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I gave Exploding Palm a good run, but I've noticed a few problems with it:
1. I try to put it on EVERYTHING.
2. The debuff affects only the affected targets, so my Thunderclap/SW/Cyclone DPS is low.
3. If there are too many mobs, I don't do enough damage to what I'm hitting.
4. If there are too few mobs, I don't get much out of the skill.
5. If the mobs have a mix of high and low health, I can't make it work in my favor.
6. I really need that shot in the arm from Blazing Wrath every so often.
7. Using it against Reflects Damage will get me killed, so I have to stop using it.
All in all, it's great fun, but I can't use it in MP6—at least, not in an extremely high-density area like the Fields of Slaughter. Which, ideally, is where I'd use it.
Anyway, I got through Arreat Crater 1 and beat the first Cydaea encounter, and then I started running into trouble. Some of it was just a combination of crazy mobs and affixes (e.g., Hulking Phasebeasts with Fire Chains, Plagued, Vortex, and Arcane Enchanted). But a large part of it seemed to be my inability to get to the health globes scattered around the battlefield. Which, of course, is because I'm playing without any pickup radius.
I decided to swap a pair of pants and take a 10% hit to my effective life for a 5% boost to my DPS and +7 pickup radius. I also decided I needed just a touch more DPS, so I paid Shen a visit, took out the LOH gem in my Shenlong's Fist, and put an emerald in its place. That boosted my critical hit factor from 1.236 to 1.376, a gain of about another 11%.
After that, I went back to hammering on stuff. Although I'd like to try ditching One With Everything and building a mostly all-res set, I don't quite have the gear for it yet. (In hindsight, maybe selling that IK chest piece I found Friday night wasn't such a great idea!) I think I might be able to slip Exploding Palm back into the rotation, but I want to finish Act 3 like this and see how it feels. If I can get around OWE, even adding Combination Strike would be a good start, and I might even be able to go back to Foresight instead of Blazing Wrath.
Good luck, overg!
Despite losing the extra 300 LOH (just over 20% of my total), I was able to essentially face-tank a group of Teleporter, Knockback, Extra Health Golgors with a Desecrator rare. With my new pickup radius, I was able to use Quicksilver to get behind the mobs when I needed to grab a globe.
@overg: Rakanoth's only ever killed me once—the very first time I fought him. Iskatu, however? I hate that guy. I must have tried him at least a dozen times when I first hit Act 4 in Inferno in 1.0.4.
Fun fight in the tower: because the mobs below you can "see" you when you're fighting up above, I managed to pull two packs walking toward me at the same time . . . only I didn't realize it was two packs at first.
So, um, I died after about 40 seconds or so in that battle. Realizing there were two packs, I decided to go back after mousing over the blue guys to figure out what I was up against.
Well, I got some of the Maulers down about halfway before I bit it again. Undaunted, though, I went back, and finished off the entire pack-and-a-half-plus this time. Although the tower is as narrow as the Keep Depths, I prefer the view—I can actually see! I spent a lot of the combat face-tanking one group and keeping an eye on the sentries, only to DS to another target when I was about to get singed. Oh, and eating mortars.
Maybe exploding palm is an "acquired" skill, because I don't seem to have the problems with it others are complaining about. In high density packs, I tend to tag something weak with it and kill it. Rinse and repeat. This will clear out the weaker mobs, and significantly weaken medium and strong mobs, setting them up for their own EP's. Dashing strike is very nice here if the mob I tag likes to run away. Just DS to the other side of it and punch it right back into the pack.
Against small groups of powerful elites, I'll once again just tag one of them and keep pounding away at it until it explodes. That will take a nice chunk out of target two, which I'll then tag and kill. Usually by that time any other elites will be significantly weakened and will go down quite quickly. The skill really works well against elites in combination with SSS.
I suspect the skill just doesn't synch very nicely with sweeping wind. Since both the wind effect and the tornadoes tend to scatter damage, you're not getting the full benefit of exploding palm, which essentially turns single target damage into an AOE explosion.
When they revisit the monk, I'd like them to try out increasing EP's radius. I think this is what really holds it back and keeps it from competing with the likes of sweeping wind. Even if you manage to kill something that's palmed, its rather small radius often means you're missing 80% of the mobs which are attacking you. I don't think it would make the skill too OP to greatly expand its radius (and oh my god would essence burn be something with a screen sized radius . . . I can gleefully envision finding burned corpses three screens away from where you started the effect. Do it Devs!).
