Movement Speed

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Movement Speed (AKA "FM" for Faster Movement) refers to how quickly a character moves around the game world in Diablo 3. All characters have the same base Movement Speed, which is increased by a percentage by various item bonuses (most often on Boots), as well as various skills, plus the limited duration Fleeting Shrine or Speed Pylon.

Increased MS is very useful; it enables a player to do more in less time, moving through empty spots in the dungeons to quickly get back to action, and it's useful when escaping enemies or moving to reposition during combat. It's just fun to move more quickly too, and skills that boost movement speed are quite popular for function and convenience.

Movement Speed is capped at +25% from gear and Paragon Points, and any added Movement Speed bonuses above that serve no purpose. (Skills and shrines can boost MS above the 25% hardcap.) Players with higher amounts of Paragon points often enchant the Movement Speed bonuses off of their gear, including boots, since they can make up the MS with Paragon Points, and get more benefit from another affix on the item than they would from spending those Paragon points in something other than Movement Speed.


Paragon 2.0 Changes[edit]

Core Tab with Movement Speed.

The Paragon 2.0 update Paragon system added Movement Speed via Paragon Points. Since the MS boost from PPs adds to the gear bonuses up to the 25% hardcap, the Paragon System actually devalued movement speed on gear, which was a very sought after property in Diablo 3 vanilla.

Which Paragon Tab the MS bonus was located in changed several times during development[1], which made a big difference in how useful or not that bonus was. Ultimately MS went into the Core tab, along with Mainstat, Vitality, and +maximum resource, which is the main reason it's a good strategy to enchant Movement Speed bonuses off of gear and to spend Paragon Points in Movement Speed.


Paragon Point Strategy[edit]

Each Paragon Point adds 0.5% Movement Speed, with the maximum 50 points adding the maximum 25% Movement Speed. This allows players to move at the maximum MS with all the bonuses from Paragon Points and nothing from equipment. Paragon Points in the Core Tab are better spent in Movement Speed than in the other options in that tab, due to the way the bonuses work out.

For instance, here are the maximum bonuses per Core Tab property:

  • Mainstat: 50 points x 5 per point = +250 to mainstat.
  • Vitality: 50 points x 5 per point = +250 to vitality.
  • Movement Speed: 50 points x .5 per point = 25% Movement Speed.
  • +Maximum Resource: The amount per point varies between classes, as does the benefit of more resource per class by build.

A full comparison spans many variables, but in simplest terms, an affix on Legendary boots is worth 10-12% Movement Speed, or 400-450 to mainstat/vitality. That means 20-24 Paragon Points can completely make up for that Movement Speed, while 20-24 Paragon Points are only worth 100-120 Mainstat or Vitality. Thus

The math holds up for other useful bonuses from boots, such as +90-100 All Resistance, +350ish Armor, +10-15% skill damage (vastly better than any Core Tab paragon points), etc. The other bonuses aren't directly in competition with other options in the Core Tab, but the principle is the same.

In every case, a character gains considerably more benefit from one additional affix on boots (or other legendary items that roll with MS as an inherent bonus) than from the Movement Speed, in terms of spending Paragon Points to replace the bonus.


Movement Speed from Equipment[edit]

Diablo 3 vanilla had only a few legendary items (other than Boots) with Movement Speed. Loot 2.0 (in D3v2 in February 2014) added several additional non-boots legendary items with Movement Speed. Bear in mind that the MS hardcap from Equipment + Paragon Points is 25%, so there's no reason to ever equip more than 2 of these items on a level 70 character, and the best strategy is to enchant MS off of items, since it's better to make it up with Paragon Points.

All items below at level 70 add 10-12% Movement Speed.

Boots:

  • All boots can roll 10-12% Movement Speed as a random affix, and most boots have +MS as an inherent property.

Helms

Amulets

Rings

Chest Armor

Slave Bonds grant Movement Speed.

Pants

Bracers

Weapons



Diablo 3 Classic[edit]

In earlier versions of Diablo 3, several legendary items (most notably Lacuni Prowlers bracers and Inna's Temperance pants) were extremely popular since they added 12% MS from non-boot slots. Most players tried to include one of those items in their end game build, and savvy players often included both, which then let them use boots without any MS, which could often be found for low prices even if they had exceptional stats.


