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Diablo 3 at BlizzCon 2009

The Monk is a new Diablo 3 character that was featured at BlizzCon 2009. Check out the video showcasing the Monk here.

The Monk is a fast but fragile melee fighter providing a contrast to the barbarian, which is slower and hard-hitting. Similarly to the Monk from the first Diablo expansion or the Assassin from Diablo 2, the Monk will also use a combination of unarmed combat, power and spirit from body and mind. The Monk is a class which prefers speed over toughness.

The combo system of the monk uses many fighting influences, it allows special combo moves to be mixed together with others to obtain the best outcome for each skill. Most of the Monks combat influences are from light and fast melee styles – he is a holy warrior. He uses holy magic through each of his skills which combines with his martial arts.

While weaker than the Barbarian physically, the Monk will still be able to handle the hordes of beasts that he comes across. The skill combinations will make the Monk a more difficult hero to play, but possibly a more rewarding one. When played expertly, the Monk will be able to unleash devastating attacks with massive damage upon his enemies.There is some speculation as to whether Diablo III will not be released in 2010, but Blizzard president Mike Morhaime was non-committal on the issue. Given that Starcraft II and the World of Warcraft Expansion: Cataclysm are being released in 2010 and only two Blizzard titles are expected, Diablo III being released after 2010 is a possibility. However, gamers will no doubt wait with baited breath hoping this is not the case.

Some of the Monk’s skills are as follows:

Way of the Hundred Fists: The player hits the same mouse button three times in a row but every time the skill is used, a different move occurs.

Crippling Wave: Slows the enemy on the first hit and applies a damage debuff on the second hit, then refreshes the duration of both on the third and while also doing extra damage.

Exploding Palm: This attack does damage and applies a moderate bleed. When the target dies, it explodes, dealing damage to surrounding enemies.

Some Monk history: The last weeks of autumn had settled upon Ivgorod, and the first breath of winter had crept into the air. As night fell and the sun dipped below the horizon, I was all too grateful to take refuge in a tavern. As I entered, I noted a certain tension in the room. Despite the hour, it was not busy, with only scattered, small groups huddled at the tables around the edges of the room. The benches at the center of the room were empty except for one man.

The man seemed ignorant of the cold. He was dressed like a beggar, wearing little more than an orange sheet wound around his body, leaving half of his chest exposed. A garland of large wooden beads hung around his thick neck. His head was completely shaved, with the exception of a wild bushy beard. Then, recognition struck me: upon his forehead he had a tattoo of two red dots, one larger than the other. As any informed student of the peoples and cultures of this world must also realize, this man was one of the monks of Ivgorod, the secretive and reclusive holy warriors of the country.

I had heard countless fantastic stories about the monks, tales that were surely the beneficiary of significant embellishment. The monks’ skin, the accounts said, was as hard as iron, impenetrable by the blade of any sword or by the point of any arrow, and their fists could break stone as easily as you or I would snap a twig. Though the unassuming man before me seemed miles away from what I had heard and read of the monks, I approached cautiously, sliding down onto the bench across from him, eager to take his measure. He beckoned me forward with a small wave of his hand.

"Ah, a soul brave enough to sit with me. Come, friend."

Food was placed before me, but I had little hunger for it, focusing instead on recording the details of the monk's life. He told me of his belief in the existence of a thousand and one gods, gods he believed could be found in all things: the fire in the hearth, the water in the river and the air that we breathed. Pretty enough for a story, perhaps. But any reasoned individual must surely, as I did, scoff at such a view of the world as little more than superstition. He went on to describe his intense mental and physical training, his unending quest to hone his mind and body into an instrument of divine justice. Though I do wonder for what need his thousand gods would require a mortal man to implement their will. When I asked him why he did not carry a sword or, indeed, any weapon at all, he simply replied, "My body is my weapon." Then raising his hand and tapping his forehead, he added, "As is my mind."

Most unexpectedly, I would be treated to a display of this mastery.A group of men approached our table, knocking my book to the floor and shoving me out of the way, producing knives and other weapons as they advanced. They were focused only on the solitary figure of the monk seated across from me. I scrabbled beneath the table, having an inkling of what was to come. I watched as at some unseen signal, they attacked.Without rising from his seat, the monk met the first man's lunging slash, grabbing his wrist and tossing him carelessly over his shoulder, throwing him into a table with a loud crash. The suddenness of the monk's attack momentarily stunned the men, and as they stood there, he rose.

That was when chaos broke out.

The monk was a fluid mass of restrained energy, meeting every attack with hardly a moment's distress. He fought with hands and feet in a way I had never seen before. In my days, I have witnessed my share of drunken bar brawls, but this was something else altogether. The sound of bones crunching with each of his strikes mixed with something I could not quite believe: the monk was laughing as he fought. One by one, he dispatched his foes until only one remained.

That one picked up a chair and hurled it toward the monk. The monk swung his arm forward and struck the incoming projectile, meeting the solid oak of the chair with his closed fist. The wood broke apart, splinters filling the air as the shattered pieces of the stool fell harmlessly to the ground around him.

"You don't fool me, demon," the monk spat. He pulled his arms back to his sides, then extended his hands before him and began to chant. A nimbus of white light appeared around his head, growing larger and more intense until it completely encompassed the monk’s body. He roared, and the light blew outward. As it washed over the other man, his skin peeled away, revealing a red-skinned demon beneath and threw the creature through the front doors of the tavern.

The monk hurtled forward, but his individual movements were too fast for my eyes to track. It seemed as though there were seven of him raining blows upon the demon from every side. Staggered, the demon stumbled. The monk grabbed the demon by the neck, grinning as he pulled his free arm back, crackling energy glowing on his open hand. He shoved his palm forward, and when it struck the demon, its body exploded: muscle, skin and bones tore apart, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air.I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own two eyes. It seems the stories of these peerless warriors might not have been as exaggerated as I first thought.

See the video released at BlizzCon 2009 showcasing the Monk in Diablo III here.

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