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Improving The Ailment/Damage-Over-Time Damage Systems

I often see people talking about that how ailment/damage-over-time builds seem to fall off after level 70 or so. While I haven’t had a chance to play all ailment builds such as Bleeding Warpath and whatnot I can’t help but feel that there could definitely be some improvements.

There’s a couple different ways I can see improving it by changing core DOT mechanics. Obviously I won’t say things like allow crit chance or on-hit as that still wouldn’t fix the problem for the most part anyway.

Here are a couple ideas:

Poison - An enemy takes increased damage over time the longer an enemy is poisoned.
Note: That means every source of damage over time. Could test this or just poison damage over time if it proves too much.

Bleed - At five stacks of bleed the enemy is dealt all bleed stacks of damage instantly and the bleed stacks are consumed.
Note: This would be increased my increasing damage over time or physical damage over time. (Although we still haven’t gotten increased physical damage over time outside idols as of today.)

Those are just a couple of examples and I didn’t even go into other types such as the elemental or void so there’s room for ideas and innovations there as well.

Would love to hear your ideas, opinions and feedback. Some ideas on how you think other DOT damage types could work would be useful.

My concern would actually be for poison, since that already has uncapped poison resist shred per stack. If it were “enemy takes more non-poison damage over time the longer it was poisoned”, that might be ok, but it might also be too powerful (since you’d then just get ~50% chance to poison somewhere & end up with an exponential scaling damage buff for DoTs).

This has already been implemented in the Puncture tree, not sure if anyone uses that node much but it would be different if it were baseline. I’d also be “concerned” that it would just make bleed into a slightly different physical hit damage since I don’t think getting 250%-500% bleed chance per hit is particularly difficult, then you’d just be getting the instant damage every time you hit.

Given that poison (& potentially Abomination if you don’t mind a decent buildup) is the only method we have to actually kill the training dummy, I don’t think that poison needs any help.

But I have always said that the non-poison DoTs could do with an additional mechanic each to make them a bit more interesting (like poison has the inherent resist shred).

Edit: Maybe one DoT (bleed perhaps), could get a buff if it’s applied by a crit? And a different DoT could get a % of the hit damage that applies it.

Edit #2: I guess, in principle, sure, why not have a look at the DoTs again, but just because “people say xxx” doesn’t make it true. Also, the devs do need to make sure that there aren’t any particularly egregious builds that can abuse the new thing to make it do obscene damage (like Blade Shield Shurikens hitting a target every time they rotate & stacking massive amounts of DoTs to trivialise bosses).

I respect your opinion, I’m just not sure I necessarily agree with it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a bad idea, or wouldn’t generate some good ideas.

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Like I said before I haven’t played many DOT builds. The only one I’ve done so far is Beastmaster Viper Strike build and so far it’s okay in some ways but sucks in others.

I wouldn’t call the current mechanic with Puncture with the stacking dark knife or whatever it’s called the same thing since it doesn’t proc or use bleed damage but has its own scaling.

There’s always exploits that make use of overtuned mechanics but that’s what nerfs are for.

I don’t mean to say my suggestions for DOT are what could be used but is mainly meant to start the conversation of what people think of current DOT vs what they think might be better which you did so thank you for that.

That’s not the node I’m referring to, the node before (Cadence of Death) gives every 3rd Puncture hit more damage & area.

It also raises the question of where skills/effects/etc should be balanced around, at an “average” level or at the balls to the wall level (where the Abomination skill can one shot monolith bosses & poison can kill the training dummy).

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For me, the issue is the base damage is set and remains the same the whole game, even though our weapons (for example) gain more base damage as we upgrade.

I don’t see any flat +damage affixes, uniques or set items for poison, ignite, bleed, frostbite or time rot. The rest of the ailments are kinda skill specific (full list here: Ailments) like curses, abyssal decay, etc. They don’t have to be large bonuses (5-20 range wouldn’t be bad), but likely this is why they have issues scaling late game.


That is very true. I did not realize some of those issues till you pointed them out.

Maybe if DOT, such as bleed or poison, scaled with each level whether it’s a +4% thing similar to what you get when upping a stat like int or dex or a +base damage like you were mentioning it might help.

The fact that most DOT doesn’t have an option to increase base damage through gear does seem like an issue. Especially since you can increase every other type of damage through both percentage and base so it’s possible to scale them better.

Would love to know if you had any thoughts on changing DOT mechanics for different types of DOT such as I mentioned earlier for poison or bleed.

Ah you are right. Should have looked it up more thoroughly before I made a fool of myself by saying what you mentioned was the same as the dark dagger thing.

Ya, I think the consuming of bleed stacks should be its base mechanic.

