I'm not clear on how often damage over time (or healing over time, for that matter) affects get applied. Take, for example, the following spell:

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I have to assume that raising the base duration up to 13 seconds is actually an improvement, as opposed to making the same amount of damage take longer. So how often is damage over time applied? Every second seems too much. I've seen some things that suggest a combat round is 6 seconds, so it it being applied every 6 seconds? If so, what happens if you have a duration that's only 10 seconds, or 13 seconds? Do you get partially applied damage for the fraction of a 6-second round that it was?

I'm having a hard time determining the value of DOT spells without understanding the mechanics.

1 Answer 1


Let me start with - this problem is mind-bending, and you do not want to know how often did I cast that on my entire party to see what happens. I think I deserve an honorary animancer title.

Damage over time is applied in 3 distinct moments:

  • At the start it is applied once.
  • At every full 3 seconds passed after the start of the spell
  • If spell time is not divisible by 3, at the end of the spell there is additional damage. Maybe.

In order to test it I have analysed 3 levels of intellect that give 0%, 20% and 40% bonus (so 10, 12 and 14 seconds). Those split into two groups - those that do 10 damage per tick, and those who do 9 (it seems that some of my characters have an unmentioned anywhere damage reduction?)

Here are the results:

10 seconds

  • 10 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 7 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 4 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 1 second remaining - 9/10 damage
  • end of the spell - 0 damage

Result: expected 33.3 damage, got 36/40

12 seconds

  • 12 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 9 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 6 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 3 second remaining - 9/10 damage
  • end of the spell - 9/10 damage

Result - expected 40 damage, got 45/50

14 seconds

  • 14 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 11 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 8 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 5 second remaining - 9/10 damage
  • 2 seconds remaining - 9/10 damage
  • end of the spell - 6/5 damage

Result - expected 46.6 damage, got 51/55

So with an overwhelming amount of evidence I am still in the dark on what the underlying mechanism is. I have revised my theory on that 3 times and the end result was not pretty, and I still might have missed something. I hope that my research will help in judging the usefullness even without true understanding of how that works.

Materials for further studies for interested researchers:

  • confirm my findings (especially concerning the 5/6 damage at 14 seconds and identifying why the 9/10 division might occur)
  • confirm 5/6 case on another length (2 seconds remaining look like they might be the key - so 17 would do nicely)
  • redo the experiments in combat environment (all I did was in sterile environment of dunryd row headquaters outside of combat)
  • 2
    Awesome effort on research
    – Sterno
    Mar 30, 2015 at 14:15
  • I'm guessing those commas indicate decimal points?
    – Pharap
    Mar 31, 2015 at 4:59
  • @Pharap yes, sorry, that's the standard notation in Poland, didn't even notice it.
    – Deltharis
    Mar 31, 2015 at 11:25
  • @Deltharis I thought I'd mention it because some English-speakers may not be aware that most Europeans, Africans and South Americans use comma-notation instead of period-notation. Peroid-notation is the standard in America, the UK and Australia (and in the English-speaking parts of Canada).
    – Pharap
    Mar 31, 2015 at 17:23

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