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Breakpoints (Diablo II)

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Diablo 2 offers four attributes that can be found as affixes on magic and rare items, or on many uniques and set items that will affect how quickly your character will move in certain situations. These four attributes are:

  • FBR: Faster Block Rate
  • FCR: Faster Cast Rate
  • FHR: Faster Hit Recovery
  • IAS: Increased Attack Speed

To understand what a breakpoint is and how they work, it is important to know what these attributes do. To have FBR, a character must have a Block Rate to begin with. This will be done with certain class-specific skills, or equipping a shield. Should the Block Rate then trigger a successful block from an enemy attack, an animation will run its course: The shield being lowered, the shield deflecting the enemy's blow which leads to the shield being raised back into its resting position. This animation will take a certain amount of frames to display. Simply put, if the animation should take ten frames, with enough Faster Block Rate, the action takes only nine frames instead.

Breakpoints Broken Down[edit]

There are two reasons why understanding these attributes is important. Without this knowledge, a player will neither know how these attributes work nor will they be able to work towards aimed character improvement. After understanding why these attributes are important and how they work exactly, players will be able to judge and evaluate which attributes are very beneficial towards their class and playstyle.

Why Breakpoints are Needed[edit]

A character performing any actions associated with these attributes is unable to move or start a new action until the action being performed is done. Since everyone will either block, cast, be hit or attack with a weapon, these attributes are important. If you consider that a character will do more than one of these actions, you can actually save a lot of time and be more mobile over the course of a game. To further expand on this, it could actually be counterproductive to have a high percentage to block without any FBR since you will stop dead in your tracks every time these animations are triggered. Quick scenario:

  1. Your character has 75% Block Rate
  2. You are being attacked by four monsters which have a 25-frame melee attack (25 frames is equal to one second)
  3. Suppose your block animation is 10 frames long

You can already tell that during this fight, you're not going to be doing a lot of attacking or fleeing - you will be stuck raising your shield too often. Something most seasoned players will have experienced at one point is a situation similar to a stunlock. When a character teleports into a bigger group of monsters who immediatley attack you, it can sometimes occur that you will not be able to teleport back out. This is because during all the blocking and hit recovering, you have no time to cast the teleport spell. With Faster Block Rate, Faster Hit Recovery and Faster Cast Rate however, you might end up escaping without any problems at all.

How Breakpoints Function[edit]

  1. An animation takes a certain amount of frames to display, depending on the class and action being rendered.
  2. Each animation is calculated in frames. Since the game runs at 25 frames per second, one frame is equal to 1/25 of a second. A certain value must be met (the breakpoint) before a frame will be removed because you can not remove parts or percentages of a frame.
  3. After meeting the required value to drop a frame, the animation will take exactly one frame less.
  4. The removal of multiple frames requires progressively bigger amounts of an attribute to be met, with diminishing returns. This keeps animations from being completely removed.

Example: A Barbarian normally needs 7 frames to display the blocking animation. With 9% FBR this is reduced to 6 frames, and at 20% 5 frames. This continues to increase as more FBR is acquired. Due to how these calculations work however, the FBR won't have any effect at all until they pass the breakpoint. Thus, two barbarians, one with 9% FBR and one with 19%, will both block at the exact same speed. This doesn't matter much at the lower levels, but at higher levels of FBR it becomes crucial. Two other babarians, one with 86% FBR and one with 236% will also both block equally as fast, meaning that the second barbarian has 150% FBR that is useless to him.

Knowing what the breakpoints are prevents these errors, and allows for much more efficient character building.

Differences in Calculating Frames[edit]

It is important to note that each class is different when it comes to the animation length of an action. One class could be slower when it comes to blocking, but very fast when it comes to attacking. These are hidden stats that can't be found in the actual game, but are important to know when gearing your character. Blizzard has balanced the values required for each action of each class to a point where a Barbarian can expect to hit fast and a Sorceress will be able to cast faster than other classes naturally. This doesn't mean they shouldn't continue to expand on those strengths though.

