Mystical Return

I’ve been pretty gloomy-gus about some of the changes to the Monk enhancements lately. I don’t want people to misinterpret my criticisms as a “DOO00M!!!1” or anti-Turbine skeed, however.

You play a game for its positive effect on you. It may be of little surprise that I didn’t want to play all that much on that day when the handwraps were made into weapons.

The problem is still serious enough to keep discussing what to do about it, short- or long-term. So, several monastics in my dojo prayed and contemplated.

Creeping Death of Your Handwraps

I was in a party last night on Legendary Elite in “Creeping Death.” Yeah, the quest with lots and lots and lots of oozes. I joined one Shintao Monk in the fight. He had virtually destroyed over 4 sets of handwraps before the quest was over. Because these oozes were around CR60-ish, removing his wraps and effecting any damage worth a damn wasn’t an option.

Since the update, I have been grinding every bit of loot I could to make Cannith Essences to work on boosting my crafting levels. Today, at level 233, with a 35% crafting booster, I reached a 75% chance to craft what I needed: an Everbright shard. I could only make minimum level 25 shards safely, but this balances out the weapon for earlier use.

I love the new crafting system, by the way. It’s inherently more expensive than its predecessor, but the process saves a lot of calculations and makes the process much more understandable. Since items are bound to account, you don’t have that nagging worry of forgetting something that could craft items for a character that won’t use that item.The variations, damage, or effects you have available are also striking.

Speaking of striking, here is the result I made for Lynncletica.


However, I have spent dozens of hours in the crafting hall to reach a level where I could make Everbright shards. New Monks won’t be so fortunate.

GamerGeoff acknowledged that the change is more true to lore as well as game mechanics. He suggested that Monks do what other classes do against oozes: Wield a Muckbane.

I vetoed the thought in a reply, but, just in case, I checked. The Ninja Spy’s update included making any weapon you could wield as gaining DEX-to-Damage. So I borrowed my only Muckbane from my Rogue for Ryncletica the Poison Master to hold as a test.

The test failed. While Monks have weapon proficiency in clubs, the Muckbane uncenters her. We lose all our monastic powers.

So the secondary options are (1) fight completely unarmed, removing handwraps or (2) use another weapon, and carry more handwraps or other weapons as they break to the oozes and rust monsters.

I neglected to say what Monk I brought into the “Creeping Death” run.

My Henshin Mystic, Quintessica, has returned to active status.

Some Light in the Shadow

Quintessica was first built back during the older enhancement format, before the trees. She was designed to wield all four elemental stances. During that time, it was very costly to master all the stances, but I was in an “Avatar: The Last Airbender” mood, and she was fun to play.

With the new enhancement trees, everyone got the complete stances. Quintessica became one of the new Henshin Mystics and collected a boatload of quarterstaves.

While initially interesting to play, the lack of defense and speed slowed and soon stopped my enjoyment of Quintessica as she reached epic play. She’s been sitting at level 23 for over two years before she came out of retirement last night.

In the ooze-filled dungeon of “Creeping Death.” A level 23 character in a level 33 quest.

Wielding a Dreamspitter.


It’s not the most optimal Epic quarterstaff that’s immune to rust or ooze damage (that’s her sister staff from “The Fall of Truth,” the Dreampiercer). But it did the job.

More interesting was how Quintessica functioned in fighting. With a weaker weapon I didn’t expect much. I didn’t expect her to survive at all, really, because she hasn’t Rejuvenation Cocoon available yet, so ki and potion healing was all that she had as things tried to kill her

But after beating up a bit of ooze rather decently, I looked at Quinn’s character sheet.

Her base melee power was 102.

That’s an insane level of power boost for level 23.

I also took Cleave, Great Cleave and Whirlwind Attack. She sits inside her Cauldron of Flame circle and spams each one almost continually.

And after ensuring my party had Death Ward, I kept using Every Light Casts a Shadow to cause additional negative levels on top of any that the Dreamspitter (the original “woo-woo stick”) added.

