[Review] - Monks in 2.1 (PTR3)

Monk
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RE: Monk ally & new class item belt - Summons an extra ally when equipped. Problem now is that there is a limit to build options with the Monk Ally. Perhaps suggest more elemental diversity in that skill since it is currently stuck with 3 physical and 1 fire, 1 cold.
Going to get real detailed and specific about the problems with each build i am familiar with.

#1 Holy Sunwuko build w/ Mantra of healing spam+generator spam

Problem : Low damage output
Solution: Slight increase on damage from Generator's and Large increase on the damage from the sunwuko proc

#2 Lightning 6pc Jawbreaker +Dash Build

Problem: Low damage output and unreliable and irritating playstyle
Solution : Increase the damage from 6pc proc (if not willing to remake) and Change Jawbreaker to only have a distance requirement and change the distance to 10-15yards

#3 Fire no generator build + LTK spam w/ GNK helm and crafted set + LegendaryGNK

Problem: Low damage output + Spirit/CDR costs too high
Solution: Slightly Buff the damage on LTK and GNK Helm again. Slightly Reduce the LTK cost. Perhaps add CDR to another Monk passive like say 10% to Exalted soul or add CDR to GNK Helm or add more CDR to the 2pc Captains set.

#4 Tempest rush Builds

Problem: Very low damage output from the actual tempest rush ability. abilities that synergize with Tempest rush also Weak + High CDR requirement
Solution : Make the sweeping wind fist weapon back into gloves or move it to the inna's setbonus so that people can use a 2hander with tempest rush and get the increased sweeping wind stacks to support Trush's Damage. Make all Breath of heaven runes do elemental damage like circle of scorn and increase the damage to 2000% or higher so that people can use that as their spender during Trush. Double check the typical Trush set so that people dont have to sacrafice damage stats on rings and amulets to meet CDR requirements.

#5 Cold Damage Exploding Palm builds ( Experiemental theory)

Problem : Requires Madstone + Foe + Fist of AZ (cant use both) . Weak damage from SSS
Solution: Change Foe into a fist weapon so that it can be used with fist of AZ or change fist of AZ into an Armor peice so that it can be used with Madstone and FOE. Be mindful of CDR requirements and cold damage armor pieces that synergize.

Dont know any obvious Physical builds. If i missed any obvious builds feel free to add onto this.
Another slap to the face: crusaders and rime/furnace get blue sponsored feedback threads while an entire class rework is ignored.
Hi Druin,

Amazing analysis as usual and spot on. I liked this patch for the defensive and spirit generating point of view, that is no longer really an issue for me in my current build. But will probably be for other non holy based builds, not sure to be honest, but for now, specifically for me it's great.

The DPS though is just abysmal still. I did a couple of T6s with DH's and I felt like I wasn't helping at all beside Crowd Control. DPS really needs a boost here and you really really feel it when you run beside other classes. Please just buff everything when it comes to dps.

Oh and our sets still are a whole bunch of meh
08/08/2014 02:42 PMPosted by Byakuren
Another slap to the face: crusaders and rime/furnace get blue sponsored feedback threads while an entire class rework is ignored.


To be fair, a thread like that would encompass wayyyy too many points. Just look at the OP and how many points Druin has covered. It just wouldn't be feasible.

If everybody were able to analyze and write succinctly and articulately as Druin, then yea, that would work. But that's not how it is.
Where was our feedback thread for our set reworks? OWE? Generators? There's 0 attention given to monks.
okay ... all done.

Moving to PTR forums.
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Druin, the happy monk
08/08/2014 02:38 PMPosted by Strego
Dont know any obvious Physical builds. If i missed any obvious builds feel free to add onto this.


I tried my cdr/phs build and i couldnt get past grift 20. I am pretty much imortal with 72% cdr but the damage even with ltk was so low i cried myself dead.
08/08/2014 02:25 PMPosted by Volun
@Druin
please, please repost this in the PTR-Forums. From my experience the CMs are barely reading the class-forums...(@CMs, you have now the opportunity to prove me wrong :D)

Volun ... I find your lack of reading comprehension skills disturbing.

08/08/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Druin
There are post caps in the PTR forums and I will likely exceed them so I am just starting this here so I have a place to write.

