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Posts with tag Monk

Warlords of Draenor: Big changes to Monks

Mistweaver Monk
The latest Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes have been released, and they come with some pretty hefty changes to monks--Mistweavers in particular. Blizzard has been experimenting with the monk class, and that comes as no real surprise. They were the new kids of Mists of Pandaria, so it's expected that they'll be getting relatively large changes in the expansion immediately following their introduction. Death Knights went through the same thing in Cataclysm, so this seems to be just part of the new class cycle. Keep that in mind as we go over the changes; this is still alpha, after all, and if there were any time for Blizzard to play around and see what happens, it's now.

The biggest changes in the current build involve haste, the global cooldown, and the separation of the traditional healing style of Mistweavers versus the Eminence dps-while-healing style. Like Warriors, a number of the monk changes show a great emphasis on the importance of stances, and how different stances affect gameplay. The monk change notes are after the break, with the strikeouts left intact so as to illustrate the dynamic changes from the last alpha build. Red text in the original that is not struck out has been bolded below.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Is your Hearthstone main your WoW main?

While the gameplay in Hearthstone doesn't match WoW's exactly, it does a pretty good job of giving you the feel of the class you're playing. Of course, with such a different kind of game, having a similar feel doesn't mean that class you play the most in WoW will also be the class you play most in Hearthstone. For my part, I play a monk in WoW -- not an option in Hearthstone -- and typically play a paladin -- which used to be my WoW main -- in Hearthstone.

So today we're asking you, readers: which class are you playing most in Hearthstone? Does it match your favored WoW class or not?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Hearthstone Insider

What's going wrong with tanking in five player content?

Tanking is not always easy, mind you. But tanking can be an incredible amount of fun, and I hope that it'll make a real comeback in terms of popularity when Warlords of Draenor goes live. Right now, I feel like a few problems really keep tanking from being as universally popular as it could be.
  • Difficult to get starting gear - For most people, it's hard to get started as a tank. Gearing is an issue, because some tanks (DKs, warriors and paladins) need specific tanking gear, while even the leather tanks still generally use different stats to some degree, different enchants, different weapons for tanking than DPS or (especially) healing. This is a problem the gearing changes in Warlords should really help with.
  • Where can you learn it? - Tanking requires a different skill set from DPS or healing. While proving grounds exist, they don't really teach the most important part of being a tank - reacting to other players. It can be hard as a new tank to walk into a dungeon having never done it before. That leads into the third difficulty of picking up tanking.
  • Dungeons don't provide any sort of experience right now - With the wildly disparate gear levels on people running random dungeons, you can have a tank in 450 gear trying to hold aggro off of players in 580 gear. While it can be nice to be the tank in 580 gear, even you might have trouble when groups don't cooperate, run ahead of you, pull mobs half way across the zone, and generally simply refuse to act like any kind of groups at all. This is something I'm hoping the gear squish and ten levels will do away with - we'll all basically be on the same page when Warlords dungeons are being run.
While there are still a lot of places where tanking is both fun and rewarding - raiding (especially in a guild group, be it heroic, normal or flex), challenge modes, even in LFD or LFR if you get lucky - I do think it can be a lot to ask a new tank (whether or not she or he is a new player or just new to the role) to grow a thick skin fast enough to deal with the toxicity possible in the current random queue environment. Which is a real shame, because tanking is fun - it can be stressful, and oftentimes groups have an expectation of a tank doing the work of knowing how every fight works for them, but that's not always a negative.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Tanking and the future

One of the things I'm thinking about lately is how tanking is changing in Warlords of Draenor. In at least one major way, it's not changing - Active Mitigation established itself in Mists, based in part on DK tanking in Cataclysm, and it's going to be front and center in Warlords of Draenor. But right now, AM tanking heavily relies on four stats (depending on the tank class) and all four of those stats will be gone come Warlords, meaning that we're looking at a pretty significant change depending on the class. The remaining stat, mastery, is probably going up in value, and in addition, we'll have crit, haste, readiness and multistrike to consider. But stats aren't the whole of the game, and they're not the whole of the changes, either.

In addition to new stats, there are the abilities each tank will see affected by readiness to consider. There are also Draenor Perks for each tank spec, granted randomly as we level from 90 to 100. There are changes in what abilities exist, in what specs get them. Vengeance is gone, replaced with Resolve, buffing our self heals and absorbs. In short, while the basic idea remains the same - generate resources via attacks to spend on damage reduction in one fashion or another - how we go about it, how it interacts with us has so many changes that it's worth discussing in length. There's so much change coming in that I don't pretend I'll catch all of it, which is why we have comments, after all.

