Tag Archives: Monk

The problem with brewmaster monks…

28 Apr

So, my brand new monk hit 84, and promptly got stuck when trying to do the quest chain that takes him into Twilight Highlands… and since I would rather rub sandpaper on my nipples than level 84-85 solely in Uldum and Deepholm, I went ahead and made a template character. First thing I did with my brand new panda monk (spooneristically named “Metabonkey”) was to spec him brewmaster and queue for one of the new dungeons. Queue popped instantly and I was taken to Stormstout Brewery, where I promptly realized the big issue with Brewmasters in their current iteration

They are fucking squishy. Here’s why: My druid tank, in bear form, in ilvl 397 gear has 58422 armor on the beta. My monk, in 378 gear (admittedly worse, but not DRAMATICALLY so) is sitting at 11381 armor.

Now baseline, that’s roughly a 30% difference in damage reduction mitigated by armor. Per swing. Brewmasters DO have a lot of tools to combat this between Guard and Staggering damage, but therein lies the problem. NO one tank class shouldn’t have to use a minimum of 4 global cooldowns for his damage taken to be similar to that of the other tanks. 4 global cooldowns is the MINIMUM… That’s providing you start a fight with full chi and are talented into having a maximum of 5 chi. If you’re going in blank it could take as many as 9 global cooldowns (Keg smash, Jab x2, Tiger Palm x3, Keg Smash, Guard, Purifying Brew) . And that is IF every single blow lands.

That’s a long damn time for you to be getting your face pounded in while trying to be “just as good” as the other tanks. Now the guard gives you a bit of breathing room, and purifying brew will cleanse off any Staggered damage you took in that time frame, but unless you throw a blackout kick (2 chi, which means you need to generate 2 MORE chi somewhere in that 9s string of nonsense) somewhere in there, there isn’t any guarantee that you will stagger ANY hits. Which means you took at *least* 3 swings from a boss at “full strength” with your monk’s piddly little 30% armor. Which means your healers are panting and going “what the fuck y u so squishy!??!”

All things being equal, this is a problem in and of itself. I don’t think anyone will argue that, but here’s the rub. Keg smash has a cooldown. If you miss with it either time in those 9 seconds then you wasted a cooldown and now have to jab TWICE for two chi, instead of KS’ing ONCE. On top of that, your keg smash/jab cost 40 energy. Energy is kind of a funky resource overall because baseline it regenerates at 10/sec. Of course haste will change that, but the amount it does so is SO miniscule (10% haste = 1 extra energy/sec. HARDLY worth the hassle when you could look for so many better things on gear).

So, let’s look at this from another way, where energy actually comes into play in the above rotation (starting a fight with zero chi). Keep in mind, I am no hardcore theorycrafter, but all of this makes sense even to me, so it should be simple enough to understand. We are assuming 0 haste on your behalf (which we know will not be the case, because we’ll ALWAYS find SOME gear with garbage stats on it). e = energy, c = chi.

Keg smash (-40e) Jab (-40e) Jab (-40e) = -120 energy. Right off the bat, you’re ALREADY waiting for energy to regenerate. Now admittedly, you can throw your three tiger palms in after the first jab, so it would look like this. Keep in mind that the base regeneration rate is 10 chi per second, and the Brewmaster monk’s have a 1s global cooldown instead of 1.5 baseline like everyone else.

Fight: (100e 0c) Keg smash (60e 2c), Jab (30e, 3c), Tiger palm x3 (60e, 0c) Jab (30e, 1c)–and right here your stuck. The next thing you SHOULD do is keg smash again, but you don’t have the energy to do it. You have to wait a full second to get enough energy to fire off your keg smash… or even another jab. At this point the boss has swung at you roughly 2 times (we’re assuming a 3 second swing timer. Of course this could be higher or lower, but 3 is a nice round number, it’s an “average” boss swing timer, and it suits our purposes here). So at this point, we’re waiting for enough energy to keg smash, where we’ll have the chi to Guard and Purifying Brew.

