WoW Wednesday: Windwalker Monk Impressions
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG WoW Specialist
The Windwalker monk is one of three specializations for the new monk class introduced in Mists of Pandaria, the next World of Warcraft expansion. The Windwalker is a melee dps spec focusing on hand and feet manoeuvres such as jabs strikes and kicks. The Windwalker will likely want to use agility leather and duel weild much like the rogue class. The Windwalker has two raid buffs: Legacy of the Emperor which is strength, intelligence, and agility increased by 5% for one hour and the Windwalker only buff Legacy of the White Tiger that gives a 5% crit chance.
Monks use two resources. Like a rogue they use energy which quickly replenishes and chi which is generated by using certain spells and then spent by using others. Jab is the primary chi generator (2) though it costs 40 energy to use making it rather expensive and therefore not spammable for you spammy types.
Combat is a cycle of generations and expenditures being easy enough to learn and manage. Unlike the rogue, whose finishing moves will cost the entire amount of combo points generated, monk finishing moves have a set amount of chi that is used making finishing moves potentially chainable.
At level 45 there are three different chi generators to choose from in talents. There are also several different passive and combat spells that generate chi. Currently, there does not appear to be an issue with resource management.
Along with the plethora of monk spells (and there are a lot) and as with all World of Warcraft classes the Windwalker has spec specific abilities.
Rising Sun Kick - Upwards kick that deals x amount of damage and applies mortal wounds which reduces healing to the target for ten seconds.
Flying Serpent Kick - soar forward through the air at an increased speed. Use the ability again to land. Upon landing FSK does x amount of damage within 8 yard slowing enemies by 70% for four seconds.
Energizing Brew - Replenishes 60 energy over 60 seconds and can only be used in combat.
Touch of Karma - All damage taken is redirected to the enemy target over six seconds instead. Damage cannot exceed total health. Lasts ten seconds.
Spinning Fire Blossom - Deals x amount of damage to target within 50 yards. If SFB travels further than ten yards, damage is increased by 50% and enemy rooted for 2 seconds.
Afterlife - Killing an enemy that grants experience or honour gives 50% chance to summon a healing sphere healing party members or self for 15% of total health when walked through. When an enemy dies from blackout kick you summon a chi sphere which restores 1 chi by walking through it.
Duel Weild - one handed weapons except daggers.
Brewing: Tigereye brew-increases damage by 2% per stack .A tigereye brew is generated after 4 chi are consumed through abilities or attacks. Can stack up to ten times.
Sparring - Chance to parry by 5% for ten seconds. There is a 30 second cooldown. When you attack back sparring is amplified by an additional 5%. Stacks up to 3 times.
Mastery: Combo breaker - 15% chance for jab to cause next tiger palm or blackout kick to cost no chi.
At level 15 the three talents to choose from seem to be centred on movement while at level 30 the Windwalker gets another heal of varying descriptions. Level 45, as stated above, sees the Windwalker get chi generating abilities. Level 60 talents are stun focused whereas level 75 are damage reduction. Finally, at level 90 a new dps ability is available. Below is a selection of some of the talents.
Celerity (passive) - Allows you to Roll and Chi Torpedo more often, increases max number of charges by 1 and reduces cooldown by five seconds.
Chi Wave - a wave of chi energy causing x amount of damage or x amount of healing. Bounces up to five times to nearest target within 20 yards.
Ascension (passive) - increases max chi by 1.
Leg Sweep - knock down all enemies within 5 yards stunning them for 5 sec.
Healing Elixirs (passive) - anytime you drink from a brew or tea you gain 10% of health. Cannot occur more than once every 15 sec.
Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger - invokes the White Tiger Celestial summoning an effigy at casters command. Effigy will attack primary target and also inflict tiger lightning damage every 6 sec to three lowest health enemies nearby. Lasts 45 sec with three minute cooldown.
While I realize the monk is not a rogue it is hard to not compare the two as they both use the same resource system (energy), wear the same armour type with the same stats and can duel wield. The monk seems to me, after playing it, a poor man’s rogue if you will. The monk lacks the intricacies of the rogue and leans towards the gimmicky. Some of the spell animations are bordering on the ridiculous and look nothing like martial arts while others like blackout kick look great.
My hope was that the World of Warcraft monk would be similar or at least as well done as the EverQuest II monk. Instead the WoW monk is a bit cliché with more than a few silly animations. The monk is still going to be a viable class, no doubt, as a healer or tank but there are already plenty of dps classes in WoW and I am not so sure the Windwalker can add anything new.
Personally, Windwalker is not the spec I would choose if I were to play a monk when Mists of Pandaria goes live. I have played a rogue in World of Warcraft since 2004 and to put it plainly they do leather wearing, agility loving, and duel weilding better. At this point in time, I am rather underwhelmed with the monk experience.