Monk vs Barb - Have Blizz noticed how unbalanced this is?

  • #1
    I do love playing a monk. Let me start by first saying this. But (and please correct me if you feel I'm wrong), they're not a patch on Barbs. When you start out as a monk everything is great. You can get the highest resists in the game with OWE, and you're doing decent dps. you've probably also got LOH on weps so you're pretty much unkillable. What a great char...

    The second you hit 100k dps things change. Everything that was cool about a monk is pretty much gone. Your LOH is gone from your weps in favour of LS - because LOH weps have relatively low dps and your sockets have shifted from purple to green in any event. Barbs can get LS on belts - so you're already down to a measly 3% vs the Barb 6% if you've managed to get a decent 3% LS OH. you can try scrounge some LOH on rings...but best case scenario you're looking at 500 LOH.

    Resists? you're lucky if 3 or 4 of your items have double resists. Compare Immortal King set to Inna. 80 RA is pretty much standard on IK gear. How many monks have the cash to cough for 80 RA Innas?

    you will spend a truck of gold on getting a 100k monk. a truck. Getting a 100k barb is easy. you cant tell me that a Skorn bearing ww barb doing ridiculous dps doesn't irritate you. And if that Skorn happens to have LOH on it that barb with his/her 6% LS is going to be pretty much unstoppable. And of course ww means that the slow proc of the Skorn is ignored. How nice. Because all their skills focus on improving dps, they can afford a resists shout - so their resists are actually higher than monks... We've given up with the RA shout by this time and we're using overawe.

    so we're more squishy with a lot less dps than a barb. OWE just doesn't happen because no monk set items have double resists. Well not ones that can be bought for realistic sums at any rate.

    Barbs are 10x cheaper, do more dps and are tougher. And with that ridiculous farting ww nonsense they run 2x faster so can farm much more efficiently. sure, a belt with LS for a monk might help... but short of that what's the solution? high dps used to work for tearing up elites before they could damage you. This doesn't work with high MP. I know a lot of barbs that can handle mp8+. I don't know any monks that can survive at that skill.

    Please....correct me if I'm wrong. If I've built a rubbish monk then please, show me the error of my ways.

    Here's my monk Whistle. I'd love to be corrected on this. As tanks, monks SHOULD be equal to barbs. I've seen so many 20k dps monk tanks that I HAVE to wonder how they aren't pulling their hair out at mp5+. Do you drink your coffee while you kill something??

    RA 800, LS 6%, DPS 150k. This is easy for a barb. How do we do it?
  • #2
    Everything you're ranting about is old news/arguments. The only fix they really need to make is either get rid of LS on belts for barbs, or make it accessible to every character.

    Of course their is a huge list of minor things I could rant on about the Monk class (a lot of our abilities need fine tuning, mantra's especially) the LS on the belt is just a stupid imbalance that could easily be fixed.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Parra-1124/hero/26392693 (150kish DPS)
  • #3
    Thanks Parra - thought I was the only one going insane here... :S
  • #4
    Quote from hiro_za

    you cant tell me that a Skorn bearing ww barb doing ridiculous dps doesn't irritate you. And if that Skorn happens to have LOH on it that barb with his/her 6% LS is going to be pretty much unstoppable.

    The majority are ww barbs and are not running with a skorn with loh or %ll on. Some use it for low mp farming... Most people use it on Hota build if they are running high mp.
    Anyway.... blizzard has stated they are not happy with the monk now and they are working on changes.
  • #5
    A lot of stuff is out of balance with these two classes (as with other classes when it comes to monk).

    Firstly monk is the only class that can't make a ranged spec. Throw barb is actually extremely efficient and more resilient than DH.
    Shouldn't monk be the ultimate melee class since it's the only choice the class has?

    Doesn't seem so since barbarians heal more (geez Rend* and at least 5 more %-based heal skills / passives), they do more damage, they are more defensive, and have high mobilty, immune to cc and no clip (pass through monsters).

    I could go on and on.

    *= fire and forget skill that kills AND heals. Just pop that and keep going. In comparison: once a monk stops attacking he/she is a dead monk.
  • #6
    Also, our big classy state "Life for spirit Spent" is utterly useless with any competitive build (bad design, bad planning, bad testing), and the budget cost for the stat itself is messed up.
  • #7
    There is some imbalance yes, but barbs are not superior on every level, there are many things that monks have that a barb doesn't. The class can use some tuning to be sure, but its not nearly as bad as you make it sound. Monks have a higher skill cap than barbs, but a good monk is easily able to keep stride with a good barb any day.