So what do I expect to see out of tanking coming 6.0? It should be noted, this discussion is based on the Warlords alpha patch notes and such datamining as I've looked over, and I freely admit I only tank on one class, so while these are general observations I may be missing key class specific factors.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

5 abilities your monk is not using enough

Every class has its core abilities -- skills you rely on to get you through every fight or to save you in an emergency. These are all bound to hotkeys within easy reach, on a primary button bar, and you're so used to them being there that your fingers move towards the right keys without any thought. But you also have abilities you reach for less often... or that might not be on your button bars at all.

But not all of these abilities are as useless as you might think they are. Almost every ability in a monk's toolbox is useful in some situation, even though some abilities may not seem useful at first glance. To help you unlock the power of these lesser-used skills, we'll take a look at five abilities you might not be using and discuss how -- and when -- they can come in handy.

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Filed under: Monk

How to gear your new windwalker monk for raiding

So you've finally hit level 90 on your windwalker monk and you're trying to decide where to go from here. There are lots of things you can do at level 90, but if you want to keep advancing through PvE content, the first thing you'll need to do is grab better gear that will let you hop into heroics and raids.

While the one of the best ways to gear up is by jumping into heroics and, especially, raids to grab item drops, each raid has an item level requirement -- and you definitely won't meet it after initially hitting 90. But that's not to say it's out of reach -- just that you'll need to put a bit of effort in before you're ready to head into heroics (which require an ilvl of 435) or raids (which start with the ilvl 460 Mogu'shan Vaults).

For new monks who aren't sure where to start -- or old hat players who just aren't confident of their windwalking skills -- we'll help you through the stats that are important for your gear and point you in the right direction to get ready for raiding.

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Filed under: Monk

The quick guide to mistweaving

I didn't start my monk journey as many others did at MoP's release, but switched mains during tier 15 due to raid needs. My confidence was at an all-time low because monk healing felt so foreign, compared to other healing classes. After some time, I completely fell for my monk and want to share what I've learned along the way.

I'd like to get it out of the way now - this guide isn't meant for the advanced mistweaver. It's a quick guide to get you healing, stat. I'd like to cover in-depth mistweaver topics in the future, so don't worry! This is a resource meant for monks hitting level 90 and are interested in trying their hand at healing. It's meant for brewmasters or windwalkers curious about healing or even for those being thrown into a new off-spec.

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

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls closed beta has begun

The closed beta for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has officially begun. Players that have opted in to the beta should begin checking their email for beta invites. Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for Diablo III, features all-new content as well as the new Crusader class, enchanting, transmogrification and of course, lots and lots of frantic mouse clicking. Players that have received a beta invite can check their Battle.net accounts to verify that the license has been added -- or if you've received a Closed Beta key, you can add it to your account by logging in to your Battle.net page.

For players that have yet to receive an invitation to the closed beta, make sure you've opted in on your Battle.net Beta Profile Settings page -- and while you're at it, make sure the page has the latest system specifications for your computer. Keep in mind that with the closed beta, you must have an active Diablo III license attached to your account -- and that license needs to be in good standing in order to be eligible. No banned or suspended accounts.

Also, as with any beta test, the risk of phishing attempts runs a little higher. If you receive an email that states you're in the beta, be sure you don't click any links in the email itself. Instead, log into your Battle.net account to check that the license has been added, or to manually add a game code. For more information on the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls closed beta, take a look at Blizzard's official page -- and good luck to all those that have opted in!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3

Blizzcon 2013: Diablo III Reaper of Souls class and systems panel

On the second day of BlizzCon 2013, the Diablo 3 team hosted a gameplay systems panel in which they covered some of the new systems coming to the Reaper of Souls expansion, including not only the Crusader class, but information on changes for the existing classes and some of the new itemization tweaks we can expect to see in Loot 2.0.

Crusading for a new class

The first section of the panel introduced the new class, the Crusader. Designing a new class is one of the most complex tasks in an RPG, but it starts with a simple concept. In this case, the team wanted a righteous paladin type, which would work as a good answer to Malthael, the angel of death and main villain of Reaper of Souls. The idea came together of having a dark paladin, full of righteous wrath, a "knight in battle-scarred armor" to stand for humanity in its darkest hour. This lead to concept art. They knew they wanted the Crusader to be bulky and blocky, but it took many weeks of reiterations before they settled on the look of today, with the shield, the flail, and the tabard.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Diablo 3

Know Your Lore: The life and legacy of Lei Shen

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Once upon a time, somewhere in the dawn of Azeroth's history, before the Sundering split the world in two, there was a race of warlords called the mogu. Violent and cruel, the mogu fought relentlessly against everything -- including each other. That is, until one day when one mogu sought out the history and secrets of his people's past, discovering that they were creatures of far more potential, far more purpose than any had realized. It was a secret long forgotten, and the mighty Lei Shen not only uncovered it, but brought that secret back to his people.

