Blizzard made a major improvement to the two-weapon Monk set, Shenlong’s Spirit, in the last PTR patch. The notes:
The legendary set proc fires a ball of energy which functions very much like the D3v proc on the Hellfire Ring. Prior to the last patch it was a pretty weak effect, but the buff to 1200% quadrupled the power, and the size increase made it better at hitting things. The question then, is whether that proc effect is good enough to offset the reduced damage a Monk will take by changing from two awesome legendary weapons to the two Fist weapons in this set… which are high quality items, but don’t have legendary affixes of their own, or +elemental damage, as the best one handed weapons do.
The answer to that question, provided by Monk MVP Druin (author of that recent and gloomy Monkifesto), is no. His post, and then the big blue reply can be seen below:
John Yang: Thanks for your continued feedback and analysis. As a math guy myself, I appreciate it a lot.
To start, there are some assumptions made in the examples which I’d like to point out, clarify, and add to for the record:
Balancing items is a complex problem sometimes given all the variables in the equation. Occasionally this is a matter of math but we always take into account the fantasy of a legendary power and how it plays in practice. In the end, a lot of the assumptions in this comparison even out so your conclusion is reasonably accurate. As for your suggestion of 50% proc rate and lower corresponding ICD, we feel that more reliability works better for this specific kind of legendary power (proc line damage).
Given our internal testing and observations, Shenlong’s Spirit’s internal cooldown has been reduced from 3 seconds to 3 / Attacks_Per_Second seconds, which brings it down to 1.86 seconds at most, with no other sources of attack speed increases.
Hope you all enjoy the “aiming your melee attacks with ranged enemies in mind” gameplay of Gyana Na Kashu and Shenlong’s Spirit as much as I do.
So now that Shenlong’s Spirit Buffed — Blizzard Doesn’t Hate Monks? The further replies in that forum thread are mixed, with some players thinking it’s still way too weak a buff. The OP/MVP Druin replied with approval, though.
I don’t have an opinion; I haven’t played any Monk in a long time, much less Monk using the highest level gear, but I like the idea of the set bonus. Rather than just boosting melee damage, it adds the ranged attack for some variety. I think it’d be interesting if some other item could modify that further; make the Energy Ball piercing, or homing, or leave a DoT cloud of spectral energy, etc.Related to this article