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Diminishing returns

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Diminishing returns, abbreviated DR, means that certain spells and abilities are less effective against player characters if they are used frequently within a short period of time. The table below contains a list of abilities that are affected by DR, and under what circumstances. In addition, DR categories are listed. Effects within same category diminish each other.

When a spell with diminishing returns is used against a target in PvP, the first effect has full duration. The effect then diminishes by 50%, then 75%, then the target becomes immune. Spells must be used on the same target within 15 seconds of the *end* of the duration in order to be diminished. In other words, if a target hasn't had a stun effect active on them for more than 15 seconds, the next stun will have full effect.

Some abilities share diminishing returns—that is, it doesn't matter which one you use; the next time you use an ability in the same category on the same target, its duration will be diminished just as if you had used the exact same ability. These abilities fall into the same category.

It should be noted that the server does not reset diminishing returns after exactly 15 seconds. Instead, it checks every 5 seconds if there are any diminishing returns that should be reset because the last spell in their category was cast on the target more than 15 seconds ago. As a result, a particular diminishing return category may take anywhere between 15 and 20 seconds to reset. Most addons guess that a DR category has reset after 18 seconds by default.

Table

Class Effect PvP PvP
Duration (s)
PvE PvE
Duration (s)
DR Category
Death Knight Gnaw (Pet) Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Hungering Cold Yes 8 No 10 Disorient
Strangulate Yes 5 No 5 Silence
Druid Bash Yes 4-5 Yes 4-5 Controlled Stun
Cyclone Yes 6 Yes 6 None
Entangling Roots Yes 8 No 30 Controlled Root
Hibernate Yes 8 No 40 Disorient
Maim Yes 1-5 Yes 1-5 Controlled Stun
Pounce Yes 3-4 No 3-4 Controlled Stun
Hunter Entrapment Yes 4 No 4 None
Freezing Trap Yes 8 No 60 Disorient
Pin (Pet) Yes 4 No 4 Controlled Root
Scare Beast Yes 8 No 20 Fear
Scatter Shot Yes 4 No 4 Scatter
Intimidation Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Ravage (Pet) Yes 2 Yes 2 Controlled Stun
Silencing Shot Yes 3 No 3 Silence
Sonic Blast (Pet) Yes 2 Yes 2 Controlled Stun
Snatch (Pet) Yes 6 No 6 Disarm
Wyvern Sting Yes 6 No 30 Disorient
Mage Deep Freeze Yes 5 Yes 5 Controlled Stun + Ring of Frost
Dragon's Breath Yes 5 No 5 Scatter
Freeze (Pet) Yes 8 No 8 Controlled Root
Frost Nova Yes 8 No 8 Controlled Root
Improved Cone of Cold Yes 4 No 4 Random Root
Impact Yes 2 Yes 2 Random Stun
Improved Counterspell Yes 4 No 4 Silence
Polymorph Yes 8 No 50 Disorient
Ring of Frost Yes 8 Yes 8 Disorient + Deep Freeze
Shattered Barrier Yes 8 No 8 Random Root
Slow No 8 No 15 None
Paladin Hammer of Justice Yes 6 Yes 6 Controlled Stun
Holy Wrath Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Repentance Yes 6 No 60 Disorient
Turn Evil Yes 8 No 20 Fear
Avenger's Shield Yes 3 No 3 Silence
Priest Psychic Scream Yes 8 No 8 Fear
Mind Control Yes 8 No 60 None
Psychic Horror Yes 3 No 3 Horror
Psychic Horror (Disarm Effect) Yes 8 No 10 Disarm
Shackle Undead Yes 8 No 50 Disorient
Silence Yes 5 No 5 Silence
Rogue Blind Yes 8 No 10 Fear
Cheap Shot Yes 4 No 4 Controlled Stun
Dismantle Yes 8 No 10 Disarm
Garrote Yes 3 No 3 Silence
Gouge Yes 4-5.5 No 4 Disorient
Improved Kick Yes 2 No 2 Silence
Kidney Shot Yes 2-6 Yes 6 Controlled Stun
Sap Yes 8 No 60 Disorient
Shaman Bash (Pet) Yes 2 Yes 2 Controlled Stun
Earth's Grasp Yes 5 No 5 Controlled Root
Frozen Power Yes 5 No 5 Controlled Root
Frost Shock No 8 No 8 None
Stoneclaw Totem Yes 3 Yes 3 Random Stun
Hex Yes 8 No 30 Disorient
Warlock Banish Yes 6 No 30 None
Death Coil Yes 3 No 3 Horror
Demon Charge Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Fear Yes 8 No 20 Fear
Howl of Terror Yes 8 No 8 Fear
Intercept (Felguard) Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Seduction Yes 8 No 15 Fear
Shadowfury Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Spell Lock Yes 3 No 3 Silence
Warrior Charge No 1.5 No 1.5 None
Concussion Blow Yes 5 Yes 5 Controlled Stun
Disarm Yes 8 No 10 Disarm
Gag Order Yes 3 No 3 Silence
Intercept Yes 3 Yes 3 Controlled Stun
Hamstring No 8 No 15 None
Improved Hamstring Yes 5 No 5 Random Root
Intimidating Shout Yes 8 No 8 Fear
Shockwave Yes 4 Yes 4 Controlled Stun
Throwdown Yes 5 Yes 5 Controlled Stun
Racial Arcane Torrent Yes 2 No 2 Silence
War Stomp Yes 2 Yes 2 Controlled Stun

