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Do damage over time effects stack?

I'm playing Diablo 3 as a Witch Doctor and go for Aoe-Dmg at the moment. Therefore I use Locust Swarm a lot. Because there seems no debuff/dot-icon on the enemies I wonder if Locust Swarm will stack? So basically there are several situations where it's important if the skill stacks:

  • I hit a mob twice with LS
  • I hit a mob with LS, this mob infects another mob and then I hit the new infected mob manually with LS
  • I play with another WD in a group (different skillrunes) and we attack a group of enemies with LS

It seems like it won't stack (haven't tried the group-WD-thing), but I'm not quiet sure.

Does anyone have any experience with this spell?


2 Answers 2


Your own Locust Swarm won't stack, in the same way that a Wizard cannot stack their Blizzard ability. In your first instance where you hit the same mob multiple times, all you will do is refresh your stack, overwriting the old one with the full duration of the debuff from the new one, but without stacking the daamge.

In your second instance, you hit a mob with LS, LS spreads, you then hit the mob it spread to manually with LS. In this instance the second mob will have their LS debuff refreshed.

In the third instance, multiple of the same class can stack their abilities together but the stacking of some effects is limited. In the case of Locust Swarm, it can be applied once by each Witch Doctor in the group to each mob, following the same rules as above.

Edit: more information on the stacking of Damage over Time in Diablo 3 is available half way down this post:

"Damage over time effects do not stack in Diablo 3. Everytime you use the same dot on the same target you do only reset the timer to the maximum duration. This does prevent extreme damage numbers from long time dots. The dot effects are balanced to make good damage over a longer time allowing you different actions in the mean time. They have the best damage to cast time ratio."


You can stack Locust Swarm on enemies if your int changes between stacks. Locust Swarm, Soul Harvest, Locust Swarm will let you double it up; a gear switch might too, but that would be really really annoying.

  • How do you know it is actually stacking and not just replacing the old one with the new one? Can you see both ticking at the same time?
    – bwarner
    Jun 22, 2012 at 18:56
  • I took off most of my int gear and my weapon, to reduce my DPS. Then I eyeballed the damage done by the end of the DOT effect. it didn't seem just to have refreshed. Jun 22, 2012 at 19:07
  • Hmm, sounds kind of inconclusive, given that we have an official statement that they always replace and never stack.
    – bwarner
    Jun 22, 2012 at 20:01
  • And perhaps if it did, it was a bug? (ie: not intended... swapping gear mid fight isn't probably recommended, and while soul harvest is very useful, it should only increase damage not change the affect)
    – isaaclw
    Jun 25, 2012 at 0:32

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