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  1. #1
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    Default Some basic questions about Monk...advice appreciated

    Hi all,

    I've recently been bitten by 2 bugs in DDO. The first is grouping - my eyes have been opened thanks to a few really nice players who I keep encountering, and who seem to be going at about the same rate as me. Which leads to...TRing! I don't know (and actually doubt) if I'll ever hit that golden completionist mark, but what the hey, I can certainly grab a few new experiences as I plod along

    Been playing around with alot of options for my third life, and I'm thinking it might be fun to go melee. My 2 lives so far have been trapper wiz and arti. Those were built for solo play really, but as I've discovered the joys of partying, I'm pretty happy now to run a non-trapper character. So I'm thinking Monk.

    Problem is, I have no clue how to play them. I do have a concept in mind, but I need to clarify a few VERY basic things first...I promise that I have read the Wiki as much as I can - maybe I'm looking in the wrong places but I can't seem to find simple answers.

    1) Monk attack bonus - is this based automatically on Wisdom, or do I need PREs/Enhancements to make this happen? It's a key part of my concept, so it's very important that I get this.

    2) Monk unarmed bonus - as above, same question.

    3) Races - I'm planning to go either unarmed (most likely) or staff - is there any race that will benefit me here? I am seriously looking at Elf, because I like the Displacement SLA, but I can live without it I suppose.

    4) Skills - I'll basically have very few, right? Int is not going to be a priority stat (although not a dump either). Never having played a party-centric melee, any recommendations on what I should go with? To put this in context, I have never used skills like Intimidation, Diplomacy, Bluff etc. Just simply dunno how they work in practice.

    Thanks for all and any input

    Aes.

  2. #2
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Monk BAB and unarmed bonuses are not based on WIS. They will be the same regardless of your WIS score.

    WIS is the primary stat for the DCs of your monk combat feats. Key among those is stunning fist. This is a much faster animation than stunning blow and essential for most monk builds. Most other monk combat feats rely on WIS as well. Kukan-do is an exception, it uses CHA. However, there is no need for a high CHA on a monk as the targets are very low.

    Skills, do not neglect concentration. This is essential for ki. Ki is tied to two things, CON and concentration. If either is too low you will have issues building enough ki for the monk combat feats and other monk special attacks.

    Race is a personal choice. Elf is as good as any if there is something there that you like.

  3. #3
    2016 DDO Players Council PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istaria1 View Post
    Hi all,

    1) Monk attack bonus - is this based automatically on Wisdom, or do I need PREs/Enhancements to make this happen? It's a key part of my concept, so it's very important that I get this.
    The only possible way you can base your attack bonus off wisdom is to get one of the VERY few items in the game that allow this or go ranged and use Zen Archery. I think the ONLY weapon in the game that allows this for a monk currently would be the Stave of the Seer, which is a quarterstaff. Don't get me wrong, it's a NICE quarterstaff, but there are better ways to build. If you invest in the Ninja Spy path you can get the ability to use short swords, Kamas, or longswords (if you take the Whirling Steel Strike feat) with your DEXTERITY as your attack AND damage. Likewise if you take at least 5 fighter levels and invest heavily in the Kensai tree you can get a few more options for weapons, but they will default to strength unless you take that ninja spy stuff AND they are slashing or piercing weapons. You can also use your dexterity for ATTACK if you take the weapon finesse feat but it's nearly always better to build a monk for strength.

    2) Monk unarmed bonus - as above, same question.
    The unarmed stuff comes along with class levels as long as you fight without a weapon or with handwraps as your weapon.

    3) Races - I'm planning to go either unarmed (most likely) or staff - is there any race that will benefit me here? I am seriously looking at Elf, because I like the Displacement SLA, but I can live without it I suppose.
    If you go staff I highly suggest that you do a monk/rogue mixed build, which gives you access to the thief-acrobat tree among other things. TA has a TON of stuff that's highly useful for staff users like, for instance, the ability to use your dex for hit and damage. This is not necessarily the best option by any means--staff means no stunning fist and all the melee tactical abilities you can use with a two-hander (trip, stunning blow) use strength for DC. I've been running a drow rogue/monk staff build for my monk life largely because I felt like it and my trip DC's are mediocre at best. Human and half elf are good races to go--I wouldn't bother with Elf. It's not worth investing all those points for a displacement clickie.

    4) Skills - I'll basically have very few, right? Int is not going to be a priority stat (although not a dump either). Never having played a party-centric melee, any recommendations on what I should go with? To put this in context, I have never used skills like Intimidation, Diplomacy, Bluff etc. Just simply dunno how they work in practice.
    Monks get 4+int skills per level, 5+int if you go human. Concentration is your go-to skill, max it and keep it maxxed. Other than that it doesn't matter much. Jump, hide, balance and move silently are all fairly useful. Tumble can be enjoyable but it's not a big deal. If you want to get a social skill, go for bluff as monks and monk/rogues can get decent sneak attack. The trouble with the social skills is that they have a channel duration to use them and it can be rather annoying as combat on a monk is otherwise extremely fast-paced. Better just to invest in stunning fist or a deception item if you want to get your sneak attacks in. Last I checked Improved Feint was still borked and if you attack again in the LENGTHY pause between hitting the Improved Feint button and when the bluff effect actually goes off, it gets canceled so you get no benefit from it. This is REALLY easy to do accidentally as monks attack EXTREMELY fast.

