Big Changes Coming to Reflects Damage

The Boss Modifier DiabloWikiReflects Damage is by far the most dangerous thing in the entire game, to a well-equipped character. As DPS goes up higher and faster than EHP, the damage coming back, especially when dealt to a large number of RD enemies at once (such as a boss pack), can be devastating. Players are full of complaints and suggested fixes for to how RD works, and one fan offered a bunch of them. A CM replied not point by point, but by admitting the devs agree that RD is OP and that it will be substantially reworked in some future patch.

Since reflects damage currently has the ability to deal millions of EHP within a couple seconds, it is undeniably the strongest source of damage in the game on any monster power. Telling players to get millions of EHP to survive killing themselves when they are already over-geared for the monster power they are playing on is unreasonable. One of these can easily bring balance to reflects damage (Only need one):

1.) Allow dexterity a chance to dodge ticks of reflect damage.
2.) Give all classes the “30% damage reduction” that melee’s have to use against reflects damage
3.) Allow life steal to roll on something other than weapons.
4.) Cap reflects damage to do as much as standing in an arcane beam (Do you think it should hit harder than arcane beams?)
5.) Cap reflects damage to only come from 1 source or allow it to only be on 1 mob in the group at a time and not every mob in the group.
6.) Make reflects damage toggle on after a couple seconds of engaging a player.
7.) Cap the range of reflects damage so It won’t hit you if you’re 30 yards away.
8.) Cap reflects damage to do no more than XX% of the players health per second.
9.) Make reflects damage unable to hurt when the player is below 10% health and unable to do lethal damage.
10.) Make critical hits reflect the same amount of damage as a normal hit.
11.) Turn the damage reflected into a ball of energy that appears over the mobs head for 1 second (spirit bomb?!) then fires at the player allowing the player a chance to react and skill dodge

Lylirra: Two quick things:

1) We’re looking to redesign how the Reflects Damage affix works, as well as make it so that pet damage will no longer reflect back on the player. I went into a bit more detail here. (I believe the buff while active will have some sort of visual indicator, too.)

2) After seeing a number of posts from players about RD dealing what they felt to be TOO much damage (especially from minions), we did some additional testing and discovered that Rare minions with the affix were in fact doing more damage than intended. This is an issue we’re looking to address in an upcoming patch.

I’m not sure if these points would change your opinions at all on the subject, but I felt the information was worth pointing out. 🙂

Please don’t take offense to this CM, but why was this stuff not tested? Why has it taken this long after release for the devs to acknowledge problems or unbalances like this?
Lylirra: Which stuff specifically? The dynamics for RD really only changed with 1.0.5 (for the reasons I talked about in the post I linked + the reduction to defensive bonuses), and I believe the bug is pretty new as well.

Lylirra, when you said “pets”, does this include the Demon Hunter’s Sentries and Wizard’s Hydra?
Lylirra: It does. 🙂

I personally have no problem with the way it is now but if it had been tested it could have been polished a bit better then it is now.
Lylirra: We were honestly pretty happy with the way RD functioned prior to 1.0.5, and thought it was in a good place in terms of balance. That changed, of course, whenever we implemented Monster Power and reduced defensive bonuses in 1.0.5. After reviewing player feedback post-patch and reexamining the affix as a whole, we decided that it could use some improvements. Overall, we think the affix will be much more manageable (if not potentially more enjoyable) as a result. That doesn’t mean our earlier opinion was wrong, though, it just existed under a different set of conditions.

I am 100% in agreement that it needs an obvious visual as a tip off, but I hope they don’t nerf RD entirely. If it’s just another DiabloWikiboss modifier that’s irrelevant to anyone with decent life steal, then what’s the point?

I do agree that it’s too much damage now and too sudden; I don’t mind having to alter my play a bit to deal with the mod — that’s the whole point in having boss mods — but the lack of warning and the way it counts up from the boss and minions all at once is too punishing. I’d suggest just capping at 2 or 3 the total number of targets procing their RD at once, so that big AoE attacks aren’t instantly fatal to the attacker. My Demon Hunter can go from 100% healthy to 100% dead in just two DiabloWikiMultishot blasts if I get the boss and several minions with the attack, and that’s pretty harsh without any visual warning other than what you might see while trying to scan the boss properties tooltip mid-battle.

