Well, Wrath of the Lich King is growing closer and closer to its release, and we get to see a glimpse of the things Blizzard has in store for us Shadowpriests. I was originally planning to write a piece on our new spells, Mind Sear and Dispersion…but then the latest Beta build changed a few things concerning the mana costs, and I am back to consulting Friedrich, my hunchback advisor, whether it is worth it.
So, let’s have a look at Inscriptions instead. The new profession in WotLK, Inscription, allows us to use Glyphs to change the look and effects of certain spells we have. The gathering skill that will support Inscriptions is going to be Herbalism.
These glyphs are BoE, so you could buy them from the auction house, and they slot in a special tab on your spellbook. In effect, it is as if you were gemming up your spells. It would look something like this:
There will be 6 slots in total: 2 Minor, 2 Lesser and 2 Major glyphs. The Minor slots will be used for cosmetic effects, the other 4 slots are open for game-mechanic altering abilities. If you have the Inscription profession yourself, it seems you will be able to unlock the glyph slot at the center, and have one additional glyph active.
The judges are still out on whether these glyphs are removable, or whether replacing a glyph will destroy the old one (like replacing gems). I think the latter is the truth, meaning that the glyphs will offer some customization, but will prevent us from uber-customizing ourselves for every situation.
Recently, some of the priest glyphs were released, and they were received with mixed feelings. Some were considered nice (or even overpowered) while the general consensus among the Shadowpriest community seems to be that the glyphs are ok…if you are not actually a Shadowpriest.
Let’s have a look at the released glyphs relevant to Shadowpriests:
- Glyph of Psychic Scream – Increases the duration of your Psychic Scream by 3 sec.
- Glyph of Dispel Magic – Your Dispel Magic also heals your target for 3% 6% of maximum health if it removes a damaging effect.
- Glyph of Fear Ward - Reduces cooldown and duration of Fear Ward by 30 sec.
- Glyph of Mind Flay – Increases the range of your Mind Flay spell by 5 yards 10 yards but it no longer reduces the target’s movement speed.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Death – Targets below 35% health take an additional 5% damage from your Shadow Word: Death spell.
- Glyph of Fade – Attacks made against you while Fade is active have a 10% chance to refresh its duration back to full. Increases the effect of your Fade spell by 100%.
- Glyph of Inner Fire – Your Inner Fire has 10 additional charges +100% duration.
- Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain – Increases the duration of your Shadow Word: Pain by 3 sec. Reduces the mana cost by 20%.
- Glyph of Mind Control – Increases the duration of your Mind Control spell by 12 sec.
- Glyph of Mind Soothe – Increases the duration of your Mind Soothe spell by 5 sec.
- Glyph of Shackle Undead – Extends the range on Shackle Undead by 5 yards.
- NEW! – Glyph of Power Word: Shield – Your shield heals the target for 20% of the damage absorbed.
In my opinion, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Let’s cut it up a bit…
Looking from a pure (raiding) PVE perspective, the Mind Flay glyph is a godsend. More range so you can avoid being too close to the target. Of course you lose the snare, but after leveling, it’s not a vital tool anymore. The Fear Ward glyph means your Fear Ward is available more often, which is good, since mine never seems to survive its 3-minute duration. And finally the Shadow Word: Death glyph will be nice on bosses, who spend a lot of time on 35% or lower.
An increase to the duration of Shadow Word: Pain is useless once you have Pain and Suffering, so I imagine this is aimed to provide a boost to Discipline priests. Ten additional charges to our Inner Fire does not warm me up, and the Improved Fade glyph vanishes into nothingness.
Again, the Shadow Word: Death glyph will serve us well, and may provide a bit more “killing power” as opposed to “Erosion” when it comes to dealing damage to players. The glyph of Dispel Magic is win, awesome and has sauce on top. When fighting affliction locks, I can imagine us gaining more health than losing on this deal. Also, however situational it seems at first glance, it will be a heal available to us in Shadowform.
However, I don’t see us willing to give up our Mind Flay snare in PvP. Also, the Glyph of Mind Control will have little effect on the PvP-limited spell durations and Diminishing Returns.
Although the glyphs are a bit lukewarm in their initial feel (we haven’t had any cosmetic glyphs such as Glyph of the Polar Bear for Druids and Glyph of the Penguin for Mages) it is still a must-have to gain a competitive edge, be it in raiding or PvP.
Personally I also feel that some of these glyphs (such as for Fade and Mind Soothe) are meant to give some new life to relatively unpopular spells. Question remains of course, whether players will be willing to sacrifice one of their precious glyph slots for one of these, unless they would be able to switch the glyphs around relatively easily.
And while we wait, we can only pray for a glyph that turns our Mind Flay purple, so that I can get rid of the “I am a Dark Jedi” feel…
Edit: Priest glyphs have been revised in the latest build. The Power Word: Shield glyph looks monstrous for healers and for us in PvP (I love it). Also, the Fade glyph just became utterly useless in its entirely. Ah well, saves us a choice for what to put in our slots then…