Windwalker Monk Feedback
Covenant Ability Feedback
Weapons of Order: Interesting design but ultimately feels pretty clunky as WW. The 2 second GCD this incurs on use feels really out of place and should be changed to be in line with the rest of the class. This ability could potentially lead to an unorthodox playstyle which involves spamming Blackout Kick since it costs 0 Chi. Additionally even when using it as intended and not repeating the same spell ad nauseam it tends to lead to overcapping Chi which causes you to want to run Ascension to try to counteract this overcapping which leads into a problem again with the awkward opener nature this spell encourages. In AoE you tend to somewhat ignore the Chi Cost reduction benefit of the spell and just take advantage of the spectacularly long mastery buff which isn’t a bad thing but is food for thought.
Fallen Order: This ability seems out of place for Windwalker as it makes them into more of a summoner archetype which is quite strange but this ability is quite nice to just have a fire and forget button that can do a lot of damage with minimal upkeep but this ability does suffer from the same problems that Storm, Earth, and Fire commonly does in that it is really reliant on Pet AI which is pretty unreliable at times. Additionally for Windwalkers currently this ability does 45% damage if you use it during Storm, Earth, and Fire which is surely a bug but it hasn’t been addressed since it was first reported 3-4 months ago at this point so I wanted to state it again to spread awareness. Additionally I noticed while leveling that the Monks spawned by Fallen Order will automatically attack targets you have used Paralysis on which really makes its usage even more awkward then it needs to be.
Faeline Stomp: It has been difficult to gauge on how much I enjoy Faeline Stomp because it so marred down by so many bugs that haven’t been fixed for months that I’m not sure what the end goal of the spell is the issues I’ve had so far are:
- The spell for some reason starts 4-5 yards in front of your character instead of where your character is which causes you to need to backup first before you use it
- The spell cannot damage the same enemy more than once
- The spell only spawn energy orbs from targets despite the tooltip saying it spawns energy and chi orbs
- If you turn while casting this spell it causes the damage and the visual to spawn in the direction you are currently facing instead of where you cast it.
- For Windwalker Monks it does not trigger your mastery despite being a spell that will be cast very often which ruins the “flow” of the spec.
That last point is a pretty big one because currently this ability is pretty undertuned damage wise and as a Windwalker it just feels incredibly strange to have an ability that is constantly resetting that isn’t contributing to your mastery. After playing with it for a dungeon I can somewhat understand the logic as it could be possible that you could lose potential casts of the ability if you had to cast a different ability before casting it but that just shows how poorly thought out the ability was for Windwalker monk. The ability’s damage is uncapped in AoE though so it could potentially be useful for M+ as a result if the damage is tuned higher.
Bonedust Brew: Similarly to Faeline Stomp this ability also has not worked for the 4 months that it has been available to test which has caused me to not really have an opinion on it as I cannot test it when it doesn’t work correctly. The issues it has mainly is:
- The damage portion of the ability doesn’t work at all as in the multistrike effect never occurs.
- The Chi cost reduction on Spinning Crane Kick lasts forever once applied to enemies even after the debuff has expired.
Now while I cannot give feedback on its performance I do think that conceptually this ability is kind of scary in how RNG and swingy it can be. Since we don’t know if this uses RPPM or what have you while its effect is active it could theoretically provide you with a literal 0% damage increase while also providing a huge top end. This is dangerous for an ability like this to exist because it is one where the damage the spec does can be somewhat based on it. I would like to see the percent chance for this to either increase and make it more consistent or add a RPPM effect to it so you are at least guaranteeing a certain number of procs during it.
Fatal Touch: Kind of a boring effect and not really at all powerful on its own. Would love to see the Hidden Master’s Forbidden Touch effect added to this as well (can be used a second time before its cooldown is triggered) to make this effect more useful because as it stands now I don’t see why you would ever want to use this over any other option.
Invoker’s Delight: This effect was working for me when I tested and it gave 12% haste for 15 seconds. I would love to see this effect slightly changed/buffed so that the haste buff lasts the duration of the celestial that you have summoned as It would have a cool theme with it.
Roll Out: Cool utility effect but seems pretty weak because as it stands now it is just a worse version of the Celerity talent but allows you to choose it with Chi Torpedo so it does have some potential but it just seems kinda tame for a legendary effect.
The Emperor’s Capacitor: Glad to see this effect return as it was one of my favorites in Legion but it seems a bit undertuned as an effect and would love to have a QoL effect added to this that allowed you move while channeling CJL when you have this buff as well.