How do you guys feel about Reflects Damage, and Blizzard’s plans for changes? Do you want RD nerfed or are you low budget and amused that there’s still *something* in the game that can give the really rich players a moment of inconvenience?


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  1. Obviously, pet damage being reflected to the player thing can’t stay. The actual reflection damage scales fine, I think.

    It order to balance things they could combine DR with the shielding and invincible mods’ mechanics: If it’s an elite or unique creature pack, the boss itself could be shieled by the old force field graphic (maybe tinted red). Any damage done to the elite/unique while the shield is up simply reflects. The shield goes down as soon as the elite’s/unique’s minions are dead. For champion packs, the could just cycle through the ‘reflective shield’ affix as they do with the regular shielding modifier.

  2. My monk has so little damage that he can survive easily against RD elites.
    For WD and DH it is harder, yes. I guess a little tweaking is in order. I agree with Carlyle re: the damage reflected to the player for follower and pet damage should go in any case.

  3. There is a need for one more item that can have life leach. This would solve it.

    • Well, I’ve never even come close to being one-shotted by reflect damage, but I’m at over 1.2k resist all, 3.5k life regen, and 1k life on hit. However, I fully support this sentiment. I really think most of the item modifier restrictions (by type) need to go. Stacking crazy stuff was fun and a big part of the reward in collecting rare gear.

      • Sounds like an awesome build. But as a Wizard I can handle most elitepacks and so on. But reflect damage simply feels so strong. Its 1 milisecond of an archon beam, and my 40k hp, 1,5% leach, 700 All resist, 1k regen and 3k armor is not helping. Sure, I could get even more leach, more resist and what have we. But then I would die in say like 3-4 miliseconds? 🙂

        I barb friends with leach on two weapons, a belt and a passive – yep no problem. Other classes…. ya, hard ass to deal with 🙂

  4. Whining about getting owned by RD when you have 300K DPS, no armor, no resists, no life regen, no life on hit, no life steal… The game and the RD affix are not the problem. The stupidity of your build is. Change it.

    • Granted that the “pets” bug needs to be fixed and a visual cue added.

      We ever getting the “edit” button back?

    • OP has:

      63k hit points (most demon hunters have less)
      4,200 armor (most demon hunters have less)
      682 resistance (most demon hunters have less)
      649 life regen
      2.8 life steal

      • You mean flux? How much dps does he have? And besides, only a bad dh who doesnt use gloom and has something like 200k dps can complain about rd. Gloom alone will outdo any rd and even heal you on top.

        • Reflect damage is the only challenging affix left, but it is challenging in a bad way. There is no real strategy in skills for it other than cluttering the skill bar with an ability that is overkill in practically every other situation.

          The other solution is to stack 6% ish lifesteal, which also is overkill in many other situations. I think reflect damage should be countered with plystyle. I think having only a few elites able to reflect at once with a visible indicator is good. Another possibility is the elite casts it on the ground, and any damage dealt in that area will refelct.

          You could still outgear the affix with a lot of lifesteal, but there should also be ways to kite and change targets to nullify the affix. Elite affixes should be about changing playstyle, not stacking one stat to counter. Every other affix is more interesting in comparison.

  5. I don’t seem to have a problem overcoming RD as long as I pick up on its presence pretty quickly. A visual would be very nice in making things a little easier, but I don’t think the danger RD represents should be reduced. I agree with Flux in that reducing the danger certain affixes present negates their original purpose which I think is an important aspect of the game. I don’t want rares and champion packs to simply take longer to kill, I want them to present different challenges.

  6. Berserk pop revenge and die . LOl and try again .

  7. Who cares anymore ? Tell us something about crappy PvP.

  8. Why is it that there is always that one guy who says “Well not to sound like a jerk, but why was this not caught earlier?”

