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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

Damage

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.

Durability

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.

hardrock

Trophies

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.

Threads

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

Likes

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

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One life to live: Poor Xanth, Rich Xanth: a perspective

Posted 1 Feb 2013 by

Having spent the better part of my DiabloWikihardcore days in relative poverty; I spent most of it looking upward. Small gold reserves dwindled on new gear and reviving characters who died far too early. Having over 20 million seemed like a dream away, and even when I was close I’d get knocked down. Then it happened, an amazing drop, a bidding war, and new found riches. I found myself in a new world where everything was at my fingertips and I’m not sure if it made it better.

This isn’t a post to brag about my cash but that of my journey upward. I got lucky. I was running craters leveling paragons and a DiabloWikiWitching hour (db) dropped with an amazing roll. It was the first time I had the dilemma of selling something or keeping it, as most of the time I’d equip an upgrade. With 8 million in my gold reserves I thought I’d put it out there for sale. Having just lost a monk recently I figured it’s better to plan for the rainy day when my current one dies and gold can help me get back on my feet. After the bidding started and the dust settled I walked away with 145 million.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hit the AH right away, but when I got there with my stacks of gold I had no clue where to go with it. Should I buy a new weapon? Armor? Shoulders? Rings? I probabally browsed the AH for an hour and didn’t buy a single thing. Ultimatley I picked up a DiabloWikivile ward (db) and DiabloWikiInna’s Vast Expanse (db) boosting my dps and keeping my stash over 100mil. As my gold hovers at that level I find myself becoming cheaper than when I had so little.

The thing I realized was that with each new upgrade I was sinking more and more of my reserves into something that could quickly disappear. I used to have no problem sinking half of my gold reserves into an upgrade but that logic changes when half becomes more than you ever had before. It also had me thinking that I was doing just fine before I upgraded, clearing the areas I wanted to, gaining levels and slowly farming keys, that each upgrade wasn’t truly necessary. I also found that my new wealth had affected how I went about my runs as well. I wasn’t picking up everything, or watching my gold count anymore. It one sense it’s relieving to know even if I die I’ll have a enough to pave the road ahead of me but it’s also scary to think of the amount of gold my monk is wearing and how much I’d lose if/when he dies. There is something freeing however about not worrying as much about what is dropping and focusing only on the things you absolutely need. No more picking up rare devas to sell at the end of a run, or running back to larger piles of gold you missed.

I also found myself largely ignoring my other characters. With each new investment I was distancing myself further and further from my other characters that it will be a true culture shock to go back down to that level. My poor level 52 barbarian has been waiting for a long time to hit 60 and he’s going to be waiting for a bit more. That investment has also had me distancing myself from public games. Granted until the force kick pk situation is resolved I would be anyway, but now with so much more to lose it’s not worth it.

The other thing I’ve found now being flush with cash is that upgrades are not as easy to come by. I imagined decking my character out in a swath of riches and riding that gear to 100, but on my way out of the poor house I assembled a motley pack of gear that served me well. So well in fact that upgrading one piece at a time has become a huge balancing act. Sure I can find an amazing new chest piece but in order for it to truly work I’ll need to upgrade my bracers, and shield and so on. While I may have some gold I’m still too poor for that. With that in mind I’ve set out to become a Hardcore billionaire and gone back to my old farming ways. Picking up as much gold as I can, selling everything and slowly working my way up. I prefer it that way, until I die of course.

That is the beauty of Hardcore though. All the work, all the effort, all the items, obliterated in one fell swoop. I’ve spent a good portion now, and still have enough for that rainy day, but I’m embracing the new element of risk I’ve added. I’ve played in poverty, and now in wealth and both have their own styles. For now I’ll embrace the world I find myself in, and if disaster strikes I’ll be fine as a pauper again. After all fortune is just a drop away.

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!