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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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Ring of Royal Grandeur Farming Exploit?

You want? You take!

You want? You take!

The DiabloWikiRing of Royal Grandeur (armory) has become the most sought after item in Diablo 3, as its legendary affix is basically mandatory for all end game gearing decisions, given the power of partial Item Set bonuses. The hard part is finding one, as it’s one of the five legendary items that can only be obtained from Act One Horadric Caches. This is good in a way, as it’s the sole remaining item/profit-based reason players have to do *anything* other than RiftRiftRift. (Given the game’s design direction in recent months, I’m frankly surprised the RoRG hasn’t been turned into a Greater Rift Guardian drop.)

Most players hunt RoRGs with brute force, by grinding hundreds of Act One bounties as quickly as possible, which usually means split-farming on Normal difficulty. That’ll work, eventually, but is there a better way? A user in our Diablo 3 community forum named Horadrimm says yes, there’s a trick to it, by following a method players are calling the “Junger Rules.” Quote:

I got 5 RORGS with very minimal effort and so can you!!

How it works: The game has a pity timer, meaning that if you don’t get a legendary within an hour or so it drops one for you automatically. The goal the aforementioned method of farming is to ensure that pity drop is in your horadric cache and not in the world.

What to do:

  • Do not kill any mobs except those required for objectives.
  • Do not kill goblins.
  • Do not open chests including resplendent chests.
  • Do not destroy breakables (pots, barrels, looting bodies etc).
  • Do not pop fortune shrines.
  • Do not kill mobs from required cursed chest and shrine event objectives until the timer has run out.
  • Avoiding a legendary drop in the world increases the chance the pity timer drops one in your cache.

    First off, the guy who invented this was apparently named Junger, so now it’s called the “Junger Rules.” Which is fine, but how the hell did they avoid the obvious pun and call it the “Junger Games?” So that’s what I’m calling it, since I’m all about obvious puns.

    As for the technique, the theory is that since the game has a “pity timer” that increases your chances of finding a legendary item the longer you go without finding one, you can exploit this by obtaining a Horadric Cache after not finding any Legendaries for some time. Hence not killing Goblins, not opening golden chests, avoiding random Elites, etc. This is a sacrifice since it’ll lower your total legendaries found, but boost your chances of finding that all-important RoRG.

    Does it work? Some players swear it does, others say it doesn’t. And thus we’re plunged back into the conspiracy theories that are inevitably spawned by item hunting in a game where we don’t know exactly how item drops work. I think the principle is sound, as the pity timer is real, but I’m not at all sure the stated rules are how it should be done.

    First of all, we don’t know when items in a Horadric Cache are determined. The Junger Gamers say the legendary pity timer works when you find the Cache, but that seems contrary to what we know about how Horadric Caches determine their item drops. Remember early in RoS, when players were storing Caches up in Normal and opening them on Torment 6? That was a real exploit, easily observed since it caused Imperial Gems to drop from Caches found in Normal. (Which made it seem that items in Caches were determined when the Cache was opened. NOT when it was found.)

    Blizzard confirmed that exploit by hotfixing it and adding an internal tag to unopened Caches that tracked what DiabloWikidifficulty level they were found on, and the level of the character that farmed them. (So if you find bags with a lvl 70 and open with a lvl 60, all the items will be lvl 70.) Bliz later expanded on that in Patch 2.0.5 when they boosted the chances for legendary items to drop from Caches found on Torment 2 and higher.

    Furthermore, Bliz recently confirmed that items from Caches roll their smart drop according to the class of the character that opens the cache. It doesn’t matter who farms the cache in terms of what items drop. That matches my experience and testing as well, as I once farmed a bunch of caches with my DH and my Barb, and then opened them with a WD and got almost all INT gear, plus several Witch Doctor-restricted items.

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    Vote: Your Ultimate Goal, Max Level Diablo 3

    Posted 29 Apr 2013 by

    A survey type of vote, spurred by some recent news. What’s your goal regarding max level Diablo 3?

    As we saw with the (ongoing) Doggie Discount to Paragon 100… many people play Diablo 3 solely to achieve the maximum level. Maybe they want that for the passive bonuses to MF/GF, but in many cases it seems like just the big number on their level bar is the goal, and it’s not a means to and end, but an end in of itself.

    I could understand that in earlier games in the series, where DiabloWiki max level it was a really grind-tastic achievement. And one that was profitable to achieve; not so much in Diablo 1 where higher levels added quite minimal bonuses, but in Diablo 2 each level awarded 5 attribute points and a skill point, and skill points were really what made the world go ’round.

