Life Steal is a frequently encountered trait on items (generally weapons). It allows the user to replenish their Life with damage dealt against the enemy.
The steal comes from how much damage you do to the monster. So 5% Life Stolen will return 5% of the damage you do to a monster, adjusted by the amount of Drain Effectiveness the monster has. Life and Mana steal only work on Melee, and physical ranged attacks.
Diablo and HellfireEdit
Life steal is only available in 3 forms; Life Stealing, 3% Life Steal, and 5% Life Steal. The Life Stealing affix can only be found on the Undead Crown, possessed by the Skeleton King, but it offers 1%-12.5% life stolen per hit, and stacks with life steal on the hero's weaponry. 3% Life Steal and 5% Life Steal, however, cannot stack if a Bard from Hellfire were to try to dual wield weapons with those suffixes. Only the most powerful of the combination applies.
Diablo II/ Lord of DestructionEdit
Life Steal gains some potency, and is generally among the affixes wanted by Melee and Ranged physical attack heroes alike. They can spawn on Weapons, Jewelry, Circlets, and Gloves. In the case of a hero possessing 2 weapons, such as a Barbarian or an Assassin dual wielding Claw-class weaponry, the life steal is specific to the weapon possessing that affix. A hero's change in difficulty level will affect how effective Life Steal is. Nightmare Difficulty will halve the effectiveness compared to Normal, while Hell Difficulty will cut the effectiveness to 1/3rd compared to Normal.
Life Steal returns in Diablo 3, although it has been nerfed from Diablo II/Lord of Destruction. For one thing, the maximum life stealing possible is 6% from a Two-Handed Weapon, and 3% for all other sources. To complicate matters, only the Barbarian has access to a Passive Skill that grants them life steal, and their Mighty Belts can roll life steal. This, in turn, leads to different legitimate caps of life stealing for different classes. From top to bottom they are:
- Barbarian : 12% Life Steal, 3% from a Passive, 6% from their Weapons, and 3% from their Mighty Belts. In addition, certain Runes for certain skills can add further Life Steal, but only temporarily or for the attack
- Monk : 6% Life Steal, 3% from wielding 2 weapons with the affix, or 6% from a Two-Handed Weapon. They do not possess a skill that grants them Life Steal as of now.
- Demon Hunter : 6% Life Steal if they choose to dual wield Hand Crossbows, 3% otherwise. They, however, possess a skill that can grant them more Life Steal for 5 seconds, at a cost of 14 Discipline.
- Wizard : 6% if they choose to go with a Two-Handed Weapon, 3% otherwise. Certain runes for certain spells, however, can grant more Life Steal, but only for either a 5 minute duration, or for the attack.
- Witch Doctor : 6% if they choose to go with a Two-Handed Weapon, 3% otherwise. They do not possess a skill that grants Life Steal as of now.
Like in Diablo II/Lord of Destruction, changing difficulties will reduce the effectiveness of Life Stealing. Comparing to Normal, the difficulty levels reduce effectiveness by:
- Nightmare : 30%
- Hell : 60%
- Inferno : 80%