Diablo® III

Is the Monk Picture Incomplete?

So I frequently chime in here or there to mention that the Monk has fewer skills than other classes and that seems problematic...

...now I wonder if anyone else here tinkers with the other classes enough to know if any of them struggle with basic questions about their classes (like the math behind a damage dealing skill--as another thread on Golden Conviction and Way of the Hundred Fists interact, or so on). Does anyone here know if other classes have to deal with pernicious problems like how skills will end up interacting with passives?

Again a disclaimer--I love the monk, and it'll be my first class. It might seem like I'm bashing it, but I'm not--I'm just trying to 'mentally explore' the class' design philosophy.
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I think the monk's skills have the most uncertainty in how they work/synergize with other skills but other classes have these issues too. Overly simplified tooltips are the culprit I suspect.

Also, the Monk may have the fewest skills but honestly, I think he's the most powerful class and still the most versatile. The monk actually manages to "do more with less" compared to the other classes. There are many strategies you can do with the monk and so many different ways of reaching those goals. The same can't be said for every other class (I think the Barbarian is the best example of this). The other classes kinda need the "extra" skills to achieve what the monk does but I still think they fall short.
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That's an interesting perspective Meekle. If you're still around (or maybe up for it tomorrow), I'd love if you'd flesh it out with some more details and examples. I suppose I can see what you're saying--the monk can tank, heal, and dish out fairly impressive damage...possibly in the same build depending on what you're trying to do (the only archetype that the monk fails to grasp is ranged). However, this is more about how a monk can fill several roles, and not necessarily how a monk would have several ways to fill these roles. Also what's your example of other classes having difficulty with active/passive skill synergy? I'm trying to think of one but I'm coming up short.
Edited by bluewolf on 1/11/2012 3:01 AM PST
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01/11/2012 01:56 AMPosted by bluewolf
Also what's your example of other classes having difficulty with active/passive skill synergy? I'm trying to think of one but I'm coming up short.
The best I can do off the top of my head is Magic Weapon for the wizard. It was debated how/when its damage buff was applied. Will it increase melee damage only or will it increase spell damage too?
Archon for the wizard. I bet most people couldn't tell you what skills the Archon has besides Disintegrate (if it's even called that in Archon form).
01/11/2012 01:56 AMPosted by bluewolf
However, this is more about how a monk can fill several roles, and not necessarily how a monk would have several ways to fill these roles
let's look at survivability on the monk for a second. Just about every skill (offensive and defensive), when runed, has a viable way to increase the Monks survivability. It allows the Monk to have no cookie cutter build (or at least a lot more of them) because there are so many skills that overlap on what they do while still being unique from each other.
The Barbarian is a melee class so he is pretty much forced to take some of those life gain skills if he wants to survive in end game. The same is true for the Monk except for that the monk can tack on defensive things onto pretty much any skill he wants while the Barbarian in limited to a few skills that do it sufficiently.
The Demon Hunter fills the role of ranged dps and... that's about it. The DH doesn't really have many/good life gain attacks. It doesn't have many team support skills. The DH's survivability comes mostly from its mobility and that's something the Monk also has. The Monk can't do it as well but it does it at end-game sufficient levels.
01/11/2012 01:56 AMPosted by bluewolf
the monk can tank, heal, and dishout fairly impressive damage...possibly in the same build depending on what you're trying to do
This is spot on on what I'm saying.
01/11/2012 01:56 AMPosted by bluewolf
(the only archetype that the monk fails to grasp is ranged)
I agree with you, although it's a stretch, Deadly Reach somewhat covers this/makes up for it. The character is just almost flawlessly well rounded. He may not be able to be a ranged dps but the monk has multiple skills of closing the gap or even increasing it.
Edited by Meekle on 1/11/2012 2:25 AM PST
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Meekle, sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

Maybe I am over-concerned about the # of Monk skills after all...
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I just did this toni.. this morning:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3881920872

Look how the Monk has the most abilities in all categories, and this is just GROUP oriented buffs. His kit is even more broad when you include his abilities that effect himself.

