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Beyond the general buffs (intelligence, vitality, mana/arcane power), are the elemental damage bonuses (fire/cold/holy/etc.) tacked on to spells? Are any weapon effects flat-out useless for certain classes?

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Elemental damage on weapons is factored on top of the base damage of the weapon. So for example, a weapon that does 5 to 10 damage with +2 poison damage actually does 7 to 12 damage - however it does not change the type of damage you do (bad source). So in essence, +elemental damage should be treated the same as +damage on a weapon, which translates into more damage to your spells.

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I was just running some tests on attackspeed and dots, and the TL;DR is that Attack Speed is a useless stat for dots.

I was able to add 25% attack speed between a ring and an amulet without effecting any other stats. I had no other bonus attackspeed, but I was wielding a pretty fast ceremonial knife to start with. I did all my testing on the Zombies outside Tristram in hell.

My stats, off the character sheet: Damage: 1273.63 Damage increased by intelligence: 870.00% Damage increased by skills: 0.00% attacks per second: 1.4 Critical Hit chance: 5.00% Critical hit Damage: +50.00%

Equipping my two attackspeed items changed: damage: 1592.04 Attacks per second: 1.75

First I checked locust swarm. I didn't record the order of ticks (which seemed random), only the number of ticks of different numbers.

Without attack speed I saw:

  • 15 ticks, 11*200, 4*240, 1*40 = 3200 damage total
  • 15 ticks, 5*240, 10 * 200 = 3200
  • 16 ticks, 4 * 240, 1 * 40, 11 * 200 = 3200

With attack speed I got:

  • 15 ticks, 5*240, 10 * 200 = 3200
  • 15 ticks, 2 * 240, 1 * 120, 12 * 200 = 3000 (user error?)
  • 16 ticks, 3 * 240, 1 * 80 = 3200
  • 16 ticks, 1 * 240, 1 * 160 = 3200

Haunt was a little less clean. Most ticks were 213, but the increments were all still in multiples of 40, and it seemed like the extra 3 damage varies between the casts with different numbers of ticks. Without attackspeed I got:

  • 23 ticks, 5*255, 18 * 213 = 5109
  • 24 ticks, 1 * 43, 4* 255, 19 * 213 = 5110
  • 22 ticks, 10 * 255, 12* 213 = 5106
  • 23 ticks, 5 * 255, 18*213 = 5109
  • 23 ticks, 5 * 255, 18*213 = 5109
  • 24 ticks, 4*255, 1*43, 19 * 213 = 5110

with attackspeed:

  • 24 ticks, 1 * 83, 3 * 255 = 5108
  • 24 ticks, 1 * 43, 4 * 255 = 43 + 1012 + 4047 = 5110
  • 23 ticks, 5 * 255 = 5109
  • 23 ticks, 5* 255 = 1265 + 3834 = 5109
  • 23 ticks, 1* 128, 7 * 255, 15*213 = 5108

Result: I'm nearly sure I just miscounted that one locusts (counting two different things while kiting even slow moving mobs is harder than it looks :/), and there's what looks like rounding error with the numbers out of haunt, but we were looking for a 25% damage increase, and it's just not there.

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I have heard that increased attack speed makes the ticks of DoT effects faster. However, if the ticks are doing the same damage, and there are the same number of ticks, the only way that would work would be if the overall duration of the effect were shorter. It would be an interesting follow-up test. –  Beofett May 30 '12 at 12:19
    
Good point! I didn't consider that - I'll have to test it with a stopwatch. However, the 40, 80 and 160 were all the last tick in the series and my interpretation was that damage is being delivered in smaller increments and accumulated into the numbers that we see pop up. Also, other damage is gathered into those numbers as well, so if you apply two dots to one target you see bigger numbers pop up, not twice as many numbers. I'm pretty confident that the attack speed is not effecting the dot damage in any way, but I will run the stopwatch when I get a chance. –  MeditationError May 30 '12 at 23:44
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... however it does not change the type of damage you do ...

This is not quite right. It might have been the case in a phase of the beta, but it changed for the final version. It is true, that the elemental damage is overridden by spells like Arcane Missile (Wizard - "... causing 110% weapon damage as Arcane"). Here the full damage done will be arcane. Just to make it clear, the elemental damage influences the damage of the spell, but the damage is not done as the original elemental damage.

But if there are spells like Bash (Barbarian), where nothing is written about doing damage as another type, the damage is done as the elemental damage, written on the weapon (scaled percentally).

But I'm wondering, if there's any benefit, except doing more damage to mobs with lower resistances of that damage type.

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Anything that raises you damage overall stat is good, attack speed obvioulsy sucks on cooldown spells but is good on spammable ones.. etc.. your main focus should be high dmg weapon + loads of int, attack speed is good on burst witch doctor setups but sucks on dots/pets setups.

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I am pretty sure weapon speed affects how fast dots tick so it is still useful for a WD. –  Blem May 21 '12 at 8:07
    
@Blem even if it says something like "deals X% weapon damage over Y seconds"? –  Nick T May 21 '12 at 14:33
    
It looks like I was wrong, it is addded as a multiplyer, so it is still a good stat for WD even in a dot build –  Blem May 21 '12 at 17:58
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