Area Damage Bugged and Underperforming

Area Damage shows in white.
Area Damage in action.
DiabloWikiArea Damage sounds promising, with a 20% chance to deal X% of damage to nearby enemies, but most players soon learn that it’s far from one of the top offensive affixes. It’s not entirely clear why AD feels so weak; in theory it should multiply quite well within large groups, since an attack that hits 10 monsters in a bunch means that every one of them has a 20% chance to splash X% of that to all 9 of the others, which should easily add up to more total damage from Splashing than from the initial attack.

Nevertheless, AD is little used or valued these days, and it doesn’t help that it’s buggy with a lot of skills and new item procs. Area Damage Bugged and Underperforming:

Long story short:

  • Wastes (2) Rend = 1/6 of Area Damage
  • IK6 + Insanity with Weapon Throw = 1/3 of Area Damage
  • IK6 + with Weapon Throw = 1/2 of Area Damage
  • Area Damage seems to be unaffected by certain separate multiplicative damage bonuses.

    Area Damage is affected by:

  • elemental skill bonus
  • No Escape
  • Vile Ward
  • bonus vs Elites
  • Area Damage is unaffected by:

  • Wastes (2) set bonus
  • Immortal King´s (6) set bonus
  • Insanity
  • Convention of Elements
  • Focus and Restraint
  • Zei
  • Bane of the Trapped
  • Ruthless
  • Here´s the link to the bug report page posted. Feel free to upvote it or post a comment there.
    Nevalistis: Thanks to the thorough and specific testing from you all, we kicked this bug over to our Quality Assurance folks for investigation and they were able to verify exactly what’s being described:

    Area Damage is not benefiting from some skills or unique powers.

    This is something we intend to fix, but we’re holding off on sweeping changes for the time being as we’re reviewing the mechanics of Area Damage as a whole and we want to avoid introducing sweeping changes in the middle of a Season. As a result, changes to Area Damage will not be coming in Patch 2.2.1, but at a later date. I do want to thank everyone who’s brought this to our attention and provided detailed reports. Your diligence was extremely helpful!

    Area Damage shared from the initial single target crit..
    Area Damage shared from the initial single target crit..
    You see from the list a bunch of Barb-specific stuff and general game items that don’t work with Area Damage. This testing was done mostly by Barb players, so certainly there are many skills for other classes that don’t work with AD in the same way; it’s not just a Barb thing.

    The good news is what Neva said about the overview. During the recent Tavern Talk the devs mentioned how underperforming was Area Damage and how they wanted to make a pass over it and buff it considerably. It sounds like that’s underway as part of some larger future patch (2.3?) and that in the future we might see Area Damage become a stat worth having or maybe even basing part of a build around, through bug fixes and improved mechanics.

    Back in early Reaper of Souls we had sincere theorycrafting efforts to see if high Area Damage (initially called Splash Damage) could reasonably make up for a lack of AoE damage from skills, or just prove valuable as a supplement. Players who theorycrafted the math back in early RoS came up with impressive numbers, especially after AD was fixed to include damage from Crits.

    Could a buffed AD become the means to make single target skills viable? (Probably not, but it’s fun to pretend.)

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    7 thoughts on “Area Damage Bugged and Underperforming

    1. Has the game ever made anything that wasn’t viable at launch, viable? In vanilla D3 it was all about main stat, CC, and CD, RoS seems to have only added % Elemental dmg and I guess CDR to the list. Thorns, Area, Regen, pets, and single target are all still gimped?

    2. Area damage is actually very powerful. Even in its bugged state, area damage is being enchanted onto gear by dps for group Grifts and Trials. The problem is you already get 50% from paragon. 50% is a lot considering most items only give around 20% as an affix roll, and you usually have to sacrifice a lot of toughness to get it. And then if you are playing a build that requires high CDR (a lot of builds) there’s almost no way to get it while maintaining high crit, crit damage, CDR, and main stat. With so many required stats, the first one to be dropped by most people is the one you can to a substantial value from paragon alone.

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