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3.05 Monk Force of Anguish ability analysis and tentative build centered on it. (uber crowd controller)

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In my latest suicidal melee party POTD playtrough FoA on an Monk un-optimized for it emerged head and shoulder above all abilities (low cheese melee party only context), again and again as the trump card enabling me to win otherwise lost fights. 


Enemies just aren't quite as threatening or damaging when they're resting peacefully with their wheels up .. (prone affliction is hard crowd control preventing target's actions but doesn't debuff quite as strongly as paralyze, stun, petrify.)


Force of Anguish causes a primary(melee or ranged) attack vs deflection (at autoattack attack and attack_recovery animation speeds) vs deflection that, should it not miss does autoattack damage and triggers a secondary hit-check vs fortitude for knockback and long base duration prone affliction. (hard CC)


When optimized for, it should be able to drop 5 enemies in around 3 seconds at normal speed for 10+ seconds.



The accuracy used for the vs Deflection hit-check is the accuracy for auto-attack + 1*Lvl bonus accuracy per char level all(most) abilities get. 


Base_class_accuracy + (Perception -10) + 3*(Lvl-1) + Weapon Focus + OnWeapon Accuracy + 1*Lvl + SingleWeaponStyle + Transcendent Suffering/TLP + Best of (Disciplined Barrage (fighter) 20, Scroll of valor 15, War Paint potion 15 ,Eldrich aim potion 15, Zealous focus paladin aura 6, gallant's focus aura 4, Priest Blessing 5 lvl 1 spell ) + Survival Accuracy Bonus vs + Marked Target effect + Coordinating weapon + etc etc


Of course we need that initial strike to not miss (and strike as often as possible, more on that bellow) but what also concerns us greatly is the SECOND FORTITUDE CHECK. We really need that not to miss, moreover we really like it to crit for extra length prone duration.


So lets take a look on the accuracy for the critical fortitude hit-check keeping in mind POTD foes typically have shamelessly high fortitude resists.


The accuracy used for the vs Fortitude hit-check is similar to the accuracy used for the damage hit-check with a few key differences.


-accuracy on weapon applies (Not a difference BUT not all weapon attack abilities benefit from this - notably ranger's stunning strikes, so lets appreciate that we do get it here.)

-accuracy from 1 handed style ,Marksman, Transcendent Suffering, The Long Pain DO NOT APPLY (this sadly disqualifies unarmed melee and ranged attacks as our main means of spamming wheels up goodwill. The measured restraint rapier available early provides +17 accuracy THAT WORKS for FOA/STUNNING FIST).


This forces us to use accurate weapons (noble rapiers,daggers;peasant spears or ruffian clubs). Ruffian falls right off without re-training since blesca's labor with is potentially 21 ACC is only available in act 3. Plus it does crush damage with is the same damage type as the melee and ranged fists available to the character. 


Sadly not a lot of good spears are available in this game, especially for a goodly aligned party that forgoes Cladhalíath. Sadly the "disoriented" debuff on Vile Loner's is applied after the fortitude check. (useless when you want chain 1 hit prones.)


ATTACK SPEED AND RECOVERY (at autoattack attack and attack_recovery animation speeds)

Spears also 1 second attack animation vs 0.636.. seconds for a rapier attack (at 10 dex). Again noticeable when the goal is to wheel up ALL THE ENEMIES STILL STANDING ASAP.


While not much more could be done or gained with the attack component of the animation (except massive DEX investment), lets see what can be done about the attack_recovery component. (it is possible and we would like to drop attack_recovery completely)


Without dropping a page long formula covering the worst case scenarios in terms of complexity we should first investigate how it works at low levels (early game) without much modifiers in place.


Attack Recovery for 1 handed use. 10 dex, Plate armor on. 


 1 * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5) = 2.5 seconds for single spear and 2 handed melee weapons. 

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5) = 1.5833 seconds for rapiers and stilettos. (rapiers and stilettos are a tiny bit faster than the rest of the small melee weapons).


Attack Recovery when dual wielding. 10 dex, Plate armor on. Dual Rapiers

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5) = 1.05555 . seconds 


AS LONG AS CURRENT WEAPON RECOVERY > 0, DUAL WIELDING and 2 weapon style SPEED UP RECOVERY FOR PRIMARY ATTACK ABILITIES. (monk foa,rogue sap, fighter sundering blow, etc.. ).


Same as above + 2 weapon fighting talent

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - 0.2) = 0.84444


Same as above + lightning strikes

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - 0.25 - 0.2) = 0.5805 . Recovery is STILL almost halving our DPS ; speed to unload FoA fortitude hit checks as it still lasts almost as long as the attack component 19/30 = 0.6333.


