Diablo III Beta: Monk

We’ve already talked about the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, and Demon Hunter, so this week we’re going to turn our attention to the Monk. Monks are brutal power houses! They wield elemental and holy energies in their quest to rid Sanctuary of it’s demonic infestation. Monks are primarily melee attackers, like Barbarians, only focusing on hand to hand combat and doing away with weapons…kinda. Monks wear light, cloth armors so they have less armor then a Barbarian, but have higher health pools then the Demon Hunter and Witch Doctor. A few well placed hits against a Monk can lead to some scary situations, but avoiding this situation is easy with their high level of damage, and AOE.

Monks really do a lot of AOE. This keeps them from being overwhelmed by large numbers of enemies. Out of the first 7 skills learned by level 10 only 1 skill hit’s only a single foe. Out of the rest: 4 are AOE damaging spells, 1 is an AOE debuff, and 1 is an AOE healing spell, to heal the Monk and it’s allies. The Monk uses Spirit to fuel abilities. Spirit does not regain over time, instead it restores only when the Monk attacks an enemy, similar to the Barbarians Fury. The major difference between Spirit and Fury is that Spirit will NOT degrade over time. Spirit usage is balanced well, with powerful attacks using Spirit, and weaker faster attacks restoring it.

Monk abilities have a unique concept of getting more powerful with subsequent strikes, sort of like a combo attack. Looking at the first primary skill, Fists of Thunder, we can see an example of a combo attack. Every 3rd strike with FoT hit’s multiple enemies, as opposed to just 1, and performs knock back. With the second primary skill, Deadly Reach, every 3rd strike causes the Monks attack to extend an extra 25 yards. On top of dealing good damage to multiple enemies frequently, the primary skills restore Spirit to allow the Monk to use Seconday and Defensive skills. The secondary skills available at level 10 are: Lashing Tail Kick, which uses a lot of Spirit to deal a lot of damage to multiple foes; and Tempest Rush, which channels Spirit over time as the Monk races forward and attacks his enemies.

While on the defensive the Monk can blind enemies with Blinding Flash, or heal themselves and allies with Breath of Heaven. These are both very useful skills, but I found Breath of Heaven to be a little unnecessary in the beta, due to it’s easy nature. The last technique learned by level 10 is Dashing Strike, which helps cut the distance between the Monks and their enemies. Very useful for getting the drop on a group of tough enemies! The level 10 passive skills learned seemed useful, and useless. Fleet Footed increases movement speed, which could be useful, but not necessary. Resolve decreases enemies damage by 25% which is incredibly useful for a light armor wearer!

On the equipment side of things, the Monk can pretty much wear anything, and use any weapons. There are 3 unique items for Monks that I noticed in the Beta. One was a head star, a decorative star that acts as a helmet providing low defense but cool stat boosts. The other unique items are fist weapons and diabo, or bo staffs. Although, the Monks can equip pretty much any weapon they want, they will do most of their attacks with their fists, while their weapons magically disappear from their hands. That’s been one of the only things that bothered me with the beta, and it’s so minor that I really didn’t notice it until someone else pointed it out to me. The good news is that damage numbers are still pulled from the weapons. So it’s purely an aesthetic thing.

Overall the Monk is awesome! Powerful, fast, and can help out the team in a pinch.  If I wasn’t so dead set on starting as a Barbarian I would easily have chosen a Monk… or a Wizard. But you’ll have to wait till next week to hear about that one! Tells us how you feel about the Monk, and what you thought about Diablo III after playing the beta for yourselves last weekend in the comments below!

is not a boss.

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  • One-Quest was founded many millennia ago in a galaxy know as "n00b," by a foundation of Nerds. n00b was a small galaxy ruled by an evil empire, known as the "Hipstars." One-Quest formed with the sole purpose of removing the Hipstar empire from power, and restoring balance to all Nerds...
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