Feedback: Monk Updates

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Community Manager
#1 - April 18, 2024, 5:52 p.m.
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In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Monks in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

  • There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
  • New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

  • Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.

Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.

We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
  • Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Community Manager
#2 - April 18, 2024, 7 p.m.
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Monk Class Tree

Our main goals for the Monk Class tree are to introduce more optionality, refresh the cappers, and add a few new pieces of utility (such as an Enrage dispel), while still cutting down on overall keybind requirements. To accomplish this, we’ve added choice nodes to most active options that offer a passive option or changed pathing to allow more skipping of these spells.

We’ve also cut down on the total amount of throughput being offered within the core tree. Using Mistweaver as an example, they often found themselves feeling required to pick up both the healing and damage nodes offered throughout the tree and were therefore left with only a few points to customize their utility loadout. The reduced number of throughput nodes and the decreased amount of 2-point nodes throughout the tree is intended to help remedy this situation.

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#3 - April 18, 2024, 7:01 p.m.
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Windwalker Monk

Our updates for Windwalker in The War Within are intended to address a few issues the specialization struggled with throughout Dragonflight. These points of focus for us were the power levels of the Haste and Mastery stats falling behind other options, Jadefire Stomp’s usability, and the Touch of Death gameplay focus. Other areas that we are also looking at are resource bloat, evening out their rate of auto-attacks, and adding more pronounced thematics through both gameplay and visuals.

Fists of Fury’s damage and Glory of the Dawn now scale with your Haste value to help the stat be more impactful for Windwalker Monks. These will help us have the tuning knobs to increase its value more dynamically. We’ve also increased the cost of Tiger Palm to 60 Energy to help decrease resource overload while encouraging Haste to help with energy regeneration. For Mastery, we feel we can get to a point where it becomes a more competitive stat through tuning.

Jadefire Stomp’s reset mechanic is being removed in favor of a static cooldown. We feel this will be a lot more forgiving and lower the barrier of entry to playing Windwalker. Additionally, we’re adding talent support to increase the individual value of the Jadefire Stomp global in single target situations.

Most of Touch of Death’s gameplay is being replaced with a more execute-focused version through the Core Tree capper instead of the AoE and repeat cast components. This opens up more of the AoE tuning budget to be within Windwalker Monk’s base spells.

Serenity is being removed from the talent tree in The War Within to be able to focus Windwalker Monk’s cooldown window around a more consistent window and create opportunities for some gameplay options we’re excited about while reducing resource overload.

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#4 - April 18, 2024, 7:06 p.m.
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Mistweaver Monk

Mistweaver is seeing a few updates including their class 2-set Chi Harmony bonus and the removal of Essence Font. We’re also adding a talent to help Mistweavers who are focused on melee to gain more value out of their Mastery stat. Essence Font’s removal will have a few outcomes, the most important of which to address will be melee Mistweavers in raid healing scenarios.

We’re hoping the removal of Clouded Focus and consequent tuning of Vivify and Enveloping Mist will help Soothing Mist fill the gaps for them, but there are some realities around planting and casting that may feel worse than Essence Font did. Our goal here is to make the risk/reward feel worth it here through tuning, but we’re going to continue looking at this as we iterate in The War Within.

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#5 - April 25, 2024, 9:29 p.m.
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This week’s Alpha build brings more updates to Windwalker and we’d like to go over the underlying philosophy and reasoning for these changes. The main changes we’ll be discussing are to Tiger Palm and its damage distribution, making Combo Strikes more consistent and intuitive, and some incoming shifts to their spec tree talent layout.

Tiger Palm
Tiger Palm is the most commonly used button for Windwalker, but historically it has represented very little overall damage itself. We want Tiger Palm to remain mostly about generating Chi, but also represent a more meaningful percentage of Windwalker’s damage breakdown. Our goal is not to change rotational priorities, but to make every button press feel directly meaningful to your overall damage.

This also helps us tackle some interesting damage profiles by increasing their priority target damage, even in AoE scenarios. We’re excited about talents like Martial Mixture for this reason, which could offer some additional support to this profile.

Combo Strikes
We’ve removed Chi Wave and Expel Harm from the list of spells that trigger Combo Strikes for Windwalker Monks in The War Within. Since these are now automatically triggered, we didn’t think it was intuitive for these to trigger Mastery. Our intent for Combo Strikes is that the main focus should be directly on the action bar and relying on direct spell casts rather than auras to determine your next spell to cast.

Alongside this, we’re making a couple adjustments to Combat Wisdom and Storm, Earth, and Fire to support these changes.

Combat Wisdom will now rebalance Chi to 2 while out of combat instead of the default depletion. We think this will help both Windwalker’s opener feel more intuitive (only one required Tiger Palm before entering cooldowns with max Chi when playing with Ordered Elements) and also improve the experience of traveling between packs in Mythic Plus or the open world.

Storm, Earth, and Fire is being added to the list of spells that triggers Combo Strikes. Our goal here is to make the transition to bursting feel as smooth as possible – both when maximizing Rising Sun Kicks with Ordered Elements and in the cases a Windwalker may choose to Storm, Earth, and Fire immediately before using other globals to set up Combo Strikes.

Windwalker Tree Talent Layout Adjustments
In next week’s Alpha build, we’re repositioning some nodes in the Windwalker tree to free up some builds we’re excited about. The main change is moving Teachings of the Monastery to Flying Serpent Kick’s location and moving Flying Serpent Kick baseline. Teachings of the Monastery is a talent we’re now considering core to the spec’s design in all scenarios, and moving it to a more centralized location frees up a talent point to increase optionality elsewhere.

Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!

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#12 - May 14, 2024, 10:23 p.m.
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Hello Mistweavers!

We’ve made an update to Revival in this Alpha build that caps the amount of magical debuffs the spell can dispel off of each target.

This is mainly targeted at Battlegrounds, where Revival has been overly oppressive to other specializations that rely on magic debuffs to function. We are not expecting this to impact PvE.

Edited to add: This will not change how Revival functions with debuffs that stack multiple times, such as bursting.

Thank you for your feedback!