Pressure Release: My favorite of all the WW Monk legendaries by far but its tooltip is kind of a mess. First of all this effect has a max stacks of 30, It triggers off of Spinning Crane Kick and It seemed to be only dealing increased damage to one target it hit and not all of them. I believe this effect should have a max stacks of at least 25 because it is possible to overcap your stacks if you hit 6 targets for all 5 ticks of Fists of Fury, triggering off of Spinning Crane Kick is fine but it can force you to use this effect earlier than you would like to because you need to use SCK to aoe but maybe you would want to save this effect for a bigger and more important aoe moment.
Rushing Tiger Palm: Was not providing the Crit buff on the target when I was able to test it but despite that it felt quite nice to have a ranged dash Tiger Palm and I could foresee this effect being nice for priority damage on Adds in Raids.
Xuen’s Battlegear: My most anticipated legendary effect that was added only to be left disappointed for a few reasons. This is the post nerf version of the Tier Bonus which wasn’t really that powerful or exciting and secondly without the Double RSK hits from the Tornado Kicks artifact trait the CDR effect from this is barely noticeable. If you aren’t planning on adding Double RSK in any fashion I would love to see the CDR from this effect increased from 1.5 seconds to ~4-5 seconds to account for this. Additionally I think the crit chance should be increased as well as 30% seems a bit too low.
As for legendary effects that didn’t make the cut that I would love to see return at some point in Shadowlands would be Drinking Horn Cover. This was a really flexible and fun effect that isn’t present in WW’s toolkit at the moment that would be fun to see return. Overall I really think that the Legendaries are the one bright spot for Windwalker Monk in Shadowlands as everything seems to disappoint.
Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger is now baseline: I really like that Xuen is now baseline but now that he is, it highlights a big problem with WW Monk which is that while they have many different cooldowns but none of them interact with each other and individually none of them are particularly interesting. This end result of gameplay is you are pressing your cooldowns without any moment of excitement or thought behind them and just dealing more damage for a short time. This isn’t all bad news because it makes our cooldown usages very flexible but I would like to see Invoke Xuen have an effect added to him to make him more compelling by himself and/or in conjunction with other CDs. I know there was a datamined effect that added the Gale Burst effect to Xuen which would be cool but I fear this may interact negatively with SEF because in my mind it would be similar to Diver’s Folly which negatively interacted with SEF. Additionally I find it strange that Xuen still hits only 3 targets while the rest of the Windwalker toolkit is capped at 6 targets. I would like to see his target capped raised to be more in line with the other spells.
Touch of Death is now a 3 min CD and is more similar to its MoP variant: I’ll admit I was pretty apprehensive about this change at first but after playing with it more while leveling, doing M+, and raiding I can say that this ability is actually pretty useful in situations that WW wasn’t really that great in before. It’s weird that this ability is used like the antithesis to what Legion/BfA version of ToD was. Meaning that you want to use it on an enemy that is near death rather than in Legion/BfA you wanted to make sure that the enemy would live at least 8 seconds for the damage to be done. My sticking points with the new ToD are two fold.
- The damage should be buffed because currently you are incredibly incentivized for using this on a non elite target as the spell will deal about 4x the damage vs using it on an elite target.
- The Chi Orbs that spawn are somewhat useless and can be really difficult to see/pick up while you are fighting a boss or what have you.
The Chi Orbs effect for Windwalker should be changed to do something else that increases a WW Monk’s damage. There are many ideas that I could give you but suffice to say that almost anything would be better than Chi Orbs as more often than not I tend to ignore picking them up as it will overcap my Chi or I can’t find or get to the Orbs without moving out of melee and losing DPS. Windwalker Monk is not a class that needs an injection of resources every 3 minutes towards the end of a fight. It doesn’t spend more Chi towards the end of an encounter it doesn’t really make any sense to reward them with this as a result. Lastly this is a minor but potentially very important thing for the future. Since Touch of Death was changed to a 3 minute cooldown it should reset when a boss resets as it can be quite important on some boss fights that have adds that spawn quickly at the start of the encounter such as Sire Denathrius.
I’d also like to add that for a 3 minute cooldown Touch of Death is pretty wimpy in damage contribution for WW Monk dealing only ~6k damage when used on a boss which could almost ultimately be ignored going forward.
Fortifying Brew is now baseline: This is a great ability to add to the Windwalker Toolkit as the spec is commonly known to be somewhat frail compared to its other melee compatriots. I am overall happy that the ability is now available for the spec but it does lead into a fairly large problem that I’m not sure is an oversight or an intended side effect which is that while Fortifying Brew reduces damage taken it also increases your Max HP by 15%. This leads to a toxic but maybe necessary early damage optimization of using Fort Brew together with Touch of Karma for a large damage cooldown. This isn’t healthy for the spec and is not a problem with Fort Brew but mainly with Touch of Karma. While using this combination of defensive in Raid Testing Touch of Karma ended up being ~5% of my damage. This is not damage that as a competitive WW Monk player you can leave on the table but at the same time feels wrong from a design perspective.