Again, this is ALL assuming that you have enough hit and expertise to never miss, and never be dodged or parried. And all of this is to get our survivability up to where EVERY OTHER TANK is back at the beginning of the pull. This is a little messed up right now.

I feel like I should say this (as I always do), but this is BETA. I know things will be changed. Numbers will be tweaked. Blizzard doesn’t want ANY tank going underrepresented, especially not their new class for this expansion. I understand the point of not wanting to repeat their mistakes with Death Knights at the beginning of WotLK (where they were soloing raid bosses at level), but I feel like they swung the pendulum too far the other direction for now. Of course, this is a GOOD THING. Having a class that starts out feeling weaker and gradually bringing it up to everyone else’s relative position makes us feel more powerful. This is MUCH more preferable than having us feel like gods among men, and then feeling neutered when we’re actually IN LINE with the other mere mortals (again, see DK’s in early Wrath).

I’m not writing this as a bitchfest post or anything like that. I am writing it so that those of you without beta access, or those simply unwilling to get in the beta for your own reasons, have an idea of what’s going on and where things lie for the “newcomers” to Azeroth.   If Blizz balances Brewmasters out like I am *certain* they will, then I am about 75% that the Brewmaster monk becoming my new main for Mists. I’m excited by the potential of the Monk class as a whole… but it’s still pretty early in the day. I look forward to seeing the class evolve as Blizzard starts tightening the screws.

Roly Poly Patch Day

25 Apr

This is a beta patch, so don’t get excited. I wanted to discuss the new beta patch rolled out late last night/this morning. Actually, to be more specific, I wanted to take a look at the monk changes, since that’s pretty much the only thing i’ve spent any time on in the beta. So, away we go! (As per usual, I will focus on brewmaster, and maybe touch on some windwalker stuff… mistweaver doesn’t exist to me, as I don’t heal haha)

Baseline changes:

Blackout Kick - Now costs 2 chi, up from 1 chi. Base damage increased by 20%

Pretty good change, imo. The extra chi makes it feel more like a finisher, which is what it’s SUPPOSED to be (sub-50% health), and the damage increase helps offset the extra chi cost. Well thought out change for an ability that was in a bizarre place beforehand.

Crackling Jade Lightning – Now costs 1.5% of base mana, down from 3%. When dealing damage, you have a 15% chance to generate 1 chi.

The mana change is clearly directed more at misweavers, clearly, so it doesn’t matter to me. The chance to generate chi though is nice. Maybe this is starting to take a direction more towards Mistweaver, since it really seems useless for Brewmaster and Windwalker.

Detox - Now removes disease effects instead of bleed effects.

I saw this change coming from the moment I looked at the tooltip of this ability. Only having one class that can cleanse bleeds would cause all kinds of balance issues in pvp.

Fortifying Brew - Now increases your health by 100%, and reduces yoru damage taken by 20%. Lasts 20 sec.

A good change for an ability that really made no sense before. However, it’s another tanking cooldown for a class that, right now, is LOADED THE FUCK DOWN with tank cooldowns. I’m not sure I understand what’s going on there.

Grapple Weapon - Now grabs non-ranged weapons. If you steal a better main-hand weapon, your damage or healing will be increased by 5% or damage taken reduced by 5%.

The first part was most likely a pvp change to keep from making hunters and casters useless. The second half is most likely a clarification of what the ability does, because the previous tooltip didn’t make any damn sense.

Healing Sphere - Now costs 2% base mana up from 1.5% base mana. Now instant cast down from 1.5s cast. Now has a .5s cooldown.

A curious change. I can’t imagine they’ll want tanks casting this on themselves in the middle of combat all the time, so I don’t quite understand why they removed the cast time. IMO, if they’re going to nix the cast time, they should make that a mistweaver-only passive. 

Spinning Crane Kick - Now costs 2 chi, down from [sic] 1 chi. During Spinning Crane Kick, you can continue to dodge and parry.

