Beware Azmodan’s Fireball… at a Distance

A fan laments his dead Hardcore character and gets some Blue condolence, but the thread brings up a more interesting issue; the fact that DiabloWikiAzmodan‘s fireball deals more damage at a distance than up close.

At level 59 and 7/10 towards level 60, DH dies in one fireball from Azmodan on hell with 40k hp, even though I vaulted out of the way, it still killed me instantly.

Seriously, every freaking boss is ridiculous and can 1 shot kill you, except for Diablo. First time I died and it was a bullshit death, so annoying. Well lesson learned, I’m not doing bosses anymore.
Grimiku: Honor to our fellow Nephalem who have fallen, and good fortune to future heroes. Perhaps with time the caution you feel surrounding Azmodan will yield to a burning desire for vengeance, and rather than avoiding his lair you may find yourself happily anticipating the bitter satisfaction that only his death can bring.

Do you play hardcore Grimiku? If so, have you ever lost a well geared lvl60 toon in a manner that was not your fault? If so, please fill us in on the details.
Grimiku: I do play Hardcore, but every character I have lost has been my own fault. I came very close to losing my main during a lag spike (thank you ISP) while fighting Belial. He put his arms in the ground and after two explosions the world went silent, and my heart sank at the thought of what was about to come. My system did not recover until Belial had ended that attack phase and my DiabloWikiSpirit Vessel debuff was on, so I knew I had come close.

If I had been playing any one of my alts it would have been the end for that hero. But, that thrill is why we are in Hardcore, and there will always be an element beyond our control.

The Fireball thing is obviously more serious for Hardcore characters than others, but it’s an odd design decision. With every class I’ve found Azmodan considerably easier than any of the other Act Bosses (for chars of the appropriate level), but then he’s got that fireball that’s super slow and very easy to dodge… but does horrendous damage at a distance. I don’t recall ever dying or even feeling close to death fighting Azmodan with a Barb or Monk at melee range, even in the early weeks when my gear and builds and tactics were terrible, but I’ve had deaths to that fireball with all 3 ranged classes on a number of occasions, usually from carelessness or hurrying. (The worst/best is when you kill Azmodan from a distance, and as you run back in the last fireball is hovering over his corpse for a second before floating forth and you don’t see it amidst the general eye spam of the death animation.)

azmodan-fireball1I just went and tested out the Fireball damage on Inferno, and at melee range my Monk with around 400 Res All took about 21.5k, 20.8k, and 21.3k damage Azmodan’s fireball. (Hardly enough to notice.) At a distance though, 30 yards or more, I took 68k and 70.5k, and those were more than enough to one-shot me in my lower res, lower hps, MF-running gear.

If the damage increases with range it seems to be with distance from Azmodan, not with how far the fireball has moved. My last trial you see in the screenshot to the right, when the fireball did 56k, which was much less than previous 2 ranged hits. When he fired that fireball I was over to the left. While the projectile slowly hovered after me I moved to the right and stopped to wait for it with a finger on the PrtScr button, thus the fireball moved at least 50 yards, though I’m only 20 or 25 yards from Azmodan at the moment of (fatal) impact.

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12 thoughts on “Beware Azmodan’s Fireball… at a Distance

  1. They hired a hardcore CM? Holy crap…. Also, Azmo is silly and it’s and awesome mechanic! Go go melee!

  2. If I read this 4 days ago, I’d have an extra HC 60. Fuck me for not realizing this on my own earlier, but thinking back on past fights, it makes total sense and is obviously accurate. It’s just so incredibly stupid design that I have not conjured the ability to add 2 and 2 on my own on this until it was written grey on dark red…

  3. Like an hour ago I was playing act1 mp3, fighting the SK. He has this supercool swing that instantly kills every zombie dogs I have (they supposed to have dmg cap afaik, still, they die in 1 hit). At one point when I was somewhat closer to him then I usually am, he swings again, and I die in 1 hit. The way I saw, I wasn’t even close enough to his mace to hit me, yet I died. Good thing it was softcore, I’d have gone berserk if it was HC as I wouldn’t even think about that he could 1 hit me 🙂
    There are some really f*cked up enemy skills in this game.