Expel Harm has returned: Expel Harm is a cool relic from the past versions of WW but right now on the Beta feels super underwhelming. Ultimately it feels you would only ever use this spell if you needed healing and did not have the time to cast Vivify instead. On my ilvl 187 WW Monk it heals for 1,290 and deals 10% of that as damage. This needs to have a resource generation aspect of it attached to and also have its damage buffed via increasing the heal to damage ratio. I think it was datamined to generate 1 chi and that would help tons for using it rotationally. But only dealing 129 damage versus my Tiger Palm which deals more than twice that makes this spell feel pretty bad. In addition I believe this spell isn’t triggering the WW Monk mastery which could very well be a bug.
Fists of Fury and Spinning Crane Kick capped at 6 targets: This is an incredibly weird change and I would love to hear the insight from the developers on why they decided on 6 targets for Windwalker Monk. I do think AoE capping WW Monk is going to really hurt them in the long run because it is a spec that I think has only really shined in AoE situations where its Single Target damage is almost always bad. As a side note if Fists of Fury is going to be target capped then the reduced damage to non primary targets should be removed. It seems like overkill that it be capped at 6 and in addition deal reduced damage to targets besides your main.
Storm, Earth, and Fire
The current iteration of this spell in my opinion and many others is the main source of displeasure when playing WW Monk. It doesn’t make any sense in the WW Monk toolkit and it only serves to frustrate players when dealing with its many, many bugs and pet AI issues. In Legion this ability served a purpose of being a way to apply your Mark of the Crane to many different targets very quickly which gave some excitement to using this spell in AoE. With the changes made to the spec in BfA and now moving forward into Shadowlands this spell doesn’t serve any purpose. If you play the spec for a short while you will become accustomed enough to the mechanics to easily be able to keep up Mark of the Crane on its max of 5 targets. So what does this spell accomplish at this point? If you become more advanced you can utilize the WDP bug where you exploit the last 0.1-0.3 seconds of SEF to gain a large amount of damage, a bug that will become even more important in AoE now with the target caps to other spells. I would very much like to see the MoP/WoD variant of this spell make a return either baseline or via talents to give Windwalker Monk back a very unique raid niche of being a melee DPS that is capable of ranged cleaving. This is something that would make Windwalker more attractive in raid situations and would give them an easily definable niche that the spec desperately needs as right now it seems like a jack of all trades spec that is incredibly dependent on its tuning. As for a base cooldown replacement I would love to see a return of Tigereye Brew that is updated to fit into the Legion rework of the spec as that kind of cooldown was totally unique at the time and gave you a lot of decision making during your rotation on when best to use that cooldown. Or just make Invoke Xuen our main damage CD and buff him considerably to compensate.
There is only 1 talent change to Windwalker in Shadowlands so far which is pretty disheartening because I and many others believe it’s an area in which Windwalker has a lot of its shortcomings. The spec has a long running issue where it has one set talent build and its talents are super undertuned in power compared to most spec’s talents and really they just feel outdated. They aren’t very interesting or fun even if they were tuned highly. I would highly recommend to the devs to look through the talent tree and give it a facelift because it desperately needs it. Many others in this thread have been stating that WDP should be made baseline but I don’t agree. WDP has been the dominant talent for such a long time that for many of those players it feels foreign to play the spec without it but that just speaks to a very long standing problem of how untouched and uninteresting the talents have been for so long. I think giving the spec multiple options per row and maybe even having the ability to talent into ST talent options would go a long way to somewhat addressing the spec’s poor performance in raid situations.
Dance of Chi-Ji: This returning idea from BfA makes me somewhat sad to see but I know that I am in the minority when it comes to this sentiment. As a long time Windwalker player to see the class’s AoE strength relegated to a RNG proc talent kind of goes against what Windwalker Monk has been for so long: consistent. While it can be fun to get many procs Windwalker runs into an issue where if you get too many procs of this in a row you will inevitably overcap your resources with absolutely no counterplay or pre planning that could have been done to avoid it. It’s currently tuned in such a manner that I believe you want to use this at all times which goes again to the issue that Windwalker doesn’t have talent variety.
