Monks under review

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Jirato
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Monks under review

Post by Jirato » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:00 pm

I've heard several people complain about monks not really being all that fun to play ever since the Thaumaturgy guidelines rolled out, and we're currently reviewing some ways to make them better. If anyone has some feedback they would like to share about how they personally feel about playing a monk, or ideas on how to make them a bit more interesting, please share here. We've already got a few things in mind, but wouldn't hurt to hear from the player perspective.

Note that the purpose of this thread is specifically about monk play style and potential changes/additions to make them more interesting to play, not to change/complain about the Thaumaturgy guidelines.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Mafuane
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Mafuane » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:05 pm

As a newber who just saw a monk for the first time today, they seem pretty neat! I might even switch over to a monk so I look forward to it myself and any tweaks going forward should be great! I appreciate games that are still tweaking and taking player feedback. I could suggest a exclusive craft, maybe when pottery is finalized or some sort of holy symbol charm via woodworking? (I love crafting). Looking over the abilities, I think they're fair and should be fun for the right rpers (who enjoy rp, combat support, and crafting hobbies)
Hope you get more feedback than just mine though!
thanks for cloking it up as always! :)

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Jirato » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:51 pm

Current results of this review and planned/completed changes can be viewed on our public Trello board here: https://trello.com/c/N7sSssFy/85-monast ... hancements

Feel free to share thoughts and ideas.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Marauder
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Marauder » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:15 pm

"Consider possibility of tweaking thaumaturgy guidelines and allowing monks to battle against nethrim with a heavy emphasis on using thaumaturgy in combat. Still on the fence with this, let me know your opinions on the BBS."

I honestly support this quite a bit. Mainly because it's very hard for Monks to perform self defense when they're not allowed to fight much, if at all, and this hampers their ability to survive where they are most useful; in a party. Not everyone gets Templar tier guarding and thus it's often the Monk that falls under fire and gets pretty much instagibbed due to a lack of basic defenses on their end. It'd make them more useful in a party in general, not just when protected by a Templar, if they could raise their defensive combat skills and maybe pick up a staff to train with if they're willing.

"Possibly some other sort of buff type spell in addition to spirit augmentation. Looking for ideas."

Well, if Augmentation is using thaumaturgy to defend a portion of an ally, why can't they get an advanced but limited additional ability that syncs with it? By that, I mean, if it's possible to guard someone using Light for a fair period of time, would it not also be possible to have an additional ability that stores and then triggers healing upon the targeted body location getting damaged enough? It could dissipate harmlessly upon a certain amount of time passing much like Augmentation, but would add another layer of likely more limited, but still very useful defense. Especially in multi-ally groups. Imagine not having to worry about your heavily-armored bodyguard that much because the moment they get hurt enough, they receive immediate healing without you intervening so you have more time to focus on healing the far less-armored Dwaedn who decided to seek glory by following your posse into combat.

It could, too, work based on whichever limb gets hit to mid-moderately wounded first and then heal that area back up a certain amount. Alternatively, you could code it as a life save sort of ability. First limb to hit bleeding status is healed back to mid-moderately wounded with a moderate cooldown for reapplication after activating, so the Monk can't just constantly reapply it to win a battle they otherwise would have lost numbers in, if they won at all.

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Tamsin » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:01 pm

I was curious how Sanctuary is planned to work.

By banish all nethrim, does that mean a Monk would be able to walk into a room, drop the spell, and poof no more Nethrim?

Or maybe it just means no new nethrim can spawn into the room?

Very powerful either way. Maybe too strong considering some town's primary defenses... I don't know! :)

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Noctere » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:09 am

My 2 cents on "banish all nethrim" would be a kind a fear spell that causes any nethrim in the area to run away very quickly. Wouldn't lend much too much to any combat scenario as any target would quickly move to another room but would provide a nice way to run into or allow a party to escape from a nethrim infested area. Would probably need some sort of limit of what kind of nethrim it would be effective on and where it could be used.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Jirato » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:32 am

Noctere wrote:My 2 cents on "banish all nethrim" would be a kind a fear spell that causes any nethrim in the area to run away very quickly. Wouldn't lend much too much to any combat scenario as any target would quickly move to another room but would provide a nice way to run into or allow a party to escape from a nethrim infested area. Would probably need some sort of limit of what kind of nethrim it would be effective on and where it could be used.
That's what I meant by banish, not just making them go *POOF* and disappear, lol.

