The Life per Hit affix is changing in function in Patch 2.1, especially with how it works through channeled skills and AoE attacks. Happily, there’s a new blue post in which Blizzard Explains the Big Life On Hit Changes:
The bullet-point basics:
More long-form explanation:
Currently in the live game, you’ll receive Life On Hit when an ability hits an enemy, and then that mechanic is run through the proc coefficient of the ability itself. As a general rule, this means that many AoE skills give very small amounts of Life On Hit vs. single targets, and you typically get large amounts of Life on Hit against multiple targets.
We want players to be able to heal consistently at the times you need it most: Boss fights and Elite fights. To support this, we’re altering some of the conditions of Life On Hit. Life On Hit will now trigger once per ability activation as long as that ability requires an animation*. This means casting Magic Missile, Frozen Orb, and Blizzard all provide the same Life On Hit per cast. Channeled spells provide an equivalent amount of healing over any given period of time to non-channeled spells.
Not only does this allow you to gain more Life when you’re attacking a low number of targets with AoE skills, it provides more consistent healing between various skills, and it also separates Life On Hit from the proc system. This last benefit is important as it means we can be more generous with allowing Legendary items to proc various effects.
All of that said, there is still some tuning to do now that we’ve adjusted how Life on Hit works. We’ll be keeping an eye a close eye on it, and continue to make the necessary adjustments to get it in line with where we want.
*Attacks that deal damage, but don’t animate (like Overpower, or Frost Nova) do not trigger Life on Hit. The intention is to prevent double LoH procs per animation cycle since these skills can be cast while attacking, or channeling.
The long form explanation sounds good; more consistent value from the affix rather than “always full health” against large groups and “never enough health” against a single target. Plus, if removing it from the procs system can allow legendary properties to kick in more often, that’s a nice change. I’m sure there are some drawbacks as well… right?