Every Character that you create can’t really shine without the proper planning around the Diablo 2 Resurrected Breakpoints. The Breakpoints that exist in the game determine how the speed of an attack, block, cast, and hit recovery affect our Character’s motion in which case they can become a frame faster. In order to see an increment in these properties a specific value must be reached, therefore to reach a build to its maximum performance it’s crucial to know about Breakpoints, which properties are bound to them, how they are affected, and depending on your play style, which ones to reach to balance your character both in power and effectiveness.
The modifiers that work in Breakpoints are:
- Attack Speed
- Hit Recovery
- Block Rate
- Cast Rate
How do Diablo 2 Resurrected Breakpoints Work?
Why a specific value must be reached in order to see a difference? Why doesn’t every single value increase our Character’s speed? One could easily say it’s a feature D2 wanted to introduce which would sound perfectly fine but this is not the case. The truth lies in the outdated D2 engine. Diablo 2 runs at 25 frames per second meaning that every second there are 25 still images running which gives the illusion of motion. The game was developed and tied to this animation which adds a technical limitation. In order to see a faster motion a certain value must be reached which will drop it by a frame and the animation will become faster since it will “play” one less frame. One second is equal with 25 frames.
Each class has a base number of frames it takes to attack, cast, recover or block. Reducing these frames is what will make the motion look faster. If a character had a breakpoint at 25 frames it means it would need a whole second to perform the corresponding action. If we were able to reduce that amount by 1% then the frames would drop to 24,75 (25 – 1% = 24,75) but since you can’t remove parts or percentages of a frame the game would round it up back to 25 so no improvement would be made. In order to see a difference we would need to drop it by a whole frame. Going from 25 to 24 would require a 4% increase in that amount (25 – 4% = 24) and finally, the game would allow our character to perform faster. The lower the frames the faster the animation is.
Sorceress Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints
FCR – Frames
- 0% – 13
- 9% – 12
- 20% – 11
- 37% – 10
- 63% – 9
- 105% – 8
- 200% – 7
From the table above we can see that Sorceress has a base casting speed of 13 Frames which translates into almost two casts per second. In order to cast a spell faster we need to drop it a frame. The break-point in this case is when going from 13 to 12 and so on. Faster Cast Rate at certain percentages would lower the frame animation by 1. As already mentioned, this would only occur when the value would match or exceed the break-point. An item with 9% FCR would drop the animation to 12 frames but an item with 8% would reduce the FCR less than a whole frame in which case the game would round it up to 13 Frames.
Long story short, Breakpoints exist because the engine is unable to divide the frames into parts smaller than 1/25 of a second.
If everything above confuses you the good thing is that there’s absolutely no reason to understand why the game works with Breakpoints and how this is all calculated. All that you need to know is the values you need to have in order to reach a specific Breakpoint. Unfortunately, there’s no way to learn about those values in-game so in that case you would need to look at an external source. A single table with the values and the breakpoints of each character is all that you need but sometimes it’s a bit more complicated. Let’s check each one of these 4 modifiers and analyze them a bit deeper.
Increased Attack Speed
The Attack Speed is affected by many factors so a single table with the breakpoints would be incomplete and misleading. Out of all the modifiers, it’s the most complicated and harder to calculate. On that occasion a calculator where you can add all the necessary info to provide you the final result is your best bet. The speed of an attack can depend on:
- The Character
- The WSM of a weapon
- The Equipment
- The skills
Each character has a base attack speed to every weapon type which makes a specific weapon type work better for a specific class. These once again are calculated in frames so characters have different attack speed frames depending on the weapon type. This is why the Weapon Attack Speed is indicated differently to different characters. It may show “Fast” to Paladin but “Very Slow” to a Necromancer. Barbarians attack quite fast with every Weapon type but fall behind with 2-handed Maces. Not what you would expect especially when the Weapon of the IK set is the slowest Weapon -Type (not taking into account Crossbows) a Barbarian can handle.
|No Weapon||1H Weapons||2H Swords||2H Axes & Maces||Javelin & Dagger||Polearms||Staff||Bow||Crossbow||Claws|
Staffs are considered the same type as 2H Axes and Maces so the frames are the same but I kept them separate to avoid confusion
The table above shows the base attack speed each character has on every weapon in frames. Reminder, the lower the frames the faster the animation is so the smaller the number the faster the attack speed is. This is some of the information we can get from the table above.