Monk and Wizard are my two classes I'm having a hard time deciding what to chose as my first class. Either one I will play very tanky as that is my play style. The monk's kit is amazing right now and I think we'll all see that once we get in the game.

The Monk's best component is how much defense and survival he has. We won't have to sacrifice nearly as much gear as other classes in order to survive in Inferno!
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/11/2012 7:45 AM PST
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Speaking of ranged damage. I was playing with the skill calculator today and looking at skills I have not used in my previous build and noticed another vague tool tip that sounded interesting.

Hand of Ytar from Lashing Tail Kick says:
Smite all enemies within 5 yards of a target location for 263% weapon damage and have their movement slowed by 60% for 4 seconds.

I wonder if the target location means that you will teleport there or does it mean that you can throw the effect to a distant location. It's a skill I've always overlooked because the higher cost skills just sound so much more massive.

This is the little more unusual spec I was working on
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#icYdXb!cXU!cZccaZ
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Hand of Ytar from Lashing Tail Kick says:
Smite all enemies within 5 yards of a target location for 263% weapon damage and have their movement slowed by 60% for 4 seconds.
I forgot about this one. It sounds like FOH, Fist of Heavens (I think that's what it was called), from the D2 paladin. That's how I'm interpreting it at least. You shoot something down on them from the sky onto the enemy. My only doubt is that this is on Lashing Tail Kick which is really really weird which makes me also think it could be like a teleport skill or another kind of Dashing Strike but it would make more sense to be on Dashing Strike if that's the case.
My gut says it's like FOH but your guess is as good as mine.
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i'd posted this before but the monks passives also play into the "more with less" so they can increase survivability by increasing their damage.


monks mostly all defensive passives seems weak when looked at individually, however, once you look at the bigger picture they give more than is visible at first glance. Because they key off of your offensive stats you are able to exclusively itemize for damage knowing you get "free" defensive bonuses from them. Other classes will need to spend item slots to maintain survivability at hell/inferno. The monk can spend his three passives and never need to itemize for survival.

Seize the Initiative - Defense increased by 25% of your attack.
shooting from the hip i figure 1000 attack at level 60 will not be abnormal. Monk gets a free 250 Defense.(rank 14 ruby = 58 attack and rank 14 topaz = 58 defense)

Sixth Sense - Your dodge is increased by 50% of your critical hit.
Again estimating a 20% crit also becomes 10% dodge.(rank 14 emerald = 58 precision)

One With Everything - Your resistance to all elements is equal to your highest resistance.
Instead of having different resist sets, max one resist and fear no magic.


edited because gem values changed.
Edited by Wizerdree on 1/11/2012 2:42 PM PST
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If I recall the D2 Paladin, I believe the Fist of Heavens comparison for that particular rune effect is an apt one. Diablofans has a source that is datamining the beta client and they released this video a few days ago that shows the graphics of the rune effects. Notably, there are ranged variations on this skill.

Spoiler alert - In Game Graphics that may or may not actually be in the release version of the game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8v7U8tVcCw

Even so, in order to generate the spirit for the skill, you'd be using a melee combo attack. Moreover, most of the inter-archetypal functionality to the monk, I think, falls on adding defensive traits to offensive abilities. Most of these defensive abilities (to my mind) are for, generally speaking, melee situations. So when I say that the Monk doesn't fit the ranged archetype well, what I mean is that the monk's abilities don't lend themselves to a character who would maintain distance from their enemies in order to get the job done. most of the time. A Runed Lashing Tail Kick ranged monk is as 'ranged' as a Fan of Knives DH would be melee...it isn't.