Note: So I am just STARTING this here ...
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Druin, the happy monk
08/08/2014 02:51 PMPosted by Byakuren
Where was our feedback thread for our set reworks? OWE? Generators? There's 0 attention given to monks.


That's not exactly true. They really have been making lots of changes to monks.

The problem is that for every positive change they make, they make 2 or 3 negative ones. Or 2 or 3 nonsensical changes.

It's like... two steps forwards.. two steps to the side.. two steps back.. one step forward.. one step back and to the left.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. The changes they have made so far haven't really improved monk apart from the most recent healing and defensive changes. But offensively.. which is arguably more important than defense in this game... we're still in the same boat we've been in since the beginning of the PTR. We're still rowing in the same circle... we just have a couple new pairs of oars.. none of which are an improvement over our previous.
08/08/2014 11:14 AMPosted by Druin
(also feel free to link / copy-paste your set design ideas into this thread guys ... can't hurt!)


Ok. Here is my idea for a Raiment set re-design. I would just provide the link to my original thread, but some of the mechanics of my original re-design needed to be changed to avoid redundancy with some 2.1 content.

Preface
The core aspects that I focused on while thinking of this design were mobility, power, and bonuses that would be truly game-changing since these tenets adhere to both Monk and legendary item ideals. I also chose to focus on the skill Sweeping Wind (SW) instead of Dashing Strike (DS).

To me DS is a poor skill to complicate much further with legendary effects since it already has a large potential for creativity and strategic uses in a purely vanilla state. Also, DS is mostly a defensive skill, so forcing a damage proc onto a defensive/utility skill seems awkward. This becomes apparent in practice after dealing damage with the current Raiment mechanics and accidentally being left with no charges on DS to escape a dangerous situation.

SW on the other hand is fairly simple skill to begin with, so it leaves a lot of room to further complicate its mechanics through the use of a legendary effect. Also, SW is primarily a damage dealer (patch 2.1 Master of Wind rune has some utility, but damage is still a focus), which brings it in line with Blizzard's stance of "only damage skills should be used for damage". On a thematic level, the visuals of Sweeping Wind producing a permanent vortex around the player is an ideal match with the theme of the Raiment set.

My Idea
2 Set Bonus:
"+500 Dexterity"

Not very interesting, but not bad either. I think the cool stuff should be reserved for the later bonuses to give players something to shoot for.

4 Set Bonus:
"Reduces resource cost of Sweeping Wind by 70 Spirit (Monk Only) and casting Sweeping Wind while at 3 or more stacks causes tornadoes to spawn"

I always thought the 3 set bonus of Inna's Mantra was dumb for that set, but for a set built around the idea of permanent up-time of Sweeping Wind it would be great. The second part of this set bonus would allow all runes of Sweeping Wind to produce tornadoes like the Cyclone rune, which would open up elemental diversity and also separate tornado generation from crit chance. I imagine each casting of Sweeping Wind spawning 3 tornadoes with a cap of maybe 15 tornadoes at once. Also, this would prevent the wind-up time associated with tornado generation tied to critical hit chance.

6 Set Bonus:
"While at 3 or more stacks of Sweeping Wind any tornadoes spawned will now follow the player and last twice as long. After a tornado moves 10 yards it will damage all nearby enemies for 400% weapon damage."

I wanted the 6 set effect to completely change how Sweeping Wind was used, as well as making the skill more interactive with the player. Giving the player more control over the tornadoes also adds to my idea behind this set of someone who equips the Raiment of 1000 Storms becoming a master of an element able to bend the chaos of 1000 storms to their will. This also complements the mobility of Monks and creates an incentive to want to weave in and out of battle like Monks were intended to do. The numbers for this part of the set would have to be tweaked for balance, but with a cap of 15 tornadoes I did not want to make the number too high initially.

Follow-Up
There is obviously a lot of testing that would need to happen to balance this out, but i think this is a good starting point. For example, how big should the area of effect of the proc be, and how much damage should that proc do? A complicated idea to consider in terms of damage balancing is how much time a player spends doing an activity while still taking the full advantage of this set bonus.

