Friday, June 18, 2010

Paladin Medium Glyphs

Blizzard announced that they were scrapping the Path of the Titans system and instead fleshing out Glyphs a bit more. Seems like an interesting decision. I think that Glyphs never really lived up to their full potential. They were touted as a way to "tweak" your spells, and a lot of early glyphs had both positive and negative effects. For example the old Glyph of Flash of Light cut the direct healing in half, but added a non-stacking HoT.

However, the Glyphs that were purely positive were the most popular, I think, and soon Glyphs become nothing more than extra talent points that improved your best spells.

Cataclysm is adding a third row of Medium Glyphs. As I understand it, Major Glyphs would enhance the main spells in the rotation, Medium spells will enhance situational spells, and Minor glyphs will be cosmetic or reageant effects.

I was thinking about what paladin spells would have Medium glyphs, and was struck by the fact that we don't have *that* many situational skills. Paladins have a lot of abilities, but each spec uses different ones all the time. For example, Divine Plea is situational for Holy and Ret, but a main spell for Protection. Seals are now active most of the time. I can't see Seal of Light or Wisdom going to Medium glyphs.

So what spells would be eligible? My list would look like:
- Lay on Hands
- Divine Intervention (no clue what a Glyph of DI would do)
- Hand spells
- Holy Wrath
- Turn Evil
- maybe Seal of Justice and Judgment of Justice
- Divine Shield / Divine Protection
- Hammer of Justice
- Avenging Wrath

Pretty much all the other spells are used full-time by one of the specs, or are a Blessing/Aura, which really are not good candidates for Glyphing. Blizzard is moving away from improved Blessings/Auras to make coordinating them easier.

I suppose that's enough spells to do stuff with, but I'm not sure that any of these spells can be really exciting.

Personally, I don't think much of the current design of Glyphs. We already have talent trees. I don't really see the need for talents which are not talents. Glyph of Seal of Wisdom/Light could just as easily have been a Holy talent (Improved Seals) which read, "While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cost of your healing spells is reduced by 1/2/3/4/5%. While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 1/2/3/4/5%."

I think the idea of glyphs being a double-edged sword--actively changing how that spell was used--was much more interesting.


  1. I always hated the majority of glyphs for much the reason you mentioned, there's no reason the vast majority of glyphs shouldn't be talents or just baseline part of the spell, especially when many are essentially mandatory.

    I've always like the glyphs that changed how spells worked slightly to suit a certain playstyle over another, the old flash of light glyph is a perfect example, even if rarely used. Another is the avengers shield glyph that makes it single target but does extra damage. For my priest I love the glyph of renew, which increases the healing but shortens the duration. Things that make the spell act differantly instead of a flat damage or healing increase, those glyphs are the worst.

    Hopefully medium glyphs will be more in line with this, but major glyphs still look like they will remain boring and basically pointless, they should really be rolled into the baseline spell or talents.

  2. I completely agree. Glyphs leave a lot to be desired right now. The new ones run the risk of having the same issues as soon as someone does any maths and figures out which are the "best" ones. The only counter to this is to either have them benefit the player equally (very difficult) or give a wide variety of not necessarily beneficial but fun or interesting mechanics to the current gameplay, perhaps allowing new ways of playing an old and familiar spec. Well, we shall see. Not long to go now.

  3. Your post got me really thinking about the potential of these new glyphs to the point that I ended up just posting my response to this to my own blog. But in direct response to the potential of the glyph of DI - here is what I've come up with for the medium slot Glyph of DI:

    A. Divine intervention can now be cast on yourself. It does not kill you when cast on yourself, however it cost 3 Reagents.

    B. Divine Intervention no longer kills you when cast. It now cost 50% of your maximum health. If this would reduce your health below 0%, it will kill you.

    C. (As a minor glyph) - This glyph would remove the reagent cost of Divine Intervention. (I'd use this right now if it was available!)

  4. Sadly there can't be a glyph for Divine Intervention because in the Alpha it has been removed.

    It's getting the same treatment as Sentry Totem.

  5. Holy Wrath: halves the damage but increases the duration of the stun by 6 seconds.

    Hand Of Sacrifice: HoSac now also heals the target for double the amount of damage transferred to the paladin.

    Judgment of Justice: reduces the duration of JoJ to 6 seconds but limits the target's movement speed to 60% of their normal speed.

    Hammer of Justice: Reduces the cooldown of HoJ to 20 seconds, but it now disorients the target instead of stunning.

    Definitely has some potential for fun, but then again, so did the original glyphs.

  6. There will be always glyphs that are the best for certain damage-dealing class and spec, because by definition the glyph combo that increases damage the most is the best.

    However, healer and tank glyphs are more customizable since tanking ahd healing concerns are quite different for different fights.

    As a warrior tank, I would use glyph of sunder armor, cleave and blocking while tanking trash packs since they deliver the most AOE threat and help to mitigate a lot of damage that is coming from weak melee attacks.

    On the bos who can one-shot me if I don't use a cooldown at a right time (Vezax, Gormok, Lich King) glyphs of shield wall and last stand (they lower CDs on corresponding abilities) are mandatory.

    If the boss requires max TPS (Malygos, Hodir), there are glyphs that help with TPS (vigilance, blocking, shockwave, revenge).

    When tanking nerubian adds on Anub HM (with the block set), there is just another set of glyph for this specific encounter... I think you got the idea.

    Imagine that you are in 10-people raid with 2 holy palas as healers, and you are assigned raid healing role. I bet you'll want to have different set of glyphs than when you do tank healing.

    Imagine you're back on Vezax and manaregen is off. You'd better use glyphs/librams that lower cost of spells, and not only that, you may want to get rid of items with MP5 on them and probably retalent.

    DPS raid members, however, in every situation have just one assigment: do the most DPS while surviving and doing some other minor things. It doesn't matter to them if the boss can or can't one-shot tank without cooldown up or if holy pala is healing tank or raid. They have to do max DPS (while surviving) at any case, so the best glyphs are those which improve DPS the most.