Maybe one of the reasons I feel like the monk picture is incomplete is because my max damage, zero survivability play style doesn't get much out of every skill having a defensive/healing rune effect. I'd rather have a defensive skill that has an offensive rune effect (like Breath of Heaven with the damage buff), than the other way around. In any case I think that the easiest solution for this would simply be to ensure that every class has the same number of skills (active & passive)...even if it meant that the skills were similar across classes. If it's too difficult for Blizzard to add an equal number of skills now, I shudder to think of the challenges they'll have when they want to add a class or two in an expansion.
Edited by bluewolf on 1/11/2012 4:29 PM PST
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As far as uncertainty goes, pet details concern the Witch Doctor significantly and much is still to be discovered about them.

If you want a monk that deals raw damage, here you go.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#icjdkR!dcb!cYabZZ

Having made builds with every class, the Monk has close to the most build versatility. If I had to put them in order of versatility, I'd say WD, Monk, Wiz, Barb, DH - and indeed, in a group setting the Monk probably pulls ahead of the WD, though it's close either way.

Mechanically, the Monk's thing is sweeping attacks with defensive effects. So the Monk has a bunch of abilities that do that. If you want the converse, a Barbarian has a bunch of attacks with attacky extra effects and few defensive options.
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Hand of Ytar from Lashing Tail Kick says:
Smite all enemies within 5 yards of a target location for 263% weapon damage and have their movement slowed by 60% for 4 seconds.


This looks like a really fun ability to play around with some sort of Spirit Gen build. It'll be great for taking out casters/range mobs.
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Absolutely it is. It especially annoys me when they remove passives and abilities instead of adding them.
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@Halloom - Yes in D2 the barbarian was my main. I must've played a barbarian consistently for close to 8 years in total. However, I know I will eventually play one of each of the classes (Barbarian will be second), so I'm not worried about playing him right off the bat--I tend to play with a group of RL friends and one of them decided they wanted to go Barb first, so that solidified my choice of monk.

Anyway, if you mean group versatility in the sense that I can use a different mantra for buffing, should that be necessary--then yes I suppose there is more versatility. The advantage to a purely larger number of skills to choose from, however, would be that maybe I would be able have more ways to fill the healer type role.

The conservative estimate is that the monk has between 1 and 3 fewer active skills than the other classes...but with runes, this is more like 5 to 15 fewer unique skills. That sort of amplifies the issue for me.
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01/11/2012 09:04 PMPosted by bluewolf
The advantage to a purely larger number of skills to choose from, however, would be that maybe I would be able have more ways to fill the healer type role.
They aren't going to make enough skills to make a purely healer role. It's an action RPG and having a healer kinda goes against that. Everything must be DPS and everything must be able to complete the game on its own.
01/11/2012 09:04 PMPosted by bluewolf
The conservative estimate is that the monk has between 1 and 3 fewer active skills than the other classes...but with runes, this is more like 5 to 15 fewer unique skills. That sort of amplifies the issue for me.
Well I kinda already debated this so I'm not going to go into detail again but the monk is able to do more with less. He has the fewest skills yet the most versatility. Even though other classes have more skills, they need the extra skills more so than the monk needs them to achieve the same status.

Spoiler alert - In Game Graphics that may or may not actually be in the release version of the game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8v7U8tVcCw
Weird, I tried finding a YouTube video of it earlier but no results showed up. Anyways, nice find! That definitely has uses in pve and pvp. In pvp it can be comboed with Dashing Strike to close the gap AND keep it closed. In pve it's another way to pick off those ranged guys. I would personally just use Dashing Strike but more options are always nice.

01/11/2012 04:28 PMPosted by bluewolf
Maybe one of the reasons I feel like the monk picture is incomplete is because my max damage, zero survivability play style doesn't get much out of every skill having a defensive/healing rune effect.
I'm a little lost on this. Not every rune on offensive spells are defensive. You have 5 choices per spell and some of them are offensive and some are defensive. I don't think a single spell has just one type of runes to put in it.
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01/11/2012 10:29 PMPosted by Meekle
Maybe one of the reasons I feel like the monk picture is incomplete is because my max damage, zero survivability play style doesn't get much out of every skill having a defensive/healing rune effect.
I'm a little lost on this. Not every rune on offensive spells are defensive. You have 5 choices per spell and some of them are offensive and some are defensive. I don't think a single spell has just one type of runes to put in it.


