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So, I have played monk an awful lot in this game, restarting my game many times to tweak my build, and since it seems like some players are having trouble figuring out monks, I decided to discuss the build I enjoy the most.

 

First of all, a bit about the viability of fists as your only weapon.  I've done a bit of testing.

 

Running the game on slow mode, and using a stopwatch to approximate the amount of time it takes to finish 20 attacks.  Numbers are with 10 dexterity and 10 might, using superb weapons and transcendent suffering rank 4.  Dual wielding without the two handed style talent.

 

Fast weapons-           37.3 seconds -- 13-19 damage displayed -- x20 attacks = 260-380

Average weapons-     55 seconds    -- 16-23 damage displayed -- x20 attacks = 320-460 

Sabers-                      55 seconds    -- 19-28 damage displayed -- x20 attacks = 380-560

Fists-                          37.3 seconds -- 18-23 damage displayed -- x20 attacks = 360-460  

 

Accuracy will be equal as long as you are using superb weapons, though keep in mind a fists monk doesn't even need to find a weapon.

 

Assuming normal hits only and no armor, your dps ranges on slow mode are.

 

Fast weapons-          ((260-380) / 2 ) / 37.3 =  8.85           

Average weapons-    ((320-460) / 2 ) / 55    =  7.08         

Sabers-                     ((380-560 / 2 ) / 55    =   8.54       

Fists-                         ((360-460 / 2 ) / 37.3 =  10.96

 

Note, these attack times are all while dual wielding, without the two weapon style talent.  For giggles I decided to do one with the greatsword, without the two handed style talent.

 

Greatsword-              79.25 seconds --  20-29 displayed damage

Greatsword-              ((400 + 580) / 2 ) / 79.25  =  6.18

 

There is a lot more stuff to figure out obviously, armor and weapon bonuses, etc.  But assuming I haven't made any big mistakes yet, in exchange for being unable to use additional enchantments, fists do, against unarmored targets...

 

28% more dps than Sabers

54% more dps than average speed weapons

23% more dps than fast speed weapons

77% more dps than greatswords

 

In conclusion, a monk martial artist using only his fists is quite viable.  He'll miss out on some cool bonuses like endurance drain on certain weapons, but if you want to destroy with nothing but your fists, you can.  I finished the game on hard using my fists and they work great.  I would love to know the math for various armor ranges, like 5 10 and 15, but I don't know if I can do it, and it would take a lot of time anyways.  Take vulnerable attack to counter the armor of opponents.

 

Ok, so on to my build.

 

Starting with stat scores.

 

16s-12c-16d-10p-8i-16r 

 

Balanced offensive and defensive stats, enough intelligence that the range on torment's reach isn't gimped.  I don't use swift strikes, I prefer using torments reach, force of anguish, and flaggelant's path for a more active playstyle.  As you can see, I haven't min/maxed the stats, this is a dps build but you don't do any dps while dirtnapping, and it is my opinion that min/maxing creates weaknesses that are hard to deal with as melee dps.  This also makes it a little more newbie friendly.  Preferred race is human, as a monk your endurance will often drop below 50% and you'll become even more of a killing machine when it does.

 

Certain builds might prefer higher reflexes, for example a pale elf monk with wizard companions using fan of flames on you and your opponents, there is some synergy here because your wizard will be helping you get additional wounds in a controlled fashion while deep frying your opponents.  For this try the following, and note that you will have low will saves.

 

16s-10c-16d-18p-8i-10r

 

On my next playthrough, I am going to make a sword dancer monk who uses sabers to maximize the damage on torment's reach. This build will be a bit squishier, but, with superb sabers, torment's reach starts to crit in the 70+ range on targets with 10 DR.   My stats will probably look like so.

 

18s-10c-16d-10p-10i-14r

 

Up next is my preferred abilities.

 

Torment's reach-  Monk area of effect damage.  You can hit 3 or 4 targets at a time with this, the best way to line up damage with torment's reach is to attack enemies that have gathered around your tank.  If you attack from the side you can hit several targets quite easily.  Don't be afraid to take a disengagement attack in order to get the best use out of this ability, disengagement attacks will provide you with additional woulds to spend for blowing up more enemies.

 

Force of anguish-  Very fun ability to use, strong crowd control you can use to protect yourself or party members.  Get this or lesser wounds first.

 

Flaggelant's path-  Teleport to any mob and do aoe damage, great for taking out pesky mages, or getting to team members in danger, I love this one.  You get it at level 11.

 

Rooting pain-  If you get mobbed, this kills weaker enemies by itself.  Is probably pretty strong in combination with retaliation armor too, but I haven't tried that.

 

Turning wheel-  Your auto attack damage goes up as you accumulate wounds.  This ability is optional for this build, because you will be spending your wounds, but it can help with single target damage if you have a lot of wounds and are just spamming torments reach at the same rate you are receiving additional wounds.

 

Preferred talents

 

Weapon focus: Peasant-  If you want to be a martial artist.  If not, use the weapon focus of your choice, consider sabers for maximum torments reach output.  I tend to pick this up at level 2, but some people prefer to hold off until the end of the game to pick the one that matches with the coolest weapons they've found.

 

Lesser wounds-  Essential for monk dps, you really need to be able to spam your abilities.  Get this as soon as you can.

 

Two weapon style-  For the highest Full attack damage you can get for torment's reach, and the best dps in general, two weapon style is the way to go.  I tested it a bit with fists, and have confirmed that it does increase their attack speed.

