Diablo® III

Faith in the Light Explained

I know exactly what it's doing, how it's calculated, what it's adding—the whole eight-point-nine yards. The voices in my head told me the secret was unknowable, but I ignored them, like I usually do on days ending in -y.

All will be REVEALED!!1! ... tomorrow. That was really, really, really exhausting.


Okay, tomorrow is here! Although it kills me to do this, I'm going to bow to LordRaahl's wishes and leave you all in the dark. No, wait, that's not right—I'm going to give you a TL;DR version, which actually kills me more.

TL;DR: Faith in the Light is commonly misunderstood as a flat 30% buff that does some weird stuff; it's commonly accepted among more knowledgeable players as a 30% buff that scales with attack speed. In truth, however, it gives you an extra range of Holy damage. The low end of this range is 25% of your average weapon damage, and the upper end is 35%. (You can think of these as an extra +Minimum Damage affix and an extra +Maximum Damage affix, with the caveat that it's Holy damage and thus not affected by the Adds X% to <Elemental> Damage affix.) Both of these figures scale with attack speed. The net result, which is simply the average of these two figures, shows up on your character sheet DPS as a 30% bonus, scaled to your attack speed. The min/max bonuses explain odd results when using min=max weapons.

If you want the full story, see below. Word of warning: some of this thread is a bit heated! If you're just interested in the mechanics, stick with post #1; if you want some drama and brought your popcorn, keep reading. Everybody has calmed down as of this writing, and we're all adults here, so we're just moving on.


In the course of attempting to understand some of the mechanics of this game, I, like many players who have come before me, have done a lot of testing. Much of that testing has been done with white weapons and min-damage rings that equalize the minimum and maximum damage, thereby creating the perfect testing weapon: one that delivers the same damage with every swing, adjusting for crits. (I didn't come up with this method, but I wish I knew who did. It's invaluable.)

Nearly every monk skill made sense except one: Faith in the Light. The bonus doesn't show up in the Details tab in the character sheet, and the boost to the in-game DPS almost never matches the tooltip's 30% claim. But I needed to know—partly so I could make a more informed choice about the value of certain skills, but, even more importantly, because I needed that information for a spreadsheet I'm working on for the monk community. Helping players figure out their real DPS won't work very well if one of the most commonly used skills can't be accurately measured.

Eventually, I was able to figure out what is currently an open secret: the bonus scales with attack speed. In other words, if you are using a 1.40 fist, a shield, and an +8% IAS, you have an attack speed of 1.512, which means that your FitL buff is 0.3 times 1.512, or 0.4536.

Less well-known, perhaps, is that the bonus is based on the active weapon. This applies only to dual-wielders, but it means that you will get two different sets of bonuses when you cast FitL, depending on which weapon is active when you cast it. For example, consider these two weapons:
  • Fist 1: 639.04 average damage, 1.40 APS (1.61 with DW IAS bonus)
  • Fist 2: 612.39 average damage, 1.554 APS (1.7871 with DW IAS bonus)

If you activate FitL with Fist 1 active, the bonus (which I'll treat as 30% for now for simplicity) will be equal to the following:

639.04 x 0.3 x 1.61 = 308.66 (rounded)
If you activate FitL with Fist 2 active, you'll get this bonus instead:

612.39 x 0.3 x 1.7871 = 328.32 (rounded)
This is especially important if you aim to have the most effective weapon active when you cast Sweeping Wind. In this case, the difference is negligible, as the two weapons are separated by less than 1%: 948 for the first weapon against 941 for the second, essentially. For many users, however, this information could flip their choice of active weapon to the other hand because of the scaling bonus. For example, boosting the damage of Fist 2 by 14 points would make it just slightly better for Sweeping Wind even though many players would consider Fist 1 the clear choice because it has a higher average damage.


In testing FitL with my normal gear and with mi=max white weapons, I came upon a result I couldn't explain: the damage wasn't consistent. I had read suggestions—I think Druin might have made one of them—that the skill grants a range of damage as a bonus, and that made sense. But I couldn't figure out why a 30% tooltip buff would routinely dip below a 30% damage boost. In researching the issue, I came across this post by Thaya at diablofans.com:


The piece that helped the most was this:

"I went to Normal mode and got myself some random weapon with 15 DPS and 9-16 damage range, 1.2 APS. I also equipped a +9 minimum damage necklace, so effectively my min and max damage were equal (confirmed in tooltip for "attack": 18-18). My total APS was 1.46. Every time I hit mobs I did 268 damage, I must've hit like 30 times just to be sure."

