Author Topic: Monks, the forgotten class?  (Read 4187 times)

Sinful Mystic

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Monks, the forgotten class?
« on: May 18, 2018, 03:01:54 PM »
I've been playing around with a monk the last few weeks because I really liked the concept, but I had almost no experience playing one beyond my friend HolyFlyingTarkus, aka Gwyn complaining they were unplayable until finally quitting.

I have had a brutal experience thus far. Her AC is offensive, the AB is awful, and gear is largely unavailable. I hurt the build to improve the ab but that is not helping.

Now I'll say the 1-4 Iron Knuckles you can buy in town are an awesome starting item. Bonus points if you follow the Lawgiver :).

Throwing stars are awful and I am unaware of a craftable version so you go sling or crossbow. Kama's work out nicely, easy enough to get silver steel ones so that is not an issue but robes, good gloves and boots are.

I have got a bit of luck getting a +1 robe with +1 heal and +1 gloves that do 1-4 electric. Sun soul and/or any kind of dodge boot seem to be a thing of the past.

Now the robe of course is inferior to any kind of crafted armour and I only got it out of luck/pity. I happen to know IC the only Monk of note on the server and he was going to dump them anyway. Had I not had that luck I would still be in a shirt of the treant/bone/chains etc because monk robes are never for sale at the Mist Camp. Gloves arent either unless you want 1-4 slashing, piercing etc, nothing +1 seems to drop.

So you have a melee class that has the worst ac of any class except maybe a low level wizard, which is close. It has a lousy ab and is almost forced to use expertise on top of that. You need so many stats that extra hit points from con are a tough thing to pull off. So you burn more healing than anyone else. Herbalism is a must take skill/expense because you need potions to function.

Ah but at least they have stealth you say?

Do they really?

So there are no stealth robes that are common that are not rogue only. You can do the whole mouse outfit easy enough but you are losing those core armour stealth points that rogue garb would give you 3/3 on. Maybe you get ebon tiger clothes for +2 hide. You are still the worst sneak on the server. Rogues have UMD so they can cast scrolls,if they can afford it. Bard and Ranger get spells to boost their stealth. What does Monk get? 0.

I should also point out because survival is so hard the feat demands and skill point demands are huge. If you want to do stealth you are sacrificing a core skill like dicipline/heal and Lore is not an option at all. Never mind an rp skill like antagonize or influence, just not an option.

So you are the worst melee class, the worst stealth class, forced to do a craft and have low chances of getting any kind of good gear. You have one perk. You are the fastest herb collector.

Basically Monks bring nothing to the table. If I'm the party tank, even with buffs, we're in trouble or were doing a dungeon too low for us. I'm not spying on anyone unless I'm 10 levels higher than them. I am an rp character who people bring along not because I'm useful, but just because of my rp flavour.

That I am aware of only one monk who is active above me in level suggests there is no more undesirable class to play. So the question becomes can we level the playing field?

I'd like to suggest +2 robes and sun soul boots be added to the loot table. Throw -5 perform, -5 UMD or whatever you have to to balance the budget but they should exist.

I also think bonus feats for stealth would be a good idea. +1 MS/Hide per 4 levels would probably be fair and balanced. That +5/5 probably still puts you behind the 8-ball and you have to be lvl 20 to get there.

Last, I think you need some bonus skill points and maybe an extra feat on creation. Maybe circle kick should be free later on as well?

I'm just spit balling here and I know balancing classes is a tricky business but in this instance there is no debate that Monks are in a league of their own in a bad way. Might be worth fixing them up and making them a real option, instead of a novelty class.




« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 03:06:28 PM by Sinful Mystic »
Gabriela Boca

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2018, 03:34:46 PM »
Monks are good in a flanking role. They are not as strong as their beefier counterparts in terms of AC and frontlining, but their AC and access to the Tumble skill, as well as their incredible speed, gives them enough AC to run behind enemy lines and get flanking bonuses to help mitigate their less than stellar BAB. Additionally, monks have an insane number of APR. If a monk builds for crit range their lower BAB will not matter nearly as much. The APR and speed also make monks excellent at chasing things down, and keeping them down via Improved Knockdown.

Of course, I can't say I've seen much monk gear drop lately, either (except for some gloves). And monks do have a lesser kit for stealthing compared to other stealthing classes, though I feel that this is mitigated by their utility. A new addition in EE, Shrouded Dance, seems perfect in the hands of a stealthy monk however. As long as a monk can hit a DC 30 Hide check, the monk gains HiPS and 50% conealment for one round. Since monks are so fast, they will get the most use out of this tool as an escape mechanism simply due to the distance they can put between them and the enemy.