    Monks can use skorn too, and you can get 6% LL on it. Its very easy to break 150k dps with a skorn. On a side note, sheet dps means nothing when you compare two different classes side by side, since abilities are vastly different between classes. Ever notice MoC doesn't increase your sheet dps by 48%? A WD with 100k dps spamming zombie bears will blow a 100k dps ww barb out of the water for actual damage done during a fight.

    Monks also have things going for them that barbs don't, such as serenity (4 second invulnerability), sss which deals a ton of damage while the monk is invulerable. Tempest rush is basically the same mechanic as whirlwind, sweeping winds is incredibly efficient aoe dmg. Monk have a very high combat mobility due to the teleport associated with many of their attacks. Spirit regen means you start every fight with full spirit. Monks can have double resist in many areas, and if you just go with a single resist its way cheaper than a barb with OWE.

    The only thing I think that makes monk sub-par to barbs is that they are very vulnerable to ground aoe's since their main stat does not provide mitigation against that damage like a barb's strength does. You cannot dodge molten/plague/etc etc, which means that you are going to take more damage than a barb to those damage sources. You can potentially offset this by getting higher resistance than a barb can, but that means getting double resist rolls and sacrificing dps stats.
  • #8
    Also, while the Monk's choice for defensive passives is great (OWE, STI, Resolve really make a difference), there is not one decent offensive passive imo.
    • 16% extra damage when healing sounds great on paper, but it doesn't work, if you just heal yourself, so it is limited to group play. Also the 15s duration makes it a nuisance to use.
    • Combination Strike adds an abysmal 8% boost, and needs you to sacrifice an entire active slot to receive any meaningful damage. Not to mention the pathetic duration, which makes it an even bigger nuisance to use.
    • 20% reduced cooldowns is neat, but since most cooldowns are defensive spells, I'd consider this a defensive passive
    • Other things like extra spirit, spirit generation or movespeed are neat, but don't really help your damage
    Also (as far as I am aware), as a monk, you don't have a single spell to increase your critical hit chance, yet tons of spells with additional effects on a critical hit.
    Barbs on the other hand can increase their critical hit chance by about 30% with spells and passives alone (5% Ruthless, 10% Weapon Master, 3% Battle Rage, 10% Overpower -> 28%, 38 if you count WotB)
    Correct me, if I am wrong, but isn't the Monk supposed to be more of a swift character, who should be able to rely more on critical hits than a barb does?

    Also, now for the Barb's passives

    The defensive passives are quite powerful as well, the 2 armor passives, superstition, and situational relentless, juggernaught all provide decent ehp increase.
    However, with Ruthless and Weapon Master, Barbs got 2 passives, which provide massive basically uncondentional damage buffs. Assuming decent equipment, each of these probably provides 25%+ additional dps, without any time constraints, coop limitations or the need to fill an active skill slot. Also there are even more strong alternatives with Brawler and Bloodthirst, which are more conditional, but still provide way more damage than the Monk's passives.
  • #9
    Well.. but you forget, that you are a great support.
    I like running with a friend monk, heal with dps boost, mantra of conviction, aoe blinds are really helpful.. they allows me to focus on pure destruction even more :D

    also good skorns with LL are so expensive (
  • #10

    Monks can use skorn too, and you can get 6% LL on it. Its very easy to break 150k dps with a skorn. On a side note, sheet dps means nothing when you compare two different classes side by side, since abilities are vastly different between classes. Ever notice MoC doesn't increase your sheet dps by 48%? A WD with 100k dps spamming zombie bears will blow a 100k dps ww barb out of the water for actual damage done during a fight.


    Class comparison doesn't play well when you can always say "just gear up better". Barbarian gets these healing abilites from the class itself giving more room to gear and spec. Saying one can get Skorn with these abilites really says the monk class is lacking these and barb is not. Nothing else.

    A WD with 100k zombie bears doesn't dish out the consistent DPS of a barb. It's situational and on top of that WD is immobile.

    MoC is our only worthy offensive skill. Yes an offensive skill. One wouldn't think an aura would be used as an skill, but it is since it's the only one we have with 33% spirit pool consumption at that.


