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Filed under: Monk

Breakfast Topic: Why can't we all find Enlightenment?

Breakfast Topic Why can't we all find Enlightenment
As a (fairly) new monk, I have to say I love the fact that monks have their very own daily quest. Every day -- and an extra time every ten levels -- we can head out to the Peak of Serenity in Pandaria, where we train with our fellow monks.

If you aren't aware that this quest was daily, and only visited the Peak of Serenity for class quests every ten levels, you should get on board! It's easy to do -- just cast Zen Pilgrimage every day and spend a couple of minutes sparring with one of the monk trainers -- and the reward is very much worth it, not only giving you great XP, but also the Enlightenment buff that provides +50% experience from questing and killing. If you're leveling, I don't have to tell you how invaluable that kind of XP buff is. In fact, it's so invaluable, that whenever I've switched to another alt I really miss it. Leveling any other class, no matter how efficient you are with heirlooms and rested bonuses, is slower than leveling a monk.

And all I have to say is... where are the other class quests? Why don't hunters have daily target practice quests? Why don't mages have daily drills in fire, frost, and arcane magics? Why don't warlocks have daily demon duels? And what do you think, dear readers? Do other classes need their own daily quests, or would it just add to the frankly overwhelming pile of dailies we already have?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Monk

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

An early look at patch 5.2 for monks, part 2

An early look at patch 52 for monks, part 2
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

In my last column, I explored how monks (well, windwalkers and mistweavers) are dramatically changing in terms of PvP. This week, we'll take a spec-by-spec look at what you can expect to change for PvE content, and draw some tentative conclusions as to what abilities and stats you'll be using and not using. Keep in mind that this is still PTR content, so things change on a day-by-day basis; a hotfix tomorrow might invalidate every conclusion I make today.

Changes for all specs

When you first log in for patch 5.2, take a look at your healing talents. All of them have been redesigned from the "uses chi and no-cooldown" model to "free with cooldown" model, so the only cost to using your self-heals now is one global cooldown. The actual strength of the heals are still being tweaked, but given this new model, I expect Brewmasters to continue to go for Chi Wave; Chi Burst to be decent for Mistweavers needing to raid heal; and Windwalkers to go "meh," since they'll want the GCD's for damaging abilities. Zen Sphere is interesting, but it took a massive nerf (62%) which makes it not very desirable at first glance.

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Filed under: Monk

Should Moonglade return to being the druid's Peak of Serenity?

Should Moonglade return to being the druid's Peak of Serenity
Leveling up a monk is good fun and rather speedy. Starting from level 20, monks can complete daily quests that allow them to practice key skills and also reward an experience buff that stacks up to 48 hours. All they have to do is use their Zen Pilgrimage skill to send their spirits to the Peak of Serenity and interact with their Monk trainers. No other class has this kind of training, but the druids used to have something similar in Moonglade.

Once upon a time, leveling up a druid was much more difficult than it is now, and arguably more fun. Each form had a class quest to go with it and the Moonglade teleport spell was used to get these quests, as druids needed to speak to the druid trainers in the Cenarion Circle in order to advance as a shape-changer. Granted, the Aquatic Form quest was a royal pain, but it was a rite of passage that I thought made sense. There were no daily quests, nor was there repeated training as to how to use the forms, but the class quests did make advancing as a druid more rewarding.

I think they should revamp Moonglade to return it to its former glory and use the Peak of Serenity as a model for training druids how to use their forms and other key skills.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Monk

An early look at patch 5.2 for monks, part 1

An early look at patch 52 for monks
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

Greetings! I've been bitten by the real-life bug for the last few weeks, but I'm back and ready to break down the changes occurring in patch 5.2. As a new class, Monks have a ton of changes and new abilities coming, so let's buckle down and take a look! This week, we'll look at the major mechanics changes from a PvP perspective; next week, we'll take a look at PvE and speculate how your rotations and weighting might be affected.

PvP woes

Let's face it: Monks were pretty weak for PvP. Windwalkers were reasonably good at generating sustained damage but had trouble putting out good burst (getting a kill typically required having a high Tigereye Brew stack, full chi, and a damage trinket effect active). Unfortunately, they frequently didn't have time to generate the brew stacks they needed due to having weak passive defense. Once your trinket was down, a Shockwave or Deep Freeze usually meant you were done. Touch of Karma helped, but required skill to use pre-emptively. Add to this diffficult-to-use CC making it hard for Monks to help land lockdown chains on healers, and windwalkers were, well, terrible.

