After six weeks, I’ve got a bit of a handle on Inscription as it stands. It’s definitely not the old profession we used to have. But is it better, worse, or indeterminate?
Here are the bullet points.
- Glyphs are no longer permanent. If someone wants to re-use a glyph after purging it out, they’ll have to buy it again.
- Glyphs no longer provide necessary improvements to your skills or talents – all they do is change appearances. That’s it. They have no real purpose, and anyone eschewing them will perform exactly the same as they would if they were fully loaded.
- Older glyphs cost all of three Roseate Pigments, the “common” pigment of Legion.
- New glyphs, or NuGlyphs as I like to call them, cost varying amount of Roseate and Sallow Pigments – Sallow being the “uncommon” pigment of Legion.
- Pigment drops vary vastly between different herbs.
- Roseate Pigment is the Palmetto Bug of Legion herbalism. You can’t get rid of it, and it’s everywhere.
So first I’ll address the yield rate of the different herbs. Observe:
- The first thing I will point out is that Roseate and Sallow yields vary widely between different herbs, and an herb that yields a lot of Roseate may be crappy for Sallow.
- Sallow Pigment is the real limiting factor for NuGlyphs.
- Secondly, from a strictly Herbalist perspective, and with the previous in mind, Dreamleaf is the way to go for glyphing. At a .23 yield, it’s a couple of hundredths ahead of even Starlight Rose.
- Roseate pigment yield isn’t really much of a factor.
- Dreamleaf yield rates do not reflect the addition of Nightmare Pods. These pods can yield a lot of Sallow pigments, and are the after effects of Dreamleaf milling. So Dreamleaf may have a higher effective yield of Sallow than the chart reflects. I will be working on gathering more info on this statistic at some point, but off the cuff it seems like it’s almost a 50% boost.
- I have more data on some herbs than other. Which brings me to …
- I have zero data on Felwort. Do I look like I’m gonna spend that kind of money on something so expensive to get data that nobody in their right mind would use? No matter how good the yields you get from this bonny jewel, it’ll always be better to sell it on the AH. Oh, all right, some day when I’m fat and buttery I’ll prolly blow a few Gs on a stack. But today is not that day.
Regardless, strictly for herbalists, Dreamleaf appears to be the clear winner.
But for Scribes, maybe not.
Let’s be clear: most Scribes are going to burn a lot more herbage daily than they can gather in a day. So that means they’re going to have to buy herbs from someone – either the AH or private channels, it matters not at all. Coin is coin. And that takes us to the more complex level of this equation.
Here you see three data tables. On the upper right is a breakdown of the prices for all but one of the herbs. To the left of the prices is a breakdown of the general price for each pigment as based on the yield rates of each herb.
The data are clear. Regardless of their inferior yield rate, Aethril’s much lower cost produces a much lower cost per pigment. Looking at the table to the left, you can see a calculation of price per glyph by class. As I said, mat requirements for each class varies. For example, Paladin and Priest only require 2 Sallow pigments, while Warlock requires 15.
The final table in this image is a little selector that changes the “Sallow” and “Roseate” values for the table on the left based on what herb you choose. Easy enough … right now, at this point in the game, on my connected realm, Aethril is the clear choice for purchasing off the AH.
Vantus Very Little
A word on Vantus Runes … I have no data. These runes require you to have defeated a boss before you can get the recipe, and I have not raided even a bit. Given that Jas is hogging all the glory, I imagine I probably never will without running LFR – which I look forward to as much as my next tax audit.
For the Profit
So, what is happening in terms of profitability? Before this expansion, Inscription was my cash cow. Slower at times than other, but still a steady source of income.
Now, it’s hard to say. I’ve suffered a massive loss of cash getting ramped up – at least 300,000 – but the treasury is starting to grow once again. Having said that, the sell rate is starting to fall off. So I’m not sure I can draw any solid conclusions yet.
There are around 20-30 glyph techniques – recipes, basically – that are drops out there in the world, making your ability to perform somewhat random. If you get some good luck in drops, you’ll be able to produce product that few others can. If you get bad luck, your stock will be limited.
Not saying we have a trend here, but from level 100 to 109, I’ve gotten exactly two – two – technique drops.
Gonna throw a little shade, here. Most other professions, you have “ranks” for items that you can produce. The higher the rank, the fewer mats required to create the item. These ranks come from various sources, such as drops in the world, world quests, experience, and so forth.
Guess which profession doesn’t have this mechanic?
If you guessed Inscription, you get a no-prize. Our recipes cost the same no matter what. There is no potential for improvement no matter how many of the darned things you make. I am not exactly pleased about this.
As I watch this profession for further trends, I have to wonder where we’re going with it. I see exactly zero motivation for people to buy my wares, and have to wonder which profession will be next to be hit by this sort of nerf. Enchanting? Alchemy? Hard to say.
I hope it swings the other way. That the person that thought that this was a great idea gets transferred to Diablo and never comes back. That we see a return of Inscription as a profession of great interest in the next expansion.
But I have a hard time thinking that Blizz is going to go back now that they’ve taken the first step on the voyage of “making professions fun again.” Which seems to be a euphemism for “make stuff for yourself, but not so much any one else.”
You know, “Fun.”
Maybe you’ve seen this quest …
The critters in question look like this …
And they run like the dickens when you get close …
So why can’t priests use their natural talents for this quest?
I mean, seems like it would be a nice nod of we got to use Psychic Scream to just gather up a bunch of them and be done. Consider it a Priest Perk.
