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Rougemastert
11-03-2013, 01:43 PM
As I've been leveling my monk, I have been wondering if I should switch from light to dark. I know I give up that really nice hp per hit strike, but I find myself drawn to the dark monk due to its damage oriented finishers. Can anybody give me some ideas, they would be really useful!

Marcus-Hawkeye
11-03-2013, 02:05 PM
I haven't really tried the light monk. Since I generally run around with a hireling cleric I've always gone with the dark side. My pure monk life was a while ago, before all the changes and I focused on air. When I was in groups I got a fair number of people saying "wow you kill things fast!". The dark finisher was devastating. With all the changes they've made since those days, I wasn't sure if I wanted to work with monk again. Before the enhancement pass, I started a ranger life on my main. 12 ranger /6 monk. It was alright, but my arti I was also leveling, was far superior. Then the pass occurred and my shortsword wielding ranger dark monk's power jumped pretty drastically. The mass neg level is pretty sweet. Just remember to use it on the weaker targets which ensures the harder targets get hit with the neg level.

Not sure how much any of this would be helping you but I've always enjoyed dark monk. My next monk life will be light so I understand the differences on a first hand basis.

Rougemastert
11-03-2013, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the advice! as a follow-up, would shortswords be better while focusing on dark attacks, or would unarmed still be a viable option with the proliferation of shortsword enhancements?

Marcus-Hawkeye
11-03-2013, 07:16 PM
Well I'm not exactly sure, but I believe it was only recently monk attacks were enabled to be used with shortswords.. After the pass I gave them another go and found that they worked with the elemental and dark attacks. I only went to level 6 so I'm not sure about other monk moves. Though I did read somewhere stunning fist doesn't work with them... which honestly kinda makes sense. But shortswords become a ki weapon with the first enhancement in the Ninja spy tree. But combining the dark monk ninja spy with the granted Ranger feats just seemed to mesh together well.

I'm level 19 currently and I've been using:
http://ddowiki.com/page/Vampiric_Fury_Shortsword
for most of my levels since I could begin using them.

TeacherSyn
11-04-2013, 03:40 PM
Nowandays, both class trees do similar damage. It really depends on what your fighting, however.

The Light Monk is an all-around destroyer of undead and outsiders and is well-fortified to do it.

The Dark Monk can kill rapidly but is slightly less fortified and their negative energy attacks work on the living, only, in general. The use of shortswords has been in the Ninja Spy enhancements for quite a bit now. But with Update 19, the Ninja gains nasty poison DOT effects on any piercing and slashing weapons they can wield. By level 20, any piercing and slashing gains vorpal effects.

Light Monks make better tankers and solo characters and have many buffs and attacks to support themselves and a party. Ninjas solo excellently if they use their stealth skills, have great potential for defense with high Dodge and Incorporeality built-in (just add in some Blur). As far as damage--again, it depends on what your fighting. A mob of living humans is prime stock for a ninja in the right mode. A group of zombies, not so much.

For a little more insight, check out the Monk guide (link in signature below). You'll also gain some stuff on the Henshin Mystic, the new side that can do either philosophy but still kick substantial butt.

Atremus
11-05-2013, 07:14 AM
Can anybody give me some ideas, they would be really useful!

Light is a good path. Healing Ki, grasp the earth, Align the heavens and the 1 minute blur.

Dark has good synergy with fists of Iron and the fort debuff and AoE level drain.


I have played both paths now and while Light is great, I like dark more since I can drop fort in raids and that is a huge boost for me. If I need to regen HP I switch to Ivy wraps and recover that way but mostly it s just cacoon and move on.

JOTMON
11-05-2013, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the advice! as a follow-up, would shortswords be better while focusing on dark attacks, or would unarmed still be a viable option with the proliferation of shortsword enhancements?


Unarmed all the way.
I would only consider using weapons on a multiclass monk splash.
personally I found weapon damage overall inferior to unarmed damage & speed of attacks (except for things like monkchers & Qstaff builds).



as to paths:
Light side - healing curse, and 1min party buffers
Dark side - more damage, mob debuffs

I like light side for lower levels, and the self healing is alright, at mid-higher levels I preferred the dark side for the damage output, then I went back to light for epics...
Both paths are viable and work well, your choice is more to preference than any real strengths/weaknesses.