    In Diablo 3 on the other hand, higher levels don’t mean a whole lot. Reaching 60 is a big hurdle, since you have access to all skills and rune effects and can equip any item in the game at that point… but gaining DiabloWikiParagon levels above that don’t add a great deal of benefit. Each Paragon level awards 3% MF/GF, plus 3 to DiabloWikimainstat, 2 to vit, and 1 to the other 2 attributes. Those bonuses add up nicely, for a pretty well-geared high level character with 3000 mainstat and 1000 vit… even going all the way to Paragon 100 will only grant 300 mainstat and 200 vit of that total. (Though maxing out the MF/GF is pretty handy.)

    Thus my question… why do you level up? What’s the ultimate gold goal of your characters? It’s a tricky question to fit into discrete vote options, so pick the option that best matches your game goals, and then hit the comments to make BabyJayWilson cry as you complain that the vote options weren’t perfectly worded for your particular, unique approach to the dilemma.

    What's your primary goal with your Diablo 3 characters?

    View Results

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    More than one of the vote options can be true for you, but what’s the most important to you?

    For instance, I like to find shiny. I love DiabloWikiMagic Find, I work to max that out and sacrifice DPS and other things to achieve it. For me, Paragon levels are chiefly of use in that they boost my char’s other properties, especially the MF. Thus I generally choose Topaz over Ruby in my hat, since I want the MF boost now, not a slight increase to leveling speed that will grant me MF eventually. I can sort of understand players who go all DPS and +exp, purely to level up, since someday they’ll be more efficient item finders, but I want the increased chance to find the shiny now, not in 10 or 20 or 50 levels. Especially now that I’ve mostly transitioned to DiabloWikihardcore, where tomorrow may never come.

    Click through for some retrospective on the time to max level in past Diablo titles, plus projections for Diablo 3′s future.

    Just FYI, but D2 max level 99 varied hugely in accessibility over time.

    Back in D2C, from July 2000 – June 2001, it was really, really hard to achieve. I played a ton of D2C and don’t think I ever had a char past level 90, and most players thought 99 was impossible, since past about 95 the only way to gain noticeable quantities of exp was to kill Diablo himself.

    Thus it was fascinating to most in the community when we saw a race from 93 up, between two teams of players pushing for the first to level 99. Check out the GerBarb and RussBarb articles for all the details (GerBarb won), including interviews with the players and details on how it took dozens of players, rolling 12_ hours a day, to get a single character to 99 in Diablo 2 classic/vanilla.

    For the sake of comparison, reaching 99 was *much* easier during most of D2X; highlighted by a team achieving 99 it less than 40 hours after a ladder reset in October 2001. (That’s less than 4 months after D2X was released, so clearly there wasn’t a real huge learning curve involved.) At that point players could level to 99 simply by doing the same level over and over and over again, and most players chose the (not so) DiabloWikiSecret Cow Level since it had huge monster density, top exp per enemy, and no ranged attackers or variety in enemies. (I always remember this sort of thing and laugh and laugh whenever anyone says D3 is boring/repetitious only 6-9 areas in Act 3 worth running.)

    Paragon 40 required for a decent avatar border.

    Level 40 required for a decent avatar.

    Reaching level 99 in D2X became much harder in v1.10 and later, as the super easy areas were buffed or removed, and the grind from 90+ became much slower. (I made a 99 and multiple ~95s, Hardcore, in v1.09, but never got above 92ish in v1.10+.)

    D3 hasn’t changed that much between patches, though it might in the future. Reaching level 60 isn’t meant to be that hard, with a single pass through Normal/Nightmare/Hell sufficient to achieve it. Paragon levels were added August 22, 2012 in DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.4 and the first player to reach 100 was Alkaizer in on September 6, 2012 . (Yes, that’s just two weeks later. Not quite the 40 hours to 99 of v1.09 D2X, but certainly easier than anything GerBarb could have imagined.)

    We don’t get ladder resets in D3, but it would be interesting if we did…. interesting to see how long it would take someone to get to 100, now that we’ve got Hellfire rings and many other exp boosting items. V1.08 will make Paragon 100 even easier, with the multiplicative experience bonus, bonuses for multiplayer, and the potential of super geared players running over 1000% experience bonus on MP10.

    All of which leads to the long-lingering question… what happens to max level in D3X? Does Paragon just increase to say, 150 or 200? If so, what are the bonuses, since characters are already maxed out on MF/GF? Can max level increase to 70 (more skills/skill runes to squeeze in?) while Paragon is already intact? Will the whole level / paragon system be overhauled in the expansion? Personally, I has a curious.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo: IncGamers Votes, End Game, Paragon