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[Column] World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Is Monk Just the New Druid?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,581MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

With Mists of Pandaria on the edge of release, a lot of World of Warcraft players are looking to create a Monk, one of the most iconic of all character classes in the MMO-niverse. See what we think of the Monk and how it will fare against the other classes. Read on!

So my question stands, is the Monk the new Druid for the game? The reason I say this is because the class can truly spec three entirely different ways. Not a bad thing necessarily, but I have to call into questions a few WoW trends that people may or may not agree with. First is the diluting down of the game into a very base format, especially in regards to character format. Has the game been dumbed down from its 2004 roots? Some say yes, I think more than anything it has been streamlined to offer players the best choices for their characters in the easiest way possible. I don’t think the phrase dumbed down is fair. I do believe that the days of faction only classes like the Paladin and the Shaman are long gone, unless Blizzard suprises us with the next expansion which will hopefully take us to level 100 as well. But I sure miss those days.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's The WoW Factor: Is Monk Just the New Druid?

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • ArdwulfArdwulf Columbus, OHPosts: 281Member
    I don't think "dumbed down" is necessarily accurate either. But there's no question that a lot of character has been scrubbed out of the game in the name of streamlining and balance. One can always hope that some will cone back with the expansion, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member

    Well, Garret, I think you aren't understanding what Monk is here. Blizzard are trying for a new sexy class and there are two trains of logic guiding them to their destination.

     

    1. Diablo monk.

    2. Kung Fu Panda young person movie. Now Shaolin Kung Fu ties into the monastic tradition of the far east, but it has been used as a blockbuster setting for cartoon movies recently.

     

    But in the end we are talking a lot of Panda Kung Fu monks in this expansion.

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    I've been watching my son play MoP beta for months now. Saw the article here, and I thought I'd ask my son to describe the Monk in short for me. He says, "Well, they're fun to play...it's like an upgraded druid". Thought it was kinda funny, seeing the title is "Is the Monk Just the New Druid".

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • RevnikRevnik Somewherein, VAPosts: 13Member Uncommon

    Kung Fu Panda - 2008

    First Official Appearance of Pandaren - 2003 (Warcraft III: Frozen Throne)

    I'm sick of the Kung Fu Panda nonsense. Pandaren have been around longer. Plus, there is nothing kiddie about them. They love to get drunk. 

    If we are going to complain about Kung Fu Pandas, we should complain about Orcs and Humans. They have been used in other places too, except Blizzard used someone else's idea for them. Pandaren were actually Samwise Didier's creation, not Hollywood's.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Though I won't be playing mists since GW2 hits Saturday, here is my two cents.

    Leveling more than one toon is a grind for most people. If you like leveling then great, in this day in the age of instancing, make leveling instanced and normalized the entire rest of the game for capped players. Yes since level cap is going up to 90 make every zone nook and cranny for lvl 90 and since your giving away lvl 80's already to disloyal customers, why not just make it so, so long as you have at least one lvl capped toon you can create instant lvl 85 toons on that server of any class.
  • NibsNibs .Posts: 216Member Uncommon

    Many WoW players (not necessarily you though, Revnik) speak as though WoW was the first MMO. When brought up on this they have been known to respond that ah, yes, but WoW brought it to the mainstream!

    Now many people speak as though Kung Fu Panda was the first black and white bear to do martial arts. And when people bring them up on it guess what? Right back at ya!

     

     

  • garrettgarrett Posts: 260MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    Forget Kung Fu Panda (I had one sentence about that).

    When writing this I realized that the biggest issue with the new class is starting at Level 1.

    After the Death Knight started at 55, honestly I see this as a step backwards for Warcraft.

    Veteran players should be able to start Monks at 55.

     

     

     :p 
  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Meh the monk in eq and eq 2 and the friar in DAoC was done better, way better actualy. Plus when gw2 launches oh man it's going to spell some tough times for wow. I'll be in gw2 avoiding the devastation !
  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,230Member Uncommon

    well, as reason for the lvl 1 blizz named the fact that monks are NO hero class (in oposite to the DK).

    also i guess they just want people to see the new content they introduced with cataclysm - surely not every cba to play a new character till now ( i couldnt for example hehe)

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    So garret every vet should be at 55? Nah I think that's a bad idea, because it's that instant gratification again that is plaguing the mmorpg genre , shoot maybe vets like myself should be able to play a new class in eq and eq2 starting at level 60, considering that game is leaps and bounds harder then wow.
  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by garrett

    Forget Kung Fu Panda (I had one sentence about that).

    When writing this I realized that the biggest issue with the new class is starting at Level 1.

    After the Death Knight started at 55, honestly I see this as a step backwards for Warcraft.

    Veteran players should be able to start Monks at 55.

     

     

    I agree with you, I don't understand why level 1 either. I haven't played WoW in years, but it makes no sense to have them start at level 1 after the DK starting much higher. It does seem a step backwards image

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member

    It really annoys me that modern MMO's have created this mentality of...

    "I don't want to have to level a new character to catch up."

