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.