Diminishing returns

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Diminishing returns means that certain spells and abilities become less effective against a target if used frequently within a short period of time. While diminishing returns mostly applies to player characters, some abilities also have diminishing returns in PvE. 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 the same category share diminishing returns.

When an ability with diminishing returns is used against a target in PvP, the first effect has full PvP duration. If the same category of effect (e.g. root) is used on that target within 15 seconds, that effect's duration is reduced by 50%. On the third use, the duration is reduced by 75%. After this, the target is immune from all effects in that category for the next 15 seconds. Note that when used against another player, effects will only last for their PvP duration, often far shorter than the duration stated in the ability's tooltip. The maximum PvP duration is 8 seconds.

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 root spell active on them for more than 15 seconds, this category of diminishing returns will be reset on the target, and the next rooting spell will have full effect.

Table

The table below has been sorted out into diminishing returns categories. Each ability shares diminishing returns with the other abilities it has been listed with, and no others.

Category Class Ability PvP Duration
Roots Death Knight [Chains of Ice] with [Chilblains] 3 sec
Druid [Entangling Roots] 8 sec
Druid [Mass Entanglement] 8 sec
Hunter [Charge] 1 sec
Hunter [Narrow Escape] 8 sec
Hunter [Entrapment] 4 sec
Mage Freeze (Water Elemental) 8 sec
Mage [Frost Nova] 8 sec
Mage [Ice Ward] 5 sec
Monk [Disable] 3 sec
Priest [Mind Blast] with  [Glyph of Mind Blast] 4 sec
Priest [Void Tendrils] 8 sec
Shaman [Earthgrab Totem] 5 sec
Shaman [Frost Shock] with [Frozen Power] 5 sec
Stuns Death Knight [Asphyxiate] 5 sec
Death Knight [Gnaw] (Ghoul) 3 sec
Death Knight Monstrous Blow with Dark Transformation active 4 sec
Death Knight [Remorseless Winter] 6 sec
Druid [Maim] 1-5 sec
Druid [Mighty Bash] 5 sec
Druid [Pounce] 4 sec
Hunter [Binding Shot] 3 sec
Hunter [Intimidation] 3 sec
Mage [Deep Freeze] 5 sec
Monk [Charging Ox Wave] 3 sec
Monk [Fists of Fury] 4 sec
Monk [Leg Sweep] 5 sec
Paladin [Hammer of Justice] 6 sec
Paladin [Fist of Justice] 6 sec
Paladin [Holy Wrath] 3 sec
Rogue [Cheap Shot] 4 sec
Rogue [Kidney Shot] 2-6 sec
Shaman [Pulverize] (Primal earth elemental) 4 sec
Shaman Static Charge ( [Capacitor Totem]) 5 sec
Warlock [Axe Toss] (Felguard) 4 sec
Warlock [Shadowfury] 3 sec
Warlock [Summon Infernal] 2 sec
Warrior [Shockwave] 4 sec
Warrior [Storm Bolt] 4 sec
Tauren racial [War Stomp] 4 sec
Incapacitates Druid Incapacitating Roar 3 sec
Hunter [Freezing Trap] 8 sec
Hunter [Wyvern Sting] 6 sec
Mage [Dragon's Breath] 5 sec
Mage [Polymorph] 8 sec
Mage [Ring of Frost] 8 sec
Monk  [Glyph of Breath of Fire] 3 sec
Monk [Paralysis] 4 sec
Monk [Ring of Peace] 3 sec
Paladin [Repentance] 8 sec
Priest [Dominate Mind] 8 sec
Priest [Holy Word: Chastise] 3 sec
Priest [Psychic Horror] 3 sec
Rogue [Gouge] 4 sec
Rogue [Sap] 8 sec
Shaman [Hex] 8 sec
Warlock [Banish] 8 sec
Warlock [Blood Horror] 4 sec
Warlock [Mortal Coil] 3 sec
Pandaren racial [Quaking Palm] 4 sec
Disorients Druid [Cyclone] 8 sec
Paladin [Turn Evil] 8 sec
Priest [Psychic Scream] 6 sec
Rogue [Blind] 8 sec
Warlock [Fear] 8 sec
Warlock [Howl of Terror] 8 sec
Warlock [Mesmerize] (Shivarra pet) 8 sec
Warlock [Seduction] (Succubus pet) 8 sec
Warrior [Intimidating Shout] 8 sec
Silences Death Knight [Strangulate] 5 sec
Druid  [Glyph of Fae Silence] 3 sec
Mage [Frostjaw] 4 sec
Paladin [Avenger's Shield] 3 sec
Priest [Silence] 5 sec
Rogue [Garrote] 3 sec
Blood Elf racial [Arcane Torrent] 2 sec
AoE Knockbacks Death Knight [Gorefiend's Grasp] N/A
Druid [Typhoon] N/A
Druid [Ursol's Vortex] N/A
Hunter  [Glyph of Explosive Trap] N/A
Shaman [Thunderstorm] N/A
Warlock [Fellash] (Shivarra pet) N/A
Warlock [Whiplash] (Succubus pet) N/A

In PvE

Many types of crowd control also suffer from diminishing returns versus NPCs, usually stuns. 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.

Warlords of Draneor

Warlords of Draenor will see dramatic adjustments to existing diminishing returns categories.

  • All Roots now share the same DR category.
    • Exception: Roots on ' [Charge]' types of abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.
  • All Stuns now share the same DR category.
  • All Incapacitate effects now share the same DR category, and have been merged with the Horror DR category.
  • The Fear DR category has been merged with the Disorient DR category.
  • Numerous abilities have been moved to different DR categories.