Edited by overg#1771 on 12/23/2012 5:38 PM PST
I'm sure some of it is my own lack of familiarity with it. I found it easier to use in the Keep Depths, where I could pick on Fallen and mongrels and stingers and quillbacks, whose explosions would kill their brethren and weaken the bigger mobs, like tremors and Fallen overseers. In the Fields of Slaughter, however, I would often find myself facing a dozen maulers, a handful of heralds, and several flyers and impalers. And a token tremor about half the time. Targeting one and using him to blow up the rest didn't work so well because I wasn't doing much to the others with Thunderclap. The explosions were nice, but they might have just been making up the difference. That's how it felt to me, anyway.
Maybe it was me, maybe it was MP6, maybe it was the area. It was great through the Barracks and the Keep Depths, though.
Just dropped Cydaea on MP6. I tried this two or three times last night and got swarmed under by spiderlings. I was considering resocketing my Fist of Legend for more LoH during this fight, but I thought I'd give it another run tonight. I needed to change tactics, though. After a bit of thought, I came up with this:
Worked like a charm. Cydaea seemed to run away more and more frequently as the fight progressed, rather than hit an enrage timer, but I finally managed to kill her. Tomorrow, I'll even try it with a full stack :)
Anyway, if anyone is having trouble with her (she gave me a lot of trouble when I finished Inferno in 1.0.4), try something like this.
I think Azmodan was a bit unhappy with me. As I walked down the first corridor in the Core of Arreat, I pulled two packs at once:
I'm not that much of a masochist; I think I need to catch up on my sleep now :)
Cydaea seems to have a rather all or nothing difficulty curve. Either you have the dps to easily take out her spiderlings before they swarm you, or you're dead. The first time I downed her it played out rather like you just described. Quicksilver is an awesome skill for this fight though, especially when it comes to keeping up with Cydaea as she hits her runaway mode.
Anywhere you can run, I can dash faster . . .
Nothing says Merry Christmas like arcane vortexed mobs when you're doing progression MP.
After finishing a few test runs for RayvinAzn's giveaway set, I finished up with my usual gear in the Vault of the Assassin at MP5. Now, I've been running MP6 lately, so I thought, "What the hell—why not? I'll give this a run, see how much it easier it seems."
What a difference a level makes. For example, as well as I play against them, Blazing Guardian Illusionist elites always kill me on MP6. Here, though? I took out minions with Illusionist (no other affixes) and a rare with Vortex, Waller, and Frozen, all by myself (with plenty of help from Quicksilver). I also face-tanked/Quicksilvered two packs at once:
1. Skeletal Warriors (Illusionist, Frozen, Waller, Knockback)
2. Skeletal Bowmen (Fire Chains, Frozen, Wast, Avenger)
Did I spend half the fight frozen? Of course I did. Did I care, with Pacifism? No, of course I didn't :)
Anyway, I'm going to finish the Vault while my meager 39K DPS and I are getting our rest on MP5. Hope I find a nice rare!
Uber update. This is hardly groundbreaking news, but the Seigebreaker/Kulle uber fight is just grossly over-tuned, especially for solo play. Between Zulle's time bubbles and Siegebreaker's grab move, this fight is at least two MP levels harder than the other two Uber fights. SK and Ghom are doable at MP3 (and probably MP4), but I seriously doubt it would even be possible for me to take SG & Kulle at MP2. It's nearly impossible for me to build spirit with my build, as WoHF is essentially instant death if Kulle pops a bubble on me if I'm on the second punch. I considered biting the bullet and switching to FoT (which I've resisted simply because I think WoHF is more fun), but it feels like I'm a lot more than one skill swap away. Time bubble + grab + ceiling collapse is just such a near certainty, it really feels like my only option is to turn down the dial to MP1. Which isn't a very fun option, as the other two uber fights are too easy at that level.
I'm really not sure what they were thinking with this fight. It's one thing for the ubers to be hard. I get that they're supposed to be. But this fight is just so much harder than the other two. Hell, I'd guess it would still be the hardest fight if they removed Kulle's bubbles. Looking through the forums, the only real advice I've found is to "split them up," which isn't really an option when you're playing solo. I thought maybe I was supposed to kite them all day, but it appears all that would get me is a nice insta-death when Kulle enrages (not that I came close to living long enough to find out today).
So Vrkhyz, when you run your uber challenge, be forewarned. The far right portal is *significantly* harder than the other two. You can probably handle SK and Ghom at MP4, but SB/Kulle is going to be extremely difficult even at MP2.
Edited by overg#1771 on 12/26/2012 10:43 PM PST
Uber update pt. 2.
After my complete failure with SB/Kulle at MP3 earlier today, I once again risked everything and opened up another portal on MP3. Only this time I was lucky enough that it was the Ghom fight, which happened to be the one piece of ring I still needed. It was a fun fight at MP3, with a couple of hairy moments but mostly a nice, steady kite and kill one shot. Which just reaffirms what I ranted about in my last post . . . the uber Siegebreaker fight is just ridiculously overtuned.
But back to tonight, I got my last ring piece!
