We All Love Monks, Here

Discussion in 'Balancing Discussion' started by Slaariel, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Slaariel

    Slaariel *The Only Real Life Girl Dev*

    Jun 13, 2007
    I have made several changes to the Monk class and they have met with varying degrees of success (mostly lackluster). I attribute this mostly to my own poor vision of what Monks were as a whole from a broader perspective. I had no solid picture to work toward, so most changes were directionless band-aids or attempts to shore up a perceived class weakness that, because of weak vision, would open up other deficiencies.

    So! To tackle the problem in a real way, we had a long talk about what Monks were in Dalaya from a story-telling perspective. We discussed how they differed, narratively, from other classes in their niche (e.g. Rogues and Rangers) and why a player might choose one over the other to play and to group with AND how these differences then translated into gameplay. Here are some of the results of our discussion:

    - Rogues and Monks are both quick melee fighters. BUT Rogues are opportunistic and sneaky where monks are disciplined and careful. Where a Rogue would stealth up behind someone to avoid counterattack, a Monk approaches from the front and relies on his reflexes and training to avoid any counterattack.

    - To expand on this, Rogues use the element of surprise to increase their combat effectiveness where Monks redirect their opponents' strengths against them.

    - Monks are quiet fighters. They are not riding into combat in gleaming mail armor atop a white steed leading an army!

    - Monks are duellists chiefly. They can fight in group situations, but the classic Wuxia scenario is monk vs. monk.

    - In a classic Monk duel, both warriors start armed with exotic weapons. But as the fight progresses, weapons fall by the wayside and the climactic finale is furious hand-to-hand fighting.

    - Rogues get in, get the kill, and get out. Monks train for years under waterfalls or whatever to enabled themselves to stay in the fight as long as possible.

    Now with a more complete mental picture of what Monks ACTUALLY DO, we set about tackling some of the annoying gameplay issues about Monks:

    - Feign Death is a weird skill. No one wants to change it, just better-define its use. Feigning Death to facilitate wipe recovery is great and important and FD-splitting is a weird but culturally accepted and expected part of the game. Feigning Death as a "jolt" aggro dump or AE dodge is, for me, on the other side of that weird line of what FD means. If you are worrying about this, please stop.

    - Monks get EIGHT buttons in addition to the normal combat buttons. SIX of them are special attacks (counting basic Kick). It is highly doubtful that there can be six equally useful combat abilities since they are all mutually exclusive every hotbutton rotation. On the other hand, 3 punches and 3 kicks is a Street Fighter machine (I think this is by design).

    - A Monk's primary role is "damage" which is not special or interesting. If Monks became the over-all best at damage, this post would have to be repeated in the future with a different class and so on into infinity. Even if we restrict their specialty to "melee damage" it changes nearly nothing about this. Why choose a Monk over a Rogue, then? Or vice-versa? Or why not just roll another Wizard?

    - Hand to hand vs. Weapon combat is just a minefield of weird design choices, especially when coupled with the idea of "Hand-to-hand Weapons". Giving up weapon slot stats should give something as compensation but there should be real reasons to choose to use weapons or not. It should never be okay to ignore hand-to-hand combat and it should never be okay to ignore the strenghts of weapons.

    And now the proposed changes. It's actually pretty minor, all things considered now that I look at the list, but:

    - People love the Warrior Rage system and I do, too! Let's give Monks a simplified version that incorporates their special moves:
    • It's not Rage. It's not Stamina. It is DISCIPLINE!
    • Build Discipline by attacking with weapons.
    • Monk special moves USE Discipline to add additional effects if the Monk has enough, otherwise just uses normal move.
    • At full Discipline, unleash Fists of Fury stance, doing large Hand-to-hand punch and kick damage!!
    • Most other stances stay as they are - I love Ethereal and Whirlwind Stance etc.
    • Hand-to-Hand weapons are weapons.
    • Bad Combo System removed.