Also, the moment the monk leaves, the sanctuary is diapelled.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Jirato » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:33 am

It would also be somewhat costly. Not so much that it wouldn't be useful for a brief respite in a hectic battlefield, but it's totally not something they'd go around casting in every room.
[GMCHAT Uyoku]: Octum is when the octumbunny comes around and lays pumpkins everywhere right?
[GMCHAT Rias]: Dimmes says "oh hai :) u need healz? ill get u dont worry thaum lasers pew pew pew lol"
[CHAT - GameMaster Rias would totally nuke Rooks]: Here's how elemancy works: The freeblegreeble and the zippoflasm have to be combined with the correct ration of himbleplimp, then you add the gargenheimer and adjust the froopulon for the pattern you want, apply some tarratarrtarr, yibble the wantaban, and let 'er rip!

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Rias » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:35 am

Tamsin wrote:Very powerful either way. Maybe too strong considering some town's primary defenses... I don't know! :)
I'd advise such towns against putting all their eggs in one basket!
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Tamsin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:40 am

Rias wrote:I'd advise such towns against putting all their eggs in one basket!
Would you mind standing at the gates and looking spooky dangerous 24/7, for a little bit, until we can find them a good replacement? <3

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Nobody » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:24 pm

After a little while of playing a monk, my thoughts are these:
- The herbalism tasks feel like they pre-date the change to grinding giving no skill gains. I'd recommend the grind based tasks give a flat 0.2 herbalism gain, or a graded gain (0.1 for inferior, 0.2 for average, 0.3-0.4 for potent). This isn't necessary though, as herbalism feels like a small part of being a monk, so limited gains haven't really felt hampering.
- If herbalism is intended to be a large part of playing a monk, I'd recommend adding an expanded poultice making ability. This could also potentially resolve the RP disconnect of Dimmes and Sophia asking for herbs, which are not commonly known to be medicinal, for medicinal purposes while not teaching monks how to use those herbs to benefit others.*
- I don't think making the combat restrictions lighter would help, at least not at present. With the restrictions currently spelled out as they are the guild likely draws people who are not interested in combat, or who want to do support roles in combat.
- There is something difficult to describe that I'll make an attempt at. Playing a monk and thinking about compassion makes me feel the need to seek out people to aid, but there is no obviously visible need in CLOK. The orphanage looks like the best kept orphanage ever, there are no visible poor people in the streets, and people seem to be largely self sufficient already. Those things are good, I imagine many of them are the result of previous players' RP, in and out of the monastic order, and that's awesome. But over all I feel like monks need to be needed and they're only nice-to-have. I don't have a solution for that, it isn't really a proper problem, but it's the feel I feel.

I hope that feedback is helpful.

* I've thought about requesting to speak with Dimmes to ask him how to use these herbs, but that feels like using RP to beat up on the devs to me, so I haven't wanted to do that. I also haven't wanted to use poultice make to produce a bunch of experimental poultices when I expect that most of them will do nothing and donating them feels wrong for the same reason (I expect they're useless). If a monk-only expanded poultice ability gave poultices that were useless for players but useful for towns (treating warts, infections, helping bones to heal properly, etc.) I'd totally be greatful for the herb-sink and having something to donate that'd be legitimately useful for a town.

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Jaster » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:46 am

I personally think it would be cool if the "banish nethrim" effect was only active with the monk holding a channel of thaumaturgy, causing them to flee from the monk any time they are in the same room. Of course, this would mean the monk would have to lose constant stamina to holding the channel to maintain the effect, but this way it would follow them where they go, instead of there having to be a cast and a banishment of the effect when the monk leaves the room.

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Vitello » Tue May 28, 2019 7:12 pm

A bit of thread necromancy...

I really support the idea of being allowed to combat Nethrim. I have to admit at the same time though that I'd be tempted to go 'combat crazy' if I could heal myself.

Maybe run a test week maybe month and see how it goes? Being a monk requires a lot of responsible rp, if a monk did break rules and fight non-nethrim they should as a responsible player report it to the gms for review.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Nobody » Tue May 28, 2019 9:03 pm

With the rescue templar task re-enabled, you can do some fighting of nethrim, just with a limited focus. But the task description does explicitly say you can deal with any nethrim as necessary.

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Vitello » Wed May 29, 2019 9:11 am

Is there a way to trance thau against nethrim?
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Nobody » Wed May 29, 2019 9:45 am

Vitello wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:11 am
Is there a way to trance thau against nethrim?
autocast <target> should work

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Rias » Wed May 29, 2019 1:54 pm

Monks do get a couple powerful anti-nethrim abilities, and there's never been an issue with monks using those when a situation demands. I've cheered as I've watched more than a few liches and wraiths be vaporized by blinding columns of light at the hands of monks. It'd be fun to see them get a few more options at handling nethrim, too. The sanctuary thing sounds very cool. Another idea might be some kind of crowd control ability that's less energy-intensive than Sunbeam/Radiance/Sanctuary, and stuns/mesmerizes nethrim. Even maybe let the Flare ability have a use as a short-term blindness-induced stun against non-nethrim (that's not a thing already, is it? It's been a while).

