This would be interesting in pvp.Hum.
It's actually a dps increase even in single target. It's all depends on your melee dmg and how many spirits are involved.
If we think about splitting our total damage at the end of a fight like as we did it by playing spirits, a preliminary formula could be:
1 spirit, % = (60+(100-melee)*0.6)-100
2 spirit, % = (40+(100-melee)*0.4*2)-100
That means, there is a dps increased for one spirit if melee damage is < 33% and for two spirit if < 25%
Actually, melee is 20% of total damage, so by splitting with 1 spirit and 2 spirits there is a 8% and 4% increasing dps.
For achieve the 120% damage as the ability says, our melee should be 0%, and that's almost impossible.
On my Feng kill on Tuesday (which is about as close to a Patchwerk single-target fight you can get for melee) my melee was 19.2%. With 8% of my damage being from SCK, it makes sense that my melee damage would be around 20% on pure single-target. However, Tiger Strikes was another 9% of damage. That would result in an actual DPS decrease with 2 spirits and a slight (2.6%) DPS increase with one spirit. Enterprising young Monks might be able to squeak out a DPS increase on a single-target, but it would greatly hamper target-swapping (assuming it costs GCDs to set the spirits on a new target) and it wouldn't really affect balance at all.
Of course, that all assumes that we don't alter our playstyle at all. With FoF replacing AAs meaning less with spirits up, it would become a no-brainer to have 3 Spirits out and use FoF on cooldown, as AAs would be a much lower percent of total damage. It could get very interesting depending on the exact mechanics of the spirits.
Am I the only one that doesn't really see this as a classic cleave, in fact it's more of a multi-dot?
In my eyes a cleave must allow you to do most of you normal single target dps, something like 70-80%, whilst sharing damage to another mob. Any fight that requires you to keep high single target dps whilst cleaving will rule this out as an option more often than not. Not that I am saying it isn't a step in the right direction and definitely has a cool factor of over 9000, but in it's current state I don't think it will be that amazing right now. Saying that, it does look like a half completed spell so let's wait and see where it ends up come live, should be interesting.
I think Blizz is playing with idea of redesigning all cleave abilities. Look at the Rogue Blade fury patch notes:
Blade Flurry now deals 75% less damage.
Can't find war cleave, but it's start of PTR anyway.
If you notice, it also says "for each elemental warrior summoned the Monks own damage will be reduced by 20%", which doesn't go with what the patch notes say of 60/40% reduced damage.
I really don't know what it was like this ability back in WC3, but by the looks of it, it sounds like a Shaman ability, not a Monk one.
Lets just agree there's no wawy they're going to give us an ability clearly designed to fill our cleave spot that will end up being a single target dps increase shall we? I know they can be stupid sometimes but it's blatantly obvious they wouldn't allow it to work like that.
It’s been a while since Blizzard invented a great, evocative, exciting ability like this. Good to hear they still can provide at least some greatness to the game.
Don't know how it will turn out, just know that I want it. Badly.
If they can get it working right it will be a ton of fun.
So...kinda like Mirror Images, except clones copy our attacks and don't spam 1 spell? No matter what it does sound kinda fun though. Shame the actual Brewmaster can't used it (assuming the front page is right), imagine tanking with clones lol.