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For some sources of damage it is pretty easy to guess what damage type it is. For example, if a monster hits you with a huge ass axe, it's probably physical damage. The burning floors at the butcher is most likely fire damage. The chilling construct monsters in act 2 seem like they inflict cold damage, etc.

However, the damage type is not so obvious for all attacks. Belial's ultimate skill (the green colour seems to indicate poison, but the sudden explosions might indicate fire, and Asheara yells "Watch out for the fireballs" in the quest prior to Belial, where similar green explosions occur). Azmodan's black pools on the floor. Zoltan Kulle's whirlwinds.

How do I find out what damage type a certain opponent is able to inflict, so that I know what type of resistance is most important?

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Another motivation as to why this is interesting is that I would really like to know the damage types of all of Belial's attacks. For example, when he smashes you with his fist or arms, that is physical damage, right? If it is physical damage, it is probably not worth to spec the barb skill Superstition (20% reduction of all non-physical damage), since his fists are basically the only thing that causes difficulties when fighting belial as a barb. –  Alderath Jun 12 '12 at 18:15

3 Answers 3

The only true way to find this out is testing. You could easily do this on normal.

You should do multiple runs with 0 Resist All to get the control information. I would say a sample size of at least 10 kills. Average the damage from each fist attack (or whichever attack of his you want to figure out) across all runs and that is your control figure.

Once you have the control, you can start introducing variables like each separate Resist stat. I would start with Physical Resist, preferably a very high amount, so you can more easily see the impact it has without the difference falling within the margin of error. Do the same amount of runs and average the damage once again. Technically, if the attack indeed is Physical, you should see a reduction very similar to the amount of reduction your Resist stat is giving you. The more runs you do and the larger the sample size is, the more accurate this will be and the closer the actual reduction you see will be to the amount the stat says it will reduce by in the character sheet.

You will most likely have to spend gold on the proper gear to do this, but it is the way people have found out many of the games mechanics and nuances. FRAPS or some other form of recording is also a good idea so you don't have to write things down during the fight.

This may not be the easy answer you wanted, but it is the scientific method, and it's how humans have been figuring things out for years! Especially theorycrafters in video games!

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I have come across this question while trying to find the answer to the same question.. I have subsequently found what I was looking and anyone else with the same question here:

http://www.ctrustnetwork.com/c515p1/gaming/diablo-3/bestiary.html

Maybe this will save the next poor sod some time.

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Hi Jougal, This is perhaps the first helpful answer to this old question! However, it may well be downvoted. On Stackexchange people usually dislike just being given links, since such things can change in the future. People ask for a summary to be given here. In this case there is clearly far too much info to summarise, but can I suggest putting a brief description of what is behind the link to help people decide whether to click on it? –  Simon W Mar 7 at 11:44

Your best bet is to just stack the All resist stat unless you are a monk, then stack 1 type (doesnt matter) and use One with everything.

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I know that resist all is a good stat, and of course I strive for maximizing resist all when I itemize. But that was not what I was asking about. I want to know how to find out what damage types enemies inflict. –  Alderath Jun 10 '12 at 0:11
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-1 You don't answer how to find out which damage type a monster inflicts. –  Tom Jun 13 '12 at 9:16

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