Splash Damage in Reaper of Souls: Boom or Bust?


A fan asks if Splash Damage in Reaper of Souls works, and gets a Blue confirmation. I have tested it a fair amount myself and agree that it functions, but not as well as it should or could. Details after the quote:

I tried to equip some items with Splash Damage affix but I still don’t see any difference even with 52% splash damage (40% from paragon points in Area Damage and 12% from an item). I don’t see any flyover white messages when hitting mobs (like ‘Frozen’, ‘Stunned’). How can I tell that Splash Damage really works?
Tsarnis: An Area/Splash Damage proc is not accompanied by a floating text notification. The damage will be represented in floating damage numbers however, just like any other type of damage.

If you would really like to test this, equip whatever Splash Damage gear you have, turn on “Display Damage Numbers” (in Gameplay Options) and gather up a small group of monsters. Attack just one of them with a single-target damage skill. When the effect procs you will see damage numbers appear above other monsters within range of your target.

I was a fan of this property early in the RoS beta, or at least a fan of the idea of it. The way it works is that all hits have a 20% chance of dealing X% damage to other enemies in the area. The 20% chance of the proc never changes; what changes with gear and Paragon points is the % of your weapon damage that’s applied via the “splash.” In this way it’s exactly the opposite of what Crushing Blow was, where CB had a flat damage but the % chance of it triggering was increased by gear.

Area Damage=Splash Damage.

Area Damage = Splash Damage.

To echo the Blue, Splash Damage does work. Earlier in the beta I experimented with it a fair amount, and stacked it up on my Barbarian to compliment his dual-wielding Frenzy build, so I could add AoE damage to his very fast, single-target attack. It worked okay, and with 60% Splash Damage I could melt down whole packs of trash mobs while just hitting one enemy, or kill off minions while just beating on the Boss.

The problem is that the Splash damage never included Crushing Blow (back when that still existed) or Critical Hit damage. None of the damage numbers that appear over the Splash enemies ever show yellow, and I never saw any of those numbers bigger than about half of my non-crit damage. (I can see the fairness of not allowing splash damage hits to crit since that would be OP when you’ve got 8 or 10 enemies in range of splashing, but it’s weak that when you do a crit to the main target your Splash damage hits aren’t X% of the damage of the crit.)

I don’t know if the “no crits from/with Splash damage” is a bug or by design, but it really limits the utility of the affix, which would otherwise have real potential to turn single target attacks (like Frenzy) into much more viable AoE tactics.

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  1. Crit damage should increase the amount of damage splashed onto nearby targets , it is hard as it is to balance gear with only 4 primary affixes on each slot , adding splash damage will only make it lower , why have your other damage stats (ChC/ChD) become totally useless if you want Splash damage , not like you can get as much as you want in ChC/ChD/Avg/Mainstat/vit/all res on all your gear along with splash , you are gonna have to balance your gear.

    Also it would be good if they added different color to when you do deal splash damage , just like yellow is Crit , why not have say Blue for splash ? and add show splash damage option in the menu like crit , so you can actually turn it on or off as you prefer.

    Also they should totally add a legendary that supports splash damage by increase its chance of proccing by another 20%ish ?

    Splash is a cool concept but I don’t see it competing with ChC/ChD/AS and the old Crushing Blow if it happens to come back , hope I am wrong and somebody finds some crazy build for splash damage and make it work.

    • Does splash damage crit?
      I turned off damage numbers long ago because the numbers were just too much.
      I’m only displaying the crit numbers.

      • Technically splash doesn’t crit, so it will never show up in yellow number. It’s damage however does scale up correctly when your original attack resulted in a crit.

  2. I don’t like when damage mechanics have strange exceptions where sometimes crit matters and sometimes it doesn’t. Everything should crit. Traps should crit, dots should crit, damage from pets should crit.

    • I kind of agree with you, but I also kind of like the idea of having Splash damage not crit. At this point, CC and CD are kind of ‘god-tier’ affixes, because they act as a force multiplier for your damage. My wizard on PTR has 55% CC and 260% CD, so more than half the time, I’m doing 3.6 times damage. To be honest, I think this kind of unbalances the loot hunt; as stated in other threads, pretty much every build agrees that you should have a lot of CD, and most people also agree that if your weapon doesn’t have an Emerald slotted in it, then your weapon slot is gimped. Because of this, I kind of like the idea of having Splash damage reward you for not playing with high CC or CD, especially since you can trade out CDR and RCR for the slots that would have had CC and CD, giving you different gear objectives. I also feel that the greater ability to use single-target attacks, which are by-and-large more powerful than AoE attacks, is a fair compensation for not having CC/CD to boost damage. To sum up my point, I think that it’s nice to have Splash damage as an alternate build style to Crit style, since if you want to play a single-target high-Splash-damage build you’ll know from the start that you should prioritize flat damage boosts and increased elemental/spell damage over CC and CD. I also agree with Ematanis that there should be a legendary/set that increases the Splash damage chance. I think if it’s a legendary, then a 20% increase (as he suggested) is probably fine. If it’s a set bonus, then the increase should be larger: probably more like 65-75% chance for Splash damage (hell, maybe even just bump it up to 100% chance if it’s a large set bonus).

