Damage over Time - or DoT, for short - is an important mechanic found within many ARPGs. Torchlight Infinite's take on DoT is certainly unique among the rest.
Here, DoT is applied to enemies by using certain Ailments and Skills. DoT's lethality is boosted with the Affliction debuff and Reaping your enemies is a great way to thoroughly decimate them. Though they are somewhat complex, Damage over Time and Reaping mechanics are fundamental to many builds.
Obtaining mastery over these mechanics gives you insight into many of Torchlight Infinite's most powerful builds, and serves to increase your build making skill.
Intrigued by DoT and Reaping mechanics? Youga: Spacetime Elapse specializes in DoT and Reaping - get started with him here!
How Does Damage Over Time Work?
Damage over Time is a form of damage-dealing that revolves around applying Life-draining debuffs to enemies. An enemy afflicted with any form of DoT rapidly takes damage based off of the debuff's damage per second. This is quite different from Hit-based builds that deal damage directly, DoT does not Hit enemies. Because of this, DoT builds cannot take advantage of modifiers for added damage, neither can it deal Double Damage or Crit. Instead, Affliction and Reaping enable massively increased damage output, the guide elaborates on these mechanics later in the article.
There are two distinct forms of DoT, each applied and used in different ways.
- Some Persistent Skills directly apply their own scalable DoT debuff to enemies, this is Skill Damage over Time.
- Trauma, Ignite, and Wilt are Ailment Debuffs that deal Damage over Time to afflicted enemies, you can only apply them with Hits.
Skill Damage Over Time
Some damaging Persistent tagged Skills display that they deal an amount of DoT per second - this is Skill Damage over Time.
- Frost Terra
- Wilting Beam
- Black Hole
- Life Siphon
- Path of Flames
Enemies within the influence of Skills like these have an invisible debuff causing them to take DoT. This debuff generally expires when the Skill stops influencing the enemy.
Different Skills can apply their DoT debuff to the same enemy. Life Siphon, Shadow Swamp, and Black Hole can all damage an enemy at the same time.
For most DoT Skills, multiple instances of that same Skill cannot stack their DoT debuff onto an enemy. Exceptions that can stack include Frost Terra, Flame Jet, and Corrosive Shot.
Learn more about DoT-dealing Terra Skills in our Skill Mechanics Guide!
Ailment Damage Over Time
The base DoT per second of Trauma, Ignite, and Wilt is equal to your Base Ailment Damage.
Trauma is unable to stack, applying a more powerful Trauma overwrite the existing one, and refreshes the duration. This Ailment's base duration is 4 seconds, and it has an innate Reap Duration multiplier.
Ignite can stack but not infinitely, with the help of Additional Ignite Support and Equipment like Sun's Embrace. Applying a more powerful Ignite onto an enemy with maximum stacks overwrites the weakest existing one, only refreshing that stack's duration. This Ailment's base duration is 4 seconds, and it has an innate Affliction Effect multiplier.
Wilt can stack infinitely, and its stacks cannot overwrite each other, nor can they be refreshed. This Ailment's base duration is 1 second.
DoT Ailments inherit the displayed "Damage Multiplier" percentage and Support Skills of the Skill that applies them. An Ignite you apply with Lethal Barrage is far easier to scale than an ignite made with Marked Rain of Arrows.
Ailment Base Damage
Ailment Damage over Time centric builds revolve around obtaining high Base Ailment Damage. Despite an abundance of small-additive sources granting Base Ailment damage, the very best way to scale this is with Weapons with the following types of affixes:
- Adds a percentage of your Main-Hand Weapon's Damage to base Trauma / Ignite / Wilt. This refers to your weapon's localized Gear Damage, most commonly Physical.
- Adds a percentage of the Skill's Fire Damage to base Ignite Damage. This refers to your Fire Spell's Hit Damage - displayed on the Skill.
- Adds a percentage of the Skill's Damage to Base Wilt Damage. This refers to any Spell's Hit Damage - displayed on the Skill.
Interested in using DoT Ailments? Learn more about them and the other Ailments with our guide dedicated to them!
What is Affliction?
Affliction is an easy to use stacking debuff that massively increases the damage output of your DoT. Each stack causes the enemy to take 1% additional DoT, allowing for a 2x damage increase against enemies with the maximum 100 stacks. Additionally, this potent damage multiplier is further multiplied with modifiers that grant increased Affliction Effect. Stacks of Affliction are applied to enemies automatically while dealing DoT to them, and the amount is based off of your Affliction inflicted per second stat. Though it only has a 4 second duration, all stacks of Affliction are refreshed when any DoT is dealt to the enemy.
Do not make the mistake of avoiding Affliction if you play a DoT build. Affliction's debuff isn't displayed on enemies, yet it is ever-present. Do not fear its seemingly short 4 second duration, in practice its uptime is indefinite. Unfortunately, the confusion associated with this mechanic causes many players to shy away from what is in actuality an invaluable damage multiplier.
Inflicting Affliction & Enhancements
Most DoT builds do not require much Affliction inflicted per second. Even small quantities of it are enough to take advantage of the potent damage multiplier against bosses.
Don't stress over Affliction's duration; fitting Black Hole or Cataclysm Support into your build is enough to get around it.
All DoT builds desire Affliction Effect, though sources of it are scarce. You can find this modifier in the Psychic Talent Tree and as affixes on Equipment, especially Crafted Equipment.
