From Diablo Wiki
Crossbows are the best ranged attacking weapon in the game. They fire very quickly in the hands of an Amazon, and derive their bonus damage from your points in Dexterity. Amazons have a crossbow skill tree, but other characters can be effective with them as well, especially Druids and Necromancers, who can take cover behind their minions and shoot from a distance. Necros and Druids tend become less useful with bows and Xbows as they advance in levels, since their Dexterity isn't high enough, and they don't have any skills to boost their bow attacks.
When we add simple machinery to the already potent weapons of archery, what occurs is the deadly crossbow. While somewhat slower to load and fire than a bow, the greater power with which it can launch bolts (also known as quarrels) enables them to strike with much greater force, inflicting higher damage than arrows. So powerful are some crossbows that they have to reloaded by the means of various mechanical devices. Unfortunately, the added power comes at the cost of a very slow reload time, and in addition, these crossbows are expensive to make. The weapon fires a shorter, thicker arrow called a quarrel, or bolt. These are not found from monsters as often as arrows are and will generally need to be purchased from NPC merchants. The Amazon is the most proficient character class at the crossbow and can perform a number of special skills with it. They take up anywhere from a 2x3 to a 2x4 slot in the inventory.
Crossbows were improved in the Expansion, especially the Exceptional and Elite versions. They now do more damage than bows in most cases, but have a slower firing speed. They are reasonable options for higher level Amazons in D2X though.
- Damage Bonus: This determines how you multiply the item damage by your stats to reach the actual damage. Each 100 points in that stat doubles your weapon's total physical damage. All Bows are 100 Dex, which means every point in Dex adds 1% of your weapon's total physical damage, thus 100 points in Dex will double your bow damage.
- Item Level: Used in many in-game calculations. Monsters must be of this level to drop the item, and your Clvl must be equal to or higher to have that item offered to gamble on. Full Mlvls listed on Darkness.
- Weapon Speed: A relative comparison of one bow to another. 0 is the base, negative ( -10, -20, etc) is faster, 10, 20, etc is slower. The "fast", "normal" etc displayed in the game is a very imprecise measurement. The numbers are the exact speeds used. Each 10 is equivalent to a normal SIAS item. Characters are abbreviated to their first letter: Am = Amazon and As = Assassin.
* This is about the only normal item in the game to have different damages for Beta vs. Final, and also one of the very few to have higher Beta damage than what Bliz lists for the final damage.
Arrows and Bolts/Quarrels are necessary to use a bow or crossbow, and they must be equipped in one hand, with the bow/crossbow in the other. They have no purpose otherwise, and are one of the simpler weapon-type items in the game.
|Quiver of Bolts|| D2: Up to 150
D2X: Up to 250
|62 gold for 250|
Exceptional Crossbows are found only on Nightmare and Hell difficulty levels in Diablo II. In the Expansion they may be found in late Normal, and then all through Nightmare and Hell.
Values in () are Expansion stats that differ from the Diablo II stats.
Elite Crossbows are Expansion only since Elite items do not exist at all in Diablo II. You can find Elite Crossbows in Acts 4-5/Nightmare and then all through Hell, though like all Elite items, they drop very rarely.
* The Demon Crossbow has nearly the same damage (14-32 Chu), the same firing speed as the Chu No Ku , but requires 61 more Str, 3 more Dex, and is Clvl 68 vs Clvl 25. This would seem to be the only Elite item that's actually worse than the Exceptional version.
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