Updated for 1.0.8
NOTE: The Reaper of Souls leaked patch notes suggest some major changes to monk spirit generators including adding Thunderclap's teleport to all runes of FoT!!
When we know more, I will be updating this thread to be more of a source of data and less a proposal for change.
Hello dear reader, unfortunately, I have a lot to say on this subject. Soooo...
Fist of Thunder:Thunder Clap/Quickening are the best spirit generators, all other generators should be enhanced to meet FoT's standards.
Actually want to read some stuff? Here goes!
I have been playing Monk since release. On day 1, ~10-15 minutes into my play I got my very first rune; Thunderclap.
Since that time, I have occasionally tried other spirit gens, but nothing compares.
This is a serious issue and the stats on http://diablo.somepage.com/popular/monk really exemplify the problem. ~90% of monks use FoT compared to ~20% for Way of the Hundred Fists (almost exclusively to buff FoT) and <10% for each of the other spirit gens. Furthermore, 5 of the top 5 builds use FoT:TC.
I truly believe that increasing the diversity of our spirit generators would lead to feeling like there are "different" playstyles out there instead of the "hold left click with passives active" style or the "spam bells while holding left click" style.
Does this mean that there are no successful monks out there using something other than FoT:TC? No. It just means FoT:TC is the best thing we have.
In 1.0.7, Blizzard drastically increased the damage on many spirit spenders. This caused FoT:Quickening to become competitive with FoT:Thunderclap. YAY DIVERSITY .............. <Sigh>
It is very important to note that I am pretty happy with the power of monks currently. This means a serious nerf to FoT:TC/Q would be hugely detrimental to monks as a whole and should NOT be considered when looking for ways to balance Spirit Generators.
Instead, I am going to propose changes, some based on math, some based on flights of fancy, that should bring many of our other spirit generators up to FoT:TC/Q's level and provide interesting enough choices that people might actually make different specs. Some of these changes might be completely overpowered; theorycrafting with myself doesn't always yield the best results.
If you think something would be over/underpowered or would break some spec I haven't heard of in some way, please argue it out with me!
Note1: Table of Contents (yup this is needed now)
Note2: This is a VERY comprehensive spreadsheet with all the data you could ever want on each Spirit Generator.
Note3: This is a good visual example of "yards" in Diablo 3.