      That said, on a somewhat different note, I personally think that the best way to make CD feel less necessary is to simply remove it from the game and set CD to always be at 100%, so every crit deals double damage. Then there can be a legendary/set bonus that increases the threshold to 200-250%, to give the possible option for a higher CD number. I would say it should probably be a set if done this way: I think it would be too hard to balance a single item to do this and not have that item feel required. If the item was a weapon, then everyone would just use that weapon, and if the item was not a weapon, people would just use that item instead of whatever other stuff was in that slot.

  3. TL2 had this type of mechanics. Blizz. team can’t come up with anything new on their own. 40 eur for 1 act. Hilarious.

  4. Ehrrmm?!? Flux?

    What do you mean splash cannot crit?

    If I crit with the attack that I do to generate the splash effect, of course the dmg output of that splash will reflect that.

    If you’d expect the actual splash dmg to crit aswell, that would make crits twice as effective for splash than for any other source of dmg.

    That would be stupid imo.

    Example:

    My Arcane missile do 100 dmg and I have 200% crit dmg and 50% splash.

    I land normal hit and the splash procs for 100 *0.5 = 50 dmg.

    I attack again and land a crit for 200 dmg and the splash procs for 200*0.5 = 100 dmg.

    Or am I completely wrong when I assume that it works this way?
    I have a hard time believing that splash would be just a flat procentage of your weapon dmg that cannot crit.

    • I would like to add that I love the idea of having splash dmg in a different color.

      Blue is perfect.

      And in addition to that. Let’s color dot dmg green and dmg from pets purple.

      It would make it easy to see from where the dmg is coming and kind of make a colorful landscape of all the dmg you do in a fight. Sometimes it’s really hard to value the effectiveness of some skills and procs when all is just lost in a massive pool of white numbers.

    • I could be wrong, since the damage numbers are flashing crazy fast when using Frenzy, but I never noticed any yellow numbers except on the main target, and I never saw any of the surrounding monsters die before the one I was hitting directly.

      Ms my Barb has something like 400k dps and 450% CD, so I was generally facing monsters that took 3-4 hits to kill without a crit and one-shot if there was one. When I got yellow on my main target, it died instantly. If 60% of that damage splashed, I’d have seen whole mobs drop at once, at least some of the time. I never did.

      • “I could be wrong, since the damage numbers are flashing crazy fast when using Frenzy, but I never noticed any yellow numbers except on the main target”

        You are not wrong, it’s just that splash damage is never displayed in yellow numbers, but I assure you that it’s correctly calculated from crits. I tested this just now with Magic Missile in the Cemetery of the Forsaken. It’s an ideal combination because MM’s damage is easily controlled and the cemetery has easily kiteable skeletons.

        “I never saw any of the surrounding monsters die before the one I was hitting directly.”

        I could be misunderstanding you on this, but that should never happen. The most ideal scenario is that they die together.

        “Ms my Barb has something like 400k dps and 450% CD, so I was generally facing monsters that took 3-4 hits to kill without a crit and one-shot if there was one. When I got yellow on my main target, it died instantly. If 60% of that damage splashed, I’d have seen whole mobs drop at once, at least some of the time. I never did.”

        It could be that 60% of your crit damage wasn’t enough to kill the surrounding enemies. In my testing I could very easily tell that splash is correctly scaled with crits, because I have gear stashed away that has 92%. If you have a 100% surrounding enemies should almost certainly die with the main target when you get a splash. Not always though, because enemy HP is slightly randomized.

  5. I tell you whats wrong, 20% chance of dealing splash damage is too low because 80% of the time it doesn’t do anything.

  6. I think it’s a cool stat, but does need more in game explanation and visibility. I hate having to go to a website to see how something works. It’s still prt/beta though….

  7. Not letting everything crit is perfectly fine.
    Hell, the game would have been better off if no stats were universally awesome like crit/crit dmg is.

    Obviously then Splash damage will have to be good enough to stand on its own against the combined strength of chc/cd.

