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re: Area Damage? What is it? Find out here!

---------------------------------Area Damage Explained---------------------------------

If you'd like to view a more aesthetically pleasing guide with embedded pictures/video, go here:

Ever since Area Damage (AD) was introduced in PTR in the form of splash damage I've been trying to figure out just exactly how it works. Well, I'm happy to say after some testing I've come to you with some pretty definitive and compelling evidence that Area Damage is one of the best, and most underrated affixes in the game.

I'll try my best to explain both, how this affix works, and how it can effectively be implemented to gain the most from it. We are going to start at the basics and move up.

How does area damage work?

Let's look at some hypothetical examples.



Observations of Area Damage Mechanics

  • Shoulders- 16% (confirmed)
  • Gloves- 15% ?
  • Rings- 16% (confirmed)
  • Amulets- 15% ?
  • Weapons- 20% max (confirmed)
  • Mojo- 14% (confirmed)

AD is not affected by any damage modifiers

Ad will not damage the monster who activated it
[In the above picture the mob taking the 9k damage doesn't also take 4k more damage.]

AD has a chance to activate EVERY time a monster takes damage. AD can be activated by DOT spells

Exploding Palm(EP) and Area Damage
- If you didn't already know, EP is a debuff as well as a DOT spell.
- EP ticks 8 times per second, showing the sum of 4 ticks each half second. Here is what it might look like.
50+50+50+50=200 50+50+50+50= 200 
- In this example the character would only be shown the 200 twice in one second.
- In this instance AD has a chance to activate 8 times in one second from this spell. You would effectively be rolling the dice 8 times with a 20% chance to activate area damage procs.
- Lets look at the same examples with AD procs highlighted in red. We will assume 50% AD 
50+50+50+50=200 50+50+50+50= 200 
- Since the damage is only shown every half second for EP damage the area damage on monsters can be a bit confusing. You will see the following numbers from monsters affected by the mob with EP.
25+0+0+0=25 25+0+25+25= 75
- This can be unintuitive since you will say (like I did) "What! 25 isn't 50% of 200!", and the same with 75. The reason for this is because each of these ticks is calculated independently, leading to numbers like the above.

    Area damage numbers don't always match the math

    Occasionally you might see something like a 3,000,000 crit followed by something like 1,650,000 area damage. If you are running 50% AD like in most of my tests, this is a bit confusing. I've figured it out though.

    AD becomes progressively better the more mobs you're fighting/more AOE spells you use
    - This here is the most compelling part of AD for me. It is what makes this affix one of the best in the game, I think. Let's take a look at some videos (slowed to 10% speed) and screenshots of some AD tests on my monk.

    AD damage tests with Pillar of the Ancients

        (I've now figured this out! Check the "The Numbers Don't Always Match the Math" section at the bottom of the first post)

        Why is this so badass?

        1. There are 10 mobs clustered within one another's 10yd radius (so all AD hits all mobs)
        2. You drop a pillar of the ancients that crits for 1m damage on half the guys (50% CHC), the other half take the regular amount.
        3. Statistically 1 mob of the 5 who took the normal hits will splash, doing around 200-300k damage to all 10 guys
        4. Likewise 1 mob of the 5 who took the crit will splash, dealing 1m damage to all the mobs in 10 yards.
        5. Pillar, like always, hits again.

          Final Thoughts
          Since most of this game is based on "How can I kill all these guys faster?" I would argue that when AD appears on items it will make them immediately more valuable (from a damage perspective) than an item without it. In that light, shoulders without AD on them are no longer going to be BIS.

          I've been doing COTA runs on mp5 with 65% AD and I am absolutely wrecking elites. A couple LTKs to the face and I can kill almost all the minions, doing about 75% damage to the elite.

          Special thanks to Druin for explaining/figuring out the EP thing and for letting me copy his guide format <3
          Edited by Amiar#1992 on 3/12/2014 11:43 AM PDT
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