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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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Guide: Legendary Gems

legendary gems guideLegendary Gems were first officially revealed in the Patch 2.1 preview blog back in June of this year.   They will be added to Reaper of Souls in Patch 2.1, and are currently undergoing testing on the PTR.

The gems add special bonuses when socketed in rings and amulets (only on Characters and not on Followers), and can be upgraded in power via DiabloWikiUrshi, the NPC who appears after Greater Rifts are cleared.

While the developers are calling them “legendary gems” these socketables have nothing in common with regular DiabloWikigems in stats or appearance, and are more analogous to the Rainbow Facet unique jewels of Diablo 2. The main difference in Diablo 3 is that these gems can only be socketed in jewelry, and the way the gems can be upgraded to improve their functions over time.

Legendary Gems Listing

While the Legendary Gems are still undergoing development on the DiabloWikiPTR, their stats and bonuses are changing constantly. A major revision was created on July 15, 2014 with new or upgraded stats for almost every gem. The following are the most current details about Legendary Gems.


DiabloWikiBane of the Powerful
bane of the powerful
  • Gain 30% increased damage for 20 seconds after killing an elite pack.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1 second buff duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 20% bonus damage to elites.
DiabloWikiBane of the Trapped
bane of the trapped
  • Increase damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain an aura that reduces the movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.
DiabloWikiBoon of the Hoarder
  • 30% chance on killing an enemy to cause an explosion of gold.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance on kill.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 30% increased movement speed for 3 seconds after picking up gold.
  • Increase the Critical Hit Chance of your pets by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.4% Critical Hit Chance. Max +20% upgrade (+40% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Your pets are unkillable.
Bliz Note: As was discussed in another thread, allowing this this gem to rank up to +100% pet Crit would likely cause undesired gearing issues and probably be a little out of line.
DiabloWikiGem of Efficacious Toxin
gem of efficacious toxin
  • Poison all enemies hit for 1000% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: All enemies you poison take 10% increased damage from all sources.
DiabloWikiGogok of Swiftness
 gogok of swiftness
  • 50% chance on hit to gain Swiftness, increasing your Attack Speed by 2% for 3 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 2% Cooldown Reduction per stack of Swiftness.
 DiabloWikiInvigorating Gemstone
 invigorating gemstone
  • While under any control-impairing effects, reduce all damage taken by 30%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1%. Maximum +50% upgrade (80% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Heal for 20% of maximum life when hit by control-impairing effect.
 DiabloWikiMirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
 Mirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
  • 15% chance on hit to smite a nearby enemy for 1000% weapon damage as Holy.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Smite a nearby enemy every 5 seconds.
  • 30% of all damage taken is instead staggered and dealt to you over 3 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.1 second to the stagger duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: 10% chance on kill to clear all staggered damage.
 DiabloWikiPain Enhancer
 Pain Enhancer
  • Critical hits cause the enemy to bleed for 500% weapon damage as Physical over 3 seconds.
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Forum Watch #90: Keywardens and Hellfire Ring Farming

Posted 21 Oct 2012 by

Lots of forum conversation lately about the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine, everyone’s favorite new v1.05 challenge. The first step is farming the keywardens, which is hard, or not, mostly depending on your gear, play style, and support team. (It’s dangerous to go alone.) Some useful discussion in this thread, which I’ve condensed and combined with personal experience for some bullet points:

  • Act One: The DiabloWikiKey of Destruction from DiabloWikiOdeg the Keywarden in the Fields of Misery. Few complaints about this guy; most people think he’s well-balanced and a nice challenge. Noticeable difficulty and difference in appearance from other bosses at that stage, but not too hard.
  • Act Two: The Key of Hate from Sokahr the Keywarden in the Dahlgur Oasis. Mixed feedback on this guy. Aside from him taking forever to find in the enormous Dahlgur Oasis, ranged characters think he’s a breeze but melee fighters are less thrilled by his talents. His AoE attack is punishing, and apparently bugged in that it continues even when he’s stunned or otherwise CC’ed.
  • Act Three: The DiabloWikiKey of Terror from DiabloWikiXah’Rith the Keywarden in the Stonefort. This is the biggest source of complaints, as we saw in a blue post a couple of days ago. Unlike the first two, this guy is not hard to find. In fact he’s very hard to *not* find, and has murdered a great number of new characters on Normal difficulty, especially Hardcore melee fighters who are still fragile in their low level gear and want nothing to do with him, but can’t avoid him in the area. Many suggestions to move him to a different dungeon, one that’s optional to explore, or where there would at least be room to dodge him.

