A Paladin player attacking raid boss Sarkareth using Consecration to apply DoT.

What Is DoT in World of Warcraft?

There's more than one way to cripple an enemy.

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Maya is a professional writer currently based in the South of England, with her niche being esports and video games. Having written for several popular websites, Maya thinks she has a trick up her sleeve for most games and is passionate about sharing them!

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

DoT stands for “damage over time,” which is an effective way to smite enemies in World of Warcraft. Debuffs like Bleed, Poison, Curse, and Burn are all examples of DoT effects.

Diving into dungeons and raids isn’t for the faint-hearted in MMO games like World of Warcraft! You’ll first need to learn the basics of mechanics like DoT (damage over time) in World of Warcraft to deal a steady stream of pain to your enemies and maximize your damage.

Table Of Contents

    DoT in World of Warcraft, Explained

    A Paladin player fighting Scale Commander Sarkareth in the WoW Dragonflight raid.

    DoT stands for Damage over Time. Instead of dealing tons of damage instantly, DoT refers to abilities that apply debuffs and deal damage over regular intervals for a specific duration. DoT is also called “periodic damage,” like curses, poisons, and bleeds—to name a few examples. Each burst of damage from a DoT ability is called a “tick.”

    DoT is comparable to another common abbreviation known as HoT, which stands for Healing over Time.

    Each “tick” will usually do the same amount of damage, but you can speed up the rate of these ticks by building “Haste” items relevant to your class. If you build enough Haste, you can fit more ticks into the duration of your casting. DoT abilities can interrupt CC (crowd control) abilities and other tasks like healing, crafting, or fishing.

    How Does DoT Work?

    DoT adds a unique layer to WoW gameplay, as you’ll need to manage your spells and cooldowns effectively to maximize your overall damage output. Here’s a brief rundown of everything to keep in mind.

    • Duration: How long the effect lasts on the target.
    • Interval: How often the effect tick on the target to causes damage.
    • Refresh: Often used when talking about casting the effect before the previous DoT expires.
    • Uptime: The percentage of time a DoT is active on a target.

    Once you cast your DoT spell, the debuff effect (like Poison) is applied to your target for a specified number of seconds. The DoT will tick once every [insert numerical value] seconds for the duration indicated by the spell. You should try to cast these spells so that the target always has a DoT effect on them to maximize your refresh rates.

    Classes That Use DoT in World of Warcraft

    A Paladin player flying on a drake in World of Warcraft Dragonflight.

    World of Warcraft has several classes that rely on DoT attacks to deal most of their damage, which can be either Physical or Magic damage. For example, Shadow Priests use strong abilities like Mind Flay and Shadow Word. These spells apply the Pain debuff to rend their enemy’s mind asunder. Here’s a list of some WoW classes and their specializations that rely on DoT skills.

    • Death Knights use Death and Decay
    • Unholy Knights use Disease and Festering Wounds
    • Feral Druids will Bleed enemies while Balance Druids can apply Burns
    • Fire Mages, as their name implies, deal Burn effects to targets
    • Hunters can cause Poisons, Bleeds, and Curses
    • Paladins apply DoT using Consecration, which damages all enemies standing in its AoE
    • Rogues have many DoT skills in all their specializations, including Poisons, Bleeds, and more
    • Some Shaman abilities will inflict Burns, while totems like Liquid Magma can also apply other DoT effects
    • Warriors cause Bleed DoT with Deep Wounds, Rend, and other abilities in their kit

    It can take time for players to get to grips with this complex WoW mechanic, but like they always say: practice makes perfect. Once you’ve mastered the art of DoT, you’ll be topping all the DPS meters in no time!

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