Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4.0.1's changes to the Glyph system for Rogues

Glyphs are PERSONAL enhancements that a player places on their character created within the profession called "Inscription". The practitioners of which are called "Scribes".With 4.0.1 the original design of the glyph system is getting a complete reworking. No longer will it be a simple two type style but will expand to encompass three distinct types of glyphs. (Originally I was going to post this yesterday but a surprise post by the blues made me question some items I had seen on the PTR so I held off.) Many of the original glyphs we had before are still in effect, and any of those you used for your previous specs you will find you already know when you log in. However there have been a couple of new ones added that you may want to pick up so lets review what the changes are, what new glyphs have been added how how this all translates into what we will need to do as we set up to play.

The three types of glyphs are Prime glyphs which deal with our damage output, Major glyphs which augment abilities and spells to granting greater utility, and Minor glyphs which grant minor conveniences.  We are granted three of each at specific level sets, the first set is at level 25, the second at level 50 and the third at level 75 for a grand total of 9. There is also a regent you will need to know about that the first time I saw it I had a major blast from the past. It is called "Vanish Powder" (Now the blue post called it "Dust of Disappearance" but this isn't accurate.) This powder allows you to change out glyphs. Once you have learned a glyph they go into a side panel (They will be lit up to show that you know them, shaded to indicate that you can learn them but don't yet have access to them.) Now I don't foresee us as being a class that frequently changes out our glyphs but some having a stack of 5 on you should get you by. This powder can either be purchased from a scribe or at an Inscription vendor, as a stack of five will only run you 32s this is no hardship.

Minor Glyphs are located in the center of the new glyph interface. They are the smallest of the glyph have circle with no decorative feature around the edge. They are located at the bottom of the glyph list, only one specifically has changed for us this patch. Now I have my personal preferences on these so I will start with those as I go over each.

Safe Fall - This glyph allows you to fall further without taking as much damage. Now there is some debate as to how MUCH further the distance is but I know that several of the event bosses we will be facing for Cata have "tossing" mechanics and this was a nice feature to have as I took NO fall damage while using this glyph.

Distract - Increases the range of distract by 5 yards. With Cata CC is going to be coming back in a big way (basically because we are not all going to be over geared for the instances for a while). So having the extra range to get in and place saps can come in handy.

Poisons - This allows you to apply your poisons 50% faster. Really just for all those impatient us out there. (You know that describes that vast majority of us.) This one may catch some people by surprise because it is actually a new/old glyph. Originally this was the Glyph of Vanish but it was converted into this so you may already know it even though it is new.

Pick Pocket - Increases the range of picking pockets by 5 yards. Now I personally use this one rather than Poisons but that is because I have a MAJOR problem with sticky fingers. What can I say I like presents? Though I am still rather bitter that Arthas doesn't have any pockets.....

Blurred Speed - Allows you to walk on water when you cast Sprint. With Sprint's cool down now reduced to 1 minute from 3 minutes this may increase in popularity with a great many Rogues. I know quite a few who enjoyed playing "Jesus" all the time.

Pick Lock - Allows you to instantly open a locked box. Now this is nice if you are a rogue who does nothing more than open all your guild's locked boxes or stands on the local mail box hawking your skills. However since frankly the amount of those lovely things has greatly diminished in recent years *cry* so has the usefulness of this glyph.

Major Glyphs are located in the middle section of the glyph interface, they are the same size as the minors but have a decorative border similar to a gem socket. Choices in this area are really going to depend on what you are doing with your character. Are you raiding? Pvping? Leveling? Along with this will be what spec you decide to go with as your primary. Only one major change here the others are all glyphs we are already familiar with. So I will start with the change then give the others in no particular order.

If you look in the list of glyphs it will list "Vanish" as a learnable glyph Major Glyph but this is in fact an error. As was stated in the Minors "Vanish" as been converted into the Minor glyph "Poisons" so while it is listed as a learn able glyph it is in fact unavailable.