    Generally the best thing to do on a monk when leveling is to invest heavily in strength, wisdom, and con and not worry so much about anything else. Get power attack and all 3 two weapon fighting feats. I, personally, recommend also getting dodge, mobility, spring attack, combat expertise (need a 13 base int for that one just so you know) and whirlwind as monks do great single-target damage but have very limited AOE. Whirlwind can really help you take down groups of enemies when you get surrounded. You also generate obscene amounts of Ki using Whirlwind and fire stance.

    Earth stance is probably the all-around best melee stance but it's mediocre for leveling purposes. Wind lets you attack faster (more dps) and fire lets you hit harder (more dps) which is what you want. Ocean stance is really good also but you kind of need to plan around it a bit since it nukes your strength.

    If you want an easy leveling journey, invest as heavily as possible in the Ninja Spy tree so that you can get Touch of Death as soon as it's available. Don't put points in ANY other tree until you have everything you need to get ToD. Yes, it has a saving throw on it, but it still does a substantial amount of damage even if you make your save.

    It is now also potentially worthwhile to invest in the Improved Sunder feat and items that give bonuses to sunder because these now increase the DC of your Quivering Palm ability (level 16 I think) that lets you insta-kill enemies. I haven't messed with the new version of Void Strike so I don't know how worthwhile that one is.

    I'm not a fan of light stance or shintao for leveling.
    Thelanis player: Lehren (heroic/epic completionist), Kimberlei (heroic/epic completionist), Natheme, Daiahn, Arrekeh

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    Don't put points in ANY other tree until you have everything you need to get ToD.
    Tier 5s requires 30 AP spent and character level 12. That leaves 12 AP to play with in any other tree at any level you like from 1 to 11 while still allowing you take ToD the moment you take level 12. (Or 14 to play with if you bank xp.)

  5. #5
    Community Member Daine's Avatar
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    It seems everyone is saying go Touch of Death, Ninja spy and if you want a pure DPS monk that is the way to go.

    I personally prefer the Shintao Monk, much more of a party Monk, you get a few nice melee bonuses, are more versatile with a balanced build, do plenty of damage for a melee with a fair mix of insta-kills, Crowd Control, party buffs, and self-healing. Shintao will do less damage so if you want to be Bruce Lee with "Fists of Fury" go Ninja, but if you want to be more like Kwai Chang Caine from "Kung Fu", try Shintao. Once you decide Light or Dark Path (or which tier 5 enhancement these days) the rest of the build will follow.

  6. #6
    Community Member Jingwei's Avatar
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    Things to be aware of with monks:

    Being able to build up enough ki so that you almost always have enough for stunning fist when it comes off cooldown is pretty important. At lower levels, when everything dies so fast, it doesn't matter much. But as around level 10-12 when you start facing things that can take a bit of a beating, always having enough ki for stunning fist can be quite useful.

    So, how do you do this?

    Run in fire stance. All the 'early' monk stances aren't that useful, fire stance is the best, both because it gives you +1 ki on hit and because you can wear the jidz-teka bracers for +25% healing amp while you are in fire stance. You can switch to water stance when running through traps or similar, but until you get master stances, fire stance is the way to go. The additional advantage of fire stance is that you also have enough ki to throw very frequent elemental strikes, something which none of the other stances really let you do.

    If you are human or half-elf, then rushing 200% healing amplification can be very helpful. This gets you 2 HP back from lesser vampirism, and 2 or 4 hp back from fists of light. This can really reduce your need for any incoming healing.

    If you want to switch to earth stance at around level 12, you need to be able to have another source of ki. Example ways to get it: lvl 16 frozen tunic, Alchemist's Pendant, and oremi's necklace are the only ones I can think of for heroic stuff. So you generally want to farm up a lvl 16 frozen tunic. If you have the challenge pack, and don't need to worry about collecting challenge tokens, then farming up lvl 8 and lvl 12 tunics is useful too. The freezing ice effect makes them pretty much best in slot until lvl 20. I haven't had as good experience with the epic frozen tunic, things seem to finally start resisting the freezing ice effect. So I usually switch to the sun-soul vestments, and then the Spider-spun Caparison, both of which have +1 ki on hit.

  7. #7
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    Some great advice here. I have a much clearer understanding now - thank you all! It might help if I were to clarify what I'm thinking of doing for a build. Once again, any feedback is very welcome.

    14 Cleric/6 Monk (not set in stone, if I go staff I might splash 1 druid, or possibly rogue instead)

    Maxed Wis, high Con. High Str also, but no level ups in here.

    Playstyle: All out aggression. A fast moving unarmed spell slinging lunatic who should be almost impossible to kill. For boss fights or large mobs of creatures, dig in heels, BB, cometfall etc while punching out the lights of anything that gets close.

    That will give me my cleric life, and some experience with Monk for my 4th life, which would be Monk.

    Advice?

    Aes.

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