Area Damage

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Area Damage via Paragon points.

Area Damage, AD, (originally called "Splash Damage") is a 20% chance of all attacks dealing X% damage to other enemies within 10 yards. It's basically free damage dealt to other nearby targets, and it can add up to considerable damage, since it procs from every target. For instance, an attack that hits five enemies in close proximity means that all 5 will Area Damage check on each of the other four, potentially adding up to more damage than was dealt by the initial attack.

The likelihood of Area Damage can not be increased above 20%. What can be boosted, by Paragon Points and by item affixes, is the % of damage dealt per splash. A variety of item slots can grant up to 20% Area Damage each, including weapons, rings, amulets, gloves, shoulders, and off-hand items (quivers, mojos, sources), for a total possible value of well over 100%. (See maximum values below.) Paragon Points can be used to add 1% Area Damage per point, up to a maximum of 50%. This figure adds to the AD% value from items.

Despite what sounds like high potential, AD is not highly-valued by players. It underperforms due to bugs[1], and also due to the proc rate being less than 100%. Furthermore, it is of no use against single targets such as Guardians, which many buiilds find the most challenging.

  • In early 2015 the developers mentioned Area Damage as a property they'd like to buff and rework in the future, but no specific details are yet available.
  • There are no class skills or passives that boost Area Damage, either by frequency or damage output.

Area Damage Function and Utility[edit | edit source]

This property was not very useful when first tested[2] during the Reaper of Souls Beta test, since critical hit damage was not included. At that point the AD only proced from the base damage, which made it inadequate.

This changed during testing, and when the modifier went live in D3v2 and in RoS it included critical hit damage. Thus a character with 50% Area Damage who dealt 1,000,000 damage with a crit would deal 500,000k damage to every nearby target that successfully proced the 20% chance to take AD.

AD is devastating against large groups, especially with procing with AoE attacks, since the chances for it to work increase dramatically. For instance, if an attack hits 10 enemies in a bunch, all 10 will proc AD against the other 9. Thus a single attack that hits 10 enemies would generate 90 AD checks (10 enemies x 9 AD checks each), potentially creating a much larger total amount of AD damage than the initial attack itself generated.

Area Damage Key Facts[edit | edit source]

  • All direct damage and Damage over Time attacks trigger Area Damage procs on other targets within 10 yards.
  • The damage radius goes from the target hit, not from the player doing the hitting. (Thus it works as well for ranged as for melee attackers.)
  • AD does not proc from pets or minions, from Sweeping Wind, from Thorns damage, or from legendary items that proc extra hits after the initial blow.
  • AD does not proc from itself. Each hit of AD will not trigger additional AD in an endless diminishing cascade.
  • AD never crits, though it is a % of the total hit damage, including crit hits. (AD damage always displays white, never yellow.)
    • Since AD can be raised over 100% damage from gear and Paragon Points, you can get AD values bigger than your initial hit.
  • Targets do not check AD on themselves. Thus AD provides no potential bonus when hitting a single enemy.
  • Targets in range (10 yards) can take Area Damage from multiple sources.
    • Thus if you hit 10 enemies with a big splash attack, all 10 will proc AD to the other 9, potentially generating massive shared damage.
      • For the damage display the game adds up multiple impacts of AD taken simultaneously. This can result in the AD number being much larger than the actual hit value, when there are many enemies in close proximity.
        • For example, take a character with 50% AD who hit 5 enemies with a single splash attack. All 5 targets would proc AD on each other. If all 4 procs (20% chance from each) were successful on a single enemy, it would take 200% AD, double the damage of the initial hit.)

Maximizing AD is not generally a wise strategy, as in many item slots (especially weapons, gloves, and jewelry) other affixes (such as ChD, ChC, CDR, or mainstat) will deliver a better damage increase. After all, AD only triggers 20% of the time, and its damage is derived from the normal damage. But a good amount of AD can be quite useful, especially when fighting large groups of enemies.

Area Damage Maximum Item Values[edit | edit source]

Area Damage tooltip in the Character stats window.

The maximum possible values per item slot:

  • Helm: 20% (Leoric's Crown only.)
  • Shoulders: 20%
  • Amulet: 20%
  • Gloves: 20%
  • Ring: 20% (Per ring.)
  • Off-hand: 20%
  • Weapon: 24% (Can be doubled by dual wielding.)

The maximum possible from gear is 144% without dual wielding, or 148% with dual wielding. Up to 20% more can be added from Leoric's Crown legendary helm, for a maximum of 164% or 168% dual-wielding. Plus up to 50% from Paragon Points.

Media[edit | edit source]

Area Damage demonstrated in a slow motion video.[3]

References[edit | edit source]