Ambush - Increases the range of  Ambush by 5 yards. With the resurgence of Subtlety as a viable spec this glyph may actually see some use.

Blade Furry - Reduced the energy regeneration penalty by 50% while Blade Furry is active. For Combat Rogues this is a very good glyph to have.

Blind - Removes all damage over time effects from the target. It is basically our version of Polymorph, minus all the cute, cuddly shapes. This is a new glyph added this patch. For Pvp there is no doubt this is a very useful one to consider.

Cloak of Shadows - When Cloak of Shadows if active you take 40% less physical damage. Again another nice Pvp glyph.

Crippling Poison - Increases the chance to inflict your target with Crippling Poison by 20%. Ok, something nice to say about this up empty here. It helps fill your low level glyph slot? Honestly I can't think of a single reason to use this glyph, EVER.

Deadly Throw - Increases the slowing effect of your Deadly Throw by 20%. Pvpers MAY like this but to be honest I can think of better ways to use a Major slot. Ever since they removed the interrupt ability from Deadly Throw the usefulness of it has been limited.

Evasion - Increases the duration of Evasion by 5 seconds. Again another Pvp, or Rogue Tank glyph. Leveling rogues may also like this one, at least ones who have a difficult time understanding the choose your fight play style of rogues.

Expose Armor - Increase the duration of Expose Armor by 12 seconds. Now this glyph can be very useful if you tend to run 10 man raids without a warrior. While it may not increase your PERSONAL dps it can certainly impact your groups over all dps. It may not be a bad idea to consider keeping a little Vanish Powder just for this glyph and those situations.

Fan of Knives - Increases the radius of your Fan of Knives by 50%. Ah, FoK our AoE loveliness....use this farming, use this for trash, use this to get in trouble with tanks, no wait forget I mentioned that last part....

Feint - Reduces the energy cost of Feint by 20. This glyph's significance has changed due to the change to feint itself with this patch. Before Feint scaled as you leveled up really being a pretty useless ability until you got to higher levels and granted not only the treat reduction but damage reduction from AOE. Now that ability is granted at even lower levels making it a tasty

Garrote - Increases the duration of Garrote's silencing ability by 2 seconds. This glyph has undergone some changes. Originally it increased the damage dealt over the duration of the effect now it only effect the silencing ability, as a result this glyph as really been significantly nerfed. Some Pvpers may like it but I can think of other openers which could be more beneficial.

Gouge - Reduces the energy cost of Gouge by 15. This is a glyph that has undergone some change. Originally it allowed you to use the ability without target needing to be facing you, as that requirement has now been removed the glyph was changed to be a reduction in energy cost for the move itself. As this can also be used as in interrupt it is another major which individuals may find themselves using for specific situations, however not one I see many using regularly unless perhaps as a Subtlety Pvp rogue.

Kick - Increases the cool down of Kick by 4 sec, but this cool down is reduced by 6 second when your kick successfully interrupts a spell. Another glyph that has undergone a great many changes, going from a Vigor/Assassination energy rewarding form to its present wild card. If you time it right you can reduce your kick cool down by 2 seconds, if not, you could be increasing it by 4.  So just how much confidence do you have in yourself? Are you feeling lucky?

Preparation - Your Preparation ability also instantly resets the cool down of Kick, Dismantle and Smoke Bomb. A must have for Subtlety Rogues.

Sap - Increases the duration of Sap against non-player targets by 80 seconds. So if you get this glyph you can sap a non-player target for about 2 minutes and 20 seconds. This is NOT a Pvp glyph obviously but again as we are going into Cata and will be dealing again with the need for CC, this may be a glyph you should look at depending on the situation.

Sprint - Increases the movement speed of Sprint by 30%. About the only time I see this get used is in Pvp. Specifically in Warsong Gulch or Eye of the Storm. If you want wings on your feet, this is the way to go.