I had done plenty of min=max testing but hadn't seen a tooltip like this, so I went looking for it. I couldn't find it anywhere—until I remembered that I could vacate my primary attack on my left-mouse button by assigning the same skill to a different button.

Voila! Instant "attack tooltip":


That's a look at my Shenlong's Fist of Legend, which has a tooltip damage range of 436–842. Testing has revealed that the attack tooltip always truncates the numbers, unlike the tooltip damage range, which rounds them. This backs up what I said about calculating a weapon's true damage range here:


Equipping a two-handed weapon doing 9–11 damage with a +20 Minimum Damage ring and then activating FitL produced this:


That picture verified that FitL was adding a range of bonus damage, not a single number. At that point, really, it was just a matter of staring at the numbers, thinking about the problem, and finally coming upon the solution. I knew that the average had to be 30%, scaled by attack speed, which suggested one of two options:

1. A scaled range based on concrete high and low percentages
2. A scaled 30%, modified by some set figure (e.g., a scaled 30%, +/-5%)

Tweaking a few items—especially IAS items—eventually revealed the answer. My final test was to equip my Burning Axe of Sankis, with its Adds 6% to Fire Damage affix, another weapon, an IAS helm, and a couple rings, and then to turn on Eirena's Focused Mind buff. I calculated the Axe's damage range, including rings, as 499.7486–917.8898, which D3 backed up as follows:


If my calculations were correct, I only needed to use the average damage to calculate the scaled minimum and maximum bonuses.

Minimum bonus:

499.7486 + 917.8898
= 1417.6384
÷ 2
= 708.8192
x 0.25 (25% bonus)
= 177.2048
x 1.33 (basic attack speed with Focused Mind)
= 235.682384
x 1.23 (DW bonus plus 8% IAS on helm)
= 289.88933232

Maximum bonus:

289.88933232 (scaled 25% bonus)
x 35/25 (gets us to 35% the quick way)
= 405.845065248

Expected damage range with FitL buff:

Min damage = 499.7486 + 289.88933232 = 789.63793232
Max. damage = 917.8898 + 405.845065248 = 1,323.734865248

Accounting for the attack tooltip's truncation of the displayed value, I should expect a range of 789–1323.

And here's the result:


This behavior accounts for values that vary from the expected return of a 30% bonus scaled by APS. I searched Google for confirmation of these results, expecting to find that I had wasted my time researching something that was already published, but I didn't find any explanation of this mechanic beyond "it's a 30% bonus that scales with attack speed." Maybe my search-fu is weak, but I think this is the best explanation we've got right now.
Edited by Vrkhyz#1472 on 12/16/2012 10:27 AM PST
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no way.
you can't do it.
many already know, we just choose to keep it low-key.
thats why we don't answer every new question asked about SW snapshot.

you can't open this can of worms. There is dire consequences.

you ever read Shakespeare's MacBeth?
the moral of that story is,
"there's a price to pay for messing with the natural order of how things flow."

and the famous quote is,
"Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair."

also the Sword of Truth states,
"the greatest harm can come from the best of intention."

You open this Flood Gate, and if it gets nerfed, it's detrimental to us all at your satisfaction of being a wannabe know-it-all.
Especially when it's already been known by some of us since Beta,
we just made a pact to not talk about 'Fight Club'.
And for 6 months we've kept an eye out for this kind of Red Alert.
that's why controversial books on occults and black magic and such, are in the darkest corner of a bookstore, not right in front of the store.
So you've figured it out, congratz, now move along.

bringing this stuff up right when we're approaching pvp,
do you have no concern for the monk class at large?

These words many sound Foul on my part, but it is Fair.
Consider them.


EDIT : But alas, I could not stop the atrocity from happening.
Do what thou shalt, only the future can decide the monk's fate,
for you have refused the warning of impending nerf.
Edited by LordRaahl#1733 on 12/15/2012 7:08 PM PST
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the buff is actaulyl way more than 30% lol. its 70% for me.
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It's not so much that the dark secrets of Faith in Light are unknowable, I think. It's just that they're not talked about in polite company.