All in all, on paper monks might look like the "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" class but they can be so much more than that. Certainly there is room for improvement, but I think it is a step too far to call them a "novelty class." At the very least, monks have some niches in the meta that they can comfortably fill.
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Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 03:52:29 PM »
Monks are good in a flanking role. They are not as strong as their beefier counterparts in terms of AC and frontlining, but their AC and access to the Tumble skill, as well as their incredible speed, gives them enough AC to run behind enemy lines and get flanking bonuses to help mitigate their less than stellar BAB. Additionally, monks have an insane number of APR. If a monk builds for crit range their lower BAB will not matter nearly as much. The APR and speed also make monks excellent at chasing things down, and keeping them down via Improved Knockdown.

Of course, I can't say I've seen much monk gear drop lately, either (except for some gloves). And monks do have a lesser kit for stealthing compared to other stealthing classes, though I feel that this is mitigated by their utility. A new addition in EE, Shrouded Dance, seems perfect in the hands of a stealthy monk however. As long as a monk can hit a DC 30 Hide check, the monk gains HiPS and 50% conealment for one round. Since monks are so fast, they will get the most use out of this tool as an escape mechanism simply due to the distance they can put between them and the enemy.

All in all, on paper monks might look like the "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" class but they can be so much more than that. Certainly there is room for improvement, but I think it is a step too far to call them a "novelty class." At the very least, monks have some niches in the meta that they can comfortably fill.

I can think of 2 monks, one of which I play. What is your definition of novelty? Why do you suppose no one plays them?

Rogue is the Jack of all trades class. Monks simply do not have the skill points, or skill options to do that. They are a 2nd class fighter/sneak forever.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 03:57:04 PM by Sinful Mystic »
Gabriela Boca

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 05:26:32 PM »
Monks can be incredibly powerful in the higher levels if you put the work into it.

Here are a few perks that make monks very good:

-Highest saving throws in the game.
-They get the most attacks per round of any other class. 6 attacks per round, without haste, at lvl 18 is totally massive.
-They have a massive, almost stupid, speed.
-Their normal attacks are effectively +3 EB, which is even better than enchanted weapons, on par with adamantine.
-They get improve evasion, which makes any reflex save spell pretty much useless against them.
-They get a some free Spell Resistance of 10 + level, which means a nasty 30 SR whenever you walk in the street at lvl 20. Have fun casters!
-You're immune to all poisons.
-You can deflect arrows.
-You can an instakill ability, quivering palm.
-Normal weapons can't hurt you once you get lvl 20.
-Being virtually unkillable by anything because of the combination of hp/AC/speed/saves. You can always get away from a fight.

Now, of course, there is some negatives to being a monk, and lower levels are definitly harder. But one advantage of monks is that they keep growing in strength as they level. A normal fighter can usually get their AC around 26-27 unbuff with a few items early on, but then, they stop getting more AC until they get enchanted gear. Monks always keep getting AC bonuses, because of tumble, AC bonus from being a monk, parry, etc. Also, they are one of the classes that gets the most from a caster, since there is so many of their stats that can be buffed.

So no, monks are definitly not a weak class. They are very strong, but you need to put more time into them than you'd do with other classes.

Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 06:49:45 PM »
Monks can be incredibly powerful in the higher levels if you put the work into it.

Here are a few perks that make monks very good:

-Highest saving throws in the game.- true
-They get the most attacks per round of any other class. 6 attacks per round, without haste, at lvl 18 is totally massive.- Yes but their ab is so bad only the first one is a good chance to hit
-They have a massive, almost stupid, speed.- Yes speed is their big thing
-Their normal attacks are effectively +3 EB, which is even better than enchanted weapons, on par with adamantine.-look at the Ab chart and get back to me
-They get improve evasion, which makes any reflex save spell pretty much useless against them.-nice and all but it does not make them worry anyone, not the only class with this benefit
-They get a some free Spell Resistance of 10 + level, which means a nasty 30 SR whenever you walk in the street at lvl 20. Have fun casters!- lvl 12, not strong enough to be meaningful against a good caster of the same level, Dwarfed by Barbarian SR
-You're immune to all poisons.- You're already forced to be a herbalist so this is not a big benefit
You can deflect arrows.- 1 arrow per round
-You can an instakill ability, quivering palm.-not sure about DC's on this so cannot comment on the advantage
-Normal weapons can't hurt you once you get lvl 20.- yeah lvl 20 is grand but you have to get there and who are you fighting with normal weapons at lvl 20? try a base soak item some time, most things cut through it
-Being virtually unkillable by anything because of the combination of hp/AC/speed/saves. You can always get away from a fight. yep, the speed and the AC, very late,- it's great to be hard to kill, not so much to not be able to hit anything. The AC is nothing compared to a class with buffs. compare to a fighter long term and you are trading 2 ac for 7 ab. I'll assume the hit points comment was a joke

Now, of course, there is some negatives to being a monk, and lower levels are definitly harder. But one advantage of monks is that they keep growing in strength as they level. A normal fighter can usually get their AC around 26-27 unbuff with a few items early on, but then, they stop getting more AC until they get enchanted gear. Monks always keep getting AC bonuses, because of tumble, AC bonus from being a monk, parry, etc. Also, they are one of the classes that gets the most from a caster, since there is so many of their stats that can be buffed.