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Overall I think the main issue is that when compared to Hit-Crit builds, DOT builds fall off hard in end game content (empowered monos & High level Arena Push). Hit-Crit builds can increase their damage by building to 100% crit chance and 300%+ crit multi, which allows them to do 3X damage. In comparison DOT builds don’t have as many ways to incorporate more damage into build/item rolls outside of certain skill specific affixes, which are not always available depending on the build. This is supposed to be balanced by the differences in defensive mechanics in the game like dodge chance, glancing blows, etc which should favor damage output for DOT builds. However, after playing both DOT and Hit-Crit builds, it definitely doesn’t feel like the defensive mechanics make a noticeable impact in favor of DOT builds. Cuz if your HIT gets dodged or glanced, what do you do? Oh, you just hit again and again and again until they die. In my gameplay experience, those mechanics only matter when you are pushing end game monos and choose certain modifiers.

Obviously there isn’t a “quick” way to remedy the damage difference since there are so many stats that impact damage output between different classes. However there needs to be either some sort of damage modifier added to benefit the BASE damage of DOT builds to compensate for Crit Multi OR the defensive mechanics need to be more emphasized in such a way that they are more impactful. I personally would favor the former rather than the latter.

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I know one of my main issues with poison/bleed is the insanely short duration and hard scaling after a certain point.

Personally I think DoT builds are missing one of the most important benefits of the build archetype: Being able to do consistent damage while mostly focusing on dodging and defense. This is as opposed to normal builds where all of your damage comes from active attacks, which put you at a higher risk.

Right now it doesn’t even have that benefit, because you’re forced to constantly keep your stacks up and they last a dreadfully short duration so not only are you doing less damage but you’re also needing to be in just as much danger as a build that has to actively always be attacking to do damage.

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Out of curiosity, are you thinking of area or monolith when you make that statement? I’m not sure I would agree with it for poison given its inherent resist shred mechanic.

But I do kinda agree with you on the view that dot builds are traditionally about maintaining damage while manually dodging mechanics. It would be interesting to see whether the devs agree.

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Current iteration of DOTS ruines the class phantasy a little.
The way it currently works allows you to make bleed builds with elemental skills or apply elemental ailments with physical skills.
I guess lots of people like this early and very flexible way to apply dots but for me it looks unfinished and needs proper tuning to make it work in a way that would make sense for the various classes.

As mentioned, base damage of dots is the same no matter the weapons unless you specifically scale dot-dmg with affixes. But that is not even needed as weird it sounds.
Explained below.

The best way to scale dots without sacrificing hit damage too much is to increase dot chance and attack/cast speed. And i would rate speed above DOT-chance once you reach a certain threshold.
There is a reason why the rotating chakram of the Rogue is so strong without much investment in dots. Its mainly the speed that matters which shoehornes dmg ailments in one boring way to play.
I hope the devs make it more interesting in future patches, but personally i dont think it will change much or at all, since lots of people here seem to be happy how it works now.

I’ve only really played a self-made bleed bow and a poison-based lich. The bleeds in particular were SUPER short, 4 seconds I think. Both in monoliths. Poison seems ok but I do have to keep recasting, I haven’t experimented much with poison shred.

Given the shred that poison has by default, there’s not much point in trying to get any elsewhere.

I kinda agree that it would be nice to be able to more easily increase the duration of the DoTs while maintaining the total damage (so the effect would come with a reduced damage effect as well).

They could make ailment damage scale with the primary attribute, strength or intelligence and such, same scaling as damage skills. This would alleviate the dps falloff at higher levels.

Ailments already do scale with attributes.

If a skill applies ailments the damage of ailments inflicted by that skill will scale with the attributes of that skill.

But in the grand scheme Attributes do not grant a majority of the damage for alot of builds.

Even on a build that heavily goes for a certain attribute (for example a armour/str build), even having like 60-80 str would “only” give 240-320% increased damage, which is alot, but not the majority of all increases for many builds.

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I don’t feel like they’ve put out enough base items yet for some DOT builds. Some do really good others fall off super hard. I think bleed is the hardest fall off. After a certain point it gets really hard to get higher bleed damage base and it takes too long to stack that many bleeds to get to high enough damage for it to matter later in the game.

There are alot of rare and powerfull affixes that for example grant “Bleed Duration” or “Increased Bleed Effect” (especially present on class specific affixes).

Those both serve as a MORE multiplier for bleed.

While i am always in for more items and overhauling older items (I am looking at you 2H and 1H Axes), i think it’s not as bad as you described it.

You might not have discovering everything at your disposal yet.

I’m not sure that bleed does fall off “late game”, but then it probably depends on what you mean by that. Monoliths? Empowered monoliths? 400+ Corruption empowered monoliths?

well i started having issues around lvl 75, bleed just didn’t seem to be working all that well. Plus I found that crit was working better for me and i was finding more items for crit build and my bleed build was starting to fall off hard, like i fought one of those shades and it utterly destroyed me, bleed did like zero damage.