Wasn't there a Mystic Ally guide or something you were working on, too?
Edited by Demiwraith#1534 on 12/14/2012 10:11 PM PST
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deleted, cuz it's pointless
Edited by MrMojoRisin#6850 on 12/14/2012 10:19 PM PST
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12/14/2012 10:05 PMPosted by LordRaahl
the greatest harm can come from the best of intention

This is the wizard's second rule, it is second only to the first rule, which is

People are stupid, they will believe something because they want it to be true; or because they're afraid it might be true

relevant rules are relevant
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Post #2 reeks of 3 page material. Unfortunately its bed time.

There may be a need for popcorn tomorrow though, just a heads up.
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Good work! Looking forward to it.
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yeah, he's missed the point of Macbeth too, which i commented on, but then deleted cuz there's no point in arguing it really....
Edited by MrMojoRisin#6850 on 12/15/2012 12:34 AM PST
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- Diablo III (Monk)
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Quoting the Sword of Truth series, arguably one of the best I have ever read, and then so obviously miss-interpreting the moral point of view of the books makes me so sad.

+1 Vrk! Can't wait to see what you found! :D
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Just regeared my Monk, i'm curious about how faith in the light works, seems to give a much larger boost than the 30% stated.
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12/15/2012 12:34 AMPosted by MrMojoRisin
yeah, he's missed the point of Macbeth too, which i commented on, but then deleted cuz there's no point in arguing it really....

The basic point of MacBeth is 'too great of an ambition can lead to one's downfall'.
That's obvious, but it also has many other hidden morals that they don't talk about in school.

Quoting the Sword of Truth series, arguably one of the best I have ever read, and then so obviously miss-interpreting the moral point of view of the books makes me so sad.

+1 Vrk! Can't wait to see what you found! :D

Your lies and hypocrisy makes me ill.
I'm not sure you would know more about that series than me, nor Terry Goodkind's dark secrets.


This is the wizard's second rule, it is second only to the first rule, which is

All rules flow in chronological order of the story, and not the first ones being more important.

Let's look at the most important rules that follow after,
"The most important rule there is, the Wizard's Sixth Rule: the only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason.

This thread defies all reason, and is acting from passion.
If we all could act from passion, I'm sure ya'll know all the bad things that could happen.

And lastly, is the 11th rule.
"The rule of all rules. The rule unwritten. The rule unspoken since the dawn of history. only way to express it, was to give you a book unwritten to signify the rule unwritten."

Let this thread, obey the 11th rule of time, which is the rule unwritten.
The rule that is the First, and the Last.
Have a respect for the Unknown, and don't bring up things that aren't supposed to be known.

there are many ways to interpret the rule unwritten,
but in modern times, you may know it as,

"The First rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club."
Edited by LordRaahl#1733 on 12/15/2012 8:12 PM PST
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12/15/2012 01:29 AMPosted by LordRaahl
All rules flow in chronological order of the story, and not the first ones being more important.

the rules were already named before richard learns them, no? The wizard's first rule may not be the most important per se, but it is still rule number one, why do you think the wizards chose that?
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I hope you dont think me quoting the first rule was calling you stupid. I was talking about speed force and how he thinks his stupid build is the best just because he wants it to be true. He is breaking the 10th rule as well

Willfully turning aside from the truth is treason to one's self
Edited by Seaboots#2209 on 12/15/2012 1:54 AM PST
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oh man, now we're arguing literature?

shakespeare doesn't have morals, only themes. they aren't allegorical Aesop fables.

my first post i deleted said the theme of Macbeth was ambition. i deleted it cuz it's pointless.

(edited now for being a jerk when it's unnecessary.)
Edited by MrMojoRisin#6850 on 12/15/2012 2:10 AM PST
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oh man, now we're arguing literature?

shakespeare doesn't have morals, only themes. they aren't allegorical Aesop fables.

my first post i deleted said the theme of Macbeth was ambition. i deleted it cuz it's pointless to start a battle of wits here against an unarmed man.