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Filed under: Monk

Patch 5.2 features new spell effects

The folks at Wowhead have found a whole mess of new spell effects coming in Patch 5.2. These include effects for several new talents, like the rogue talents Marked for Death and Hit and Run, which replace current talents like Preparation which is going baseline. Also getting new effects are redesigned talents such as the warlock's Blood Fear and the Monk ability Nimble Brew.

It's interesting to see redesigned abilities also getting new effects - you'd expect it of entirely new talents, of course, but going back and redoing existing abilities, even if they are getting revamped, is not quite as expected. It's welcome, of course, and some other abilities could use some new paint as well - I'd like to see Enrage get a once over, as an example.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Rogue, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

A closer look at the Ascension talent for monks

A closer look at Ascension
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!
Ascension: Passive talent. Increases your maximum Chi by 1, your maximum mana by 15%, and your energy regen by 15%.
In patch 5.1, Blizzard quietly reworked Ascension to make it a more useful talent. (I say quietly, because the change wasn't listed in the official patch notes, which was likely an oversight.) Previously, the talent had only increased maximum chi by 1, which made the talent useless for most players. Sure, in theory, you could use it to save up an extra chi for burst-type situations, but Chi Brew and its instant four chi was a much better choice for those anyway.

After finding out about the changes, my initial reaction (after a bit of napkin math) was that the talent was significantly improved to the level where it was a reasonable choice, but probably still not ideal over Power Strikes or Chi Brew. After I posted that in last week's column, a few commenters asked me to take a closer look, so I'll go spec-by-spec and take a closer look at the talent.

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Filed under: Monk

Patch 5.2: Potential monk changes

Stemming out of a relatively good post on PvP quality of life changes that could be implemented for the monk class, Daxxarri weighed in on some upcoming things that are possible for patch 5.2. Notably Renewing Mists being usable while mounted and Soothing Mists not being able to be purged.

This isn't the first time the blues have been dropping hints about upcoming patch 5.2 features. While there doesn't seem to be any pending release of a PTR, there's certainly a bit of chatter lately.

Daxxarri's full blue posts is as follows:

Daxxarri
The following changes are currently on the table for 5.2:
  • Life Cocoon will be undispellable and won't interrupt the cast at the end of the effect (and players will also be able to jump as well).
  • We're working to resolve the issues with Renewing Mist not being able to be used while mounted, though it will dismount the caster after it is cast.
  • Soothing Mist will no longer be able to be Purged, so it will work in a manner similar to the Priest's Penance. It will still be considered a periodic heal.


Filed under: Monk

Monk changes in patch 5.1

Monk changes in Patch 51 and associated hotfixes
While I've taken a brief hiatus from writing recently, the many, many changes to monks in the 5.1 patch and the immediately following hotfixes have lit the ol' theorycrafter spark. I'll go spec by spec and list the changes, along with some analysis.

Spoiler alert: Mistweavers aren't gonna be happy.

General changes This is nice, though it's not something that I particularly thought was necessary. With proper use of Roll (and Flying Serpent Kick for windwalkers), movement generally wasn't much of a problem for monks. The energy reduction for the buffs is nice for a quick rebuff after dying.

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Filed under: Monk

3 advanced monk tactics you might not be using

3 advanced monk tactics you might not be using
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

In the previous weeks, I've covered the basics for brewmasters, mistweavers, and windwalkers. Now that we've had a month to get used to the new specializations, it's time to try some advanced tactics. Stick with me as we roll through one ability for each specialization that'll help propel you to the top of the charts, be they healing, damage, or your healer's Christmas card list.

Windwalker: Touch of Karma

All damage you take is redirected to the enemy target over 6 sec instead of you. Damage cannot exceed your total health. Lasts for 10 sec. 90 second cooldown.

Touch of Karma is amazing. First, this is one of the best defensive skills for a DPS'er in the game, as it essentially gives you a 350k HP shield which works against everything. It won't save you from insta-kill void zones, but for damage you know is coming, it's much better than a druid's Barkskin or a paladin's Divine Protection. In a raid setting, it's worth telling your healers to add Touch of Karma to their raid frames so they don't waste heals on you for the duration.

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Filed under: Monk

Kissed by the Mist: The mistweaver 101 guide

Kissed by the Mist The mistweaver 101 guide
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

With Mists of Pandaria now released, I've been actively engaged in playing my monk, and having a blast doing it. I've received several polite notes from readers about how I haven't written a mistweaver guide yet, so this week: mistweavers!

Mistweaver is the healing specialization for the monk class. Any race, except Worgen and Goblin, can be a monk. Mistweaver monks have two resources that power their healing abilities: mana and chi.