I’m not particularly surprised by this change. SCK felt too powerful and spammable at a cost of 1 chi. Keeping the ability to dodge and parry just lets tanks use it to solidfy aoe threat. All the other tanks have aoe abilities that don’t remove their dodge/block/parry ability, so it only makes sense that this one wouldn’t either.

Tiger Palm - Now deals 50% additional damage if the target is above 50% health.

Another good change, probably made to counterbalance the change to blackout kick. They definitely want to make sure you use one above 50% health, and one below 50% health.

 Transcendence - Now has a 45s cooldown, down from 3 minutes.

I haven’t played at level 87 so I can only comment on this ability in speculation, so… Sure thing, alright then. lol

Talents:

Charging Ox Wave - Now affects all nearby enemies within 5 yards, down from 40 yards.

This makes a lot of sense. Having an ability that knocks back all enemies within 40 yards is a little ridiculous. 5 yards makes more sense.

Chi Torpedo - Chi Torpedo replaces roll.

I feel like this was most likely a pvp change, because having 2 rolls, with a movement speed increase, and then chi torpedo, and then flying tiger kick (or wtfever it’s called that windwalkers have) means WAYYYYYYYYYYYY too much mobility for monks. Just sayin.

Dampen Harm - Moved to level 75 from level 60. Now has a 1.5m cooldown, up from 30s.

30 seconds of the cooldown for this talent was WAY too good in pvp and for tanks. This makes a lot of sense. The change from level 60 to 75 is pretty much an indifference as far as I care.

Healing Elixirs - Moved to level 75 from level 60.

My guess is this was moved solely so you had it to compete with Dampen Harm. The two of them mixed together would just be too powerful.

Karma *new* - Reduces all spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects on you, reversing them back to their original caster if within 40 yards. Lasts for 6s. 1 chi, instant 1.5m cooldown.

This is an interesting new talent (the tooltip shows at level 75 as well, so it makes sense to choose between this, Dampen Harm, and Healing Elixirs). I could see the cost being increased to maybe 2 chi at some point in the future, because this could be ABSURD in pvp against classes like DKs, warlocks, and shadow priests. I am also imagining the cooldown being increased, but it looks to be a fun addition to the toolbox.

Leg Sweep - Now lasts 5s, down from 6s.

Meh. An aoe stun is an aoe stun, and 5s vs 6s is really not that big of a difference if you ask me. 

Zen Sphere (Formerly known as Rolling Force Globe)Summons a Zen Sphere at the target location. Deals (x) damage to the 3 lowest health enemies within 20 yards of the sphere every 1s. If the enemies die from the Zen Sphere, they combust, dealing (y) damage to enemies within 8 yards. Use Zen Sphere again while active to detonate it, instantly dealing (y) damage to all enemies within 20 yards. 1 chi, 40 yard range, instant.

If i’m reading the tooltip changes correctly, instead of having the Force Globe be a boomerang that combines healing and damage to anyone in it’s path, this is instead a stationary object that is strictly for damage dealing. Losing the healing aspect of this is a bit sad, as it could’ve been a fantastic little ability for monks of all specs to throw out on high-AOE damage times. Overall, not a terrible change.. 

Rushing Jade Wind - has been reworked and now has a 30s cooldown, down from 45s. Summon a whirling tornado that travels 0 yards in front of you, dealing 5454 nature damage to all targets in it’s path and increasing damage taken bu your Spinning Crane Kick by 30%. For 8s after you cast Rushing Jade Wind, you move at 200% speed while using Spinning Crane Kic, and reduces Spinning Crane Kick’s chi cost by 1.

This has “AOE fight” written all over it, and I really like the way it’s been reworked. It’ll probably be a staple for trash on dungeons, and on fights with lots of add phases. I’m certain this will see some good use.

Tigereye Brew - Now costs 3 chi, up from 1. Now has a 60s cooldown, down from 90s. Now increases your damage and healing done by 15%. (Level 60 talent).