The theme of every tale ever written is ambition. "Never give up". I learned that in grade 10, and subsequently put it as the theme of every book I ever read in essays/book reports and never got challenged by any teacher or professor (ya right, as if professors grade anything, I should have said grad student).

I challenge you to name any story ever whose main theme is anything besides never give up. I would love to see it. seriously though, it would probably be a bad story, as by definition there couldnt be much of a conflict.
Edited by Seaboots#2209 on 12/15/2012 1:58 AM PST
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sure it's an undertone in most books, but it is front and centre in Macbeth.

blind ambition; misled ambition....
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Wait, we're talking literature now? Brings me back to the days when I was completing my English degree and arguing with a very dead Roland Barthes over the course of twenty-five or thirty pages.

Raahl, you need to check yourself, bro. Post after post in this forum states that FitL's buff is 30% multiplied by attack speed; if it's a secret, it's the worst-kept one on these boards. (Why do you think I gave this thread such an exaggerated title?) I'm simply going to clarify the numbers. "Christ-savior complex"? Get real. It's all a mirror, remember? One of us is here to "save" the monk community and "rescue" it from its "ignorance," if only the believers--sorry, "the community"--were "ready" for the "secret knowledge"; the other is just someone who wants to help those who are in the dark about, and understandably frustrated with, this skill and its odd behavior. And every person reading this post knows exactly which one of us is which.

These numbers are all about a balance of reason and passion, my friend; I'm sorry you can't see that. Your comments about me as a player don't really register. Bashing on me because I don't buy the best gear and just race to the end-game seems like a poor critique. These forums are filled with posts from players with 70K DPS who can't handle MP2 or 3. If you think my skills are inferior because of the gear I'm wearing, you might be spending too much time in the AH-aided world.

Your comments about making sure the skill gets nerfed if I clarify something that is already known are just asinine. Who would be showing a lack of care for this class if that happened, eh? The possibility that you have gotten a few posters banned for trolling doesn't impress me; I'm sure they deserved it, although I often wonder how you have managed to avoid the same fate so far. The idea that you have some sort of pull with the developer team sounds like . . . well, whatever delusion would sound like if it were a sound. I suppose your tremendous pull is responsible for such gems as getting STI cut in half. Or having Resolve dropped so it only slightly outpaced the reduction in monster damage. If so, I thank you for the bump to Beacon of Ytar, but I ask that you please not "help" with our inherent 30% damage reduction. (My humble apologies if this is another Occult Secret that isn't supposed to be discussed among the enlightened.)

Finally, your attempts at tyranny and intimidation aren't appreciated. If the skill ever gets nerfed, it will be because it's too powerful, not because I clarify the mechanic in this thread after it's already posted all over this forum. (Seriously, do you think Blizzard doesn't know about it?) If you know how it functions, you know I'm not really going to end up saying more, really, than what is already known, because the actual mechanics are essentially the same as that well-known APS scaling. If it's not bugged, there's no harm in explaining exactly how it works. If it is bugged, the only consequences will likely fall on all the knowledgable players who knew the skill was essentially bugged and then made a concerted effort to cover it up. And everyone on this forum knows who the leader of that particular posse is. Bro.
Edited by Vrkhyz#1472 on 12/15/2012 5:46 AM PST
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Well written reply to LordRaahl. My impression, per usual, is he thrives on "stirring the pot" and is perhaps a bit overly self-absorbed. While personally, I enjoy his posts and his obvious sarcasm in the majority of them, he does rub a lot of people the wrong way. Hopefully, you don't let him dissuade you from posting whatever you like as it's not a secret to many of us on game mechanics and the different nuances of the skills.

Have a good weekend.
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alright listen,

it's true that it has been discussed before in several posts, that cannot be avoided,
but what you did, was creating a single thread for it with the purpose of "reveal"
all for the sake of your own personal need for recognition.

No, I do not have a Christ-complex, I have a Luciferian-complex,
for the fallen Angel of Music, has always been a patron of man's art and personal development all these centuries.

and No, you are not someone "trying to help those in the dark",
and Noone is 'frustrated' about Faith in the Light, but you.
because you wanted to figure out the mechanics of the Gift, that is the skill beautifully named Faith in the Light.
It gives you a sense of false personal satisfaction, for your own insecurity.

