To be honest, I found my str monk rather awkward in LLs and he really only became playable at lvl 60 (access to BURs) and truly enjoyable with double demi bonuses (AC finally comparable to a str tank). My LL play was restricted to big parties and big runs.
One way to make it easier to play in LLs would be to maximize Hide skill and make sure there is a druid or ranger in the party (mass camouflage).
Inactive, non-troll, happy with how I spend my play time and not impressed with the "derailers" trolling HG forums.
Post by ..[Sirloin].. on Mar 31, 2008 14:32:09 GMT
Yes.. it's propably true.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
I'm mostly just doing it as an experience (never had a STR monk and it's been years when I last time played a monk at all). And looking for enjoyable pre-LL playing. As far as I've discussed about this build it should be pretty ejoyable at pre-LLs as all str based builds usually are. (Able to do a lot of dmg and AC that's required isn't so high, you can keep up by just updating gear as often as you can.)
And if you get lvl 40 before doing Xullrae / Lolth / Immo (as I usually do) you can wear URs on those runs. They're much less pain with UR gear.
Mine was pretty nice in pre-Xul as the AC was decent and the damage output as a str monk wasn't bad. Xul/Lolth/Immo wasn't terrible (not like my very first AA with 80 AC) but I seem to remember the AC being a little lacking -- would likely depend on how much you optimize your gear and what you consider reasonable.
LL areas were a little dodgy until level 50 -- kind of like you'll end up playing Hells a bit I expect. Mainly it was just trying to make sure you didn't get swarmed, but could go to town on a group from the edges.
Level 50+ was very enjoyable with mine in LL areas (I started with a base dex and wis of 20 so had a pretty good AC, and way overdid saves). The SR at this point meant implodes in desert and Ssith started missing with regularity, the AC was such that I could easily mass desert maps or charge solo into Ssithrak rooms, and Thid runs were also fun.
In Hells I think I waited until 60 to go just to make sure my AC was higher. Unlike many other tanks, your AC isn't stellar and you live on conceal. You'll also learn to use your monk speed to leave big groups of mobs and rush back in to hit things from a side, so you're not getting beaten on. I recommend looking for BURs when possible, as every point of AC really does help when you're in the high teens or low twenties. The Dis Gloves are a godsend since they give you an extra 10% physical immunity which will be very helpful. When you get Min tag, the various Min torches will be helpful to cover an element. I believe my AC pre-demi was between 121 and 126, without a Strongheart, depending on girding and BURs.
Don't forget you have crit immunity via Wholeness of Body. This has probably the coolest visual effect of any buff, and you've got 60 rounds of it. I used it sparingly, only for tough fights and boss battles and found it lasted a long time -- I was resting for concealment more than this.
Demigod is a huge milestone for str monks, as you can use the Asmo torch which gives always-on crit immunity, 100% fire immunity, +20 soak 20, and another 10% physical immunity. Your AC will also go up 2 points since your DEX and WIS both went up. With mine this changed entirely the way I could play the character in Hells, as no longer did I have to watch out for criticals and big mobs, but could wade in like other tanks. Spawning isn't a problem and in fact the monk speed helps. Without a Strongheart but with Girding, my AC was usually 129 in Hells as a single demi.
Conceal is very important for survival (after you get the Asmo torch you may do ok without it if you're slumming in the upper layers, but it's absolutely crucial until then). Fortunately your Empty Body as a pure monk gives a stellar 80% conceal. The problem is you only get 2 per day. Each one lasts about 6 minutes which is ok, except you'll still need to rest 3 to 4 times a map to keep it running unless the group is moving along real fast. Those breaks where people stop to chat or wait for staggered resters will drive you crazy since they seem to always happen right after you use your EB. I have two recommendations. First, get Displacement whenever possible from a bard or mage, since that 50-55% conceal is typically enough to work ok. Save your Empty Body for after a death or mord to get conceal on ASAP. Second, when the bard / druid / cleric rests, go rest also if you need. The big thing for me about resting to get EB back was I'd lose things like song, shunt, and UEF, then have to spend ages begging for them or go without. These are a huge thing for str monks -- you need all those buffs much more than a Tin Can or Rogue does (the Tin Can may not care if Shunt is up, but you will definitely notice; the Rogue will probably have the same AC unbuffed as you do with everything running and has permanent 70%ish conceal). Hence if you know people are resting and going to rebuff right after, grab your rest then also so you'll get all the buffs back (including Displacement) and have your 2 EB's ready to go. Using these methods I typically rest only at the end of a Hells map along with everyone else, and sometimes not at all if there's a good caster who redoes displacement.
As for Mass Camo, I found a pure monk doesn't have a lot of skill points. I took Craft Armor, Discipline, and Tumble. Other skills I'd likely add with more points would be Listen and Craft Weapon. Adding points in Hide just to get conceal from a druid that may or may not cast it, and end up not giving any more than Displacement anyway, just seems too expensive. Good bards should have Displacement and any Wizard can get some.
Edit: added note about Crit Immunity via Wholeness.
After playing a minotaur version of this to lvl26 I can only say it kicks ass at least pre-LL.
Now that I read Yomi's huge post, I must remind everyone of the 9 rounds/use (infinite uses) 50% conceal cloak that is available in the store (merc's emporium). Damn, I forgot it myself. Think about it, it lasts only a while but infinite uses, cmon. When you run out of empty body, you could use that. It takes only 3 hotkeys and a bit time to get used to. Going to get it myself next time I play.
Btw saw a strenght monk today with a bit less ab/dmg, but he had taken Devastating critical. If this build is meant to be for fun, then I suggest squeezing in Dev Crit. 17-20/x3 HUGE criticals with 7 attacks/round. Will probably reincarnate with Dev Crit for the fun of it. Cheers!
"Araxis Sunsoar: brb, need water Kuroi [Nightwolf]: is water some kind of a drink? Rin Tinntinn: it's an inqredient in beer Kuroi [Nightwolf]: ohh Friar Toque the Angry Angel: hmm. beer