Patch 1.0.4 Class Preview: Monk

  • #1
    Patch 1.0.4 Class Preview: Monk
    Blizzard has just posted the third class preview for patch 1.0.4. You can check the Barbarian's preview here and the Wizard's preview here. The remaining two class previews should be out later today, so keep checking back!

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    The most important changes for the monk in 1.0.4 are aimed at improving damage-focused Spirit Spenders. We're happy with where Spirit Generators are right now, but unfortunately once you have Spirit, there aren’t very many appealing ways to use it. In many cases, the most effective use of Spirit has been to recast a Mantra repeatedly for the three-second bonus. While this is certainly one possibility, it doesn't seem as exciting as using one of the more offensively-focused Spirit Spenders (or at least having that option available).


    Spirit Spenders
    Exploding Palm:
    From a strict usability standpoint, we think the visuals for Exploding Palm can be a little difficult to interpret. It's hard to tell who's affected by the Bleed and who's being damaged by the resulting explosion. Our Visual Effects team has made some improvements in 1.0.4 which will make it easier for players to tell who's bleeding and who's getting damaged.

    From a mechanics standpoint, the three-second Bleed can make the explosion hard to pull off, and the damage just doesn't seem enough to be worth the Spirit cost. To help with both of these issues, we’re increasing the duration of the Bleed to nine seconds as well as its damage per second, which should make it more likely that monsters you’ve touched with Exploding Palm will go boomwhen they die.


    Current: 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds
    1.0.4: 745% weapon damage over 9 seconds


    (Don't worry, Impending Doom is also having its duration increased to 15 seconds.)

    Seven-Sided Strike:
    The original intent for Seven-Sided Strike was for it to be a solid damage dealer that you could use for a quick burst. Where Serenity granted you an amazing period of invulnerability, and your other combat skills could put out some damage, Seven-Sided Strike would ideally exist somewhere in the middle by offering some invulnerability and some damage. Unfortunately, the way it currently plays out, Seven-Sided Strike feels more like a bad version of Serenity, and the damage just doesn’t seem worth it. To address this, we’ll be doing a straight damage increase to Seven-Sided Strike to make it an attractive option for those who are looking for a skill that really packs a punch.

    The damage buff to Seven Sided Strike is significant. And although players rarely complain when a skill gets buffed, it does leave one wondering why a lower damage existed in the first place.

    The answer is: our initial design was flawed in several ways. To get the skill where it needed to be, we identified three distinct problems that were plaguing not only Seven-Sided Strike, but other class skills as well, and each problem merited a damage increase.
    • First, we're upping the damage of many skills with longer cooldowns in 1.0.4. Across all classes, if I can only hit a button once every so often, it needs to dole out some significant damage to justify the spot on my bar. While some skills, like Archon and Wrath of the Berserker, are significant enough to make the cut, there are a lot of skills that need DPS improvements to make their cooldowns worthwhile. Indeed, many monks use Seven-Sided Strike for the brief invulnerability, not the damage.
    • Second, we're also upping the damage on skills that spend Spirit. As mentioned in the introduction, Spirit Spenders are getting buffed because the Spirit cost needs to be weighed against the benefit of using that Spirit on something else -- such as refreshing your Mantra.
    • Third, we're taking a hard look at distinctive, class-defining skills that create better tension on your skill bar. We'd like to promote skills that help to fulfill the fantasy of a class; skills that make you feel happy that you chose the class you did. Since the fantasy of a monk involves being fast, agile, and hard to hit, Seven-Sided Strike seemed like a natural candidate.
    We looked at making these improvements across all skills and all classes, and Seven-Sided Strike benefitted all three times. As a result, the 1.0.4 version of the skill is incredibly potent (we'll save the details for the patch notes).

    Wave of Light:
    Wave of Light is the kind of skill that just needs to do way more damage. It has a big Spirit cost, but it doesn’t seem to pay off based on the amount of Spirit invested into it. In general, we’d like Lashing Tail Kick to be a skill that’s good against a small number of targets and feels relatively "spammable," and for Wave of Light to be a skill that’s more of an investment -- something that you don’t use as frequently, but pays out with bigger damage numbers when you actually do hit the button.

    Current: 215% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE
    1.0.4: 390% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE


    This is just for the base skill. Wall of Light, Explosive Light, and Pillar of the Ancients damage has also been buffed up by a fair amount.


    Passives
    In terms of passives, it's pretty clear at this point that One With Everything is considered a mandatory passive for all monks. While "mandatory" passives aren't great, making any major change would do more harm than good, particularly when a) incoming damage is so high and B) monks need the extra durability in order to survive. Additionally, as a result of this passive, monks are more heavily tied to their current gear, so making changes to One With Everything would have very noticeable negative repercussions to the gear monks have invested in.

    While we'd prefer that there wasn't an "absolutely mandatory" passive, we're going to let this one ride for now. If we do try to make changes we'll ideally do it in a way that doesn't invalidate the passive, doesn't hurt monk survivability, and doesn't undermine the gear people are currently wearing.

    Last but not least, we added the ability for monks to wield two-handed weapons in 1.0.3, along with supporting animations. This has allowed some monks who enjoy two-handers to play this way, but it's not always effective. In the Systems Preview, we mentioned that two-handed melee weapons are getting a buff, and that will help. As additional support, the Spirit generation bonus granted by The Guardian's Path is going to be increased from 25% to 35%.