Hes saying every monk skill has at least one defensive rune. These are the only runes that don't have any defensive runes options.

Exploding Palm
Sweeping Wind
Hundred Fists
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I find the Monk's kit is fine on paper, we'll have to wait and see how it is on live. I agree with what someone else mentioned that our abilities will have a lot of defense where as our gear could be more for offense.

Or once we pick up better gear we can take away our defense abilities.
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So, what I'm trying to get at is that there are fewer variations of pure or mostly dps builds that one can pull off, and this is due to two major factors: 1) the monk has fewer overall actives and passives than every other class, and 2) many/most monk skills are either defensive and/or party themed, or are offensive with one to two runes apiece being defensive and/or party themed. I don't intend to debate whether the monk has good overall versatility--but I do want to point out that these two points cause the monk to have poor DPS versatility.

For me, the go-to example of where Blizzard made a bad decision on monk class development is getting rid of Lethal Decoy in favour of the new AoE move (why am I so bad at remember skill names, haha). I don't find the argument that one was duplicative of the other very compelling. Perhaps it's possible that the Lethal Decoy move is less monk 'flavorful', which is a totally valid argument, but I'm not sure it's worth getting rid of the skill altogether, especially after they changed it so that it would detonate quicker (making it more useful in dynamic brawls). Granted, the Cyclone Strike fits my particular play-style better, but I'm sure Lethal Decoy could've found its way into many build in many ways (in its last iteration, especially).

Nevertheless, there are other things to keep in mind with the monk, such as the fact that Wave of Light seems to be the single-most damaging skill in the game per class right now (although maybe not the most damaging per resource used...which, given the five different systems and the fact that I'm not in the beta, would be really hard to calculate). I wish I knew what that skill looked like...

If you guys are interested in more monk skills with runes you should check out diablofans.com--they've got lots of skills up right now, and not just monk. For example, they've got a clip of Fulminating Strike for Seven Sided Strike and it just looks plain awesome.
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01/12/2012 02:45 PMPosted by bluewolf
So, what I'm trying to get at is that there are fewer variations of pure or mostly dps builds that one can pull off, and this is due to two major factors
I agree for the Spirit Spenders sections. I think the Spirit Generators are pretty damn perfect and there are many different options you can choose from for pure dps in that area.
I find Spirit Spenders lacking in quality. Here are the only skills I would use in a pure dps monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Ydk
I could also see Air Ally being used too for the extra spirit generation.
I decided to just make a build for it:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#YRkhcQ!YXc!ZabZZb
My only defensive things are the Alabaster rune in Mantra and 2 passives.
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01/12/2012 04:08 PMPosted by Meekle
So, what I'm trying to get at is that there are fewer variations of pure or mostly dps builds that one can pull off, and this is due to two major factors
I agree for the Spirit Spenders sections. I think the Spirit Generators are pretty damn perfect and there are many different options you can choose from for pure dps in that area.
I find Spirit Spenders lacking in quality. Here are the only skills I would use in a pure dps monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Ydk
I could also see Air Ally being used too for the extra spirit generation.
I decided to just make a build for it:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#YRkhcQ!YXc!ZabZZb
My only defensive things are the Alabaster rune in Mantra and 2 passives.


Don't forget about Exploding Palm. Ofcourse this is a "Glass Canon" build but either way it makes Exploding Palm deal 70%+ maximum health in damage. I think Exploding Palm is really under valued right now.

Exlplained:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3881919471

Build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UceZXR!fga!YZaacZ
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