Tag Archives: inscription

Dual-Specs Info At Last

Blizzard have finally released information on the dual specs feature talked about for months. You can read the full Q&A on the official site; here are some of the highlights, with my reactions.

Nethaera: Who will be able to use it?
Ghostcrawler: Players who have reached the maximum level will be able to set up dual specs.

Nethaera: Why do players need to be max level in order to do this?
Ghostcrawler: We didn’t want to burden lower-level players with extra complexity as they’re working to level up and learn their class. But if the feature proves popular we might consider expanding it.

Frankly, I hope they do expand it; it’d be tremendously useful to be able to have a DPS spec and a tanking or healing spec while levelling.

Nethaera: How will you be able to set up a dual spec?

Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to visit their trainer and pay a one-time fee to be able to use it.

Nice and easy.

Nethaera: How do you switch between specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to switch between their talent specs by visiting any Lexicon of Power provided they’ve paid for the ability to have a secondary spec.

Lexicons of Power will be available in major cities, and inscribers will also be able to create a new item that summons one. Anyone can purchase this item, but it requires a ritual of several players to summon it for use by the party. It’s similar to a repair bot in that it will exist in the world for a short duration.

It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be able to switch specs while in combat or Arenas. While you won’t be able to switch your spec without the Lexicon, you will still be able to look at your secondary spec whenever you want to.

Nethaera: Will solo players have the ability to switch their specs outside of the cities or will they still need to visit a Lexicon of Power?
Ghostcrawler: Solo players will still need to go into the city to visit the Lexicon of Power to switch their talent spec or will need to get together with other players to summon one in.

Okay, that’s a pretty awesome way of handling it. I’ll be interested to see whether the item used to summon a Lexicon requires a Scribe to use it – will raids need to take Scribes for Lexicons in the future, in the way they need an Engineer for Repair Bots now? My guess is yes.

Nethaera: Can I respec only one of my talent sets, or will I need to respec them both if I reset one?
Ghostcrawler: When you reset your talents, it will look at the spec you currently have in use as the talent set you want to change.

Excellent. I’d been wondering how they were going to tackle multiple specs for those people for whom two regular specs isn’t enough. You’ll still have to fiddle about with the manual respecs when you go to and from your third spec, but at least it’ll be a simple process.

Nethaera: Will players be confined to only setting up two specs?
Ghostcrawler: We will be launching the feature with just two specs, but depending on how we feel it works out, we might consider additional specs in the future.

Speaking as someone with about five specs to choose from, I hope they decide to add more.

Nethaera: Will you be able to switch gear easily to match your spec?
Ghostcrawler: At the same time we implement dual specs, we will also be setting up a gear system. The feature is called “Gear Manager.” It can also be used to just swap weapons or trinkets or put on that tuxedo to strut around town. It will not automatically switch your gear when you change your talent spec, but it will allow for an easy gear change between them. The feature may not be fully functional immediately in the PTR, but we’ll have more information to share about it before too much longer.

Hello, in-game ItemRack! ItemRack’s one of my ‘can’t live without it’ addons; this might relegate it to a nice optional extra, or replace it altogether.

Nethaera: Will you be able to change your Glyphs as well?
Ghostcrawler: Glyphs will be tied to each talent spec so that if you switch between them, so too will the Glyphs. You’ll notice the UI will have changed a little bit so that the Glyph panes show up alongside the Talent panes now that they are associated.

Excellent! Of course, if you do want to change glyphs around in a raid, you’ll have this handy summonable Lexicon of Power…

Nethaera: What about hotbars? Will players be able to save them for the talent spec they’re running?
Ghostcrawler: Yes, you will be able to save hotbars and use them with your talent specs. It just saves your bars at the same time as it saves the glyphs and talents. If you want to switch to your other action bar, you will need to change specs.

Five bucks says this breaks every hotbar addon in heinous ways. Most of the addon authors will no doubt be all over the PTR getting their addons ready for the changeover; I hope the author of my bar mod of choice (Macaroon) does the same.

Nethaera: Is there a way for players to choose their talents without them being saved? Currently, once you spend your talent point, it’s spent unless you pay the respec cost again.
Ghostcrawler: With the dual spec feature, we are going to allow players who respec to configure all their talents before they get saved. They will be able to allocate the points, then choose if they want to use that as their spec, rather than needing to carefully diagram out their talents ahead of time. This will allow players a little more freedom when deciding on the talents they want to pick and avoid costly mistakes.

