Heroes of the Storm

D.Va’s Defense Matrix – a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.

HeroesoftheStorm 1 - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.

You might or might not have seen a post I made about a couple of weeks ago going into D.Va's bugs(I found more, btw), in that, I actually didn't mention all of the irregularities of D.Va's Defense Matrix, and I feel I should, as some could even probably be called bugs to some extent.

The first thing is how the damage is reduced – this is done using a behavior(almost everything in the game that is placed on a unit uses one of these, it's nothing irregular in that), and the settings for that behavior
cZ93Kx7 - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.
can be seen here

The important bit is everthing contained within the DamageResponse section – the chance means it'll always happen, the Handled is what happens when a DamageResponse happens, the ValidateEffectAliasesOp and ValidateEffectAliases go hand-in-hand to make it not apply to damage effects with the PercentDamage Alias, the location is whether the DamageResponse is applying to outgoing damage or incoming damage(Attacker vs Defender), and ModifyFraction modifies any damage that passes all of those above rules.

The Handled setting in this case, is used to the audio and visual that accompanies damage being reduced, and the ModifyFraction is what actually does the reduction seen.

You might be thinking "Well, that all makes sense, so what's the issue?", and to that, this methodology is actually unique within damage reduction abilities in Heroes –
SHCnnaE - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.
almost every other damage reduction functions differently.

How DamageDealtFraction works is different, which thanks to this awesome post by
TalesNT - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that./u/TalesNT, you can see the difference between these two in the entry for damage, which I'll quote for ease of use:

Damage: ((BaseDamage(Scalinglevel),Mod+w/Accumulatorw/Accumulator)+Flatmodifier)(1+Multiplicativemodifiers,DamageDealtFractions,AttributeFactor))(1+UnifiedDamageDealtFraction)*ModifyFraction, then it's further reduced by armor

Note how early DamageDealtFraction is applied in comparison to ModifyFraction, and how it's applied at the same time as AttributeFactor and MultiplicativeModifiers, and before UnifiedDamageDealtFraction? What this means is that DamageDealtFraction does not reduce(or increase, for that matter) any damage bonus granted from any of those three bonuses, which means things like Alarak's Sadism(MultiplicativeModifier) or how Structures take half damage from D.Va's Self-Destruct(AttributeFactor) aren't affected by DamageDealtFraction

So that's a good bonus for Defense Matrix -it gets greater value than any other damage reduction in the game, as it is applied last in the chain on the attacker. But there's a dark side – Summons and Summon-like abilities.

Summons, if you don't know, as
of this patch have their damage reduced from the creator's DamageDealtFraction behaviors. This also might be intended, but heroic summons aren't affected by this change, like Nova's Holo Decoy(By the way, they use ModifyFraction to have their damage reduced, which brings on other issues…) or Samuro's Mirror Images.

But that's DamageDealtFraction, not ModifyFraction. Summons aren't affected by their creator's ModifyFraction behaviors. This might be intended, it might not be, but currently it's rather spotty for when a summon deals the damage, and for when the creator deals the damage. I went through each and every thing that I could find and tested it all, and so here's the full list of abilities or attacks that cannot be reduced by Defense Matrix, in no particular order:


Kelthuzad -Death and Decay cast from the Shade created by The Damned Return
Probius – Photon Cannon Basic Attacks, Pylon Basic Attacks granted by Pylon Overcharge(Null Gate can be reduced by casting Defense Matrix on Probius)
Malfurion – Treant Basic Attacks, created by Vengeful Roots
Blaze – Ignited Oil Spills
Chromie – Sand Blast cast Sand Clones, both from talent and baseline, note that their Basics are cast by Chromie(told you it's inconsistent)
Zagara – Baneling Explosion, Roachlings Basic Attacks, Hunter Killer Basic Attacks(both Hydralisk and Mutalisk) Nazeebo – Zombie Wall Basic Attacks(Both Stationary and Chasing, Ring of Poison can be reduced), Jar of Spiders(When they attack), Gargantuan(Both Stomp and it's own Basic Attacks)
Tychus – Laser Drill
Gazlowe – Rockit Turret(Both Basic Attacks and Firin' Mah Lazorz)
Stitches – Putrid Bile
Sgt. Hammer – Spider Mines(Both Baseline and Pulse Detonation Core explosions)
Raynor – Raynor's Banshee
Xul – Raise Skeleton, Jailors, Skeletal Mages
Vikings – Longboat Raid(Both Basic Attacks and Mortar, Longboat can't be affected by Defense Matrix)
Li Li – Cloud Serpent Basic Attacks
Kerrigan – Ultralisk Basic Attacks
Kaelthas – Phoenix Basic Attacks, Phoenix Redirect(Passthrough damage, initial cast damage can be reduced)
Jaina – Water Elemental Basic Attacks, Abilities cast by Water Elemental with Wintermute
Azmodan – Summon Demon Warrior Basic Attacks(Burning Rage effect can be reduced), Summon Demon Lieutenant, Demonic Invasion(Grunt Basic Attacks, Grunt Death Explosion, Impact can be reduced)
Arthas – Army of the Dead Ghoul Basic Attacks
Anub'arak – Scarab Host Beetle Basic Attacks
Abathur – Locust Basic Attacks(both Melee and Ranged variants) cannot be reduced, Monstrosity basics cannot be reduced, Volatile Mutation is cast from Abathur if it's a Monstrosity(can be reduced by casting matrix on Abathur), is cast from the clone if it's Ultimate Evolution(can be reduced by casting matrix on clone), Hivemind & Symbiote cannot be reduced, and is cast from the Symbiote

There's also some other oddities I found while going through this, which you can see here:

Blaze – The hero that casts the Bunker attack is the hero that "owns" it
Deckard – Ancient Blessings causes the attacker to deal the damage rather than Deckard
Medivh – Raven Familiar has Medivh deal the damage
Sylvanas – Probably intended, but Possessed Minion's don't belong to Sylvanas, they belong to the team.

So that's all the things that Defense Matrix cannot reduce, or behave in unexpected ways when it comes to how you want to reduce them. I mentioned this in the other post, but there's also the broken interaction between Defense Matrix, Percent Damage, and Self-Destruct charge from taking damage.

For those who read this far,
gGuT4zU - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.
here's one method to fix the summoned units not being affected by Defense Matrix, which I tested using the methods described in this post, and
OKdv75K - D.Va's Defense Matrix - a deep dive into how it works, and the flaws and benefits of that.
here's how Defense Matrix, Percent Damage and Self-Destruct charge can be fixed.

How that Summon fix works – when the ImpactSet for Defense Matrix fires, it looks at the player owner of the target unit, and gets every unit that they own, filters only summons, but not missiles, dead or hidden ones, and does the DVaMechDefenseMatrixSummonedUnitImpactSet effect, which then applies the Defense Matrix debuff to each unit. I think the ideal solution would actually be to rework all summons to have the creator deal the damage – look at Murky, everything he does is dealt by him – Egg Hunt Egg Slimes, March of the Murlocs DoT, Pufferfish, everything. It proves that it's possible to do, but I know that'd involve much, much more work, like rework-level stuff, for every hero affected. It's a lot of work. This was an easy solution, and pretty hacky, and also could be expensive on resources.

How the Percent Damage fix works – if the damaging effect has both the Kind setting of Ability and the ArmorMitigationRule of None, then it assumes it's percentage damage, and thus wasn't reduced by DVaMechDefenseMatrixDebuff, so it doesn't increase it back up. The perfect fix would be to instead look for the PercentDamage alias, but triggers can't seem to retrieve that info, and currently only percent damage has both of those settings.

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