Damage reduction only affects physical damage. The other four damage types each have their own resistance value (e.g. "Fire resistance") which is viewable in the character sheet. Resistances reduce damage taken, and are normally capped at 75%. However, there are passives and items that can increase maximum resistances to allow for values higher than 75%.
If a passive does not specify whether it affects weapon or spell damage, it will affect both.
This page focuses on damage being dealt by the player. For information on how the elements affect him, see status ailments and resistances. For information on when damage is applied see, receiving damage.
All damage instances have exactly one damage source. Modifiers which apply specifically to one source never apply to the others. There are currently four damage sources:
A hit can be composed of several types of damage, but each type of damage has modifiers applied to it separately from other types in the same hit. Damage over time effects always consist of exactly one damage type. All damage must have exactly one type; there is no such thing as "typeless" or "multi-typed" damage.
Currently there are 5 types of damage:
Main article: Physical damage
Physical damage is usually dealt by attacks but can also come from some spells, like Glacial Cascade, Ethereal Knives, Blade Vortex, Bladefall, and Shockwave Totem. Most sources of life leech and mana leech only apply to physical attack damage when determining how much life or mana is gained. Many passive attack skills only increase physical damage, especially those which apply to a specific weapon type.
Main article: Fire damage
Dealing a critical strike with fire damage inflicts the Ignite ailment. Fire damage has its own unique term for damage over time called burning damage that applies exclusively to fire damage over time effects.
Main article: Cold damage
Hitting an enemy with cold damage can inflict the chill ailment, while dealing a critical strike with cold damage can inflict the freeze ailment.
Main article: Lightning damage
Dealing a critical strike with lightning damage can inflict the shock ailment. Lightning damage has a greater damage range than other damage types---it tends to deal 10-190% of the average damage, instead of 80-120% as with other damage types.
Main article: Chaos damage
Keywords exclusive to a damage source
Some keywords are exclusive to a Damage source.
Melee damage is a category of damage exclusive to the attack damage source; in the case of damage instances who inherit keywords from a parent skill (such as Ignite or Puncture's bleed) the melee keyword is not inherited.
Main article: Unarmed
Unarmed damage is a subcategory of Melee Damage and therefore inherits damage modifiers from the Melee and Attack keywords.
Weapon-specific keywords are derivatives of the Attack damage source and therefore are not inherited by damage instances who inherit keywords from a parent skill (such as Ignite, Puncture's bleed, or Poison Arrow's poison cloud).
Beyond source and type, there are several other ways to classify damage which are best referred to by their generic name Keywords. In the case of a damage instance triggered by a parent skill (such as ignite), these modifiers are all inherited from the triggering hit. See keywords for more information.
Certain skills have an Area of Effect (AoE for short) and can affect multiple enemies or allies at once.
Elemental Damage modifiers affect all types of elemental damage (Fire, Cold and Lightning). Chaos damage is not considered elemental.
Mines are skills which are thrown (like Traps) and detonated by a separate command.
Modifiers to minion damage function as a generic damage modifier granted to the minion. This means it will apply to all damage dealt regardless of source, type, or keywords.
Note that skills with the bow keyword are considered to implicitly be projectiles.
Modifiers to totem damage function as a generic damage modifier granted to the totem. This means it will apply to all damage dealt regardless of source, type, or keywords.
Modifiers to trap damage function as a generic damage modifier granted to the trap. This means it will apply to all damage dealt regardless of source, type, or keywords.
Damage modifiers that have no restrictions or specifications are commonly referred to as generic damage modifiers. These modifiers are potent since they will apply to all damage dealt by the modified skill regardless of source, type, or keywords.
Main article: Damage reflection
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