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Inscription details: Glyphs, runewords, and more

We found out a little bit about inscription and what materials it might need when the Wrath of the Lich King beta debuted last week, and yesterday we learned that they will be helping Enchanters use the auction house, but we were still left wondering about what was originally promoted as the central purpose of the new profession: enhancing spells. Thanks to the WotLK Wiki, we now have some information on that very intriguing functionality.

  • Spells will be enhanced by Glyphs, which will be created by inscribers and will be tradable (though there may be some inscriber-only Glyphs).
  • Glyphs come in three sizes: Minor, Lesser, and Greater. Minor Glyphs have small effects or cosmetic changes, Lesser Glyphs give moderate upgrades to spells, and Greater Glyphs give major upgrades to spells.
  • Each character has six Glyph slots: two Minor, two Lesser, and two Greater. The screenshot shown here is the Glyph interface, available to every character. The slots at top and bottom are for Greater Glyphs, those at top-right and top-left are for Lesser, and the sad-looking ones at bottom-left and bottom-right are for Minor glyphs.
  • There is an ability called Glyph Mastery that's categorized under Inscription which gives access to an additional Glyph slot for the inscriber, but it is unknown how this ability is attained. Maybe it's a specialization, like other professions have.

By the way, I think I've solved the puzzle of what a practitioner of Inscription is called: "inscriber." The OED defines "inscriber" as "One who inscribes; the writer of an inscription." The other two major contenders, "inscriptor" and "scrivener," are defined respectively as "An inscription (obsolete, rare)" and "A professional penman; a scribe, copyist; a clerk, secretary, amanuensis." "Inscriptionist" is another possibility, being defined as "The writer or carver of an inscription," but it's longer than "inscriber" and so I do not favor it.

To get back on topic, I have here (via the wiki) several actual examples of Glyphs drawn from the data files, the first such we've seen, to my knowledge.

  • Demonic Runes (Rank 3, Greater): Permanently enchants your Fireball spells to inflict up to 50 additional Fire damage. Spells can only have one inscription.
  • Glyph of Moonfire (Lesser): Empowers a Lesser Glyph to reduce the rage cost of your Demoralizing Roar by 20. [I strongly suspect that the name and effect of this Glyph are mis-matched.]
  • Glyph of Natural Force (Greater): Empowers a Greater Glyph to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting your Wrath spells by 50%.
  • Glyph of the Penguin (Minor): Empowers a Minor Glyph to cause your Polymorph: Sheep spell to turn the target into a baby penguin.
  • Glyph of Thorns (Minor): Empowers a Minor Glyph to reduce the mana cost of your Thorns spells by %s1%.
  • Glyph of Wild Endurance (Minor): Empowers a Minor Glyph to increase the duration of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells by 30 min.

I foresee Glyph of the Penguin being in very high demand. And Glyph of Wild Endurance looks very pleasant for a Minor Glyph; that might be popular with the raiding druids.

If spells found in the beta can be trusted, inscribers will have yet a few more tricks up their ink-stained sleeves: Runewords and Runes of Power. The concept of rune words will be familiar to players of Diablo II, though they seem to be quite different here. It looks like Wrath runewords will be temporary enchants for armor, similar to sharpening stones or mana oil for weapons. Here's an example: Runeword of Minor Magic. The reagent for this is one Dreamfoil. Unknown is whether runewords will be inscriber-only, or if they will be tradable.

Runes of Power appear to be ways for inscribers to cast extra spells, consuming ink to do so (ink being derived from herbs). The only example to be found so far is Runic Blast; Ivory Ink is made from Peacebloom. From all appearances it looks like inscribers will be going through quite a bit of ink, between crafting and using their Runes of Power, so it might be wise to stockpile herbs of all kinds, especially low-level ones which are next to worthless right now.

Overall, Inscription is looking very attractive. I'm pretty sure my Death Knight is going to be picking Peacebloom and grinding them up to make my ink, and it makes me smile to think about it. How about you guys?

Filed under: Herbalism, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

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