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Three new Arc Mist runewords, Pattern claws, and Flickering Flame helmet
Assassin Trombe Whirlwind, the power of physical damage and traps Diablo 2 Resurrected

Mechanics Diablo 2 Median XL

Mechanics Guide

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Diablo 2 Median XL mechanics guide: I explain how damage works but also the abbreviations linked to your builds

Three new Arc Mist runewords, Pattern claws, and Flickering Flame helmet
Assassin Trombe Whirlwind, the power of physical damage and traps Diablo 2 Resurrected
Lexicon and acronyms Gamer and Hack and Slash by Dm Gaming


  • Intro: (00:00)
  • Attack or Spell ?: (00:18)
  • Useful terms, fhr, cb, ewd, etc: (02:10)
  • Spell damage calculation: (08:13)
  • Calculation of attack damage: (09:40)
  • Attack, Spellcasting, Cooldown, and Block Speed: (11:49)
  • Stats Calculator and Mercenary: (15:43)
  • Last word: (18:17)

Attack or Spell?

First information but essential to understanding the game, you have two types of spells:

  • those based on your weapon, e.g. Shower or Rocks, 160% weapon damage
  • those based on your energy, e.g. Forked Lightning

It is crucial to differentiate these types of spells because the modifiers will be different:

  • % spells damage,% physical spell damage,% magical spell damage,% lightning cold fire poison spell damage do not affect spells based on your weapon
  • effects that are added to your weapon do not affect spells based on your energy, for example Snake Stance which adds poison damage to the weapon does not add damage to your spell

In order not to get confused, I recommend that you don't call anything weapon-related "spell", so you don't take any spell modifiers, and vice versa. Spell focus is therefore only useful for spells.

Be careful, some Spells are indicated "attack" but work as a spell, as is the case for the Blood Thorn or the Paladin's Lemure for example. Thanks to Fex for the info!

Median XL jargon

Here are all the attack definitions:

  • Crushing blow: reduces life by 1/4, does not work on bosses from Median XL but from Diablo 2
  • Deadly Strike: damage x2
  • FPA: Frames Per Attack, your attack speed
  • IAS: Increase Attack Speed, your attack speed multiplier
  • AR: Attack Rate, your chance to hit
  • EWD: Enhanced Weapon Damage, multiplies your weapon damage
  • FCR: Faster Casting Rate, your improved spell casting speed
  • OW: Open Wound, your chance for the attack to deal damage over time (bleed)
  • ED: Enhanced Damage on weapons
  • Pierce: Crosses enemy armor
  • UA: Uninterruptible Attack, the percentage of chance that your attack will not be interrupted
  • WDM: Weapon Damage Modify the percentage of weapon damage the skill does
  • WSM: Weapon Speed ​​Modifier, modifies the attack speed of the weapon
  • % spell damage: fire / cold / lightning / poison / physical / magical spells

Here are all resistance definitions:

  • FHR: Faster Hit Recovery, the time it takes to move or attack after receiving a hit
  • FBR: Faster Block Rate, time to block
  • FRW: Faster Run / Walk, your movement speed
  • MDR: Magic Damage Reduce, your magic damage reduction, in% or raw damage
  • ED: Enhanced Defense on armor
  • Dodge: Avoid a melee attack by standing still or attacking
  • Avoid: Avoid a ranged attack by standing still or attacking
  • Evade: Avoid a melee or ranged attack by walking or running
  • Res: your resistances to an element
  • Abs: absorption, heals the percentage of damage received
  • DR: Damage Reduce, your damage reduction
  • TCD: Total Character Defense, the same system as EWD, multiplies your total armor

Calculation of attack damage

The form of attack is more complicated, here is how it works:

  1. Ethereal bonus (50% weapon damage if ethereal)
  2. % ED
  3. + Flat Damage (min and max damage added)
  4. % physical damage: EWD, physical damage and Str or Dex bonus
  5. Chance Deadly Strike
  6. % Possible conversion
  7. + Elemental flat damage
  8. % WDM of the spell

Calculation of spell damage

Here is the damage formula:

  • [130 x (energy + 20)] / (500 + energy) + min (spell focus / 10; 100) x spell damage

Video fix
As long as you don't have 1000 spell focus, the min value will vary and will be less than 100. So it will be interesting to have spell focus from the start. A big thank you to Garibaldi for bringing this clarification!

Attack, Spellcasting, Recovery, and Block Speed

It is imperative that you understand the speeds of the game, because 10% attack speed will not make you type 10% faster! The speeds are calculated in level and frame per second. Each level corresponds to a number of frames. Diablo 2 is based on a 25 APF system, if you have a 10 APF spell, you can cast it 2,5 times in one second. You must absolutely reach the next level, otherwise there is no point in going beyond the previous level. Let's take an example :

  • 15 - 0
  • 14 - 3
  • 13 - 9
  • 12 - 20
  • 11 - 35
  • 10 - 56
  • 9 - 92
  • 8 - 163

We can see that if I go from 92 cast speed to 163, you only gain one frame, or about 10% of the spell casting speed, for a barely huge cost, 92 to 163 faster cast rate. It will therefore be much more judicious to aim for the level of 10 or 9.

Second example with Block Speed:

  • FPA-BS
  • 12 - 0
  • 11 - 5
  • 10 - 10
  • 9 - 18
  • 8 - 27
  • 7 - 40
  • 6 - 65
  • 5 - 109
  • 4 - 232

The level at 7 or even 6 FPA is therefore much more interesting than that at 5 or 4.

Please note, here these are only abstract examples, the FHR, FBR, FCR and IAS depend on your weapon and your class. To avoid learning them all by heart (if there are former D2 players like me who had to do it, do not hesitate to show yourself on the comments), you have a utility on Median XL:

Stats calculator and mercenary

Since there are so many statistics, the good news is that D2Stats brings them together for you. To install it:

  • go on the official website then D2Stats 
  • authorize the application on Windows Defender
  • launch the utility and click on Read when your game is open
  • remember to do your possible buffs, click on Read again if necessary

For your mercenary and as I told you in the game guide, there is no more damage displayed on spells with 2.0. Luckily D2Stats lets you view these stats, just check Mercenary. Thanks to Golgoth for the info!

To test any object, on you or your mercenary you just have to change one hand to the other then click on Read.

d2stats median xlMy barbarian's stats, including the physical damage I framed you

Alchemists dm gaming

With all of this information, dealing and receiving damage on Diablo 2 Median XL should no longer be a problem. Remember to optimize the stats according to the type of attack or spell, then adjust your IAS / FCR and FHR / FBR levels! And if necessary, as usual do not hesitate if you have any questions!

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By Alchemists, August 2021

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