standing at the back in my sissy robe

August 4, 2009

glyphs and why they suck

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Soapbox,UR Doing It Wrong — Tamarind @ 10:32 am

In news unconnected to WoW. I think I might I have swine flu. I have a special number given to me by the special pandemic hotline (we have a pandemic hotline? Holy fuck!) in order that I may receive anti-swine flu medication from the government. I feel kind of bad, but not bad enough not to be bored. Also I wish it wasn’t called swine-flu. Firstly it sounds way over-dramatic (pigsniffles, if you please?) and secondly it sounds basically unhygienic. As if Fair Tamarind in pigsty lay… (poetry NSFW, and I assure you I’ve been doing absolutely NOTHING with pigs, or in pigsties). So you’ll have to forgive me if my comments sound like I’m stoned on anti-pigsniffle meds and my posts are a bit more unfocused than usual.

I’ve recently been on a glyphing spree and I’ve realised something.

So, glyphs right? I hates them, precious.

I am not, however, debating their utility. They are extremely useful. That’s kind of part of the problem. They are so unarguably, indisputably useful that you’re pretty much obliged to have them in order to play your class effectively. While you’re levelling, enchanting or gemming or any of that other stuff is a bonus. It’s nice if you can get it but since you go through gear so quickly anyway it’s not a necessity. But that’s not the case with glyphing. Not having the right glyph in place is the equivalent of not having spent a couple of talents points or having forgotten to visit a trainer (not that I ever do that, oh no, not at all, ahem). Whereas having a decent enchant or a gem is a fortuitous improvement, not having a glyph is actually a hindrance.

Glyphing is basically an arms race.

Every other holy priest with half a brain at my level has the glyph of Guardian Spirit. Thus they are a better a healer. And no matter how inspired, quick-moused or intelligent my healing may be, they still have a basic, mechanical advantage that I’d be a fool not to take for myself. So I have to have the glyph of Guardian Spirit.

What’s ostensibly in the game to give you a greater degree of choice and customisation, is, in practice, extremely restrictive. Basically all glyphs fall into one of the following categories:

Glyphs That Are So Useful You Can’t Not Have Them

For a holy priest, these would be the Glyph of Flash Heal, the Glyph of Renew, the Glyph of Prayer of Healing and the Glyph of Guardian Spirit. Ultimately which selection of them you have (oooh, mighty choice, 3 out of a possible 4, wow, I’m so glad for this increased customisation) is basically dependent on your playstyle, how you use renew, whether you’re single-target healing more, or AoE healing more, or if you’re neurotic about Guardian Spirit.

Glyphs That Would Be Nice But You Will Never Use Them Because of The Glyphs That Are So Useful You Can’t Not Have Them

So, for a holy priest, these might be something like the Glyph of Power Word: Shield (although this probably goes in category 1 if you’re a disc priest), or the Glyph of Inner Fire, or perhaps the Glyph of Circle of Healing. Again, it would be really nice if you could tweak your skills to suit your style but ultimately there’s no point giving yourself the Glyph of Inner Fire to make yourself more durable if you could instead give yourself a 10% mana reduction in your most used healing spell.

Glyphs That Remove a Regent Cost

I genuinely don’t see the point of these. I’ve got a couple because they tend to be minor glyphs and there’s rarely anything better to do with minor glyph slots. I’ve got the Glyph of Levitate for Tam which basically means I spend an inordinate amount of time standing on one leg in the air … because … well … why not? And I’ve got the Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth for my druid. But the availability of glyphs to remove the reagent cost of spells, especially when the reagent is readily available from vendors, seems to merely render said reagent cost pointless. If the fact the spell costs a reagent isn’t actually balancing anything (because if it was you wouldn’t let us remove it) why is there in the first place? Huh?

Special Occasion Glyphs

So that glyph of Fear Ward. Yes, it actually makes fear-ward semi-viable but how often, seriously, do you use fear ward? Enough to deny yourself a 10% mana reduction in your most used healing spell. Didn’t think so. I suppose these glyphs would be worth it if you were going into a fight, a raid maybe, in which your primary function was keeping a nasty de-buff from settling over the group. In which case possibly you’d temporarily replace a Useful Glyph with an Occasional Glyph, but you’ve still got the problem of what you’re going to replace.

