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On 4 Int it lasts 7 sec for me (just for the reference). And costs 2 Wounds. I actually replaced it with Turning Wheel and will see how it goes. While Force of Anguish is good in theory, I had serious issues in practice. In easy fights I don't need it, and it only prolongs combat. In difficult battles, it doesn't seem to be useful at all because if I kick the mages/ranged enemies they are temporarily out of battle (which is good, but I used 2 Wounds I could've used on damage) but then they're back up, alive, and kiling me from the distance. It would be much more useful to actually kill these squishies than to push them to safety. And if enemy isn't mage/ranged, chances are I'm not going to push/prone them at all, or if I do it's going to be a graze. So enemies I actually do need to push (melee, like troll for example) are immune or semi-immune to it. The ability is fun, no denying that, and on paper it looks good. But I did some calculations and if I took another Ability + used 2 Wounds on something else (like Torment's Reach) I would benefit more.

 

Now, if I had high Int this would be much better.. but before I try high Int + FoA I need to know how much damage will I take more if I lower P and R just to have high Int? How much more am I going to be hit with that much less deflection? (I'm not dropping M C and D).

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It's primarily used to set up sneak attacks for rogues. In cases where a monk offtank or main tank is taking heavy power, they can spam it repeatedly and assuming they have decent intellect, you can actually squeeze like 14 seconds of CC out of it, making the enemies really vulnerable to ranged and melee attacks. It also gets big toughies out of the fight so you can take out adds and whatnot. 

It's very, very useful, though somewhat situational and context dependent. If you know how to milk it, it's very strong. You can also somewhat control what direction the enemy gets knocked in. It's kinda fun to send your monk against a lone badass and knock it back into your party where you basically put the boots to them. Satisfying.

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How do you take big toughies out of the fight? Does switching to +accuracy weapon before using this ability help?

 

Unfortunately these scenarios you mentioned don't really work for me since I use 6 dps monks who, obviously, charge together into battle with reckless abandon.

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Yeah, accuracy is paramount. I also have my monks take WF: Peasant and have them equip spears in their offhands for massive accuracy buffs, although that somewhat kills your auto-attack DPS, since you only attack with the spear when auto attacking, but you get the +12 to accuracy on both hands in addition to the +5 on the spear, and whenever using a Full Attack ability you still hit with the fist.

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Did you replace FoA on all 6?  I'm curious how your wound generation is per monk on average.  The undeniably great thing about TW is it's passive, but I don't know how much you micro each monk.

 

If I were using a monk in a group as a main or offtank, I guess it's kind of a coinflip between FoA and TW.  Maybe a slight edge toward TW because if I don't spend as much time microing the monk, he's at least getting some benefit and there are usually other better alternatives for CC than FoA.  I'll be interested to hear how you like TW though.  Still not convinced it's very good and it may just boil down to picking the least bad of the two for a group monk.

 

As for the sextet, I probably just go with TW in your position.  I doubt you're going to drop 14 points to go 18 Int and I doubt it's worth the 7 points just to get 3s more duration at 10 Int. But what do you do with all those monks in a fight?  Do you micro Torment's for all 6?

 

For solo, if it's a choice between those two, 100% FoA for me.  Even at 4 Int.  The push portion of the attack is attached to the damaging hit, so if that lands you at least get the knockback.  Then the prone is a separate roll.  So when that 7 second prone lands you're really getting 8-9 seconds out of it before the mob gets back to its previous position.  It's saved my game twice recently, the last one being when I overpulled 6 wichts and thought it was doable because they have low health.  It wasn't, but I was able to cc enough with knockbacks and prones to avoid the death.

 

I'll readily admit I don't use FoA that often though.  I saw some monk solo thread that didn't take it and did fine, but I have no way of knowing how much combat skipping he did whereas I'm trying some fights that I probably have no business trying and I need something in the back pocket that at least vaguely resembles an oh **** button.

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FoA = Love..  I generally have 8 intelligence on my monks though, sometimes 10, so that torments reach has decent range.  The thing I like about force of anguish is that it costs wounds, and that in any situation where force of anguish is needed, the monk will have enough wounds to use it, and to even use it repeatedly.  The thing I don't like about force of anguish is that it is a fortitude roll so the prone portion of the attack will sometimes miss.  As long as I can use it repeatedly though that doesn't matter.  If i am fighting 2 tough opponents I can blow away a 3rd opponent as many times as I need to in order to kill the first 2 opponents.  If I'm not getting enough wounds to do that, then the opponents aren't tough enough to warrant blowing them away in the first place.