    • Edit: also wanted to say, i don’t mind reflect on lower MP…but we were playing a key run game (4 of us) last night on MP 6…and we were dying like mad. And this is with 3% leech, 500 loh,1000 regen AND Gloom active…

      Its gone beyond ‘threat’ to ‘I can’t kill that pack unless 50 globes drop’

      Glad to see they are going to address it

      • Did you check the other 3 affixes that pack had? So many noobs with <50k dps are ready to qq about reflect dmg just to fit in line with other players that really have an issue with rd, and dont realise it could be something like molten, fire chains etc, or even the base monster attacks, thats killing them.

        Reflect damage is 20% of damage dealt, but it doesnt scale with MP like other monster abilities do. What I mean is at MP10 (currently 250% dmg from mp0) you dont get 50% of damage dealt reflected.

  9. Make it reflect a flat value per tick and not %-based.

  10. Can someone explain to me why everyone who plays this game wants it to have absolutely no difficulty with no chance of dying?

  11. I sure hope this isn’t the bulk of the changes for 1.07 when they said the next patch would be “significant”.

    Reflect damage changes doesn’t effect me that much, this seems like it is pleasing the players with under 100 hours played, not so much for the “hardcore” or people that have been grinding it out since the summer.

    I know my playtime is becoming less lately due to simply boredom with itemization, no pvp and just running out of content. Was hoping for another uber encounter, something harder than the current 3. Maybe a mob density overhaul for the other acts? A 4th uber encouter? Something to give that desire to login and start playing. Anything.

    I think it makes sense that Blizzard makes the hardcore “day 1” players a very low priority. It doesn’t benefit them much to please us at the moment (no financial gain) and focus on bringing in more casuals (that cannot handle reflect damage). Who knows, maybe I am wrong. Just extremely disappointed with the lack of updates lately that entice me to play more.

    I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell we are seeing pvp before the end of the year, and the itemization overhaul is probably not going to happen until the expansion (2014?). Ugh.

  12. I have nearly 300 hours on my monk( plvl 33) and 100+ on my dh(48). I refuse to be termed a casual player. The monk carried high loh with 2+ aps to counter rd packs thus gimping his damage and ability to farm sufficiently fast. The dh is a far better farmer with multishot but one shot on a rd pack without gloom up is instant death. I can see fallen maniacs running towards me, they glow as well. Rd packs don’t. We need a visual cue, an aura maybe. The damage I can handle but its sudden or unexpected delivery is not a challenge, only broken gameplay.

  13. There’s a reason the ability for mobs to cast Iron Maiden was removed from DII. There was almost no way to avoid it unless you had very specific skills on tap and it was basically instant death for melee.

    RD is Iron Maiden, but attached to the mob instead of the player. You can be moving along, murdering every mob and boss around, then get one random pack of RD mobs and BOOM!…you’re toast.

    I want challenge, but that isn’t challenge; it’s almost instant death advertised as difficulty.

  14. Worst thing about reflect is that it applies to all damage sources, but leech / LoH do not, and it doesn’t suffer the same AoE nerfs either. So e.g. DH sentry builds have no way of stealing back the life that reflect is taking, and AoE reflect damage scales much more brutally than AoE leech/LoH.

    Maybe reflect should have the same proc coefficients as LoH?

  15. Thorns on your gear… so weak it makes certain items worthless.
    Thorns on monsters… so strong it makes certain items mandatory.

    If the poor planning and lack of proper play testing inherent in these flaws continues to elude you then I suggest you submit a job application to work on the expansion. You’d be a prime candidate for the “Yes Man” positions that are opening up.

  16. Right now life steal and life on hit matter enough that all players sacrifice a little damage to stock up on those affixes. If they reduce reflect’s potency, we’ll be back to only crit & crit% mattering on gear.

    I think reflect is great. Just buff up the other mob affixes so that arcane, poison, etc also piss us off. Make good defensive gear important to us so that we have tough choices to make on equipment. That should be the whole point.

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