There are also differences within a class based on the skill that class is using. A Paladin attacking with Zeal may have a different attack speed than one attacking with Vengeance. If the Paladin has the Fanaticism Aura active, this will alter the attack speed even further.

In much the same manner, items that are used in conjunction with these actions may also differ from one another. A Short Sword will always be swung faster than a Large Axe if both have the same amount of IAS on them, but a Scimitar will be even faster. Weapons will say either Very Fast, Fast, Normal, Slow, or Very Slow Attack Speed in the weaponstat tooltip, indicating how fast or slow using this weapon is at 0 IAS.

General Notes[edit]

Faster Block Rate

  • A block is triggered only when both the attacker's hit check and the defender's block check succeed.
  • A character can not perform any other action while the block animation is playing.
  • Blocking is not possible while running (block chance is reduced by 1/3 while walking).
  • Equipped weapons can influence blocking speed.
  • Act 3 Mercenaries can not block, despite having a shield.

Faster Cast Rate

  • Faster Cast Rate will not reduce the casting delay time for certain spells, such as Meteor.

Faster Hit Recovery

  • The hit recovery animation will only play if your character takes an attack that deals more than 1/12 of your maximum health.
  • A character can not perform any other action while the hit recovery animation is playing.

Increased Attack Speed

  • Due to the large number of variables present in calculating IAS, it is not feasible to create a table showing the breakpoints.
  • There are, however, calculators available for determining your attack speed based on all of these variables.


Breakpoints by Class[edit]

The first number in each cell indicates the breakpoint for the particular attribute. The number in (parentheses) denotes how many frames the game requires to play the animation at the specific breakpoint.

Amazon[edit]

Faster Block Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1-hand Swinging Weapons 0% (17) 4% (16) 6% (15) 11% (14) 15% (13) 23% (12) 29% (11) 40% (10) 56% (9) 80% (8) 120% (7) 200% (6) 480% (5)
All Other Weapons 0% (5) 13% (4) 32% (3) 86% (2) 600% (1)
  • The block rate differs depending on what type of weapon is equipped. 1-Hand Swinging Weapons include: Axes, Clubs, Maces, Swords, Orbs, Throwing Axes, and Wands.


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Faster Cast Rate 0% (19) 7% (18) 14% (17) 22% (16) 32% (15) 48% (14) 68% (13) 99% (12) 152% (11)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Faster Hit Recovery 0% (11) 6% (10) 13% (9) 20% (8) 32% (7) 52% (6) 86% (5) 174% (4) 600% (3)


Barbarian[edit]

Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5
Faster Block Rate 0% (7) 9% (6) 20% (5) 42% (4) 86% (3) 280% (2)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Faster Cast Rate 0% (13) 9% (12) 20% (11) 37% (10) 63% (9) 105% (8) 200% (7)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Faster Hit Recovery 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)


Necromancer[edit]

Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Faster Block Rate 0% (11) 6% (10) 13% (9) 20% (8) 32% (7) 52% (6) 86% (5) 174% (4) 600% (3)


Faster Cast Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Human Form 0% (15) 9% (14) 18% (13) 30% (12) 48% (11) 75% (10) 125% (9)
Vampire Form 0% (23) 6% (22) 11% (21) 18% (20) 24% (19) 35% (18) 48% (17) 65% (16) 86% (15) 120% (14) 180% (13)


Faster Hit Recovery
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Human Form 0% (13) 5% (12) 10% (11) 16% (10) 26% (9) 39% (8) 56% (7) 86% (6) 152% (5) 377% (4)
Vampire Form 0% (15) 2% (14) 6% (13) 10% (12) 16% (11) 24% (10) 34% (9) 48% (8) 72% (7) 117% (6)


Paladin[edit]

Faster Block Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4
Normal 0% (5) 13% (4) 32% (3) 86% (2) 600% (1)
Holy Shield Active 0% (2) 86% (1)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Faster Cast Rate 0% (15) 9% (14) 18% (13) 30% (12) 48% (11) 75% (10) 125% (9)


Faster Hit Recovery
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Spears and Staves 0% (13) 3% (12) 7% (11) 13% (10) 20% (9) 32% (8) 48% (7) 75% (6) 129% (5) 280% (4)
All Other Weapons 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)
  • The hit recovery animation differs depending on what type of weapon is equipped.