 

The other thing I like about force of anguish is how fun it is to blow away your opponents, lol.  I would take it over stunning blows for anything.

Edited by Climhazzard

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I replaced it on 5, because console command didn't work on PC so he still had FoA (it's a bug, you can't press "Enter" in some cases).

 

Anyway, I died in Mausoleum so let's just say that TW wasn't much of a help here because it's just raw multiplier and if you don't hit in the first place then nothing happens. On high DR enemies TW is I think worse because of how it's calculated (separately against DR if I read correctly, so if you would get +10 burn damage after 8 DR that's... uh, 2?).

 

As for FoA, let's just say that the boss was immune to it. Yup, you're not gonna hit him with FoA, not with all the Terrified debuffs and his high defense. But that works for Stunning Blow as well - equally useless on every enemy that matters. I even switched to fists+accuracy offhand weapon. Nope, not gonna happen. However.. it does work on knights.

 

I did this battle again and now replaced TW with FoA and the win was easy. I couldn't CC the boss, sure, but I could knights. It should also be said that in the first battle I experimented with all weapons, first fists then fist-offhand for accuracy buff (which didn't help) and then with 2H to get over all the armor. In the second battle I went with fists only and for whatever reason it worked better. Or maybe it worked better because of FoA alone I dunno.

 

Either way, I'd say utility skills like FoA are worth it over raw dmg increase. I'm not sure about Stunning Blow though. In theory it's full attack + stun but stun is very short, it might graze, it might miss, and I've usually plenty wounds to cast FoA multiple times.

 

 

I'm glad to get rid of TW because it doesn't synergize with other monk abilities but instead negates them. I think it would be worth it, if Wounds did not expire in 12 sec though.

 

 

ps: Another thing I discovered is that Lore 2 is all that's needed (except maybe for Ressurect). Fan of Flames is ridiculous, especially on dps melee. I used it twice in first lost battle and zero times in second won, but spells are just ridiculously good in this game. IMHO, melee dps is just so much inferior to alternatives. It has huge problems with positioning, being hit by all debuffs every time (which ranged can avoid easily), it's tactically crippled. Dps melee kinda kills trash mobs fast, but when it comes to difficult battles then casters and chanters rule and melee dpsers are totally inferior.

 

pps: High Int on monk might be good for FoA alone. But need to test further.

 

ppps: I did the Mausoleum battle for the third time. It seems I lost in the 1st battle because I experimented with fist+1H and then with 2H weapons. Or, because one character was badly placed and couldn't attack in the beginning Anyway, In third battle I used no FoA at all and still won mostly just autoattacking with fists. But what's interesting is that I still couldn't notice the effect of TW. It gets reduced so much that I maybe dealt +1 point of damage because of it.

Edited by The Josip

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Keep in mind, you're not going to get the same performance out of FoA in a six monk party than you would with proper accuracy buffs and defense debuffs in a "real party™"

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I think turning wheel works pretty good with swift strike builds, but it's a passive way to play monks, you just turn on swift strikes and let them auto attack while building up additional wounds to power up their auto attacks.  I much prefer torments reach builds myself.

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It's worth mentioning when discussing melee dps, that they work best in a team that enables them.  Yeah they are getting hit by debuffs, but your priest easily counters that, just look at the buffs on "devotions for the faithful", like a melee dps wet dream.  And while they aren't as tough as your tanks, they are doing considerably more damage while still being much tougher than your backline, this is at least my experience with monks and barbarians.  They aren't as liable to get steamrolled as a mage caught in a bad position.

 

If this game were about 4 man teams, maybe they would have no place, but in balanced 6 man teams I think melee dps contributes as much as other classes do.  

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I did 4th Mausoleum battle and interesting enough didn't notice enemies are missing me. That means mediocre deflection is practically useless in such case. Then I went outside and saw a "miss" vs trash mob when it didn't even matter.

 

 

I think turning wheel works pretty good with swift strike builds, but it's a passive way to play monks, you just turn on swift strikes and let them auto attack while building up additional wounds to power up their auto attacks.  I much prefer torments reach builds myself.

 

Turning Wheel shouldn't work any better with Swift Strike than TR, well, not in my case where there are plenty of wounds. Of course you can have both Swift and TR. And Swift just increases speed, not damage, so DR still reduces TW to nothing.

 

If this game were about 4 man teams, maybe they would have no place, but in balanced 6 man teams I think melee dps contributes as much as other classes do.

