|screen-cap from: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/mists-of-pandaria/monk/|
The first big thing changing about the monk is that we will indeed have auto-attacks as a monk. They just couldn't get it to work out. Also what was chi is now just simply energy like the monks, and what was light and dark force is now just Chi. They decided that having 3 resources in chi/light force/dark force was just too much. So now it's just Energy, and Chi. It also seems that several healing spells say "heals target" so I suppose we will indeed have to target other players for some of the healing spells but it is still going to be very different.
We also got an idea of where the monks have come from in the world of Azeroth so I'm going to Quote that here straight from wow.joystiq.com:
Q: What's the story behind the pandaren monks?As for the monk skills, EVERYONE is going to have it better formatted and more presentable than I will. I will definitely be doing posts on each spec as I find the ability/talent interactions and piece together how one might go about performing the role. I have very good ideas already as it seems quite clear on a lot of things. Obviously there's no way to go "this is the priority that will be" but having a good idea is nice. Anyway I'll redirect you to mmo.champion for a very nice talent/ability layout: Mists-of-Pandaria-Press-Tour-Monk-Skills-and-Talents
Nearly 12,000 years ago, the empire now known as Pandaria was ruled by a monstrous race of warlords known as the Mogu (see below). Mogu taskmasters forbade their slaves to carry weapons. During these dark times, pandaren monks tried to lift the spirits of their beleaguered brothers and sisters. They were the storytellers, the brewmasters, and the healers who helped knit their oppressed society together in the midst of darkness.
As the Mogu empire began to fray, the pandaren saw an opportunity for a revolution. Because they had no weapons, they trained common people to fight with their unarmed fists and feet. They mastered the use of positive energy -- or chi -- to empower themselves. The revolution itself was a bloody affair that shattered an empire and left a terrible toll among combatant and civilian alike, but ultimately the Mogu were overthrown and a new empire was founded.
Although pandaren monks have since incorporated weapons into their attacks, they remain focused on chi as a source of power and are still devastating when fighting with open hands. In the wake of events on the Wandering Isle, pandaren monks will travel to key places throughout Azeroth to share their wisdom with young Alliance and Horde trainees
I am very, very excited for everything coming up for the monk. The abilities seem like they can be a lot of fun. I will see y'all back here for the spec discussions shortly.