Monday, October 24, 2011


So monks. Leather-wearing tank-dps-healing hybrid characters, so they will pretty much share gear with druids. Every race except the newest ones, goblins and worgens, can be monks.

The resource system described sounds pretty intriguing. In a lot of ways, it's the inverse of the death knight resource system. Both classes have two linked opposite-phase cyclical resources (see Resource Theory). But where the death knight had multiple full-phase resources feeding a single zero-phase resource, the monk has a single full-phase resource (Chi) feeding multiple zero-phase resources (Light and Dark Force). It will be really interesting to see which system plays better.

One twist on this system that might play well is an ability which costs Chi, but generates a random Light or Dark Force. I think that would shake up the rotation in an interesting manner.

As for healing, I was concerned at first. I don't think cyclical resources are a good model for healing. You can't burst when you need to, and you can't conserve the resource. But Blizzard has said that the healing monk spec will get a mana bar--a net-loss resource--so monks will fall in line with the other healers. Blizz says that monks might heal in melee, but we'll see. There are a lot of obstacles to melee-healing, as we paladins know all too well.

I expect that the monk's main three heals (the Holy Light, Divine Light, and Flash of Light equivalents) will cost only mana, but that the unique monk spells might partake of the Chi/Force system. Perhaps like paladins use Holy Power.

As for tanking, it's somewhat odd, but non-shield tanks will actually outnumber the shield tanks. That does feel a bit weird to me. Legendary tanking polearm incoming?

I'm also not sure about the "no auto-attack" thing. It sounds cool, but I think that it might lead to burst problems in PvP. No auto-attack means that each ability needs to hit harder. Also, the monk doesn't really feel like a DoT class, which might mitigate that effect. It would have been kind of nice if they used bleeds, but I'm not sure if that sounds right.

I do like their weapon selection. It's a nice selection of agility weapons crossing rogue/shaman/druid lines, while maintaining thematic appropriateness.

I'm not really sure what else you can say about monks. Lore and culture-wise, monks are somewhat interesting, but not really in my areas of interest.

Oh, one other interesting point is that with monks, a 10-man raid is guaranteed to always be missing at least one class. I wonder what ramifications, if any, that will have for encounter design.


  1. One interesting point brought up in the PvP forums was: how would monk healing work in PvP? Can you imagine a healer seeking out melee characters so they can heal all the damage they will suddenly be taking for not kiting?

    I fully expect the lack of auto-attack and the melee healer bit to be Dance Studio'd before release.

  2. My reaction also was "a melee healer, awesome!" followed by "that will need a lot of fiddling with the current status of the game (Ghostcrawler will _love_ this)".

    If they remove the "melee" part of "melee healer", they might as well remove the "healer" part too. It makes absolutely no sense to have a monk stand somewhere in the back and spam "lesser chi life". (Not that this would stop them.)

    Oh, and I still bet pandaren will be able to be druids at some point. The Chinese name is just too tempting.

  3. If you raid as a shaman I'd get yourself in a 25-man team then ;D

  4. No auto-attack means that each ability needs to hit harder.

    I'm not sure I agree. You are basically assuming that the basic attacks must have typical cooldowns for a standard melee attack, but even if they only have GCD that puts them at FASTER then the normal autoattack speed for the weapons they would be using.

    In fact, looking it up, the only Fist and Mace weapons at 1.5 second speed or faster (or even under 2 second) is old content weapons. Not a single Cataclysm one would hit faster then an "autoattack" ability that was GCD constrained.

  5. I guess I've always had a problem with Shaolin-esque monks in a campaign not specifically centered in that sort of theme. My love-hate affair with monks dates to AD&D 1E, where they became simply unstoppable after level 14 or so. (Never mind that there was only supposed to be only one each of that level onwards; after all, who used that rule anyway?)

    Monks could work in a Pandaria setting, but I'd restrict them to Pandaren only. There's no reason other than for purely arbitrary reasons that they chose to leave off the Cataclysm races, and only for cachet did they choose the others.

  6. I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that this will work almost exactly like the Runekeeper in LotRO, who has a "mana" bar, but also has an "attunement" bar, and the more dps you cast, the more "dark" attunement you get, which increases the effects of your dps, and the more heals you cast, the more "light" attunement you get, to the opposite effect. We'll see, though.

  7. 10mans are already highly unbalanced class-wise. It would be interesting to see what percentage of 10man guilds have all 10 classes, but I'd bet it's less than 1%.

    We run 3 druids, 2 paladins, 2 priests, mage/shaman/dk.

    I honestly feel like putting in another hybrid class will further reduce the number of classes in a 10man raid. DK/Shaman are pretty average atm, so maybe in MoP we'll be running 3 druids, 2 paladins, 2 priests, 3 monks?

    I think the main thing that remains to be seen is which raid buffs they give to monks.

  8. From a mechanics perspective, another leather wearing tank doesn't make a lot of sense to me. We accept it with druids because they go in to bear form and their armor gets a multiplier. With monks it will be just that leather armor works better for them than dps monks and rogues. I'm not sure if creating another hybrid that can do all three roles was a good idea. Perhaps it would have been more interesting to make them a melee dps spec and two types of healers, similar to priest. One spec could be the get in melee heavy and the other could be something more traditional. Or it might not have been to far fetched to design the monk with two dps specs and one heals like shaman. Melee dps is obvious and the other could be a combo of cast spells and thrown weapons.

    Also, Blizzard has a hard time tuning fights to different types of tanks. During BWD and BoT, the high armor of druids caused huge problems because in order to make the boss attacks threatening to a druid, they could one shot other tanks. Besides that, the game just doesn't need another tank class as we already have 4 pretty distinct tanks with varied playstyle.

    @Kadaan. I agree. Our ten man team is actually 11 players (we have a sub) but our team has two pladins, three DK's and two Warlocks. I actually hate it though. We are missing mage, druid, and warrior.

  9. Monk bleed attack: Five Point Floating Palm Technique.

  10. Wuxi Finger Hold must be the level 90 top DPS talent...