Resource Management

Unlike the other two specializations, Mistweavers use mana instead of energy as their primary resource. This powers the majority of their heals. Mistweavers can regain mana through the same ways as other healers (in-combat Spirit regeneration via Mana Meditation, mana potions, etc.). However, Mistweavers also generate Mana Tea stacks by using chi; one stack is generated for every 4 chi consumed (Brewing: Mana Tea). To regain mana, you channel the Mana Tea ability, which regenerates 4% mana/sec/stack. An alternative solution is to glyph Mana Tea which removes the channeling behavior and causes it to simply use two stacks (8% mana) instantly, on a 10 second cooldown.

As a supplement to mana, chi is a static 4-point pool, similar to a paladin's holy power, that decays when out of combat. Maximizing your chi generation is vital for maximizing your healing output; while you can heal without chi at all, most of your strongest HPS abilities require chi to use.

Overall, of all the healing classes, Mistweavers likely require the most thought when it comes to resource management. All the other healers get large mana regeneration cooldowns (Mana Tide Totem, Innervate, Hymn of Hope) that they can typically fire and forget; Mistweavers require more constant attention to mana and chi levels in order to maximize their performance.

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Filed under: Monk

A guide to monk talents for all specializations

A guide to monk talents for all specializations
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

Due to an unfortunate family situation, I had to take a break from writing and playing right around the time of release. Now, though, I'm back and ready to talk monk! I've leveled a monk to 90, and in the process, have learned quite a bit more about all three specializations. Build some chi and follow me as we talk turkey about talents.

Keep it rolling

I'd originally felt that Momentum and Celerity were pretty equal choices. Now, though, Momentum has my heart. Why? Well, two reasons.

First, Roll is great, but save for the interposition of a solid object, there's no way to do a half-roll. That means if the object you are trying to get to is not some multiple of 20, Roll doesn't get you "right" there, which can be a problem. (Canny PvP opponents are already discussing how to stay 10 yards away from windwalkers to ensure rolls go right past them.) Momentum doesn't fix this, but it makes closing the remaining distance much less painful.

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Filed under: Monk

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent

Tanking Temple of the Jade Serpent
While working on the warrior column this week, I realized I could give you guys a general guide to tanking the various Mists of Pandaria leveling dungeons, so here we go. The dungeons this time out are pretty fun and varied, and not particularly onerous to tank through.

First up is the Temple of the Jade Serpent. It's a lovely dungeon, with just enough bosses and trash to take up about 30 to 40 minutes of your time. What I like most about the temple is how the trash is all linked very specifically to the events of the temple's corruption. Which is totally our fault, by the way. Oops. Sorry, August Celestials. It's up to us to free Yu'lon's temple from the Sha.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Stagger like Jagger: The brewmaster monk 101 guide

Stagger like Jagger The brewmaster monk 101 guide
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

With Mists of Pandaria nearing release, the monk class is rounding into its final form. While a few things may still be tweaked, the design and abilities have now stabilized enough that I feel comfortable presenting you with a series of guides for each specialization. This week: brewmasters!

Brewmaster is the tanking specialization for the monk class. Themed after the classic Drunken Master, your job is to keep the enemies busy trying to hit you while your compatriots take them out. Any race, except for worgen and goblin, can play a monk. Like all monks, they have two resources that must be managed; energy and chi.

Energy functions identically to rogues and feral druids, as a 100-point pool that regenerates at a constant rate, in and out of combat. This energy regeneration can be increased with haste, and is used to power your basic attacks. These abilities don't do much on their own, but they build up the brewmaster's second resource: chi. Chi is a static 4-point pool, similar to a rogue's combo points, that decays when out of combat. Once you've built up a few points of chi, it can be used to power stronger abilities that do significant damage, provide self-healing, or make you more resilient.

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Filed under: Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Pandaren and Monk Trainers appear in starting zones

Pandaren and Monk Trainers appear in Start Zones
You may think I took the above screenshot on the beta, but if the rumors are true and you really can gather my account information from secret codes embedded in every picture, you'll be able to tell that this is actually taken in the troll start zone on a live realm!

As the lifting of the Mists of Pandaria draws ever closer, changes are already starting to take place, and out of nowhere, what must currently be exceedingly enigmatic pandaren are coming out of the woodwork into our game world.

Tsu the Wanderer has made it to the troll island, where he can be found sparring with Zabrax, the newly arrived monk trainer, and the only trainer who is not a pandaren. In the orc start zone, Gato is standing in a group with some other trainers, enjoying what appears to be rather an awkward silence, while in the Undead zone, the amusingly named Ting, strong of Stomach, is offered various delights by Archibald Kava. Shoyu (d'you see what they did there?) seems to fit right in with the Tauren, but Pao, the lonely pandaren among the blood elves, seems a tad more incongruous.

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Filed under: Monk, Mists of Pandaria

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