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The State of the Monk: Additional follower or future OP class?

state of the monk in diablo 3It’s no surprise that the Monk class has been in need of some love pre 2.1. However with the second iteration of the patch on the PTR that need has not yet been abided. People are still clamoring for more sweeping changes(pun intended).

I was a heavy Monk user pre ROS and took a break with the xpac to delve into my first love(WD) and my new fling(crusader). I returned to the Monk only a few weeks ago and what I found was a shell of what I had left. After suffering for a long time as a WD it was nice when they finally rose to prominence. After a while on the top I wanted a new challenge and set my sights back on my monk, however even this challenge seems to daunting then all that time as a struggling WD. Diablo Forum MVP Druin put together an eloquent look at the myriad issues facing the class:

Hello everyone!

I am back from vacation and I am looking to write up a concise review of where we stand in 2.1.

My plan is to give a quick overview of our major issues then discuss the 2.1 changes and how they affect the various facets of our class.

I will be using this thread to fine-tune what we want to communicate to the devs and then I will make a major “state of monks in 2.1″ thread on the PTR forums to attempt to get some help for our lovely class! :D

1. Current Monk Issues


This is really at the forefront of the monk issues.

Since the release of RoS, monks have been having a tough time with DPS. We have a very limited range of options mostly centering around the skill Exploding Palm. (Un)fortunately EP is being changed as it breaks greater rifts (along with Rimeheart and Furnace) so our only source of widely competitive damage is going away. This leaves monks in a pretty bad spot.

Our spenders do very little damage (I mean VERY little) relative to their cost and our generators are used more as proc-vehicles for Odyn Son, Thunderfury, Shard of Hate and Rime/Furnace more than as sources of damage themselves. This leaves us with our 6pc Raiment of 1000 Storms which makes DS proc a 3000% weapon damage attack on cast. 3000% damage is a lot and it scales with lightning damage gear but DS has a flat-immutable 6 second cooldown. This can be mitigated to some extent by using Jawbreaker to give “free” dashing strike charges but that interaction is quite clunky.

Basically, monks will be forced into a clunky, hard-to-use situationally terrible Storm-breaker set in order to compete with other classes in damage. If they don’t want to use this mechanic, they will do very poor damage.


Next on the list is our ability to survive. This is a more controversial topic with some finding survival to be quite easy and many others finding it to be quite hard. In 2.1 with the change from dex giving dodge to dex giving armor and the change from OWE to Harmony, many monks who had minor synergy with OWE will see a minor tankiness boost. (my Raiment set for example)
On the other hand, monk who are deeply invested into OWE will see a major tankiness loss. (my Shatter-palm set). In either case, both types of monks probably have a lot of trouble living in T6 without 2x Unity or the constant dashing from Storm-breaker. Why is this? Because monks have to face-tank so much stuff.

Our primary source of resource generation comes from skills that require you to be up-close and personal with mobs which means a lot of damage can’t be avoided. To compensate for this, end-game monks are forced to take defensive passives (Harmony) defensive skills (Epiphany-shroud / Serenity / Inner Sanc / Blinding Flash) and CDR in basically every single spec. This is extremely limiting to the monk playstyle though arguably less of a problem than the DPS as the defensive skill/CDR solution does exist.

Additionally, sustain is nearly non-existent. LoH requires primary affixes which takes away from our already terrible DPS, LPS is the same, LPSS both takes primary affixes AND is extremely poor and Globes took a pretty big hit in 2.1. Monks actually have access to healing skills but, for some reason, they are tuned to be SO weak that they are essentially non-existent.

Resource Management

This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.

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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.



Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.


Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads


Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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Diconstruction #10: The Mini-map

Posted 22 Jul 2009 by

In this, the ninth installment DiConstruction, Chris Marks discusses the function (or lack thereof) of the mini-maps in Diablo and Diablo II. Were the maps useful? Too useful? And why couldn’t you use the map in Tristram in D1 anyway?  Here’s the start of the column; click through to continue:

My Kingdom for a Perly!

Since time immemorial computer games have had one thing in common: the story sucks and the gameplay is sketchy. But that’s a topic for another article. Since a time more recent than that, games that involve exploring areas of varying shape and size have tended to have maps of some sort, to let you know just how far off track you are from where you’re supposed to be.

But what is the history of the gaming map? Where did the first incarnation appear in a video game, to help you get from place to place? This is one of many questions this article will also not answer, not because I’m slacking off, but because I don’t feel like doing the research. I know there was a roadmap in Sierra’s Quest For Glory 2 that you could buy in-game, and that’s good enough for me.