Glyphs That Actually Make Your Class Less Interesting to Play

Hello Glyph of Swiftmend. Fancy seeing you here. This is the most egregious example I can think of. I love the way druid healing works. I love the fact it’s different to pally healing and different to priest healing. I love the carefully balanced ticking HoTs. What the Glyph of Swiftmend does is remove an interesting tactical decision and replace it with a bog standard, instant cast healing spell. Thanks Blizzard. But, again, you can’t not have it because a boring instant cast healing spell that doesn’t consume a heal over time effect is better than an interesting one that does. M’Pocket Tank’s lock informs me that the Glyph of Conflagrate is similar.

Glyphs That Are Completely Useless

Of which they are too many. Glyph of Fade anybody? I’m sorry but if the tank didn’t get what was attacking off you the first time round, being able to cast fade again more quickly won’t help. You’ll need the Glyph of Not Having A Tank That Sucks. Or there’s the Glyph of Drain Soul which gives you something like a 1% chance of getting an extra soul shard sometimes. Woot! Or what about the Glyph of Consecrate – the glyph that makes one of your primary abilities fit less well into your rotation.

Minor Glyphs that are Disproportionately Useful

So you have our friend the Glyph of Fade which reduces the cool down on something that you shouldn’t have to use more than once per fight anyway. Compare that to its precocious little brother the Glyph of Fading, which reduces the mana cost of fade that one time you use it. Not only is this actually better than the major glyph but it’s better than quite a lot of other minor glyphs. Given the choice of being able to stand on one leg for no apparent reason whenever the whim takes me and my 1-off emergency button costing me less mana, I know which wins my vote.

Ultimately I think glyphs just don’t fit comfortably with the way we play WoW, and the way WoW is designed to be played. Essentially each class has a relatively narrow core of primarily abilities on which they rely, surrounded by a much wider selection they use on specific occasions. Naturally glyphs which buff the former are fundamentally better than glyphs which buff the latter. It doesn’t help that Blizzard doesn’t seem as though its been able to settle on the function of minor glyphs. Currently they range from the absurdly pointless (yes, please, improve my Eye of Kilrog!) to the pleasing but cosmetic (I love you penguin!) to the actually genuinely useful (ah, my old friend, glyph of fading). Either they have to be purely cosmetic or purely functional. You can’t balance one against the other because although players love customisation and will go to great lengths to attain what you might call luxury glyphs ultimately the nature of the game means utility will always trump aesthetics.

As for major glyphs. I think we’re just fucked.

I will say this though. There is one major glyph I like. It’s the Glyph of Fireball. This removes the DoT effect of your fireball spell but ups the crit chance by 5%. I think this offers you a genuinely interesting tactical proposition, but not such an overwhelming advantage that you cannot be a fire mage without it. The glyphed fireball does less damage overall but if you’re reliant on crits for procs then it’s a sound investment. It just depends how you’ve specced your fire mage.

Isn’t it this kind of thing that glyphs were meant to do?

39 Comments »

  1. Um. I feel like I should point this out – but why not carry a stack of glyphs around? On my server they range in cost from outrageous to practically nothing if bought from the auctionhouse, and a pretty steady 1 gold 20 if you craft them yourself.

    They are actually cheaper than consumables and you can switch them anywhere (well… until the silly tank throws his ax’ at someones face). Glyph for each fight :)

    Comment by Koch (Aszune) — August 4, 2009 @ 11:16 am | Reply

    • It’s not the practice so much as the principle that bothers me, to be honest (see glyphs that make your character less interesting to play). Thanks for the suggestion, and I do, in fact, glyph-swap fairly regularly. But that’s kind of not the point – ultimately swapping between The Glyph of Mass Dispel, when you need it, and the Glyph of Flash Heal doesn’t alter the fact I think glyphs are boring, unbalancing obligatory hoops rather than interesting customisation options.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  2. With my Holy Priest I’m using the Glyph of Smite, Divina is currently 73, and just like my first priest I’ve leveled her Holy the entire way, Smite has helped me kill things faster. I also use Glyph of Power Word Shield, again I found this great for soloing, since it absorbed and gives me an instant heal when taking down multiple mobs. Occasionally I use it on others in instances too if they are getting to low on health for my liking, I bubble them, go back to the tank, and come back to them when I can give them a larger heal. Naturally, it would be more powerful if I were Disc but it’s still helpful and gives the person in the bubble. an instant heal.