If the Spirit cost of re-casting Sweeping Wind is very high, then most of a player's time would revolve around producing as much Spirit as possible to continually spawn tornadoes. This would not leave much time for other sources of damage such as spamming Wave of Light or Lashing Tail Kick, and the damage of the set bonus should be high enough to compensate. If the Spirit cost is low but the tornado distance requirement is very high, then the player would have to invest most of their time moving around and the damage from the set bonus would need to compensate in a similar way as with a high spirit cost. However, if the set bonus has a low spirit cost and a small distance requirement for the proc, then a Monk player would have enough time to further add to their DPS by using other skills in combination with the proc. Therefore damage would have to be lowered to maintain balance. This seems like a very small consideration, but even a small change can have very profound effects on gameplay.

My hope is that my proposed 6 set bonus would result in approximately equal gameplay time spent generating tornadoes and moving around. I would also like for those two actions to take up the entirety of gameplay with very little time for anything else, and have the damage of the set proc be very high to compensate. I feel like this would be the most game changing and interesting, but that is just my opinion.

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I also had an idea for an Inna's Set re-design so here is that too. The set itself is called Inna's Mantra so I thought the set should be completely devoted to that aspect of Monk gameplay.

2 set bonus:
"+250 Dexterity, Increase Spirit Regeneration by 5.00 per second (Monk Only)"

Boring but consistent 2 set bonus. I liked using the Spirit regeneration aspect from the original Inna's Mantra instead of Life per Spirit Spent, and upped the number a bit to fit better the current state of Spirit in the PTR.

3 set bonus:
"More than one mantra to be active at any time (up to 4)"

Each additional active mantra would still require a skill slot like any other skill. Therefore, to have all 4 mantras active at once the player would have to dedicate 4 of the 6 available skill slots to passive mantras.

4 set bonus:
"Any active mantra gains the effect of all of its runes"

To me the rune choices for each mantra are much more powerful than the base effect of the mantras themselves, which is why the current in-game form of Inna's Mantra seems so underwhelming. I like my idea because it feels powerful to me, but also allows players to decide how many active skill slots they want to give up for more mantras. Want to go full support? Use all 4 mantras at once. Want to have more flexibility in active skill choice but still want some passive support from mantras? Only use 2 at once, or even just 1 for that matter, the player still benefits enough from the 4 set bonus to make the set desirable.

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As you can see there is a ton of room for feedback for both of those ideas so please feel free to comment. Also, if you made it the whole way give yourself a high-five. That was a lot of text.

Go Monks!!! :D
08/08/2014 02:38 PMPosted by Strego
Make all Breath of heaven runes do elemental damage like circle of scorn and increase the damage to 2000% or higher so that people can use that as their spender during Trush.


Oh man, you're so spot on! The base effect of Breath of Heaven is so useless. A weak heal with a long cooldown and small radius. It negates the damage from what, 1 or 2 ticks of an Arcane Enchanted beam? 1 or 2 seconds of an orbiter globe? 1 or 2 hits from a thunderstorm? Bahh... it doesn't do anything worth a skill slot.

I completely agree that adding elemental damage or secondary utility is needed for this skill to be desired. I mean, it has pretty good support from Eye of Peshkov, but we don't even have the guiding light passive anymore! Breath of Heaven is completely outdated as a competitive skill

@ Druin

You have my thanks for your unrelenting support of this class. Your reviews are extensive and very thorough, and accurately describe our issues in a more meaningful way than most of us would be capable of doing, considering that we all are kind of fed up of constantly being negated the proper powerful standing as a competent class of D3:ROS.
I think Shenlong's Relentless Assault should be as the name implies: relentless assault.

(2)
20% Cooldown Reduction
10% Attack Speed
Your spirit generators grant you 20% movement speed and 15% attack speed for 7 seconds stacking 3 times.
All spirit spenders now cost 20 spirit.
08/08/2014 02:57 PMPosted by Druin
Volun ... I find your lack of reading comprehension skills disturbing.

Um...for my excuse...its already a pretty long post you wrote there...there might be things...you forget...while reading all this...^^

Guess I can open a club with Davlok then... :D
08/08/2014 02:57 PMPosted by Druin
Note: So I am just STARTING this here ...

Hell. I love you... <3
Hell. I love you... <3

<3
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Druin, the happy monk
Don't normally do "this is how I'd fix.." stuff er stuff as I tend to think the devs make their own design decisions but what the eck.

I'd mostly like to see the sets made unboring than anything.