So yeah, I've never had a particular issue with monks having the ability to wrangle nethrim, or putting those abilities to use when called for. The issue has instead always been monks seeking to dedicate themselves to nethrim-hunting, or training up combat skills "just in case", or just flat out wanting to be that exception-to-the-norm martial monk. Which has always confused me, because if that's the kind of of character you want to be: join the Templar. That's literally the reason they exist - to fill that exact role. A thaumaturge with martial prowess who is expected to spend their time defending people and hunting nethrim.

I do understand and sympathize with the worries that monks, being forbidden from conventional combat training and practices, are extra-vulnerable in dangerous situations even with their defensive Flare ability. I don't think the solution should be "let monks do combat like everyone else", though. That would severely diminish their identity. I've suggested a sort of "zen dodge" ability in the past, where monks can put some of their Thaumaturgy skill toward dodge rolls (and I believe there's something similar to this on that Trello card). This way they could have a more reliable defense in dangerous situations without having to go out into normal combat and grind up typical combat skills.

For those that just find monks boring because they'd prefer to spend a significant amount of time going out and beating up baddies - again, join the Templar instead. That's what they're there for.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Vitello » Wed May 29, 2019 3:01 pm

I remember when monks were combat oriented and the change to non-combat demonstrates the huge potential for change and adjustment.

I am not saying rip down the walls completely but modify.

Permit Monks to face wild nether but the Templar still hold jurisdiction over sentient nether, bandits, infested, cultists and so on. The boundary of sentience/humanity could be the line between monk and templar (and would explain the need for heavy armor, weapons, and warhorses)

As an example a monk could drive off (some of) the nether creatures in Deadwood, but not raise a hand against the cultists overrunning a certain hamlet.... though they could go and heal the templar and nuke any shades that come along.

We've tried both ends of the spectrum so why can't we test the middle?
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Rias » Wed May 29, 2019 3:48 pm

Vitello wrote:I remember when monks were combat oriented
I think you're misremembering. Monks were originally encouraged to train unarmed combat in the interest of self defense (blade slap and arrow deflect were made just for them, so they could better avoid attacks without having to carry weapons) but were still expected to avoid combat when possible. Unfortunately, the great majority of monks wanted to be the exception who was instead that powerful martial monk, and many went so far as to train weapons and armor as well. There was nothing actually stopping them from doing so, and so most did not refrain. Hence the increases in encouraging monks to refrain from those activities. It wasn't a change in concept or expectations, it was a change in clarity and enforcement.

This was an IC change as much as it was an OOC one. Poor Dimmes was aghast at how many of his monks were running around with spears and axes and swords, spending their time out on the field of battle. That's Templar work, not Monk work. After dealing with a shocking number of Monks asking him why their light had left them, he cracked down on the Monastic training program and removed the physical self-defense aspects, opting to look to less-troublesome methods (such as the Flare ability). That combat skills were ever taught at all was solely in the interest of self-defense, not offense, and only because the Lost Lands is an incredibly dangerous place. Unfortunately, teaching any physical combat skill proved too much of a temptation for most members.

Monks were never meant to be combat-seekers. I do feel they're fine going out to assist other combatants via healing and crowd control and such, and yes, blasting nethrim with that deliciously nether-searing Sunbeam. If it's decided that anything in the game outside personally going on the offensive in combat and seeking out battle is just too boring and monks are therefore unviable or impossible to enjoy playing, I think that's a different issue to address, by making something other than combat be fun and worthy of spending time on. I don't believe the solution needs to be one that starts making exceptions to what has always been a core aspect of Monk design and lore.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Vitello » Wed May 29, 2019 4:35 pm

Oh I do remember all that. I remember Acarin being one of the original monks (Seriously how the heck could you have a guy like him as a monk since practically the start of the game and not 'notice'). I remember Gad using armor and weapons and Lae using a quarterstaff because once upon a time we didn't have blade slap, arrow deflection yet or even spirit augmentation yet. I also remember monks having an ability that increased their fist damage and making it crushing instead of bludgeon. The additional attacks of the Brofists was originally a concept proposed for monks. I remember this going on for months and months AND MONTHS without a word; not even a hint this was even slightly off. When 5 people online was an AMAZING number for us the rp was pretty limited so you couldn't miss that this stuff was going on.