Tricks of the Trade - Removes the energy cost of Tricks of the Trade but reduces the recipient's damage bonus by 5%. This is another glyph that was modified. Originally it would extend the duration of ToT by four seconds. Now depending on what you used ToT for you will either consider this a blessing or a curse. Personally I used it more often as a way to offset my threat so I welcome this change with open arms. Those who traded ToT with others will miss the damage exchanges though.

Prime Glyphs are the newest addition and are located on the outer most section of the glyph interface. The largest and most decorative of the sockets, these Glyphs contain both old favorites as well as some new additions with interesting results. I will begin with the newest additions and then go on to the others.

Revealing Strike - Increases the Revealing Strike's bonus effectiveness to your finishing moves by 10%. Revealing Strike use to be called "Ghostly Strike" and was a staple for Subtlety rogues. It has now been granted to ALL rogues, but does that make it useful to us all? It all depends on the situation. Some Combat Rogues are finding it useful to throw it into their rotations, breaking up the constant SS spam before their finishers, add this glyph as well and it could equal a dps increase but I see it as more of a Subtlety glyph than anything else.

Vendetta - Increase the duration of Vendetta ability by 20%. This is another one that is based on a new ability (and if you also have a Death Knight might cause you a little frustration as they used the same name for two COMPLETELY different things). This glyph and ability are basically replacing the unlamented "Hunger for Blood" VERY yummy for the Assassination rogues...your going to want this.

Adrenaline Rush - Increase the duration of Adrenaline Rush by 5 seconds. No change here. Same glyph as before just a Prime rather than a Major. Combat Rogues may find it useful as they level.

Backstab - Backstab critical strikes grant 5 energy. Ok, another not really very useful glyph here. MAYBE a Subltey rogue could use it but I can think of a whole bunch of much better ones.

Eviscerate - Increase the critical strike chance of Eviscerate by 10%. As attractive as this glyph looks for Combat rogues there really are better glyphs out there to use over it.

Hemorrhage- Your Hemorrhage ability also causes the target to bleed, dealing 40% of the direct strike's damage over 24 seconds. This is another Subltey Rogue glyph, however it really only preforms well in a raid setting. Now with the changing we are seeing in Cata Subltey Rogues in Raids may NOT be a thing of the past so this glyph may see some use again, only time will tell.

Killing Spree - Increases the bonus to your damage while Killing Spree is active by 10%. Sigh, have I mentioned recently I LOVE this move? Ok, I LOVE this move. It is just FUN, there is such an element of danger when you use it. Yeah, Combat Rogues, this is a glyph you are going to want to have.

Mutilate - Reduces the cost of Mutilate by 5 energy. The bread and butter of the Assassination Tree, no question you want to pick up this glyph to increase your efficiency.

Rupture - Increases the duration of Rupture by 4 seconds. At one point this glyph was very beneficial and a must have for Combat Rogues as Rupture was a staple of our rotation. At this point I think it is still to early to call if we will get Rupture back as a major feature or not.

Shadow Dance - Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 seconds. This is another FUN move found at the Top of the Subtlety Tree. If you have never taken the time to play around with it DO. It has undergone a great deal of reworking over the past few years since it was first introduced. Some swear by this glyph while others pass it by in favor of others it really comes down to personal play style.

Sinister Strike - Your Sinister Strike has a 20% chance to add an additional combo point. For Combat this is a bread and butter Glyph...lets be honest, why is the tree even CALLED Combat? We should just call it "Sinister Strike Spam" or SSS for short. But then we would just sound like a bunch of snakes and the Hunters would be trying to tame us like they do the Druids...

Slice and Dice - Increase the duration of Slice and Dice by 3 seconds. Now I personally like this one and find it very useful, I have used it for a long time and so far haven't found a replacement as it allows me to extend my dps time before I have to worry about refreshing Slice and Dice as Combat or Subtlety.

So there you have it, the new changes and the glyphs we currently have available to us. If see anything updated about the Vanish glyph bug I will try to report it but so far it just seems to be there taunting us with its yumminess.

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