Haunt Mechanics Research

Witch Doctor
Not sure if this is super special awsome new information or not, but oh well. Here's the TL;DR

As far as I can tell, Haunt does NOT reset its duration or damage potential when an affected enemy is killed.

Basically, I noticed during regular play that Haunt didn't always seem to like chaining as much as I'd expect. I thought it might be due to mob density, so I checked it out by running tests in Act 1 Normal, in the area just prior to the skeleton king with the skeleton spawning pillars.

Test 1: Haunt with no rune, character sheet dps 266.59
Trial 1; 39 kills, no remainder
Trial 2; 39 kills, ten extra damage to one skeleton.
Trial 3; 39 kills, four extra damage to one skeleton

Test 2: Haunt with resentful spirit (half scaling), character sheet dps 266.59
Trial 1; 18 kills, 11 damage remainder
Trial 2; 18 kills, no remainder
Trial 3; 20 kills, no remainder

Test 3: Haunt with no rune, character sheet dps 32.69 (unarmed)
Trial 1; 7 kills, 15 damage remainder
Trial 2; 8 kills, 10 damage remainder
Trial 3; 7 kills, 14 damage remainder

Test 4: Haunt with resentful spirit (half scaling), character sheet dps 32.69 (unarmed)
Trial 1; 3 kills, 19 damage remainder
Trial 2; 3 kills, 8 damage remainder
Trial 3; 3 kills, 15 damage remainder


While three trials of each test are hardly conclusive, they are all quite consistent with obvious results, and I am a lazy person.

1. Haunt's duration and damage potential do not reset when it 'jumps' to a new target.
This much is obvious simply because haunt did not chain forever. If it reset every time, the duration of haunt in the test environment I chose would be unbounded so long as its total damage was capable of consistently killing a single enemy.

2. The limit upon Haunt's ability to continue killing appears to be based on a damage cap, rather than a duration or enemy count cap.
Given that the cap changes with different damage and rune amounts, it is obvious the cap is not fixed at some number to prevent AFK farming or something similar. Between tests 1 and 2, the change in rune halved the scaling of haunt but divided its duration by six. Given that the number of kills was approximately halved as well, it appears haunt has a fixed amount of damage before expiry, rather than a total duration between all targets. This is mirrored when comparing tests 3 and 4, but interestingly, not correctly mirrored when comparing the first pair with the second.


The most obvious discrepancy is the fact that while reducing haunt's scaling correspondingly reduced kill count, reducing character sheet damage did not. Possible explanations for this include the possible inaccuracy of character sheet data, the possible incomplete scaling of haunt based on one or more stats factored into character sheet dps (i.e. crit or attack speed), or the possibility of "wasted" damage on each target due to overkill being reduced with lower overall dps.

A second discrepancy is that the total damage done by haunt is remarkably less than expected. For example, in Trial 1 Test 1, haunt did a total of approximately 780 damage, assuming skeletons have approximately 20 health on average. However, based on 575% scaling on 266.59 dps, one would expect to see almost twice that damage, approximately 1530. This is more than should be accounted for by an attack speed greater than 1 and the monsters armor, which should be negligible due to level difference. Given this coupled with the earlier discrepancy, the overkill solution seems the most likely.

If you've read this far, congratulations. Feel free to make any suggestions for further tests or revisions in my methodology to improve accuracy. I've also attempted to test locust swarm, but this has proven difficult due to the way locust swarm spreads. Preliminary testing has shown locust swarm to fully reset duration and damage potential on each new target, however.
Was generally known, due to a few players pointing it out, that haunt does not refresh its duration upon jumping to a new target.

Was assumed, due to a few players testing it, that the amount of targets haunt can affect is limited by its duration. So if haunt lasts say 12 secs, and since it doesnt reset with each jump, it will just keep jumping and doing damage until either that 12 secs are up, or theres simply no more mobs to jump to.

As for the damage being lower as compared to the tool tip. i'm not entirely sure about this, no 1 has actually tested it, though players have brought this issue up.

I have this inkling, that it could be due to a few possible things :

- The time it takes to jump to a new target, may also count for the total duration. So if there are multiple jumps in between, you might not necessarily get the full 12 secs of damage per sec.

- The element of damage haunt does. I'm not too sure, but information in regards to skills havent been provided in detail by blizzard, let alone information in regards to elemental resistances specific monster types have. So a lot is left to the players assumptions or testing.

- The level difference between you and the mob. I know you have pointed out in your test, that this is unlikely, but it is one possible issue, so i brought it up.

Yes i do know the tool tip says haunt does arcane damage. But has it occured to anyone, that it may also take into account your weapons element, just as pets auto attacks take on your weapons element(even though it wasnt explicitly stated in the pet tool tip).

Also, has it occured to anyone that no 1 has any idea, what mobs have what resistances, and everything we have so far, are smart guesses or assumptions(Mostly based on previous d2 or mmo experiences).

Lastly, haunt just like locust, isnt affected by attack speed. This has been tested and proven by a few players. There are dots that are affected by an attack speed boost, but you will realize that those dots have a cooldown on them. Eg : Grasp of the Dead.

With higher attack speed, the damage done by grasp of the dead goes up, its pretty obvious. Just try switching in and out an item that has attack speed bonus, and watch the tool tip on grasp of the dead change accordingly. XD

Well, kudos to you for taking the time to test it out, will be checking this thread out for any new discoveries you make in the process =)
The one result that seems different from common knowledge on the topic is that it appears haunt is capped based on damage rather than duration. Since the resentful runs halves the damage but divides the duration by six, one would expect one sixth of the kills when runes if it was time limited, as opposed to half. I'll see if I can test the lost damage and differential gear scalIng when I get home today.
I believe the resentful rune does the same damage, it just does it over 2 seconds instead of 12.

It wouldnt jump much, it just pulses twice basically for half of the total damage each pulse.

It does reduced damage for 2 secs, its stated in the tool tip if you turned the advanced tool tip display on.

The benefit in that case, is that instead of 575% damage for 12 secs, you now do 200++%(cant remember the number off my head) over 2 secs that can be reapplied or recasted on the same mob once the previous 1 ends.

This would mean that casting it 6 times for a total duration of 12 secs, would give you 200++% x 6 = 1.2k% total damage at least.

Of course the downside is it also costs more mana, XD
This is how the skill was intended to work. The mana cost and the nature of the skill (a spirit realm skill) add to the fact that Locust Swarm also exists would've been a sufficient clue to discount Haunt/Locust having overlapping properties (just with Haunt being crap and only spreading when the target actually dies, making it rather redundant compared to Locust Swarm)

No comments RE: the test and results (you're testing something that's known), but your maths with DPS calculation is off.

The DPS value on the character sheet is an average of weapon damage x attack speed x any damage multiplier coming from skills or stats (INT/Pierce the Veil). DoT doesn't take into account of attack speed, so you'd be looking at dividing that DPS value by roughly 1.5 (your attack speed). Multiply that by the damage factor of Haunt (575%) and you've got your damage.
ya nightcross, I have advanced tool tips displayed. I thought the tool tip said it deals something like 288% damage per second for two seconds.

Whereas haunt vanilla does 575% Over 12 seconds.
Does anyone know if Haunt stacks on a single target, like bosses?
Haunt does not stack on the same mob, only 1 instance of haunt can be on 1 target at any 1 time.

As a side note, locust swarm does not stack as well.

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