Before I start, I want to say that I don't think we're as bad off as some people seem to think. While I'm avoiding playing my Monk right now (the recent nerf means I can't actually farm content I've already cleared, which is really off-putting. I'll get over it), I still love the class. I decided I was going to play a Monk when they first revealed the class, and I love it to death. We definitely have some powerful tools at our disposal, and I'm sure when Blizzard figures their balance problems out, we'll be crushing skulls with the best of them.
My biggest problem, now that I'm level 60, is that I don't feel like a Monk. When I was leveling, I was in enemies faces, dishing out just as much damage as I was taking. I was helping my team, I was badass.
Now, I'm running around letting my Enchantress (I had to ditch the Scoundrel! T_T) do most of the work while I wait for my cooldowns to come back up, just so I can get a suckerpunch or two in. That's not how Monks roll. It doesn't feel right.
So how do we fix this? Retuning Inferno, while probably slightly necessary, isn't the answer. Neither is buying exploited Act 4 gear off of the AH. That's just backwards progression.
Make our Spirit act more like a Wizard's Arcane Power. Hear me out.
Spirit is everything to a Monk, obviously. It lets us do those badass Monk things we do. The issue is we need to be buying our fists into things to generate said spirit, but at higher levels of difficulty, it's not prudent to be putting our fists into the bodies of our enemies as much as we need to.
So what's the solution? Revamp the core Spirit system. Let Monks generate spirit as a decent rate (7-10 Spirit per second). I mean, we're supposed to be spiritualists as well, right? Last I checked, the Dali Llama isn't going around whaling on people to further his faith.
So say we have spirit coming back to us at a reliable rate. That renders our primary skills useless doesn't it? They were there to generate spirit after all. So those need a change too. Change our primary attacks to be like Wizard signature skills, in that they don't cost Spirit. That said, don't just make us melee Wizards. Make each attack do something interesting. Allow them to do more damage if we opt not to use our abilities, and manage our spirit as a resource instead of spending it as we get it. Perhaps make them hit 10-15% harder if we're at full spirit. Below are some ideas.
• Fists of Thunder - Have it provide a slight attack speed buff for each subsequent use, stacking to x. At x stacks, you attack x% faster, renewing itself until you use another offensive ability. As a trade-off for speed, it benefits less from having full spirit than other primary abilities.
♦ Quickening Rune - Increases the attack speed buff granted by continuous use of Fists of Thunder. The buff now stacks to y, making you attack y% faster.
• Deadly Reach - No change to core ability, other than gaining power based on % of spirit player has.
♦ Strike from Beyond - Deadly Reach crits will strike vital points, slowing enemy attack and movement speed.
• Crippling Wave - This always looked to me like I could be avoiding attacks while attacking, as seen in low budget kung-fu movies (we are sort of a kung-fu class, are we not?). Replace the attack slowing effect with a dodge boost for continuous use of this move.
♦ Rising Tide - Enemies are dazzled by the monk's fluid movements, lowering their attack speed by 20% when hit.
• Way of the Hundred Fists - Lower it's scaling down to match that of the other three abilities, and instead give it a greater boost from having full spirit.
♦ You Are Already Dead (replaces Spirited Salvo) - The third strike has a chance to cause enemies to explode upon death, causing them to drop more loot and health orbs. (Would have them inflict damage when exploding, but Exploding Palm already exists).
Alternative Idea of Handling Primariy Attacks
05/24/2012 01:11 AMPosted by TakinTheHeatI wouldn't mind a revamp, I don't like kiting either but you CAN reach a gear point where you can stand there and tank them(not in firechains or desecration or poison, but just vs the mobs) in act 2. This leads me to believe that if I keep at it, eventually I'll do the same with act 3. Part of this is because of my attack speed, and not having control over my level of spirit generation thanks to your idea would suck majorly. What if it's too low for my tastes? My 2.0 attack speed can't help me there.
Perhaps leaving the primary attacks alone as spirit generators, despite implementing this system, wouldn't be such a terrible idea. This would allow the player to control the 'bursts' of spirit regeneration, so to speak. It would still require good gear to be able to maintain this constantly, whilst not completely screwing over under-geared monks.
So now we have good spirit regen and retooled primary attacks that are satisfying to use. What about our other abilities? Most of them don't get strictly worse or that much better because of this, which is good. The presence of cooldowns means retooling Spirit doesn't make us gods. Here are a few of the changes I would make to other abilities, replacing runes that currently generate spirit.
• Tempest Rush - Obviously this would have to stop spirit regenerating while in use.
♦ Northren Breeze - Allows a percentage of the monk's natural spirit regeneration during use.
• Breath of Heaven
♦ Infused with Light - Use all additional Spirit to empower the heal, increasing the amount healed up to 600%. The monk suffers some reduced spirit regeneration for the duration of the cooldown.
• Exploding Palm
♦ Strong Spirit - Target explodes for 40% of their maximum life as physical damage, up from 30%.
• Sweeping Wind
♦ Inner Storm - Increases movement and attack speed with every stack.
