Diablo® III

Questions / Answers about Reflect Damage

UPDATE: Continually updating with new information shared in thread below. Check for updates

If there are some corrections or more Q/A that you would like to include in here, let me know. I'm hoping that this could be used as a reference thread for countering RD, which appears to be the type of monster affix that give players the most issues

(1) What kind of damage gets reflected back?
Everything (Melee & Skills). The only skill whose damage does not get reflected back is SSS (due to invulnerability)

(2) How much damage gets reflected back?
20% of all incoming damage gets reflected (according to Diablowiki)

(3) In what form does the damage gets reflected back?
Some debate between Holy and Physical (no matter what the original source)
According to Seaboots' empirlcal testing, it appears physical is the winner.
(See http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7320262157?page=2#29 for how he tested it)

(4) What other monster affixes amplifies RD?
Fast(on themselves), Illusionist(clones), and Health Link(damage connected) (LordRaahl)
(can someone verify this and give rationale behind the effect of the "fast affix"?)

(5) What tactics can we use to counter RD?
From Raahl:
have 900 LoH, 900 regen, and 2.9 LS, and you'll be immune to RD forever.
either that or get LS on both weaps, which is redundant.
Just don't cast faith in the light to buff sweeping wind, it is the culprit.
Use tactical retreats, kite, pick up globes, attack other enemies - in other words, use your Skill.


From Seaboots:
Well I am stacking phys resist despite not using OWE, and it helps greatly with RD, not to mention most damage you take is phys anyways.

From others:
- stack more EL (physical resistance, armor, vit, etc) to a point...
- stack sustain (LS, LoH, LpSS, LpS, LAK, health globe bonus, etc)
- intersperse use of different skills (serenity, healing, mantra spams with LpSS, etc)

-----------------------------

See http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7320262157?page=2#23 for more detailed information from Raahl -- very informative, IMO

Also see http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7320262157?page=1#18 and http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7320262157?page=2#27 for some detailed information from Vrkhyz as well.

Blue post that states that rare minions do more reflect damage than intended:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7349425431?page=2#39

The way Health Link works in conjunction with Reflect Damage is a bug and not working as intended:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004694863?page=2#30
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 12/11/2012 12:00 PM PST
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Here's another question for you math types:

If RD is indeed affected by MoC/Overawe, then what is the breakeven DPS level where spamming Overawe doesn't cause you to take more damage? With 3% LS and with 6% LS?

If there is one, I suppose :P Obviously this depends on what the % of dmg reflected is.
Edited by Piffle#1874 on 12/5/2012 9:30 AM PST
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The first three I am not sure if the answer to, however, for the third question it largely depends upon for defensive stats. Life steal as a sustain essentially scales with your armor and resists as well as your dps. The more dps you do the more health you regain, and the more armor/resists you have the less damage intake you recieve. So the higher your damage reduction, the less life steal you need to hit that break even point for reflect damage.

Edit: on phone and hit post by accident.
Edited by Yukine#1551 on 12/5/2012 9:38 AM PST
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@Piffle:

I guess that depends on how much sustain you are getting from anything besides LS to overcome RD.

If your LS overcomes RD on its own, then spamming Overawe has no impact. You deal more damage, and thus get more LS back, in proportion to the increase in RD. As an equation, that means if 1.24 x (LS - RD) > 0, then 1.48 x (LS -RD) is also > 0, and in fact you'd get a greater surplus.

I usually spam Overawe MORE when facing RD because I need the extra sustain against other (non-RD) attacks more since some of my LS is canceled out.

