So, let’s begin a breakdown on the recent alpha release of the new enhancements for Monks on Lammania.
I was slowed in getting this done because it was hard to practically record anything, not to mention the doom-filled reaction I had to changes that aren’t part of the enhancements tree, but to granted Monk feats. Thankfully, other contributors on the DDO Wiki have resolved the compilation of the proposed trees to make it much easier for me to link them for you to view and point out the ramifications. Thank you, thank you, DDO Wiki!
I’ll begin first by reviewing a racial tree sample. I was hoping to find time to look at Humans, Halflings, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs, but right now, all the time I have for is to review the Human tree.
You can view the summaries of other racial trees (and class trees) on DDO Wiki. Again, my apologies that I can’t cover every one.
Please note: My review is based on my gameplay style as well as how the proposed changes affect Monks in the way I’ve played them. I acknowledge a wholesale bias as I don’t play all the classes or races. Therefore, my opinions may not match your own. Your mileage may vary.
Core Abilities: for Humans, these are filled with the Versatility, Adaptability and Greater Adaptability enhancements.
- While I find the extra boosts handy in some instances, they are too short and give too little benefit except at low levels. That’s how I play; I know others enjoy these, but often Monk stances provide similar benefits. These do stack with Monk stances, so I don’t discount them completely.
- In the current system, not everyone cares to use these, certainly not to spend the AP necessary to bring each to their maximum. Why make these mandatory when you wanted to spend the AP on something else. It would be more prudent to add Skill Focus in the Core Abilities since we’re discussing Humans, who are quite adaptable and should have a “knack” in which they all excel.
- Pro: No change is a good change. Human Improved Recovery remains available and has ranks to improve this in later tiers. Essential for Monks, who get fewer hit points per level than other melees. However,this may be the only healing amplification option available for Monks who don’t take Shintao enhancements (see the Shintao alpha review).
- The Dragonmark Focus is in a logical place and improved versions appear in later tiers.
- Action Surge is new, and it has some benefit to giving you a bit more ability points to tweak your build. So long as these can count for other prerequisites that need a certain ability score (such as Two Weapon Fighting), I’m good with it.
- Same for the new Don’t Count Me Out, although I question why humans are more hard-headed than other more hardy races in terms of going incapacitated.
- Pro: Another Action Surge gives you a chance to boost another ability score, but it cannot be the same one you selected in Tier 1.
- Fighting Style could add a little to-hit for unarmed and two-weapon fighting, but I’m unsure of how this stacks or works with the Two Weapon Fighting feat or Monk stances.
- Logical progression. Skill Mastery is okay, but seems a bit wimpy to add it at this tier level.
- More Improved Recovery healing amplification is welcome.
- Con: Heroism is also interesting to see, but not in a good way, since this is easily found in potions. It saves you from carrying more potions, but it seems thrown-in.
- Pro: Greater Heroism is something I can root for here; it’s always welcome if you haven’t a Bard with you.
- Cons: That’s it? Are we losing something here? Yes, we are. Gone from human racial abilities are the Toughness enhancements to gain more HP. For Monks, we needed these badly since we have fewer hit points of all the melee classes. There doesn’t seem to be a reason why. Hopefully I’ll find out whether the class enhancements make up for them somewhere.