So no, monks are definitly not a weak class. They are very strong, but you need to put more time into them than you'd do with other classes.

So why does no one play them? maybe because they are hell to play until high levels?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 06:58:03 PM by Sinful Mystic »
Gabriela Boca

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 07:59:39 PM »
That hell to pay in the lower levels is a small price in the long run. I know of 'The greatest monk of all' who started last NCE who is practically always around doing small dungeons here, some rp there and he's a friggin caliban! Shoutout to Urk Bedurk for sticking it out there, but it's all going to pay off for him once he hits those high levels, just as it will for you if you stick it out

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 08:13:21 PM »
Welcome to the club...

ViktorYouFool

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 08:27:09 PM »
The problem is that you need to examine monks in context.
-They get a some free Spell Resistance of 10 + level, which means a nasty 30 SR whenever you walk in the street at lvl 20. Have fun casters!
Spell Resistance is a DC the caster must roll on a d20+Caster Level+Spell Pen. An equal level caster must roll a 10+. That means the monk has a 45% chance of being saved by their SR. With Greater Spell Pen (And who wouldn't have that if you're a pure caster?), you're rolling a d20+24. The caster needs to roll a 6+, giving the monk just a 25% chance of the SR saving them. This was for a long time their big draw.. but now a barbarian can get a 36SR -- 40SR, if you're a half-orc.

-They get the most attacks per round of any other class. 6 attacks per round, without haste, at lvl 18 is totally massive.
Which is awesome, if you can hit anything. Monks are the only medium AB class with no way to mitigate having their medium AB. This is the most common complaint I hear from people who are playing the class.

-Their normal attacks are effectively +3 EB, which is even better than enchanted weapons, on par with adamantine.
Again useful, if you can hit them. Sadly, they aren't actually a +3EB, as that +3AB would have been incredibly useful.

-You can deflect arrows.
Which is cool, but sadly only counts against one missile per round. Given that you have such ridiculous AC, you're probably safe against incoming missiles anyway.

-You can an instakill ability, quivering palm.
Useful, if you can hit and if you're hitting a target that has no fort save. Even then, a DC22 against an end-game opponent is not tremendously impressive.

-Normal weapons can't hurt you once you get lvl 20.
Awesome, except that you generally aren't fighting anything at level 20 that won't have at least a +1 weapon. This is thus basically just neat fluff outside of some kind of DM event.

-Being virtually unkillable by anything because of the combination of hp/AC/speed/saves. You can always get away from a fight.
And this brings us to probably the most salient point. You are great at getting out of a fight. Now that you have Ethereal Jaunt, the only thing that can kill you is a mage throwing IGMS-- which, granted, you will statistically have a 25% chance to ignore, better than most. But none of that really makes you useful to a party. You get a whole lot of really good quality of life benefits, but there's nothing that a monk brings to a group that someone else doesn't bring better.

Not only are you the only med BAB class without a means to mitigate their BAB through self-buffs or antagonize, you also are the only med BAB class that doesn't have a party utility. You aren't healing/rezing/buffing like a cleric, you aren't party buffing like a bard, you aren't picking locks and disarming traps like a rogue. You exist to hit things and you aren't particularly good at that either. That you are better at surviving than most of your party is nice. The running joke is that the monk's party role is to fetch the bodies when everyone wipes.

Even worse, your main claim to fame was spell resistance, and a barbarian can now do that better than you in addition to being better than you at tanking (5/- instead of 20/+1 that will be ignored, Twice your HP, and immunity to sneak attacks once UDII is in), monstrously better offensively (full base AB, +10 strength on command, a less demanding attribute spread so better base attributes to begin with), better gear selection, and similar saves while raging.

The counter-argument is always "make a bard friend" (because monks, required to be lawful and bards required not to be lawful make such bosom buddies to begin with from a lore perspective) but the amount of wizard and bard love you need to make a monk useful to a party in a flanking/striker roll could have made the above barbarian a force of unbridled destruction.

I actually love monks as a concept. I love what the system is trying to do with them and I acknowledge that they keep getting some kind of buffing from the server. The problem is that at the end of the day the purpose of the class is to hit things with your fists and they just aren't particularly good at actually hitting things. All it would really take to make this class good is to give them an AB bump, either through feats or whatever.

