Every time I use Cluster Arrow with the Loaded for Bear rune, my DPS drops from 41K to 16K. what is happening and what should I do?

  • 3
    Try out the cluster bombs rune, its what I run on my DH and its great. As for DPS dropping, are you using sharp shooter by any chance and getting a crit hit?
    – l I
    Jul 14, 2012 at 13:55
  • 1
    What were you using before? Jul 14, 2012 at 14:22
  • It will most likely be what you are not getting then what you are getting from the Loaded for Bear rune.
    – user106385
    Jun 8, 2015 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


While consecutive rune unlocks are generally upgrades, the actual difference is relative to the situation you use it in. Consider a level 70 player:

  • Cluster Arrow deals up to 1100% base damage as fire to a target location.

  • Dazzling Arrow deals up to 1100% base damage as lightning to a target location, and also applies the stun effect.The stun effect will only have an impact on DPS if you have any abilities that amplify or impart damage if an enemy is stunned, or if you are otherwise being hindered in your ability to damage the enemy by the enemy's attacks. You will likely have a higher DPS against enemies that freeze with attack, for example, as you will be able to stun them to limit being frozen.

  • Shooting Stars deals up to 1800% base damage as physical.

  • Maelstrom deals up to 2250% base damage as cold, and heals you for every enemy hit. Healing has almost no effect on DPS. Consider that you might have an item that gives you guaranteed critical hits at below 20% health, and that the healing could potentially bring you out of that automatic critical buff, reducing your expected damage output.

  • Cluster Bombs drops a bombing line of explosives, each dealing 525% base damage as fire. You will likely find this rune a lot less effective against smaller groups of enemies, as most of the bombs along the line will probably miss the target. This will be far more useful against larger clusters of enemies, or larger bosses, where you can ensure maximum grenades hit an enemy along the line.

  • Loaded for Bear increases the initial impact, giving you a potential 1320% base damage in fire against an enemy.

Taking the element into account goes a long way, given you can have buffs to damage of a certain element, and certain enemies are strong against a particular element.

Looking at the comparisons, Loaded for Bear is only giving you a more powerful, condensed, fire attack. Unless you are in a situation where fire is most favorable, you could expect a better damage output from pretty much every other rune, excluding Dazzling Arrow.

Numbers taken from the battle.net entry for Cluster Arrow.

  • You are wrong on several points. 1) Abilities that increase damage versus stunned enemies, as any other "situational buff", are never shown in sheet DPS. 2) Elemental damage is not shown in sheet DPS (though can be viewed by hovering on "Element Damage +x%" line). 3) There are no monsters in Diablo 3 that are "weak or strong against a particular element". So the only piece relevant to the question is about healing and crit buff. (still less likely that losing the Sharpshooter bonus).
    – Orc JMR
    Jun 8, 2015 at 11:58
  • I considered the question in relation to true DPS, but if the extra effects do not show up on the DPS output that would not account for the drastic change. There are, however, enemies with elemental resistance.
    – user106385
    Jun 8, 2015 at 12:09
  • I was going to ask you about any specific monsters with elemental resistances, now that Corrupted Angels' Unholy Shield is removed (and it was still more of a fancy health buff than a proper resistance due to its flexibility), but then I found them myself. There are now exactly two monsters with elemental resistances in Diablo 3. They are called Rogoth the Eternal and Keeper Hashemel, and they spawn in two dungeons under Battlefields of Eternity. I am defeated :-D
    – Orc JMR
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:15
  • Makes me wonder what the point of the highest rune adding a meager 220% increase to the base impact is, when the missile runes unlock earlier and do a lot more damage. I have not played Demon Hunter in a long time.. am I right to presume that missiles do not, in fact, do splash damage? Or rather, they target a single enemy? It might make sense, then.
    – user106385
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:19
  • Yes, the key is splash damage. Rockets also do not hit the same target, so max damage against a single monster is initial impact + 1 rocket. LfB, SS and Maelstrom are all popular for endgame builds. LfB for its splash damage (in parties with a puller), Maelstrom somewhat for its healing, but mainly SS vs Malestrom depends on the build's main element. SS may be a bit weaker, but Fire builds allow for a larger elemental bonus.
    – Orc JMR
    Jun 9, 2015 at 3:54

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