Monks

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A good woman
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Re: Monks

Post by A good woman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:04 pm

its pretty bad when to prove your point on your own post, you have to refer to your own post on another thread. maybe im not the stupid one afterall
not really? i've been following this a bit because i have some monk levels and was thinking of making an actual monk. i'm glad that he referred to the other thread so that all the info's a little easier to read. i'm also glad that he's using actual facts and evidence to supplement the discussion instead of resorting to solely passive-aggressive commentary like yours

ty to everyone in these threads who are actually trying to debate and educate about the system in place

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Zavandar
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Re: Monks

Post by Zavandar » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:05 pm

I've seen a good, pure monk in action

it's ridiculous, and they'll even tell you that

Enough sr to not be affected by spells. Enough AC to not get hit, with edodge on top of that. Mind immunity and, with gearing, decent fort/ref (but again.. that would assume a spell goes through (it won't))

And it's easier to get by without umd than ever with death ward and freedom potions, and haste potions, invis purge dusts, usable items, and even ac skleens

you're saying that we're arguing on paper over stats but I've seen this in practice. It's strong. To say it's not is wrong. I won't claim to know if you're ignorant or obtuse or lying because you're playing a monk, but it's wrong
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Re: Monks

Post by Ork » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:32 pm

At this point I think the discussion has been exhausted. People have voiced what works and what doesn't with monks and we have to ultimately leave any decision to the developers and mechanics team for fine tuning.

I think Kalopsia sums up pretty much everything about monks succinctly and we're not going to get a better break down than that.

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Hexgoblin
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Re: Monks

Post by Hexgoblin » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:35 pm

Will monks receive an adjustment that most would consider a nerf when compared to their current state? When looking at how they currently perform in dungeons, and lack a counter readily available to at least a portion of player characters -- most likely.

As the update thread tends to state outright when something major goes in, any new features are subject to change, pending their impact on the game world. The same happened to Pale Masters, to a degree it's occured to Rogues, and Warlocks and Spellswords both went through many iterations before landing somewhere comfortable. Basing your mechanical enjoyment wholly around a flavor of the month feature is often going to yield disappointment. That said, none of the classes listed are currently unplayable or unviable. They can all be comfortably picked up and played throughout absolutely all of Arelith's dungeon content and perform just fine. Monks receiving an adjustment doesn't spell their doom as a functional entity.

Monks have historically been a troublesome class. Underwhelming overall, but simultaneously enabling more mechanical exploits than any other class through the monk speed feature, with the initiative re-roll exploit probably standing out as the most noteworthy. The fact that dedicated tinkering has enabled the capping of their HARD CODED speed feature, and without the use of haks at that, and thus opening the field for experimenting with the monk's other features -- should if anything reassure you about how much effort that goes into making monks something interesting on the side of development.

The issue the class faces right now, at least to my mind is two-fold. I think that the introduction of katanas as a monk weapon was unnecessary, and the cause of more balance problems than it was worth. Furthermore the amount of free feats monks receive post-epic freed up a tad too many feat slots for stacking Improved Spell Resistance. A workable fix, I think is the removal of free Epic Dodge, but keeping Defensive Roll to enable Epic Dodge to be manually taken as a pure monk. Also making their SR subject to lowering via breaching spells. Though the latter is no small task, given that the SR too is hard coded. So much like the speed, its source feat would probably have to be decoupled, and the SR granted artificially. That said, there might be neater solutions to the SR problem, concocted by minds more steeped in code wizardry than my own. I've seen it theorized by some of said code wizards that the SR could be capped to a certain monk level, as opposed to scaling all the way. The SR is an issue, in either case.

In the end, I don't think that "Arelith is a roleplaying server, minmaxers will always exist, stop taking powerful things away from casual players who just want to have fun!" is a good argument. A class that yields too easy of a result for too little effort will be exploited to the detriment of those very same players, by others with a different mindset. Either through PvP, or the markets flooding with expensive high-end dungeon materials that'll render what those more easy-going players find or produce obsolete.

Note. I am not an Arelith staff member, or formal associate of its development. The above is not gospel, but merely the thoughts of someone for a long time involved in the mechanical aspects of this community. It is my personal opinion that monks currently find themselves overtuned, and ought to receive an adjustment to their defenses. Primarily those relating to their coverage against spells in PvP, and yes, I am well aware that monks were always able to achieve the SR numbers they sit at now -- but back then they did so at much greater sacrifice.

If a character can enter a room full of other PCs, look around, and the player's internal monologue mirrors "hm, nothing here can kill me, my character can relax and act how it wishes without immediate repercussion" -- then something is off. If you're a monk and that's not a position you currently find yourself in regularly, then you're probably not playing it to the peak of its potential. In either case, this has been my attempt to shed some light for those still in doubt about monks being deserving of an adjustment, and to some degree those in distress about whether or not such a potential adjustment would reduce their character to nothing. Devs aren't out to get you, and are generally very capable and well-intentioned people.