 

 

Not according to my experience. They're just a liability and require too much micromanagement at too much risk, and when it matters (tough fights) they are weak and that's that. And sure, Priest can use spells on them but those are per-Rest. Plus I don't like Priest class in this game (from RP standpoint, cause none of the available gods are even mediocre acceptable).

 

Keep in mind, you're not going to get the same performance out of FoA in a six monk party than you would with proper accuracy buffs and defense debuffs in a "real party™"

 

Normal party can just nuke everything in a tough battle and that's it. You don't even want melee dps then, it's just a hassle. I only did 6 monks because I wanted to try it out but it feels tactically one-dimensional and limited. I'm going to try with high Int and low P and R, and then just abuse FoA see how it goes.

Edited by The Josip

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The biggest crit I've got on my monk, not including petrified opponents, was a 103 damage torment's reach hit using two sabers.  Something like 18 of that was from turning wheel, and 5 from those crappy gloves that give damage per wound.  Ideally I'm spending my wounds and not getting much benefit from TW, but I can never convince myself to not take it, and in tough battles I probably am benefiting from it quite a bit.

Edited by Climhazzard

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If this game were about 4 man teams, maybe they would have no place, but in balanced 6 man teams I think melee dps contributes as much as other classes do.

 

 

Not according to my experience. They're just a liability and require too much micromanagement at too much risk, and when it matters (tough fights) they are weak and that's that. And sure, Priest can use spells on them but those are per-Rest. Plus I don't like Priest class in this game (from RP standpoint, cause none of the available gods are even mediocre acceptable).

 

 

 

Well if you refuse to use the class that helps them perform at their best, and don't like to micro manage, then i guess I can see where your point of view is coming from, your arguments are coming off as quite biased though, no offense.  They aren't a liability at all in tough battles with a priest on your team, and contribute more than say, a second priest, or a 3rd tank.  It really just depends on how you set up your team and  your preferences I guess.   

Edited by Climhazzard

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The way I understand it, the fire damage from TR gets evaluated against 25% of the opponent DR, but what it's supposed to do is evaluate it against a percent of the opponent DR equal to the percent of the elemental damage.  So a 2-wound TR should be 10% burn damage, which should be evaluated against 10% of opponent DR and 10-wound TR should be evaluated against 50% of the opponent DR.

 

According to http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74865-damage-bug-vs-dr/, the above isn't working correctly and all added percent damage is getting evaluated against 25% opponent DR.  So you should be getting more benefit out of TR at 6+ wounds and less benefit for 4 wounds and under. Which would be great if you could control your wound counts, but it all goes back to the 12s duration.

 

Josip, if you did go Int for FoA, that might make Rooting Pain worth it.  Rooting pain's damage is lackluster at best, but maybe 6 monks spamming interrupts per wound would be interesting. I have no real opinion on stunning blows.  It seemed fine when I used it, but nothing amazing without high Int and the duration is obviously atrocious if you dump Int.  But in this solo, I'm doing TR, FoA, Long Stride, Duality, Crucible, Flagellant.  Crucible may or may not get subbed out for something else.  Flagellant might not be ideal but I just really like it.

 

As far as caster vs melee dps, yeah...I have to rest so often in this solo playthrough as a monk, I've highly considered trying a wiz or druid instead.

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Well if you refuse to use the class that helps them perform at their best, and don't like to micro manage, then i guess I can see where your point of view is coming from, your arguments are coming off as quite biased though, no offense.  They aren't a liability at all in tough battles with a priest on your team, and contribute more than say, a second priest, or a 3rd tank.  It really just depends on how you set up your team and  your preferences I guess.   

 

 

Nothing wrong with melee dps in a balanced group, especially if you just really want X class in the group.  But as far as contribution goes I think the question would be more apt comparing melee dps to ranged dps (caster or missile weapon) rather than priest or tank.

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Well if you refuse to use the class that helps them perform at their best, and don't like to micro manage, then i guess I can see where your point of view is coming from, your arguments are coming off as quite biased though, no offense.  They aren't a liability at all in tough battles with a priest on your team, and contribute more than say, a second priest, or a 3rd tank.  It really just depends on how you set up your team and  your preferences I guess.   

 

 

Nothing wrong with melee dps in a balanced group, especially if you just really want X class in the group.  But as far as contribution goes I think the question would be more apt comparing melee dps to ranged dps (caster or missile weapon) rather than priest or tank.

