Some Minor Glyphs are more Equal than others

I’ve had a hate hate relationship with minor glyphs ever since the start of MoP. Playing a Holy Priest didn’t exactly leave me with much choice outside the cosmetic and whilst I’ve nothing against cosmetic, when other classes have something useful to fill their slots it’s a little frustrating.

Sure things like being able to sprint over water and fall great distances safely are essentially niches but they take an existing useful spell and add something to it, making it more useful in certain situations with no negatives at all. Perhaps it’s easier for classes like the Rogue who despite having three specs has only one role but Priests have definitely suffered when it comes to fun minor glyphs which give you an edge over the cosmetic ones.

Confession is amusing for about 10 seconds, although if you could edit the confessions to suit the people you cast it on, it could have far more potential (although I can see why Blizzard would never ever allow this). I do like turning into a Val’kyr  but wish it altered the spell somewhat, perhaps you stay “alive” for three quarters of the time the normal Spirit remains for but it allows you to cast smite too. Not having to die to get any use of the glyph would be even better though. There are 10 Priest minor glyphs, four of these are Shadow specific, 1 Disc and 1 Holy. Of the four non spec specific spells, 3 are straight up turn this spell effect into that one and the final one is confessions.

Which brings me to the Monk. Here we see a variety of minor glyphs, ones which completely alter spells giving you variety and extra options. Take the Windwalker glyph Blackout Kick:

Use: Permanently teaches you this glyph.

Your Blackout Kick always deals 20% additional damage over 4 sec regardless of positioning but you’re unable to trigger the healing effect.

For situations where you don’t need to heal yourself, this is a great glyph. I admit my Monk currently rocks the completely cosmetic glyph of Crackling Tiger Lightning but my other 2 slots are filled with mostly practical glyphs and besides pretending I’m a Sith Monk is useful, honest. I fell in love with the glyph of Zen Flight the second I tried it out. Okay it’s not as fast as my mounts but you can cast it whilst falling, always handy especially when you’ve used crackling lightning to punt a mob off a cliff and had a slight accident whilst trying to loot it. You can cast your proper mount whilst smugly sitting on your cloud having not fallen to your death. You can mine on it four foot off the ground as well as complete pesky pick up quests under the noses of aggressive mobs. You can pose on it and chill out on it and perhaps most importantly you don’t need to die to use it.

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In many regards I wish Blizzard would return to the three type model for glyphs. Major spell altering ones, which always do something nice to your abilities, lesser ones which like the Blackout Kick above offer you a situational choice and finally the minor glyphs, always cosmetic and always fun. At the moment it feels like discussing minor glyphs is comparing apples with oranges which is wrong because it should be apples with apples and the Priest ones shouldn’t be windfall, mushy and filled with maggots when compared to other classes with their shiny pink ladys and golden delicious.

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BETA: New glyphs for healing Priests

The latest crop of healing Priest glyphs have finally made it onto the beta and can be purchased from everyone’s favourite oversized Tauren in the Temple of the Jade Serpent.

I have to say I’m not impressed. I wish I was, I really do but they’re either massively situational (i.e. require you to be dead!), have huge cooldowns (confessions) or take away what little control we already have over a spell (Lightspring).

Without further ado…

The biggest issue I’ve ever had with Lightwell was the control aspect, I fully admit I’m a complete control freak and I like to have full control over my healing arsenal. With Lightwell as it currently stands, I can yell, scream, bitch, name call and generally persuade people to click it. I remember my first raiding recap post at the start of Cataclysm where I talked about this:

The added icing on the cake was tonight my Lightwell provided over 2 million healing. Now that’s something I never expected to see.

In my experience, proper raiders will click on it to stay alive because they’ve already figured out that dead, they can’t top the damage meter. If I’m playing with afkers, muppets and the sort of people who show up to lev 70 battlegrounds wearing the gear they got at lev 1, well then at least I can use it.

So where does the glyph fit in? Well right now and much to my surprise I might add, Lightspring is providing exactly the same amount of healing as Lightwell (albeit when you’re below 50 percent health and only every 5 seconds). Lightspring also isn’t clickable at all so in certain environments like LFR where other healers attempt to use all your charges when out of combat to boost their own healing on the meter and the dps are mostly concentrating on standing in bad stuff it might have a place. Everywhere else, I’m erring towards no. In 5 mans, I know at least one fifth of the group (me) will use the unglyphed version which is good enough for me. In PvP (talking battlegrounds), I’d hate the idea of the undergeared squishy waste of space player on 10 percent health who has contributed virtually nothing “stealing” the charge I was rather hoping for when I’m being beaten up.

When I consider the fights where historically I’ve got the most out of Lightwell, it’s been ones where multiple people get hit at once and can all click for healing there and then. The fact that you can click the Lightwell whilst stunned or otherwise cc’d also adds to it’s unglyphed appeal. Lightspring is specifically designed to work against that with it’s lack of interaction, 5 second cooldown and 50 percent health minimum. Obviously we don’t know enough about encounter design yet but I really don’t see me using this glyph.

That said, I’m glad Blizzard have added it. Options are always good and whilst it’s not my particular cup of tea, I’m sure there will be some Priests who like it or who find a niche for it.

What I would love to see changed however is the visual. Right now Lightwell and Lightspring look indentical and that could lead to all sorts of confusion as people try and click on the Lightspring and whine that the Lightwell didn’t heal them automatically. Lightwell has looked exactly the same since it was introduced in vanilla so it’s about time it got a face lift. This might be asking a bit much but I’d love a Lightwell that looked something like this:

On a considerably smaller scale of course and with added sparkles.

Now onto the minor glyphs.

Despite the fact that you have to do my least favourite thing in the entire game to get any use of out of this particular glyph, I am tempted. I just wish there was an added side effect like perhaps when an enemy dies near you whilst you have this glyph equipped a tiny shadow of a val’kyr flies away from the corpse. Just something to make it fun and usable in situations where you rarely if ever die.

I have to admit I had high hopes for this, with a 30 minute cooldown surely it would force embarrassing secrets from the lips of our guildmates and friends. I imagined myself as a smaller cuter Gnome version of Interrogator Vishas bouncing about demanding to know their “naughty secrets”.

I suppose it depends what you call embarrassing.

Perhaps if I was a Troll this could be perceived as the sort of scandalous secret I want to keep to myself but as a Gnome… it sounds perfectly normal to me.

Unfortunately I know exactly what Tauren tastes like because I accidentally took a bite out of one once! As you can see from these screenshots, in this beta build you can force yourself to confess too.

The two minors I can see me using but right now, I’m struggling to think of a use for Lightspring.