Well, there’s a feature that’s about four and half years overdue. ;-)

Holy Paladin Glyph Choice

An essential part of playing a spec is choosing the right glyphs to support your spell use. Here’s a quick guide to the best glyphs for Holy Paladins, current as of patch 3.0.8. (I originally covered holy paladin glyphs here and here; however, those posts are out of date since the changes during the WotLK beta and in patch 3.0.8.)

Major Glyphs: Your Choices

Glyph of Holy Light
Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target.

This is an excellent PvE glyph; at no cost, it turns your bomb heal into a mini-AoE which is great for topping up melee in a clustered fight. It’s had a bit of a history; it started in 3.0.2 as a 5-yard range AoE, which was increased to 20 yards in 3.0.8 and then hotfixed down to 8 yards within two days.

Glyph of Flash of Light
Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance.

This is a solid performer. On one hand, Flash of Light is economical enough that you don’t really need the mana return from a crit, and with Sacred Shield up you’re probably critting 80% of the time anyway. However, a couple of crit Flashes of Light will give a big, fast boost to a tank’s health, and more throughput is never a bad thing.

Glyph of Seal of Light
While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5%.

This is great to use for increasing throughput, obviously, although it does have the downside of preventing you from using Seal of Wisdom and autoattacking between casts to regenerate mana.

Glyph of Seal of Wisdom
While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cos of your healing spells is reduced by 5%.

This is a good starter glyph to improve mana conservation, which can be an issue for healing paladins early in the gearing process. When combined with a high crit rate, and gear like the Libram of Renewal, you can pump out a lot of healing for a surprisingly low mana cost.

Glyph of Divinity
Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.

This can be very useful in the event of a mana shortage, particularly given that potion use is now very restricted. It works particularly well with a minor glyph listed below. Of note, despite some ambiguous wording it does return mana to you when you cast it on a target without mana (ie a rogue, warrior or death knight); if you cast it on yourself, it returns double the mana, giving you effectively a free mana potion. The mana restoration is also independent of the actual amount healed.

Glyph of Cleansing
Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Purify spells by 20%.

This is the least useful of the holy Glyphs; even in arenas the limiting factor on cleansing is generally GCDs, rather than mana. If post-T7 raid content sees a huge return to decursing fights, this might come into its own, but generally it’s the weakest glyph and I’d avoid using it.

What about Glyph of Spiritual Attunement?

If you’re doing a lot of fights where you take large amounts of damage, and you can rely on someone else to heal you back to full health before you die (which is not necessarily a helpful thing to expect of your healing team), then this glyph can provide a reasonable source of mana return. However, given that Blizzard have stated they want to move away from ‘All AoE, All The Time’ fights, this glyph is likely to be situational at best, and there are far more generally-useful options to choose from.

Minor Glyphs: Your Choices


When you’re just starting out at 80, I’d recommend the following:
Majors: Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Seal of Wisdom and Glyph of Divinity.
Minors: Glyph of the Wise, Glyph of Lay on Hands, and dealer’s choice for your third minor. (I used Glyph of Sense Undead to help a bit with questing.)

This gives you a nice AoE effect from Holy Light, mana longevity as long as you have Seal of Wisdom up (which is made cheaper by the minor glyph), and a really nice mana regen effect from your Lay on Hands – top up your mana when you’re using Lay on Hands as an emergency heal, or get a whole mana potion’s worth if you use it on yourself. (Obviously, the minor glyph helps here.)

Once you’re better-geared and mana isn’t an issue, I would recommend:

  • Leave your Holy Light (major) and Sense Undead (minor) Glyphs in place.
  • Replace the Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (major) with Glyph of Seal of Light, and replace the Glyph of the Wise (minor) with Glyph of Blessing of Kings if you’re one of the unlucky Holy paladins who needs to spec for Kings.
  • Replace the Glyph of Divinity (major) with Glyph of Flash of Light; leave the minor Lay on Hands glyph in place. You can still use LoH as a mana restore by casting it on yourself, of course, though you’ll only get normal mana return rather than the double helping you’d get if you still had the major glyph.

These changes will generally improve your throughput significantly at the expense of mana efficiency. If you’re still having problems with mana, stick with the original suggestions. You can, of course, tweak your Glyphs differently – for instance, I know a paladin who has both of the major Seal glyphs, because the other healer in his 10-man team dies a lot so he winds up switching between Seals depending on whether he needs output or longevity.