Shared Diminishing Return Categories

  • Controlled Root - Freeze (Water Elemental), Pin (Crab), Frost Nova, Entangling Roots, Earthgrab (Earth's Grasp), Frost Shock (Frozen Power)
  • Controlled Stun - Bash, Concussion Blow, Deep Freeze, Demon Charge, Gnaw, Holy Wrath, Inferno Effect (Doomguard summon), Hammer of Justice, Intercept (Felguard), Intercept (Warrior), Intimidation, Kidney Shot, Maim, Ravage, Shadowfury, Shockwave, Sonic Blast, War Stomp, Throwdown
  • Disarm - Chimera Shot - Scorpid, Disarm, Dismantle, Psychic Horror (Disarm effect), Snatch
  • Disorient - Freezing Arrow, Freezing Trap, Gouge, Hex, Hibernate, Hungering Cold, Polymorph, Repentance, Sap, Shackle, Wyvern Sting
  • Fear - Blind, Fear (Warlock), Howl of Terror, Intimidating Shout, Psychic Scream, Scare Beast, Seduction (Pet), Turn Evil
  • Horror - Death Coil, Psychic Horror
  • Opener Stun - Cheap Shot, Pounce
  • Random Root - Improved Cone of Cold, Improved Hamstring, Shattered Barrier
  • Random Stun - Impact, Seal of Justice, Stoneclaw Stun
  • Silence - Arcane Torrent, Gag Order (Warrior talent), Garrote, Improved Counterspell, Nether Shock, Silencing Shot, Improved Kick, Shield of the Templar, Silence (Priest), Spell Lock, Strangulate
  • Taunt - Angered Earth, Challenging Howl, Challenging Roar, Challenging Shout, Dark Command, Death Grip, Distracting Shot, Growl (Druid), Hand of Reckoning, Mocking Blow, Righteous Defense, Taunt (Pet),Taunt (Warrior)
  • Scatter - Scatter Shot, Dragon's Breath

Banish, Charge, Cyclone, Entrapment, and Mind Control are on diminishing returns with themselves.

Diminishing Returns in PvE

Many types of crowd control also suffer from diminishing returns versus NPCs. Diminishing returns do not count per player but per creature; every creature has its own diminishing return for each group of CC and all players in your party / raid will be affected by that diminishing return.

Patch changes

  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009): Taunt Diminishing Returns: We've revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the Taunt effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Hotfix (2009-09-09): "We just deployed a hotfix to modify [Holy Wrath] so this spell has the same diminishing return mechanics that other player stun spells and abilities currently have. This will prevent Undead creatures that we wish to be susceptible to stun from being permanently stunned if you include enough Paladins in your raid who then rotate their Holy Wrath casts.

    This will affect the difficulty of Combat 15 Anub'arak, but we didn't want the "right way" to defeat this fight to involve bringing five Paladins who [glyphed] their Holy Wrath spell.
    "
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Hotfix (2009-04-30): "Blind (Rogue) is now in the same diminishing returns category as Fear effects, but no longer shares diminishing returns with Cyclone (Druid)."
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): All Silence spells now have diminishing returns. This includes: Arcane Torrent, Garrote silence effect, Improved Counterspell effect, Improved Kick effect, Silence, Gag Order, Silencing Shot, Spell Lock, and Strangulate.
  • Bc icon/Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008):  Melee mitigation stats also have diminishing returns.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.3.0 (13-Nov-2007):
    • Blind is now a physical (no longer a poison) attack. Reagent requirement removed. Now shares the same diminish category as Cyclone and is now diminished in PvE as well as PvP.
    • Riposte is now subject to diminishing returns in PvP.
    • Frost Shock is no longer subject to diminishing returns.
    • Unstable Affliction: The silence from this ability is now subject to diminishing returns.
    • Disarm is now subject to diminishing returns in PvP.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007):
    • Entrapment (Survival): Effect duration reduced to 4 seconds and is now subject to diminishing returns in PvP.
    • Frostbite effect is now subject to diminishing returns in PvP.
    • Death Coil is now is now subject to diminishing returns in the Horror category.
    • Reputation: Players will experience diminished gains in reputation from killing outdoor mobs while in raids larger than five players.
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.9.0 (03-Jan-2006): The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells:
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): A handful of spells were added to the list of spells subject to diminishing returns in PvP. It is our goal to set as few spells as possible to be diminished. We've identified this short list of spells as having durations and cooldowns sufficient to almost permanently slow or immobilize targets but without adequate controls or other limiting factors. When a spell with diminishing returns is used against a target in PvP, the first effect has full duration. On the second use of the same category of spell (e.g. slowing), that spell's duration is reduced by 50%. On the third use, the duration is reduced by 75%. On the fourth attempt, the target becomes immune to the spell. Spells must be used on the same target within 15 seconds of the *end* of the duration in order to be diminished. In other words, if a target hasn't had a slowing spell active on them for more than 15 seconds, the next slowing spell will have full effect. The list of affected spells is:

See also

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