    With the current glyphs I’m using, I haven’t run into any problems in instances, and the only time where things have been challenging has been when I’ve had tanks that though wearing plate or being a bear meant they would do an excellent job tanking. I recently pugged a few Northrend instances with a few tanks that fit in this category their health would drop like a rock.

    I’ll drop most of the glyphs once I hit 80 and choose glyphs suited for healing instances or raids, or then maybe I won’t it depends on what Divina decides to do when she hits 80. ;)

    I love Glyph of Levitate. It’s one less rageant I have to buy. ;)

    Comment by deimonia — August 4, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • As I say, it’s principles rather than practice that bothers me. Ultimately I leveled primarily through healing instances and, yes, one can heal perfectly adequately without glyphing (just a syou heal perfectly adequately without being in a proper healing spec) but the fact remains there are some glyphs that just flat-out make you a better healer, and anything else is mustard.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

      • I used the ‘proper glyphs’ with my first Holy priest. This time around I wanted something different. It’s interesting that you posted about glyphs today. I created a post yesterday where I wrote about glyphs, and I set it to publish today. Now see, I thought since you like doing things differently you of all people would have fun with some of the other glyphs. ;)

        Comment by deimonia — August 4, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

      • Again, I am all for having fun in WoW but I would rather Blizzard didn’t make it actually self-harmful.

        I think there’s a genuine difference in finding your own way to play the game and making non-optimal choices. Ultimately if I decide I’d rather have the Glyph of Purple Glowing than the Glyph of Swiftmend (okay, that’s totally a bad example because if there *was* a Glyph of Purple Glowing I would happily jettison anything Glyph you can name for it – but go with me here) and as a consequence I don’t heal as well or as efficiently as I could, that’s a decision that screws up other people. And that’s a problem.

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  3. Oops forgot to mention the plate wearing warrior and DK, and the fuzzy bear were specced for DPS. We got through the instance but it sure was challenging at times. ;)

    Comment by deimonia — August 4, 2009 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  4. To be fair, though, Glyph of Consecrate is actually extremely good for Ret Paladins.

    It sounds like you’re in the same boat as Rohan in this whole glyph thing.
    Instead of just providing a flat benefit, they could have gone with the route of changing how the game is played by fundamentally altering the affected spell.

    Remember the old Glyph of Flash of Light?
    While a terrible glyph, it does exemplify what I think the original idea of glyphs was.

    There are still some glyphs that reflect this sort of tactical decision, glyph of Frostbolt comes to mind.

    One last thing. Glyph of Fireball doesn’t actually have a trade-off to it. The DoT effect on Fireball is incredibly weak, and if you’re using a spec that would use Fireball, then the DoT would be refreshed often enough that it’s damage would be irrelevant.
    Whichever way you cut it, the 5% crit is astronomically better than the DoT.

    Comment by Euripedes — August 4, 2009 @ 11:58 am | Reply

    • Well, look who didn’t think his post through carefully enough :) The fireball example was obviously not well chosen. Basically my thinking was that the DoT represents about 10% of the damage of the fireball while the 5% crit chance is roughly 5% increased damage, assuming you’re not proc-ing anything with it. But, as you say, any firemage is going to be using fireball too regularly anyway for the DoT to matter.

      I suppose, on a more generalised principle – and the one that bothers me – the problem is that there seems little balance between the glyphs that have made some nominal nod towards providing a tactical decision and the glyphs that just flat-out improve your most used spells.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

      • Actually, the Glyph of Fireball is a good example of something that’s too good to not have. I trade off a pathetic 270ish damage over 3 seconds from the tick for an extra 5% chance to crit and proc Ignite for at least an extra 40% damage, and raidbuffed in my gear, that’s a better than 50% chance to proc Ignite for an extra 5000 damage.

        Glyph of Molten Armour is just as “must have” for bonus crit chance. And then we have Glyph of Living Bomb, which allows our Living Bomb ticks to crit, and in 3.2, those crits can also proc Hot Streak for an instant-cast Pyroblast. Any raiding Fire mage who doesn’t have these three glyphs is just gimping themself for around 10-12% crit, and Fire Mages rely on crit. A LOT.