 

 

 

Well, they definitely output more than a missile dps when properly supported.  Druids and maybe wizards can output more in a single battle, but fall behind in the long haul because they have to ration their spells for the big battles, that has been my experience anyways.  Even when it comes down to big battles, your melee dps, when not built as glass cannons, help "hold the line" while the casters do their thing.  It really does come down to preferences though, if you're like me and like to have 3 melee in your teams to "hold the line", you only really need one of those 3 to be a true "tank".  The other roles are CC, buffing/debuffing, and aoe damage.  My teams are something like one caster for each caster role, one real tank, one off tank, and one melee dps.  The offtank is semi support, like a chanter or paladin.

 

If you are not like me  though, and think that teams should only consist of 2 melee, or even a single tank, you might prefer using additional crowd control to "hold the line".  In my opinion there isn't really a perfect team set up, and that there is probably many ways to create a balanced team, and that maybe the preference for using or not using melee dps comes down to that.

Edited by Climhazzard

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Ok i did few more tests and apparently i was somewhat wrong. I used Mausoleum as a perfect test area since enemy is difficult and not a trash mob. My balanced tank+caster/arbalest party gets owned hard here because of squishies with medium endurance. So melee monks do much better with three wins one defeat so far. Although it could be argued that moon godlike makes most of the difference. Without it, my casters die in 1-2 ranged hits and tanks dont really help against that. This means that in closed quarters dps melee party i have is really much better and i overrated the other one.

 

As for FoA i did extreme test with 22 int and rooting pain. Rooting pain alone dealt about 3x more dmg than other dmg character did, in both tested situations. Then i sent one char only vs revenants and those ghouls (6-7 of them). She killed all but two who were half dead. The tactic was FoA spam.

 

I did one more test and that was the usefulness of Per and Res in tough battles. In this case Mausoleum. With standard mediocre P and R enemies missed once (total combined for entire battle) or not at all. Just as i suspected considering how math is done in this game. So much for balanced stat proponents who have no clue as usual. No wonder all pros advise min maxing.

 

 

tl;dr My current estimate is that for me ideal monk build is max int, then max m and c, and then almost max d. I think that utilities are more important than raw dmg or defense. An enemy thats on the ground for crit 24sec after using FoA is doing less dmg than standing enemy beating your 10-point per and res.

 

Btw with 22 int Stunning Blow is 5sec. x2 thats ten sec cc that can be used right away.

 

Ive still to test torments reach with 22 int but considering my battle lineup i feel swift strikes is better with high int. Unless TR is better than stunning blow and unless ive extra wounds after foa spam. Not saying its bad skill, but somethings gotta give. Perhaps Stunning blow because it attacks fortitude and that seems to be a huge issue because whenever i tested it it never worked well. I usually have lots of wounds so TR might still be nice.

Edited by The Josip

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On the group durability comparisons, I'm pretty sure that 6 Moon Godlikes vs 6 anything else is going to make drawing any real conclusions impossible.

 

That's pretty impressive about Rooting Pain.

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Torments reach probably has some wicked long range with 22 intelligence.  Recently I found the boots "shod-in-faith", which proc consecrated ground when you take a crit.  These apparently synergize incredibly well with a monk, you can stack less deflection which will allow you to get more wounds, as soon as consecrated ground procs you basically turn into an undieing killing machine.

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Tested Torment's Reach with 22 Int. Now I have to say that range is not only noticable but quite impressive. To the point where I can't prioritize Swift Strikes over TR because I usually have plenty wounds while SS is once-a-15-sec ability. But I don't think I can prioritize Stunning Blow over SS either, because Stunning's only advantage is that it does not require wounds, which means it can be used right in the beginning of the battle. But I'm able to survive first hits, and then I have enough wounds for FoA anyway. And both FoA and SB attack Fortitude. If SB attacked something else it might be worth it in cases FoA fails.

 

I'm not sure why my previous testing on 18 int didn't show much of an effect on TR. Perhaps bad positioning and not enough testing, or perhaps of exponential benefit and now on 22 I hit enemies that were so far away I had to double check if I saw correctly what happened. Still, my issue with TR is that I usually gang up on 1-2 enemies and surround them, trying to take them down asap. So while TR works in bottlenecks, in a typical fights (in my case) it's much less useful. But - I think after further testing, and with more micromanagement, this could be improved.

 

 

 

Right now I'm thinking of:

 

1 Torment's Reach
3 Force of Anguish
5 Swift Strikes
7 Rooting Pain
9 Flagellant's Path (not totally sure but it's fun to use, can be useful in many ways, and don't see anything better)

 

..and no idea what on 11, perhaps Stunning Blow then.