- Amazon is the fastest with Bows and Spears
- Assassin is the slowest with Crossbows
- All classes are slow with Crossbows
- The best base speed is Assassin with fists and Claws
- Barbarian is quick with almost all weapons
- Paladin is the fastest with swords
- Druid, Necromancer, and Sorceress are quite slow with weapons
Every weapon has a base Attack Speed, the Weapon Speed Modifier [WSM]. It can vary from [-30], [-20], [-15], [-10], [-5] to . The exceptional and elite version of Chu-ku-nu has actually a WSM of [-60] but since it’s the only exception I preferred to leave it out. Those values may not represent anything in particular but all you should know is that the lower the value the faster the weapon is. The Phase Blade has a WSM of [-30] and this is why it’s usually the first choice as a base. The [WSM] of a weapon is the same for all the characters despite the base class speed. If we were to compare two different weapon types but with the same WSM then we could notice in which weapon type each class performs better. Sorceress attacks quite fast with 2-hand Maces but since these come with a [WSM] of 10 then a Phase Blade will still remain the fastest weapon a Sorceress can use.
We can find that the WSM of a Phase Blade is [-30].
Skills and Equipment
Whether they are used as your primary attack or as buff, skills play a significant role in reaching the proper amount of attack speed. Most skills that replace your basic attacks can alter the attack speed breakpoints. Not much to say, the equipment will normally increase your Attack Speed. There are a few skills such as the Whirlwind that outside the Weapon’s attack speed won’t be benefited by other gear sources. Unless other items are socketed with an Increased Attack Speed Jewel, the Attack Speed from equipment can come only from these sources:
Faster Hit Recovery
As the name implies FHR will allow your character to recover faster after being hit. FHR triggers only when the hit consumes greater damage than 1/12th of your character’s max health. To anything less than that the character will not be affected and will keep doing his actions without interruptions. Such hits to vulnerable targets with little to no FHR can prove fatal since they can “stun” lock you. Once hit, the character is put into recovery mode and before it can recover another hit may come making it sometimes extremely hard to escape. It’s one of those properties that players usually ignore when it comes to PvM but proves deadly when it comes to PvP. The FHR breakpoints are stable and are not affected by any external sources so a table for all the classes with the values is all that you need.
Faster Block Rate
FBR will allow you to return back to your initial state faster after successfully blocking a Physical melee or ranged attack.. Until the animation of blocking an attack ends your character can’t perform any other action. Block will only work if you have a shield equipped and the type of the Shield doesn’t affect the Block Rate. The type of the shield will only affect the block chance which is not to be confused with the Block Rate. Faster Block Rate is almost exclusively found on the shields as properties so raising it to high standards is sometimes really difficult. Guardian Angel is the only non-shield item to grant Faster Block Rate. Hirelings can’t block, not even the Iron Wolves with a shield equipped.
Faster Cast Rate
Just as important as the Attack Speed is for physical builds so is the Cast Rate for Casters. Faster Cast Rates improve the rate at which you cast spells. Luckily, this is not as complicated as the Increased Attack Speed since it is not affected by any extra sources. The values that each class has are stable and therefore can be easily calculated without worrying that something went wrong. FCR is one of those very important modifiers that can alter any build, not just casters. With Enigma being almost the most valuable item in the game, many physical characters are using its utility purposes in which case they have to calculate another break-point to cover. Faster Cast Rate doesn’t remove or reduce the delay some spells have like Blizzard. However, the initial cast and the cast after the spell has completed its cooldown will be affected and will be cast at an increased rate.
The table above shows the amount of Faster Cast Rate each class needs to have in order to hit the next Breakpoint. The table doesn’t show the Frames in which those values belong because it’s something that you really don’t need to know. There are a few more variations though such as the transformations of Druid, Necromancer as Vampire and the Lighting Spell of Sorceress.
Faster Run Walk
With everything mentioned above, how come FRW doesn’t fall in the same category? FRW doesn’t have “breakpoints” because unlike the other modifiers the formula is calculated in Yards and not Frames. As already mentioned, everything that is calculated in Frames needs to be a whole number while such a requirement doesn’t apply to Yards in which case it can be any number and therefore it leads to almost no Breakpoints. Running and Walking increase their speed in yards for every 5% FRW you have.
One of the most interesting questions is; Is D2R still limited to this engine?
The answer is of course no. In D2R the animation is no longer bound to the 25FPS limit which as an engine is obsolete nowadays. The developers of D2R wanted to keep the same design in order to deliver the game as close as possible to the original from all aspects otherwise the gameplay would be severely changed. In any case, the technical limitation with the Breakpoints doesn’t break the game but on the contrary, it seems like an interesting feature that players probably wouldn’t want to see changed.