Quality Of Life Changes
These are changes that I believe would go a long way to help address problems the spec has to deal with on a daily basis
Being able to cast Spear Hand Strike during Fists of Fury: This is a pretty important issue to me as I mainly do M+ and this issue comes up way too often. With the amount of frequency in which Fists of Fury is cast in M+ and how important Fists of Fury damage is to WW Monk it feels incredibly horrid to have to stop your FoF cast in order to interrupt an important spell cast. Havoc DH and Arms Warrior also encounter this during Eye Beam and Blade Storm but those casts are much less frequent and (usually) not as long so you’re able to account and plan for interrupts before or after those casts. As a WW Monk you are casting FoF every 17-22 seconds depending on how much CDR you get from BoK and haste values and additionally with low haste (which WW tends to normally have) the cast is a whopping 3.7 seconds long. Additionally from a logic perspective it makes sense that Windwalker Monk would be able to Spear Hand Strike during Fists of Fury because its already punching an enemy why can’t they just aim a little higher and interrupt instead? I understand this is an issue that only really affects WW monks that do high M+ quite a bit and might have unintended consequences in PvP but it definitely something I would love to have.
Successful Detox dispels reward energy/chi: After seeing Shadow Priests receive this change I thought it was cool and should be applied to Detox for Monks. There are some dungeons in BfA where there are bosses/trash where you are almost dispelling on CD which can be a pretty big drain on your DPS as Detox casts 20 energy to cast and you are not gaining any DPS from it at all. It would be nice if you successfully dispel an effect with detox if you were refunded the energy cost or have a Chi orb spawn next to you to reward you for dispelling.
There isn’t a one stop solution to solve Windwalker Monk’s scaling problems but there are measures we can take to help improve its scaling across the board and the problems that I could think of were these
Invoke Xuen: Since Xuen is becoming baseline now I think it is a good time to address the scaling problems he has had since forever.
- He does not scale with mastery at all
- He only scales partially with haste. His auto attacks scale with haste but his lightning happens at set intervals and does not scale with haste.
Changing these two things would help Xuen scale better throughout the expansion and keep him the powerful cooldown that he is meant to be.
Touch of Karma: It is my belief that Touch of Karma should be changed to no longer deal damage baseline. Touch of Karma could be changed to instead have the Good Karma effect baseline where it just applies a Healing over Time effect based on the damage you took during the buff. This is a really big problem with the spec and almost always leads to exploiting this defensive cooldown as much as possible for a damage gain. Additionally when it comes to scaling this ability only scales with 2 stats currently: Stamina and Versatility. As part of our damage budget having it only scale with 2 stats really hurts the scaling of this ability and is a small part of why Windwalker Monk damage scales poorly later on.
Lack of Scaling: Windwalker just has this huge problem where it doesn’t have scaling attached anywhere to any of its abilities via passives or what have you. When you play a destro warlock for a short time you notice they have baked in scaling on their abilities where if they get more critical strike they get more resource or do more damage as a result of this. Windwalker just doesn’t have these passives anywhere in its toolkit and as a result has a hard time keeping up throughout the expansion since it doesn’t scale very well with haste and as just mentioned has no special interaction baseline with critical strike. I would very much like to see something like this baked into Windwalker’s base kit as it is starting to show its age. An idea that I came up with was creating a new passive where if Rising Sun Kick critically strikes, it hits a second time for 25% damage. Baking the beloved Tornado Kicks effect into the spell baseline while simultaneously adding secondary stat scaling for them. Another idea would be changing how Fists of Fury scales with haste instead of decreasing the time spent while channeling it would instead be more similar to Fel Barrage where it would channel for a set amount of time but the more haste you acquired the more hits you would gain. Additionally if Fists of Fury applied a short debuff to the target that caused them to take more damage from your Fists of Fury that could be really cool and would make haste a super powerful stat for Fists of Fury. Now these ideas don’t magically solve the scaling problems this spec has faced and continues to face going forward but it does add some secondary stat interaction that the spec desperately needs so that we do not have to rely on the devs to bandaid buff us each patch to account for our terrible scaling.
Misc & Final Thoughts
Over the past two expansions the art team has been busy at work making the animations and spell effects of all the classes look prettier or feel more satisfying to use one class that has been omitted from these is Monk because of how recently it was added to the game their animations and spell effects were deemed satisfactory and I tend to disagree when we come to Shadowlands. I think one of the reasons many are flocking to Havoc Demon Hunter from Windwalker Monk is that at a basic feel level Windwalker Monk spells feel/look/sound so dated and dissatisfying and I would request that the Art team take a look at our spell animations and tone them up and maybe even give us some new spells that have cool martial arts animations and sounds.
I think what all of us veteran Windwalker Monk players want is some acknowledgment of the problems that we’re complaining about and update us on the direction that the developers want to take the spec because it is very clearly not working anymore and the experiment from Legion has for many of us become stale. The spec still attracts new players to it as at its core it is still an enjoyable spec to play but once you play for a while the golden veneer starts to chip away and you see the colossal problems and holes in the spec that is has been facing for years and it just sucks away any enjoyment you have while playing because you are not sure that these problems will ever be addressed or fixed going forward as the future of the spec is almost always uncertain.