    Xah’s biggest danger comes from his AoE attack, as he can drop bodies on anything nearby, plus inflicting a big slowing debuff. Characters lacking a snare-breaking escape skill tend to get stuck and ground up, helplessly.

  • Act Four: The Blacksmithing Plan from DiabloWikiNekarat the Keywarden on the Silver Spire Level 1. Some players feel he’s OP, but since you only need to get the plans once ever, that’s less of an issue than the other keywardens, who you need to farm repeatedly. The issue of building up the mandatory 5 NV stacks in Act Four is less of a problem than previously, since Blizzard seems to have pumped up the number of random boss packs in Act Four. Players report finding them much more commonly, and sometimes even 2 packs in those little dungeon areas. It doesn’t sound like Act Four has exactly become prime farming territory, but at least the “yet another cinematic-enhanced useless Purple boss” issue might be eased a bit.

  • Monster Power and Farming

    The other main consideration is the DiabloWikiMonster Power setting. That’s complicated slightly by the fact that you MUST have 5 stacks of DiabloWikiNephalem Valor to have any chance of getting a key (or the demonic organs from the next stage bosses). (And remember that Magic Find is irrelevant for key drop.) So it’s not just, “can I spend an hour Zerging down the keywarden on MP10 for the guaranteed drop?” Not when you have to build up your 5 stacks of NV first, in that same game since you can’t change MP mid-game. And if you’ve got less than godly equipment, surviving on MP10 is out of the question.

    People have argued about the math and the odds in a number of threads, and opinions vary. While MP10 is out of the question for most, given how steeply the monster hit points and damage scales up past about MP5, groups of well-equipped characters are routinely taking down the keywardens and then the Uber bosses on MP4-6. Your odds of a key dropping are 50% on MP5, which is pretty good.

    If you’re doing it alone… it’s going to take a lot longer. It seems like MP2 or higher is really what you want to aim for; the monster difficulty doesn’t increase that much from MP1 to MP2 or 3, while the odds of finding a key go up from 10% to 20% or 30%. If you can double or triple your odds of finding a key (by going from MP1 to MP2 or MP3) while only increasing the difficulty by say, 50% (in relative terms), that’s a good trade off.

    If you’re really low on gear, or playing HC and unable to die for your treasure, then yes, you can do it on MP0… but man it’s going to take a while. Finding the keys might not be impossible; say you get lucky with your 5% drop chance and it only takes you 10 runs per keywarden, at 20 minutes per run. That’s 30 x 20 = 600 minutes, or 10 hours of play time, but that’s only for 1 of each key. You need 3 of each! So you’re already up to 30 hours, and that’s only step one.

    The hard part is killing the uber bosses, since you’re using up 3 keys each time you open one of the red portals, and if you do the ubers (don’t forget the 5 NV stacks) and you don’t get the demonic organ, you’re back to step one and looking at dozens more keywarden runs. Thus it’s damn near imperative that you do the Ubers on the highest MP you can manage, which is helped by the red portal staying open. You can Zerg them, and really… even if takes more than 30m and your NV stacks wear off, you can just go out into Act One and farm up 5 more stacks, before returning to the whittle-fest project on the Ubers.

    Of course that’s totally out of the question for Hardcore players. Xanth and his brethren might just be happy that the Hellfire Rings aren’t actually very good for anything other than experience gain, since they’re so dangerous and time-consuming to farm if death is not allowed that it would just be a cruel temptation for HC players if the rings actually had awesome stats.

    Hellfire Rings Great Success

    Players are taking the challenge and DiabloWikiHellfire Rings are being obtained, mostly by people like windstriker who are smart enough to work in groups. Quite a few samples have been posted to the Hellfire Ring show off thread. Congrats and thanks to Katniss, gakky, Martialsage, Kestegs, and Windstriker, so far, some of whom have crafted several of them thus far. If you ask really nicely, maybe one of them will give you an extra one!