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    Two years ago I saw the Monk video and knew it was going to be my first class, maybe even my only class since I was so enamored. The quick attacks, the seven sided strikes, and the exploding palms all sucked me in. When I first got a chance to play in the beta I jumped right into a Monk and loved it. Having had that experience I held off on the Monk in this patch until now. Sadly things have changed, it’s still fun but the magic has faded.

     

    So what happened in those few months? Well the skill system changed, the skills were re-mapped and changed..but I’m sure you know that.

    I started my monk out like all my other characters and ploughed through everything I could. Killed zombies, saved Cain, Killed Haedrig’s wife and wiped the floor with just about everything.  In terms of complications I didn’t have too many. Blinding flash at early levels helps stop those situations in which you would normally get overwhelmed. Just about any spirit generator was good at taking down the enemies around me. Yet what was eating at me was the loss on exploding palm as a spirit generator and the concept creating combos with those generators. Now exploding palm is merely a spender, taking away the ability to dot all you see and sit back and watch it explode.

    But when things started to look their darkest for the Monk and I patch 16 had to come and bring us back together again.

    One simple rune was all it took. One rune to open up the monk again and help me see it will be all right.DiabloWikiFists of Thunder runed to Thunderclap. Within a second I was quickly dispatching enemies. I was flying around teleporting to them and killing them quickly and effectively. I was possibly having the most fun I’ve had in the beta in months. It felt like the gameplay videos I had seen years ago and I really enjoyed darting across the screen quickly disposing of enemies and then jumping to the quickest pack I could find nearby and repeating the process over and over and over. I never grew tired of it I actually had to pry myself off the computer that night because I did not want to stop.

    Now I’m not saying that everything with the monk is perfect there are still some problems I still would love to see exploding palm be spirit generator and not a spender but it’s grown on me. I’d also like to see weapon animations to match the monk’s attack but for the most part I’m being nitpick. The best part is there’s still so much more potential this class has especially in the realm of hard-core.

    So what was keeping me alive and one more importantly has kept me engrossed here’s the breakdown of the skills:

    DiabloWikiDashing strike: this is your classic get out of Dodge skill you do not have to worry about being overwhelmed because you can dash out of the trouble surrounding you. This skill will not only save your life but It will speed up the process of getting to where you need to be.

    DiabloWikiBreath of  heaven: When Health potions are on cooldown and there are no orbs to be found this skill again will come in in the clutch keep you alive most importantly keep you killing.

    DiabloWikiBlinding flash: a nice skill to stun your enemies especially when you’re overwhelmed with those early levels and keep you alive. Once I was able to heal and use dashing strike I found myself using this less and less but it was nice to have it in reserve

    I started off this column saying the magic had faded and now I can really say that’s untrue with patch 15 I was not content with where the monk was but I’m very optimistic for the future and now have a tough decision as to where I want to go first

    Next week: The Witch Doctor

    One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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