    Which of course would in itself be easier, if more skills did not get as much benefit from chc/cd.

    How about this: AoE skills only benefit 50% from Crit dmg

    • I like any sort of mechanic that dampens the usefulness of AOE and strengthen the use of single target skills as long as it’s not hidden for the user and makes sense. I don’t see how reducing crit dmg for AOE would make sense and how you could make that mechanic clear to the player.

      I would love to see more passive skills, affixes and rune effects that increase the usefulness of single target skills.

      “Single target skills deal 15% more dmg for every monster within 10 yards from your target.”

      “After killing a target with a single target skill, your next attack with the same skill will hit two times instead of one. Last for 5 seconds”

    • I dont see why all the separate effects* mentioned in this thread (so far at least), cant be exactly that – separate effects.

      If you have separate stats for say:
      -crit chance on target
      -crit chance on splash
      -crit damage on target
      -crit damage on splash
      -chance of splash
      -range of splash
      -chance of secondary affix (frozen, bleed, stun, etc) on target
      -chance of secondary affix on splash
      then you can start building a character around your playstyle or preferences. You could build a sniper demon hunter the deals massive single-target damage at the cost of little or no collateral. Or a AoE frenzy barb that melts mobs but starts to struggle against single targets. Each item can only carry a certain amount of buffs, so balancing these (along with all the other stats that you need for a decent character) becomes part of the experience. On-the-fly tweaking of the weapons effects as well as looking for the theoretical ‘perfect’ items for your build of choice is a big part of the Diablo experience. Well, in my eyes at least.

      *or is it affects? Grammar nazi bait!

      • That’s kind of how I hoped splash would work, as something powerful enough to be worth specializing in, and a source of trade offs. It’s not doing that now, since splash is a primary stat and thus in direct competition with much more powerful trifecta and +mainstat mods on weapons and jewelry and gloves. In no situation now do you want splash more than one of those others.

        You can also get splash from shoulders, where it’s a choice between non-offensive primaries (like regen and res all and vit) and it’s more viable there. And from Paragon points.

        As a result it’s not a bad thing to have and I have some on all my chars, if only from Paragon… but it doesn’t seem effective enough to make a main point of a build. That could change if crits went into it, or there were ways to increase the radius. Or perhaps players will find single target or very limited range attacks (HotA?) that are so good when paired with splash that it will surprise our current expectations?

  8. comparing a stats viability to cc/chd is pointless because the way these stats multiply with your core offense stat and weapon dmg are rediculous. This combo is the sole reason monsters have 330 billion hp. They need to be nerfed big time.

    • Making crit/crit dmg not work, or work badly, with some skills would already help a ton.

      Crit dmg could use a nerf. Crit chance itself seems okay. Though again, it should not scale equally with all skills.

      • Making crits work badly on some skills could be too messy. Though lowering the values, so max you can gather is 100 (having some legs with higher rolls). I mean lowering values that can roll on items, to be clear.

        • This! Decrease the max rolls and then make a place where a legendary could have a higher than normal roll for it or add it to an otherwise unavailable slot. I see this as just another example of the original IAS issue (which is why they are probably why they are hesitant to point the nerfgun at it)

  9. QUOTE

    I like any sort of mechanic that dampens the usefulness of AOE and strengthen the use of single target skills as long as it's not hidden for the user and makes sense. I don't see how reducing crit dmg for AOE would make sense and how you could make that mechanic clear to the player.
    
    I would love to see more passive skills, affixes and rune effects that increase the usefulness of single target skills.
    
    "Single target skills deal 15% more dmg for every monster within 10 yards from your target."
    
    "After killing a target with a single target skill, your next attack with the same skill will hit two times instead of one. Last for 5 seconds"

    Not like proc rates on skills are clear today either. Or Barb/Monk bonus dmg mitigation.
    But of course it should be attempted to explain it. If all AoE dealt less crit dmg, it would be as simple as adding a loading screen tip saying it.

    Personally I think tooltips should have a line like this:

    ——————-
    Meteor Rune X. Yada yada (whatever it says today). Bleed dmg stat adds 1000% dmg to the dot.

    Fire | AoE | Dex | Bleed | No crit
    ——————-
    Telling the player that this rune deals fire dmg, it is AoE. It gets dmg from Dex. It has a special bonus from Bleed dmg stat. It cannot crit.

    —————————-
    Whirlwind Rune Y. Yada yada. 0.01%* chance to freeze enemies on hit.

    Cold | AoE | Int | Cold Resist | 50% crit dmg
    ——————————-

  10. I dont see why all the separate effects* mentioned in this thread (so far at least), cant be exactly that – separate effects.