Arvess
11-17-2013, 10:06 AM
You probably have made up your mind by now but if anyone else is thinking about light vs. dark I figured I'd chime in. I've played both monks. While its true that light excels against undead and outsiders (orthons/devils), the healing ki thing is a crutch. I switched from light to dark before they introduced hirelings and ship buffs and there was no change in survivability. Since I wasn't expending ki keeping my health at 100% all the time, things would die faster. Bosses died faster. It makes you change your approach to the game. You get more aggressive. The recent enhancements make it even more cool with the debuffs and cc tricks.
Which is more effective overall? That depends more on the player than the path.

The light/dark path is one of the best implementations in the game. Things change just enough to alter the flavor of playing the class but the basic approach remains the same.

dark monks are wicked fun.
The only caveat is that since dark monk DC's are wisdom based, you need high wisdom. If your toon isn't built that way or you lack build points/access to gear, you'll just get frustrated that things save against your attacks.

Munkenmo
11-17-2013, 02:37 PM
Light Monks make better tankers and solo characters and have many buffs and attacks to support themselves and a party. Ninjas solo excellently if they use their stealth skills, have great potential for defense with high Dodge and Incorporeality built-in (just add in some Blur). As far as damage--again, it depends on what your fighting. A mob of living humans is prime stock for a ninja in the right mode. A group of zombies, not so much

Most of what Spence said is true. I take issue with this line though.

When it comes to tanking both are as good as each other, for any mob/boss that requires a "tank" a light monks healing will NOT be sufficient, it will also make such a small difference that a healer will not notice it. A dark monk will have the opportunity to lower the bosses fortification and help the party kill it faster.

As far as damage goes, monks strong point, (light or dark) is high base damage and fast attack speeds. Light and dark monks will both do well against the same segment of groups vs other classes.

The difference between Dark monks and Light monks has greatly diminished since the enhancement pass:

As someone who first started playing as a light monk in 09, swearing by it religiously till mid 2011, then joining the dark side. I can tell you that The damage on a dark monk used to be substaintially better than our light counterparts. Now days though, 2 dark features are no longer tied to monk philosophy, Shadowfade & sneak attack dice. For 11ap any monk can pick up 2 sneak dice and shadowfade.

Given that I've got 2/3 of my toys back regardless of path, I now look at it like this:

Dark attacks:
Fist of Darkness
Touch of Death (t5 ninja) (also been nerfed, no longer procs on offhand)
Shadows can't exist without light. (t5 henshin)
Touch of Despair (finisher) (still worth it thanks to the neg level, the dc against bosses is laughable)

Light attacks:
Fists of light:
Align the heavens
Every Light casts a shadow (t5 henshin)(would be totally awesome if not for the terrible ap options in henshin)
1min 25% cheaper sp costs (great ability before the rise of shiradis)


I'm honestly not likely to use any elemental related attacks at all at level cap vs trash, as I need ki to sustain Quivering Palm & Stunning Fist. Fortunately since QP & SF don't break the finishing chain, I'm still able to use touch of despair with it's negative level.

Against boss fights, I'm far more likely to be cycling lots of elemental ki strikes & unbalancing strike (ruling out touch of despair).
Since I pick up Shintao t5, I don't have either of the dark related T5 abilities (I went Shintao cause the henshin/ninja options to reach t5 really suck for an unarmed monk). As a light monk though, I can at least keep up Fists of Light and have the option to throw healers 25% off sp costs.

So looking at the philosophy choices now and way I play, in 2013 I still pick dark monk. Purely because of the probability of it providing options I'm more likely to use.

*note: I look at this choice as how it effects me at level cap. My monk is an unarmed, earth stance & Wisdom based t5 Shintao, running mostly in EE's. I run in byoh groups where fists of light healing and align the heavens makes little if any difference.

In heroic levels I'm also more likely to pick up dark, henshin mystic tree is actually quite nice vs low hp enemies + the t5 100hp heal is more effective when your a lowbie with little hp.

edit* tl;dr: I still prefer dark.

Rougemastert
11-18-2013, 08:53 AM
So I've made some serious advancements in level and style. I have the fists of dark (or whatever they are called) at level 26- the finisher doesn't always land, but damage has gone up.
Second question, which might affect the light/dark choice--> does the blur from the storm/light/storm stack with the tier 5 incorpriality/shadow from from shdowdancer? if it does, than i might switch back to light.