But Isn’t The Flash of Light Glyph BAD?

No, it’s not. It used to be problematic; before Patch 3.0.8 its effect was: “Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.” Most paladins refused to use this, because it rendered Flash of Light incredibly inefficient if you cast it on the same target within twelve seconds, leaving us with only Holy Light (huge and inefficient) as a spammable heal.

Blizzard clearly agreed that it wasn’t valuable enough, and changed the effect; now it’s a flat 5% bonus to Flash of Light’s crit rate, which is much more useful.

Holy Glyphs, Batman!

3.0.8 brings two welcome changes to holy paladin glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flash of Light – Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance. (Old – Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.)
  • Glyph of Holy Light – Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 20 yards of the initial target. (Up from 10 Yards)

Most of the Holy Paladins I know are overjoyed with this change. The Holy Light glyph change is just a straight buff without changing the functionality, and it’s a welcome one. The Flash of Light glyph change turns what was a horrible glyph that no sane pally should ever have taken* into something really strong and useful.

* I could explain in tedious detail why the old (current) Glyph of Flash of Light is so bad, but why rant when it’s being changed anyway?

The only sad thing about this, to my mind, is that now I have to say goodbye to either my Glyph of Divinity or my Glyph of Seal of Wisdom, to make room for the Flash of Light glyph. Onoez, too many choices!

Inscription: Levelling Guide v. 1.2

Finally, it’s all done!

Inscription Guide v1.2
Last Update: 10 October; PTR build 9056.

If you want to see the levelling guide here on the blog, I’ve updated the Inscription Levelling Guide post.

Alternatively, for the full list of Inscription recipes and the complete Inscription Guide, download the guide as a PDF file here: inscription12.pdf. (The full guide is in PDF form because frankly, it’s almost impossible to format all those tables as a blog post.)

Shopping List

The bottom line: based on all of the above, here’s what you’ll need to level Inscription as high as possible when 3.0.2 goes live.

  • 150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
  • 100x Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, or Swiftthistle
  • 285x Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, or Wild Steelbloom
  • 270x Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, or Wintersbite
  • 270x Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, or Sungrass
  • 235x Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • 490x Any Outland herbs

Remember, the numbers required can be made up of any of those herbs, in multiples of 5.

Note that this is a cost increase for every tier of herbs except the Earthroot tier (which remained the same) and the Dreamfoil tier (which now requires less herbs).

If you’re only going to 350 to get all the recipes, not maxing out your skill level, you can halve the number of Outland herbs you need.

Inscription Changes in 9014

Unsurprisingly, build 9014 has changed some things for Inscription yet again.

Of particular interest, a lot of the glyphs that were previously green when learnt are now orange, meaning that skilling up from 200 onwards shouldn’t be as painful or costly as my guide suggested. On the other hand, many inks have doubled in cast, so the lower levels may be more expensive.

Obviously, this sort of thing is destined to happen – if I waited til Inscription wasn’t going to change any more before posting the guide, it’d be useless because Inscription would be live.

I’ll be updating my guide and posting a new iteration of it, as soon as I’ve had a chance to re-do Inscription on the PTR. Expect it within a couple of days.

Scribes and the Glyph Slot

I alluded to this in my last post, but I felt I should make it clear for people who didn’t read behind the cut:

A lot of information around the net – including my own Inscription guide, currently – says that Scribes will be getting an extra Major Glyph slot that no-one else gets.

This is no longer true – at least as far as I can determine. The trainers no longer offer it as an ability, it’s been deleted from WoWhead’s WotLK subsite, and there’s been no official reference to it for a long time.

Unless it’s put back in in a late-breaking change, I think it’s fairly conclusive that the extra glyph slot for Scribes has gone the way of the dodo.

There’s a new version of the Inscription Guide, Version 1.1, available for download, updating the above information and adding a few other refinements and clarifications.

Professional Advantages

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King.

So, you’re wondering what professions will serve you best at level 80? Here’s a super-quick rundown of the crafter-only advantages of each profession, to help you pick.

In addition, I’ve listed the major epic items that each profession can make, even if they’re BoE, as there’s likely to be a lucrative market in providing crafted epics.

Current as of WotLK beta build 8982.

Continue reading Professional Advantages

Inscription Guide Revised – Levelling

Note: this post contains spoilers for Patch 3.0.

This is the second of a two-part guide to Inscription, the new tradeskill being introduced in Wrath of the Lich King.

