I will talk to you some more about the monk class. I’m going to talk about the role of the monk before I’ll talk some more about skills. I’ve seen people doing it wrong. It’s important to know what kind of role you’re playing, especially in multiplayer.
Diablo 3 has five classes: two melee and three ranged. The nature of this game (and probably most multiplayer RPGs) is to balance your team. On one side, you need damage takers; on the other side, you need damage givers. Most of the time you have to choose between being a damage giver or taker. In the case of Diablo, you’re gonna take hit when you’re standing close to the minions, so melee classes should build towards a damage taker role.
My friend is playing inferno at the moment (I’m not there yet, but will be soon) and he notices that most monks and barbarians don’t even have 30k hp and not enough armor. They get two shot by rare or elite mobs. The ranged classes don’t have to stand near the minions so it’s easier for them to focus on DPS, but they have to be able to trust on their melee buddies to tank the minions long enough for the ranged to kill them.
Most of my friends picked Demon hunter, Witch Doctor or Wizard as their first class, so I didn’t even had another choice but to build tank. Half way through Act 2, I had to switch to weapon/shield instead of dual wield. I needed the armor. After that, I just focused on getting more items with vitality and not so much on dexterity. My demon hunter friend already did two hundred more DPS than me. He did the killing while I distracted the minions and it worked like a charm.
I didn’t pay much attention to my skills until Nightmare. The unlocking of skills and runes takes time. Before level 30 there isn’t much to choose from. Most of the skills you unlock before level 30 are damage skills. They are nice, but it doesn’t really help when you tank elite and rare minions at the same time with two other people in game. You will be killed. Especially if they have Waller, Jailer, Molten and Arcane abilities. From that moment on you’ll start unlocking skills which will help you survive.
Some of these skills aren’t just for you. Mantras, for example, benefit your whole team, that’s why you get an achievement for it if you help your team mates out enough. Breath of Heaven is another skills that your team mates will like. I’ve saved my Demon hunter friends from death with Breath of Heaven many times. These skills also give the monk a small support role.
Then there are the secondary skill and the technique skill. These are the two slots where you can take Crowd Control skills. Some the skill/rune combinations in these slots will give you the ability to stun, slow, bleed or blow up minions. I don’t know if the Barbarian also has such skills, but having some CC is definitely good.
Remember that as a Monk, you’re probably the only one who can heal others besides themselves. You can save your buddies in tough times. Please, build towards the damage taker role, your ranged team mates will love you for it. Especially on inferno.