3 chi seems like a pretty steep cost for a moderate dps/hps increase. It doesn’t show a duration in the tooltip, at this point, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure it HAS a duration, because a stacking buff like this would just be way too strong to ignore otherwise. I’m betting it drops to a 2 chi cost at some point, because 3 is just.. a lot.

Tiger’s Lust - Now has a 30s cooldown, down from 60s.

I hadn’t paid much attention to this, but this seems wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too strong to be on a 30s cooldown when compared to similar abilities like Will of the Forsaken and Escape Artist. I don’t know what they’re playing at here.

Brewmaster abilities:

Avert Harm - Now reduces damage taken by 50%, up from 20%

This is, most likely, to keep monks from getting exploded by large amounts of damage re-directed from everyone else (half of 80% is 40%, the old way. Now half of 50% is 25%, so it’s a net damage reduction for the entire raid)

Brewmaster Training - Blackout kick portion reworked – After you Blackout Kick, you gain Shuffle causing the 3 attacks taken to become staggered within $115307 (that’s really what the tooltip says atm lol).

This is a *fantastic* change. Blackout Kick was really just another way to deal damage before, and having it be chi-free when parried made it fit really oddly in the brewmaster’s toolbox. This makes a LOT more sense in the grand scheme of things. BOK will still cost 2 chi, but now it’ll be another form of “active mitigation” that Blizz is so into these days, and I think it’ll fit nicely into the toolbox.

Clash (formerly Clashing Ox Charge) – You and the target charge each other, meeting halfway and stunning all targets within 6 yards.

This still seems kind of like a wonky ability, due to the whole “meet halfway” mechanic. I haven’t actually been in the beta since patch yet to see whether they’ve fixed the bug of it not always working with casters, so we’ll see. The aoe stun portion is pretty nice though.

Dizzying Haze - Now costs 20 energy, up from 10. Now reduces movement speed by 50%, up from 15%. Misfire chance now stacks up to 3 times.

The energy cost of this was never the issue. Nor was the movement speed reduction. The fact that it’s still a 3-stack still is all kinds of weird to me, and I don’t understand why that’s the one thing that DOESN’T get changed. I just don’t understand.

Summon Black Ox Statue - Now instant cast, down from a 1.5s cast.

Brilliant. Having a tank cast in the middle of combat to put another one of these up is a surefire way to get his ass gibbed, and this is the perfect solution to that. Bravo.

All in all, a lot of these changes are really good. A couple of them don’t make any sense to me, but getting some insight in where Blizz wants to take the monk class is always helpful. My only complaint, really, is Dizzying Haze still. Argh.I really wish they would make DH just a 5% misfire chance with 1 stack, that way using the targeting reticle wouldn’t be so damned awkward. BUT i think i’ve ranted enough about that already. Also, this post has gotten a lot more wordy than I was expecting. Overall, I see a lot of things monks have to rejoice over right now. Running forward for 30 seconds and then taking a couple steps backwards (or more like sideways, in all honesty) is still a net gain in the end.

ETA: A few addendums i’ve noticed after playing in the beta for 5 minutes or so.

Shuffle, as an active ability has been completely removed. Instead it is entirely worked into Blackout Kick. Holy fuckberries you guys. If it weren’t for Tiger Palm increasing our Guard amount, this might eliminate it from our rotation altogether. Holy crap.

In regards to Dizzying Haze: They have reworked it slightly to where it DOESN’T stack, unlike how the tooltip (as per mmo-champion) reads. Instead it is indeed just one stack. Also, the reticle will stay up on your screen from DH allowing you to quickly throw it where you need without having to hit a button, click, hit button, click again. It now works like the Wild Mushrooms. Good change Blizzard. Very good job. I stand completely corrected regarding Dizzying Haze.

