Paladin questions concerning 'on use' vs. 'on direct use' and how various smite skills interact

I’m currently playing a flame bust warpath paladin with the smite node on warpath. I was considering using ‘immolator’s oblation’ unique belt but it has some wording that makes me think it will not work out for me. The 2 affixes are ‘%chance to ignite yourself when you use a fire skill’ and ‘%chance to gain frenzy when you directly use a fire skill per stack of ignite on you’. I did some research and found nothing but conflicting answers on what this wording actually means.

The wording of the ‘While spinning, you have a % chance to cast smite each second on an enemy’ node on the warpath tree specifically says YOU have a chance. This makes me think that since I am using the skill then I should receive any effects that apply on use. I also noticed that the Javelin skill has a similar node that says ‘The Battle Standard now casts smite at a nearby enemy every 1.6 seconds’. Both skills say exactly who is casting the spell so it seems like the effect on the belt should apply to me during the smites that I cast through warpath.

I also realize that it says ‘on USE’ and not ‘on CAST’ which could imply that I have to actually use the spell (i.e physically press the button) for the effect to apply. This interpretation would then beg the question: What is the actual difference between using a skill and directly using a skill? Normally, I would assume those mean the same thing, however, seeing both on the same item makes me think that there has to be a difference.

As a side note, I also noticed that even though I am casting the smite spell every second, my ‘life leech from spell damage’ blessing is not giving me life, only the explosions from flame blast are. This observation supports the idea that I am not actually casting the smite, but rather, the smite is being cast “anonymously”

If anyone has either tested this themselves or have a source that can point me toward how this wording actually applies then that would be much appreciated. To be clear, I am still in the process of farming this belt. If the question is not resolved by the time i get it then I will post my findings but hopefully it doesn’t come down to that.

Welcome to the forum.
I can’t quote anything or offer any research, just my interpretation. Skills are used directly or triggered (like smite by warpath). Direct use for me always means you press the key for skill. On use is direct use plus triggered.
IMHO LE descriptions and wording require more clarity.
Skills can also be bugged.

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If you look at the passive tree of the Sentinel for the passive node “Time and Faith” you have the first indicator called “When used directly”. This means this wont work with Smite that is procced by Warpath.

  1. When you use a fire skill you ignite yourself.
  2. depending on how many ignite stacks you have you have a chance to gain frenzy when you cast a fire skill. More stacks more better. This is only working if you directly cast smite and if it is still a fire skill and not converted to another dmg type.

It’s a procc but it’s as if you’ve casted it so the passive three of Smite is considered there.

No because for the belt to work you need to directly cast a skill aka pressing the actionbar button the skill is on. The wording for the skills is just to make clear it’s casted (procced).


In theory you should get life leech from everything that is considered a spell. In this case smite triggered by warpath for example and all the additions you put into the skill. Sounds like a buged interaction.

The realy important thing is to differenciate the need to cast directly and everything else that resambles proccs or periodical effects.

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Thanks for responding,
So I guess to clear things up, is there actually a difference between using a skill and directly using a skill? I cannot find any source material that even mentions it. I wouldn’t have questioned the difference between ‘on use’ and ‘on direct use’ if both were not used on the same item.

Also, I realized the reason I thought i was not receiving leech from my spell damage was because I only had 1.6% life leech which did not make a notable difference.

TBH I don’t know if there is an explenation in the ingam guide (G by default) but I have several hundrets if not thousands hours of experience in the game and this is a topic you have rather often when you read through build guides.
You’ll get used to it an it makes sense at some point but the wording is bad because they use different phrases that means the same. That point you made there is worth a whole new feedback & suggestion post to remove the inconsistency in wording when it comes to things like this.

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From the point of view of a player pressing buttons, no. They just want to use language that means “you casting the skill, not having it proc from something else”, hence the “directly using a skill” language.

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Yeah, I’ll post to the feedback and suggestions forum after I’ve acquired and tested it to make sure I’m not overlooking something. I appreciate the effort.