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The Monk, Master of Balance

class monk stance mantra yin yang fist unarmed

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#1 inertialDamper

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

It seems a little premature to be adding new professions to a game that hasn't even reached open beta yet.  At the same time, I understand there have been several attempts on this forum to suggest new classes or mechanics along this same theme.  The reason I'm bringing this up now is because a few ideas popped into my head regarding skill mechanics currently implemented in GW2, and there is a niche I feel for a slightly different class tempo that we haven't seen yet.

Quite frankly, monks are special to me.  They're one of the core 6 that have been with Guild Wars since the beginning, and their ascetic, tattooed, plain cloth look is a very refreshing (for me) break from the renaissance faire cuffs, jackets, and dresses that adorn most clothies.  GW2 is an excellent opportunity to save the monk from its admittedly stale pure support role and bring it back into a hybrid state.

The overall concept I will be dealing with here is a melee to short-ranged, cloth-wearing, fast moving class that hinders enemies and helps allies in equal measure.

It should successfully blend the mobility of the thief with the protection of the guardian, and throw in a slightly underrepresented element of combat in GW2 to boot: skills that slide, push, or pull foes around the battlefield.

The key word that describes every aspect of a monk's behavior is BALANCE.

Okay, enough exposition:

MONK

Special Class Mechanic: The Stance
Spoiler

Special Class Resource: Yin and Yang
Spoiler

That's about all I have time for today.  As a preview for all the combat skills, here are the possible weapon combinations the monk can use:

Two-Hand:
Staff (close to mid range, aoe, combo fields)

Main-Hand:
Scepter (mid range, positive conditions on allies, reflects)
Dagger (close range, negative conditions on enemies, teleports)
Fist (close range, pushes, pulls, leaps, rolls, finisher skills)

Off-Hand:
Focus (mid range)
Dagger (close range)
Fist (close range)

Thanks for reading!  Suggestions and comments are very welcome.

Edited by inertialDamper, 09 May 2012 - 10:27 PM.


#2 Beta Sprite

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

I really like the concepts you have going here.  I think that this interpretation of the monk is very interesting, and it would be interesting to have the dynamic of balancing your yin/yang in order to have access to the skills that you want.

I have a suggestion (which you may or may not agree with, and I accept that):
Rather than having yin/yang work like initiative, I think it would be more interesting to either restrict skills based on your current balance, and change the effects of your utility skills based on your balance.
For example, let's say that the total of your 'balance' is always 10. Instead of requiring and using up 4 yang points for an off-hand skill and gaining some amount of yin, make it require that you have at least 4 yang, and it pushes your balance towards yin by 2-4 points.  Then, the skill goes on a recharge like normal.
For a basic healing skill, it could be a form of meditation that heals you and gives either regeneration or might, depending on whether you are currently more balanced towards yin or yang.

#3 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:17 PM

I thought you were going to say that the monk's power would be to nerf OP skills and buff weak ones.

#4 Alemoot

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:06 PM

Would be cool for the Cantha expansion. I think a different name would be better to avoid confusion with the monk profession from GW 1. Yin Yang mechanic sounds cool. Might be a little complex for a beginner but it would certainly make for interesting skill combos.

#5 inertialDamper

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:45 PM

View PostBeta Sprite, on 09 May 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

I really like the concepts you have going here.  I think that this interpretation of the monk is very interesting, and it would be interesting to have the dynamic of balancing your yin/yang in order to have access to the skills that you want.

I have a suggestion (which you may or may not agree with, and I accept that)...
Thanks, Beta.  This is the funniest darn thing, as I was at work today the exact same idea suddenly popped into my head from nowhere.  It's more like a sliding scale that creeps down toward one end as you use skills.  I like the flavor, but it feels like I'd have to introduce a few more arbitrary barriers to keep the monk from happily whaling away on his favorite abilities, like (as you mention yourself) bringing back cooldown timers.  A resource must work to give the class a measured tempo to its skill usage, and force the player into more interesting problems than 'I guess I'll just wait until I can use my good thing again'.

That said, I am a big fan of the healing skill you mention.  That can be a good recurring theme with all the monk utilities, and maybe his 1st slot weapon skills as well.

I like where your head's at on this.  Without a real way to practically observe such a system in use, the resource mechanic is a little tough to wrap one's noodle around.  If you have more suggestions, please don't hold back!

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 09 May 2012 - 05:17 PM, said:

I thought you were going to say that the monk's power would be to nerf OP skills and buff weak ones.
Well if that were true, I obviously would have named him the Monkbat.