Raiment -

You mentioned a redesign not fitting with the flavour of the set potentially but to me it says not a thing about lightning in it's name. More over sweeping winds have more to do with storms than anything. So..

4 piece - sweeping winds is always active at maximum stack count.
Potentially useful for other builds outside of full raiment. Also imagine the synergy with the new seasonal legendary.

6 piece - sweeping winds runes become more powerful.
Actual effects done in such a way as to make them competitive.
E.g. Firestorm burning similar to the new ltk with dot but stacking.
Cyclone spawning many more of them. Etc.
sweeping winds is passive so we can do other stuff now instead of dashing round like a headless chicken. Also allows people to play the old cookie cutter style should they wish.

Monkey kings -

4 piece - calls all mystic ally's to your side. Spending X spirit causes them to activate.
Wouldn't require it on your bar at all freeing up a skill slot. X would need balanced around the fact air ally is there of course but gives a nice spend then generate effect. The animation of the ally's would change so they are all shadows. Also imagine the synergy with vigilanty belt ;)

I also think I'm more likely to win the lottery than see any of that.

P.s. I don't play the lottery.
I was thinking over the patches today and decided to play devil's advocate. Is there a reason for what we saw in the 3rd patch...from a Dev's point of view, maybe. So far each patch has addressed separate issues the Monk's have been having issues with.

Patch one: Mitigation with Harmony/OWE and Dex/Dodge/Armor. These issues were addressed and the changes made were not nerfed.

Patch two: Spirit Regen and Spirit Pool. Issue was addressed and no nerf took place afterwards. We received a slight damage buff.

Patch three: Attack Speed, Sustain, prior Dodge-skills. New skills added or skills modified to compensate for the loss of Dodge, this we're not complaining about. Sustain was substantially increased, combined with new skills we can Tank once again. Attack speed buff with damage nerf. Attack speed buff was minor, as was the damage nerf resulting in basically a neutral DPS change. Only reason I can see for such an action, is to specifically assess attack speed since Monk's have a lot of skills and mechanics based on attacks per second and proc values. In order to assess a change in attack speed, damage output needs to remain neutral if you are to look at the influence of proc'd effects on the performance of the class, this includes it's effect on spirit regen and sustain.

It makes no sense for a sane adult with reputation and money on the line to make changes that only damage what you have created and risk losing what you have. That's the way people work, so with that in mind and looking at things that have occurred from the other side of the window, damage buffs are on the way along with possible proc changes as well. Gear bonus's in my opinion are at the bottom of the list of issues. But, aside from the damage nerf on skills this patch, none of the other major changes to the class have been reverted. DS likely got the recharge nerf due to CDR now applying to it.

~Devil's Advocate Mode Deactivated~

On a personal note though, I'm getting impatient just like the rest of the class and each patch I'm ready rage into the forums about what's wrong with it, posted a few rantings too. Things look bleak and lately I've had little desire to play because of it. I'm a casual player and don't have time to play PTR or devote time to all classes, but I spend a good amount of time on the forums reading tips and learning from the vets when I'm not busy at work. Our mitigation and sustain issues were addressed and for the most part fixed in PTR. Now Attack speed is being addressed. Once that's solidified (we still need more) boosting damage output becomes a simple matter of percentages. Here's hoping! If not, Destiny is 1 month away :)
I feel sad every time I play a Monk, knowing that the devs do not read what Druin posts and instead, do the opposite of what he recommends. Blizzard is hiring too! Maybe they will hire someone who will play a monk and fix these problems.
08/08/2014 02:26 PMPosted by Fahita
the only infinitely scaling defensive gem is Taeguk


Let's think about it. Blizz wants (or made it so for now) Grifts to infinitely scale in two dimensions - monster toughness and monster damage. To progress in difficulty you would need to scale in both dimensions too. Otherwise, you either won't do enough damage or you are going to get one shot.

Presumably the armor and weapons aren't infinitely scaling in either direction. So, to support this model they introduced infinitely scaling leg gems. As far as I can see we are bound to hit non passable toughness wall if there are no "toughness" gems. So, it connects to your intuitive desire to cap monster damage.

There is also a practical problem - small discrepancy in base stat when magnified by gems is going to get bigger and bigger. I don't know yet how it will play out in Grift progression.

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