If you are sustaining with a combination of LS and LoH, for instance, and your "LS only" sustain is not enough against RD then it becomes a question of how much of each. As an equation this means that LS - RD < 0 (negative indicating damage taken) or alternatively let's say X = RD - LS is damage taken after RD. So if you are sustaining with such that LoH - 1.24X > 0, then you are able to spam Overawe if LoH - 1.48X > 0 is also true.
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@piffle
If both RD and LS scale with damage done, there really isn't any such DPS based point. You either have enough LS/mitigation that you gain or lose life regardless of DPS. If you're losing it, then you may need to stop spamming overawe so your other forms of sustain keep you alive.
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But if RD is mitigated by your armor/resists then it would be possible that the extra dmg causes your LS to go over the dmg you're taking, right?
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Here's another question for you math types:

If RD is indeed affected by MoC/Overawe, then what is the breakeven DPS level where spamming Overawe doesn't cause you to take more damage? With 3% LS and with 6% LS?

If there is one, I suppose :P Obviously this depends on what the % of dmg reflected is.

*chuckle* I LOVE how Piffle weasles his way in here and hijacks my thread with his question and it's his question that gets all the airtime, leaving my original questions in the dust. :P

(no worries... 'tis all good... good information here anyway... appreciate what's been written so far)

Okay, in all seriousness...

But if RD is mitigated by your armor/resists then it would be possible
that the extra dmg causes your LS to go over the dmg you're taking, right?

12/05/2012 09:34 AMPosted by Yukine
The first three I am not sure if the answer to, however, for the third question it largely depends upon for defensive stats. Life steal as a sustain essentially scales with your armor and resists as well as your dps. The more dps you do the more health you regain, and the more armor/resists you have the less damage intake you recieve. So the higher your damage reduction, the less life steal you need to hit that break even point for reflect damage.

This is my gearing strategy on my end. I'm trying to shore up my defences so that majority of incoming damage can be mitigated, RD or otherwise, and that sustain basically picks up a little slack (but I'm trying not to count on this too much). As I'd like to see it, I'd want my offence and defence to move up in some kind of lock-step so that I don't need to plough all kinds of gold into extra sustain (or to sacrifice my offence for more sustain, in the case of getting a second LS weapon) just to work against one particular type of affix.

If I sense that my defence is good enough, I'd feel more comfortable in making a big splash with my weapons (since at this point, my weapons are the cheapest items on my whole monk).

Anyway... can some of you knowledgeable folks revisit my original post and attempt to answer my 3 questions? :)
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 12/5/2012 10:23 AM PST
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I have seen myself die many times due to RD and my cyclones as I am running away from any contact by the elites....other questions I have no idea on.
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Here's another question for you math types:

If RD is indeed affected by MoC/Overawe, then what is the breakeven DPS level where spamming Overawe doesn't cause you to take more damage? With 3% LS and with 6% LS?

If there is one, I suppose :P Obviously this depends on what the % of dmg reflected is.

*chuckle* I LOVE how Piffle weasles his way in here and hijacks my thread with his question and it's his question that gets all the airtime, leaving my original questions in the dust. :P

(no worries... 'tis all good... good information here anyway... appreciate what's been written so far)

And I almost feel bad about it!

:P
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from my experience with RD, it is like a defence check. Single LS is not enough for higher MP level. You need some LOH or another LS plus some armor. before I do have problem with RD packs, but now I can face tank it and I don't know what has been changed on my side.

When facing a RD pack before, I used to spam Overawe and blind flash togother to get three second dps boost and hit hard for three seconds then run away. go back to battle with full HP, hit hard again then run away. It worked pretty well.
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for you question 1, I think it is physical damage back to you.
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I've found that with around 850 or so all res, 5k armor 2.5 ls, around 300-400 loh and using the transcendence passive I generally do not have issues with RD in high mp levels, only in combination with multiple effects such as molten + 1 other do I start noticing an issue.