    - Monk are agile duellists, not tanks or "stop falling over randomly mid-fight".
    • Monsters will, in general, choose not to attack a Monk in combat.
    • Area of Effect PHYSICAL attacks will simply hit Monks less. They have trained for centuries in the chamber of wooden men for this.
    • Likewise, retribution attacks like Riposte and Rampage are supremely predictable to a trained Monk. There's no reason to park behind a giant Dragon if you already know what they are going to do. Monks get a bonus to dodging targets face-to-face and a bonus to aux-tanking.

    - Possible additions
    • Monks are masters of martial combat. Perhaps incentives for 2h vs 2x1h combat?
    • Other stuff?

    Hopefully, these changes give Monks a good home as safe, long-haul fighters that pack a punch without allowing them to be invulnerable enough to take over tanking duties for a raid. It re-opens Flying Kick as the main ability of choice (especially in Fists of Fury mode). It culls the chaff of the combo system and streamlines the utility into the 6 moves that already exist (if you want to use them). I'm sure people will still flop mid-fight, but this will cut down on that and leave FD to pulling / wipe recovery (two great uses!!!). It allows a melee fighter NOT stuffed in a tin can to sit in front of a mob. It establishes situations that prioritize weapons and situations that prioritize punching.

    - What I need from the thread
    • Ideas for 'additional effects' for each of the 6 moves. I suspect round kick will just get bonus damage from discipline use since it is the first one monks get, and they can't all be extra damage, and I want Flying Kick to be the main attack once it is available. Those are the guidelines for that.
    • Comments on the other proposed changes. I think that the aggro generation thing will not affect monk/healer duos so much so I am aware and careful of that facet of things.
    • No Guff
    • What to do with ordinary stances? I suspect they can remain the same with lowered costs (since you are always assumed to have a smaller yellow bar).
    • What about glove itemization? This will be a separate thread after these numbers are finalized.
    • What about the current Hand-to-hand bonus? This will be rolled into Fists of Fury stance in a more creative way than raw ratio upgrades.
    • A tanking stance? Maybe, one that is of moderate duration so that it can not be always-on and one in which your combat effectiveness is diminished. If you are gonna tank, you are gonna need to get healed.
    • What about AE / 2H? A good idea. I think I will have no problem reworking Whirlwind Stance into something functional with 2H weapons while accounting for exploitable procs.
    • Maybe enhanced regen to promote the idea of long-term sustainability in combat? Not a bad idea for a little flavor, but Iksars already have a small edge here and if there was ever an Ogre Monk, I would have to undo this because that is a huge amount of regen. Maybe add a small HoT to Discipline-enhanced Mend?
    • People really REALLY want a no-fail FD. I like the idea of FD applying a short combat slow when used, but can't think of a good way to distinguish between "I just want a normal FD" and "I need a no-fail FD right now and am willing to pay for it".
    • Avoidance vs. Mitigation on physical AE/auxing? I have no problem enhancing both as my vision is a melee fighter who, on-tier, cares noticeably less about these things than his companions.
    • Attacking from the front lowering total DPS? It will probably lower it a bit as is true for all classes, but Monks are the defensive melee fighter. If you are in Fists of Fury DPS mode, I think it is okay to assume you will shuffle around back.



    • Monks have a discipline system where their 6 combat moves have extra abilities under certain circumstances:
      • No moves have power-forms (pure discipline generation)
      • Kick now has the small lifetap
      • Round kick will now do an AE attack
      • Flying kick has a large increase to base damage
      • Tiger claw will generate extra aggro
      • Eagle strike will stun or interrupt
      • Dragon punch / tail thing will kb/root
      • Removed except for Ethereal Form which is currently fixed at 20 seconds and locks Discipline generation for a short time on use. Currently Lay Hands equivalent reuse timer.
    • A mob is never behind a Monk, ever. (PERMANENT /s 6).
    • Flat Hand-to-hand bonus removed and looking for a way to integrate reasonably with gear progression.
    • Monk Aux-Tanking Suite:
      • A Monk aux-tanking a mob raises the aux cap for that mob slightly.
      • A Monk has slightly increased aux contribution.
      • If armed, a Monk takes less damage from a mob it is aux-tanking.
      • If armed, a Monk innately dodges more attacks from a mob it is aux-tanking.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  2. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

    Jul 1, 2007
    If they're going to be DPS like a rogue they should tank like one. There shouldn't be an offshoot of hey monk go tank that mob.