Edit: I began writing this before seeing Ork's post. It wasn't my intent to combat his sentiment about the discussion being exhausted. I agree that it is.
Last edited by Hexgoblin on Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monks

Post by Nevrus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:39 pm

I just realized there IS a realistic counter, and it's a bard with taunt and curse song... Once their massive AC advantage is taken away they can be cracked like eggs.

Of course a bard being able to output enough damage to actually kill them is another story, but there are better builders than I.

So, let's start seeing some monk-hunter bands shredding it up on the battlefield!
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Sockss
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Re: Monks

Post by Sockss » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:45 pm

That certainly is very effective, if the monk stands there (And the bard has a friend).
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Lunargent
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Re: Monks

Post by Lunargent » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:54 pm

Nevrus wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:39 pm
I just realized there IS a realistic counter, and it's a bard with taunt and curse song... Once their massive AC advantage is taken away they can be cracked like eggs.

Of course a bard being able to output enough damage to actually kill them is another story, but there are better builders than I.

So, let's start seeing some monk-hunter bands shredding it up on the battlefield!
Not really, considering curse song can just be peeled off with a restoration wand. Even if they don't remove the debuff, a bard still probably doesn't have enough AB to reliably hit 59 effective AC because of epic dodge, which monks get for free. That's every attack at your highest AB, negated.

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Re: Monks

Post by Hunter548 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:02 pm

Nevrus wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:39 pm
I just realized there IS a realistic counter, and it's a bard with taunt and curse song... Once their massive AC advantage is taken away they can be cracked like eggs.

Of course a bard being able to output enough damage to actually kill them is another story, but there are better builders than I.

So, let's start seeing some monk-hunter bands shredding it up on the battlefield!
"Standard" bardadin/bardguard gets 41 ab walking around (42 with one of the racial weapons, 43 with GMW). War Cry adds 2 to that, Bard Song another 2, for 45/46/47, depending on your weapon. The monk, meanwhile, after being curse song'd and taunted has 59ish AC in improved expertise, and epic dodge. The bard's attack pattern is 47/47/42/37/32. The 47 AB attacks have a ~40% chance to hit the monk (And epic dodge eats the first one, remember). The 42 AB attack has a 15% chance to hit the monk. The 37 AB attack and the 32 AB attack have 5% chances to hit.

This is all assuming that the monk isn't concealed for simplicity's sake, but the monk can get 50% concealment easily and it lowers these percentages across the board.

Good luck with that realistic counter.
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Re: Monks

Post by Nevrus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:32 pm

I'd be in favor of just ripping out Uncanny Dodge, so they could at least be sneak-attacked into oblivion.

Also integrate UD the way it is in 3.5 if possible- if the person who would get the advantage has four more UD-relevant levels they ignore it. This would eliminate dipping for UD to get full immunity to being attacked from shadows.

But that's just me!
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Hunter548
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Re: Monks

Post by Hunter548 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:49 pm

Nevrus wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:32 pm
I'd be in favor of just ripping out Uncanny Dodge, so they could at least be sneak-attacked into oblivion.

Also integrate UD the way it is in 3.5 if possible- if the person who would get the advantage has four more UD-relevant levels they ignore it. This would eliminate dipping for UD to get full immunity to being attacked from shadows.

But that's just me!
That's not how uncanny dodge works in NWN. All it does in NWN is mean you don't lose a bunch of AC when flatfooted. You can still be sneak attacked*. Probably for the best, too; Spreading sneak immunity isn't a great idea, to my mind, but that's another topic.


*At least prior to EE. EE tried to make uncanny dodge work the way it does in PnP (Seemingly because Beamdog thought it was supposed to or always had and was trying to 'squash bugs'); ie, stop sneak attacks based on level. However from what testing I've seen done it's super inconsistent on whether it actually stops sneak attacks, and it depends less on a level comparison between attacked and defender, and more on which uncanny dodge feat the defender has, regardless of level difference. It's very weird and buggy and should just be ignored/removed
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Nevrus
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Re: Monks

Post by Nevrus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:56 pm

Make the monk's wisdom and flat AC bonus into Dodge so it's lost on Flat-Footed, and you can eliminate 8 (Wis) + 6 (Monk) + 1 (Boots) +4 (Haste) for a total of 19, bringing them down to 51 AC...

Still difficult to kill, hmmm...

Edit: I forgot Tumble! 45 AC is murderable with a sneak barrage!

Would people be satisfied with shadowdancing being an effective counter to monk insanity? I know they're going to eat the highest BAB attack with epic dodge but that's still doable.
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Archnon
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Re: Monks

Post by Archnon » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:59 pm

Shouldn't a level 30 character be difficult to kill? With wizards/sorcerers, it is all their wards and goodies to throw at you. With melee characters it is either high AC or high attack (oh and you have to take umd for the wards.

It seems like there are two complaints here, one is that the Monk/WM combo is too powerful attack wise and one is that Pure monk is too powerful defensively. It strikes me that this is the balance, you trade a mixed class damage machine for a pure class defensive tank. This doesn't seem all that different from most other solid builds I have seen.

With regard tot he SR, to make yourself really durable you need to burn 3-5 epic feats to get there, on a pure monk. On a multi-class monk, the best you are hoping for is to hit something akin to Svirf or Drow SR if that, or just the Sr granted from a helmet.