    It makes no sense to me that games are designed with this mentality in mind.  Because when you think about it, the content that you experience while leveling is probably like 95% of the game.  Endgame stuff is normally just a few raids and maybe heroic dungeons or whatever...in either case it involves repeating content over...and over...and over.  But the leveling content...that's the actual world!  And MMO worlds are usually huge.

    So this is so stupid to me...why do people view the vast majority of the game content as just a "grind" to get to that 5% end-game where they can repeat the same raids and dungeons over...and over...?

    I think the answer lies in the fact that the game will not let you do end-game stuff until you are max level...which basically separates you from your friends.  If you make a new character, you really can't play with your max level friends until you are max level.  So you just view the largest portion of game content (leveling) as a "grind" because it's standing in the way of you, and what you really want to do, which is play with your buddies.

    I really hope that newer games knock these ridiculous barriers between players down.  If I want to make a new character, I should be able to play with my buddies from day 1.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon
    Yea, starting your character at level 1 is really a step backwards. Wait what?

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • e1eplayere1eplayer Tallahassee, FLPosts: 23Member
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    It really annoys me that modern MMO's have created this mentality of...

    "I don't want to have to level a new character to catch up."

    It makes no sense to me that games are designed with this mentality in mind.  Because when you think about it, the content that you experience while leveling is probably like 95% of the game.  Endgame stuff is normally just a few raids and maybe heroic dungeons or whatever...in either case it involves repeating content over...and over...and over.  But the leveling content...that's the actual world!  And MMO worlds are usually huge.

    So this is so stupid to me...why do people view the vast majority of the game content as just a "grind" to get to that 5% end-game where they can repeat the same raids and dungeons over...and over...?

    I think the answer lies in the fact that the game will not let you do end-game stuff until you are max level...which basically separates you from your friends.  If you make a new character, you really can't play with your max level friends until you are max level.  So you just view the largest portion of game content (leveling) as a "grind" because it's standing in the way of you, and what you really want to do, which is play with your buddies.

    I really hope that newer games knock these ridiculous barriers between players down.  If I want to make a new character, I should be able to play with my buddies from day 1.

    ^ this. plus "end game" tends to have more epic zones, dungeons, or bosses and knowing that makes the rest of the game, the majority of the game, pale in comparison

  • ForumPvPForumPvP KingstownPosts: 871Member

    Not sure about this Druid theory,but is Monk new vanilla Paladin / Shaman ,i think it will be,which means main target at PvP,people will attack them first,attack on sight when you see one wandering at world ,because so many hates them allready and i mean really hates them,which is good for role playing ,real feelings ,feeling of victory when you kill one and feeling of loss when getting killed by one,i mean Panda Monks ofc,not sure if  other races can even be Monks.

     

    Let's internet

  • xenogiasxenogias warsaw, INPosts: 1,926Member

    I'm sorry Garrett but you are wrong. Not based on opinion since no opinion can be wrong but based on facts. Let me explain.

    You say they are the same because they can tank, heal, dps, and wear leather. I'm sorry but that simply does not make a class the same. You have to look at the mechanics of the class and how they play. Druid and monk are completely diffrent in mechanics, how skills interact with eachother, and how they use resources.

    Look at it this way. You say the DK was truly unique. Well, by your standards of monk and druid being the same then DK wasnt unique at all. It was the same as a warrior. They both wear plate and can only tank or dps right? So they must be the same!

    As far as the dumbing down thing. Its just a spin on words. You call it streamlineing while others call it dumbing down. Truth is the game has gotten ALOT easier over the years.

    As far as not wanting to level from 1? Stop being a lazy gamer. Not many games out there allow you to skip half the game when you start a new playthrough. Sure, they may make it easier by letting you keep your items but you cant skip the boring starting areas can you? This goes for single player and multiplayer games. WoW has given people hierloom items and guild perks that boost xp to make leveling extreemly fast and painless. To complain about starting at level 1 is just being a lazy, entitled gamer.

     

    I will say the article was pretty well written though. Better than I could do in a professional sense. Its just to bad part of it was factually inaccurate.

  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member

    Well I mentioned the problem of having to do essentially old content from level 10-85 as a monk here and on the WoW forums along time ago. That problem isn't actually anything to do with the class, as 10 other classes minus the death knight have to start at level 1. That's just a flaw of any MMO that's been around awhile. Blizzard have added heirlooms to help speed this up & Guild perks for XP also will help. 

    As for Monk being the new Druid, I'd say the similarities end with the ablility for both classes to spec either DPS/Healing/Tanking. One thing about wow classes is that they all seem to play very differently.

  • 7star7star SeoulPosts: 405Member
    Originally posted by Thane

    well, as reason for the lvl 1 blizz named the fact that monks are NO hero class (in oposite to the DK).

    also i guess they just want people to see the new content they introduced with cataclysm - surely not every cba to play a new character till now ( i couldnt for example hehe)

    I understand what you're saying, but I think most people will probably just level with the dungeon finder and stay in the city waiting for instances to pop after they get through the Panderia content.

     

    The reworked stuff is okay, but there's not much incentive to do it. And it's really hard to go through Outland and Northrend again.  If they gave better quest rewards and xp in the reworked zones, people would level that way, but you know how most people are. They take the fastest most efficient route to max.

  • vmopedvmoped Athens, GAPosts: 1,708Member
    Originally posted by 7star
    Originally posted by Thane

    well, as reason for the lvl 1 blizz named the fact that monks are NO hero class (in oposite to the DK).

    also i guess they just want people to see the new content they introduced with cataclysm - surely not every cba to play a new character till now ( i couldnt for example hehe)

    I understand what you're saying, but I think most people will probably just level with the dungeon finder and stay in the city waiting for instances to pop after they get through the Panderia content.

     

    The reworked stuff is okay, but there's not much incentive to do it. And it's really hard to go through Outland and Northrend again.  If they gave better quest rewards and xp in the reworked zones, people would level that way, but you know how most people are. They take the fastest most efficient route to max.

     Yep, one of the aspects of WoW that killed it for me was the lobby attitude in the game.  Also players with Heirlooms (IN MY EXPERIENCE) ruin it even more by rushing through dungeons destroying everything making your presence as usefull as, well, a one legged man at an ass kicking contest.  I also despise gear based games, and still WoW continues its path of gear based progression.  Just not my cup of tea anymore (got stale before WoW even came out).

    Cheers!

    MMO Vet since AOL Neverwinter Nights circa 1992. My MMO beat up your MMO. =S

  • TyratopsTyratops LondonPosts: 98Member

    Hero class is such a cop out excuse for starting at level 1.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    I have played the beta, the only character the monk could possibly be similar to is a hybrid between a shaman and a rogue.  It's healing system is unique to the game.  This character actually wears its armor while in combat, the druid has to go into many forms which in the end I don't like so much so choose not to play it..

     

    In fact the monk is similar in design spec's to paladin not the druid as they both have melee dps, tank and healing talent options.

     

    I also disagree that monk should start at a higher level that is just pure laziness, it takes a veteran less than a few days with heirlooms to get into tbc then a day each side in each of tbc/wrath expansions.  Who is wrong here the lazy ass who cannot be bothered with that or blizzard for starting them off at  level1, I'd personally point at the cry'babies who want it "easier" and then hypocritically  complain its too "easy/stream lined".  That is basically what your article seems to grasp at.

     

    Blizzard is damned if they do and damned if they don't.  We get a class fgs that I can pretend Im bruce lee with and tank a temple, gtfo complaining about it.

     

    /rant on Ewww it starts at 1 Ewww blizzard maybe made the game too easy! Ewww but I want it easy, I want my monk at instant 70 no I want it for free at 90, then I can Ewww sit here complaining that I have nothing to do and Ewww no endgame Ewww its too easy I quit Im off to GW2.  As I said gtfo my monk if you cba its my gain.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • bubalubabubaluba LjubljanaPosts: 434Member
    It is not so bad because you have new continent and it will be nice to do some quest and new story line. They change a lot of things, but i am so happy about pet battle :) Something like heroes of might & magic
  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk LiverpoolPosts: 976Member Uncommon

    Staring at level 1, OMFG, shocker! So if you start a new warrior/paladin/priest/mage you want that to get an auto boost to 80? No. You start new chars at level 1, nuff said. It's hardly likely that there won't be a ton of people making Pandas of all sorts of classes, so I doubt running through content will be a problem.

     

    Streamlined or dumbed down. Well for me, when a game takes choices away from me, choices I used to make for myself, then it also makes me think less about those choices.

     

    So, fewer choices=less thinking= DUMBER game.

     

    I came back to WoW for Cata and I regret ever wasting my money on it. MoP and it's changes certainly makes me think the game is getting even dumber than before so I won't be bothering this time. Maybe if they'd made the classes less generic I'd be temtped to give it a try but that would require a complete change in WoW's philosophy of "streamlining".

     
  • rygard49rygard49 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 975Member

    I might be coming back to WoW specifcally for the Pandaren 1-90 experience. I loved what they did with all of the new zones, and what Creslin said above about the leveling being 95% of the content is completely true. So I don't mind so much starting at leveling 1 with a monk.

    I'm also of the opinion that any new class that comes out needs to be able to fill all three roles in some fashion. There are plenty of Pure DPS classes as is, they need to keep pumping out classes with versatility and hopefully get more people interested in Tanking or Healing.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by jmcdermottuk
    Streamlined or dumbed down. Well for me, when a game takes choices away from me, choices I used to make for myself, then it also makes me think less about those choices.

     
    So, fewer choices=less thinking= DUMBER game.


    So, what choices were taken away? The talents?

    But in each implementation of WoWs talent system the talent trees were 90% mandatory talents. Meaning talents you HAD to take to be effective in your class and role. Yeah, I guess you could be CHOOSE to be a Warrior tank without the talent that gives you 10% more armor but that would just be dumb.

    So, in the previous talent system the talent trees were mostly mandatory talents that you had no choice in taking but the new talent system is dumber because it removes the process of choosing the talents you have no choice in taking? Um, yeah.

    Also, the article would be better without the teary eyes nostalgia "everything was better back in the ol' days" rant.

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