    Also another thing you can consider is improving FD by using that system of yours. have the FD take a ton of "discipline" and improve FD dramatically. obviously make it where you can only use it once or twice after a fight to give them a better chance at splitting
  3. Slaariel

    Slaariel *The Only Real Life Girl Dev*

    Jun 13, 2007
    For tanking, the idea is that Monks are going to do it badly but in a different bad way from Rogues. So we agree on that.

    The idea of a full Discipline-bar FD being fail-proof is something I can see but recall that having full Discipline requires being in combat (similar to Warrior Rage) so would not be very applicable to pulling. I thought about starting with full Discipline and working backward but that didn't fit what is sorta the established flow of a Combat Resource.
  4. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

    Jul 1, 2007
    can make it something like 25% and make it have a reuse timer (kind of like enrage has a reuse timer)
  5. null1fy

    null1fy Dalayan Elder

    Sep 25, 2007
    Dang this thread is good. I might actually have a reason to play Lheo again. Bye-bye combo system - no one liked you!

    Suggestion #1: Make it so the more discipline you have the more base white damage you do! Monks do terrible white damage! Mid-Endgame monks require like 8,000 proc items to do any sort of DPS. I seriously used a Searfire aug on Lheo so that I could do damage.

    That or have a stance/ability that uses discipline that beefs up your white damage. Basically what I'm saying is the damage you did with a monk was just awful.

    Edit: Maybe what I'm discribing is the fists of fury stance you're talking about? If so that owns.

    Suggestion #2: Somehow lessen the polarity between Silence and the T9-11 fists. I really have no idea how to correct this other than somehow giving an advantage beyond stats to monks for using weapons.

    Edit #2: Wait... Will you not build discipline if you attack with fists? A.K.A. Silence/Blazewind Gloves basically just reduce you to an autoattack bot?
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  6. sabuti

    sabuti Dalayan Elder

    Mar 12, 2014
    seems like kinda neat changes, i do like the rampage. riposte and aoe physical damage in general idea, but, how would the accuracy loss from removing the massive kick combo be compensated? would it be innate, added somehow in this discipline system or just not needed from alternate forms of dps given through this system? also the not being attacked thing would probably be good for killing on tier raid bosses and not pulling agro but monks need to tank sometimes, so that would need to work around that somehow or just be scrapped.
  7. Faylahs

    Faylahs Dalayan Elder

    May 27, 2014
    one of the monk special attacks could be a aggro generation effect... i think eagle strike, dragon punch or tiger claw or something like that does something similar so they can tank when needed

    how much aggro is the question (something like an sk terror or just a taunt with foelock aggro or such?)
  8. Slaariel

    Slaariel *The Only Real Life Girl Dev*

    Jun 13, 2007
    If there is a compelling and interesting way to get Monks to tank, I will think about it. But Deein's point is well-taken: You can't have both Rogue DPS and better-than-rogue tankability. No monk will agree to sacrifice his DPS. If your tanks die in a raid, though, what has happened is that your tanks have died and that is usually a wipe no matter how many Rogues you have. Or Monks.
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  9. Virgil

    Virgil Dalayan Beginner

    Jun 28, 2007
    Hello, I was enjoying your logic about thinking what a monk/could/should be. And I was thinking that the longer a monk fights a target, the more they adapt to their targets fighting style, and the better they become at causing damage to their target and the less damage they take. This could be done in various ways - Either the more aggression the monk builds, or the more damage done, or a combination of successful ability attacks - all increase the monks mitigation and DPS exponentially, to the point where they're able to main tank a mob, say 50%-80% through killing it. At about that point, they draw aggro from the mob, and the healers can switch to healing the new main tank - the monk. By then, the monk is taking approximately the same damage as the tank, or less, and doing more dps.

