The Attack Speed of a weapon is an item attribute that determines how fast the hero can attack. The faster one can attack, the less time it takes to get a swing in, leading to increased damage per second because of more hits in a shorter amount of time.
Generally, each class has their own set of attack speed bonuses and penalties. The more adept classes, such as the Warrior, or the Paladin, have a higher attack speed than caster-oriented classes like the Sorcerer.
Attack Speed is represented in its most basic form in Diablo/Hellfire. One-Handed weapons, Two-Handed Swords and Maces attack at the same rate. Axes swing a frame slower than them, unless the wielder of choice is a Barbarian, and all other forms of attack vary depending on the class of the player.
Generally, however, it comes to no argument that:
- Warriors and Barbarians swing faster than all other classes with Swords
- Barbarians swing faster than all other classes when using Maces or axes.
- Rogues fire off a bow faster than all other classes.
- Monks attack faster than all other classes when he is unarmed or uses a staff.
Weaponry can be enchanted with suffixes↑ that allow a hero to swing a weapon faster than he normally would. From weakest to greatest, they are:
- Readiness: Quick Attack
- Swiftness: Fast Attack
- Speed: Faster Attack
- Haste: Fastest Attack
↑- Ingame, this series of suffixes is bugged. Readiness does nothing but change the gold value of the item, Swiftness affects the hero as Readiness would, Speed affects like Swiftness, and Haste does not offer any better than Speed. Blizzard Entertainment incorrectly claimed they fixed this in patch 1.07 for Diablo.
Diablo II/Lord of DestructionEdit
Attack Speed is a bit more varying in Diablo II and the expansion set, but classes still retain their bonuses and penalties.
Generally, it comes to no argument that:
- Paladins and Assassins attack faster with most weapons than all other classes
- Barbarians, Amazons, Druids, and Necromancers are slightly behind Paladins and Assassins with One-handed weaponry
- Sorceresses have the hardest time attacking with One-handed weaponry.
- Druids attack faster with Polearms, Two-handed Axes and Mauls/Great Mauls than all other classes
Attack Speed increases are not limited to just Weaponry as they were in Diablo/Hellfire, with Gloves being able to spawn with affixes that increase a hero's Attack Speed, as well as certain skills, like Fanaticism.
Attack Speed returns in Diablo III, but in a different form compared to the earlier installments. Instead of class bonuses and penalties, each weapon type instead has a set attack speed value. From top to bottom, they are:
- Hand Crossbows: 1.60 Attacks per Second
- Daggers: 1.50 Attacks per Second
- Swords, Bows, Ceremonial Knives, Fist Weapons, One-Handed Flails, Wands: 1.40 Attacks per Second
- Axes, One-Handed Mighty Weapons: 1.30 Attacks per Second
- Maces, One-handed Spears, Starting weapons: 1.20 Attacks per Second
- Two-Handed Swords, Crossbows, Daibos, Two-Handed Flails: 1.10 Attacks per Second
- Two-Handed Axes, Two-Handed Mighty Weapons, Staves: 1.00 Attacks per Second
- Two-Handed Spears: 0.95 Attacks per Second
- Two-Handed Maces: 0.90 Attacks per Second
Attack Speed affixes are a bit more diverse than in the earlier installments, with Weapons, Jewelry, and Gloves being able to roll Attack Speed. And there are certain Legendary/Set Items that are guaranteed to have Attack Speed affixes on them. In addition, certain skills, like the Barbarian's Frenzy, can increase Attack Speed for a period of time.