    If you have separate stats for say:
    -crit chance on target
    -crit chance on splash
    -crit damage on target
    -crit damage on splash
    -chance of splash
    -range of splash
    -chance of secondary affix (frozen, bleed, stun, etc) on target
    -chance of secondary affix on splash
    then you can start building a character around your playstyle or preferences. You could build a sniper demon hunter the deals massive single-target damage at the cost of little or no collateral. Or a AoE frenzy barb that melts mobs but starts to struggle against single targets. Each item can only carry a certain amount of buffs, so balancing these (along with all the other stats that you need for a decent character) becomes part of the experience. On-the-fly tweaking of the weapons effects as well as looking for the theoretical ‘perfect’ items for your build of choice is a big part of the Diablo experience. Well, in my eyes at least.

    *or is it affects? Grammar nazi bait!

  11. QUOTE

    I dont see why all the separate effects* mentioned in this thread (so far at least), cant be exactly that - separate effects.
    
    If you have separate stats for say: 
    -crit chance on target
    -crit chance on splash
    -crit damage on target
    -crit damage on splash
    -chance of splash
    -range of splash
    -chance of secondary affix (frozen, bleed, stun, etc) on target
    -chance of secondary affix on splash
    then you can start building a character around your playstyle or preferences. You could build a sniper demon hunter the deals massive single-target damage at the cost of little or no collateral. Or a AoE frenzy barb that melts mobs but starts to struggle against single targets. Each item can only carry a certain amount of buffs, so balancing these (along with all the other stats that you need for a decent character) becomes part of the experience. On-the-fly tweaking of the weapons effects as well as looking for the theoretical 'perfect' items for your build of choice is a big part of the Diablo experience. Well, in my eyes at least.
    
    *or is it affects? Grammar nazi bait!

    You are not wrong, that could really help. But only to a certain degree.
    If you split all stats up along the same line (Splash vs target) then you do not really improve much from what we have already.
    To create good itemization that mixes everything up, add complexity and choice, the stats have to link with skills, and each other in a huge amount of different ways.

    I surely think there should be more split between single target and AoE, to help single target grow and become more meaningful, but ALL stats and ALL skills could use things they synergize with. Things that are more complex than just single target or splash.

    • Yes! Also, no. But mostly yes

      I think at the moment, some stats have a much higher value than others (AS, CC and CD at the moment) as, like you say, there is no link to the skills you are using. D3 is purely focussed around the items, and at the moment the items with the trifecta trump all other items regardless of what skill you are using. In my opinion unless you give a selection of alternatives, and therefore a compromise, the game will stagnate really quickly. Simplest way is to pile these on the items.

      However, if all skills were divided into AoE and single-target catagories and linked the damage type to this (so splash damage was increased by say 20% if you used an AoE skill, and reduced by 20% if you were using a single-target skill) then you’d end up with more complexity. Also, this would lead the way to some legs (or perhaps very rare rares) with stat such as ‘skill X now uses % splash damage stats, skill X now uses splash damage, not single-target damage, skill X has a 5% buff to splash damage effects or skill X uses both splash and single-target damage effects.

      This way, you have another ‘primary’ skill to stack. ATM you need is primary stat, vit, CC, CD and AS and off you go. Give items a a chance to roll say 5 out of 7 or 9 or 15 primary stats (and perhaps if you are really, really lucky 6 or 7 primary stats out of the pool) and suddenly you have ecions, compromises and improvements to be made.

  12. Not a fan of splash damage.

  13. I think even if it does benefit from crit chance/damage, it’s not a desirable stat. Most of the time you’re doing AOE damage, so splashing on one hit just equates to a small boost, but one that doesn’t work when monsters are alone or not positioned correctly. It theoretically allows for some cool single target builds, but the 20% chance is WAY too low. It would be cool to come up with a frenzy build that had 100% chance to splash for ~20% damage, but a 20% chance to splash 100% damage is far less appealing. Way too often you’ll only start proccing aoe hits after killing off a few enemies, which diminishes the effect. Very disappointing lost potential here imo.

    • It does benefit from crits as you would expect. The whole point of the stat is that it turns single target skills into semi-AoE attacks. These skills tend to have noticeably higher damage than AoE and this is counteracted by the 20% proc chance.

      It’s also worth mentioning that the reduced enemy density already made single target skills much more viable alternatives, so splash damage doesn’t necessarily need a buff. Especially because even at level 60 you can fairly easily get 125% with enough Paragon points. At the moment I have 92% at Paragon 77 and my splash gear isn’t perfect.

  14. HotA’s Smash all day long 😀

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