        Then we get Glyph of Scorch, which allows us to apply the +5% crit debuff to a target with just one, rather than five, applications of Scorch. Sounds amazing, but the thing is, mages aren’t the only classes who can apply the 5% crit debuff, so the choice between the Scorch Glyph and the others is a choice between doing more dps or spending less time doing less dps.

        Decision required, brain not needed.

        Comment by pewpewlazerz — August 4, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

      • As I said above, it wasn’t a great example but clearly the idea behind it was to offer a trade off between two possible play-styles. Obviously it doesn’t work in practice (although the maths makes a degree of sense) since most fire-mages go the crit route. But if you were, I don’t know, an arcane/fire hybrid or if you were levelling, then the DoT might be more worth it than the crit chance because you wouldn’t be relying on Hot Streak and fireball as your major casting spell.

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  5. I agree, glyphs suck. The profession design itself is bonkers, the quality of glyphs varies wildly for different classes and specs, and Blizzard uses glyphs as an excuse to ignore basic problems with a class or spec (see Mind Flay). The original intention of using glyphs to alter how spells work really never took off, they’re all about the buffs now. It’s just one more way to min/max. Missed opportunity.

    Comment by Merlot — August 4, 2009 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

    • Thank you :) I genuinely thought, as I was writing it, that this post would be uncontentious. I suppose there is always something bewildering in opinions contrary to your own (I jest) but I really thought the unbalanced, uninteresting nature of glyphs was evidently a real problem.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  6. I would have liked Glyphs a lot if not for, as you mentioned, some classes have some MUST have glyphs. And it hardly adds diversity. I’m hoping Blizz will realize this and make picking glyphs feel like an actual _choice_.

    From my experience the biggest issue seems to be with the DPS-speccs. Most tanks and healers have differently play styles. While there still is maths behind each class-mechanic, glyphs benefit different play styles. As a resto druid I’ve had to think quite a bit about how to glyph. Since my healing style might be slightly different from another resto druid’s, I might make more benefit from the ones I got since I play slightly differently.

    However, when it comes to DPS-speccs in almost all cases there seem to be certain glyphs that are vastly superior to others since DPS-ing is (almost) nothing but numbers. Here’s a rotation, here’s a specc and here’s some glyphs. That’s how you put out max DPS. This is also one of the complaints I have about DPS-speccs in general, but I’ll leave that for a blog post or somefink.

    Comment by Ercles — August 4, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

    • Sounds like it’ll be an interesting post, I look forward to it :)

      I think it might have something to do with playstyles. Although healers and tanks rely on a core group of abilities there’s a degree of situational adaptation required, responding to AoE, suicidal, aggro-pulling DPS or whatever. But, as you say, for DPS there’s a very set rotation and it’s relatively rare to deviate from it – therefore the glyphs that buff it are utterly essential.

      I would like glyphing if *all* minor glyphs were basically cosmetic and there was more choice in major glyphs.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  7. Oh come now. Someone with as much appreciation as you have for going off the beaten track is trashing Glyph of Kilrogg? Shame, shame. The glyph makes it fly! And speedy! And fly speedily!

    Okay, it’s not exactly game-altering, but it is fun. And warlock minor glyphs are so terrible, it doesn’t have a lot of competition.

    One of my favorite pastimes in raids, when I felt the group was taking too long to get moving, was to go exploring with my Eye (who I really need to name). Of course, I would occasionally pull a stealth-detecting trash pack, and suddenly everybody is asking “Why are we in combat? Who pulled?” Never close enough to actually endanger anybody (those pulls, I did myself), but still, it was entertaining. Warlocks have lost so many of their practical joker tools nowadays (“Thanks for the summ–AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIGGGGH!!!!! *splat*” and “Woohoo, healthstones, of course I’ll cli-HOLY CRAP ENORMOUS FUCK-OFF DEMON! *splat*” being the classics). We take what we can get.

