Reflects Damage Should be Removed?



[caption id="attachment_384883" align="alignright" width="350"] Not like this, anymore.[/caption]
It seems like the Elite Affix Reflects Damage gets tweaked every patch, and every time that reminds some fans that they want it out of the game entirely. Not that forum posts demanding that get very far...


Make your voices heard. Post YES if you want it removed.

...petitons are not permitted

Nevalistis: FTFY.[source][/source]

What actually changed? Here's the blue description:

Monster Affix - Reflects Damage
  • Only one monster in a pack can be reflecting damage at a time
  • Damage inflicted by each reflects damage has been increased
  • The average damage taken from a reflects damage pack should remain mostly unchanged but the spikiness in damage should be greatly reduced


Long ago RD was active on whole packs the whole time and they were instant death if touched by a character with high damage AoE. Bliz therefore adjusted the affix to make it more sporadic, and now on Live, RD is active on several (at most) of the Elite + Minions at once, then turns off for a few seconds, letting players time their attacks to get in damage with no RD present.

But since in the current game RD can be active on several enemies at once, it's potentially very "spiky" in damage. Hence this latest change, so that in v2.3.0 on the PTR, RD is always active, but never on more than one enemy in the pack. This makes RD easier to deal with for characters without huge AoE attacks, but means there is zero safe time when RD is entirely absent, and big AoE attacks, especially ones that persist for several seconds, are very dangerous to use against RD elites.

The Devs obviously want there to be one Elite Affix to which the solution isn't just MOAR DPS. What do you guys think? Is there a need for Reflects Damage, and should players have to occasionally watch what they're blasting with their mega-damage?

PTR Testing Report

I've played a fair amount on the PTR and much of that with a Demon Hunter, the class that's probably most affected by RD. So... in my opinion it's not that bad. Everyone's experience will be a little different of course, but since I play Hardcore I'm running with a lot higher Toughness and LoH/Regen, and somewhat lower DPS, than most softcore DHs. Thus RD is less of a danger to me, since I've got so much more damage mitigation. (High Armor really makes a diff in how much damage you take from RD.)

That said, Reflects Damage is noticeably more dangerous in v2.3. My first game on the PTR I leapt right in on T10, and the first RD pack I met caused me to proc before I even saw the enemy. Just from the damage dealt by my target-seeking Rain of Vengeance hitting the Elite slightly off the edge of the screen. I Vault Vault Vaulted away, and once I was at a safe distance I switched Vault to Smoke Screen. The second of invulnerability provided by that skill was enough to keep me from procing again, though I had to drink some potions, and each RD pack I met required kiting and retreating, to get the minion with the spikes off the screen, they weren't instant death or anything.

I've since done up to GR50, and using a Unity through the Cube with high toughness and regen, I can pretty much ignore RD now, since the damage is so much less spiky than it is in v2.2 on the Live realm.

That said, I'm playing with caution and high Toughness, and those gear choices mean I've got a bit lower DPS as well. A DH or any other class with big AoE and a more glass cannon build is going to find RD a lot more dangerous than I do, and I've seen plenty of PTR forum posts from DHs and others bemoaning the change, and insisting the newly-unavoidable RD makes those elites certain death to engage. There's a lot of, "my GRift is instantly ruined if I hit an RD" and for all I know they're not exaggerating.

So what do you guys thing? Reflects Damage Should be Removed? Changed back? Nerfed?
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.


Diabloii.Net Member
I played a witch doctor (pet army build) from level 1 to paragon level 117. Got as high as torment 2 and GR 15 or so.

I completely ignored RD. It would sometimes take 25 or 50% of my life, but I'd just heal up with health globes after.

That said, I don't like the idea of "stop dps now" because there's so many builds that can't. Like my pet army, how am I supposed to tell my pets "okay stop attacking now"? Or an AOE ability that was cast before RD swapped to that target?

I think a low level of damage that can be mostly ignored is fine for variety, after all our characters can wear thorns gear so why not the enemies? But it needs to always be survivable.


Diabloii.Net Member
As a HC player never really had a problem with RD with much higher def. after vanilla that is. I have an interesting idea, as RD is not liked by many. What if the elite Pack periodically teleported to a random party member location instead of RD?


Diabloii.Net Member
Hc player here. I didn't care about RD packs at all until I tried DH. My Barb can entirely ignore them up until gr46. My wiz, no worries ever. My DH? Instant proc before I even see the pack at just about any difficulty over T6. So, I assume that the only people that care about RD play DH at least half of the time.


It's kind of an awkward fit, as the devs keep giving us more awesome AoE all the time abilities via sets and legs, and then there's this one monster affix that turns your big damage against you. But it's just the one ability, and it comes with no warning, and many of the big AoE attacks can't be turned on/off that quickly, or aimed precisely.

In once sense it's like, "occasional instant death is a fair price to pay for gearing/building to deal massive everywhere AoE." But that's not a recipe that works well in a game with Hardcore, and it's not good when competitive higher Grifts are a thing.

I don't really see how RD can be fixed or made to work in the game as it is today. Maybe if the ability gave a several seconds of warning before it activated, so a player could avoid it, the way we do Molten or Frozen bombs... but 1) you can't really aim a lot of those AoE abilities, and 2) as fast-paced as the game is, most Elites are dead before "several seconds" have even elapsed.


