Damage is the possible, but not guaranteed result of attacking from a monster to a player or vice versa. Damage can be realised by:

  • Melee damage—The attacker is toe-to-toe to the defender. Most weapons are melee weapons.
  • Ranged damage—There is a distance between the attacker and the defender. Bows and Crossbows are often used for ranged damage.
  • Spell damage—The attacker uses spells (from a Skill Tree) against the defender.

Spell damage is always successful. The success of melee and range damage depends from the Attack Rating.

In all case of damage the hitpoints of the defender is decreased. If the defender has no resistances, the hitpoints of the defender is decreased with the same amount as the damage from the attacker is. If the resistance is greater than 0, the amount of taken damage is decreased. If it is less than 0, the amount of taken damage is increased. If the damage is higher than the defender's hitpoints left, the defender dies. Some damage can also be negated with items that provide a Damage reduction bonus such as "Damage Reduced By 7" in which case physical damage will be reduced by 7.

There is a difference between Attacking and damaging. If you attack a monster, it is an attempt to do damage to it. It is not guaranteed that the attack is successful. In case of damage the attack was successful.

Diablo IIEdit

For damage in the Diablo II engine, the maximum amount available to be dealt in a single hit is 8388608 (223). This number, however, is reduced severely when used in Player Vs Player scenarios.

All damages save poisonEdit

Physical damage is reduced by the PVP penalty of 100% to 17% and reduces the aforementioned 8.38 million damage to 1426063.6 which is often rounded to 1426064 for ease of calculation.

The second method of damage reduction is the Sorceress' skill "Energy Shield" (henceforth ES). At maximum capacity, it can reduce the damage done to life to % which is 71303.2 damage, calculated from the rounded value. Note that the similarities of Phyisical and Elemental/Magical damages end here.

Physical damageEdit

After the ES effect, Damage Reduction by Integer takes effect, (henceforth DR#) and can reduce, by the limits of the game engine, up to 198 instances of 63 damage reduction. This reduces the 71303.2 to 58,892.2

From there, Damage Reduce by Percentage takes effect, (henceforth DR%) and can further reduce the damage by up to 50%. this takes the damage to a new low of 29414.6 physical damage that hits life as a game engine best case scenario.

Non-poison Elemental damageEdit

Onscreen resists (the resists shown by the Character Screen) can go up to 95% and reduce the damage as such. The 71303.2 damage from the previous instance is reduced to 5% yet again, taking the damage to 3565.16 per hit.

Absorption reduces the damage further, and will be explained by their two different types. Absorbs by percentage, similar to DR% for physical damage, further reduce the damage taken by the non-poison elemental types. The way it works, is that Absorbs up to 40% are effective in reducing the damage by said amount. However, they also heal the same amount, which in turn doubles it's effective value. This reduces, in a perfect scenario, the 3565.16 damage to 20%, which is 713.032 damage per strike as a maximum.

Absorbs by integer can reach a maximum easily above 100,000 if using the character limits, rendering the elemental damage able to HEAL instead of hurt, however, for simplicity's sake, a small integer of 200 will be used. This would reduce the damage further from 713.032 to 513.032, and would heal for 200 as well, which would negate 200 of the damage, reducing the actual damage taken to 313.032.

HOWEVER! Absorbs % and integer absorbs reduce the damage before healing it, but the end result is the same.

3565.16 reduced to 2139.096, a difference of 1426.064 (the number looks familiar, yes?) then is further reduced by the 200 integer absorbs to 1939.096. The heal would then reduce the damage by (1426.064+200) or 1626.064, which comes to 313.032, as seen before.

Poison DamageEdit

Poison damage is unique in the way that it can deal up to 8388608*25 damage per second, the 8.3 million damage per frame. That's a lot of hurt, and a very sickly poison. Maybe Lilith herself concocted this with some help from Rathma and Alkor?

Nonetheless, it's also reduced by the PVP penalty to 1426064 (rounded) per frame, which is still ridiculous. However, it's also reduced similarly by up to 95% onscreen resists, which takes that again down to 71303.2 per frame. There are no poison absorbs, so the damage cannot be absorbed like the other elements.

It can, however, be reduced by time, by various different sources. It reduces the overall damage similar to absorbs, as poison damage is calculated as (XXX damage over XXX seconds) and then it is transcribed as, when the damage value is selected, to (XXX damage per frame for XXX seconds) which would then greatly reduce the damage done.

Magical damageEdit

As the elemental damages from above, it only skips the resistances part and is absorbed by the possible absorbs available. Note that Magic resists are there, but they are, however, unable to be accessed by the game's base drop rates and affixes, which does not allow magical resistance.

