According to developers, Diablo 3 doesn't have elemental damage effects, with the exception of ice which chills/freezes. However the developers said that, because of this added effect, the cold damage is reduced, when compared with other elements. But I don't understand what this means. It's either

1) When calculating the actual damage, if the element type is ice than it's reduced (like multiplied by 0.8 for example)


2) When you find a weapon/gear piece with ice damage, the effect is lower (for example you could find normally weapons with 3-4 fire damage, but you only find weapons with 1-2 ice damage)

I think #1 makes more sense, and it would also work for skills. Do you have more information about this?

  • Haven't given that much notice in-game, but I'm willing to wager that it's something like (2), if Diablo 2 is any indication. Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 14:00
  • It is #2 as @Rangoric already noted - curious why you thought it was #1? Skills can be balanced in other ways; e.g. Blizzard doing less damage than Meteor.
    – Alok
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 17:02
  • @Alok because a good part of the damage can also be given by other gear parts and main stat and #1 seems easier to balance.
    – Emiliano
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


When you find gear with Cold Damage, the amount of damage you can get is lower.

So while a Fire Damage weapon might have 50-60 damage, a cold weapon of the same item budget/level will have 30-40 (as an example). But the number are random enough that specific items will break this rule.

Basically each point of cold damage takes up more of the "item budget". So #2

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