For a question with damage, if you're using ls as your only sustain, I.e. no loh, lps, or lpss, then regardless of your dps as long as your damage intake * defenses - life gained is equal then regardless of your dps your health won't move. I.e. spamming overawe doesn't change your sustain vrs damage numbers. It only increases the scale by which you will gain/lose health in the given period if time. Loh, lps, and lpss do not directly scale with your dps and thus doing more damage will cause you to take more damage.
Edited by Yukine#1551 on 12/5/2012 11:57 AM PST
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Thanks for the responses so far. I'm still awaiting the answer of what kind of damage gets reflected back (and my assumption is that it's just melee combat, not skill-based stuff). The reason that this is a big question for me is in consideration of using some different skills that can actually cause some pretty big damage. Here are some scenarios that I can envision:

(1) Using EP / Flesh is Weak in higher MP levels
This is a cool skill in that it is one of the few / only ones that scale with MP levels. The higher the maximum health of the monster, the more the damage is done to surrounding monsters upon explosion. However, if the damage done by the EP-associated explosion onto surrounding monsters (dealing 30% of monster's maximum life as physical to surrounding onsters) is also reflected back to me, then would I be cooked if two of those monsters are of the RD variety (or we have those RD minions which are also a big pain in the butts)?

(2) Using WoL / Empowered Wave
WoL is a pretty strong AoE skill that I loved using when I was leveling up and I'm itching to incorporate this back into my build. True, it is stronger with a strong 2h, but what if I used this in place of my 2nd primary and I use transcendance instead of combination strike)? Costing 40 spirit is just 10 less than a mantra. Since is has no cooldown, I can spam whenever I wish. With FoT/TC and my attack speed, I generate enough spirit to spam this once every 2-3 seconds I think. If I drop bells on RD monsters, then would that 390% weapon damage (more if it crits) be reflected back to me? I'm anticipating that it would be no, and if this is the case, then perhaps I can start using this skill again on RD packs instead of spamming MoC/Overawe.

(3) Using SW/Cyclone
If the damage dealt in the SW and the Cyclones do not reflect back, then wouldn't it make sense for monks to engage in conflict with any other monster around instead of RD, just to allow the SW and Cyclones to do their damage against RDs before turning attention back to RD monsters?

In scenario 1 and 2, what also helps me is that with a little LpSS, I'd also get life back from each spam of the skills. So yeah, still itching to know what type of damage RD actually reflects back. I'm probably going to try these different things tonight anyway, but would love to know other people's experiences with this as well. Feedback?
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 12/5/2012 12:18 PM PST
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Oooooo, to further complicate things, how come against some packs RD hurts MORE? It almost seems like some mobs have higher damage mitigation and so this becomes an even stickier wicket!

Like those skeleton bowmen, RD is brutal on those.
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Oooooo, to further complicate things, how come against some packs RD hurts MORE? It almost seems like some mobs have higher damage mitigation and so this becomes an even stickier wicket!

Like those skeleton bowmen, RD is brutal on those.

Stop it! :P
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I am certain that it always reflects as phys

I am 99% sure that every bit of damage that a player deals is reflected back to them.

I have done no tests on the actual % damage that is reflected
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For a question with damage, if you're using ls as your only sustain, I.e. no loh, lps, or lpss, then regardless of your dps as long as your damage intake * defenses - life gained is equal then regardless of your dps your health won't move. I.e. spamming overawe doesn't change your sustain vrs damage numbers. It only increases the scale by which you will gain/lose health in the given period if time. Loh, lps, and lpss do not directly scale with your dps and thus doing more damage will cause you to take more damage.


This is incorrect. the more DPS you have, the more absolute damage is reflected to you (after taking in account of LS) if you maintain same armor/resist.

OP
(1) Everything you dealt is reflected. on any skill well except Seven Sided Strike because of invulnerability

(2) I am pretty positive that it is % of the damage you dealt. so the more DPS you have, the dangerous RD is. I'm 99% sure that it doesn't change based on MP. But... remember MP0's molten/other affix is not as deadly as MP10's. So you will feel it's much harder in MP10 vs RD pack with these affix than in MP0.

(3) I learnt that using cold damage SoJ on RD elite pack will reflect the frost effect to you too. Whether that is cold damage reflected or just physical damage with cold effect... i can't answer. no empirical evidence as far as i know to answer this question yet.
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It's late, but I'm going to take a stab at some of these anyway. All of this assumes that reflected damage is mitigated by armor and resistances.