    Be sure to check out our other class previews for patch 1.0.4: Wyatt Cheng is a Senior Technical Game Designer for Diablo III. He's currently debating whether to level his Shadow priest or "Laser Chicken" to 90 first when Mists of Pandaria comes out.
  • #2
    So they have a third of the page talking about SSS and then don't freaking tell us what it does lol?

    sad blizzard... very sad.
  • #3
    These are all just delaying tactics for the 1.0.4 patch notes.
  • #4
    This basically.... did tell us nothing.
  • #5
    Quote from Soul

    So they have a third of the page talking about SSS and then don't freaking tell us what it does lol?

    sad blizzard... very sad.


    But I bet you're dying to find out...Blizzard wins.
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  • #6
    Quote from Soul

    So they have a third of the page talking about SSS and then don't freaking tell us what it does lol?

    sad blizzard... very sad.

    They said they are going to increase the damage output significantly. What more do you need?
    They probably haven't nailed it down exactly and if they now said they'd triple the damage but, after further testing, actually went with a factor of 2.5 people would start crying all over the place...

    On Topic: I agree that the three skills shown here need significant buffs, but I hope they've got some more in store, especially in terms of rune balance for Blinding Flash, Breath of Heaven or Mantra of Conviction.
  • #7
    That's a lot of text that doesn't really say much. At least they didn't get nerfed though.
  • #8
    This told us several things:

    1: Seven Sided Strike may become a viable finisher (slightly yawn)
    2: They would like two hand weapons to become truly viable, so it may result in a drop in price for Shields for monks, etc.
    3: Most importantly, we now know that they will not be nerfing OWE in this round of balancing.

    I'd say that is all useful forward planning information.
  • #9
    Quote from Mayne

    Quote from Soul

    So they have a third of the page talking about SSS and then don't freaking tell us what it does lol?

    sad blizzard... very sad.


    But I bet you're dying to find out...Blizzard wins.

    Actually the opposite I haven't played a single game or even opened up D3 in over 1.5 months now... I still keep my self updated on what these new patches bring.

    Having a preview about class changes and have 1/3 the page just saying pretty much "it's changing in a big way.... see patch notes when we decide to put them up"... Is really REALLY sad.

    Monk Passive - All that was said is OWE is pretty much a needed passive and that's it besides 10% increase to some rando stupid passive no one will ever use...

    We also only got 2 skills with dmg increases compared to over 6 with the barb(not counting SSS cause no %dmg number was given)... Even though it is a preview this one is crap even compared to the Wizard one lol...
  • #10
    Quite underwhelming preview compared to barb&wiz.
    Also, that "buff" to exploding palm makes me lol compared to rend.

    Current: 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds | ~73/s
    1.0.4: 745% weapon damage over 9 seconds | ~83/s

    Rend: Weapon damage increased from 210% over 3 seconds to 700% over 5 seconds | 70/s -> 140/s
  • #12
    to Temsen:
    The significant change of the exploding palm is not only its damage, but its duration. 9 second for exploding palm is a very big buff...if you have the experience with the skill, you would know what I mean.
    Hey You, What is your mission?
  • #13
    My only lvl60 chars are Monk and WD which are the classes that need buffing the most compared to the others I think. After seeing the buffs made to the already powerful barb and wizard I had high hopes for monk and still have for WD even though I was completely NOT blown away by the monk preview. What a frickin' joke! I know today's preview is not showing all changes made, but I'm guessing they preview the big changes which, in this case, was not very big at all.

    As for OWE. Since everyone is using it why not make it inherent to the monk to start with and make us get to choose 3 different ones instead? ;)
    Calling the shots since -77. http://eu.battle.net...9/hero/13609334
  • #14
    My prediction for the Witch Doctor class review... they buffed the damage numbers of under used skills and left everything else untouched.

    Crazy, I know. I really went out on a limb with that prediction.
  • #15
    The changes look kinda underwhelming.

    Maybe they'll add up with the system and item changes for something much better.
  • #16
    Quote from Temsen

    Quite underwhelming preview compared to barb&wiz.
    Also, that "buff" to exploding palm makes me lol compared to rend.

    Current: 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds | ~73/s
    1.0.4: 745% weapon damage over 9 seconds | ~83/s

    Rend: Weapon damage increased from 210% over 3 seconds to 700% over 5 seconds | 70/s -> 140/s


    The point of Exploding Palm is not the bleed, but the explosion. The bleed is a bonus. The extra duration will make it easier to actually trigger that explosion as well as possition the monster for maximum damage.
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  • #17
    Quote from shootingbull

    My prediction for the Witch Doctor class review... they buffed the damage numbers of under used skills and left everything else untouched.

    Crazy, I know. I really went out on a limb with that prediction.


    lol, easy there tiger, those are some pretty maverick predictions
  • #18
    I'm not excited the least about these buffs. Was really hoping for some rune changes to various skills. I was really looking forward to read these notes, after reading the barbs. Big disappointment. :/
  • #19
    It didn't say anything
  • #20
    Blizzard, I am dissapoint.
  • #21
    I really thought they were going to address Fists of Thunder. Esp. Thunderclap. The no 1 spirit generator which everyone seems to use late game. I loved Deadly Reach (Trident) all the way to Hell, but the pause on the third strike just equals death too often when fighting top end content. The fact that they are happy about this makes me sad :(
    Awaiting my return...
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