A subsection of DoT builds rely on Torturer's Touch, letting you Reap extremely often provided that your Affliction inflicted per second is high. These gloves are often paired with either Strange Snow or Chain behind the Curtain.
What is Reaping?
Reaping is core to every single DoT build. This mechanic is equal parts complex and powerful, and truly unique to Torchlight Infinite's Damage over Time system.
The explanation below quickly elaborates on Reaping with simple terms, though not all details are included for your convenience. We recommend the Detailed Explanation if you want to make your own DoT build.
- Reaping an enemy causes your DoT on them to "jump ahead in time", enemies take damage based off of how much damage your DoT would have dealt to them within that "time jump". Reaping normally does not remove the enemy's DoT debuff.
- The quantity of "time jumped" is Reap Time, raise it with Reap Duration Modifiers to improve lethality.
- Reaping has a cooldown, reduce it with modifiers for Reaping Cooldown Recovery Speed to improve lethality.
The explanation below thoroughly elaborates on Reaping with mechanical terms.
- Enemies you Reap lose a portion of Life equal to the amount of DoT per second they suffer from, multiplied by Reap Time. Reaping's Life Removal is not direct damage, its lethality instead increases alongside Reap Time and your DoT DPS.
- Calculate total Reap Time by taking the Reap Source's Base Reap Time and multiplying that with modifiers to Reaping Duration. We highly recommend these modifiers unless you use Reap Purification, more on that later in the guide.
- Every Reap Source has its own individual cooldown. Reaping occurs whenever possible, and enemies can suffer from multiple Reap Sources simultaneously triggering. You can only reduce Reap's cooldown with modifiers for Reaping Cooldown Recovery Speed. This is important for sustained DPS.
Reap Sources & Enhancements
Most DoT builds have incentive to anchor themselves around Reap sources with short cooldowns, often enhancing them with modifiers for Reap Cooldown Recovery Speed. Reap Sources with longer cooldowns are nice to have, though rarely built around.
Short cooldown Reap sources include: Corroded Affix Manella's Mist, Reaping Agony, Torturer's Touch, and Wilting Beam.
DoT builds that don't use Reap Purification are incentivized to use modifiers to increase Reaping Duration to multiply Reap's Life removal.
Sources of this modifier are extremely scarce, they include Corroded Affix Feline Steps, Twilight Vestment, and Crafted Rings.
Reap Purification - found within Goddess of Darkness' Psychic Tree - is one of the most build-defining Major Talents in the entire game. All DoT builds either use this Talent or consciously choose not to.
Reaping with Reap Purification has additional effects that occur after the Reap removes the enemy's Life.
- All DoT debuffs on the enemy are removed.
- For each removed DoT debuff, additional Life is removed from the enemy.
- Life removed is equal to the debuff's DoT per second, multiplied by 80% of the debuff's remaining duration in seconds.
While Reap Purification's Life removal is similar to Reaping, it is NOT Reap damage!
Modifiers that increase Reap Duration have NO effect on Reap Purification's Life removal!
Reap Purification's Applications
Reap Purification's DoT debuff removal has different interactions between Ailment Damage over Time and Skill Damage over Time. When making a DoT build, knowing what Reap Purification can do for you is extremely important!
Skill Damage Over Time is the damage dealt by a hidden debuff you apply to enemies when using a DoT Skill, its duration is equal to the Skill's duration.
- Debuffs automatically apply themselves to enemies under the Skill's influence.
- Most DoT Skill debuffs automatically remove themselves from enemies after the Skill's influence over them ends.
In most cases, Reap Purification's debuff removal is irrelevant, thanks to Skill Damage Over Time's automatic debuff application.
- Reap Purification has no perceivable downsides when used with almost all forms of Skill Damage Over Time!
- Reap Purification allows you to scale the damage output of your DoT Skill with Skill Duration.
Reap Purification's debuff removal is counteracted by applying DoT Ailments quickly so that each Reap's damage is maximized.
- Reap Purification allows you to scale the damage output of DoT Ailments with Ailment Duration.
- Trauma's inability to stack makes it easy to use with Reap Purification. Vile and Open Wounds are highly synergistic.
- Applying multiple Ignite stacks in-between Reaps allows for massively increased Reap Purification damage.
- Wilt's short duration and infinite stacking compliment Reaping normally. Do NOT use Wilt with Reap Purification!
Here are the most important things you need to know about DoT, Affliction, and Reaping in Torchlight Infinite:
- Damage over Time - or DoT - is a category of build that revolves around inflicting enemies with powerful, Life-draining debuffs. These builds utilize several mechanics to increase damage output.
- DoT Skills like Black Hole or Frost Terra directly deal DoT to enemies within their influence.
- Trauma, Ignite, and Wilt are DoT Ailments, dealing damage based off their Base Ailment Damage stat.
- Affliction is a stacking debuff that multiplies the DoT enemies receive. It also has a 4 second duration.
- Reaping Allows your DoT debuffs to "jump ahead in time", instantly removing Life from the enemy based off of how much damage your DoT would deal over the Reap Time. This effect has a cooldown.
- Reap Purification is an extremely powerful and nuanced modifier, allowing Reap to remove additional Life but removes the DoT debuff afterwards.
Written by Xtra37
Reviewed by Tenkiei, Facefoot
Article Published for Season 3