 

Vulnerable attack-  Most opponents have enough armor to make this worth it.  It is especially good for dual wielding.

 

Duality of mortal presence-  Monk can't be played as glass canon, this talent helps you control incoming damage, turn it off if the mobs are weaker than you.  Use deflection against enemies with more physic attacks, and "other defenses" against enemies that like to use spells.  I tend to just keep it set on "other defenses", to protect against status effects.

 

Superior deflection-  Again, I don't believe monk should be played as a glass canon.  You need to have control over the rate you receive wounds.

 

Fast runner-  Entirely optional, I just like running faster to high priority targets.  And the deflection bonus helps a bit when I force engagement attacks to accumulate wounds, or when I purposely disengage from my opponent in order to help a squishier team member.

 

Second skin-  Talent received for doing the crucible knights quest line, it adds +2 to damage resistance, which is helpful since I stick with relatively light armor.  For example my monk can often be found in enchanted clothes or enchanted berathian priest robes.  I also recommend using the blunting belt.

 

Tips

 

-You can purposely use disengagement attacks to acquire wounds faster. 

-If you carry multiple sets of armor, you can equip the level of armor that helps you best control your wound accumulation rate and endurance.  You don't usually need to wear heavy armor, but it's good to have the option readily available.

-There is no proper cone display for torment's reach like there is other aoe abilities, but be aware that when properly lined up it can hit several targets.

-Use force of anguish to prevent being overwhelmed by multiple opponents.

 

This build is an offensive build, so let your tank or tanks engage first, I prefer to run 3 melee when I have a melee dps class so that he or she is less likely to be overwhelmed.  Try to get at least one guy to engage your monk so you can start accumulating wounds, if you are fighting weaker opponents, try to engage more than one.  Monk is an active class that requires a lot of management to be successful, but once you get the hang of it, monk becomes very strong.

 

Anyways, there you have it.  If anyone knows where and how to find some awesome sabers for my next playthrough, let me know!  On my last playthrough I found a saber called resolution that is pretty badass, I am hoping to find it again but I'm not sure where I got it from, lol.  0.5 additional crit damage modifier and 20% of grazes converted to hits.

Edited by Climhazzard
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can you explain why do you prefer to give more points in resolve vs p? Doesn't that extra + to interrupt keep you from getting pummeled from groups of baddies, and the extra reflex and deflection assist you? I'm currently experimenting on my monk, but maybe one of my issues with mine was I couldn't find a happy medium for gaining wounds. I either wasn't getting wounds, or i didn't have enough health and i'd get killed in 2 hits. But I'm currently playing with 3 monks trying them out. I didn't know which talents to get so I missed a the 2 hand style since it didn't clarify fists fit into that, but I'm only level 4. I'll give this a try. You said you completed the game on hard right? I'm going to try this on my orlan who gain's extra crits to some hits when attacking same target as a buddy. That should also add more dps. 

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I haven't messed around too much with different monk builds but one thing I did like was the poisoning strike talent, forgot what its called exactly, but it was great for leading into fights before you have wounds to spend, and also pretty useful for when youre trying to maximize your dps on a tough target like a boss or something.

 

Also thank you for testing the 2 weapon talent with fists. never took it on my monk because i wasnt sure if it applied, the tool tip is a bit misleading because if you take it literally it sounds like it shouldnt. "Grants bonuses when wielding a weapon in each hand" or something to that affect.

Edited by bootsnpots

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can you explain why do you prefer to give more points in resolve vs p? Doesn't that extra + to interrupt keep you from getting pummeled from groups of baddies, and the extra reflex and deflection assist you? I'm currently experimenting on my monk, but maybe one of my issues with mine was I couldn't find a happy medium for gaining wounds. I either wasn't getting wounds, or i didn't have enough health and i'd get killed in 2 hits. But I'm currently playing with 3 monks trying them out. I didn't know which talents to get so I missed a the 2 hand style since it didn't clarify fists fit into that, but I'm only level 4. I'll give this a try. You said you completed the game on hard right? I'm going to try this on my orlan who gain's extra crits to some hits when attacking same target as a buddy. That should also add more dps. 

 

Orlan is a good offensive option.  

 

I use resolve instead of perception for more balanced defenses, for will resistance + deflection.

 

High reflexes are good for many area of effect spells and breath attacks, so perception isn't a bad option, especially if you go with the pale elf option for team synergy.  There are a lot of will saves you have to make in this game though, there are plenty of stuns and charms, among other things, so I prefer the balanced defense approach.

 

I did complete the game on hard, and with 3 melee, but it would have been hard without Eder tanking, there are monk tank builds, but mine isn't really viable for that, so keep that in mind.  I used Kana debuffing with his fear aura as my 3rd melee.

Edited by Climhazzard

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In conclusion, a monk martial artist using only his fists is quite viable.  He'll miss out on some cool bonuses like endurance drain on certain weapons, but if you want to destroy with nothing but your fists, you can.  I finished the game on hard using my fists and they work great.  I would love to know the math for various armor ranges, like 5 10 and 15, but I don't know if I can do it, and it would take a lot of time anyways.  Take vulnerable attack to counter the armor of opponents.

 

 

...

 

that has always been the criticism o' using fists.  you cannot enchant fists with all the secondary and tertiary effects possible with other weapons.  we all know that fists is great weapons compared to vanilla iterations o' other weapons, but you won't be using vanilla, or even chocolate.  

 

am appreciating the effort, but...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSRiLX-Qggk

 

*shrug*

 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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