Same as above + Suppress lightning strikes with potion of DAOM.

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - 0.5 - 0.2) = 0.31666 


Easier fix for removing the recovery would be to drop the armor (and its hefty recovery penalty). Luckily monks get the iron wheel perk at level 11 (probably 13 since flaggelant path's ability go get around choke points cannot always be circumvented via extra movement speed. (something up to exceptional upgraded hide armor + durgan should do should fine for the late game. Perhaps even Angio's Gambeson to save up a bit on DAOM potion expenses ) ?

Having low recovery from armor helps all other combat related abilities (casting, drinking potions, weapon switching, etc ..



We could try stacking a bit more attack speed ...

"speed" property on the main weapon doing the FoA strikes (Daenysis/march dagger) could help but would cost us accuracy .


same as above daom potion +  Sword of Daenysis

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - ((1.2 * 1.5) - 1) - 0.2) = 0.



Spelltongue rapier is a notable mid-late game solution for the off hand, if you're not at 0 recovery yet and the speed buff will remain for the long pain as well. Will also prolong the duration of the likes of swift strikes or DOAM potion on occasion.


10 dex + plate, dualing very accurate rapier + spelltongue rapier in offhand. SwiftStrikes on.

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - ((1.25 * 1.15) - 1) - 0.2) = 0.3826


same as before but with durgan in accurate rapier

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + 0.5 - ((1.25 * 1.15 * 1.15) - 1) - 0.2) = 0.1550


same as 2 above but with durgan in plate

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + (0.5 - 0.15) - ((1.25 * 1.15) - 1) - 0.2) = 0.22430 (might like it better that way with limited durgan budget since it would apply to both weapons and also other actions)


Is vulnerable attack ever worth it ?! IF you can eliminate recovery with it and IF you're damage is above the 20% DR cut off , then it is free damage.

(19 / 30) * (1 / 0.6) * (0.5 + (0.5 - 0.15) - ((1.25 * 1.15) - 1) - 0.2 + 0.2) = 0.4354166. NOT good. Wear lighter armor or speed weapon/durgan weapon/gauntlets of swift action.


IT IS QUITE MORE DIFFICULT (restricting) to eliminate weapon recovery with a weapon + shield config. Especially if you want to squeeze in vulnerable attack. Lets see if we could make that happen with plate :) .


(1.2*1.5 *1.15 * 1.15 * 1.15-1) - (0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.2)= 0.03757.

Almost there with speed weapon, DAOM, durganized shield, durganized weapon, gauntlets of swift action. Assuming here the durgan bonus from the shield is also multiplicative (haven't gotten arount to testing this yet).


A stronger setup ,gains shield deflection/reflection benefits on top of everything else, but more expensive steel durgan wise. Perhaps worthwhile in a soloing context. 

Gloves of swift action and durgan steel are limited resources in full melee party context.



What do we do when the wounds run out ? (friendly fire for more wounds? ; stunning fists will also have stellar accuracy but short stun duration and you're likely to use the stun charges early in the fight before acquiring the wounds for the prone spam; hard hitting long pain summoned fists are a great option for damage output and will not take long to activate in a attack speed sensible build.)




Tentative build. Keep in mind its primary role is to keep EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE PRONED, PRONED ALL THE TIME.



Possible starting stats 18,16,8,18,14,4 .


Maxing perception for best chances of crits on fortitude hit-checks, or at least guarantee graze against boss type units.

High CON (no wounds no abilities).

High INT (prolong the disable).

High Might. Mostly wasted early on rapiers BUT will shine at high levels with scaling ranged fists (TLP).

Dex can dip a bit at 0 weapon attack recovery. Low armor recovery should also help the other combat actions (weapon switch, potion gulping, scrolls, spells, abilities).

Dumped RES. Will cost us but there was nothing else to dump.


Swift Strikes. (TR is much better at low level but FoA will eat most out wounds soon enough.)

WF noble

Force of Anguish

2 Weapon Style

Stunning Blows

Lightning Strikes (kind of wasted on rapiers/better on fist/best on late TLP)


Veteran Recovery

Clarity of Agony

WF peasant // 

Fllagelant's Path

Apprentice SA (mainly for TLP)

Iron Wheel


Resonant Touch



bit more info into TLP.

Edited by peddroelm
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I've always been a fan of CC melee builds, and yours seems very well researched. Is optimising attack speed to such a high degree really worth it, though? It seems like the main restriction of this setup is the amount of Wounds you gain, rather than the speed at which you use them. Maximising Accuracy to ensure that every Force of Anguish you throw out hits as reliably as possible thus seems like a better approach. Though you'd admittedly lose out on the DPS if you go in that direction.

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