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My character's resistance is listed on the details pane when I open my inventory, and it's a simple integer. It appears to undergo some type of calculation to determine the percentage of damage each of these actually counts for:

Tooltip says Cold Resistance:  80; Reduces Cold damage from level 34 enemies by 31.93%

Judging by the tooltip, there's some factor based on enemy (and/or my?) level. I believe these numbers are 80 due to my intelligence - I had 798 at the time this was taken.

How is percentage resistance calculated? Although the base "Resistance" integer appears to be derived directly from my stats, does the percentage in this tooltip take into account skills, enchantments, or other modifiers that change resistance?

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I'm pretty sure the percentage takes into account only the raw resistance, in the same way as damage reduction from armor takes into account only the armor. Don't know the formula, though. –  Oak May 24 '12 at 16:01
    
It's the same formula as armor, but differs by a scale factor (this is why 1 armor from Strength gives the same defensive benefit as .1 resistance from Int (unfortunately, only armor is considered in the items' "protection" stats). –  Raven Dreamer May 24 '12 at 16:37
    
In addition to all those tables people posted here, you may want to have a look at a graphed version of resistance vs damage reduction: fooplot.com/… –  fjdumont Jul 16 '12 at 11:52

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

From Diablo 3 Formula List

Elemental damage reduction = Resistance / (5 × Monster Level + Resistance)

Just a quick sanity check on your example, since your level is 34 (thus it assumes your going up against level 34 monsters):

r = 80 / (5 * 34 + 80)
r = 0.32

(I imagine the 0.07% error is due to rounding on their side)

What can we learn from this?

The higher your level, the more resistance you need to achieve the same reduction in damage

and

Each point of resistance goes further at a lower level than a higher one.

E.g. at level 60;

r = 80 / (5 * 60 + 80)
r = 0.21

Sources of Resistance

Resistance from Intelligence:

resistance = int * 0.1

There is also flat +resistance on gear (As +Resist All or +Resist Element)

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1  
Beat me to it! This post on the Diablo 3 forums also has a pretty good discussion about armor and resistances. –  Sterno May 24 '12 at 16:16
    
"Each point of resistance goes further at a lower level than a higher one" - well, yeah, the same way 100 armor goes further at a lower level than at a higher one... –  Raven Dreamer May 24 '12 at 16:35
    
Thank you, this is precisely the information I was seeking. –  agent86 May 25 '12 at 13:37
2  
The 0.07% is an error due to using the stated resistance stat. If instead of using the 80 that it shows, you use 79.8 (int*.1) the final result comes out to 31.94555% which is much closer. However, this suggests that there may be subtle rounding or play in other parts such as possibly the Intelligence score. –  user27179 Jun 7 '12 at 4:09
    
Probably worth clarifying that modifiers that change resistance will be included in the tooltip, however effects that directly reduce damage taken won't, as the tooltip only deals with resistance-based damage reduction. –  Catalept Jun 7 '12 at 4:24

Elemental damage reduction = Resistance / (5 × Monster Level + Resistance).

Therefore a level 60 player fighting a level 60 monster will have the following elemental damage reduction:

-------------------------------------------
| Resistance | Elemental damage reduction |
-------------------------------------------
| 600        | 50%                        |
-------------------------------------------
| 1500       | 83%                        |
-------------------------------------------
| 3000       | 90.1%                      |
-------------------------------------------
| 10000      | 97.1                       |
-------------------------------------------
| 20000      | 98.5%                      |
-------------------------------------------
| 30000      | 99%                        |
-------------------------------------------
| 1000000    | 99.7%                      |
-------------------------------------------

with the "+ Resistance", you'll NEVER reach 100%.

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1  
If I plug in '600' in the formula, I get 600 / 900 which is 66.7% and not 50%. 50% is achieved at 300 resistance. –  Sjoerd Jul 4 '12 at 15:19
Resist - % Reduction @ Monster Level  
   MLVL ->    60      61      62      63  
   100      25.0%   24.7%   24.4%   24.1%  
   200      40.0%   39.6%   39.2%   38.8%  
   300      50.0%   49.6%   49.2%   48.8%  
   400      57.1%   56.7%   56.3%   55.9%  
   500      62.5%   62.1%   61.7%   61.3%  
   600      66.7%   66.3%   65.9%   65.6%  
   700      70.0%   69.7%   69.3%   69.0%  
   800      72.7%   72.4%   72.1%   71.7%  
   900      75.0%   74.7%   74.4%   74.1%  
   1000     76.9%   76.6%   76.3%   76.0%  
   1100     78.6%   78.3%   78.0%   77.7%  
   1200     80.0%   79.7%   79.5%   79.2%  
   1300     81.3%   81.0%   80.7%   80.5%  
   1400     82.4%   82.1%   81.9%   81.6%  
   1500     83.3%   83.1%   82.9%   82.6%  
   1600     84.2%   84.0%   83.8%   83.6%  
   1700     85.0%   84.8%   84.6%   84.4%  
   1800     85.7%   85.5%   85.3%   85.1%
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This answer is actually directed at this question, but as it is closed as exact duplicate I will post it here.

Here is a list with the maximal possible resistances per slot (All Resistance / X Resistance (e.g. Arcane Resistance)):

  • Max per gearset: 930 / 690
  • # gear slots: 12 / 12
  • Shield: 80 / 60
  • Amulet: 70 / 50
  • Ring: 70 / 50
  • Belt: 80 / 60
  • Boots: 80 / 60
  • Bracer: 80 / 60
  • Chest: 80 / 60
  • Gloves: 80 / 60
  • Helm: 80 / 60
  • Pants: 80 / 60
  • Shldr: 80 / 60
  • Cloak: 70 / 50
  • Mighty Belt: 70 / 50
  • Spirit Stone: 70 / 50
  • Voodoo Mask: 70 / 50
  • Wizard hat: 70 / 50

This list does not include legendaries and other skills / abilities. Generally speaking you can reach 930 All Reistance and add another 690 of a specific resistance for a total of 1620. This translates into about 83-85% damage reduction in Inferno, see: how is resistance percentage calculated

Source

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