Breath of Fire has also been reworked. Instead of dealing more damage based on the stacks of Dizzying Haze (since it doesn’t stack anymore), it now deals a DoT over 8 seconds when it hits them. Whether or not they’ve fixed the conical aspect of the spell remains to be seen. Also, the cooldown appears to have been removed. *thumbs up*

All in all, this patch is a complete effing win for Brewmaster monks. Thanks be to the game designers.

Brewmastery Goodness

21 Apr

 

If you’ve follow me on twitter, or have been paying any attention to my youtube channel, then you probably know that I have been enjoying the ever living shit out of a monk on the beta. Of course, numbers need to be tweaked, abilities need to be tinkered, and the hamsters running the wheels on the beta servers may have hit the pipe a few too many times, but it’s a beta… that’s part of the whole experience.

I’ve switched back and forth between the brewmaster (tank spec) and windwalker (DPS spec) several times since I hit level 30, but I always find myself back in the tank spec, just because it seems… much more me. It’s like i’m just meant to be a tank, for better or worse (probably worse) so… we’ll see. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the Brewmaster spec as I powerlevel the fuck out of it.

  • At first, I tried a pre-made 85 monk. I promptly looked at the spellbook to start placing my abilities, stared blankly at it for about 10 minutes, and then logged out to roll a brand new one.
  • The first 5 levels or so are a bit slow. Jab, Tiger Palm and Blackout Kick are good abilities, but only having Jab for the first 3 levels feels *really* weird. Doesn’t take long to get over, however (especially if you use heirlooms).
  • 1 second baseline GCDs are effing AMAZING.
  • Dizzying Haze is a fun mechanic, that’s implemented weirdly. However, the fact that the missfire chance doesn’t apply to raid bosses (and possibly may not apply to 5-mans bosses) makes this less of an issue, for me personally. I still think DH should be a targeted ability instead of using the AOE reticle.
  • Breath of Fire is *fun as shit*, if a bit on the overpowered side right now. I have been regularly 1-shotting mobs with Breath crits (on a 3-stack of Dizzying Haze) all the way up to level 73 (where my monk is currently).
  • Brewmaster has a metric shit ton of health. 73 and i’m sitting at 16-17k. When I was level 60 I had over 10k health. I’ve levelled all 4 other tank classes and never had that dramatic of a health pool… it’s a bit of an odd feeling.
  • Because of the high health pools we have, Touch of Death is way stronger than it probably should be. Of course, it probably won’t work at all on raid bosses, regardless of respective health pools.
  • Spinning Crane Kick is a much cooler than it should be. I mean seriously. Just awesomesauce.
  • Crackling Jade Lightning doesn’t fit very well into a tank or melee DPS’ toolkit. I’m not sure what the plan is for it… I haven’t tried Mistweaver, so it could be much more prevalent with them.
  • Some of the talents related to monks are pretty amazing. Every tier thus far has had a choice that I could legitimately see individuals having a need for. VERY well done thus far. (And there’s still two “Mystery Talents” left in the trees)
  • Blackout kick feels weird to me, as a tank. I’m sure it will find a much better place once I get into content that isn’t being blistered through by heirloomed monks all over the place, but it just feels… awkward right now. I think it’s far more useful for DPS monks as a whole, whereas tanks may only use it when it’s chi-free.
  • Chi and Energy as a dual resource system isn’t nearly as confusing as I initially thought it was going to be. Once you get in and play with it for 5-10 minutes, it makes sense.
  • Conversely, I *AM* confused about the concept of Chi spheres, especially from the perspective of a tank (I touched on this in my level 70 video, about the 5:45 mark, if you’re interested)

Now, I say this a lot (and it STILL bears repeating), but realize this is still pretty damn early in the beta, so a lot of these things may be changed completely. Numbers (such as how much damage an ability is doing, or how much health I have) could change almost every day if Blizz were so inclined. BUT, i think they have the general feel of how the class will play, and I enjoy it a lot. Hell, in about a week’s time i’ve made it up to level 73… on the beta… yea, i’m a bit crazy.