I for one want to see more options for unarmed monks. Monks biggest attack perk is stunning fist and quivering palm and the saves are a joke. As it stands though, the class is powerful but not more so than other classes. At level 30, everyone is powerful. And don't give me the everyone is playing them argument. Any change in a class will result in everyone playing them to sample the new candy. Update shadowmages next week and Arelith will be overrun with Shar followers for a few months until someone new gets a buff. Before this it was spellswords.

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Re: Monks

Post by Nevrus » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:20 am

Wail of the Banshee DC for wizard starting with 20 Int, maxing out at 28 with feat and with necro focus:
19+6+15 = 40
Quivering Palm DC for monk starting with 20 wis, maxing out at 28 with feat:
10+15+15 = 40

If you want to be a wis monk you can stun some fools and have a good chance of instagibbing.
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malcolm_mountainslayer
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Re: Monks

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 am

Ok, I had a lot to skim through there as I am honestly interested in it all.

Im going to break up this into sub points:

Optimal vs suboptimal

I really do think we need to keep optimal builds in mind when balancing, but I also do not agree with the other extreme that sub optimal is irrelevant. As much as i want the maximized optimal builds to be considered as a baseline as balancing, suboptimal builds should be at least playable in a game of DnD. I feel we got two opposite camps when it comes to this community and min-maxing and it saddens me as I like both meme builds and powerbuilding (not to be confused with powergaming and, or pridegaming). Both optimal and sub optimal is relevant and everyone needs to chill, but for purposes or balance, we are going to ve primarily looking at optimal.

All the extra feats! (Im half on fence on this)

I think giving uncanny dodge to monks was a
really good move. I also have no problem with defensive roll instead of epic dodge but epic dodge for free i think is a bit much. I am unsure how to make str monks feels like their life is not being wasted. Maybe their life is being wasted and a str based monk should dip into fighter/weaponmaster for the bab and then rogue levels for umd. I feel like paths may solve this though.

Multiple paths.

I feel like a path that doesn't give as much feats/prof free including defensive roll (assuming we drop epic dodge for defensive roll) and then giving hard wisdom points fot x amount of monk levels is a serious option. Because if you got pire dex monk to capitalize really high ac with higher wisdom, you also lose out on defensive roll and thus can't take epic dodge. Where if you went the wisdom fist path and were strength based, you would get welcomed bonus ac and higher dcs etc, but wouldnt be hurting as much with no defensive roll but also don't get epic dodge for free. Depending how paths were handled this might accidentally make 20 monk/7 wm/3 rogue even better, but this leads to another main point that is clearly a problem, katanas.


Katanas

I love that katanas can be a monk weapon, i love they are a finesse weapon that can have -twohand command. The thing that pushed katanas over the edge is they can be both at the same time. As a monk weapon, Katanas don't have the same ab potential as kamas or qaurterstaffs, but their damage potential completely outweighs the other weapons not just because of the higher crit range and damage die, but because it also gets -twohand damage. Its like we took a bastardsword (has -twohsnd command, does 1d10 and crit 19-20) which is only 1.5 avg damage less than a grestsword and made it both fineseable and monkable at the same time. Katanas can not be monk weapon and a -twohand and finesse weapon all at once, its too much. Maybe a third path for monk call path of kensai can be all about no magic with super katana abilities.

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Re: Monks

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Something I failed to overlook is how 2handers get a very solid ab bonus on katana users. So although a 20 monk/7wm/3 rogue can go toe to toe against a cookie cutter wm while having better tools and mobility against archers and mages, they can easily be disarmed by a disarm meme character or be hurting against a two hander wm with improved disarm.

If i were to modify katanas, which im not 100% sold on anymore, but still kind of, it be removing -twohand command. Its already silly that small monks can't two hand a small sized katana but medium creatures can.

And i still feel pure monks should maybe get somethimg other than epic dodge at the end though.

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Re: Monks

Post by Astral » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:29 am

After seeing a pure monk in action, yeah its uncounterable, or almost. Should it be nerfed? maybe... probably.

Should anything except pure 30 monk be nerfed? Absolutely not.

Its not a secret that I play a monk. My monk already got nerfed once so pure monks can thrive. I dont want to see it nerfed again so pure monks can be balanced.

So if anything, I'd be okay with monks losing some of the lvl 28 stuff. I think what should be removed, if anything, is the offensive bonuses so monks can return to it's good old niche as a more defensive class that struggles to kill things but is also nearly impossible to kill too.

About the str 20 monk 7 wm 3 rogue builds. I actually lvled one to 30 and I can just say its really fun. I dont know if it matches cookie cutter WM tho. cookie cutter has about 4 higher ab, plenty more feats and more hp but its probably a close match becuase of the apr difference. In a 1v1 match MAYBE the monk would win. Really depends on many variants. The monk cant max out 4 attributes with gear/umd so it has to pick between maxing dex and maxing con for the most part. That means the monk cant have both 400+ hp AND 49 (59 with ie) ac so easily as many people think. The cookie cutter wm also has better weapon selection.
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