    Monks also have things going for them that barbs don't, such as serenity (4 second invulnerability), sss which deals a ton of damage while the monk is invulerable. Tempest rush is basically the same mechanic as whirlwind, sweeping winds is incredibly efficient aoe dmg. Monk have a very high combat mobility due to the teleport associated with many of their attacks. Spirit regen means you start every fight with full spirit. Monks can have double resist in many areas, and if you just go with a single resist its way cheaper than a barb with OWE.


    That 4 seconds is our oh shit button. If our stacking of LoH or LS fails that's our one go-to mechanism. Maybe SSS could be also but it isn't used much except in MP0 farming. After that 4 seconds we are knee deep again. I'm not saying it's bad, it's not (maybe a bit dull) but there's not much else. Not like we can start regaining more hp in a tight spot (rend etc). Our heal? Don't go there, just don't.

    Sweeping wind is nice, although I still have no idea what the hell is a wind doing around my monk going swoosh-swoosh. A wind? On a monk, why? Let me be a storm of fist and feet, not dust.

    SSS 1777% damage is very high... every 30 seconds. That's ~250% per hit randomly across the monsters available.

    Do you really want me to do the math vs Rend? No cooldown, 20 fury cost, 700% damage vs as many monsters as can fit. Only 3 monsters around you equals 2100% damage and SSS with it's long CD and spirit cost doesnt look that convincing anymore. Oh right barbarian also heals a ton if runed.

    TR is basically WW?
    TR: 85% weapon damage and knockbacks enemies so harder to get consecutive hits.
    WW: 145% Weapon damage AoE.
    Also TR costs more spirit.

    Personally not a fan of OWE.


    The only thing I think that makes monk subpar to barbs is that they are very vulnerable to ground aoe's...


    Yea dodge, we all know it's subpar.
    Be happy for your cool barb, the class is nicely built. Seriously it is.
    Still gonna play monk tho!
  • #11
    dude, class balances happen. upon release till 1.0.3 hit, barb along with WD suffers on the bottom of hell while DH and Wiz rules it all in inferno. monk at least is always at steady position and never be the position of early WD and Barb, hell i can't even tell which class is the worst at the moment but ww barb has it really easy in terms of farming. i don't see major difference on monk since release, just be grateful you don't get hit by major nerf like DH ss and wiz armor. And please do not mention IAS nerf because that hits everyone especially DH and Wiz with their item value wiped got hit so hard especially those who spent in RMAH.

    i loved barb i played it even so it is painful to do so before 1.0.3 but I made a DH too for farming goblins to find gears and helping me with repair gold. When DH and goblins got nerf. I made monk and boy how easy it was to progress through inferno with a monk early on compared to barb. My advice is if you can't beat them join them! I took a break when WW barb started to come out and came back this month. and now WW barb is all the rage but my monk doesn't feel much difference. I don't play my monk now (i play for a bit till paragon level 9) but I am sure one day I will play him again.

    And please don't cry regarding legendaries, IK is far from being the armor to go to. There are sacrifice to be made just like any legendary for any class. Notice IK is lacking of VIT on the chest piece, glove and helm is far from ideal too, high end barb avoid IK anyway, maybe only use one or two piece. Majority of ww barb don't run with skorn too by the way. lifesteal belt on mighty belt i think that is fair enough, it fits the lore. what blizzard needs to do is buff spirit based stats to be more viable. Maybe for monks heal based on dodge, re design passives to be more interesting, I feel guardian path has a lot of potential and offer alternative viable defensive passives.

    It all comes down to your item planning, If you choose to use 4 piece Inna of course u can't really get double resist, hell barb doesn't even have double resist why don't i complain about that? Its the same for 3/5 piece IK barb, the same with legacy DH natalya. The point is double resist is available for you on every single piece of armor to take it or not it is ultimately your choice. Do you know how is it more convenient for monk to choose resist. If a gear with all resist/double resist is expensive just go for single chosen resist and the price is not as much as all resist / double resist. for barb they can't do it like that. and one class SHOULD never be equal to another class. It should be different.