6 diminishing returns categories remain:

Abilities list

Roots

  • Death knight
    • Chains of Ice (with Chilblains)
  • Druid
    • Entangling Roots
    • Mass Entanglement
  • Hunter
    • Charge (Tenacity pet)
    • Entrapment
    • Narrow Escape
  • Mage
    • Freeze Water Elemental
    • Frost Nova
    • Ice Ward
  • Monk
    • Disable
  • Priest
    • Glyph of Mind Blast
    • Void Tendrils
  • Shaman
    • Earthgrab Totem
    • Frost Shock (with Frozen Power)

Stuns

  • Death knight
    • Asphyxiate
    • Gnaw (Ghoul)
    • Monstrous Blow (Ghoul w/ Dark Transformation active)
    • Remorseless Winter
  • Druid
    • Maim
    • Mighty Bash
    • Rake
  • Hunter
    • Binding Shot
    • Intimidation
  • Mage
    • Deep Freeze
  • Monk
    • Charging Ox Wave
    • Fists of Fury
    • Leg Sweep
  • Paladin
    • Fist of Justice
    • Hammer of Justice
    • Holy Wrath
  • Rogue
    • Cheap Shot
    • Kidney Shot
  • Shaman
    • Pulverize (Primal Earth Elemental)
    • Static Charge (Capacitor Totem)
  • Warlock
    • Axe Toss (Felguard)
    • Shadowfury
    • Summon Infernal
  • Warrior
    • Shockwave
    • Storm Bolt
  • Racial
    • War Stomp

Incapacitates

  • Druid
    • Incapacitating Roar
  • Hunter
    • Freezing Trap
    • Wyvern Sting
  • Mage
    • Dragon's Breath
    • Polymorph
    • Ring of Frost
  • Monk
    • Glyph of Breath of Fire
    • Paralysis
    • Ring of Peace
  • Paladin
    • Repentance
  • Priest
    • Dominate Mind
    • Holy Word: Chastise
    • Psychic Horror
  • Rogue
    • Gouge
    • Sap
  • Shaman
    • Hex
  • Warlock
    • Banish
    • Blood Horror
    • Mortal Coil
  • Racial
    • Quaking Palm

Disorients

  • Druid
    • Cyclone
  • Paladin
    • Turn Evil
  • Priest
    • Psychic Scream
  • Rogue
    • Blind
  • Warlock
    • Fear
    • Howl of Terror
    • Mesmerize (Shivarra pet)
    • Seduction (Succubus pet)
  • Warrior
    • Intimidating Shout

Silences

  • Death knight
    • Strangulate
  • Druid
    • Glyph of Fae Silence
  • Mage
    • Frostjaw
  • Paladin
    • Avenger's Shield
  • Priest
    • Silence
  • Rogue
    • Garrote
  • Racial
    • Arcane Torrent

AoE knockbacks

  • Death knight
    • Gorefiend's Grasp
  • Druid
    • Typhoon
    • Ursol's Vortex
  • Hunter
    • Glyph of Explosive Trap
  • Shaman
    • Thunderstorm
  • Warlock
    • Fellash
    • Whiplash

Patch changes

  • MoP Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10):
    • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.
    • Area knockback effects now all share a diminishing return category. After a player has been moved by one of these spells, the player will be immune for 10 seconds. This new category applies to: [Fellash], [Gorefiend's Grasp],  [Glyph of Explosive Trap], [Thunderstorm], [Typhoon], [Ursol's Vortex], and [Whiplash].
    • [Divine Star]'s healing is no longer affecting by diminishing returns when used on multiple targets.
    • [Halo]'s healing is no longer affecting by diminishing returns when used on multiple targets.
  • Hotfix (2013-10-11): "We've seen some confusion recently about exactly which crowd control effects share diminishing returns. To hopefully clear that up, we're providing the following, categorized lists of all of the CC effects in the game. [...]"
  • MoP Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21): [Ring of Peace] had been redesigned. The ability forms an 8-yard sanctuary around a friendly target for 8 seconds, instantly disarming and silencing enemies within the area-of-effect for 3 seconds. Enemies that use abilities other than auto-attacks or cast spells on allies within the Ring of Peace will be disarmed and silenced for 3 seconds. Disarm and silence effects are subject to diminishing returns.
  • MoP Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): [Warbringer] now reduces the target's movement by 50% for 15 seconds (8 seconds in PvP), in addition to its other effects. The 3-second stun/knockdown is now in the diminishing returns category for stuns (same as [Shockwave] and [Storm Bolt]), and not the proc stun diminishing returns category.
  • MoP Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): The [Growl] pet ability will no longer cause diminishing returns against bosses that are immune to its effect.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28):
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26):
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08):
    • Hunter Pet Fix: Ravage no longer counts toward stun diminishing returns.
    • [Charge] now shares diminishing returns with stun effects.
    • [Charge]'s stun continues to not trigger diminishing returns for Protection warriors who have the [Warbringer] talent.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): [Improved Polymorph] now correctly shares diminishing returns with controlled stuns.
  • WotLK Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): 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.
  • 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 Anub'arak, but we didn't want the "right way" to defeat this fight to involve bringing five Paladins who used  [Glyph of Holy Wrath] on their Holy Wrath spell.
    "
  • WotLK 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].
  • WotLK Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Melee mitigation stats also have diminishing returns.
  • TBC Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13):
    • [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.
  • TBC Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22):
    • [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.png Patch 1.9.0 (2006-01-03): The stun effect's duration no longer diminishes or is diminished by controlled stun abilities and spells:
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png 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: