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Diablo III Monk Class Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

IGN and Kotaku have posted a new preview of time spent with a demo version of Diablo III, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. The preview details some of the capabilities of the newly revealed martial arts focused Monk class.

From IGN

all of the Monk's abilities are governed by how quickly the player clicks the mouse in succession on a target. You have half a second to click on the same target again and start your combo. Each attack has three separate levels, each one with impressive effects imparted on the third level. The first attack is Crippling Wave, a debuffing attack that allows you to decrease the speed of your target on the first blow for a limited amount of time, reduce the damage your enemies cause for a limited amount of time on the second strike and finally refreshes these strikes and extends the effects on the third blow. Another attack that can be wielded by the Monk is the Seven Sided Strike, which allows the Monk to teleport between enemies and land up to nine strikes (when fully upgraded) on enemies. However, the most iconic attack of the Monk is the Exploding Palm attack, which allows players to inflict significant damage on the first and second strikes. The third attack of this character imparts a bleeding state on the target, causing it to lose health consistently, and if the enemy dies within this state, it explodes, causing damage on nearby enemies. What's awesome about the Monk is that these three attacks can be assigned to the left, right and Tab buttons, allowing for quick swapping of moves in the midst of battle, creating unique attack chains. For example, players can start with a Seven Sided Strike, switch to a Crippling Wave and finish with an Exploding Palm strike.

To further aid the Monk, players can select and boost the Force Without Thought skill, a passive counterattack ability that allows players to dodge incoming strikes and return a blow with thirty percent force (capping at fifty percent). Players can also cast Inner Sanctuary, an ability that erects a magical barrier that enemies can't pass through, and Impenetrable Defense, a temporary shield that reflects projectiles and allows you to dodge incoming melee attacks. There are also a couple of abilities and skills that can double as attacks against enemies. The first is Radiant Visage, a power that calls down holy light to blind enemies for three to five seconds and reduces their chance to hit, giving you free strikes before they know what hit them. This can be coupled with Way of the One Hundred Fists, a dashing move that imparts multiple hits that eventually culminates in an area of effect strike. The cool element about One Hundred Fists is that you can trigger it and immediately switch to another attack, with the hits on an enemy counting as your clicks. For example, I could hit one hundred strikes and then switch over to Exploding Palm, instantly placing a bleed state on an enemy.
From Kotaku:
As I progressed through the desert, strong enemies began to appear, including members of the demonic Fallen, who took more than a few mouse clicks to dispatch. The Monk's damage was fine against these larger creatures, but the differences between the Monk and the more powerful Barbarian became readily apparent the first time I took a heavy hit. The Monk isn't all that good at going toe-to-toe with enemies. The best tactic seemed to be to jump in, hit the enemy with a quick barrage of strikes, and then move before you get hit.

This became even more clear once I started running into large groups of enemies. Running in, feet and staff swinging wildly, did not work. I was quaffing healing potions like they were going out of style, and I actually managed to die. The key to large groups is the Monk's Seven-Sided Strike ability. A semi-ranged attack, the Seven-Sided Strike has you tearing through groups of enemies in a flashing display of holy power, leaving song dead, and some weakened. Combine it with the explosive effect of the Palm, and you've got a very effective way of taking out large groups without dying in the process.
Head over to the links below to read the full previews.

IGN: Diablo III Monk Preview
Kotaku: Diablo III Monk Preview
Blizzard Entertainment (add to watch list)
Diablo III (add to watch list)
Buy Diablo III


 

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