Quintessica has the same problem as other Monks in terms of serious weapon damage against oozes in her next life’s early days until she can wield that crystal staff. I did scrounge up an old level 8 Everbright staff I saved for her to use a little later.

Quinn is woefully under-geared and under-trained. So, from what I’ve seen last night, I think she needs a bit of time out to see what she can really do with the new tree updates, as well as level and gear up a bit. Based on several great reports from Teacher Vladrich on the Mystic, I’m feeling a little encouraged about things.



27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Saekee
    Oct 24, 2016 @ 13:15:23

    I think the new monk splash (for multis) will now be Monk 3 instead of 2, since 1 more level of monk gets you the second core of Henshin for a whopping 20 MP total and quickdraw. Insane.

  2. Vladrich
    Oct 24, 2016 @ 19:19:28

    I’m glad that I could be of some help!

    For my lunch break I pulled out some paper and began jotting down some ideas for my next reincarnate with a greater focus on HP (and less on spellpower feats that don’t help anymore). It should be a lot of fun after the current event ends and the new life begins.

    Next time I log on I’ll take a look at Vlad’s (lvl 30, Fury destiny) current Melee Power: I’m a bit curious where the madness sits even with the feats used to boost spell power. 😉

    • Vladrich
      Oct 25, 2016 @ 10:53:11

      Melee power is 131, which isn’t bad considering Vlad’s feats are off a bit being a pre-33 build based on boosting fire damage to obscene levels (an extra Quick Draw, Skill Focus Spellcraft, Epic Spell Power: Fire, and Scion of the Plane of Fire) and he has no gear boosting melee power (which was secondary to burning things alive).

      • mernom
        Oct 25, 2016 @ 14:01:51

        10 per core is a bit too much, If you ask me. On a side note, would you prefer to split the MP on the 5th Shintao to the 4th? Just considering stuff.

        • Vladrich
          Oct 25, 2016 @ 16:20:26

          Considering the loss of Spell Power and my experience with the mystic enhancement tree, I will have to disagree with you that 10 melee power per core is a bit much. Pre-33, a mystic was defined by how much spell power (preferably Fire and Force) that they could get their hands onto, attacking with their staves to gather the needed Ki for each attack (my level 30 without clickies was hitting 380ish in Fire and Force spell power). To put it simply, if it didn’t burn (or worse, was healed) by fire, we were screwed. To balance the removal of spell power and how it’d really chew into the mystic’s divergent damage sources, it was important to give them that much melee power.

          I won’t lie that I wasn’t worried what was going on in the Devs minds switching us over to pure melee power (having a nice discussion on the forums as well with them), but I’m a big enough man to admit that the Devs were right and knew what they were doing, and I was wrong to worry. There are draw backs to a bigger focus on melee power, but the advantages (and not trying to shove caster-gear onto a melee character) outweigh the disadvantages.

          • mernom
            Oct 28, 2016 @ 03:04:48

            The reason I’m concerned is that maybe someone is going to find some unholy combination that makes mystics OP. Did anyone test how LD yet?
            Also, do mystic SLA’s still benefite from standard spell crit?

            • teachersyn
              Oct 28, 2016 @ 09:59:15

              They pretty much removed all the spell power boosts from the Mystic, so it looks like any SLAs are boosted only by melee power. That means a fixed amount of damage unless you can add in Harper Agent and a few other bits of gear. My Mystic is back in play so hopefully I’ll find something to report on that.

              • Vladrich
                Oct 28, 2016 @ 12:15:14

                I’m still trying to confirm if spell crit affects my SLAs with hard evidence, but based on what I’ve seen (and still wearing more than a bit of caster gear), I would have to say “No, it doesn’t look like spell crit affects SLAs).