And you can't grasp the balance of reason and passion,
from naming a thread title like how it was, drawing insane attention to it,
to screw us all over by your attempt at "deciphering the code",
and frankly, the dedicated players with high gear and know about FiTL, that actually benefit the most from FiTL, don't want to hear discussions about it, they're trying to remain lowkey.

And the casuals, who don't benefit much, actually don't give a crap about it either way.

Opening the can of worms on this skill is only gonna increase the chance of our inevitable nerf. You failed to understand the domino effect that could result from it.

And your refusal to use the AH, although noble it may sound,
simply comes from your stubbornness, and prejudice of Blizzard's system.
And it gives you an illusion of 'purity' so you can cover up your own taintedness.

- "The forums filled with posts from players with 70k dps who can't do MP3?"
does that make you feel like ur better than them for not using AH and can survive MP4? lol
Your altruism is all a twisted hypocrisy.


Ok, and here's why I am hell bent against what you're doing.
This is an example from history. Envision these conversations below :


Once upon a time, in a dark gathering far away,

Scenario 1

The Blizz System : Acolytes, gather and report.
Acolyte 1 : yes, it seems the wizards are enjoying the benefit of the proc coefficient of Wicked Wind.
The System : good, it is a gift. How are they handling it?
Acolyte 1 : well, they are spreading it everywhere, every other mage is using that mechanic now. They are all freeze locking the whole battlefield, it is simply gamebreaking.
The System : ffs! tell them to calm down with their mouths, or we're gonna make them lose it.
Acolyte : Yes masters, I shall speak to the emissaries to deliver the messages.
Acolyte : Emissaries! go and act as Mediv, deliver the warning of their impending doom.
They shall heed it if they value their fate.
Emissary 1 : yes master.

days later,

Emissary 1 : I have failed you, Acolyte. It seems they take our gift and warning for granted.
Acolyte : ...
The System : blasphemy..madness.. So be it!
BRING ME WICKED WIND and place it between the hammer and anvil!!!

and in return, we shall give them another chance through Storm Chaser. But alas, I fear history will repeat itself.

And it did.


Scenario 2 :

The System : Acolyte, what becomes the secret of caltrops?
Acolyte 2 : masters, the demon hunters have gone rampage, forsaking the ways of the archer, abusing now gas grenades and gaining massive LoH from caltrops.
The System : ugh.. such is the greed of humanity. AND WHAT OF THE 2nd EMISSARY? Has he warned them??
Emissary 2 : my apologies, masters. the wretched demon hunters ignored our warnings again, most of them are tank DHs now, maxed out Life on Hit, and tanks more than a barbarian.
The System : indeed... it is time now, to call for a genocide of all tank DH, adjust the coefficient of caltrops to ZERO, and place it between the hammer and the anvil!!!!


Scenario 3

The System : Acolyte, what is the fate of Ivgorod?
Acolyte : Master, every monk uses cookie cutter, and now their pride has risen too high, they seek to decipher the code of the Faith.
The System : blasphemy!! send my most trusted Emissary to show them the New way.
Make it known that the Monk's Prophecy of Doom, will descend upon them like a thief in the night if they don't handle their powers responsibly!! and if they seek to cross the line further, we will make them suffer. For none shall defy the ideology of Blizzard.

Emissary 3 : Yes master, I shall warn the mortals and the ones whose lips can't keep quiet for their own sake. I shall not fail Ivgorod as the other emissaries failed the wizards and DH.
For the will of the gods, are with the monks. Only through them, can we establish the kingdom of Sanctuary.


Here is where you decide what happens next.

Human greed and thirst for hidden knowledge has caused all those atrocities that happened to the other classes.

The Monk class will be the Dominant when the arena arrives.
that is the Will of the system, and if we fail because people can't learn to keep their mouth shut. Then they will turn to another class, that which will listen to the warning,

"Of every tree of the garden thou shall freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eats thereof, thou shalt surely die."


EDIT : Alas, the thread is made, and it is now known in the open,
what you do with this information is up to you, and depends on your sense of honor,
you can choose to keep it to yourself and keep this knowledge under control,
or you can spread it, and end us up getting nerfed.
Your call.
Edited by LordRaahl#1733 on 12/15/2012 8:14 PM PST
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