Diablo® III

Karma what the monk resource should have been

Disclaimer: These changes and ideas are WAY beyond the scope of anything Blizzard will do to the class, probably even in an expansion. They're not going to happen, but they should!

That having been said, I think spirit as a resource is one of the major underlying issues facing the class. It forces the playstyle of the monk too close to barbarians, and one or the other will always be the "better" of the two while they essentially have the same skillset and resources. Fully changing the skillset of a monk to differentiate them would be labor intensive, require TONS of internal and PTR testing, as well as no guarantee that the new skills would pull them far enough away from barbarians. Changing the resource system would necessitate a complete retooling of skills and the subsequent testing, but there would be a much greater chance to create a unique class.

My proposal for a replacement resource system is called "Karma" and does not follow any of the "normal" mana, fury, energy resource stereotypes. Your character will start at 0 karma and always slowly degenerate back to this neutral state both in combat and out of it. Every skill the character uses generates either positive or negative karma. Once you reach 50 of either positive or negative karma you can no longer generate any more.

To play, a character would bounce back and forth from positive to negative karma then back as they use their larger abilities. characters are forced to use multiple different abilities as once they hit either 50 positive or negative karma they have to begin trekking the other way. The kicker comes when you have abilities that cost more than 50 karma so the player must first generate some karma of the opposite type before using it.

Getting into the flavor of the system damaging skills would generally generate negative karma and defensive abilities would generally generate positive karma. This forces characters to have some of each and automatically creates semi balanced builds. Passive skills could do things like "increase positive karma generation by 20% and decrease negative karma generation by 20%" or vice versa, "reduce maximum positive karma by 25 and increase maximum negative karma by 25" which essentially only allows for more initial burst of either karma.

Just interested in thoughts other people had about the situation and wanted some feedback.

TL/DR - overhaul of monk resource system from simply filling up a ball to a zero sum system that rewards players for staying close to neutral
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Is the class name "monk" any different? And of course names and numbers would all be subject to change for sure.
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So how would you handle that visually? Have the resource ball halved horizontally (---) with attacks based on karma filling the ball either positively (↑) or negatively (↓) and the closer towards the center the better? Maybe reward players with spirit regen, ias, or dmg% increase/decrease based on their proximity to being "centered"?

Pretty interesting idea indeed :)
Edited by gotaplanstan#1369 on 2/12/2013 2:24 PM PST
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Diablo III Monk meets World of Warcraft Moonkin. I don't like it :D
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Ya I was thinking visually just a ball that would fill either towards the top or the bottom, maybe give a light glow for good karma and a dark one for bad karma to give players a better visual clue of where they are at.

I was thinking of trying to stay away from the moonkin playstyle, so I really didn't think any "cast x number of good karma spells to buff your bad karma skills by y%" features should exist, and I think that any significant bonus for being anywhere in particular in your karma ball should also be avoided. If you were going to have bonuses for having lots of good, bad, or being "centered" I think they would work better as passives, and be the opposite of what you'd expect them to be; ie "Having over 40 good karma gives you 20% additional armor and resistances" or "having over 40 bad karma gives you 10% additional crit chance." That way a player can choose to effectively limit their skill choices (staying over 40 bad karma is gonna make it impossible to cast the big bad karma abilities) to meaningfully affect the way they want to play their character.

Going a little deeper, I think the system works better with lots of abilities on shorter cooldowns so the player is actively casting lots of different abilities trying to keep themselves as "centered" as possible to keep their offensive and defensive options open. It doesn't need any stacking buffs or bonuses because they're already built in. If a player is better at managing karma they have more abilities open to them at any given time.
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You could take it a step further, and make it so bad karma skills give bigger bonuses, but also incur penalties.

Whereas good karma skills would just be bonuses without penalties, but the bonuses would be smaller and maybe increase over time.
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It doesn't need any stacking buffs or bonuses because they're already built in. If a player is better at managing karma they have more abilities open to them at any given time.


was the end of my last post. I think that any further bonuses based on how much of either kind of karma you have are unnecessary and complicate a system that is pretty clean as is.
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Not gonna work. Complicated resource with positive and negative values where you have to keep checking out at which stage is on at the moment to know what skills to use instead of looking at the actual fight will not work in a fast paced game like Diablo. Maybe in a MMO.
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It is more complicated than just filling up a ball I'll give you that, but how is it more difficult to determine what abilities are available to you? The player doesn't need to know they can't cast an ability because they already have too much bad karma any more than they need to know they can't cast an ability because they don't have enough spirit. The abilities able to be cast are "lit up" and ones that aren't are "greyed out" the same way they do already.