            • Vladrich
              Nov 01, 2016 @ 18:23:21

              I tried out my mystic with Legendary Dreadnought last night and it didn’t have as much consistent “oomph” as say Grandmaster (or my general favorite Fury of the Wild, but I’m level XP again after an Epic Reincarnate and needs to stick with martial destinies). I’m hoping to test out Shadowdancer later this week depending on current work schedule, I have a few ideas on how it could work with mystic (I have been sneaking for years now, but it is different cracking a mobs head with a staff).

              • teachersyn
                Nov 02, 2016 @ 08:21:26

                Dreadnought certainly shows more effectiveness in unarmed mode with the new handwraps. Since they’re weapons now, effects such as Pulverizer now appear to work. Shadowdancer’s better melee power is offset by a lack of specialized attacks beyond sneak attack, but if you happen to have sneak attack already, it’s not bad.

                • Vladrich
                  Nov 02, 2016 @ 16:54:21

                  Yup, I already have sneak attack built into my dark mystic build so it should be interesting to see how I can best leverage Shadow Dancer into Vlad.

        • teachersyn
          Oct 25, 2016 @ 16:31:27

          High offensive power for a character with lower defenses? I’d rather keep that melee power.

      • teachersyn
        Oct 25, 2016 @ 16:26:25

        I know! At level 23, I’ve got a lot of extra melee power I can add. Just don’t want to compromise defense any further.

        • Vladrich
          Oct 25, 2016 @ 16:41:09

          Tell me about it. 🙂
          I’m considering an epic reincarnate when I log on later tonight to start testing out some ideas (and I might as well benefit from the XP I’m earning farming for mats during the event) and giving myself some fresh eyes for my full reincarnate. Not needing to choose caster gear over melee gear is a welcome relief as I play around on Vlad. 🙂

        • Vladrich
          Oct 25, 2016 @ 20:00:49

          Yup, did an epic reincarnate. I miss Blinding Speed already, but I had fun caving in the skulls of skeletons. I gotta hit Eveningstar to grab a few pieces of gear to replace the caster gear that I used to own (and sacrificed to get essences).

  3. saekee
    Oct 26, 2016 @ 08:24:06

    I think the mp is meant to make up for the poorer crit profile of wraps and staves–like tempest getting DoD and doublestrike, offhand attacks etc instead of MP.
    The unfortunate part is for ranged monks since the henshin tree is only giving melee power not ranged power.
    Monk splashes now really benefit from getting Henshin cores (if melees).

    • teachersyn
      Oct 27, 2016 @ 01:14:17

      Maybe so. I can say that my Mystic’s Ki Bolt does very nice ranged damage (100+ Fire and Force damage), which is good for pulling enemies or damaging some high targets. Right now, overall handwrap and staff damage is holding up very well. It’s attack speed that’s weird for both, but U33 didn’t really change that.

  4. DDOCentral
    Oct 27, 2016 @ 01:44:28

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  5. jamesblakeney
    Oct 28, 2016 @ 23:09:54

    I just reread dismissing strike in the release notes. Said note commented all attacks in shintao tree work on everything. If so dismissing strike will banish everything man! Anyone tried it?

    • teachersyn
      Oct 31, 2016 @ 07:47:36

      Dismissing Strike works still on Outsiders (and only if you’re not on their plane) but, yeah, the jade attacks can work on many non-Outsiders. I found that the 2nd most powerful, Jade Strike, works far more potently than before and have been using it a lot during the Night Revels. Also, all of these strikes have had their DCs improved, adding Stunning bonuses to help their success, if I recall correctly.

  6. mernom
    Nov 04, 2016 @ 10:36:01

    Another change to ninja that somehow got by unnoticed: diversion no longer uses meditation charges. Also, the ninja training cores, the ninja cap crit multiplier and vorpal, and the deadly striker enhancements should work with all ki weapons except those excluded (wraps and staves), which means that they should work with bows if you have zen archery, no? No longer are you limited to the elf cores…

    • teachersyn
      Nov 04, 2016 @ 11:40:11

      I didn’t miss those at all. Stand by for a post about the significance of those changes and a new build inspiration. I do like the Diversion change so now it can be used more tactically. And yep, the new cores work with bows.

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