Remove or redesign Area Damage

Area Damage is the cause for the majority of lag in D3.

It also is one of the major reasons for why groups pull together large amounts of enemies (and thereby to a certain degree also contributes to the existence of support classes).

Since lowering / squishing the damage and health number will do little to reduce the lag (because it is the amount of calculations that are causing the lag, not the large numbers themself), something should be done to reduce the amount of calculations that need to be done, …

… and that means to either remove Area Damage completely (aka mitigating its effects down to e.g. 3% at level 70, similar to how it works with % Bonus Experience, or even down to 0% at level 70) and no longer let it spawn on items, or it had to be reworked to only hit up to e.g. 5 enemies per Area Damage proc.

Though, the latter option of limiting the amounts of enemies that can be hit by an Area Damage proc might cause additional calculations to figure out which enemies will be hit by the proc and which not, so it might not be effective in what it is trying to achieve.

Removing Area Damage would not really be a bad thing, as in the past, we had to replace existing gear many times already, e.g. when a legendary item now spawned with 600-800% increased damage to Skill X instead of 300-400% increased damage to Skill X, so having to refarm some gear would not be the first time this happened.

Please devs, consider this. Removing Area Damage probably would not even require much work, but it would have many positive effects.

Thank you very much!


I think we’ve all played many games over the years that employed this sort of herd and burn strategy. It’s simply a question of efficiency: AOE damage is more efficient than Single Target damage. It’s also often the case that maximizing the scaling of a few party member’s damage is more efficient than making all characters more self sustaining. That’s why even in a game like Diablo 3 that has no true support characters players have found ways to shoehorn the concept in. I can confidently say that removing AD from the game tomorrow would simply result in the same tactics being employed by the next best skill.

While I do sympathize with the reasons for this post (removing lag), I dont think it is that simple to accomplish. Diablo 3 is designed with area damage in mind. This is a game about killing huge swaths of monsters in a timely fashion and area damage really carries a tremendous percent of the skills. If eliminated, it would feel like a massive nerf and likely make build diversity much more restricted towards classes with larger AOE and piercing abilities.


To add to what has been said … Most area of effect efficient builds will blow the load in a single shot or a few shots in a coe rotation which doesn’t lead to a lot of laggs main culprit imho are the dots applied to huge packs of mobs … Wiz firebird burn WD haunt and insect swarm to name some


Quite literally never had an issue with anything besides AD. I’ve had my wiz and my friend’s WD using munu’s. Not a single bit of lag. Get a barb in there with AD, it’s OMG lag.

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I think you are missing the point of the ptr feedback fourm… its post like these that push down the real meaningful posts post this in general discussion were it has a chance to be seen the devs are reading this kinda post on the ptr feedback page.


You call this the holy Trinity :slight_smile: :sunflower:

Adam Millard - The Architect of Games

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Actually, in D3 Vanilla, the area damage stat didn’t exist. In it’s first iteration in the expansion, area damage was terrible. Back then, it didn’t benefit from multipliers like it does now, and blizzard stated that area damage was intended to help out single target heavy builds.

When they allowed area damage to benefit from multipliers in a later patch is when it from being garbage to best stat in game due to it’s quadratic, and in rare cases, cubic scaling. IMO, both extremes were/are bad. I think meeting somewhere in the middle would be a good thing for the game.

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But it didn´t changed the Playstyle …

Back in the Day´s Exploding Palm would deal 50% of the Targets max HP upon the Enemys Death.
Leading to the same Playstyle and Problem.
Huge Crowds, collected together to blow them up or to dot as many as possible.
Same with the old WD and Locus Swarm, where you run around on the Filds, infecting as many as you could in huge Groups, to get the most out of your Damage.

The Playstyle itself wont change.
And if you remember back …
just one Monk+Barb where needed to lag the entire Game into crashing, due to theyr double Tornados / Cyclones

By banning AD you would only get rid of one Factor, but not the Problem itself.
But on the other Hand, you would nerf so many Builds, that the downside of frustrating Players is higher than the tiny bennefit.

I didn’t mention anything about the playstyle changing. All I was saying is that the game was not initially designed with area damage in mind.

In terms of builds, no, adjusting AD wouldn’t break most builds. They will still function similarly and there would be less reliance on pixeling (extremely strong), which would be a good thing since not all classes have the ability to pixel. Personally I’d be in favor of just removing the stat and do a sweeping buff to compensate if it meant gameplay that didn’t look/feel like I’m playing the game on a toaster.