Initially, I didn’t plan on doing the post-85 content, but with my monk levelling as fast as he is, I may try out some of the first zone anyway. I honestly haven’t decided at this point. My main reason for staying out of the new content has been “OMG MILLIONS OF EVERYONE EVERYWHERE AUGH”… but as the beta wears on, people are going to out-level that area, and some will just lose interest in the beta altogether for not wanting to spoil content before launch. Both of those factored into my decision to play a dwarf monk instead of a panda. I’ve seen little bits and pieces of the new areas, and good lord are they crowded. Crowded areas in the beta are not very conducive to actually TESTING OUT a class (which was my intention from the moment I received my beta invite), so I went with somewhere I knew would not be crowded… Besides, the idea of a dwarf monk is just damn cool. If you can’t be a panda brewmaster, why not be a dwarven brewmaster right?

A brief look at Brewmaster Monks in MoP

27 Mar

So last week, Blizzard finally released the first go-round of the monk’s abilities and it’s talent trees. I want to take a look at them, and see how they will relate to the various roles.

I’m not going to list EVERY SINGLE ability the monk has, but I will cover the spec-specific ones, and maybe some of the basic ones that synergize with them.

First up is the Brewmaster, the tanking spec. First thing I should mention for Brewmasters is a word you come across a lot.. “Stagger” – To stagger damage is to take 50% of it up front, and the other 50% 3 seconds later. Pretty cool way to somewhat mitigate damage. Now then, onto the actual abilities.

(Any notes I have regarding the abilities will be in italics after the description)

Stance of the Drunken Ox – Reduces damage taken by 20% and increases chance to stagger damage by 25%. (Typical tank stance. Since “uncritable” is baked into the spec as a passive, this is pretty standard fare now. Any abilities I list below require this stance)

Breath of Fire (40 yd range) – Breathe fire onto the target. Damage is increased by the number of Drunken Haze stacks on the target. (This will most likely be one of the ways to ranged-pull targets towards you. Also *YOU GET TO BREATHE EFFING FIRE*)

Drunken Haze (40 yd range) – Hurl a keg of your finest brew, reducing the movement speed of all enemies within 8 yards by 15%. Afflicted targets have a 3% to have their attacks missfire and damage themselves instead. Stacks up to 3 times. (Okay, aside from this being one of the FUNNIEST damn tooltips, this ability seems pretty awesome. Also, an AOE ranged pull? Kinda nice)

Guard – You guard against future attacks, absorbing (some formula) of damage for 8 sec. Any heals you apply to yourself while guarding are increased by 30%. (Sounds a bit like a DK’s style of absorb/self healing. Could be interesting, but could also be broken as fuck. Will have to see)

Elusive Brew – Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 50% (Typical tank-style defensive cooldown, but for avoidance instead of mitigation… interesting.)

Avert Harm (15 yd range) – You reduce damage taken by all friendly targets within 10 yards by 20%,  and cause half of all damage they take to be redirected to you. Lasts 15s. Will be cancelled if you reach 10% health or lower. (Now this is interesting. It has two different ranges, which is probably just a mix-up on Blizzard’s part… or maybe even Wowhead’s part, who knows. This could be a nice “Save my co-tank” ability, or “everyone’s stacked, taking big damage” ability, not unlike the Paladin’s “Divine Guardian“)

Recoil – Whenever you dodge, you gain 5 energy. (I have to admit, I find myself really confused thus far with the resource system that monks have. Chi, Force, and Energy. Seems difficult to keep up with, but i’m sure it won’t be so bad once I can get in and PLAY the class)

Summon Black Ox Statue (40 yd range) – Summons a Black Ox statue at the target range for 10 minutes. Only one Black Ox statue can be summoned at a time. This statue interacts with your Provoke and Leer of the Ox abilities. Guard (on-click effect), allies can right-click the statue to gain the guard effect, absorbing x damage. Any healing done by the monk is increased by 30% while the guard effect is active. 10 charges. (Now *this* is interesting. It’s  like a lightwell that gives absorption bubbles instead of HoTs. Also, works like a taunt-totem, but more on that later. Sounds busy, but pretty damned awesome too.)