Diablo IIIEdit

In Diablo III, damage is calculated in a different way. Each step is multiplicatively reducing all damage suffered. Each attack has a 100% chance to hit regardless of the attacker and victim's level, but its damage is affected in a number of ways. There is also a chance to Dodge some types of attacks. A dodged attack is nullified, and no further checks are resolved.

Upon a successful hit, after all chances of missing the target / dodging the attack have been resolved, the hit is rolling for whether it will be a critical hit. This step is skipped if the monster is attacking.

A Critical Hit increases base damage by +X%. Elemental / Skill damage bonuses do so as well, stacking together multiplicatively.

If the victim of damage happens to be a Barbarian, Monk, or Crusader, all damage taken is automatically reduced to 70% of its total effectiveness. In PvP combat, all players, no matter their class, will take no greater than 70% of the damage value that a monster would have suffered. The Barbarian, Crusader, and Monk classes' normal 30% damage reduction bonus for being a hero specializing in melee combat is increased to 35%, allowing them to take no greater than 65% of a hit's total damage value.

In addition, the use of certain skills, active or passive, can also reduce the damage taken from some or all attacks.

After the result has been reduced by class and skill protection values, damage is further decreased by the hero's Armor rating multiplicatively. There is no chance of missing the target granted by Armor.

After the hero's armor rating has been accounted for, the resulting damage is decreased further (also multiplicatively) by the hero's resistance rating against the appropriate damage type. There is no division of magical / non-magical damage: only the damage type matters, which can be either Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning, Arcane, Poison or Holy.

Melee / Ranged damage reduction, if any, also applies, decreasing the damage suffered by X%. Melee damage is any one taken from direct melee blows or ground-based area attacks (including most elite affixes). Ranged attacks are projectiles and all remaining sources of damage.

If the attacker is an elite monster, remaining base damage is also reduced by the respective stat by X%. If the target is an elite monster, the damage is increased by the respective amount. Other players in PvP do count as Elites for all purposes.

The remaining amount is known as 'unsaved damage', and is applied to the character's / monster's Life, though it can be reduced further by special absorption shields granted by certain skills. A shield's block value also applies to this amount if the blocking check proves successful. Note that even if all unsaved damage is entirely absorbed, the hero still counts as having suffered a damaging hit.

After all absorptions, the remaining damage is drained from the Life pool, and kills the target if it brings the Life to zero.


Damage is right above Toughness. This Monk's basic attack delivers an average of almost 216,000 damage per second.

The game's estimation of damage per second that a basic attack can deliver (for the purpose of giving players something to orient at when they change their items and skills) is known as Damage, DPS or Damage Stat. It is displayed on the character screen, just above Toughness. Some builds, however, especially those relying on Thorns and other specific stats, scale very differently, and this number becomes somewhat meaningless for them.

Nearly all players' attacks are tied to the weapon damage, that is, the total damage their normal weapon hits would do. A skill described as dealing 150% weapon damage as Poison (often abbreviated as 150% damage as Poison) will deliver a hit for 1.5 times more damage the basic hit would do, as Poison (even though actual weapon hit would most likely be Physical). Weapon damage, obviously, will hit for less damage for faster weapons, but will deliver faster hits or ticks of damage in return.

Attack Speed, Critical Hit chance / damage, damage increased by skills, and some other stats are all taken in account. Area Damage, Elemental damage bonus or damage done by specific skills, however, are not. For example, if the skill deals 200% damage of the basic weapon damage, and one has 100,000 DPS, the attack will deal (on average) 200,000 damage per second if used continuously. If it deals, for example, Fire damage, and Fire skills deal 10% more damage for this character, the total effective DPS will increase to 220,000.

In other words, for almost every skill in game, the Damage stat reflects the effective damage done pretty accurately.


Damage numbers abbreviation presentation

Damage numbers may be shown above enemies when damage is inflicted (turned on and off in options), white color for normal hits, yellow for Critical Hits, and red for damage done to player. As of patch 2.4, very large damage numbers may be abbreviated (rounding down), M for millions, B for billions and T for trillions (also can be turned on and off in options). Also in this patch, color system is optionally available to display the color of damage more orange and red if its damage is substantially higher than previous hits. Details can be found in the official blog post.

Periodic DamageEdit

Main article: Damage Over Time

Periodic damage (such as Bleed, or Plagued pools) counts as many separate strikes with rapid succession. Some abilities can roll Critical Hits, while others simply increase damage by average of the Critical Hit chance / damage ratio. Attack Speed also boosts the periodic damage: it either increases the plain damage done, or allows delivering it in a shorter duration.

Character Attributes
Diablo I Diablo II Diablo III
DexterityAttack RatingArmor ClassBlock
DexterityAttack RatingDefenseBlock
EnergyManaMana Regeneration
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