Movement Speed from Skills[edit]

There is no cap on the movement speed from skills, and it adds on top of the movement speed from items. Since these speed bonuses are very unevenly distributed some classes have a huge advantage in potential movement speed, and this is a major factor contributing to the popularity and overpowered nature of some characters and builds in Diablo 3. (That was especially true in Diablo 3 vanilla. D3v2 and RoS made numerous adjustments to create a more equitable faster movement sysstem.)

In addition to the "faster run" bonuses from skills, many other skills can be classified as Movement Skills or Escape Skills which move the character quickly from one spot to another, but can not be used repeatedly due to cooldown times or resource costs.


Barbarian Movement Skills[edit]

No passive skills boost the Barbarian's movement speed. That's not a terrible handicap since the Barbarian is the fastest class in the game thanks to the Sprint skill.

  • Sprint -- Grants a 40% movement speed bonus for 3 seconds. (Can be cast repeatedly, as long as there's enough Fury to fuel it.)
    • In D3v2 Barbarians used the huge resource generation of Battle Rage: Into the Fray to fuel their Sprinting and the most popular build of the most popular class in the game. That was a large reason the [Spin2Win]] build was the most powerful/popular build in the game. It is no longer that in D3v2/RoS.



Demon Hunter Movement Skills[edit]

Demon Hunters can use skills to move very quickly, and they have one passive, Hot Pursuit that boosts movement speed 15% when at full Hatred. This is not a popular ability though, since having to alter play style to constantly end battles with full Hatred takes more time than the movement speed saves.

The better way to move like lightning with a DH is to use her Vault skill, and pair that with the Tactical Advantage passive. Using those abilities a Demon Hunter can race through the levels at very high speed, though she'll need a lot of Discipline to keep it up long term. (Vengeance and/or Night Stalker enable rapid Discipline regeneration.)

  • Vault -- Tumble acrobatically at high speed through any number of enemies. The Tumble rune cuts the resource cost by 50% for another Vault within 6 seconds.


Monk Movement Skills[edit]

Monks have several methods for faster movement. The most obvious is a passive skill, Fleet Footed, which grants a 10% faster movement bonus. This will exceed the 25% item speed cap and has no resource or other cost, giving Monks the easiest path for any class to permanently exceed the 25% MS gear cap.

Active skills can be used in addition to or in place of Fleet Footed. Dashing Strike is an attack skill that teleports the Monk to the selected target. It can not be used to pass over objects or to teleport to an open location, though.

Monks can also use Mantra of Evasion: Wind Through the Reeds to add a 8% Movement Speed boost while the Mantra is in effect. This is not a very powerful skill effect though, and is seldom utilized.

The most common way to make a very fast Monk is to use the Tempest Rush skill. This active ability does not add movement speed at the base, but it enables the Monk to dash right through all enemy targets without being slowed or delayed. (Though he can be hit while using it.) The Tailwind rune effect adds a 25% movement speed bonus and makes the Monk a very fast object, though the damage from TR in this form is not sufficient to kill effectively, barring very high quality equipment and a low Monster Power level.

Tempest Rush has a heavy resource cost and most Monks use it to supplement their movement, as a burst of speed to move between one pack of enemies and the next. (Spirit is built up during combat.) There are full time TR-builds, though these require a lot of specialized equipment and other support skills, since a Monk requires a regen rate of around 13 Spirit/sec to use Tempest Rush non-stop.


Witch Doctor Movement Skills[edit]

The Witch Doctor lacks any way to provide a full time boost to his movement speed and the lack of fast dashing skills for this class is a common source of complaint from WD players.

Though none of the passives fit in here, there are some active skills that provide the class a short term movement speed boost.

  • Horrify: Stalker -- Increases movement speed 20% for 4 seconds after each cast.
  • Spirit Walk -- Witch Doctors move faster than usual for two seconds in this spirit form.


Wizard Movement Skills[edit]

Wizards lack any full time movement speed boosts.

Teleport was the ultimate movement skill in previous games in the Diablo series, but in Diablo 3 it is limited by lengthy cooldowns, and only the Wormhole rune effect allows for even two or three Teleports in rapid succession.

  • Storm Armor: Scramble -- This rune effect in the armor skill triggers a 3s boost of 25% increased Movement Speed each time the Wizard is hit by a melee or ranged attack.