FuzzyDuck81
11-18-2013, 09:04 AM
Second question, which might affect the light/dark choice--> does the blur from the storm/light/storm stack with the tier 5 incorpriality/shadow from from shdowdancer? if it does, than i might switch back to light.

Blur is concealment, which is a different effect to incorporeal, basically there's the ACID test for not getting hit:
- AC
- Concealment (blur, displacement etc)
- Incorporeal (shadow fade, shadow form)
- Dodge
So that's up to 4 "layers" to completely avoid getting hit... technically 5 if you include Elusive Target (Martial epic destiny feat at level 28) which is always a flat 5% chance & I guess you could make that 6 if you count "moving out of the way" :)

Rougemastert
11-18-2013, 09:13 AM
So, (off topic a little, I know) I could make a light monk evasion tank by spamming storm/light/storm, for 20% concealment+25% incorpriality, then around 75 PRR and 90-ish AC with light monk?

TeacherSyn
11-18-2013, 09:42 AM
So, (off topic a little, I know) I could make a light monk evasion tank by spamming storm/light/storm, for 20% concealment+25% incorpriality, then around 75 PRR and 90-ish AC with light monk?

Dance of Clouds (Wind/Light/Wind) only gives you 20% Concealment (Blur) for 1 minute, not incorporeality.

Better concealment options: Get a Ring of Shadows from Gianthold or craft a GS Smoke II helm/item that gives 20% permanent concealment.

From there, build up your Dodge as best you can (16% or better) and train a few Ninja Spy levels to gain Shadow Veil for 25% incorporeality and invisibility for 1 minute. Combined with good AC (80-90 or more) and PRR through Shintao, Mountain Stance, an augment gem and (in Epic), Grandmaster of Flowers and Legendary Dreadnought options (with Combat Expertise and Twisting in Improved Combat Expertise for more PRR), you should have a very durable character that is only severely threatened by an EE quest.

Don't forget your Fortification. You should carry 125 or more on entering Epic quests...max it on EE. Training Brace for Impact from Unyielding Sentinel can give you a Twistable 40% stacking fortification that you can swap about as required.

Rougemastert
11-18-2013, 09:57 AM
I'll check the actual numbers when I get home, but this is what I remember
Dodge--> 25%+9% from reed in the wind (I think it lasts 9s)
AC--> 91 buffed
PRR--> 75 in Earth with meditation, 90 with combat expertise with twisted thing from LD
Incorp--> 25% when in shadow from
If with fists of light--> +20% concealment for 1 minute

The real question is: Is taking fists of light worth it for the +20% concealment? Or should I stay dark for debuffs?
I'm really clueless... sorry if I'm repeating stuff over and over

Edit: fort--> 125% or 110%
2nd edit: Sorry for terrible edit job :/

Munkenmo
11-18-2013, 01:08 PM
So, (off topic a little, I know) I could make a light monk evasion tank by spamming storm/light/storm, for 20% concealment+25% incorpriality, then around 75 PRR and 90-ish AC with light monk?

You could, but almost all raid bosses have True seeing, so that blur would be useless, by the time you run difficult epics, I'd be surprised if you don't acquire a full time blur item.

Also the *best* concealment buff is Cloudkill. Its a useful spell to use against most raid bosses as it's 20% concealment bonus does work on purple named, true seeing lets bosses see through illusions, fortunately Cloudkill is a conjuration spell :D.

I can't remember (i'm at work) but I think Ivy wraps proc cloudkill.

Jamma
11-18-2013, 01:28 PM
I'll check the actual numbers when I get home, but this is what I remember
Dodge--> 25%+9% from reed in the wind (I think it lasts 9s)
AC--> 91 buffed
PRR--> 75 in Earth with meditation, 90 with combat expertise with twisted thing from LD
Incorp--> 25% when in shadow from
If with fists of light--> +20% concealment for 1 minute

The real question is: Is taking fists of light worth it for the +20% concealment? Or should I stay dark for debuffs?
I'm really clueless... sorry if I'm repeating stuff over and over

Edit: fort--> 125% or 110%
2nd edit: Sorry for terrible edit job :/

Reed in the wind dodge doesn't exceed the dodge cap, which defaults at 25%. Just something to keep in mind.

Rougemastert
11-18-2013, 04:25 PM
Oh, reed doesn't stack? AS you can see, I've got a lot to learn. Final question: Does the healing touch work with heal amp?