Diablo 4 – Minions Testing Guide (Damage / Attack Speed / Armor and Thorns)

Minions Testing (Updated for Season 4)

By Seetod.

The changes to be aware of are that Minions will now inherit 100% of your stats and abilities if they previously inherited 30% or already inherited 100%. However, if they currently do not benefit from a certain stat, that will not change.

There has also been a lot of confusion regarding “double-dipping.” People often have different interpretations of “double-dipping”, and I’ve seen speculation that (a) Damage to Close Enemies applies twice when both the player and the Necromancer stand close to the target and (b) abilities that say “increases your stat and your Minion’s stat by…” would give the Minions the Necro’s bonus in addition to the one they are already receiving. In all my testing throughout seasons 2 and 3 and PTR, I could not find any evidence of these types of double-dipping.

Damage

Methodology:

Repeatedly attacking the level 100 Training Dummy in various setups, documenting all damage instances. Many tests for general damage involve tracking damage from aspect of Coldbringer’s Cold-proc, which does not have variance. Unexpected results were further investigated in the open-world.

Results and Discussion:

Each Minion is associated with a specific type of elemental damage (Shadow, Cold, Physical) and benefits from bonuses to those elemental damages. However, Minions’ attacks are classified as Summoning-type, meaning that skill damage bonuses related to other skills (Bone, Blood, Darkness, Frost) do not contribute to the minion’s damage output.

Minions have their own inherent values, including “Skill %”, which is the Minion-equivalent of the base damage of a normal skill, a 50% Critical Strike multiplier, and 20% Vulnerable Damage multiplier.

Starting in season 4, Minions inherit either 0% or 100% of the Necromancer’s stats and bonuses, including legendary and unique bonuses, that do not specifically mention Minions or a type of Minion. If they inherited 30% of a stat in a previous season, then that will become 100%, and if they previously did not inherit a stat, they will continue to not inherit it.

If the text of an interaction says, “you and your Minions do not benefit from the bonus given to the Necromancer. For example, the Control glyph’s text says, “You and Your Minion’s deal 20%[x] increased damage.” The Minion does not gain two 20%[x] damage multipliers. Additionally, Inspiring Leader’s text says, “While you are Healthy, you gain 4%[+] increased Critical Strike Chance and your Minion’s gain 6% increased Critical Strike Chance.” Minions would gain 6%[+] Critical Strike Chance, but they would not also gain the 4%[+] that the Necromancer gains.

Attack Speed

Methodology:

Added or removed various sources of Attack Speed (AS) bonuses. Calculated the average number of frames per hit (between consecutive damage instances) across a specific duration. Tests prior to Season 4’s PTR involving Unyielding Commander required calculating the average number of frames per attack during Army of the Dead’s duration. All tests were recorded at 60 FPS.

Results and Discussion:

There are two distinct attack speed caps, each set at 100%, with a cumulative cap of 200%. For example, Minions would benefit from just 100% AS from an aspect of Unyielding Commander (cap 2) that rolls up to 200% AS. However, the Minions would still benefit from up to 100% applied AS from sources that fall under cap 1, such as Minion Attack Speed and Attack Speed.

It should be noted that the impact attack speed has on increasing the Minion’s attack animations over time diminishes to a much greater extent than expected, potentially due breakpoints.

Changes from Season 3 to Season 4 include Minions inheriting Weapon Attack and the Necromancer’s AS bonuses at 100% effectiveness.

Cult Leader

Methodology:

Tracking damage from Coldbringer’s aspect or Bone Golem with the Cult Leader node activated, while also manipulating attack speed values. Tested on the Training Dummy and verified in the open-world.

Results and Discussion:

The Cult Leader node functions as a global 30%[x] multiplier to damage from minions for every 20% Attack Speed that is applied to minions, with the exception of Golem Attack Speed.

This damage multiplier does not have a cap. Attack Speed sources are also not restricted to Caps 1 and 2. For instance, a 200% aspect of Unyielding Commander resulted in a large damage multiplier that would not have been possible if caps applied, and the addition of another source of Attack Speed could be applied to give even more damage. In Season 4, it is expected that Cult Leader will have a cap of 150%[x] damage.

Armor and Thorns

Methodology:

Tracking thorn damage from Minions in various setups on a level 100 character against level 100 enemies in the open-world. The Bone Golem’s innate flat armor on a level 100 character was determined based on the value required for the Bone Golem’s thorns to deal a certain amount of damage while active.

Results and Discussion:

At level 100, the Bone Golem inherits all of the Necromancer’s flat armor and Total Armor % (TA%) when calculating its thorns damage while activated, and has a base armor of -140 on a naked level 100 character. The Armor Formula for Bone Golem is as follows:

Bone Golem's Armor = (1 + Necromancer's TA% + Golem TA% + Death Defense's TA% + Minion Armor% + Warrior Glyph's Armor%) x (Necromancer's Flat Armor - 140)

It is important to note that “TA% while Golems are Active” from the Hulking Monstrosity paragon board does not apply to Bone Golem.

In Season 3, Minions inherited 30% of the Necromancer’s thorns damage, which is expected to increase to 100% effectiveness. This effectiveness can be increased by the “Minions Inherit [+]% of Your Thorns” affix and is additive with other thorns inheriting affixes. When Bone Golem is activated, it gains 70% of its armor as thorns damage in Season 3. With the second upgrade, which will be replaced with a different ability in Season 4, it increases its base inheritance from 30% to 50%. The formula for the thorns damage of an activated Bone Golem with upgrade 2 in Season 3 would be:

Activated Bone Golem (upgrade 2)'s Thorns Damage =  (50% + Minions Inherit Thorns Affix %) x (Necromancer's Thorns) + 70% x (Golem's Armor) x (Other Applicable Damage Multipliers)

Finally, all Minions that cannot increase their thorns inheritance deal the same base thorns damage with no variance, including Blood Golem with its second upgrade.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13576 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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