This is the complaint I hear from everyone I've ever spoken to who has played a monk for any length of time, and it is the primary reason I haven't bothered with one myself.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:12:17 PM »
There really is a lot to talk about in that last post.

First: Not every caster will take the two penetration feats, and even a 25% is already very good. I don't know any mage who would be happy of having his offensive spells being denied one time out of four. About the barbarian, only half-orc can get to 36 SR, and that's will a whole lot of feats, and only during rage. Non-half-orc barbs will be maxed at 32, and only during rage, while Monks have that spell resistance ALL THE TIME.

Second: Honestly the monsters on this server don't have the highest AC that you could imagine. And with 6-7 attacks per round, you ARE going to land some hits, even if it's only on 20. In a PvP fight when both are fighting on expertise or improve expertise, the monk will usually win cause he will have so many more attacks than your opponent.

Third: They are +3 EB to pass damage reduction, so no they don't add to your AB, but even if you hit, if you can't get passed the damage reduction, hitting will do you no good.

Fourth: Deflect arrow is a bonus, maybe not that useful, but it can still save your butt!

Fifth: A DC 22 against any class that doesn't have Fort has main save is actually huge. Spellcraft don't count for that save, so even with someone who is at 16 fort, you have a 25% chance of instakilling him. Not OP?

Sixth: I agree it might not be as good as barbarian damage reduction, but it's still something. Also, you can take disarm and just take your opponent's weapon away, and laugh as they can't hurt you.

Seventh: You are the best to tank spells from a mage. You have improve evasion. You can sit around in the middle of an army of ennemies, and just laugh as your mage does any damage spell he sees fit, since you will dodge them all. No monk might not have the best damage, the best HP, but they have other things has I have mentionned already.

Eighth: Antagonize and Expertise will help you a lot in bringing your AC up and lowering your opponents AC. Barbarians are indeed a better offensive class than the monk, but monks are immensely better defensively in my opinion. Also, it was already said, but they really shine in a flanking role.

Ninth: I am unsure what to say about your claim that barbarians are immune to sneaks. Uncanny dodge 2 doesn't make you immune to flanking, they only make you keep your Dex Ac and dodge AC when flanked. Defensive awareness 2 is what makes you immune to flank, and only dwarven defenders have this feat, it's what gives them a niche. The Ravenloft Wikia states that it is immunity to flanked, but unless there was a change in the last Hak on that, it is untrue.

Monks are definitly not a class for everyone, they take a lot of time and work to get into and bring at a good level. But once they do, they are one of the strongest classes in the game. I've seen monks do incredible things here, that no other class can do the same way.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 09:23:37 PM »
A buffed high-level monk is an engine of destruction because of all those attacks and speed. They are otherwise inferior, and the gap between them and other classes has only increased in the time I've been on the server.

As this previous poster has summarized the situation in detail and with accuracy, I have little to add to that except to vouch for what he said, having played a monk for more than three years.

During that time I have acquired most of the best equipment a monk can have. Not only does it take much longer to reach higher levels because of low levels being so painful, but once at high level a monk is still inferior to those that achieved their levels more easily.

Monks can solo virtually nothing that grants them XP. Speed and multiple attacks are good against an individual opponent, but having everything be mobs all but negates their utility.
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ViktorYouFool

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 12:05:52 AM »
Not every caster will take the two penetration feats, and even a 25% is already very good.
My entire point was that one has to talk about the context of the thing. SR30 doesn't make one "caster proof." At best, it makes one caster proof 45% of the time if we're talking about equal-level encounters which is the only way you can actually guage any classes abilities relative to any other classes. We won't even talk about what happens if the mage thinks to spell breach you.

About the barbarian, only half-orc can get to 36 SR, and that's will a whole lot of feats, and only during rage. Non-half-orc barbs will be maxed at 32, and only during rage, while Monks have that spell resistance ALL THE TIME.

-Added Extra Wild Shape/Extra Rage feats

Will Extra Rage affect the spell resistance for Mystic Rage the way most other Rage feats do?

Yes.

With the information we have available, Extra Rage will be another +4. So 40 and 36, as mentioned. The difference between having it at the touch of a button or all the time is moot for any situation that isn't "someone jumps you while you're spent and resting." With Extra Rage, a level 20 barb will have 8 rages a day. If we assume that this is on a 16 con (which is about standard for a Barbarian) then they will have (3+5+5)x8=104 rounds of rage. About 10 minutes. More than enough for any pvp encounter they are going to have, and assuming that you are timing them to go off just before an engagement, plenty for any PvE content. And since Barb rage is a toggle rather than a full round action, even getting jumped while you aren't raging isn't a problem. You just need to rage before everything gets messy. I would be curious to test if barb SR would apply to a spell targeting you if you hit Rage as soon as you saw them casting, though.