    Comment by Kahleena — August 4, 2009 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

    • I’m duly shamed. You’re right, I need to upgrade my warlock from fel bank alt and really learn to appreciate my eye of Kilgrogg. I believe I shall call him Jelly (as in Vile), and I shall love and hug his squishy little self until he feels like he’s my favourite spell :)

      Hehe, I’ve found that warlock’s practical joke tends to involve the death of somebody, usually, admittedly the warlock :) When Comfrey was a small druid, fishing in Thunder Bluff, a friend of mine showed up with his raid-geared, level 70 (at that time) warlock, complete with shoulder pads about eight skyscrapers tall, a helmet that was but a swirl of smoke and fire, and general uber-ness leaking from every fel-powered pore. Of course, I was completely awe-struck by the sight, whereupon said warlock quick-changed into his pirate outfit, knowing I have always had a weakness for pirates, summoned an infernal, burst into dance, lost control of the infernal and was immediately one-shotted, whereupon a small army of Bluff Watchers had to come rushing to take it out.

      I rez-ed one very small and shame-faced warlock.

      I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

      So, yes: warlocks, fun for all the family :)

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

      • Now you’re talking! Though less with the lovey-huggy-squishy stuff. Must maintain proper warlock standards of behavior (one reason gnome warlocks make me die a little inside). An eye is a minion like any other, and you must kick it like one.

        And yes, I forgot the summon-and-dismiss-your-infernal-or-doomguard-and-unleash-it-in-Goldshire prank. They made that one considerably less fun when the demon was guaranteed to go after you first. Then they stopped requiring enslavement altogether. Another tool gone from our toolbox. Le sigh.

        And yes, the raid sets for warlocks back in TBC were awesome to behold (the swirl you mention makes me think it was Tier 4, which is a gorgeous set, and still sits in its entirety in my bank vault). Actually, in my view, all raid sets for warlocks prior to the atrocity of a T9 set were awesome to behold (particularly the ones T3 and later). I really want to go trash some old raid bosses just to get my T5 and T6 for decoration.

        Comment by Kahleena — August 4, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

      • Alas! From now on you’ll have to look like a Faberge egg and small orcish children will laugh at you in the street.

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    • I don’t think warlocks have lost too many joker abilities. Case in point, they gave us a taunt! A real and true taunt! How many other pure dps classes can say that?

      It boggles the mind to think about why they gave warlocks a taunt, charge, boosted armor and the ensuing illusion of being able to tank things. I think its hilarious and awesome though.

      I don’t think any warlock prank will ever be quite as awesome as enslaving Brutallus on the 2.4 PTR and running rampant with a raid boss at your command on a pvp server. http://www.eidolonguild.org/brutallus/index.html

      Comment by Shayzani — August 4, 2009 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

      • Oh good lord, I really wish I’d been able to do that (enslave Brutallus). Just once. Totally priceless. Thanks for the link (I had heard about it long ago, but forgotten about it).

        I’ve never actually tried tanking anything with Metamorphosis (except a bit of Hyjal trash after patch 3.0, but before Wrath dropped – it kept me alive long enough to get to the pally tank’s consecrate). But you’re right, it is pretty hilarious to have the option of speccing into having a taunt. Would have been nice to have when tanking Leotheras, though.

        Comment by Kahleena — August 4, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

      • Personally, I don’t think it’s a taunt so much as a wild outrageous cackle. All the other DPS classes are quietly going about their business, blowing up the enemy while still managing to look less threatening than the big guy in platemail at the front … but I bet your average warlock just can’t contain himself. And suddenly he’s laughing psychotically and shrieking about how he will BURN YOU WITH ALL THE FIRES OF HELL ITSELF, BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! And naturally this is attention-grabbing. I believe Kael’thas has this sort of problem as well but in his case it expresses itself as some kind of soliloquy tourettes.

        And, wow, thank you for the link. That’s FANTASTIC.

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

  8. Definite agreement. Glyphs are just a big bag full of mismatched weirdness. Yes, some are great and I wouldn’t want to live without them, but if they are such “must have”s for certain roles and specs, what is the point in having a dozen others that are at best situational and at worse totally useless?

    I like the reagant removal ones, though. As a packrat, I am always starved for bag (and bank) space.

    Comment by Feralan — August 4, 2009 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

    • The reagent removal glyphs are really nice (I do like just levitating, all the time, for no reason) but again they fall between categories. I mean they’re almost cosmetic (I mean how often do *actually* use levitate for a reason) but then removing the reagent cost for levitate doesn’t balance well against, say, moving the reagent cost for rebirth. It’s just all such a mess.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  9. I have made a retarded amount of money on glyphs. Also, glyph on consecration is one of a ret pally’s main glyphs. Longer consecrate mean more time to spam other crap.

