Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King.
Inscription is still being tuned, and a lot of glyphs are incomplete or non-existent – not to mention we haven’t seen a single Minor Glyph yet for most classes.
However, some of the existing Glyphs are worth taking a look at; of course, they may change before Inscription goes live. And some of the glyphs lead to some very interesting conclusions about possible playstyles when Wrath goes live.
A few key Paladin glyphs are incomplete, complete with a “does nothing yet” tag in their tooltip. This includes the Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom, a favourite spell of healadins everywhere.
However, there are some other interesting Glyphs to take a look at. Non-Scribes will get three Major Glyph slots and three Minors. The top contenders for your Major slots so far are:
- Glyph of Flash of Light: Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 200% of its inital effect over 15 sec.
- Glyph of Holy Light: Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 5 yds of the initial target.
- Glyph of Lay on Hands: Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target. (Note that max rank of Lay on Hands restores 1950 mana.)
- Glyph of Seal of Light: While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5%.
- Glyph of Seal of Wisdom: While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cost of your healing spells is reduced by 5%.
Now, I don’t have typical numbers on heal output at level 80, so I can’t really theorycraft accurately. However, some observations:
Flash of Light Glyph and the Paladin Playstyle
The utility of the Flash of Light glyph really depends on healadin playstyle at 80. Reducing the upfront output and turning it into a Regrowth-a-like will significantly punish healadins who mindlessly spam Flash of Light every GCD, since you’d be constantly overwriting the HoT portion before it had a chance to tick its full duration.
However, Holy Shock may have potential as a Flash of Light alternative – it has a cooldown, but heals for ~1/3 more (albeit with less mana efficiency). Between glyphed Flash of Lights and their HoT effects, Holy Shocks every cooldown, Beacon of Lights, and insta-cast Holy Lights after a crit Holy Shock (procced by the Infusion of Light talent), you’ve got a lot more than the two buttons you used to push. (Oh, and the very-short-range AoE heal from the Holy Light glyph, for melee boosting, and your mana-free Lay on Hands on a 20 minute cooldown, for emergencies.)
My first thought on looking at the Flash of Light glyph was “wow, that could be a dangerous healing gimp”, but on reflection I’m actually excited about the potential versatility it offers and implies about our playstyle. Quite a lot, in fact.
Let’s assume you’ve got the Flash of Light, Holy Light and Seal of Wisdom glyphs installed. You’re healing a 5-man, and you’re expecting a lot of splash damage. You put Beacon of Light on your main tank and keep him up with a combo of Flash of Lights, Holy Shocks and Holy Lights – and you throw Flash of Lights liberally around the rest of your party. Beacon of Light copies all that healing (excluding any overheal) to your tank. Your tank receives the equivalent of five HoTs ticking on him, plus the upfront heals of Flash of Light, plus whatever healing you give him directly – that’s a heck of a lot of healing per second.
This kind of approach will fall down in fights involving massive single-target incoming damage, which has traditionally been the paladin’s strength – I suspect we may wind up carrying Glyphs to swap out for situational fights, as they’re on a one-hour cooldown. In addition, it’s significantly more mana-intensive than the classic “spam FoL” healadin strategy, so it remains to be seen if our mana regen and gear will hold up to it.
I certainly hope so. It adds some versatility and diversity to an otherwise single-focus healer!
(Edit: I’ve posted something similar over at PlusHeal, so there may be extra discussion there if you’re interested in the issue.)