The Diablo games have always had minimaps. Press the TAB key and a small version of wherever you are pops up so you can plot your course through unfortunate creatures who have no idea what they’re in for tonight. But how useful is it really?

I Said Left, Left!

The minimap in the original Diablo was nice and simple, as could be expected from a first generation map. It presented the surroundings in yellow and brown lines, and …that’s pretty much it. Doors were yellow squares, pillars were brown squares, and inaccessible areas were filled in with dots. Stairs were denoted by many yellow lines packed closely together, which is actually a surprisingly accurate representation of them except when they’re spiral staircases. For what it was, it did the job just fine.

For some reason, however, you weren’t allowed to use it in town. The place you spend the most time, which gives you access to everything else, didn’t let you map it out. I’ve thought about why that could possibly be, and I think I’ve figured it out: Tristram was under a Mass Confusion spell.

It makes sense: why else would Adria be so far away from everyone else? She got lost because the town is incapable of producing cartographers! And why should she sell a perfectly good house just because it’s a little off the beaten path? Besides, since the town was soon enough under a Haste spell that made people walk at double-speed, it’s not like it took a long time to get there.

Just Ask Him For Directions

The Diablo 2 minimap is a lot more detailed than its predecessor. So detailed, in fact, that I originally didn’t want to play the game because I first saw it in Act 2, and I thought it would be too distracting having all the detail on the mountains and cliffs there. That’s not a joke, there are people I went to University with who can vouch for that story; I said I wasn’t going to play because I didn’t like the new minimap, because I thought it was too intrusive on the game’s action. Then I played it anyway. And that’s the most useful thing I learned at University.

Most importantly, you’re allowed to use the minimap in town now. Hooray! This is especially useful in Act 4, where town is so large it’s easy to get lost. And I’m still a little curious how none of the monsters ever figured out they could just walk in to town and start killing people and stealing their stuff, but I guess they were scared of all the people, which makes one wonder how they were able to take over the massive amount of land they ended up controlling before you came along and cut off their heads. On the minimap.

The minimap also shows more things than it did in the first Diablo. Shrines are highlighted. Different types of terrain show up differently. Important objects like the Moldy Tome are shown, and waypoints are shown as …well, small versions of waypoints. It makes sense though, that a land with many towns would have better cartographers than a mere Tristram does, which probably contributed to Tristram being utterly destroyed by the time Diablo 2 rolls around because nobody knew where to go in case of emergency, because nobody had a map!

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. The minimap in Diablo 2 also has an option to move it off to the corner so it’s out of the way and so you can see all the pretty scenery, but I find I don’t like it over there. I use the minimap to tell me where to go without insulting me more than necessary, and if I have to keep moving my eyes to the top left corner and then figure out what direction to go based on where the cross indicating my current position is I end up going crosseyed and drooling for half an hour. Maybe that’s just me though.

The point is you get more options, and options are always a good thing, though undoubtedly most will inevitably ignore them and stick with what worked the first time around because change is scary. And that’s why I’m not even going to discuss being able to fade out the parts of the map that aren’t in your immediate vicinity.

They Aren’t Bad Directions, They’re Just Wrong

The utility of the minimap is questionable based on what you’re doing at the time. If you’re exploring uncharted space then it’s good to be able to see where you’ve been, but if you’re doing Tristram runs or killing Shenk over and over you don’t really need it. Still though, I find I have to consciously remind myself to turn the map off when doing those things because I’m just so used to playing with lines crossing over my screen.

One of the interesting results of the minimap is that players develop the unique ability to change what they’re looking at, blocking out things like people and enemies in favour of lines. The first time someone pointed to my computer screen while I was playing Diablo and said “go here” I didn’t even see the minimap that was up, and just moved the mouse to where their finger was and clicked. Now I can easily shift back and forth as if it’s something I’m getting paid for (that’s a hint, Flux).

Is it helpful? Of course it is. I’d even argue it’s necessary based on the scope of the games. I think Diablo 3’s minimap will either be integrated in to the main view, so what’s not immediately present fades out like it’s in a fisheye lens, or if the developers are actually sane they could show where all the monsters and corpses are at all times. And items dropped on the ground. Ideally the minimap will have so much detail you won’t even need the graphics any more, you can just play based entirely on where the pale yellow lines go. And then we will have come full circle back to Rogue, which is probably the first game that had a map.

Diconstruction (Diablo Deconstruction) is written by Chris Marks.  It examines differences between the two (soon to be three)
Diablo games, as well as comparing them to other games, in a hopefully amusing style.  Diconstruction is published on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Leave your comments below, or contact the author directly.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 1, Diablo 2, Diconstruction, Other Games, Other RPGs