    This does the following:
    Adds a fun dynamic of switching primary tank mid fight.
    Reduces the above mentioned "weird" FD skill - if a monk FD's during the fight they lose all the gathered bonus
    Adds DPS to the monk in a RP Way - based on their training and discipline, and adaptability
    Builds on a monk's RP Ability to mitigate damage due to intense training (Where the rogue sneaks, and the warrior/sk/pally take a beating).
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  10. Tevinter

    Tevinter Dalayan Pious Diety

    Sep 11, 2011
    As for the five (six? seven? depends how you count) special moves, this is my idea as to what they should do
    Round Kick - A lifetap
    Tiger Claw - A +aggro thing and a heal
    Eagle Strike - A -aggro thing and a stun
    Dragon Punch/Tail Strike - A PBAoE nuke
    Flying Kick - An unresistable single target DD

    As for monk tanking shit/weapons goes:

    Bare fist should provide the most DPS to a monk, but generate the least aggro, because you can be kind of sneaky when you punch a dude with fistwraps and not when you smash his armor with a stick like a drum. I think this is relatively agreed upon by most.

    2 handed weapons is where it gets interesting. This is essentially the middle ground between bare fist and 2 weapons. It could also fill the niche of monks getting some form of AoE/cleave damage. Perhaps some kind of a stance when using a 2hander could allow monks to deal 1/2 or 1/3 of the damage they deal to their main target to 1 or 2 nearby monsters. Im not really sure how 2hb should function for monks in these proposed changes, maybe someone else has a better idea.

    Finally is the 2x1handed weapon. This should allow the monk the highest aggro/avoidance, but in return the least DPS. The monk would essentially be challenging the mob to a d-d-d-d-d-duel and using their weapons to reflect and block/parry attacks. To prevent gaming the system by using 1handers to generate aggro and then switching to bare fist for more DPS, you could have switching weapons incur some sort of penalty to DISCIPLINE (not rage or stamina or energy!!), or fist of fury mode slam dunk the monks avoidance chances.

    This is a pretty essential and iconic monk ability. This ability is all sorts of janky and gimmicky and broken but it is what gives monks part of their identity. Instead of feign death costing DISCIPLINE or having limited in combat uses, it could trigger a 99% slow for 2 tics on the monk when used in combat. Since in a raid, a monk's focus will most likely either be pulling, DPS'ing, or speeding up wipe recovery. A slow will not matter when you are splitting mobs or getting out to prevent a rez, and nobody trying to do some DPS will eat a 99% slow. This is a more elegant and lore friendly way of making monks not FD in combat and flop around like a dead fish. What is this lore you might ask? When a monk pretends to die they slow down their vital organs and body so they cant hit things as fast or as hard because they need to warm up again.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
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  11. Pecannius

    Pecannius Dalayan Elder

    Jan 9, 2011
    Good point. However, I really think monks could use some sort of no fail FD option though. What if one of the moves gave you a buff that the next time you FD it can't fail. The buff is consumed on your next FD.
    Breigon likes this.
  12. Vitali

    Vitali Dalayan Master

    Dec 23, 2010
    I agree with this, not to mention just what each class typically wears. Granted, video game realism is spotty at best. But each class has "it's" type of gear. Monks wearing leather, and Rogues wearing chain. For a Monk to have on par DPS, but be able to tank better in leather than someone in chain would be silly. I understand it isn't because of the gear necessarily, but because of the Monk's agile/ nimble nature. But still.

    On another note, this thread looks interesting and promising!
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  13. Ludovician

    Ludovician Dalayan Elder

    Feb 1, 2011
    Cool thread, cool ideas and cool reasoning to back them all up. Having monks be good aux tanks gives them further value to a raid for sure. I can see switching from weapons to h2h to take advantage of stamina stances be a bit of a hassle, but monks don't have much else to do aside from auto attack and spam kicks so that shouldn't be any worse than it is for bards with instruments.

    By lore design, I don't think having monks and rogues do similar DPS numbers to rogues is a big deal, but the difference should be sustained dps (monk) vs bursty dps (rogue). Rogues should have the ability that wizards have where they can DPS themselves to the top of the agro list, causing them to have to control themselves more than they currently do.