    Comment by Darraxus — August 4, 2009 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

    • I’ve not been bothered to grind an inscriber so that probably accounts for at least some of my bitterness.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  10. I confess a Glyph was the source of satisfaction for one of my pet peeves about shaman: Ghost Wolf does nothing but go fast.

    Now, at low levels, that’s fabulous. And helpful in PvP when it’s instant cast. But I really always wanted to have some acutal *benefit* from Ghost Wolf, say, acutally being stealthed when I’m looking all ghosty? Or, perhaps, being somehow less vulnerable to something or other? (yes, yes, I know rogues can’t sap me when ghosted, but that doesn’t seem to stop them…).

    Enter my Glyph of Making Ghost Wolf Feel Cool! Now I get an additional 10% of my health back when I shift! Woo hoo! *Now* Ghost Wolf feels useful.

    Thanks.

    Comment by lantanasham — August 4, 2009 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

    • Hehe, yes I can see the appeal of that. But, again, although it’s nicely flavourful it only makes sense among other cosmetic glyphs and you may, sadly, later along the line have to sacrifice it for the greater utility.

      But at least glyphs are giving you more pleasure than hassle :)

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  11. I’m still convinced the entire purpose of inscription is to make money. Need to pay for dual-spec? Just pick up inscription, and you’ll earn a thousand gold just by leveling it up to 300.

    The problem with glyphs is the same problem talents have — each individual talent point is supposed to be a point of customization, but it just gets down to the point where every retribution paladin can take every point that increases their damage, and the actual “cusomization” part is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter much anyway. Why do we even HAVE all of those talents if everybody takes them anyway?

    It’s just an alternate path of character progression while leveling, locking out cool stuff until you get to the proper level. I mean, why can’t I just select “enhancement shaman” as my subclass at level 10, and learn the stuff from my trainer as I level up? Have my trainer teach me dual wield when I get to 40. Et cetera. Make talents things that you get one of every five levels, and all of them are random semi-useless stuff that people currently choose between when they’ve already spent their mandatory talents.

    The way it currently works just makes things more confusing for new players, perhaps not understanding that there are multiple trees, perhaps not understanding they can scroll down, perhaps not understanding that distributing their points evenly between enhancement and restoration just makes them bad at both roles. Though talents do give me an instant clue as to which people have no idea what they’re doing.

    Though I’m one of those shamans who always says “sorry, don’t have any ankhs” because I’ve got a glyph sitting in my bank that removes the reagent cost, and how many times am I really going to die before I get five more levels and unlock my second glyph slot? More than I thought, apparently >_>

    Comment by Kiryn — August 4, 2009 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

    • Oh God, don’t get me started on the economics of glyphs – although I suppose it’s pretty much par on jewelcrafting, or at least pre-jc-nerf. The problem with professions, I think, is that one alwasy suspects others are earning more. Except I do feel like I’ve funneled a stupid amount of money into the pockets of inscribers everywhere.

      And, you’re right, talent trees can be quite confusing – especially for new players. And it’s always depressing when you start a new class, think “that sounds cool” and grab something on the first tier only to discover on further research that you took the “wrong” talent.

      To be honest though, I do feel generally positive about talent trees, although they’re always in permanent need of tweaking. And actually there’s just enough subtlety in the holy tree that you can tweak it something like your personal style.

      I’ve never got into shamans, I have to admit, partially because the talent trees are uninspiring. Oh great, a talent that improves something I haven’t got yet. Win.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 5, 2009 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  12. Nice thoughts! I think your comparison between not having glyphs and having unspent talent points is very apt. Many glyphs are just as – if not more – important than talents. (Can you imagine a holy paladin without glyph of holy light these days?!) So it’s like having an extra set of talent points… which you have to buy from the auction house. How messed up is that? o_O

    I don’t think the glyph of fade falls into the “completely useless” category by the way. For shadow priests that are specced into improved shadow form, casting fade also removes all movement impairing effects, so in pvp with all those hamstrings and what nots being able to break free more often is definitely something handy.

