My lvl 53 wizard has 2200 damage.

If I am an archon, I will deal 3 times the damage. (6600 per hit) Except, the numbers that pop up on screen are closer to around 1300, 3000.

Also I have 2.5% life steal and I have 65 life per hit.

If I hit 10 enemies at once I would expect 550 life generated. Say I hit at 2200. 2.5% is 55. Times 10 is 550. Yet I am seeing a mere 100.

Also there is a trait whose tooltips say it'll generate 200 hit points when armor is active.

I saw that I gain only 125 life.

What am I missing?

Additional info: My attack per second is 1.1. So actual damage would be 2000.

The attack I am talking about is right click archon. That's 300% weapon damage.

Note: Attack per second is 1.1 seconds. So conversion to damage per second is not the main problem. I suspect that the issue is monsters have armors and resistant.

  • Do monsters have armor and resistances that reduce the damage you deal to them?
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 21:10
  • @SadlyNot: I believe they do, which is what I was going to comment on ayckoster's answer. I know that's the case in D2, but stuff has changed.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 21:18
  • Life steal is calculated strangely. In Inferno, it has even been nerfed. It wouldn't surprise me if this was the same in other difficulties.
    – Domocus
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 21:28
  • 1
    Poor wizard, reduced to 'it' :(
    – Alok
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 2:53
  • @SadlyNot They used to, there was a patch note in 1.0.3 that said "Plagued, Arcane Enchanted, and Electrified monsters no longer have resistance to Poison, Arcane, and Lightning damage (respectively)". Not sure if any mobs continue to have resistances.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 3:20

3 Answers 3


You damage numbers will be affected by the APS (attacks per second), enemy resistance, modified % on the skill (e.g. 300% for archon beam) etc.

Re. life on hit and life leech:

  • Life on Hit of 65: LoH has hidden modifiers per skill; for most AoE skills you will get less than the stated value unless you actually hit a large number of targets
  • Life Leech of 2.5%: This will be reduced per difficulty level; to a maximum of 80% in Inferno. At lvl 53 you are probably in Hell, so there is a 60% reduction. So your effective life leech is 2.5% * 40/100 = 1%

Galvanizing Ward passive ticks every 0.5 secs, so that 125 life means you are getting 250/sec (likely you have another 50 life regen from items, if Ward claims 200 regen)

  • both are good. This one is a better answer.
    – user4951
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 18:00
  • any source? I guess those life leech are pretty useless then with the nerves.
    – user4951
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 18:01
  • @JimThio: Source is battle.net forums and other questions here for LoH/leech. Galvanizing ward if you google name + 'tick rate' will give threads talking about the 0.5s ticks.
    – Alok
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 22:51
  • You also need to keep in mind that skills that hit multiple creatures have a scaling factor for proc effects like life leech and life on hit. The exact factor varies from skill to skill. See reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/uoooj/…
    – bwarner
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 15:00
  • @bwarner: That is what I mentioned for LoH. Are you sure there is scaling for life leech too?
    – Alok
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 16:26

DPS stands for Damage per Second. If your attacks take less than 1 second then you only deal a fraction of your DPS per hit. Just look up your attack speed.

Furthermore the DPS are calculated for normal attacks. Depending on what skill you use this might be more or less than your displayed DPS. Usually area of effect spells do less damage as they affect many opponents.


DPS and damage are not the same thing. Your level 53 wiz has 2200 DPS not 2200 damage.

DPS is just your weapon's average damage multiplied by its attack speed.

So lets say you had a weapon with a damage range of 100-500 with an attack speed of 1.0. The DPS for that weapon would be 300 (100+500/2*1.0) The actual hits from that weapon (on a character with 0 stats just to keep this simple) will range anywhere 100 to 500 for each hit but will average out over the course of a few hits to 300 damage per second or 300 DPS.

Spell damage is based off of your weapon's damage range not its DPS so for the weapon in my example above when Archon is used you will have hits ranging anywhere from 300 to 1500 not a flat 900 per hit as you're thinking.

This is why you should always consider a weapons damage range when choosing a weapon. DPS can be inflated by it's attack speed and a weapon with a lower DPS could possibly give you more spell damage.

Consider a weapon with 100-500 damage and 1.0 attack speed vs a weapon with 75-400 damage but a 1.5 attack speed. The first weapon's DPS as we know is 300. The second weapon's DPS is actually slightly higher at 356 DPS. When using Archon the first weapon will do 300-1500 per hit where with the second weapon equipped Archon will only deal 225-1200 per hit.

(BTW - I'm assuming when you say 300% weapon damage that you're talking about when using the Arcane Destruction rune and that it has been changed because both the wiki and official site list the damage as 450% of weapon damage and I see no other abilities or runes that are close to 300% weapon damage.)

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