    Monk = More tanky, more long term reliable DPS
    Rogue = Less tanky, more burst DPS

    Differentiating the two classes would likely require a rogue rework along these same lines, I don't want to derail though.
  14. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

    Jul 1, 2007
    in any event give monks a lot more avoidance and the offset is that they get less mitigation via AC. if dude gets hit he gets hit. learn2kungfupanda
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  15. Tevinter

    Tevinter Dalayan Pious Diety

    Sep 11, 2011
    On another note monk glove itemization should probably be looked at as well as the other things in this thread but that is a whole seperate issue
  16. Zawnza

    Zawnza Dalayan Adventurer

    Oct 2, 2007
    I like the overall theme of these changes and am looking forward to the result and heres a my 2 pence.

    If you change our stamina to disciple and it works like a warrior's to where it stays low out of combat you would need to change how the Ethereal Form stance works(I almost never use this stance outside of pulling), either to cost at or below the starting stamina amount and give it a duration/reuse. A change to how Walk of the Transcendant may also be something to consider.

    My issue with the hate being changed is that I duo/box a lot of the time and am I going to be able to keep aggro off my healer? I don't really think the aggro change would make much sense alongside some of the other changes; If we're supposed to stand in front of the mob and it is clearly seeing us hit it several times a second, why would it choose to put a lower priority on us? If this change does happen something along the lines of one of the special attacks generating aggro or a stance to negate the aggro change would be nice to have.

    To make flying kick the main special attack again in the system you are suggesting, I believe the accuracy from the current round kick x3 combo(Massive Kick) could be added as its bonus possibly in addition to something else.

    As far as the bare fist + skill mod vs weapon, I've always disliked that since it came out. There are already h2h weapons, why not actually use them? Maybe give 2HB a block bonus similar to but not as good as what shields have on the basis that its large/long enough and can be held to block attack from any angle.

    P.S.- I would really really really like some form of unfailing Feign Death even if it were only useable once every so often.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
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  17. burt6

    burt6 Dalayan Elder

    Nov 1, 2005
    Avoidance is super cool from a role play perspective but it is a pretty bad mechanic and leads to really spikey dmg. I know it doesn't fit the role play model but any mitigation swap for avoidance is a Nerf.

    I think slarriel has a good idea that will give monks the ability to do a lot of damage in really long fights and keep rogues as constantly high dmg right from the start. My opinion has been that monks were really fine where they were in groups and grouping but that they really lacked on raids and long boss fights. This would give them a tool for that. I don't think that it really effects rogues that much, It's not like monks and rogues were equal before and this is going to make monks better than rogues. I don't need to do rogue DPS, I don't think anyone is really asking for that. But monks should be above tank classes and bards and probably about where rangers are.

    I also think that giving monks massive base regeneration would be an interesting class thing that probably wouldn't really break anything at all. I mean like if monks got like a 5% total hp a tick regen I don't think they would really be able to tank tremendously better but if they were occasionally taking ripostes or whirlwinds it would mean that they wouldn't need an additional healer to look after them. It would still be 2 full minutes to go from 0 to full life.

    Also Innas set doesn't work really well with the SWK set because you really need to have the spirit dump from sweeping wind to proc the clones and it only dumps 5 spirit with the innas set 3 piece bonus.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
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  18. Tevinter

    Tevinter Dalayan Pious Diety

    Sep 11, 2011
    Hmm, I just had a neat idea for flying kick. The extra bonus nuke or w/e it does, instead of being a flat amount every kick, could work similar to wizard runic 1, Runic: Intensify to help solidfy monks as the fight one dude for a long time and learn his weaknesses thing, as well as ramping up accuracy during time spent in combat
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  19. Slaariel

    Slaariel *The Only Real Life Girl Dev*

    Jun 13, 2007
    I'm happy to replace an underused stance with a medium duration emergency tank stance or similar for raid situations with the understanding that you will not be doing zillions of DPS while focusing your chi or whatever. And I like that idea for Flying Kick (I especially like that it is simple and that it is easily codeable since I can combine it with Force of Body).
  20. Breigon

    Breigon Dalayan Adventurer

    Feb 17, 2008
    This would probably fit better as a 3rd Tome implementation perhaps since Slaar already mentioned having a full bar for a no-fail FD would be unrealistic for pulls (unless we are chain pulling i suppose and still in combat?)

    Would depend I guess.

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