For untold years after Lei Shen emerged from the depths of the Isle of Thunder, the mogu reigned supreme on Pandaria. They captured and enslaved the weaker races, forcing them into servitude. It was not until after the death of Lei Shen that the pandaren race finally rose up with the hozen, the jinyu, and even the grummles to disrupt and reduce the armies of the mogu to rubble, taking the continent of Pandaria back as their own and ruling in peace.

In the waning hours of Lei Shen's inevitable downfall at the hands of Azeroth's heroes, we'll soon be leaving these relics of ages past behind, and instead focusing on the future of our world. But the history of the mogu, the history of Lei Shen is not a tale we should soon forget.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 5.4 PTR: Vengeance changes

Patch 54 PTR Vengeance changes
If you're a tank in World of Warcraft you know what Vengeance is. Originally intended to allow tanks to keep up with increased DPS from improved gear with DPS stats on it while accumulating tanking gear that generally lacked those stats, it's turned into a means for tanking players to do chart topping DPS on some pulls (especially AoE ones with multiple tanked mobs). There's been a lot of discussion about what might happen with Vengeance in patch 5.4, and now we have our first look at what Blizzard is contemplating for the tanking specialization.
Rygarius - 5.4 PTR Patch Notes - August 2

Vengeance has received several changes.
  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.


These changes are almost certainly aimed at reducing the very high DPS that we can see on trash pulls and boss fights with a great many streaming adds (such as Tortos' bats or the packs before Iron Qon) especially as we head into the final tier of gear for Mists of Pandaria, which would inflate these numbers even more. Raids that use tanks with the highest DPS tanks will probably feel these changes the most. As always, this is the PTR, so if you have an opinion on these changes getting on the test servers and testing them out is useful so you can give proper feedback.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Tier 16 Armor Set videos: Shaman, Monk

Adriacraft is at it again with more tier set videos. The latest addition to the videos is the monk set shown above. I'm not so sure about the sleeveless robe, but I quite like the look of the helm -- a red bandana similar to the Shado-Pan helmet, minus the helmet of course! Still, it seems a little less flashy than other tier 16 contributions. What do you think?

After the break you'll find the video for the tier 16 shaman set. I'm actually really fond of this set, largely for the shoulder graphics. They remind me of Ulduar and Algalon, although I'm sure that wasn't the intended purpose. I'm not sure what the spinning discs really have to do with the elements, but the lighting effects on the shoulder graphics are really pretty. If you're wondering how they hold up to the rest of the tier, be sure to take a look at the Warrior, Priest and Hunter, and the Paladin Druid, Rogue and Death Knight as well. And as always, keep an eye on Adriacraft on YouTube for all the latest patch videos.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

What's on the horizon for monks in patch 5.3

What's on the horizon for monks in patch 53
There's a lot of cool stuff coming our way in patch 5.3, including a new battleground, new scenarios, new quests, and a host of PvP changes. But while these splashy changes have been getting all the attention, monks haven't been left out of the action. Be aware that patch 5.3 is still on the PTR which means we may still see changes before anything his the live servers, but working from Blizzard's official patch notes, we can get a pretty good idea of what's coming. Let's take a look!

Help for healers
First up, there's a change to all healing spells that pick their own targets -- which includes things like Renewing Mist and Chi Wave. These abilities will now pick their targets a bit more intelligently. Says Blizzard, "Targets with lower % health will be preferred, and players are weighted more heavily than pets." It's hard to say how much this will impact gameplay in practice, but it's a definitely a buff.

Mistweavers are also getting a buff to Revival, whose healing cap is now 15 raid members (instead of 6) when used in a 25-player raid.

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Filed under: Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Should you be playing a monk?

Should you be playing a monk
World of Warcraft has a character class for every type of player... though you may have to hunt around to find the class that's a perfect fit for you. These days, I've found my perfect fit to be the monk. (Though who's to say that I won't change my mind again in the future.) So if you're in the market for a new character -- whether you're a new player or an old hand -- let's talk about why a monk should be at the top of your to-play list.

Just what is a monk?
Monks are masters of weaponless combat who have learned to harness their chi hurt their enemies or heal their friends. While they fight bare-handed, they can (and should!) equip weapons: they can use fist weapons, one-handed axes, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, polearms, and staves and can dual-wield one-handed weaponry. They use cloth and leather armor and, though monks originated in Pandaria (and you'll need the Mists of Pandaria expansion to play one), the class is open to pandaren, dwarf, human, blood elf, tauren, undead, draenei, gnome, night elf, orc, and troll.

They're a true hybrid class who can tank (brewmaster monks), heal (mistweaver monks), and DPS (windwalker monks). For resources, monks have health, energy (for brewmasters and windwalkers), mana (for mistwalkers), and chi. Chi is unique resource to monks: you have four possible points of it and start combat with zero. Some of your attacks will generate chi while others will use it, meaning monks take careful resource balancing.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Monk

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