Brewmaster Training (passive) – You become adept in the ways of the brewmaster, amplifying two of your spells. Tiger Palm - Increases the amount of your next guard by 5%, lasts 30s, stacks up to 3 times. Blackout Kick - When you parry, your next Blackout Kick will cost no force, and can be used on targets regardless of their health percentage. (Another *really* interesting ability. I like how they’re taking baseline abilities and changing them to be suited to your spec. That’s a very cool way of keeping the ability-bloat down, while still making the specs all feel very different.)

Purifying Brew – Instantly purifies all of your staggered damage. (If i’m understanding this correctly, then any damage you have coming in a stagger will be wiped out. This could end up being VERY powerful, as it’s only on a 45s cooldown.)

Leer of the Ox (100 yd range) – Your Ox statue stirs hatred in the target, reducing their movement speed by 50%, and causing them to attack the statue for 8s. The statue must be within 40 yards of the target. Requires Black Ox Statue to be active. (This is what I was talking about earlier with the statue behaving like a taunt totem. Although, i’m not sure how much use this ability will normally get, since I would think the raid’s bubbles could be more useful. Maybe as a way to round up unexpected adds? /shrug. Something that will be interesting to see, at any rate)

Mastery – Drunken Brawler – Reduces Staggered damage by 1%, and increases the effect of your Guard by 1%. (I’m sure these numbers will be tweaked at a later time, but it seems like a standard tank mastery. What remains to be seen is whether it will end up forever useful like DK mastery, useful to a point like Pally/Warrior mastery, or simply meh, like Bear mastery in their live forms)

Shuffle – You shuffle around, causing the next 3 melee attacks to be staggered. While shuffling, you cannot move, attack, or cast spells. (Notice it doesn’t say that you cannot dodge or parry. This could be pretty amazing with a high-avoidance monk, provided it’s not a movement heavy fight. Situational at the very least)

Now then, I’ll briefly touch on the baseline abilities that are directly synergized with Brewmaster-spec abilities.

Tiger Palm – Strike target with the palm of your hand dealing (damage formula) physical damage. Deals (another damage formula) additional damage if the target is above 50% health. (This seems like it will be one of your main abilities, especially with how it works with Brewmaster Training. Defense through offense is one of the big things that Blizz is going for with tanks this xpac, and this seems like an interesting way of pulling that off.)

Blackout Kick – Kick with a blast of Sha energy for (damage formula) physical damage to an enemy target. Only usable on targets below 25% health. If a target is killed by Blackout Kick you are refunded 1 focus. (It’s a basic execute ability, but the way it interacts with Brewmaster Training lets it be used far more often. This could be a lot of fun)

Provoke (40 yd range) – Mock the target, causing them to rush forward and attack you with an increased 50% movement speed. If targeting your Statue of the Black Ox, you provoke all enemies within 8 yards of your statue. (I’m not entirely sure the reasoning behind the increased movement speed… it sounds like the enemies are going to move faster towards you, but I suppose it’s not that important. Also, the aoe taunt through the statue seems like it could be a bit wonky at times… Target the statue, hit taunt, then tab back to something else. Although, this could easily be fixed with a macro I suppose.)

Initially, I was going to go over both the Brewmaster and the Windwalker (dps) specs, but this post ended up being a LOT longer than I had expected. I probably won’t mess with the Mistweaver (healer) spells until I get a chance to actually go play one, because I’m not entirely sure I understand how it is supposed to work just by reading the tooltips. I’m sure it’ll make a lot more sense whenever I *do* finally get my beta invite. Also, a few glyphs have been released, but only a few at this point. I will save a post on glyphs and talents until they are in a more finalized state (some of the monk talents are just placeholders that say “Coming Soon” right now).

All in all, just from reading the abilities of the Brewmaster, I think they could be a hell of a lot of fun to tank with.

