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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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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.
 DiabloWikiEnforcer
 enforcer
  • 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.
 DiabloWikiMoratorium
 Moratorium
  • 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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One life to live: Post patch Hardcore

Posted 22 Feb 2013 by

It should come as no surprise to you that DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.7 dropped earlier last week, and as we revel in the post Valentines glow and the Playstation announcement, it’s time to look and see how the patch has shaped our Hardcore world.

diablo-hardcore

I have to admit I’ve had a hard time prying myself away from Diablo 3 to write. At the moment I seem to have a great balance that keeps me logging in. I’m pushing my monk to new heights on the DiabloWikiParagon system, finding legendaries on a consistent basis and crafting to my heart’s content.

Crafting

Having seen the occasional item from the PTR I was excited to craft items I could actually use. What I didn’t expect was to end up replacing some of my hard earned legendaries. With the potential for huge stats in tandem with great rolls it’s hard not to gamble on it. I am not alone in picking up crafting as Tomb of Secret prices have risen to 10k and gems are on a steady incline as well, by managing to pick up 100 or so tombs a night I can tack on an extra million to my stash and be closer to my goal of one billion.

The downside of crafting appears to be the market deflation of what was once considered best in slot. Suddenly items that were once near priceless are worthless due to the ready availability of crafting. Amulets are probably the worst for resale value now with everyone still appreciating a well rolled Lacuni or Vile Ward, but choosing to play the crafting game for the amulet that fits their needs. That in turn has shifted our economy. The Auction House isn’t as large of a bastion for good items anymore now that you can craft items that are better. Items now will sit on the AH for days that would have normally sold in minutes, the path to riches now falls on good drops in prized slots and selling consumables. It’s still possible to make money on the AH but the market has shrunk.

Crafting for Hardcore fits a great niche, and that’s the niche of losing your items. I would scour over my dead characters and knew I couldn’t get those things back, and I would agonize over the RNG of finding a new one as close to it as possible. With crafting however I know I can roll up a few items that could get me going right away, and tide me over until the next good craft or I stumble upon RNG luck. Suddenly gearing back up after a death is a little easier and perhaps a little less stressful, are legendaries still king for some slots? Of course, but now we can strive and thrive without needing them.

XP gain

Monster power got a boost with new experience gains and I found myself stepping my game up a bit for the first time. I only ventured into MP1 but have been plowing through it at enough of a clip to consider going up a notch. The only reason I had even considered doing this was for the extra experience gain. Not having that before provided no incentive for the extra risk it held. However, as I’ve moved upward in paragon levels so has the time it takes to gain them so any chance to chip away at it quicker seems like a good one to me.

Brawling

I’m going to be blunt, I did it once. Not to say it wasn’t fun but without a system to draw you into it for that specific purpose it seems out of place. I like the old type of pvp style where you would queue specifically for it. I’d love to try this further but right now it’s just not something I’m going out of my way to do, which might be tied to..

Multi-player games

Maybe if I was playing with other people I would be brawling, or maybe I still wouldn’t. I can’t actually say however, since I haven’t had any incentive to do so. I’ve written a lot about this before but Diablo 3 still lacks a reason for me to play with other people. At the moment I lose magic find from my follower, I kill at about the same rate, and I risk someone else making a mistake that kills me. None of that seems right, to top it off the interface itself pushes you towards solo play, the chat channels are small and unused, and the community is stagnant since you only communicate with friends. What we need is system for us to meet new players, exchange ideas and opinions and to play games with others. D2 had a great system, and while it may be outdated, I met more people from looking at avatars hanging out on a pasture than I have from randomly joining games in D3. D2 had the option to join random games but even those were named with objectives, and you knew what you were getting in to. In tandem with a new interface there has to be a reason to join. Increase the magic find rate with a party, or increase legendary drop rates, or experiance gain, any sort of carrot on a stick to get us playing together. It is much more fun to play the game with others, but at the moment it is still just to effective to not.

Playing solo shouldn’t be the best way, and with all the changes made to the game so far I’m confident we will see this fixed as well. That being said 1.07 is an exciting addition to the game and I’m loving every second of it. Each patch is pushing the game forward and I look forward for what the next one brings us.

How is patch 1.07 treating you?

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!