Diablo: IncGamers Member
in season 2 i played WD's. on one guy I tried the poison dart build. I forget which lvl of gr it was now, I think a gr27 or gr28. RD completely destroyed me so fast I had no time to react.

The problem is that it is scaling off your damage ability against a monsters hp ability. But a player's HP ability is pathetic next to the players dmg output. In the current meta, we don't buff our hp near as much as we do our dps. so we quickly become insanely powerful against our own HP.

Look at the thorns stuff they put in the game for the player though. It isn't reflecting dmg from the monster, it is simply saying, hey the monster hit me, now lets apply some amount of dmg back based on +thorns dmg. D2 of course was +% of incoming damage back to all mobs within a radius.

Maybe if they changed it so that it matched how player thorns works. Remove our dmg to the monster from the equation and you likely have an ok affix that hurts a little bit but doesn't instagib us.


Diabloii.Net Member
What if you change the mechanics of RD so that the reflected damages is calculated based on your current health, not so much the damage you're doing to the enemy? If you hit an enemy with RD, you always take 30-40% of your current life in damage - that way you can never "kill" yourself by hitting something, but you will be severely gimped if you keep whaling on an RD enemy - making you vulnerable to an actual attack.


Diabloii.Net Member
It's one of those affixes that reminds me why I don't play hardcore... that and thunderstorm are responsible for more "deaths by monster that was just off-screen" than I can count. They keep saying Diablo 3 is about getting away from "spiky" damage and more toward damage that wears you down and forces you to be more "strategic," but, well... that hasn't been my experience since launch in 2012, and it sure ain't my experience now. It's like it's always been, even since Diablo 2: easy 99% of the time, then you're suddenly dead before you know what happened. (I play wizard, of course)


Diabloii.Net Member
"I don't really see how RD can be fixed or made to work in the game as it is today."

Exactly this. I'm not opposed to the idea of RD (and as someone who mains a Barb I've never ever really even noticed RD), but it just doesn't work in the context of game as it currently stands with such and emphasis on massive, uncontrolled, explosive AoE. RD may have worked in a previous (or future) iteration of the game, but not currently.

Unfortunately this is yet another example of how this game is still being built as we play it. =\


Diabloii.Net Member
I disagree with the sentiment that it should be removed or scaled down.

I play demon hunter and I understand the scariness of RD. I have not played on the PTR and experienced the new iteration, however.

First I'm going to explain part of the appeal of HC and then I'll state my case for why RD is part of that appeal. I'll finish with my perspective on what is wrong with RD (and I do think there is something wrong).

  • One of the reasons that I love HC over SC is that the whole game opens up. What I mean is: builds that deal the absolute highest damage possible are the only real option in SC - defense/utility be damned. I find the choices I make to be very narrowly considered. In HC this is not the case; your toughness number is very important. When every stat becomes important, and when balancing your character determines your ability to progress, many stats/items/builds open up as viable options for you. For this reason, I find HC to be a much more robust and fulfilling game mode.
  • As flux said, when you gear appropriately (with a mixture of defense and damage) you can progress quite high, even in HC with RD mobs. RD, along with the other unavoidable damages, rewards you for choosing to balance your character. Even though these affixes are the ones that cause us stress and concern, it's that same tension we need to keep the game interesting. We would never get that feeling of accomplishment if the foe we were vanquishing didn't feel worthy!
The problem with RD, as I see it, is not how it works or that it kills us. It seems there is a general consensus that RD affects DH's to a much greater degree than the other classes. RD does not affect each class in a similar way. The reason RD seems unfair, then, is not that it can kill us, but that we are the only one it kills. If your Barb friend is pushing 50 and can ignore it, while you proc from a monster offscrean, it's easy to feel like you aren't getting the same opportunity to compete.

It's easy to understand why DH's are the only ones that suffer. They are the squishiest class. Barb, Crus, Monk all get the % reduction for being in melee. Of the 3 ranged classes the DH is the only class not receiving All Resist from their mainstat. AR is a mathematically superior defensive stat to the armor that DH gets from dex.

I see 2 ways to fix this. I think the first makes the most sense.
  1. Increase the armor or benefit from armor for dex classes to bring DH damage recieved in line with WD/Wiz.
  2. Let RD ignore the % reduction melee recieves to bring the melee relatively in line with the damage DH's recieve from the affix
[Sorry wall-o-text]


Diabloii.Net Member
It's more than time they removed this stinky affix from the game. It was causing problems since way back in D2. It should have never even been brought over from D2... This game is about doing damage to the monsters to win, so why is there an affix that causes you to lose for doing that? They might as well make an affix that prevents you from logging in. (oh wait, they already did, error 32! The first elite most players encountered on launch day.) And whatever idiot decided it would be a good idea to have frozen and jailer, and wormhole cause damage AND crowd control needs a kick in the nads.

Silent Killer

Diabloii.Net Member
If Blizzard wants to leave in and constantly adjust Reflect Damage and treat HC players like rats in an ever-changing maze,they could at least create a HC only L potion with no cool down. Seems fair.