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I noticed that the topaz has a modifier when socketed into a weapon that reads Melee attackers take x damage per hit

What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that I take the damage when using melee attacks or that opponents who attack me with melee attacks take damage (ala Thorns)?

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I'm thinking it's like thorns, otherwise wouldn't it be more straight forward with "+x melee damage" – Mr Smooth May 16 '12 at 13:36
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's a thorns effect. Every time you're hit by a melee attack, the offending servant of darkness will take X damage as a rebuke for daring to strike your most august personage.

In fact, if you look at the detailed breakdown of your defenses in your character sheet, it's even listed as 'Thorns' there.

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800 means nothing in inferno. Totally useless stats? – Jim Thio Aug 5 '12 at 10:56
I understand. Does this help buff Mantra of Retribution at all? thanks. – user30942 Aug 16 '12 at 21:00

This would be just like thorns; if a monster attacks you from melee range, they would take the damage listed. If you have more than one item with this property, they will accumulate to provide a set amount of damage whenever you get hit.

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Yes it is like Thorns.

Note that it says "attackERS" not "attacks" .. meaning it is a reflect damage of sorts.

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If I attack I am an attackER. If I am attacked, I am attacked by an attackER. Yes? – Tharius May 16 '12 at 13:40
It's a quote, not my wording. The link provides a discussion that in context explains that it is like Thorns, and many posters specifically mention that it is like Thorns. Also, I don't believe the game ever refers to you as an attacker for personal abilities. Personal abilities - attacks, effects on others (allies and enemies) - attackers. – EBongo May 16 '12 at 13:45

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