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8-10-2011 @ 6:33AM
I personally like the idea of a possible monk class (perhaps as a hero class). So lets try to do some blue-sky thinking and see how such a class would work -as that would be core to it's inclusion.First things first - they will be cloth wearers, but without the ability to wield weapons. The fact that tey need their hands to fight also rules out shields, and held-in-off-hand items.But they are also unlike any other cloth-classes a melee class. Obvious core stat: agility. Secondary is probably strength. Ultimately though - you can only absorb so much damage through cloth, so to even survive they would have to have massive avoidance. This suggests they would be either melee DPS or because they have to stack avoidance they would almost certainly be able to tank as well. Even in DPS form their lack of armor suggests a high level of avoidance needed, they rely entirely on parry and dodge remember to prevent being one-shotted remember and they don't have a rogue's vanish to get them out of trouble or their knack for hitting from behind.With enough avoidance - you get a character who can take on multiple mobs (in line with the monk concept) - again good for a tanking class or melee DPS.So what does that imply ? 1) We need a whole new selection of gear. Cloth with stats for melee fighters. Avoidance, dodge and agility are crucial. Stamina is very important -but that's present on practically every item anyway. First question: how would a melee DPS and a tank's stats differ ? This is the first concept class where melee DPS would have to stack high levels of avoidance. Does that rule out the possibility of a DPS monk and consign them tanking only ? Presumably the DPS would need to up his attack power, which is one stat difference, but that's mostly derived from agility these days - just like dodge rating so it won't really give them a major difference in gear.Perhaps they could tank or DPS in the same gear ? Or perhaps a tank would want higher armor levels in their cloth ? (We can assume the tank would have more hits he cannot dodge than the DPS who isn't actively targeted after-all)2) How would the specs differ ? I doubt we'll suddenly see a class with only one or two talent trees - so what specs could our monk have ? Sure DPS classes have three variations on the same core tool, but it's interesting that there is no pure healer or pure tanking class - all classes that can tank or heal also have the option for at LEAST a DPS offspec.So what would our monk have ? Well healing isn't entirely out of line for a monk - so perhaps heal/tank/DPS specs ? But now they are very close to pallys (also druids but not quite as close) in fact they are now nothing but cloth-wearing un-armed pallys.3) Losing weapon slots is a major issue for itemization balance. All other classes get a lot of their stats from weapon slots. So either these new cloth items would have to be significantly boosted to make up for the gap or they'd need something else to replace those slots. The first option is tricky, cloth with that much strenth/agi (likely to be the core stats) may actually be strong enough for rogues to outweigh their leather-specialization bonus... and we're right back to a problem cataclysm supposedly wanted to fix. The second option raises the question of "but what then ?" perhaps they could have two extra ring slots ? We get one ring on each hand in game (Which is odd as most races don't have just one finger) perhaps they could get two rings per hand ? That gives them the same number of slots as any dual-wielding DPS class, and it rules out the item-competition issue. All classes can wear all rings right now, which ones you DO wear is determined by stats. If a strength+agi ring drops then rogues and bears and warriors and ret-pallys will all roll, that's clearly not an issue for blizzard, what's the problem with having one more class rolling ? After all the same is true for every other major stat set. All the cloth casters will roll on stam+int rings now, and all the healers will roll on any ring with spirit.So we can start to form a picture of such a class just by thinking from how classes work, into what the goal of the class would be... so if we can get this far - then surely blizzard can get much further.And having done this massive tin-foil-hat post... now I DEMAND MY MONK HERO class.There's of course, another catch. A hero-class is not a race, DK's could be any race, they got a distinctive look alteration but they were still a class and not a race.So while the monk skill could come from the pandaren... it won't make your player look like a panda (I can't think of a single not-horrible reason why monks should shapeshift into pandas ... it would be way too much like druids AND worgen and get old FAST).So as a class, it relegates the pandaren to NPC's, but important ones as a whole new range of adventurers are now travelling to pandaria to learn their ancient unarmed fighting style. Much like any DK didn't go through the usual race starting zone but got their own, I can see us spending 10 levels of monk starting in a pandaren temple.Of course, for a long time only one race on each faction could be druids and only one horde race could be pallys so limiting monk to a pandaren race is possible, but it would have to be balanced. There has to be a way both factions have at least ONE option to get into it.A neutral race has been suggested but I must admit out of everything so far speculated, that sounds to me the least likely. It messes with way too many things n pvp.
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