I also remember that back then we had monks where as now we don't.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Rias » Wed May 29, 2019 4:54 pm

It's interesting to note that of the three examples you provided, two left the Monastic Order, and the other had to abandon the combat-focused playstyle because it wasn't supported and got them into no small amount of trouble. That they were all given time to try and come into better alignment with their guild guidelines or that their individual cases were not publicly announced to the world at large as problem cases does not mean that they were in the right or officially supported.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Kiyaani » Wed May 29, 2019 5:44 pm

This topic certainly took a turn. I'll start by quoting the initial post which states: Note that the purpose of this thread is specifically about monk play style and potential changes/additions to make them more interesting to play, not to change/complain about the Thaumaturgy guidelines.

Those guidelines are very specific.

However, it's good to see you back and so active, Vitello, even if I don't agree with much of what you're trying to get across here. I also remember the times and events alluded to, however, I wouldn't really use them as good examples of adhering to the Monastic Order's codes of conduct, even by the standards of that time.

And even if the guidelines were not posted until after those events, they were certainly around informally well before that, both on the wiki and in-game. None of these guidelines should come across as new or surprising, even if they were not listed out so specifically as they are now. And there have almost always been consequences to openly defying them, even if they were not always noticed by the full playerbase. None of this is new.

I have quite a bit of experience playing a non-combat monk. The only reason I haven't been lately is because I was trying to stick with a single character. Since I have both a templar and a monk and double-dipping seemed wrong, I've been focusing my templar more. The shift took place mostly to help with specific events that I felt a templar would be better suited towards, not because I appreciated my monk any less or didn't enjoy her playstyle or found the guildeines restricting.

I still bring her out from time to time as necessary. And when I do play my monk I find the experience quite enjoyable and actually prefer the rules as they are - clarified - to how they were.

As you're a veteran player, you should know that with the population ever shifting, sometimes there are dry spells. It doesn't mean a guild is unappreciated or needs to be changed, merely that there is a gap in coverage at that time. There are several players I'm aware of who have monks and log them in and they are quite good at following the currently fleshed out guidelines. I would hope that as an experienced player, you could find ways to work the guidelines into your character's playstyle rather than try circumvent the current by bringing up the past.

These guidelines make for a more challenging experience at times, but also a more meaningful one. Remember that the root of the Light lies in compassion and even honorable or necessary combat hinders that. If your specialty is with healing, then performing any measure of harm, even in defense of others, even against a non-sentient being, can impact that. It's not about what is harmed, it's about the intent and mindset that allowed the harm to begin with. This has always been the case even if it was not always followed up on IC.

So maybe we can steer this thread back on course. If you have suggestions for making monks more interesting within the guidelines I would enjoy hearing them and taking part in meaningful and constructive discussion. But I sincerely hope that you can understand why a combat belongs with the templar.

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Kent » Wed May 29, 2019 5:50 pm

When the fun went out of being a monk, people stopped logging in as monks with any reasonable frequency. When it became the fact that in most sessions when you logged in, there was no PC monks anywhere, we all lost out.

I say, let monks earn all they can (except through gambling), but have to donate 50% of all their revenue and keep the rest.

I say let monks go into combat, but only with shields, slings, walking sticks, or staffs/quarterstaffs. Or maybe with any blunt weapon.
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Re: Monks under review

Post by Rhoswen » Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 pm

So gambling is an exception but not murder? And blunt weapons like staves, which are arguably torture, are preferable to sharp? These things don't diminish light?

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Re: Monks under review

Post by Vitello » Wed May 29, 2019 6:19 pm

https://trello.com/c/N7sSssFy/85-monast ... hancements
Consider possibility of tweaking thaumaturgy guidelines and allowing monks to battle against nethrim with a heavy emphasis on using thaumaturgy in combat. Still on the fence with this, let me know your opinions on the BBS.
On the trello, still open for discussion, I figured this was the best thread to do it.


I tested the Deadwood rescue with autocast and with a stave. The autocast was pretty dull just watching mobs shudder and twitch and honestly I couldn't kill anything and got exhausted. The light flares with the quarterstaff however were pretty fun but having no combat skills meant it was still pretty ineffective. So it makes the odd situation of 'monks are allowed to fight on rescue missions, but since they can't train combat it still kinda stinks'. Before you say Sunbeam remember that is a rank 10 ability.
Vitello - Ton - Shirinya - Alwaren

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