Monk vs Monk

7 Feb

So, this isn’t a Diablo 3 post. Or is it?

(no, it really isn’t)

(except in the parts where it is)

Sorry… I watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dress To Kill” last night, and i’m *still* not entirely sure if Engelbert Humperdink is alive or not, and if you catch that reference then good on you.

But no… This is not a D3 post.

Except it just might be.

…….okay i’ll stop.

I actually want to talk about the Monk class being given to us in Mists of Pandaria… but I also want to compare it to the Monk class given to us in Diablo 3. Perhaps there’s some serious corollaries there, or perhaps I am just talking out of my hat. Speculation is fun, and I don’t care if I am right or wrong. (Do you at least understand all the waffling between whether or not this is a D3 post? Good, cause I don’t either)

Now then. The monk in WoW has been relatively closely guarded, mechanic-wise thus far. What do we know about it? Well… We know they will have a tank/heal/dps spec. And……. hmm. I guess that’s about it, isn’t it? No, there are a few other things they’ve given us snippets of, but not a whole lot to work with really. However, I think we could draw some parallels between it’s cousin, the monk of Diablo 3.

Now, it is important to say that in Diablo 3 there is no such thing as “tank/dps/healer” really. If you’re in a group, you pretty much have to do all of them. You will get enemies on you, they will punch you in the face, and you will have to know how to take care of yourself. How you do that varies from class to class. Some classes have pets, some have nice utility in the form of snares and stuns and escapes, others just bring MASS AMOUNT OF FACE NUKING. They’re all equally effective, given your comfort with a given hero. Obviously, this is not the case in WoW, but I *do* think some similarities will be seen between the two.

I’m going to go ahead and link the talent calculator to you now, for easy reference.  Bam.

First off, one thing we DO know about monks in WoW is that they will have no auto-attack. They will use abilities to build up “chi” as their resource (except for the healer spec, if I remember correctly), and use that to set off other abilities. Well, monks in D3 have combo-abilities that build up their “spirit” resource, which they can then use for other abilities (everything in the “Spirit Builder” category).

Let’s look a little bit at the tanking aspect of monks. If you glance quickly through the Diablo monk’s talent calculator, you may notice some abilities such as “Mantra of Evasion”, and “Serenity” that definitely sound… tankish. You may also have noticed an ability called “Cyclone Strike”, which has a progenitor found in Death Grip, and a cousin in Gorefiend’s Grasp/Ursol’s Vortex (DK and Druid talents upcoming in MoP). Blinding Flash is a sort of minor avoidance cooldown mixed in with a warrior’s Shockwave, which could prove to be an interesting combination. “Seize the Initiative” is a passive ability that almost *screams* “TANK”. “Your armor is increased by 25% of your Dexterity (agility)”.

Looking further into the Passive skills, you can see “The Guardian’s Path” which reads an awful light like two spec bonuses (as they exist now) rolled together, doesn’t it? “When dual-wielding, you gain a 10% chance to dodge incoming attacks. While using a two-handed weapon, all Spirit (chi) generation is increased by 20%.”. “Fleet-Footed” is another passive that has found a common place in WoW, as movement speed increases are almost ubiquitous these days for both PvE and PvP. “Pacifism” (When Stunned/Feared/Charmed all damage taken is reduced by 75%) is pretty standard fare for a PvP talent, although the damage is much higher in that particular case.

Now obviously, i’m not going to go line by line, talent by talent (and DEAR LORD no, i’m not getting into all the runestone combinations, because this would be THE POST THAT DOESN’T END), but I think we could probably expect to see a fair amount of overlap between the Diablo monk and the WoW monk. I’ve got to admit though… the monk in Diablo is fun as hell to play, and it would make some of the other classes in WoW seem pretty boring by comparison. By the way… I’m not really going to make any comments on the healer aspect of monks in WoW, because I have honestly NO IDEA how that’s going to work out. Should be interesting, at the very least.

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