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Mists of Pandaria: The Monk
Mists of Pandaria
Guild and General Changes
New Race: Pandaren
New Class: Monk
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Dungeons & Raids
Models and Items
Zones and Questing
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Pandaren masters have chosen to share their ancient martial arts with young fighters in both the Alliance and Horde. Harnessing their inner strength and potent "chi" energy, Monks are extremely capable in every role: damage, defense, and healing.
Monks are masters of bare-handed combat, choosing to draw their weapons only for devastating finishing moves. Monk healers bring harmony and balance to every group, healing even the most grievous of injuries with ancient remedies and focused spiritual arts. And few can hope to out-last the unquenchable prowess of the Monk Brewmaster, whose empowering beverages and unpredictable combat style allow them to absorb incredible amounts of punishment.
Brewmaster and Windwalker specs use Energy, Mistwalker uses Mana.
Stance of the Fierce Tiger
Players can collect up to 4 Chi. Formerly, this resource was called "Force" and there were light or dark forces, but that was deemed too complicated. Many abilities generate Chi, while several significant abilities utilize these charges.
They wear leather armor, so the tank and DPS monks will want the same Agility-based armor that rogues and Feral druids wear. The healing monk will want the Intellect-based armor worn by Balance and Resto druids. For weapons, the two signature items are fists and staves. At the moment, we are focusing the Windwalker on fists and the Brewmaster on staves, but we might give players more flexibility than that. The melee monks can also use weapons like one-handed maces, axes, and swords. The Mistweaver can use healer staves, maces, axes, and swords. Monks can’t use shields, and no melee class uses ranged weapons any longer.
Tanking "Brewmaster" monks have drinks which provide short-term buffs that restore Chi or Energy.
Healing similar to Discipline priests, can heal or 'smite.' Will involve a lot of non-targeted healing--could heal competitively without ever having to target a friendly player.
Healing monks will use mana--too tricky to balance a non-mana healing class.
Sample Windwalker mechanic: Summon what are similar to Diablo III health globes that heal players when they run through them.
Roll may cost mana in healer stance. It may also gain other abilities, through talents, that heals and does damage to targets you "roll" through.
However, like other classes, the monk will have three different specializations available at level 10. For now, we are calling these for the melee damage spec, Brewmaster for the tanking spec, and Mistweaver for the healing spec. The Brewmaster should have the feel of dodging and weaving in combat, reminiscent of the drunken master from martial arts flicks. The Windwalker will be the kung fu master who beats the crap out of opponents with fists and feet. The Mistweaver is partially the wise healer archetype, but like the old men in martial arts movies, he can beat down his enemies as well.
While implementing Death Knights was problematic, Blizzard felt it was time to implement another new class. It was easy to select Monks once the pandaren race was decided upon.
We settled on the pandaren race first, and after that, the new class was a no-brainer. We actually did discuss whether World of Warcraft needed a new class at this time. As awesome as they are, it was disruptive to add the death knight, and it took us some time to get them feeling fun and balanced. Ultimately, though, we decided the time was right, and at that point the big decision was whether the new class would be a Brewmaster specifically, or a monk that you could play with a Brewmaster kit. At the moment, we’re going with the tank being the Brewmaster, but that could change.
Art and Animations
Monks were influenced by moves in Kung Fu movies--all of their animations are completely new. They have a huge number of animations compared to other classes and races.
The Monk made the most sense once we really settled on designing the Pandaren. It’s very funny, because first was just using Pandaria. Then it was, can we make them a playable race? And then we asked, how about making a new class? Once we realized that we could pull it off in one expansion, we looked at a lot of references, like Kung Fu movies for one. It’s a very distinct feel. The Brew Master has the Drunken Stance, and it opens up a whole slew of new animations. In fact, the entire class is new animations. In other classes, you may have about ten spells all using the same basic character animation with just a different effect. With the monk, everything looks different and every move has its own unique animation. We want the Monk to feel distinct from every other class, and the fighting class style is how we do this. No auto-attack and all of that really play into making them unique.
We are even trying to have the monk healing spec use a lot of punches and kicks. While monk characters will care about weapons, and weapons contribute to their damage and healing, you don’t see the weapons in a lot of attacks. We save them for some of the big finishers.
From a non-gameplay standpoint, the most noticeable difference is the huge number of animations the monk has. When you think of a magic-using class, you think of a lot of splashy spell effects. With the monk we thought it made more sense to invest heavily in animation, and the artists really delivered on that.
Roll is intended to be the signature Monk move, just how Death Grip was for Death Knights. Visually, it's a lot of fun to watch a panda roll around--but it also seems like it could be quite overpowered when used as a speed boost on a short cooldown.
One of the victories we had with the death knight came when we introduced a fun ability at relatively low level that became synonymous with the class. I’m talking about Death Grip, which lets the death knight yank enemies over to him. We decided we needed something similar for the monk, so we came up with Roll. Roll is like a combination between warrior Charge and mage Blink. Unlike those two abilities, Roll can be used sideways or backwards as well. It looks great to see a character, a pandaren especially, tuck into a somersault. It’s a lot of fun.
Monks initially were those who brought hope to the oppressed Pandaren under Mogu rule through song and stories. Weapons were forbidden among slaves, so the Monks taught their fellow Pandaren how to fight by harnessing positive energy, or Chi. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to take control.
Pandaren get a cutscene with the Alliance and the Horde, showing the current situation and the personality of their faction leader.
Garrosh is berserk that he's missing a fleet of ships, after using the floor in front of his throne to show animated versions of naval battles he's instigated and won against the Alliance. There were major victories off the coast of Tanaris and Tol Barad, with a supply root to Booty Bay established. He ends up strangling a goblin who brings him news of Alliance counter-attacks and reveals that a ship has been lost. He ignores advice to focus on the future instead of the past, and demands payment of debts from realms in his power. This clearly sets the stage for how Garrosh will spiral out of control later.
The Alliance scene is more subdued, taking place in Varian's war room. The generals calmly analyze the situation and decide to try to rescue their survivors and cargo. The cutscene ends with an epic shot of your character flying over the sea on an Alliance airplane.
Q: What’s the story behind the pandaren monks?
Nearly 12,000 years ago, the empire now known as Pandaria was ruled by a monstrous race of warlords known as the Mogu (see below). Mogu taskmasters forbade their slaves to carry weapons. During these dark times, pandaren monks tried to lift the spirits of their beleaguered brothers and sisters. They were the storytellers, the brewmasters, and the healers who helped knit their oppressed society together in the midst of darkness.
As the Mogu empire began to fray, the pandaren saw an opportunity for a revolution. Because they had no weapons, they trained common people to fight with their unarmed fists and feet. They mastered the use of positive energy -- or chi -- to empower themselves. The revolution itself was a bloody affair that shattered an empire and left a terrible toll among combatant and civilian alike, but ultimately the Mogu were overthrown and a new empire was founded.
Although pandaren monks have since incorporated weapons into their attacks, they remain focused on chi as a source of power and are still devastating when fighting with open hands. In the wake of events on the Wandering Isle, pandaren monks will travel to key places throughout Azeroth to share their wisdom with young Alliance and Horde trainees.
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