Friday, September 07, 2012

DoT/HoT Tooltips

Watching some of the Diablo 3 changes and patch notes, I started wondering what the best format for a Damage-Over-Time or Heal-Over-Time tooltip is. Would you rather see:

1. Spell deals 5000 damage over 30 seconds.


2. Spell deals 500 damage every 3 seconds for 30 seconds.

The advantage of Option 1 is that, while it doesn't tell you exactly how the damage is dealt, it gives you the total amount, making it easy to compare damage-per-cast-time to other abilities. Given that DPCT is the most useful stat for ranking spells, this is a useful format. Option 2 requires you to multiply and divide to get the DPCT.

Option 2 tells you how much each tick is worth, which is useful if you won't get the full duration of the effect. This often happens with area DoTs like Rain of Fire, where people run out. As well, heals and shield hots (the new Sacred Shield) might have wasted ticks when the target is at full health, so knowing the tick amount can be more useful than a total number which is only partially used.

Option 2 also gets less useful when the damage dealt per tick changes. Like the new paladin spell Execution Sentence or the old warlock Curse of Agony. With Option 1, you can just tell the total, and add a rider saying that the damage increases as the time goes on.

Which tooltip do you prefer? Or do you have a different form that you'd like to see?


  1. Neither actually. While it is OK if it is 3s, it is much harder to work out on the fly if it is 2.53s. I would rather have the number of ticks than the duration. So, "deals 5000 damage over 30 seconds in 10 portions" or "deals 500 damage 10 times over 30 seconds". And looking at the 2 of them, I feel the second is less ambiguous.

    It is much easier to work out overall damage with number of ticks and damage per tick than it is to work out overall damage with tick duration, total duration and tick frequency, once haste enters into the equation (especially as it can change in combat).

  2. I think personally I would prefer the second one because it tells me closer to the amount of DPS the ability is contributing to me...or perhaps 500 damage/second for X seconds (Total 5000).

  3. Another problem with option 1 is that it makes things that cause your spell to last longer seem like it actually makes the spell WORSE. If you saw a glyph or talent that said "Spell X lasts an additional 10 seconds", you would start thinking that it's dealing 5000 over 40 seconds instead.

  4. I'd take both 1 and 2 together. Have the total damage over the time and tell me how much each tick will be. For something like pvp knowing that it's ticking every 3 seconds instead of every one second is useful.