Regarding sustain vs. RD: There's no point at which using MoC or spamming Overawe becomes bad if you can handle RD without it, provided that we're talking about LS rather than other methods. Let's assume you have a 100K DPS, 6% LS, and 88% mitigation (numbers are not even close to reality, just used for this example).
  • If you let MoC expire: You do 100K DPS, you steal back 100K x 0.06 x 0.20 = 1,200 LPS, you get 10K reflected back to you, and you absorb 88% of it, so you take 10,000 x 0.12 = 1,200 damage. This is a break-even scenario.
  • If you don't let MoC expire but don't spam the mantra (and thus do an extra 24% damage): You do 124K DPS, you steal back 124K x 0.06 x 0.20 = 1,488 LPS, you get 12,400 reflected back to you, and you absorb 88% of it, so you take 12,400 x 0.12 = 1,488 damage. Again, you break even.
  • If you spam your mantra (and thus do an extra 48% damage): You do 148K DPS, you steal back 148K x 0.06 x 0.20 = 1,776 LPS, you get 14,800 reflected back to you, and you absorb 88% of it, so you take 14,800 x 0.12 = 1,776 damage. It's still break-even.

It's when you use non-scaling sustain—i.e., anything other than LS—that you will hurt yourself by turning on MoC if you just break even when it's not on.

Regarding skills that trigger it: I believe SW and tornadoes trigger it, but there are definitely skills that do not trigger it. Seven-Sided Strike is one of them; I had it on my toolbar at one time in part to deal with RD elites.

Regarding non-LS sustain: You can handle RD with non-LS sustain, provided that it's good enough to keep you overstocked with health if the mob did not have RD. For example, I don't have any LS gear, yet I can face-tank RD elites on MP5 unless they start taking damage when out of range of my LoH effects. The effect is more pronounced when they group together, in part because Thunderclap's proc rate for additional targets is eclipsed by the damage it does to those targets, relative to what it does to a single target.

What does that mean? Well, let's look at a three-strike Thunderclap series. The first two strikes do 110% damage to the target and 35% to each nearby mob (including the original target), and the third does 145% to all mobs we're considering, essentially. The proc rate for the primary target is 75% twice for the first two hits and 75% once for the third; the rate for all other targets is 75% once for the first two hits and nothing for the third.

Let's put all that together. For a three-attack cycle against a single target, Thunderclap delivers 435% damage and procs 375% total.

Now, let's assume you have just enough LoH and mitigation that the reflected damage from the 435% damage is equal to the sustain you get for the 375% in procs. This means that you can safely absorb damage equal to 435 ÷ 375 = 1.16 times your proc number.

Let's add a second mob to the mix. For the same three-attack cycle, Thunderclap delivers 215% damage to the bystander and procs 150% worth of healing. Because of the equivalency established earlier, we know that we can safely absorb damage equal to 1.16 times the proc number. If the proc is 150%, we can safely absorb 174% of our Thunderclap damage to this secondary target.

But we're delivering 215% damage! This means that the second mob is overwhelming our ability to proc LoH. If you've ever heard that RD mobs are tougher in groups and much easier to beat if you use a divide-and-conquer strategy against them, this is why. The more of them around, the better the chance that they'll overwhelm your non-LS sustain.

Okay, that's enough of this. I'm going to bed :)
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There is a youtube video of a monk that has tested what kind of damage is RD.

In that video, it shows that RD is physical damage and also RD gets reduced by armor and your physical resists. I dunno how accurate the video is but imo its pretty convincing.

However, as for how much damage is reflected, I too would like to know the answer to that question :)
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According to diablowiki.net, it's 20%. If that's true, then there's an easy formula for figuring out the LS you need to cancel it. It's based on your overall mitigation, though. And I'm off to bed, so I'll leave the lifting to someone else this time :)
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