But. Again. Kind of moot. It's only a very specific instance in which the difference between "during rage" and "all the time" will favor the monk, and in all other instances Barbarian rage is better.

Honestly the monsters on this server don't have the highest AC that you could imagine. And with 6-7 attacks per round, you ARE going to land some hits, even if it's only on 20. In a PvP fight when both are fighting on expertise or improve expertise, the monk will usually win cause he will have so many more attacks than your opponent.
If I have 6 attacks per round but due to my low AB only hit on 20s, that's statistically the same odds as someone who has only 3 attacks per round and can hit on 19s. If someone can hit on 18s, their one attack per round would have the same odds.

They are +3 EB to pass damage reduction, so no they don't add to your AB, but even if you hit, if you can't get passed the damage reduction, hitting will do you no good.
Any melee class can get +3EB through enchanting an item, or even just from varnishes.Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that this is nothing, just not as impressive in context as it sounds when listed in a vaccuum. 

A DC 22 against any class that doesn't have Fort has main save is actually huge. Spellcraft don't count for that save, so even with someone who is at 16 fort, you have a 25% chance of instakilling him. Not OP?
As mentioned, the problem is that you have to be able to hit the thing you're aiming at. Quivering palm is one use per day. You thus need to actually land the blow, AND them fail the save, AND it be something lower level than you. As you just pointed out a moment ago, in pvp you're going to be fishing for 20s.

I agree it might not be as good as barbarian damage reduction, but it's still something.
It is something but that was never the point of any of this. As I summarized at the end, they have a whole lot of neat little quality of life things, but none of them actually make them particularly great at the core function and thus they don't get to contribute much to the party as a whole.

Also, you can take disarm and just take your opponent's weapon away, and laugh as they can't hurt you.
Everyone gets disarm, so that's not really a special class feature but since you bring it up monks are going to be worse at disarming than just about anyone because they have the lowest AB. Disarm applies a -6 penalty to an attack roll on a class where AB is already the main complaint.

Disarm then puts your attack roll (15BAB-6 penalty, +1 if you have WF+ability mod for a total of 10+Mod) against your opponent's discipline (23 if they are a melee class+ability mod). That gives them a base advantage of 23 to 10 even before we discuss bonuses from feats, background, or gear.. and it's way, way easier to get discipline on gear than it will ever be to get AB.

You are the best to tank spells from a mage. You have improve evasion. You can sit around in the middle of an army of ennemies, and just laugh as your mage does any damage spell he sees fit, since you will dodge them all.
If they have no spell pen, then you will dodge 45% of their spells. If they do, you have 25%. If they breach you, your SR goes down by 5. You thus have at best 25%, at worst, none. Keep in mind there are no saves for Greater Spell Breach, and your SR does not defend against it.

No one will care how much improved evasion you have when your d8 HP with (optomistically) 14 con means you have 180HP at level 20. Maybe 200 if you got toughness. That's about two maximized Isaac's Greater Missile Storms, or a handful of generic IGMS.

Also, as you just pointed out: there is no amount of AC that will protect you from fishing for 20s. You only have so much HP. I would recommend not standing in an army of enemies indefinitely, as Monk has fairly middling HP as well for a melee class.

Antagonize and Expertise will help you a lot in bringing your AC up and lowering your opponents AC.
No one has accused monks of lacking for AC, and as I already stated, monks DO NOT get Antagonize. They are the only middle-BAB class that has no way of mitigating this fact. Antagonize is not a class skill they receive. You would at best have to cross-class the skill and then invest heavily in gear. If the discussion is about class features, class features the class does not possess do not weigh in that classes' favor.

I am unsure what to say about your claim that barbarians are immune to sneaks. Uncanny dodge 2 doesn't make you immune to flanking, they only make you keep your Dex Ac and dodge AC when flanked. Defensive awareness 2 is what makes you immune to flank, and only dwarven defenders have this feat, it's what gives them a niche. The Ravenloft Wikia states that it is immunity to flanked, but unless there was a change in the last Hak on that, it is untrue.

With the upcoming migration to EE, a few more changes have been made to classes/balance/items/etc. I've outlined them here in no particular order:
(...)
Feats:
-Added the following feats.
-Moved Disarm/Knockdown to level 1 so they are granted at character creation
-Uncanny Dodge II (as per EE) now grants immunity to flanking and thus sneak attack from flanking except from rogues four levels higher than the character. This is hardcoded with EE.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2018, 04:34:15 AM »
Crafted gloves should be on their way though there is no exact eta yet.