Last Update: 10 October; WotLK beta build 9056.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

For the full list of Inscription recipes and the complete Inscription Guide, download the guide as a PDF file here: inscription12.pdf. (The full guide is in PDF form because frankly, it’s almost impossible to format all those tables as a blog post.)

Otherwise, read on for the “short” version!

Continue reading Inscription Guide Revised – Levelling

Inscription Guide Revised – Introduction

Note: this post contains spoilers for Patch 3.0.

This post is a revision of my previous Inscription Guide.

This is the first of a two-part guide to Inscription, the new tradeskill being introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. The second part will cover specific recipes, required mats, and a recommended path for levelling the skill as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Last Update: 10 October; WotLK beta build 9056.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

For the full list of Inscription recipes and the complete Inscription Guide, download the guide as a PDF file here: inscription12.pdf. (The full guide is in PDF form because frankly, it’s almost impossible to format all those tables as a blog post.)

Inscription is a profession practised by Scribes. At its core, Inscription involves using herbs to create glyphs of magical power, which enhance spells and items. The profession was originally advertised as new content for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, but Blizzard have since advised that it will be available as of Patch 3.0 before WotLK is released.

What Scribes Do

Scribes create a number of scrolls, glyphs and other consumables that anyone can use. They make:

In addition, Scribes have several abilities only they can take advantage of:

  • Master’s Inscriptions; self-only shoulder enchants (similar to enchanter-only ring enchants or the new tailor-only spellthreads). These come in four varieties: Axe, Crag, Pinnacle and Storm.
  • Off-hand items; bind-on-pickup offhands, from low-level blues to level 77 epics.

How Glyphs Work

Every character has a ‘glyphs’ tab in their spellbook, which has slots for 6 glyphs – 3 minor and 3 greater. Glyphs created by Scribes are put in these slots, and will modify the character’s spells. Some glyphs currently require a Lexicon of Power to apply; it’s an in-game item like an alchemy lab or mana loom and there’s one in Dalaran in the Inscription trainer shop.

Minor glyphs give a minor or cosmetic effect, eg:

  • changes the visual effect of a spell
  • gives a small reduction in a spell’s mana cost
  • gives a buff spell increased duration

Major glyphs give a significant upgrade, eg:

  • increases chance to avoid interruption while casting
  • increases damage done by a spell

Learning Inscription

There are Inscription trainers in various cities of Azeroth, Outland and Northrend:

  • Professor Palin, Magus Commerce Exchange, Dalaran


  • Catarina Stanford, near The Stockade, Stormwind
  • Elise Brightletter, Great Forge, Ironforge
  • Feyden Darkin, Craftsmen’s Terrace, Darnassus
  • Thoth, Crystal Halls, The Exodar
  • Michael Schwan, Honor Hold, Hellfire Peninsula
  • Mindri Dinkles, Valgarde, Howling Fjord
  • Tink Brightbolt, Valiance Keep, Borean Tundra


  • Jo’mah, The Drag, Orgrimmar
  • Margaux Parchley, The Apothecarium, Undercity
  • Poshken Hardbinder, Pools of Vision, Thunder Bluff
  • Zantasia, Court of the Sun, Silvermoon City
  • Neferatti, Thrallmar, Hellfire Peninsula
  • Booker Kells, Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord
  • Adelene Sunlance, Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra

Inscribers will also need an Inking Set and various kinds of blank parchment; these are sold by Inscription Supplies vendors. There’s one in Dalaran, Larana Drome, and other trainers should also be accompanied by them.


Milling is a subskill of Inscription, and a direct parallel of Jewelcrafting’s Prospecting. Inscribers learn Milling when they first train Inscription skill; it allows an inscriber to turn 5 herbs into raw materials for inks.

These raw materials are called “pigments”; different types of pigments are derived from milling different herbs. The first tier of herbs – Peacebloom, Silverleaf, and Earthroot – produce Alabaster Pigment. Other types of pigment (such as Dusky, Golden, and Emerald Pigment) are milled from higher tiers of herbs.

Milling each batch of herbs also has a chance to produce a rare pigment as well as the common one. For instance, milling 5 Briarthorn will produce 2 or 3 Dusky Pigment, and may also give one or more Verdant Pigments as well.

The rare pigments are used to make rarer inks, which are in turn used to make offhand items, tarot cards and the like. See the upcoming Levelling Guide for more details of recipes.

Milling herbs requires certain Inscription skill levels depending on the level of the herbs. Milling never gives Inscription skill, even at low levels.