I play a Demonhunter and use the Sharpshooter ability which increases my critical hit chance by 3% every second. Usually when I compare weapons it is maxed out at 100% critical hit chance (30 seconds charge required) and I have about 65k DPS, but if I disable the ability its only 25k.

Here are the problems I have encountered:

  • Critical hit chance increased does not matter in a comparison, as it is already 100%
  • I do not really have 65k as this would require me to crit on every hit but my next guaranteed crit is after 30 seconds, as my base critical hit chance is about 9%.
  • Sometimes I have items that have higher DPS with Sharpshooter enabled compared to another item, but if I disable the ability the later is better (Which should I choose).
  • Sometimes people say you need X DPS for some boss (e.g. 20k DPS for Butcher) how do I know if I really have the required DPS? I make more DPS than the value with Sharpshooter disabled and less than the displayed DPS.

Obviously it is very hard to calculate my real DPS as the calculation would be something like this. This does not "reset" the counter as Sharpshooter does:

(65k * 1 + 65k * 0.09 + 20k * 0.91 + ... + 65k * 0.909 + 20k * 0.091) / ((100 - 9) / 3)

  • 65k is my max DPS
  • 20k is DPS without crit (0%)
  • 100 - 9 = 91% critical chance that increases every second in increments of 3 (about 30 seconds)

And even this is not completely accurate as I shoot about 5 shots and run away. During this time my critical hit chance increases.

So here is the question again:

What DPS value is more important for me while comparing items:

  • DPS with Sharpshooter enabled
  • DPS with Sharpshooter diabled
  • Some custom calculation
  • I've been wondering the same. For Act bosses I'm pretty sure the non-sharpshooter value is much closer to reality, as you tend to get a lot of dps time. On certain nasty elite packs, maybe not so much. Especially the "+critical damage" stat can blow the higher number out of proportion.
    – Hex
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 11:23
  • IMO, dps with sharpshooter on shouldn't be shown. What good is a dps value when it only calculates the first hit? The baseline dps, the number you see after shooting 1 arrow, is the number you should use. I've seen DH's with 96k dps with sharpshooter and with the baseline crit, after shooting 1 arrow, go down to 36k. And trust me being told someone does 96k dps when they really only do 36k, is frustrating.
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 15:40

3 Answers 3


Currently, there are two school of thoughts on the demon hunter build:

  • Sustained DPS
  • Crit hit damage (This is the build I use)

Sustained DPS

  • Uses a bow with high attack speed
  • Prefers gear with IAS, Dex, Crit chance, Crit damage (in that order).
  • Stands their ground more (i.e. less reliance on smoke screen, more on shadow power and damage reduction).
  • uses base dps as comparison value
  • More suited to group play with a tank.

Crit Hit Damage

  • Prefers a crossbow (socketed one with high quality emerald if possible)
  • Uses Sharpshooter
  • Uses gear with Crit damage, Dex, IAS, Crit chance (in that order).
  • Play style is more of a hit and run and caltrops spamming build.
  • uses 100% crit dps as comparison value
  • More suited to solo play.

These two playstyles are rather different, and that's why their preferred DPS comparison methods are different. For instance, my demon hunter has 150k dps with 100% sharpshooter, but only 50k dps without sharpshooter, so in a straight up constant shooting scenario (assuming there's a tank who's got all the aggro), I'll lose out to a sustained DPS DH with similar quality gear, but in hit and run situations (i.e. solo play) I'll out damage them by a lot.

  • 1
    One thing I'd like to note is if you can get 2 really good 1h crossbows, it can really help your dps with the crit hit damage build, as you can put in two really good emeralds (and if the xbows are really good they'll have other good stats as well, plus you get 15% attack speed for just duel wielding which is the same as a quiver).
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 17:42
  • interesting idea, if I ever get too 900+ dps 1 hand cross bows with sockets I'll try it out.
    – l I
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 22:28

I would personally go with the DPS value before sharpshooter as a guarenteed minimum of your output. Your DPS output will vary between your unbuffed DPS value and about +5% crit from sharpshooter on average, based on minimal movement or moving out of the way with vault. The more you move, the more value that sharpshooter has as it is able to regenerate its stacks between shots.

Your actual DPS will not be something you can reliably calculate whilst using sharpshooter, as it varies based on how frequently you're attacking, whether you're kiting a lot (ie: not attacking).


From my experience the DPS number is not really a practical measure, but more of a general "is this item an upgrade or not" hint. Even so, some items can seem to boost your DPS if you have low crit chance, but increase it if you have high crit. If you change one item equip, and have SS active, note how the +- damage indication on an item changes as your crit chance increases.

In addition to this, some skills will do more damage than others, based on for example runes. Entangling Shot with chain gang hits two targets, while the last one (with life leech) hits only two. Elemental Arrow with Nether Tentacles hits multiple times per target, and if you have missile dampening as well you can watch a million-hp-mob die faster than a corpse worm.

the TL;DR version: Don't rely on the DPS screen alone to justify if an item is an upgrade or not, consider your build (sustained, critdmg) focus as well as current skill set.

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