Sorceress[edit]

Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Faster Block Rate 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)


Faster Cast Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chain Lightning and Lightning 0% (19) 7% (18) 15% (17) 23% (16) 35% (15) 52% (14) 78% (13) 117% (12) 194% (11)
All Other Spells 0% (13) 9% (12) 20% (11) 37% (10) 63% (9) 105% (8) 200% (7)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Faster Hit Recovery 0% (15) 5% (14) 9% (13) 14% (12) 20% (11) 30% (10) 42% (9) 60% (8) 86% (7) 142% (6) 280% (5)


Assassin[edit]

Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4
Faster Block Rate 0% (5) 13% (4) 32% (3) 86% (2) 600% (1)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Faster Cast Rate 0% (16) 8% (15) 16% (14) 27% (13) 42% (12) 65% (11) 102% (10) 174% (9)


Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Faster Hit Recovery 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)


Druid[edit]

Faster Block Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Human Form 0% (11) 6% (10) 13% (9) 20% (8) 32% (7) 52% (6) 86% (5) 174% (4) 600% (3)
Werebear 0% (12) 5% (11) 10% (10) 16% (9) 27% (8) 40% (7) 65% (6) 109% (5) 223% (4)
Werewolf 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)


Faster Cast Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Human Form 0% (18) 4% (17) 10% (16) 19% (15) 30% (14) 46% (13) 68% (12) 99% (11) 163% (10)
Werebear 0% (16) 7% (15) 15% (14) 26% (13) 40% (12) 63% (11) 99% (10) 163% (9)
Werewolf 0% (16) 6% (15) 14% (14) 26% (13) 40% (12) 60% (11) 95% (10) 157% (9)


Faster Hit Recovery
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Human Form: 1-Hand Swinging Weapons 0% (14) 3% (13) 7% (12) 13% (11) 19% (10) 29% (9) 42% (8) 63% (7) 99% (6) 174% (5) 456% (4)
Human Form: All Other Weapons 0% (13) 5% (12) 10% (11) 16% (10) 26% (9) 39% (8) 56% (7) 86% (6) 152% (5) 377% (4)
Werebear 0% (13) 5% (12) 10% (11) 16% (10) 24% (9) 37% (8) 54% (7) 86% (6) 152% (5) 360% (4)
Werewolf 0% (7) 9% (6) 20% (5) 42% (4) 86% (3) 280% (2)
  • The hit recovery animation differs depending on what type of weapon is equipped. 1-Hand Swinging Weapons include: Axes, Clubs, Maces, Swords, Orbs, Throwing Axes, and Wands.


Mercenaries[edit]

Faster Cast Rate
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Act 3 Mercenary 0% (17) 8% (16) 15% (15) 26% (14) 39% (13) 58% (12) 86% (11) 138% (10)


Faster Hit Recovery
Frames Removed 0 (Base) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Act 1 Mercenary 0% (11) 6% (10) 13% (9) 20% (8) 32% (7) 52% (6) 86% (5) 174% (4) 600% (3)
Act 2 Mercenary 0% (15) 5% (14) 9% (13) 14% (12) 20% (11) 30% (10) 42% (9) 60% (8) 86% (7) 142% (6) 280% (5)
Act 3 Mercenary 0% (17) 5% (16) 8% (15) 13% (14) 18% (13) 24% (12) 32% (11) 46% (10) 63% (9) 86% (8) 133% (7) 232% (6) 600% (5)
Act 5 Mercenary 0% (9) 7% (8) 15% (7) 27% (6) 48% (5) 86% (4) 200% (3)