Diablo 3 Damage Multipliers and Thorns Explained

diablo 3 damage multipliers and thorns explained 460170

Input: One of the primary objectives in Diablo III, or any ARPG for that matter, is to enhance your power and conquer every adversary that crosses your path. Nevertheless, the tooltips provided within the game fail to provide a clear explanation of how damage is determined, the various types of multipliers that exist, and the intricate process that enables you to inflict harm upon a single target… Or even a swarm of foes.

Welcome to this comprehensive guide where we dive deep into the realm of damage calculations and multipliers. Prepare to unravel the mysteries that often perplex the community, such as the intricate relationship between the Weapon Damage Range and the potency of various abilities. Discover the contrasting nature of additive and multiplicative multipliers, shedding light on their divergent impacts. Fear not, for all your burning questions shall find solace within these pages. So, dear reader, settle in and lend your ear to the wisdom that awaits!

In Diablo III, the foundation of all damage calculations stems from the Damage Range, with Thorns playing a role in certain scenarios. This range is primarily influenced by your Weapons and, occasionally, Offhands (such as Source, Mojo, and Phylactery) or Jewelry (like Rings and Amulet). To illustrate, let’s consider a basic Level 1 Weapon.

The unsocketed Weapon reveals its potential with a 2-3 damage range, showcasing 2 Minimum Damage and 3 Maximum Damage. These rolls represent the inherent range values of the “Level 1 Wand Weapon Base.” No matter the rarity or primary affixes, any item of this base will possess this minimum damage range. Moving on to the second weapon, a formidable range of 272-273 emerges, indicating the remarkable impact of the Flawless Royal Ruby, which bolsters the base with +270 Minimum Damage and +270 Maximum Damage.

Please take note that the main affix “+X% Damage” found on Weapons has the ability to enhance both the minimum and maximum damage ranges of the Weapon. Additional sources of damage range, such as Jewelry or Offhands, only come into effect on the damage range once the +X% Damage Weapon Affix has been applied. To calculate our average damage, we must divide the sum of our minimum and maximum damage range by 2.

Rewritten Consequently, the calculation of our socketed Wand’s average damage yields an impressive result of 272.5 damage per hit, achieved by combining values of 272 and 273. To determine the Weapon Damage Per Second (DPS), we must multiply this average damage by the Weapon Attack Speed, which stands at 1.2 in our particular scenario. This calculation leads us to a remarkable total of 327 DPS. To delve further into the realm of Attack Speed and Breakpoints, I highly recommend reading an enlightening article authored by Northwar.

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General Rules.

  • The devastating power of Thorns disregards any influence from Weapon damage, rendering all forms of average damage (such as Weapons, Rings, Amulets, and Offhands) utterly futile in Thorns builds.
  • Thorns inflicts solely Physical damage, with the exception of Demon’s Skin (2) Bonus, Demon’s Hide (2) Bonus, and Asheara’s Uniform (3) Bonus, which bestow Fire Thorns and Holy Thorns, respectively.
  • The piercing pain of thorns inflicts no critical strikes, save for the mystical power of Envious Blade.
  • Thorns Sources.

  • Unleash the power of 5334-7696 Thorns (7697-9500 for Ancients) as it courses through your shoulders, chest, amulet, and belt.
  • Adorned with a cascade of rings, a majestic helmet, enchanted bracers, supple gloves, sleek pants, sturdy boots, and a formidable offhand, an impressive display of 2401-2880 Thorns awaits (2881-3500 for the Ancients).
  • Thorns of Nailbiter and Neanderthal: 5334-7696 (7697-9500 for the Ancients).
  • Iron’s Essence: Thorns intensified to a staggering 300% of your Vitality.
  • Boyarsky’s Thorn: 16,000 Prickers, soaring up to 136,000 upon reaching level 150.
  • The Weapon sparkles with a flawless royal topaz, radiating an aura of 38,000 thorns.
  • Input: Keep in mind that the tooltip on the character sheet mentions that Thorns damage receives a boost based on a fraction of your Primary Attribute. This feature dates back to the early days of Diablo III, where Thorns damage was only enhanced by 25% of your Primary Attribute. However, things have changed now, and you actually reap the full benefits of your Primary Attribute!

    Input: Thorns MultipliersAs mentioned previously, when it comes to calculating Thorns damage, your standard damage is substituted with the value of your Thorns. This particular value is determined by the amount of Thorns listed on your character sheet, which is enhanced (and displayed) by the effects mentioned below:

  • Reflective Skin Bonus + Iron Skin = Thorns of the Invoker (2)
  • Iron Maiden.
  • Input: Tough as Nails.Strong as steel.
  • Jairo’s Enchanted Lance.
  • These incredible enhancements are known as Thorns Multipliers. Each of these perks functions as an individual amplifier for your Thorns potency, with the sole exception of the Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus, which combines harmoniously with Iron Skin Reflective Skin. Let us not forget to mention the Aberrant Animator, a remarkable passive ability that bestows 200% of the Necromancer’s ultimate Thorns level (once all Thorns multipliers have been implemented) upon its loyal minions.