    You mention monk to be equal as a TANK. WW barb is no TANK, I am not too familiar with monk tank but I feel monk has MUCH more potential being a better tank at the moment. Your offensive skills such as deadly reach, thunderclap, lashing tail kick, seven sided strike is all offensive skills that offers good escape mechanism/mobilty.

    full CC break like serenity (short cooldown FTW?) compared to 3 minutes WotB?
    inner sanctuary? near death experience passive? thats much more tanky potential out of monk.

    furious charge u can escape some cc, leap offers mobility but little offensive power and not as spam-able as monk skills.
    Barb main attack don't offer any escape mechanism unless u count knock back from bash which doesnt help when you are surrounded..
    as if monk doesn't have heal... so dont rant abt rend/revenge/overpower (yes its barb heals are better but its not as if you dont have one)
    ground stomp. but monk has those too in blind.....
    the only reliable barb skills is ignore pain but monk has pacifism passive (which gonna be crazy in PvP)

    Having said all these i do want to see monk improves. I wanna see exciting things from monk, maybe a dual wield tanky build that doesn't suffer too much on dps (i wanna see sword and board barb option too). Maybe interesting utility skills in group environment (monk always better anyway for providing group utility than a barb). Barb resist shout got nerfed btw in case you didn't know and many 100k+ dps barb has drop the skills (maybe not for higher MPs). I don't see OWE is nerfed and I didn't even read once WW barb complained why their resist got nerfed and OWE is untouched. It goes both way mate we go on and adjust
  • #12
    thanks orangedrop - some interesting points. Let me clarify some of what I said:

    firstly, VERY few monks use full Inna - it's WAY too low on resists - and that's my point. to get a monk over 100k dps your resists end up in the toilet. I've never seen a monk with 100k dps and 800 resists. Have you? double resists is a BIG deal to monks. It's such a big deal that Bliz have said that they'd love to do something about the 'compulsory' passive OWE - but they recognise that it's so tied to monk gear now that it would be unfair to change it. But that's part of my point - it's easy to have double resists, and use all the cool attacks you're talking about if you want to stay sub 100k. The minute you want to do real dps the build becomes cookie-cut, with very little space for variation. Yes you can go single resist on an item - but then you've got inferior resists AND you cant do the dps that barbs do. Karpo touches on this a lot in the post above yours. Also, as Karpo says, serenity is an 'oh shit' use only. It's not effective in battle... if you have huge LS you dont need it anyway - and this is where the barb is so strong... barbs simply dont need escape mechanisms...

    monk tanks tend to have pathetic dps. sure they're nice to have in the party - but what incentive is there to use this build? you cannot play high MP at all... they probably couldn't even kill Deckard Cain... If Bliz want monks to be tanks and barbs to be damage dealers ok fine - but then at least make monk gear viable for SOME sort of decent dps. why create incentive to play high MP when it's pretty much impossible for monks? I get what you're saying about gear planning - ok suggest a monk build that can clear mp10. the AoE in mp10 is impossible for a monk sub 800 resists to handle. And if your dps is less than 100k well... go fetch some coffee, because each fight is going to take ages. It's just not viable...
  • #13
    why u want to stack resists? useless stat if u got high dps and a bit ls
  • #14
    every ww barb has escape mechanism! WotB which can last forever as long as you gain fury. combined with partial escape mechanism ,the whirlwind, I agree it feels over the top. yes as proza mention as well, high end barb can get away with 500 res. I feel that is very unfair too, higher mp should punish barb with 500 res.... it is not being tanky, I think barb sustainability is just ridiculous. one thing I have to add is that barb heals only work well in mob situation. one on one with a boss it gets really sad. monk will have the upper hand 1v1 or 1v2 as barb will not be able to heal enough (pre 1.0.3 anyway). I am running older build of your monk with no second fury generator and the combination passive. I have blind instead and serenity works as not only "oh shit" button. Back when I was doing brick wall of inferno, I use blind and serenity alternatively one short wait time between them, you get to control the fight much better, like semi kiting. when life is low pop blind hit a few times to get cyclone out and regain some health and run 20 yard away and hit a different mob, when life goes low again pop serenity this time gain some life and move away again by then your blind should be near off cooldown. I this fighting style better than zerg style ww barb it just not efficient sadly. I can't wait when monk gets better though and i would really love to play it again soon. Why don't you try barb yourself? I notice you have DH too. I am not very good with DH, I am playing from Japan on US server the rubber branding and delay is instant kill for me. A lot of the time I died when I already moved away from flying orb or exploding things on my screen =(
  • #15
    As many have said in this thread, it is difficult to compare classes like this before they have truly been balanced (they've stated they are still working on balancing monks).

    However, in the game's current state, I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't think that Barb's are the easiest / cheapest to gear up / play at high levels. They have quite a few advantages, many of which you've pointed out.

    It isn't just the monk that is left behind compared to the barb; it's all classes.

