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Monks - Is more melee DPS really needed?

Posted Tue, Mar 06, 2012 by Messiah

Everyone it seems is excited for the upcoming release of the next World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria. One of the most exciting things will be the addition of the Monk class. While I too am excited about this new class, I have a problem with part of it. Monks will be a hybrid class that allows them to tank, heal, and DPS. The problem there is that the DPS spec will be a melee DPS spec. Really? Yet another melee DPS?

How many melee DPS are there?

There are a lot of melee classes out there already, and I just wonder about the need for yet another one.

As I see it there are already way too many melee DPS specs in the game. If we look at the 10 classes that are available currently there are 31 specs total (druid feral cat and bear are 1 spec but have to count as 2 for this) which are broken down as follows:

  • Tank specs – 4
  • Healer specs – 5
  • Melee DPS specs – 10
  • Physical ranged DPS specs – 3
  • Ranged caster DPS specs - 9

As you can see there are lots of melee DPS specs, lots of Ranged caster specs, and almost no physical ranged DPS specs. Wouldn’t it have been better to offer up another ranged physical DPS spec, since there are only 3 in the game, all being the various hunter specs. While this does at least provide some ranged physical damage it isn’t a lot of options, and realistically some of the damage caused is actually magic since it comes from arcane shot or other magical means.

It would be good to have another option in the game other than simply hunters to provide ranged DPS that causes physical damage. It could open up additional options for designing fight mechanics, and offer players a little more variety.

Monks heal from melee range

Monks Healing, Monk Spirit of Water
Monks will be able to heal while fighting in melee range.

Part of the problem here is also that the Monk healing spec will apparently require being in melee range to heal as they cause damage. This means yet more players in melee range skewing the numbers of those at range and those in close. Currently in a boss fight there will be tanks and melee DPS in melee range, and everyone else stays away from the fight. However when mists of Pandaria launches there could also be healers that are required to be in melee range. This can cause all sorts of issues due to AOE boss damage, or movement requirements.

While I realize that here is a requirement for something different to be added with the Monk healer to try to get some additional players healing, I think that along with the Monk DPS being it melee range it might overload the melee range fights. Since Blizzard wants to have monk healers in melee, then why not move Monk DPS out of melee. It seems logical to me at least since ranged combat is common in Asian culture, and could be done using spears, arrows, darts, or any number of other weapon types.

Different armor types as an option

Gear is another issue, and one that could have a different and unique solution. The problem as I see it is that Rogues already need to share their melee DPS leather with Druids, and will now have to share it with Monks. Why not have Monks that focus on range be able to use mail and share with Hunters for their gear. The stats required would be identical and team them with them for weapons.

I know all you Shaman players are screaming that you already have to share with hunters for your melee gear since it uses the same stats, why is it fair that agility mail gear gets split 3 ways and not rogue melee gear. Well a big reason to me would be that this way being another physical ranged DPS they would be using ranged weapons from hunters as well, which are currently underutilized in the game, as not many classes need them. Rogues on the other hand have to share weapons with many other classes meaning they are always getting fewer require drops than hunters to start with. Also I think it would be very cool dot have a class that used different armour for different specs.

I would almost go as far as allowing the monk tank spec to use plate armor, as itemization would be even simpler, but then again there is some tanking leather in place already. It would be a very different way of doing it though, allowing the class to use leather as a healer, mail as dps, and plate as a tank. It would ensure the class was even more different.

But Monks are about martial arts aren’t they?

True the Monk class is portrayed as a martial arts class, but the tanks and healers will both be doing martial arts moves in close combat. Martial arts has more that just close ranged attacks, as mentioned above there is a long history of ranged attacks in Asian culture. Why not mix some of that in and get bring something different.

This could be useful with Mists of Pandaria since ranged weapons are already underused compared to other weapon drops. It would allow another class to make use of the ranged weapon types.

Too much melee

So back to the initial comment, yes it looks like there is going to be more melee DPS in the game. As you can see there is probably enough melee DPS classes already and since Monk healers will be in melee range as well as Monk DPS this just adds more to the mix.

I realize that Blizzard wants to keep three specs for each class, that just makes sense. However I believe they should look for a way to even out the spec count a bit more and move Monks to be a ranged physical spec to do so, it is one of the easiest ways to start to balance the counts since they are a new incoming spec.

What are you thoughts on Monks coming into the game as yet another melee DPS spec? Would you rather see a different option? Speak up and have your voice heard in our comments below.

I'm actually excited about healing in melee range, while still damaging my enemy. Monks will provide more melee risk and perhaps more incoming raid dmg, but they will also help on beating those enrage timers. Yin and Yang man

10 melee dps specs vs 12 ranged dps specs is the answer to why melee. Only problem is World of Rangedcraft constantly favoring ranged dps over melee so heavily that it affects raid comps.

2 classes use agi leather (rogue, feral druid), 2 classes use agi mail (hunter, enh shaman). Toss up there. Guess theres overall more mail users so they wanted to get more leather users. Theres far more plate users (warrior, paladin, dk) so they would be crying their hearts out. Spec dependent armor type could be interesting but also overcomplicating the matter.

Rogues only share 1h maces and axes and fistweapons and those only with enh shamans (warriors, dks use str weapons and not agi ones). Also they dont share mentioned ones if theyre fast (usually sub 2.5 speed). Still leaves 1h swords and daggers exclusively to rogues. And they share these weapons with probably one of the least played melee dps spec. Ranged weapons wouldnt make sense with the whole melee theme.

Melee healers are just one way to distinguish them from current healers. And doubt there will be many in a raid anyways unless theyre OP in which case theyll get nerfed.

Seal of Insight.

While I'm at it: Death Knights are pretty damn close to a self-heal tank class.
You don't have a shield, so you're relying on whatever defensive stats you have on whatever weapon you use as well as what is on your armor, your main single-target attack is Death Strike, which has a heal (and self-shield after 80) effect on it. Plus, you have Lichborn (Combine it with Death Coil), Vampiric Blood, Rune Tap, the spell that sacrifices a minion to heal you (Death Pact? Dark Pact?).

TL:DR: Death Knights are a strange tank type. Monks are a strange (but not unfamiliar) heal type (Pallies kinda have to melee stuff to get mana back).

Can't see a monk as an all-out ranged dps... few ranged skills maybe... monk as substitute for hunter? naaaah. On the other hand I'd point out agi staffs. Currently they are used by hunters and druids. But don't forget that hunter meele weapons are gone comes MoP. Monk on the other hand will be able to use agi staffs so balance on that front would stay.

Ranged weapons for hunters on the other hand will be one of a kind. No one else will use 'em. Think of it as plate for holy palas but they need to fill just 1 slot. You mentioned multi-armortype classes. Paladins would be my first choice. Mail healer/caster dps armor is kind of a hiccup as well. One class only, and it worked for druids as well for all those years. If u didnt't have that class in your set-up u would just dis the item. With coming of the monk there would be less strain on leather heal/boomkin items from raid usage point of view but more strain on leather agi items. Nothing overwhelming if u consider 3 plate-weares and 3 cloth-wearers fighting over loot.

It might be a bit overwhelming in some fights when it gets crowded around a boss, especially on 25, but on the other hand you almost always got a healer for meele group staying with the meele group for easier aoe healing.

Anyway... itemization should be looked at thoroughly especially in 10man raiding comp. 11 classes in 10man with class-stacking sometimes, is very unforgivable dropwise for 10man guilds (7 mail agi hc gloves from morchok in about 10 runs is just too much for a comp with one hunter and one off-spec enha sham).

Just my 2 cents.

It's very helpful.

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