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This page archives an attribute that was changed during the development. This is for future curiosity and reference. This page is not to be updated with current info; see the Attributes article for the latest information.

Defense was one of the core attributes for characters in Diablo III. It governed the amount of damage a character took from all attacks, physical and magical.

Each point of Defense gave:

Defense is not the same thing as Armor. The terms are confusingly similar in Diablo III, but Armor is what armor items grant. e.g. a buckler might have 8 armor while a tower shield might have 200. Armor helps increase a character's phyiscal damage reduction, while Defense reduces all damage.

Attribute Design[edit | edit source]

All attributes have changed since their original conception. In December 2010 Bashiok made an announcement about these changes[1]:

Defense: Decreases all damage taken
  • This stat is separate from armor and resistances, each of which effects different damage types. This stat effects ‘all’ damage.
  • This stat will allow players to control incoming damage rather than increasing health capacity, which is useful to reduce the need for health globes and pots, and allows players to double down on defense for survival focused builds.
  • This stat is also useful for PVP, and likely will be valued in the arenas, but isn't tuned to be a 'PVP' only stat.
  • This stat has no secondary effects.

Attribute points are no longer assigned by the player; they are auto-assigned. See the relevant section in the attributes article.

Defense vs. Armor vs. Resistance[edit | edit source]

Defense, Armor, and Resistances are all stats used to reduce damage.

Defense and Armor were used interchangeably in Diablo II, but in Diablo III they mean different things. The key thing to remember is that in Diablo III, all three of these stats work much like a resistance; they affect damage mitigation, not to/hit (as was the case in Diablo 1 and Diablo 2.) Higher Armor in Diablo 3 does not mean that your character gets hit less often. It means your character takes less damage per hit. This is one of the major changes to the combat engine in Diablo III, and results in characters taking constant, steady damage, rather than the D2 style of attacks almost always missing, but when one does land it does huge damage.

  • Defense is one of the four core character attributes/stats. It applies to all damage. It grows as your character levels up, and can be added as a bonus from items, gems, skills, and more.
  • Armor is a value on all types of armor items. It only reduces damage from physical attacks.
  • Resistance can be found as a bonus on certain equipment items. Players can acquire Fire, Cold, Arcane, Poison, and Lightning resistance, each of which reduces damage from its corresponding damage type.

While Defense does increase when your character levels up, the Defense formula has built-in penalties for leveling up which counteract or sometimes exceed the Defense bonuses. For the most part, this means that Defense bonuses from level-up are largely superficial.

In terms of damage reduction, 3 Defense, 50 armor, and 5 resistance all give the same damage reduction to their respective damage types, however, mixing Defense with armor or resistance gives greater overall reduction than any one of them on its own.

Development[edit | edit source]

Defense was a new attribute for Diablo III, comparable to the Armor bonus granted by Strength, though you should note that higher Armor has a very different effect in D3 than it did in D2. See Attack for more details on how Strength changed.

Since the attribute overhaul in 2012[2], Defense was removed from the game.

Item affixes such as +Armor and +Physical Resist will fill in for Defense.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Core Attribute Changes- 20/12/10
  2. Core Attribute Changes- 19/01/12