Friday, 6 May 2011

Diablo III: The Monk

The name is extremely misleading as first impressions would suggest. However, after thinking about it rationally for just a few seconds, the masterful martial art skills of the Shaolin monks spring to mind. The Diablo monk quite simply epitomises hand-to-hand combat. The bone crunching blows combined with the awesome speed that the monk dispatches his foes results in a powerful class to say the least. This warrior is the bastion of justice with light being a crucial element in the majority of his abilities.

The confident stance
says it all
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the monk is his unique combat system. Many of this monk's offensive skills are split into three segments that are triggered in stages. As a result the monk can produce combos of the different stages of different skills into unique chains; all that's missing is a hit-counter and the system will be extremely reminiscent of a classic fighting game. The monk focuses on holy energy, amalgamating beautiful shades of gold, white, silver and blue throughout various skills. Agile yet fragile; the monk is the opposite of the barbarian. The monk utilises the unique "spirit" as its resource pool for skills. Spirit is generated by using normal attacks and combo skills and is spent by using other skills. It's designed to keep gameplay as fast and thrilling as possible: the more you kill, the more you can kill. However, as mentioned above, it's interestingly balanced with the monks limited health supply providing for challenging gameplay. The monks' skill trees are still unnamed with only a limited number of abilities being revealed at the present time. Two out of three trees seem to focus on offensive skills, judging by the skill names such as "crippling wave" and "seven-sided strike". The other tree focuses on more defensive skills.
Without any further delay here are the skills:

In chronological order:
Crippling Wave: A blast of holy energy that works best in a three-strike combo: The first strike slows the enemies; the second will reduce their damage; the third strike is the most devastating in terms of damage as well as how it resets the two effects' duration.
Exploding Palm: One of the most destructive skills on display. Again it's split into three separate attacks, the first two of which do normal damage. The final attack, although seemingly normal as well, works like a ticker-timer bomb. The final blow deals a moderate bleeding damage which increases exponentially when the enemy moves until it dies and explodes into bones and flesh. The explosion also deals damage to nearby foes.
Way of the Hundred Fists: The monk plunges forward dealing a wave of punches, the third "stage" deals a small explosion dealing knock-back damage. The speciality of this move is that it doesn't need to be repeated three times in succession in order for the three attacks to be repeated.
Impenetrable Defence: The monk swings his weapon around himself furiously creating a luminous, impenetrable bubble which deflects any projectiles back in the same trajectory they came from. It also works with melee skills and provides 100% dodge for a limited time.
Seven-Sided Strike: The monk rushes forward and an ancient glyph appears below him. He strikes the enemy seven times and jumps from opponent to opponent.

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