    Comment by Shintar — August 4, 2009 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

    • Very messed up, when you put it like that… I think I hate glyphs just a little bit more now :)

      Good point about fade, I am completely clueless about PvP :)

      Comment by Tamarind — August 5, 2009 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  13. Wait, Glyph of Levitate has you standing in the air on one leg…? Add a flute, and all of a sudden, ye’re Ian Anderson. Who probably plays a druid, or maybe a rogue, is my guess…

    But yeah. More diversity in glyphs would be cool, instead of forcing everyone into a “cookie-cutter spec” situation.

    Comment by Mugician13 — August 4, 2009 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

    • I’ve no idea why levitating priests stand on one leg like a flamingo … but I’m sure its very cool.

      And, yes, perhaps glyphs will get more interesting when there’s a greater variety.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 5, 2009 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  14. Omg! I’m so sorry to hear that you are ill! (Would it be really incredibly tactless at this point to randomly start “oinking” throughout my comment?) *oink*

    As for glyphs…

    I have a few “staples” that I always use, and yes, Swiftmend is one of them >.< But I have seen some math in which someone is trying to prove that it's not worth the global cooldown to cast swiftmend, and that you loose HPS by doing so. *oink* However, as I use swiftmend as an "oh shit", I'm happy to have my HoTs continue to keep ticking away =)

    I recently took my SHADOW4LIFE priest and dual spec'd her Holy, and in *oink* doing so, was left with the question of what to do with my glyphs. I must admit, I took the cheating way out (as I've not played her since the expansion released) and went and copied the glyphs that our top Holy Priest is using. Yea…pretty cheap, I know. If I start to play her more seriously, I may well put more thought into than I did.

    I do reglyph my druid frequently, based on different posts that I read, to try out the strengths of different glyphs, though.

    Anyhow! *oink* I hope you get to feeling better!

    /hug

    P.S. Sorry about *oink*ing at you. I just couldn't help myself! I hope you are not offended! I've the best swine flu comic for you, if I can dig it back up, I'll post it for you, as I think you might appreciate it!

    Comment by Beruthiel — August 4, 2009 @ 11:14 pm | Reply

    • It’s fine about the oinking, of course I’m not offended, that would be entirely silly of me :) My entire household has gone down with it, so there’s plenty oinking to be had over here. It’s a weird, guilty kind of illness because I’m not *that* ill but but I’m not really meant to be leaving the house in case I cause a public panic or something, so there’s nothing to do except making oinking noises, twiddle my toes and play WoW…. Could be worse :) Thanks for the kind words and the hug. And comics about swineflu are always welcome :)

      I’ve tried various glyph combinations myself, and, not having an inscriber, I have to admit it’s a moderately expensive hobby. I’m not complaining about Swiftmend as such, it’s stupidly good, and I use it myself. I’m not trying to say that I think druid healer should be harder or anything but it does a stiletto into a hammer, which makes me sad.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 5, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  15. It’s funny, id have thought this post would have touched upon the madness that is buying glyphs. Unlike any other profession, glyphs are incredibly hard to decipher. Say for instance that i wanted glyph of renew. How do i get it? I either spend 10 minutes on wowhead trying to figure out what low-level plant is needed to craft this, then spend the same amount of time herbing it, *then* try and find a scribe to actuelly craft the damn thing. OR i spend 10 gold on the AH for an item that has mat costs of 50 silver.
    (and yes i know that you can do something clever with outland herbs, but that sort of still doesn’t change the fact that its impossible to gather what is needed and therefor glyphmakers are making a fortune on this.

    Comment by dw-redux — August 5, 2009 @ 7:44 am | Reply

    • I’m intrinsically quite lazy so I don’t have an inscriber and, therefore, I don’t have clue who it works. I just know it’s expensive :) But it actually feels quite churlish to whinge that a certain profession is earning people money, just because it isn’t doing the same for me. The thing is I don’t mind shelling out for something that’s genuinely interesting and advantageous … but forking over 20 gold or whatever for the Tedious Glyph of Marginally Better Healing makes me itch.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 5, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

      • Especcially, if you found out that the mats needed to create it was costing the guy 10 silver. And that is usually the case.
        I’ve no idea why Blizzard decided why scribing should be so complicated. But they did, and it is. And that is messed up imo.
        I don’t mind other people making money off their profession (i have in fact an alt making gold of inscription), but it should be equally easy to comprehend what is needed for every profession.

        Comment by redux — August 5, 2009 @ 1:48 pm


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