Much like other weapon types, the deepwood staff’s card has a handful of keywords stating its intended function. In this case it’s “Sniper, Crowd Control, Damage Over Time”. However, as far as I can tell, it has no innate damage over time effect; while other weapons with the Damage Over Time tag, such as the hagbane bow, the dual daggers, and Sienna’s crowbill, fire sword, and dagger, without exception do.
I initially thought it might be the secondary fire that did some small amount of DoT, since the primary certainly doesn’t; but lifting enemies gives me no damage tick indicator (as usually appears with DoT) and also doesn’t trigger the blue crosshair kill indicator (from the mod) when the enemy dies (as i’d expect if i’d done any damage to it). Is there some kind of secret alternate-alternate fire mode that i’m missing, or is this just a text bug?