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I'm wondering if hits inflicted by abilities doing AoE damage (in particular the Monks Sweeping Wind and Crippling Wave) count as hits for "Life on Hit" properties?

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They do, however, there does seem to be some sort of reduction in the effectiveness of vampiric effects when triggered by area-effect spells. The exact amount varies, but this is easy to verify in game if you switch between a single target and area spell.

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They do indeed. The best way to see this working is to turn on "Show Healing" in the options menu and perform the AoE skills. Unfortunately I can't get you a screenshot of this right now, but hope this helps!

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There don't seem to be any healing popups for any healing caused by "Life on Hit" items. –  Wieland May 28 '12 at 8:31

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