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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2018, 06:12:20 AM »
Actually, let's talk about what happens when a mage tries to Spell Breach a monk. Because if I have to point out that Diamond Soul is immune to being Breached, it kinda suggests you don't have a lot of experience in high level PVP.

And this is fundamentally the issue. Monks are insane when fully buffed at high level. (Again, if you're complaining that your six attacks won't hit because of your low BAB, that means you're not factoring in Hearts of the Beast or Hector's Essences....)

They're comparable to Barbarians now in that they're a class that, with buffs, can have most of their weaknesses addressed. Except a Barb can in theory get ganked while un-Raged or have a hard time running away. A Monk can almost always pick and choose when to fight or run; flee a losing battle to heal and rebuff.
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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 07:56:54 AM »
One improvement is to fix flurry of blows to be closer to 3.5e. At least let the AB penalty disappear in higher levels.

Arawn also mentioned the implementation of Tongue of the Sun and Moon at some point. Not for combat, but will probably be super neat and unique to this class.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 08:21:04 AM »
Honestly, the issue with gearing up Monks too much is that Monk-specific-intended gear for AC, or buffs in general can be UMD'd by other classes. If we entertain that Monks can acquire a +3 or +4 unclothed set of gear, a dual-wielding dex-fighter with rogue levels can make that go much further than the Monk ever could. By comparison, on other servers I've been on, Monks have been geared heavily and when they themselves weren't the users of said attire, it was used by just about every Dex character in the game. There is little in the ways of Monk gear that could be added without simply giving another class more benefit, except perhaps feat-based items like a lot of Paladin gear uses. Monks were never designed to be front-line melee combatants. If you want a class with six attacks that can frontline, get a Ranger or a Fighter/Rogue, make them dex-based, dual-wield, and get the defense feats for them and you're better-off in that regard. Both of which get four primary, and two off-hand attacks.

Monks as they are now need more feats like the Tongue of the Sun and Moon, or perhaps even flurry of blows to be closer to the 3.5e counterpart as Telkar mentioned. Monks are terrifying against Mages and put them in check. If not for their saves, their SR, and ability to chug a potion of cowardice and close the gap instantly. A well-equipped Monk can enter/exit any scene they wish, except perhaps in a closed area where the doors are being watched.

They'll never be a front-line class. Because either you have to fundamentally change them from what they are, or you have to implement gear that other people will just use to a greater extent.

Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2018, 11:46:26 AM »
I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions to this discussion and the civil nature in which it is being conducted.

BraveSirRobin does make a good point about monk items being better in the hands of other classes, with the obvious exception of gloves. Yes monk gear needs to be more common but it sounds like the only improvements are going to be skill and feat related.

There have been a lot of compelling arguments about how awesome high level monks are at mage killing but that seems to be about the only saving grace and that argument continues to gloss over the fact that it could easily require a year or more of enduring a near useless character to finally hit a late peak.

One theme I have experienced and heard time and time again by people who have actually played monks is that the ab shortage neutralizes the extra attacks. We have established that monks are survivable because they can run away but this is not a compelling enough quality to want to play a character around.

As one player has already pointed out to me a monk's main ability is supposed to be their ability to punch things, yet they do this less effectively than other classes could. Clerics and Paladins could easily outdo a monk in a fist fight in most cases.

If we can all agree that it is a rare class to play and that the low level experience discourages people from playing the class it seems logical to try and level the playing field at lower levels. The one active high level monk on the server tells us he can't hit anything and feels he brings nothing to a party. People are telling him he is wrong. I'm inclined to believe him.

I think a couple people here are looking at one or two features and think so highly of them that they think it compensates for a brutal development process and bringing little value to a party just because you can escape an hurt wizards in pvp.

Bonus feats, extra skills/skill points would all enrich the class but ultimately they all fall short of solving their biggest, most obvious short coming. Hitting things. Is this something that can be tweaked?

I should also add that their stealth disadvantage should probably be looked at also.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 11:52:56 AM by Sinful Mystic »
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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2018, 12:24:14 PM »
He's not the first nor the last monk high level player on the server. His opinion isn't worth more than ours, and to suggest it is while ignoring what the class is actually good at is merely bias. When people argue for boosting the monk but forget how Diamond Soul works or think that they ought to hit as hard as frontliners, they aren't merely arguing from anecdotes, they are ignoring design.

It's also absurd  to suggest monks are useless. Monks are very strong in parties when properly buffed. A Monk + caster pair can duo most of the content on this server. Yes, their flexibility and focus on defence means they're not as useful as some other classes in PvE, but I've often seen party wipes where only the Monk got away.

The monk's only true weakness is this: they need buffs, more so than most classes. And actually, a Monk willing to grind away at herbalism and alchemy can be pretty self-reliant.