View PostAlemoot, on 09 May 2012 - 07:06 PM, said:

Would be cool for the Cantha expansion. I think a different name would be better to avoid confusion with the monk profession from GW 1. Yin Yang mechanic sounds cool. Might be a little complex for a beginner but it would certainly make for interesting skill combos.
While this monk's range may on the whole be lower, and his melee fighting ability more robust, I still consider him to be casting divine wards, glyphs, smites, and so on.  It's more a re-imagining of what I thought the monk should be doing all along, so I think the name is appropriate.  Thanks for the comment!

Edited by inertialDamper, 09 May 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#6 Beta Sprite

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

Other random ideas that have crossed my mind:
- Outside of combat, the balance should step back towards the center.  If some skills require 6 or more of yin or yang, you wouldn't be able to open the fight with them, then.
- Perhaps the auto-attacks should also balance you back towards the center, and be affected by where the balance currently is.  For example, if you are out of balance towards yang, it deals extra damage and pushes towards yin.  If you are out of balance towards yin, it heals nearby allies and pushes towards yang.

Edited by Beta Sprite, 09 May 2012 - 10:51 PM.


#7 white_migraine

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 09 May 2012 - 05:17 PM, said:

I thought you were going to say that the monk's power would be to nerf OP skills and buff weak ones.
rofl, this!
I like the yin and yang thing, but where other professions rely on timers, except thief which has initiative(which it seems like a similar idea to, but still distinct) you'd have to keep yin skills distinct from yang skills. it sounds like it'd be a nightmare to balance. as well as everyone got to pick over the skill list of monk skills, so new names for that and they don't sound too far separated from other professions to yield it to being it's own. definitively on the right track to something here though.

#8 Willowleaf

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:29 PM

Ritualist is gazillions of time better than monks.  I'd rather have the ritualist back than monk.

#9 Tipsy

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

The monk is a very interesting profession indeed.
I think the yin/yang system you mention has much potential
But I'm not sure if it would be better as overal mechanic or just one aspect/traitline "balance" of the monk.
yin and yang abilities could be so much more if the trait line(s) you choose would contribute too:each trait line offers new types of abilities
Altering the way the monk functions(more supports/tank or dps)but also the way yin and yang should be kept in balance.
This would make the monk a profession with lots of diversity:you'll have many different ways to play one
Yet each trait you'd choose keeps the monk unique and different

Traits line could be:
stances•Balance•Meditation•Will•Convertion

converted target sees you as ally for some time and will provide the buffs his skills normally would give to allies
(so a converted player should avoid using skills that could otherwise buff,protect or heal allies too)
Converted mobs will fight at your side for some time.

I very much like the tattoo aspect of the monk too.Perhaps one trait line should include them scribing their bodies("stances" perhaps)
Serene "meditation" to regenerate faster and crits+
"Will" would be a more supportive trait line,increasing overal moral but also give them abilties like "pain suppression"
Some Nice monk pictures:
Spoiler

Edit:other option is to unite several of the previous seen classes under one new profession
But will fangroups of each class be as satisfied as the other with this?It can be limiting for some groups

Edited by Tipsy, 10 May 2012 - 02:05 PM.


#10 MithranArkanere

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

You monk would be quite like Diablo III's monk.
"Enemy jugglers" with with higher affinity not for 'support' but for 'control', moving around the battlefield to throw enemies off balance and push them into allied AoEs, but that can also deal damage and give support, of course. With skills that can do things like finishing a combo with a blast that scatters enemies by pushing them away in all directions and heals allies a bit like some skills.
And, of course, counters. Skill 'traps' that the monk himself doesn't trigger, but stay as an effect on him until the enemy triggers them. One would have to develop a 'combat sense' to see when enemies will do something, otherwise you'll waste your ying and yang in counters that would not be triggered.

And that's the only way I can see a monk. They should have been like that in GW1 too, but I suppose GW1 lacked the mobility GW2 has, so it was impossible.

If they ever add another profession in an expansion, I hope one of them is a monk like that.

Instead staves, a 'quarterstaff' weapon could be added with the same expansion that adds this one, and instead 'fists' there could be 'bracers', some of them would look like chains or beads around the forearms. And as for the equipment, they would have to be clothing, since counters would provide them quite some protection already.


More or less the idea is quite clear. It's a great idea for a future expansion.


As for lore, maybe if they open Canthan territories some day, the current GW2 monks could been evolved from monks trained the Teachings for Mhenlo in Shing Jea, creating their own order of monks. And when the Canthan territory openened, some of these monks went to spread those teachings, and even some survivors from ship sunk could have been reascued by them and learned enough to tech in their own lands, and so you'll see a few Monks here and there, so all races can still be monks.

Edited by MithranArkanere, 10 May 2012 - 08:28 PM.