    I expect them to continue to make changes to the classes, specifically the monk, to adjust this imbalance.
  • #16
    Guys, monks are a fantastic class, if you are not able to appreciate that - you should go ahead and read this guide.

    As the OP in the guide says - only about 5% of monk players actually know how to play a monk. Those of us that played barbs (such as myself) can easily tell you - barbs are possibly efficient farmers, sure. However - you have virtually no build diversity simply because you are stuck forever with the exact same build in which you can't exactly change anything, ever. Monks have a variety of efficient builds, WDs have nearly a dozen efficient builds, Wizards have a few, no idea about DHs, but barbs, the only and only build... until you go insane your eyes bleed and your wrist hurts from moving mouse in the circle all day long - believe me - that is VERY far from actually being fun or enjoyable.
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    -- Albert Einstein

  • #17
    not saying it is not a great class mate but its hard to say 5% monk knows how to play monk where 50% mp4-6 ww barb is face palming around and do not know what they are doing. look at how many please help me find upgrade thread in barb section. they just buy it off AH they dont know how build a set and do upgrade plan its ridiculous. i saw a barb help me thread and he has mempo, 3 piece IK, ice climbers all decent and higher roll str and he said he is having trouble with mp3... i look at his gear and he use square gems... and a few flawless square... WTF right????

    I saw a european guy as well with hota build killing elites in 4-5 hits and clear alk run in like 20 minutes i think maybe less. it looks like playing in hell mode instead of inferno mp5 its stupid. monk build is quite limited too like the OP said and i agree. but for a long time barb only has ww and ranged barb. hota and new rend build is just starting to become popular (RIP revenge sword and board barb). I am really crossing my finger for a dual wield monk tank build comes out after blizz revamped the class. it fits the lore so well, martial arts as a self defense.
  • #18
    Quote from hiro_za

    I've never seen a monk with 100k dps and 800 resists. Have you?...

    My monk got over 800resi and 120k dps unbuffed battle.net/d3/en/profile/Lupzi-2115/hero/14680972 but when that is said I agree about everything said in OP.

    It simply seems to be cheaper to gear a barb to the same effectiveness and speed. My barb IRL friend have spend about 70% of my budget and he is doing way better than I am, The only problem monk imo got is that it is so hard to get proper healing (lifesteal, LOH, spells or just anything that makes your HP goes up at the same speed as a barb can). If the healing done by our heal breath of heaven scaled with the numbers of players who received healing and got a huge buff aswell then ti would be nice. Like if your the only yourself is getting healed then it could heal 20k if two target were healed it could heal them each for 15k (30k in total) and if 4 targets were in the range it could heal them 10k each (40k in total). Transcendence should be like 0,7% (not sure of the exact number) of your total life healed for every spirit you spend or scalling at some other way ( it would actually be nice if it was a % of the enemy, with a cap so it couldn't get too overpowered vs. uberbosses on MP10 - the reason for this is because at the short matches we do fine due to immunity and blinding flash)
  • #19
    Quote from TheDemokin

    Guys, monks are a fantastic class, if you are not able to appreciate that - you should go ahead and read this guide.

    As the OP in the guide says - only about 5% of monk players actually know how to play a monk. Those of us that played barbs (such as myself) can easily tell you - barbs are possibly efficient farmers, sure. However - you have virtually no build diversity simply because you are stuck forever with the exact same build in which you can't exactly change anything, ever. Monks have a variety of efficient builds, WDs have nearly a dozen efficient builds, Wizards have a few, no idea about DHs, but barbs, the only and only build... until you go insane your eyes bleed and your wrist hurts from moving mouse in the circle all day long - believe me - that is VERY far from actually being fun or enjoyable.


    I don't even use the AH and my 2H Cleave/Rend barb is currently farming MP 2/3 with ease.
    Got any more knowledge for us?
  • #20
    ARRRgh you people are retarded

    You do realise that MP 0-1 is the best for farming right?
    Complaining that a barb does better than monks on mp3+ is just pointless. You never, ever want to run that monster power except for farming keys or doing ubers.

    Tempest rush build for monk is probably the best farmer in the game right now.
    On ubers, monks do just as well as barbs. Not being dependant on fury is very nice.

    Also, back when the game was first released barbs were complaining about being underpowered, and everyone else was saying, "qq barbs are gear-dependant, get used to it". Now barbs have good gear and can actually perform how they are designed everyone is whining. You should have farmed back when your less gear-dependant class was dominating.
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