So, you know how the Lord of the Rings trilogy is 10,000,000 pages about a crappy ring of invisibility that was way more trouble than it was worth? I think my quest for a Hellfire ring was the sequel. Because for as nice as rng was to me in getting the parts (i probably got them in a total of 10 uber attempts spread out over MP1, 2, and 3), it got its vengeance on my ring roll. +73 strength? 104 LPS? 4% life? +11 maximum damage? Are you freaking kidding me? It's a big downgrade over both the rings I was wearing (keep in mind, I'm self-found, so it wasn't exactly competing with godly equipment), and I've got it equipped at the moment purely out of spite.
*sigh* What a huge letdown. It takes me a long time to farm up keys, so I probably won't be able to craft another ring for at least another month, and that's if I actually focus on it. That hardly seems worth the effort. Hopefully I'll think of another fun little challenge to try, because I don't think I have it in me to make another go at a ring in the immediate future. *sigh*
Edited by overg#1771 on 12/28/2012 1:50 PM PST
Well, I drowned by sorrows in some alt-spec MP2 and MP3 runs. Loaded up my skorn, spec'd some bells and an air ally, and headed to Act 3 to squash some things. And lo, the RNG giveth today, as I had an 1125 dps, 271 dex spear drop for me. It's a pretty decent upgrade over the Echoing Fury I was using. So I've got that going for me, along with total consciousness when I'm on my deathbed.
Such is the life of the self-found monk. Ever the slave to random numbers and drops.
Try mp1 for loot and maybe mp2 for keys. You might be able to handle higher mp, but you'll farm faster with an easy mp. If you aren't stomping everything while being invincible then the mp is too high and your loot/hour will actually be lower.
Regardless of how great your gear becomes do mp0 for xp.
Edited by ShadowBob#1683 on 12/27/2012 8:57 PM PST
Mp0-3 with 166 unbuffed dps including enchantress < LVL type>
Mp7 with 131k unbuffed dps including enchantress < Key Farming type>
i need somebody who can help me achieve getting on MP10 w/ 140-150 unbuffed dps.
Edited by Kroux#1464 on 12/27/2012 9:08 PM PST
RNG is back on my side. I stopped by the Act II keywarden after getting five stacks at MP3 (more alt-spec fun). He didn't drop a key. He did drop a Vile Ward which was a significant upgrade over the shoulders I'd been wearing for several months.
That's two big upgrades in two days, after going several weeks without anything. Woot.
And for those of you riveted by the life of a self-found monk, an update.
Just a little more than a week after getting destroyed by the Siegebreaker/Kulle uber fight on MP3, I tried it again. I've found three pretty damn good upgrades since then, and was able to down them without much difficulty on MP2, so I gave MP3 another shot.
First attempt was going great. I was sticking to Kulle well and avoiding his slow bubbles. The fight was totally under control when I got Kulle down to a sliver of health, pounded him down to nothing . . . and watched my exploding palm damage bazooka punch me into oblivion when it hit Siege's reflect damage. That did not make me feel good.
Still, I knew if I could kill Kulle once I could do it again. It took another 4 or 5 attempts, but down he went for a second time. Siegebreaker was of course a pushover after that, and Uber-MP3 was a full clear.
No ring parts today (I ran all three Uber fights and one-shot the other two), but still a very satisfying outing.
In general progress notes, I now farm keys on MP5 when I feel like relaxing, and MP6 if I've got some time and want to increase my key-drop chance a bit. With the possible exception of Butcher and Belial's enrage timers, both MP levels are very clear-able. In fact, going by the definition I suggested in another thread (picking up more potions that I'm using), MP5 is very much on farm.
Edited by overg#1771 on 1/6/2013 10:57 AM PST
Time to update this thread. After spending about a week and a half getting reacquainted with my Echoing Fury in the Vault of the Assassin on MP5, I went back to MP6 and started up the "Kill Azmodan" quest. During my time in the VotA, I came to realize that my EF isn't effective against certain mob types (Magewraiths, Copperfang Lurkers) and affixes (particularly Molten and Fire Chains). I had to recalibrate myself a little bit on MP6, but I eventually figured it out. After building my NV stack to five, it was time to fight Azmodan.
Fight #1 (Fist of Legend and Echoing Fury):
Fight #2 (Fist of Legend and Fist of Az'Turrasq):
Fight #1 was going okay until he hit me with a nasty bomb when I was at about 50% life; I was killed instantly. I decided that I was probably going to need more sustain, so I switched to my AzT for the second fight, and it ended relatively quickly. I got Azmodan down to about 70% health before he conjured his first set of pools and 45% before he conjured his second set. He was at 15% or so when he conjured the third set, and I simply blinded him and face-tanked to the end, popping Serenity just as he died.
So! On to Act 4 in a bit.
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