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As part of the Frozen Orb's animation, it spews ice in all directions, supposedly damaging enemies it touches. I wonder how exactly this works. Does it deal more damage if the orb hits the enemy directly? Does it deal more damage if more of the tiny shards hit the enemy? Can it hit the same enemy multiple times?

In one specific case, I've noticed that when enemies have the Missile Dampening affix, that Frozen Orbs last a very long time. They seem to travel for a set distance rather than for a fixed amount of time. The whole time they're moving, they still spew ice, but it's hard to tell if it's still damaging the enemies for its entire lifetime or if it's just an annoyingly long death for the spell.

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  • If someone were to test this, I imagine that Zoltun Kulle's slow time bubbles would be a good place to start. Mar 3, 2014 at 19:08
  • I have used F.O. for several hours. When it hits missile dampening, the shards it spits off stop doing damage even though the animation continues. Mar 3, 2014 at 20:06
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    Bonus question: how do the orb/shards interact with Life on Hit and Area Damage?
    – Troyen
    Mar 3, 2014 at 21:02
  • @DiabloMonkey i have observed the same
    – l I
    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:51

2 Answers 2

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Attempting to answer some of the questions simply through gameplay observation:

  • Does it deal more damage if the orb hits the enemy directly?

    The majority of the damage seems to be coming from the orb, during flight and the final 'explosion' at the end. The shards will cause the chilled effect but doesn't seem to do much damage at all. Its possible to do almost no damage to an enemy if you cast the orb next to them and it misses them despite multiple shards hitting.

  • Does it deal more damage if more of the tiny shards hit the enemy?

    Again, the damage is very negligible from the tiny shards. Direct contact with the orb or being in the area of explosion at the end does the most damage.

  • Can it hit the same enemy multiple times?

    Yes, an enemy can be hit by multiple by the orb as it passes through. If they are near the end of the orb's path they will also take damage from the explosion at the end.

Troyen's bonus question:

  • how do the orb/shards interact with Life on Hit and Area Damage?

    I can't answer for sure, but I'd imagine frozen orb has a hidden proc % (most likely to be a small value due to the spell's aoe nature) like all the other skills in the game. Each time the orb or a shard hits, you gain loh based on that proc % * your total loh. Ditto with area damage calculations. How each shard interacts with loh at this point is unknown.

Missile dampening interaction:

Because the majority of the damage requires the orb to pass through a target and the fact that missile dampening delays the end explosion as the orb seems to need to traverse a set path before exploding, it is advisable to avoid using this against bosses with missile dampening as the shards doesn't do much damage at all.

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  • updated my answer after some testing as the original was incorrect.
    – l I
    Mar 6, 2014 at 19:53
  • Based on this, I might even look for a different rune to use with the skill altogether. Mar 6, 2014 at 20:11
  • @StrixVaria the aoe is quite big and it can hit multiple times. For its cost I think its quite effective at clearing out big hoards. Just not for single target.
    – l I
    Mar 6, 2014 at 20:36
  • @StrixVaria also i think its proc % is probably not too bad, i seem to get a lot of arcane power back with my 10 apoc.
    – l I
    Mar 6, 2014 at 20:37
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As I have tested it just now.

it seems that tiny shard deal about 50% of the 393% damage mentioned in description of the spell if core of the orb did not hit an enemy.

If obr core moves through the enemy but explosion is behind of them then it deals abot 100% of described 393% damage.

If enemy was inside of about 7 yards radius of the core explosion than the damage dealt is about 200% of th edescribed damage, e.g. it deals 100% bonus damage.

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