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Buff

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Buffs are a type of effect that can modify a creature's statistics. Those with primarily detrimental effects are typically referred to as debuffs.

Identifying a buff

Each buff affecting the player will display an icon in the top-left of the screen. This is one way to determine whether or not an effect is a buff - if it does not show an icon, it is not a buff that is attached to the player. The exceptions to this are charges and elemental status effects which also show an icon but are not buffs.

Aura buffs:

Similarly, the three herald skill gems (Herald of Ash, Herald of Ice, and Herald of Thunder) are also considered buffs.

The functioning of buffs

A buff simply adds statistics and modifiers to the creature it is attached to. Although a buff may increase the damage of the that the affected creature deals with hits, a buff itself cannot deliver hits or take any action. A buff may include degeneration or damage-over-time effects. For example, if a monster is attacked by a player using the Wrath aura, the monster is not "hit" by the aura, or the buff, it is the player that hits the monster:

  1. Wrath is a spell that is cast by the player.
  2. The spell creates an aura that applies a buff to any allies within range.
  3. The buff contains a modifier that adds lightning damage to the player's attacks
  4. The player hits the monster, dealing the added lightning damage

Buff duration

All buffs have a duration, which can be infinite (as in the case of auras). This duration is affected by Buff Duration modifiers, and can also be affected by Skill Effect Duration modifiers if the buff was applied by a skill.

The passive skills which increase buff and debuff duration apply not to buffs on you but to buffs (including debuffs) you create, either on yourself or other entities. This includes all the above as well as such things as the debuffs placed on cursed monsters.

Buff effect

The effect of a buff can also be altered, buff effect modifiers alter the numerical values of the buff. For instance, the notable passive skill Inner Force grants a 15% increased Effect of Buffs on you modifier. This will increase:

  • The amount of mana regeneration granted by the Clarity aura
  • The amount of Fire Damage per second taken by the player using Righteous Fire
  • The spell damage bonus provided by a player using Righteous Fire
  • etc.

It will not increase the amount of Fire Damage per second taken by monsters that are nearby a player using Righteous Fire, because Inner Force specifies it only applies to buffs "on you".

The Inner Force and Buff Effect passives increase the bonuses from buffs that affect yourself. It does not increase damage dealt from buffs as it is something that affects enemies.

Therefore one has to be careful when amplifying some two-sided effects. For instance, Righteous Fire increases the spell damage bonus from the buff, but also increases the damage dealt to yourself without increasing the damage dealt to enemies. Using Blood Rage increases the life leech amount as well as the attack speed on you, but also increases the Chaos Damage degeneration.

Debuffs

A debuff is simply a buff that only provides a detrimental effect to the debuffed creature. Effects must be closely examined to determine whether they are considered a buff or debuff by the game, as it is not obvious. For instance both the bonus spell damage and the self-burn damage from Righteous Fire are part of a single buff, despite the fact that the burn is a detrimental effect. Another example is, poison damage is a debuff, while burn and bleed damage are status ailments.(exception is burn damage from Fire Trap is a debuff)

List of buffs & debuffs

Skills

Other

  • The effects granted by some items, like Onslaught and Unholy Might.
  • Map effects like Creeping Darkness.

List of things that are not buffs or debuffs

  • Elemental status effects (ignite, chill, freeze, shock).
  • Flask Effects regardless of the flask type
  • Endurance, Frenzy, and Power Charges.

Disputed

Passive skills

There are passive skills that grant buff bonuses.

Effectiveness of buffs

These passive skills grant increased effect magnitude for buffs from any source affecting the character.

Name Bonuses
Buff Effect
  • 3% increased Effect of Buffs on You
Athleticism
  • 8% increased maximum Life
  • 5% increased Effect of Buffs on You
  • +20 to Strength
Inner Force
  • 15% increased Effect of Buffs on You

References