Yes, you are right with that.

Area Damage is not at the core of the issue of pulling enemies together and support classes. It is rather “a cherry on top of that all”, so to speak.

And to be perfectly honest here, I was kinda using this a bit like a selling point for why Area Damage should be removed, even when the specific issue you mentioned is not at the core.

Sure, but the question is: “Is it worth it?” and I would say yes.

Classes with larger AoE skills already benefit much more from Area Damage than others, so I would not thing that this is restricting build diversity. In fact, I would say that removing Area Damage increases Item & Affix Diversity.

And with “Piercing Abilities” you mean things like “instantly kill enemies that are under 10% health”, or what did you have in mind?


But now that Area Damage is also procing from DoT’s, which do their damage several times per second, and procing from multiple enemies, that contributes massively to lag.

I would actually argue that Area Damage is the issue itself, since it causes the calculations that are caused by the tornadoes, etc to multiply significantly.

That can be compensated by buffing the numbers on sets.
And even if there are no buffs to compensate, it is better to be able to actually play the game than to have it lag out.

And since the vast, vast majority of players are playing season anyway, all of this would not be an issue since every season is its separate thing since nothing carries over.

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Isn´t Cruss the only one ?

Barb has his stomb
DH theyr Bolas with Bow
WD has Piranhas
Monk has CS
Necro his Ring
Wiz has Blackhole and Twister

So what are you talking about ?

Piercing damage is damage that doesn’t terminate when it hits the first target. Imagine if you had enemies lined up in a column, one after another. An ability that pierces would not just damage the first enemy, but also the second, third, etc.

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The pixel pull is part of the problem too. DH does NOT have a pixel pull, this type of pull repositions enemies to the same pixel. Bolas/Leonine will not do this. Still, DH driven mob groups can still produce problems and certain mobs will group themselves together without any assistance from the player other than running through the map.

What if you add the cap, then double the value of the area damage % itself, so the overall damage is still generally higher on those hits.

I carry 150% AD, i hit 20 enemies pixel-pulled together for 500T damage 10 yard radius attack. They all get hit, but only 19/5, otherwise 4 enemies proc area damage to 19 enemies. The AD component of that attack does toughly 4 * 19 * 750T = 57Q.

If i limit the reach of AD to 5 targets, but double the damage value of AD from affixes and paragon (150% -> 300%) I get: 4 * 5 * 1500T = 30Q.

This will dramatically improve the performance of AD when there are exactly 6 targets, helping underperforming builds on certain boss fights that spawn adds. (It still makes sense to aim for the boss using accurate skills like Impale / Heaven’s Fury).

As far as lag, that second scenario yielded 20 AD calculations as opposed to 76. In total that is 40 vs 96 damage calculations for that one attack. Not bad a 58.33% reduction of calculations. Will that mess up balance GR push balance, yes, AD/AoE builds will probably lose 5GRs on average if they implemented as suggested. Then again, these tend to be the strongest. Builds like Impale and even Hungering Arrow will grow in power, builds like Heaven’s Fury w/ Ivory Tower will remain unchanged.


Like Arrows and the “x% chance to pierce though enemies” in D2 is what you mean.

What you describe here is basically just AoE (Area of Effect), just other words to describe it. A Fireball has AoE, Seismic Slam has AoE, Blizzard, Meteor, Firewall, etc all have an AoE and also Arrows can have AoE when they pierce through enemies.

I personally would have liked to see the Demon Hunters Multishot to not simply be a piercing field of damage, but consisting of individual arrows, and that also the “x% chance that your arrows / missiles pierce through enemies” would exist in D3 (on passive skills, items and maybe even on an attribute system).




I’d hit with that.


Pixel pull and pull are different. Monk CS does not pixel pull, main reason why GS on barb replaced CS on monk for primary grouping ability

But you get the idea, right ?

I mean the laggiest meta’s have been Static Charge no AD and Firebats which was DoT’s

AD needs to go. AOE efficiency can be maintained w/o AD mechanics. You simply compensate loss of AD through buffing base raw dmg, playstyle wont be affected too much as you still want pixel pullings for skills to hit max amount of mobs at once.

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Almost feel like that might be either impossible to code or cause more lag trying to tag an enemy as not eligible for AD but perhaps there is a way to code it… btw hi dkmt