Of course, the above changes are simply what I would do, they could be changed to anything. I did not change the Air Ally rune of Mystic Ally, as that is not tied to regeneration, rather is has a chance to (almost) fill your spirit bar, which is a proc I think would still work rather well.
There is one further core change that would need to be made, however. Mantras.
Mantras are, in my opinion, currently way, way too overpowered. We can activate them whenever we want! With no cooldown! Yes, they cost lots of spirit, but Quickening + Sweeping Winds solved that one. Which is why they got nerfed. So what do we do?
Cooldowns on Mantra activations, and make Mantras an always-on effect when in a skill slot. The cooldowns on Mantra activations works two-fold: it prevents this proposed Spirit overhaul from being overpowered beyond reason, and makes them clutch skills. Instead of hitting them every time you have the spirit to do it, hit them when the situation calls for it. The following changes assume a 30-45 second cooldown.
• Mantra of Evasion - For three seconds after activation, double your dodge chance.
• Mantra of Retribution - For three seconds after activation, 200% of damage recieved is reflected, and projectile attacks are reflected back at their attackers.
♦ Against All Odds - When reflecting damage, you have a 1% chance to negate one incoming blow. Effect cannot happen again for X seconds.
• Mantra of Healing - For three seconds after activation, the effect of mantra is increased to 2500 health per second.
♦ Circular Breathing - Your spirit regenerates x% faster, and your allies resources also generate x% faster.
♦ Boon of Protection - Unnerf it, plain and simple. You may argue it is 'over budget', but it is a 2 second shield that inferno mobs will chew through anyway. Without the ability to activate it whenever, the shield could even be buffed.
• Mantra of Conviction - For three seconds after activation, all nearby enemies take double damage.
The second part of the change is having the Mantras be 'always on'. This is mostly a quality-of-life change, but works well with the first suggested change, as it means we wouldn't have to waste the cooldown to refresh it, and they have basically 24/7 uptime as is anyway, given how much we currently spam them.
That brings us to passives. So we have spirit regeneration, and attacks and skills that go with. What do with passives?
Thankfully, only a few would need tweaking, and I'm covering each of those individually.
• Exalted Soul - This is one of those passives that gets strictly worse with this change. The bigger pool becomes unnecessary when you're regenerating spirit quickly anyway. Make this passive increase the rate at which you regenerate spirit, at least 30% faster, seeing as you're eating a passive slot to do this.
•Chant of Resonance - This becomes obsolete with the proposed changes. Change it so that on-use mantra effect cooldowns are slightly shorter (although that might get degenerate with Beacon of Ytar), or so they last 1 or 2 seconds longer. Or just scrap the passive entirely and give us something new. It it currently lackluster at best anyway. Perhaps make it so that we get a percentage damage reduction the higher spirit we have (thus further encouraging us to manage our spirit, instead of just using it when we have it).
•Guardian's Path - This one could, potentially, remain the same, but a change might not be terrible either. Instead of increasing spirit regen when using a 2handed weapon (which would get silly when used with the changed exalted soul), perhaps make it so that you have a higher chance to crit, or just higher damage when using a 2 handed weapon. Oh, and make it work with 1h+shield. It is the Guardian's Path, after all.
•Combination Strike - Just needs a light re-wording, stating that each different primary attack you use increases your damage by 8%, as they no longer generate spirit.
To compensate for our awesome new spirit generating abilities, items would no longer have spirit regeneration on them, instead perhaps boosting the passive effects of having a full bar of spirit the rework suggests.
So I've just come up with this awesome overhaul for Monks, but how does that solve our core issue? Inferno is still Inferno.
Here's the deal. Part of the reason Demon Hunters, Wizards, and Witch Doctors are better than us at Inferno is because of the range advantage. They can do what they need to do at range, and as such kiting doesn't prohibit them from doing what they do. We melee types? We're doing it wrong if we're doing nothing but run.
So how does the spirit overhaul fix this? It enables us to retreat and regroup. Right now, if you run, you're doing just that, running. Your spirit isn't coming back, and you're not going to be in a more beneficial position for all your athleticism. Currently, it costs spirit to get spirit. With the overhaul, not only do you have better survivability over all, but should you need to run from a fight, you can re-enter said fight in a better position than when you left it, and resume being a Monk.
I'm not calling for the homogenizing of Monks compared to other classes. I still want Monks to be different, but I feel our skill-set alone makes us stand out enough as is. I just want to be able to do what Monks do best, instead of having to spend my time in a futile effort to emulate what Demon Hunters and Wizards do so well already.
Please let me know your thoughts on this, what you would change, why you think it's good/sucks, what have you. Blue acknowledgement would also be nice, even if it is just 'Hey, nice job, but we think you're an idiot and monks are fine.' Part of my current frustration is that it feels like I'm just suggesting things to a void. :)
one thing i would add.. is the ability for friggin health globes to give some spirit.. i just started a thread on that..
why do they fill dh hatred/disc and do nothing for our spirit?.. thats like a kick in the teeth to a melee who are already getting pummeled..
This, a million times this. And not just for us, every class should get resources back with health orbs, without the need to waste a passive on it.
PS - Make Dashing Strike dash to the cursor, not just enemy creeps. WTB real escape move.