Should the fact that some Monk players don't want to grind crafts and aren't super interested in PvP mean we should ignore the class's potential in the hands of a skilled PvPer with time to grind? God, I hope not.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 12:29:12 PM by aprogressivist »
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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2018, 12:40:34 PM »
He's not the first nor the last monk high level player on the server. His opinion isn't worth more than ours, and to suggest it is while ignoring what the class is actually good at is merely bias. When people argue for boosting the monk but forget how Diamond Soul works or think that they ought to hit as hard as frontliners, they aren't merely arguing from anecdotes, they are ignoring design.

It's also absurd  to suggest monks are useless. Monks are very strong in parties when properly buffed. A Monk + caster pair can duo most of the content on this server. Yes, their flexibility and focus on defence means they're not as useful as some other classes in PvE, but I've often seen party wipes where only the Monk got away.

The monk's only true weakness is this: they need buffs, more so than most classes. And actually, a Monk willing to grind away at herbalism and alchemy can be pretty self-reliant.

Should the fact that some Monk players don't want to grind crafts and aren't super interested in PvP mean we should ignore the class's potential in the hands of a skilled PvPer with time to grind? God, I hope not.

+1 to that.

Also, nobody will beat a monk in a fist fight. Maybe at lower levels, a barb or a fighter might be able to contest, but monks will always beat everyone else in a fistfight.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2018, 12:58:07 PM »
Personally I dislike monks. I have yet to see a single monk roleplayed as a monk and instead they are all just brawlers. This isnt isolated to this server, I dont think I've ever met a monk on any server who actually RPed a MONK. I wouldn't bother making any more changes to the class personally. I do not mean to offend any monk players here but I also will not blow smoke up your butts either. I just find Monks to be a cheese class that hurts my immersion more than helps it every time I see one. Maybe someday I'll meet a convincing monk but after about 10+ years on and off of NWN, I still have not met one.

Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2018, 01:34:36 PM »
He's not the first nor the last monk high level player on the server. His opinion isn't worth more than ours, and to suggest it is while ignoring what the class is actually good at is merely bias. When people argue for boosting the monk but forget how Diamond Soul works or think that they ought to hit as hard as frontliners, they aren't merely arguing from anecdotes, they are ignoring design.

It's also absurd  to suggest monks are useless. Monks are very strong in parties when properly buffed. A Monk + caster pair can duo most of the content on this server. Yes, their flexibility and focus on defence means they're not as useful as some other classes in PvE, but I've often seen party wipes where only the Monk got away.

The monk's only true weakness is this: they need buffs, more so than most classes. And actually, a Monk willing to grind away at herbalism and alchemy can be pretty self-reliant.

Should the fact that some Monk players don't want to grind crafts and aren't super interested in PvP mean we should ignore the class's potential in the hands of a skilled PvPer with time to grind? God, I hope not.

Unfortunately you have just decided I have ignored it, which I have not. While you are right a monk can be serviceable when buffed they are the inferior tank and usually a lower priority buffs because of this.

Their weakness is they can't hit anything, even with buffs they can never come close to a cleric or fighter type.

I'm not sure your design idea holds up either. NWN was designed to go to lvl 40, designed to allow monks to multi class, designed to have stat items and +5 gear. POTM did not design the monk, the monk was put into POTM. Surely it is possible a low magic server impacts some classes more than others?

I mean you are ignoring the obvious. If they are so awesome where are they all? Why do people always give up on them?

Saying there will be other high level monks is all fine and dandy but the motive probably has more to do with originality and concept than playability.

What pvp has to do with anything I'm not sure. Are you suggesting it's big edge is a pvp class and this some how makes it attractive? If so again I ask, where are they?

I would love to know the ratio of monks to clerics, wizards or paladins. It has to be 20-1 or more.

Saying it will all be glorious just as the character is almost done is not much incentive to suffer through the process.

I'm not all that invested in the class, I consider mine an rp character basically but contrary to Keyser's opinion I think they have a ton of potential.
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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2018, 01:38:50 PM »
He's not the first nor the last monk high level player on the server. His opinion isn't worth more than ours, and to suggest it is while ignoring what the class is actually good at is merely bias.

Fact: Someone who actually has played a monk has a more informed opinion than one who has not. Someone who has played a monk recently has a more informed opinion than someone who played a monk previous to changes to other classes and to monk as to relative strengths.

That a player of high-level wizards has "seen" monks do "incredible things" is not evidence of much when those incredible things are left to the imagination.

Quote
When people argue for boosting the monk but forget how Diamond Soul works or think that they ought to hit as hard as frontliners, they aren't merely arguing from anecdotes, they are ignoring design.

