How are the particle effects (green glow, dark-reddish cloud, dripping blood, lightning, etc.) on weapons in Diablo III determined?

Right now I have 2 one-handed weapons equipped, and both have a red dripping blood effect. One is a sword, the other is a spear. One does holy damage while the other does poison damage. One has a ruby socketed, while the other an amethyst. The only common ground between the two is that they are very high in dexterity.

Could any of these factors determine glow color? Is it randomly assigned just like weapon and armor stats?

  • I've seen suggestions that the dripping blood effect may be related to Lifestealing; do your weapons have that stat on them?
    – Cloudy
    Commented May 25, 2012 at 22:07
  • They both had a "Life per kill" attribute in common. One also had a "Life per hit" so that may be what determines red dripping blood.
    – Tater596
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 1:27

2 Answers 2


I am looking into this now, and it appears that the effects can be randomly assigned, but they are also usually connected to various weapon bonuses. It appears that the dripping blood effect is from life steal or health generated per second. I can confirm that my weapon has the effect and mine has life steal.

Here is a nice showcase of all the effects, sadly it does not say what caused them.

Furthermore, as quoted from Blizzard (Bashiok):

They're low level items with low level elemental effects on them. It wouldn't be very awesome when you find a super insane weapon later and the elemental effect looks the same as a level 10 item, would it? :)

This basically means the more powerful the elemental power the brighter the glow.


  1. The effect at 0.05 is associated with Cold damage. (Possibly more)
  2. The effect at 0.08 is associated with Fire damage. (Possibly more)
  3. The effect at 0.16 is associated with Poison damage. (Possibly more)
  4. The effect at 0.21 is associated with Arcane damage. (Possible more)
  5. The effect at 0.29 is associated with Lightening damage. (Possibly more)
  6. The effect at 0.35 is associated with damage dealt is converted to life and life steal (Possibly more)
  7. The effect at 0.41 is associated with the "Of Storms" item tag. (Possibly More, also, this is considered lightening damage as well)
  8. The effect at 1.13 is associated with Holy Damage. (Possibly more)

It also important to note that other effects can overpower each other. I will try to provide examples as they present themselves.

  1. Arcane is overpowered by the life steal glow. (It seems)
  2. Chance to freeze on hit is overpowered by life steal glow (It seems)
  3. Poison damage is overpowered by life steal glow (It seems)

It seems as though life steal trumps all glows.

  • Interesting. I am still hoping for a table or list of effects and their stats partners (or proof it can be random), but this is a good answer. +1 to you.
    – Tater596
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 1:29
  • Yeah, I am working on testing different weapons in game. I am picking up everything that exists haha
    – Emerica.
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 1:34
  • That kind of effort may earn you a bounty! We'll see how much attention your answer gets.
    – Tater596
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 1:35
  • 1
    @Tater596 Thank you for the bounty. I will be sure to add details as I find more items with new unique attributes. :)
    – Emerica.
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 14:32
  • Can the effects be achieved thru enchanment transmogrification?
    – SleepNot
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 1:26

The effect at 1:00 is an "attack speed" glow. (windy-electric looking)

Kinda looks like teal/cyan lightning or wind/watery effect, hard to describe. I have had it overwrite my arcane glow. (The arcane dmg was very small 2-3 while the attack speed buff was stronger). I am not sure this is a common though. I went and bought some lower level attack speed items Bingo shows up so long as you don't have a powerful glow effect on the item. Its hard to get because most items have a more dominant glow on them already.

If you want this glow, go for a bonus min damage + attackspeed. The bonus to min damage will ensure no elemental glows will interfere. The only thing you need to watch out for is life steal. XD

The effect 1:24 is a skill that wizards cast on their weapons to increase weapon damage by a percentage.

It looks like a mix of gold and purple firecrackers going off around the weapon.

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