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    However, there is an intriguing twist to this tale! Thorny entities can be classified into two distinct groups, namely Real Thorns and Converted Thorns, for the sake of simplicity.

  • When a monstrous creature strikes you (or your loyal minions under the influence of the Aberrant Animator), thorns are unleashed.
  • Hack’s expert touch, adorned with thorns.
  • Enhanced by the mystical power of the Invoker’s Thorns, the application of Thorns (2) bestows a remarkable bonus.
  • Rewritten Keep in mind that Vo’Toyias Spiker provides a 100% additive damage debuff that benefits the entire party, specifically for Real Thorns and not Converted Thorns. It conveniently stacks with other additive damage debuffs, such as Strongarm Bracers. Interestingly, as observed earlier, additive damage buffs actually multiply with additive damage debuffs.

    Additionally, the effect of Area Damage cannot be triggered by Reflected Thorns and Hack. Conversely, Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus enables the Area of Effect (AoE) Thorns to activate Area Damage. When Thorns from Hack are combined with Thorns of the Invoker (2) Bonus, they can also apply within a 15 yard radius and trigger Area Damage.

    Transformed Spikes adhere to the conventional rules of damage calculation, drawing upon your Thorns as the foundation for their power. However, unlike genuine Thorns, they possess a distinct “Skill Damage” Multiplier. The origins of Converted Thorns encompass the subsequent sources:

  • The Sanguinary Vambraces administer prickly thistles.
  • Spike-laden barrels raining down like a storm of destruction.
  • Sacred Sanctuary of Spikes.
  • Barding of Spiked Fury for the Steed Charge.
  • The Enchanter’s Thorn (6) Perk.
  • Within the realm of Thorns classification, the amalgamation of buffs and debuffs remains harmoniously additive. However, it is worth noting that the efficacious damage debuff exerted by Vo’Toyias Spiker seems to be an exception to this rule.

    In Diablo III, each skill possesses a unique attribute known as the Skill Damage Multiplier, which determines the amount of Weapon Damage it inflicts. Let’s take a closer look at Magic Missile – in its unmodified state, this skill delivers a significant 230% of our Weapon Damage. Consequently, to calculate our average strike with an unaltered Magic Missile, we must multiply our average weapon damage by this skill multiplier:

    With the average damage we determined earlier and an unruned Magic Missile that inflicts 230% of our weapon damage, we can expect to unleash approximately 626.75 damage per strike.

    Next, we must combine all our damage boosters to calculate the ultimate damage output. It’s important to remember that certain abilities have a unique scaling factor based on the weapon used. For example, skills like Seismic Slam Rumble, Ancient Spear Boulder Toss, and Meteor Star Pact possess a base Weapon Damage value and utilize any leftover resource to enhance this base value. On the other hand, Skeletal Mage Singularity follows a similar scaling pattern, but instead of augmenting its base Weapon Skill Damage, it amplifies a separate damage modifier for the Skeletal Mage using the remaining resource. As a result, having a higher Maximum Resource and Resource Cost Reduction can lead to a slight increase in damage for these particular skills.

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    Now that we have established the foundation of our damage, let us venture into the realm of intricate damage calculations with confidence. It is crucial to bear in mind that virtually every element in Diablo III possesses the power to amplify your primary Weapon Damage (or Thorns Value, in certain scenarios).

    Buffs in Diablo III refer to advantageous effects bestowed upon players, while debuffs pertain to detrimental effects imposed on monsters, inadvertently benefiting the players. However, the disparity between buffs and debuffs holds little significance in the realm of damage calculation, primarily impacting the Additive Damage category on rare occasions.

    In the realm of damage buffs, the primary principle reigns: each enhancement melds seamlessly with others within its designated category, and these categories in turn magnify your overall damage output. Alas, a definitive guidebook to decipher the inner workings of every damage buff eludes our grasp; one must simply possess the knowledge. Fortunately, fear not, for we stand ready to unravel the intricacies and illuminate the harmonious synergy of these damage buffs and multipliers!


    Primary Attribute

    Critical Hit Chance & Damage

    Elemental Damage

    Elite Damage

    Monster Type Damage

    “Additive” Damage

    Pets Skill Damage

    Attack Speed

    Other Damage Multipliers

    Fear not if the classification process and the numerous exceptions in the aforementioned section have caused you distress, for we are here to assist you! Hereafter, you shall discover a comprehensive elucidation of the various interactions pertaining to damage, categorized by each class.




    Demon Hunter

    Witch Doctor



    I trust that this guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how damage instances are handled in Diablo III! Although damage interactions can be intricate, with numerous exceptions to consider, a deep comprehension of damage scaling mechanics and multipliers will greatly enhance your insight into optimization and gear selection. This knowledge will enable you to fully unleash your potential in pushing Greater Rifts. Best of luck on your journey!

    Crafted by the imaginative mind of Chewingnom.

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