If anything, it makes it easier on the player because when they run out of resource (fill up one side of the karma ball) they have more than one option for "filling" it back up. Unlike the system that exists now where a monk has to sit there using their main attack to build up spirit, a karma monk could cast a heal to give them some positive karma thus allowing them to use their attack abilities that generate bad karma. Don't want to use the heal, that's fine, pop a speed buff that produces good karma instead, maybe they could use blinding flash on their enemies to generate a little bit of good karma and buy them some time, how about they use their summon ability that will fight by them and split damage with them for 30 seconds that generates a whole bubble of good karma?

I think that's exactly the kind of system that works better in a fast paced ARPG than an MMO. Players reacting to the environment and making meaningful decisions about the abilities they use.
Edited by Davroth#1266 on 2/14/2013 2:09 AM PST
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It is more complicated than just filling up a ball I'll give you that, but how is it more difficult to determine what abilities are available to you? The player doesn't need to know they can't cast an ability because they already have too much bad karma any more than they need to know they can't cast an ability because they don't have enough spirit. The abilities able to be cast are "lit up" and ones that aren't are "greyed out" the same way they do already.


Because they have to keep staring their resource ball and skill bar instead of the action itself to make a decision. It is not a quick stare to know if you're out of resources, close to zero, midway through, or you have a lot. You have to know if its negative or positive and by how much, too much math imo.

Also and how is that different then any of the current resources schemes? You use some skills to fill up the bar, and some skills that deplete it. You're just pushing up the scale from 0-100 to say, -100 to 100.

If anything, it makes it easier on the player because when they run out of resource (fill up one side of the karma ball) they have more than one option for "filling" it back up. Unlike the system that exists now where a monk has to sit there using their main attack to build up spirit, a karma monk could cast a heal to give them some positive karma thus allowing them to use their attack abilities that generate bad karma. Don't want to use the heal, that's fine, pop a speed buff that produces good karma instead, maybe they could use blinding flash on their enemies to generate a little bit of good karma and buy them some time, how about they use their summon ability that will fight by them and split damage with them for 30 seconds that generates a whole bubble of good karma?


Not really. Instead of a basic attack that fills up resources and special attacks that spends then, now you have special moves that bumps up and other special attacks that bumps it down, for different effects. You're just overcomplicated things for a fast paced game that shouldn't ask more of you then to know how high is your bar filled up.
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Well like you said, it's basically the same thing except adjusted to give more options to players at the cost of having to pay more attention to what they're doing. I agree with you, I just happen to think that is a worthwhile trade especially if you want to pull a class' playstyle away from one that already is in a good place.

I'm interested to see if you think the spirit system is one of the reasons monks are so clunky, and how you'd change it if you do think so?
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02/17/2013 11:58 PMPosted by Davroth
I'm interested to see if you think the spirit system is one of the reasons monks are so clunky, and how you'd change it if you do think so?
Spirit makes monks clinky because there's never enough of it.

I tried a WoL build with the "reduced spirit cost" rune and I still felt starving for spirit.

Your system doesn't give us more spirit, it just forces us to use skills that probably we don't need or we will never have the resources. So if WoL would give me Bad Karma I'd need to use BoH 2 or 3 times (even if I don't need it) in order to rebalance Karma or I won't be able to use WoL anymore...

As others told you, your system is over complicated for a game like Diablo. I personally think DH's double resource is even too much.
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All my system does is give you more options for generating resources. You wouldn't have to cast BoH 2 or 3 times because you could cast it once, blinding flash, and then dashing strike to give you enough room to drop another bell. Don't want to use those abilities? Fine, pick three other good karma ones. How is that not better than just holding down FoT until you can afford a bell?

One of the problems I see, and I think is the reason people are seeing it as too complicated, is if ALL damaging abilities generated bad karma and ALL defensive abilities generated good karma there would be no reason to do anything but sit at the most bad karma possible and use your defensive abilities to fill up. The good karma abilities need to be attractive enough to make you want to use them for something other than just a resource generator.

Does it make it a little more appealing to you if I said SSS generates 60 bad karma and WoL generates 75 good karma? Let LTK generate 20 bad karma and Blinding Flash generate 25 good karma. Let FoT generate 4 bad karma, but you use the rune to make it generate 4 good karma instead and your exploding palm generates 10 bad karma. That's six different abilities that would give you several options no matter what your resources are at.

isn't that a better system than what we have now? Is that really too confusing for Diablo? Are you really concerned that you're going to have to know exactly how much karma you have at any given time to know what to do?
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