When someone tries to discredit an entire argument because the player made a small technical mistake, that's cherry-picking. As for design, that's assumption based on premise. "Seeing monks do incredible things" is the essence of anecdotal, while not even providing the anecdote.

Who are you to say monks were never intended to be frontline fighters? They do not cast spells. They are not exceptional at ranged attacks. They do not receive bonus damage for sneak attacks. What exactly makes you say they are not designed to be in the front?

Your only evidence is that they are poor at it. Precisely.

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It's also absurd  to suggest monks are useless. Monks are very strong in parties when properly buffed.

Yes, and so is every other class. I acknowledged this. But they are inferior until then, and those doing the buffing would prefer buffing someone who specializes.

Quote
A Monk + caster pair can duo most of the content on this server. Yes, their flexibility and focus on defence means they're not as useful as some other classes in PvE, but I've often seen party wipes where only the Monk got away.

Another argument from anecdote, but your second sentence is why buffers would rather take along someone other than the monk.

Quote
The monk's only true weakness is this: they need buffs, more so than most classes. And actually, a Monk willing to grind away at herbalism and alchemy can be pretty self-reliant. Should the fact that some Monk players don't want to grind crafts and aren't super interested in PvP mean we should ignore the class's potential in the hands of a skilled PvPer with time to grind? God, I hope not.

Time spent grinding crafts is time that could be spent gaining levels. This means someone choosing another class and spending the same time as the monk playing will be a higher level than the monk, while having a more enjoyable time playing. The non-monk will also be establishing allies to adventure with. As any class can grind alchemy and potions it is frankly silly to suggest this as an overlooked way that the class is more viable than it appears.

My monk is an excellent herbalist and somewhat accomplished alchemist out of absolute necessity. It is not at all an option, and sentencing all monks to such drudgery is another reason almost no one wants to play one. For several months, for that matter, varnishes would not even work on gloves. Imagine the outcry that would have resulted and the demand for an immediate fix if this bug had instead affected martial weapons.
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Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2018, 01:40:25 PM »
He's not the first nor the last monk high level player on the server. His opinion isn't worth more than ours, and to suggest it is while ignoring what the class is actually good at is merely bias. When people argue for boosting the monk but forget how Diamond Soul works or think that they ought to hit as hard as frontliners, they aren't merely arguing from anecdotes, they are ignoring design.

It's also absurd  to suggest monks are useless. Monks are very strong in parties when properly buffed. A Monk + caster pair can duo most of the content on this server. Yes, their flexibility and focus on defence means they're not as useful as some other classes in PvE, but I've often seen party wipes where only the Monk got away.

The monk's only true weakness is this: they need buffs, more so than most classes. And actually, a Monk willing to grind away at herbalism and alchemy can be pretty self-reliant.

Should the fact that some Monk players don't want to grind crafts and aren't super interested in PvP mean we should ignore the class's potential in the hands of a skilled PvPer with time to grind? God, I hope not.

+1 to that.

Also, nobody will beat a monk in a fist fight. Maybe at lower levels, a barb or a fighter might be able to contest, but monks will always beat everyone else in a fistfight.

Not after the paladin/cleric casts their buffs, not even close.
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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2018, 01:48:48 PM »
I mean, pretty much nothing can beat a paladin or a cleric when they are full buff. That's the point of their class. If they have time to buff, they are huge powerhouse with high AC and damage. But if caught with their pants down, they will die VERY quickly. You can't compare classes like that, because they each have different roles, strengths, weaknesses. If you bring up paladins and clerics full buffs, then every other class is crap compared to that.

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2018, 01:53:53 PM »
Oh, so when I make a monk that's equal or higher level than yours, you'll concede your opinion eclipsed? Challenge accepted.

I find it funny to have to argue that a non-full AB class, non-heavy armour class with Tumble and speed is not a frontliner. If monks could frontline as well as heavy hitting classes, they could do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. They'd go from being situatuonally good, to amazing in every situation.

Whatever. I don't have time to argue this on my phone.
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DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monks, the forgotten class?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2018, 01:56:21 PM »
I have yet to see a single monk roleplayed as a monk and instead they are all just brawlers. This isnt isolated to this server, I dont think I've ever met a monk on any server who actually RPed a MONK. I wouldn't bother making any more changes to the class personally. I do not mean to offend any monk players here but I also will not blow smoke up your butts either. I just find Monks to be a cheese class that hurts my immersion more than helps it every time I see one. Maybe someday I'll meet a convincing monk but after about 10+ years on and off of NWN, I still have not met one.

Yeah, well, another indication of what monks must contend with, in part because of being a small minority class. Imagine if someone referred to all paladin RP as cheese and that no paladin ever RPs being a paladin.

Though not to offend any of you who play paladins.
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