Diminishing Returns

The term “Diminishing Returns” (DR) has found increased use lately in WoW.  The term is not new by any means and has been in the game since beta 2004.  What is new is some of the ways players are using that term.  Some correctly, some incorrectly.


Diminishing Returns (in WoW) has two separate meanings and functions.

One is regarding stuns and other forms of CC used in PvP.  DR for all forms of CC in PvP is that each subsequent use of the CC will only last for half as long as the previous.  That is if a Mage Polymorphs you, it will last for 10 secs the first time.  If he does it again, it will only last for 5 secs.  The 3rd application will only last for 2.5 secs.  You will be completely immune to Polymorph after the 3rd application.  There is an internal “timer” in that if the spell is not cast for 18 secs, then the DR will reset, allowing for full use of the CC ability.

The other use of Diminishing Returns in WoW (and the one I’ll be focusing on) is when effectiveness of a stat on an item decrease in value the more of it you get.  Keep in mind this is different than a cap – which means the stat reaches a point where it stops providing ANY additional benefit.  Some things that have a DR:




Chanced to be missed (from Defense skill)

Some things that have a cap, but not a DR (just for reference):


Crit (for melee only I believe)


How each stat is affected by diminishing returns is for another post.  If you’re genuinely curious,  Satrina put together a pretty good post on Tankspot regarding Dodge and Parry.  There is a thread about the Armor DR, as it’s been around for a while.  But, I will throw out a quickie example to appease the masses.

Assume at level 80 that it takes 100 Dodge Rating to increase your chance to Dodge by 1%.  Let’s assume also that all tanking gear has exactly 100 Dodge Rating (because it’s my perfect world, and I’ll make it how I want).  When you put your first piece of gear on, you will get 1% more Dodge than you had before.  When you put your 2nd piece of gear on, you will only gain an additional 0.9% chance to Dodge.  When you put your 3rd piece on, you only get an additional 0.8% chance.  Etc, etc.  The numbers are made up, but the concept still holds.  If you read Satrina’s post about Avoidance DR, you’d notice that Dodge and Parry also diminish based on the amount of Defense, Agility, and STR(for DKs) you have – just something to keep in mind.

No such thing as DR

This one kinda irritates me – and is more or less the point of the post.   I’ve only been seeing this since patch 3.2 was released, due to a minor change Blizzard made regarding 2 abilities.  Block does not have a Diminishing return.  I’ll say it again just to make sure we’re on the same page.  Ahem – BLOCK DOES NOT HAVE A DR!!!!!!!!

You can get your chance to block up to 100% if you could find the gear for it (although the astute reader knows that you wouldn’t actually block 100% of attacks due to the combat table calculations).  You could also block 5,000 damage if you could find enough gear to push your SBV up to 5,000.

Patch 3.2 introduced both a DR and a hard cap to the Shield of Righteousness and Shield Slam abilities.  The amount of SBV that these abilities can be modified from is subject to DR.  The DR starts at 2400 (@ level 80) and hard caps at 2760.  That is – even if you get 3000 SBV, the abilities above will only convert 2760 of that to damage.

Since the DR on the abilities starts at such a high in relation to the hard cap, it makes for a very steep DR curve.  Even though it’s not technically accurate, I’ve pretty much stopped referring to these abilities as having any sort of DR at all, and simply just tell players they have a hard cap.  Any player with less than 2400 SBV will not even encounter the DR.  Players with over the amount don’t need to take the DR into consideration anymore as they have hit the hard cap.  It’s going to be a very rare situation I think where a player will fall in between 2400 and 2760 SBV – that’s only 360 SBV.  Especially when you consider that a player can get half of that 360 on just 1 piece of Naxx gear.

I know this wasn’t technially raiding related, and slightly biased because I’m a Warrior.  Oh well, bite me.


~ by Andenthal on September 5, 2009.

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