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How do you use Torment's Reach ?? In theory, it has a 135 degree arc. In practice, I can't make it work on multiple enemies. I regret taking it. My monk has 10 INT.

 

I like my monk with 10 Str, 16 Con, 16 Dex, 16 Perception. The extra perception combined with Interrupting Blows is nice to watch.

Edited by b0rsuk
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Just wait for a few opponents to group up around your tank then disengage so you can line up a torment's reach to hit all of them.  With 10 intelligence you can easily hit 3 or 4 opponents, and the reach is long enough that you can hit opponents that are spread out a bit.  It really should have a cone display like other cone powers do, that would help a lot with lining it up, it's really good once you can line it up properly.

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Tested Torment's Reach with 22 Int. Now I have to say that range is not only noticable but quite impressive. To the point where I can't prioritize Swift Strikes over TR because I usually have plenty wounds while SS is once-a-15-sec ability. But I don't think I can prioritize Stunning Blow over SS either, because Stunning's only advantage is that it does not require wounds, which means it can be used right in the beginning of the battle. But I'm able to survive first hits, and then I have enough wounds for FoA anyway. And both FoA and SB attack Fortitude. If SB attacked something else it might be worth it in cases FoA fails.

 

I'm not sure why my previous testing on 18 int didn't show much of an effect on TR. Perhaps bad positioning and not enough testing, or perhaps of exponential benefit and now on 22 I hit enemies that were so far away I had to double check if I saw correctly what happened. Still, my issue with TR is that I usually gang up on 1-2 enemies and surround them, trying to take them down asap. So while TR works in bottlenecks, in a typical fights (in my case) it's much less useful. But - I think after further testing, and with more micromanagement, this could be improved.

 

 

 

Right now I'm thinking of:

 

1 Torment's Reach

3 Force of Anguish

5 Swift Strikes

7 Rooting Pain

9 Flagellant's Path (not totally sure but it's fun to use, can be useful in many ways, and don't see anything better)

 

..and no idea what on 11, perhaps Stunning Blow then.

 

Will have to try 22 Int TR then.

 

Flagellant doesn't open until 11, fyi. The wiki says 9, but is wrong.

 

Assuming you don't want a straight up defensive ability like Duality or Crucible

 

Stunning - is fine

Turning Wheel - assume you don't want this because all previous reasons plus even heavier use of wounds with TR/FoA now

Enervating Blows - it reduces fort, which is the FoA resist and is passive. Also base 15s, so pretty long with 22 Int.

Soul Mirror - I think this would be comical on 6 monks, but to get the reflect the initial attack has to miss, so probably not good.

 

If it were me I'd probably try Stunning on whichever two monks were in my first and second slot and Enervating on the rest, mostly because I almost certainly wouldn't want to micro that many stuns a fight.  But if you're into that, 12 5sec stuns...

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Enervating Blows is self-defeating skill, that's the problem. It gives -20 Fortitude which you don't really need vs trash mobs, And against targets you do need, you're not likely to crit them. I suppose there are few enemies in between these two cases but I'm not entirely convinced until I observe the amount of crits I get per battle vs enemies that have high fortitude (trolls, bosses..). Another problem with this skill is that it doesn't do anything in itself. It just lowers defenses that's more or less it. So unless it's followed by something useful like FoA (which has to pass deflection check and then fortitude check) it's not gonna do anything. Of course, that doesn't make skill useless - many debuffs work like that. But I can choose only 6 Talents, so don't want something that has extremely limited usability unless it's a lifesaver in some cases.

 

Regarding defensive talents, I only find Clarity of Agony interesting in my case. It looks like one of those skills that are generally useless and then you run into a boss that CC's you like crazy (much like this one in Mausoleum, with stun and terrified), and then it saves lives.

 

I am purely theorycrafting here so if you have empirical data that would indicate otherwise feel free..

 

 

Agree with the rest but let's say that Stunning Blow is not something to be bothered with during battles with generic mobs. Too much micro then. It's something you heavily micro when it really matters. If it can pass fortitude check of course. I don't even micro Torment's Reach unless it matters. So in a typical battle I don't bother unless for fun. It's autoattacks only.

Edited by The Josip

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Nope, no data.  I'm not a particular fan of it, just less buttons to press.  Although I've run into plenty of high fort trash mobs on PotD and the -20 is going to get a lot more prone crits from FoA.

 

I have no experience with Clarity of Agony because I hate per rest abilities.  I should say hated, since I've come to understand the frequency of resting required in solo.

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