a cast time and a rhythm that barrage 1 and 4, 2 and 5, and 5 and 6 mimic each other, but is even. The only differences is which weapon was dominate in the set of attacks. If each alternate weapon did damage for each alternate hit the damage would look more like 800,200,800,200. I suspect that weapons with different attack speed would have a much different outcome, and the dominate weapon being the one with the most attack speed.

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