    • Its the excessive hit-leniancy, if you notice, if you get in melee range of a zombie for example, and right before he swipes you run away, when the zombie does swipe at you it still hits, and this ends up looking like he hit you from like 10x the distance of most melee’s, this works with how the SK can hit you, even when it seems like you weren’t going to be hit, in fact there was a news post recently on this site where the guy said he vaulted out of the azmodan fireball from a distance, and it still killed him when he was a whole vault distance away. I stopped playing d3, and one of my biggest pet peeves was hit-leniency, because it made the game feel less… like a game, and more like a bunch of numbers that ran up against each other, because there wasn’t any variables like avoided ranged attacks, getting in and out of melee distance as a melee to eek out damage and survivability, etc.

      • Ranged attacks don’t use this mechanic. Neither do the long duration windup attacks (berserker overhead smash, golgor backhands, etc).

        Basically regular melee attacks will always hit you if you’re in range when the swing animation starts, but everything else can be dodged reactively.

        I think it’s dumb to make this distinction and everything should use the D2 style (only take damage if you’re in range when the damage is actually applied), but let’s not exaggerate. There’s a lot of damage you can avoid reactively and overall I feel like D3 combat requires more player skill than D2 combat (even if many boss mods are retarded–I’m looking at you jailer and vortex).

        • The animation lock on some attacks is reasonable imo.
          It increases combat flow when one does not have to wait around for animations to finish before dealing damage. Unless its a skill that is specifically designed as a “large and slow attack you should move from” like a few overhand attacks etc are.

          It can be insanely frustrating to play a game like SW: The Old Republic for example, where lots of attacks have no effect before their animations have finished.

          Another “sort-of” benefit here is that you pretty much always know these normal melee attacks will hit you, if the animation has started.
          If you could actually run from them, it would feel much more random if you got hit while trying to run, depending on the current lag.
          Sure, it would give you a chance to run, which sounds nice, but if lag ends up determining if you have managed to run far enough away, then it easily ends up feeling even more frustrating.

          P.S.If someone in HC die to Azmodans fireballs then they probably didn’t gear defensively enough in my opinion. It should cause no major risk, and even if it did hurt, you aren’t exactly supposed to get hit by it in the first place.

      • This system has been known since day one. The hit is basically “locked” on to you when the animation is started, and enemies will never play their attack animation out of range.

        It’s not true latency, just the time it takes for the animation to play – for example when a slow zombie reels its hand back before striking, you have time to run away but the animation was initiated while you were in range earlier so it counts for a successful hit.

        • I just can’t take that kind of lag effect like a man lol. Its too painful when its clearly a dodge on the eyes. Feels like one has to dodge before the strike even begins.

          captcha: miles to go.

        • People complained about this feature when it was first revealed pre-release, and during the beta, but I think it’s necessary when you look at the game today when virtually every character has super fast movement skills. My WW barb and TR Monk would literally never be hit by anything other than bosses if not for the swing melee auto-hit thing.

          This says nothing about one shot skills or attacks like Azmodan’s fireball, which are clearly cheesy.

          • One-shot abilities does not belong in any combat game.
            But what is so cheesy about Azmodans fireball?
            I can’t remember being anywhere close to getting oneshotted by it ever, expect if I played on incredibly undergeared SC characters – in which case I’m the one to blame rather than the attack.

  4. How do people even get hit with that slow fireball on a ranged character? Just run around for a few seconds until it dissipates and you’re in the clear, I don’t understand why people let it get close enough to even hit them in the first place. Getting hit with one after Azmodan is dead is just a matter of rushing, all you have to do is wait a few seconds before running in to get the loot and you’re fine. This sounds a lot like people complaining about reflect damage who geared for massive DPS and no resistance to me…

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