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Diablo 3's Mob Damage Increased To Make Armor, Resistance Less Useful?

Still have those tin-foil hats? Better bring e'm out the closet (I keep a stack under the desk). There have been regular reports that some of the monsters have been "stealth buffed" to reduce a player's resistance, thus resulting in many believing it's either a bug or an attempt to get people to buy new equipment off the auction house.

A couple of players tried conducting tests noting the variance in armor damage reduction and resistance versus not wearing any armor at all. The most recent breakdown was posted on Reddit where the user inconclusively leaves the data there to indicate the possibility of a "stealth buff" to Diablo III's monsters or a potential bug plaguing the system. You can check out his results here:

After seeing complaints regarding a "Stealth Buff" to damage, I decided to do some testing.

Method Take 10 hits of damage in full gear and 1 hit of damage naked. This was repeated for the following effects. Tested in Breeched Keep level 2.

  • Soul Lasher Attack
  • Frozen
  • Molten
  • Plague
  • Desecrator
  • Arcane Sentry
  • Wall of Fire

Armor and Resistances In Gear

  • Armor: 7105 (69.02% reduction against mLvl63)
  • All Resist: 802 (71.85% reduction against mLvl63)
  • No reduction against Melee/Ranged Attacks

Armor and Resistances Naked

  • Armor: 292 (8.48% reduction against mLvl63)
  • All Resist: 7 (2.17% reduction against mLvl63)
  • No reduction against Melee/Ranged Attacks

Soul Lasher Attack

  • Naked: 68092
  • Gear: 6600
  • Reduction: 90%

Frozen

  • Naked: 62443
  • Gear: 6000
  • Reduction: 90%

Molten

  • Naked: 5986
  • Gear: 2100
  • Reduction: 65%

Plague

  • Naked: 5702
  • Gear: 1700
  • Reduction: 70%

Desecrator

  • Naked: 12643
  • Gear: 4200
  • Reduction: 67%

Arcane Sentry

  • Naked: 68035
  • Gear: 6600
  • Reduction: 90%

Wall of Fire

  • Naked: 13362
  • Gear: 13359
  • Reduction: 0%

Analysis

  • Additional damage reduction from armor alone is 66.4%
  • Additional damage reduction from resistances alone is 71.22%
  • Additional damage reduction from both armor and resistances is 90.32%

Soul Lasher, Frozen, and Arcane Sentry Damage was in line with expected damage reduction.

Molten, Desecrator, and Plague Damage only appears to be affected by one source of damage reduction. Experimental values are closer to the expected reduction of only armor, however the expected reduction of only resistances is within the experimental error.

Wall of Fire does not appear to be affected by any sort of damage reduction.

Quite naturally, this led players to perform their own analysis of the situation as well, such as this user here who goes a bit more in depth with the tick-per-damage and also concludes that something appears to be off. As shown below:

Naked damage (30% from being monk, 8.9% from armor, 2.1% from resists) total damage reduction 37.6%:Desecrate: 8525/tick averageArcane: 70,000/tick averageMelee: 43,000/hit averageFire Chains: 10,900/hitFireball (normal ranged attack): 32,000/hit averageArmored (30% monk, 69.57% armor, 71.28% resists, no resolve used, as would skew test) total damage reduction 93.89%:Desecrate: 4550/tick averageArcane: 7400/tick averageMelee: 4300/hit averageFire Chains: 1079/tickFireball (normal ranged attack): 3600/hit averageKeep in mind, the ticks are more than 1/second. That said, you can see with the desecrate numbers that something is really off.

According to the community manager Bashiok and quality assurance manager, Vasadan -- a chap who actually play-tests these things to ensure the game is balanced -- they state that nothing is wrong and all is as it should be. Vasadan goes a step further to ensure gamers that the game is properly balanced regarding mob damage, stating in a recent thread...

There have been no recent hotfixes nor changes to the resistances, monster damage, nor elemental damage.In patch 1.0.3 vanilla, we changed how much damage certain monsters do. There are still a few monster variants that are doing too much damage, but those are bugged and are hopefully going to be fixed in 1.0.4.We test all of the game's content for every single patch that goes out. In addition, I help verify every single hotfix that goes out for this game. If anyone would know what was changed, it is me.If there is a bug in there somewhere, that is one thing. What I am telling you, based on information given to me by my team members this morning, is that we've been checking these numbers since 1.0.3 vanilla launched and nothing has changed patch to patch, let alone overnight. Absolutely no Diablo III game data even changed with 1.0.3b, it was a Battle.net and Battle.net client patch.We've also read all of these threads reported on Reddit, these forums, and other fan sites. We check every report, and right now there were no changes to these numbers in the game's data.

This could be true. Remember, Bashiok and lead designer Wyatt Cheng also stated that what's currently in the RMAH doesn't affect loot drops, which is true. But Bashiok let slip that loot and gear already have pre-determined drop rates in relation to the presence of the RMAH. This situation involving mob damage could be similar to the situation involving the loot drops and the auction house(s).

Stealth-patches are also a strong possibility given that the item-duping on the America and European servers were both stealthily hotfixed over a weekend patch.

Some gamers have taken it a step further in theorizing that the damage reduction nerf coupled with the high repair costs is an extra measure to keep players on the auction house looking for better gear. This was slightly hinted at when a player asked Bashiok about the possibility of lessening in-game repair costs (which at the moment makes it more convenient to buy new gear than to keep repairing it) with Bashiok replying, saying...

We like the repair costs where they are now. I'd recommend hitting up the DH forums and see if there's some help others can offer. There are a few guides and threads that might provide some helpful tips on staying alive.

The general consensus is that this may be a bug. The moderators and QA have neither acknowledged nor denied that item damage reduction could be bugged or that the mobs could be bugged. Bashiok did comment that they were looking into it.

On the bright side, at least this news is a lot less damaging than say, some guy losing money to the RMAH and Blizzard saying they can't help him at all, or some other guy who can't get his $200 back while it's trapped in limbo, or some other guy who lost $149 to a grey area pocket of the RMAH.

In terms of the Diablo III Hate Meter™, I'd say this bit of news is quite tame and ranks rather low, probably fitting in somewhere around the "Diablo III has bugs but this isn't that bad unless this bug forces you to buy better items from the Auction House" scale.

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.