Is that too much to ask?
Disco priesting has always carried with it two trademarks.
First, that we shielded, well, everything. Even bosses.
Second, that we flung a Frisbee around like it was going out of style. It put the “Disc” in “Disco.”
So sit down, mah healaz, ‘cause they’ve shaken that up a bit.
You see, Legion healing for Disco priests is nothing like any of that. It’s a whole new ball game.
And I kinda like it.
First, let’s get the fundamentals down.
- Keep Atonement up on all friendlies
- Damage hostiles
- Toss a shield on something important when required.
- Burn cooldowns.
That simple formula is the heart of the new Disco spec. While we have a couple of shielding spells, the heart and soul of the new Disco is all about Atonement healing, which means keeping the Atonement buff up on your party / raid members, and then beating the snot out of anything that cons red and has aggro on the tank.
I kid you not, it’s that simple.
As an experienced Disco healer, you no doubt have a few addons and macros constructed to help you do your job. Just delete them. Or reset them. You need to rebuild from the ground up. Renew is gone, two expansions back. Shields are gone, other than PW: Shield and PW: Barrier. All the direct heals are now the purview of the Holy priest. AOE heals, other than the lame-o Halo, as well.
I guarantee, no matter what healer addon you are using, you’re gonna need to reconfigure it so massively that you might as well scratch the config now. Same for Weak Auras, other than some cooldowns. Those you can keep, or adjust, whatevs. Just configure WA to let you know when key cooldowns are available, such as Mindbender and Pain Suppression.
Weapon of Choice
I have to admit to a certain Grid2 bias. I have tried, and used, Vuhdo. It works great as a healing addon in Legion, and it is largely unchanged from its past incarnations. In a way, it’s the same as it was in WotLK, with the only substantial changes being in the addition of support for new spells, buffs, and debuffs as they occurred in the game. But it’s a bit more than I want from a healer addon.
Grid2 does require the addition of Clique to match the functionality of Vuhdo that we’re using, but I’m content with it since it’s a lot more focused on the job at hand.
Anyway, it is with great relief that I see that Grid2 is getting updated. Though – as of now – it still lacks direct support for Legion (1). Still, it is possible to configure Grid2 to work in the four areas of vital interest to a Disco priest.
- PW: Shield – this is already supported directly. Create an icon that shows if the target is shielded. Showing the cooldown is extremely helpful as well.
- Atonement – this is the Big Kahuna. You want an icon that shows if the unit has Atonement up, and a countdown is also useful. You will need to add tracking for Atonement yourself, Grid2 does not have it built in yet, but does support user-added spells and abilities. See below for details on that. This will assist you in supporting your goal: always having an Atonement icon visible on all of the team members you are supposed to keep alive.
- Debuffs – These are already supported in Grid2 as well. Purify only works for Magic and Disease types of spells, so configure an icon in one corner to show if those are active on the character. If you’re assigned decurse duty among the priests, or if it’s your group, you’ll be expected to do something about it if that little ol’ icon lights up.
- I also add an around-the-frame outline to indicate who has Aggro. Grid offers a few ways to track aggro, including ‘banzai’ and regular flavors. You can read a bit more about it here (miss you, Zel!). It’s especially important to know if someone suddenly inherits the aggro since you may need to react to that with a shield or something.
- And finally, I usually have an indicator to show who I currently have targeted. Always helpful.
A lot of people go the route of also having a Weakened Soul indicator, so they don’t waste time trying to shield a target that still has the debuff. Myself, I just use WeakAuras to show an indicator when PW: Shield is available and castable on the target, since I’m watching for other auras anyway.
Time to Atone
With that in mind, the main thing during non-critical phases is to keep Atonement up to keep a steady stream of healing coming in on each of your party.
- PW: Shield is the most benign method of applying Atonement, but it has the same cooldown as Atonement, so you will have to find another way for the other team members.
- Rapture lets you lay down shields without cooldown for a limited amount of time, and it has a long cooldown, so once you burn that (and do so wisely), you’ll need other ways.
- Plea is your next go-to for Atonement up to five or so applications, at which point it is a real mana hog.
- Subsequently, Shadow Mend takes a bit longer and applies a bigger heal, but at less cost than Plea with five or more Atonements up. Shadow Mend brings its own issues since it also does damage to the recipient. Therefore, it is imperative that if you use Shadow Mend to apply Atonement, you then have to make Atonement work hard for you by laying down some damage.
Beat ’em Up
Always remember: in all ways, Atonement without DPS is USELESS. DPS without Atonement is futile.
Shadow Word: Pain (or its talented counterpart, Schism), will let you dot up a bunch of mobs if you’re fighting a group, all which applies healing to Atonement-buffed targets. You want to use it on the main boss, at least, because it will enhance both Atonement healing and damage.
An addon that might help with dotting up groups is Enemy Grid, which will give you a Grid(2)-like presentation of mobs to dot up. Note, I have not yet determined whether this is more hazardous than tab-targeting, so proceed with caution. But the theory is that when the tank pulls a group, this will let you quickly get some dots rolling. Mouseover Schism FTW.
Atonement healing crits come from critical damage, so every time you do a DPS crit, you will do a heal crit as well on any party member with Atonement applied. Make a note of that.
About that Grid2 Atonement thing
Here’s how to add an Atonement indicator to Grid2.
First, create a new “AOE Heals” status of “Atonement” …
Then, create a new Buff “status” called “Atonement” … (this step may not be necessary so feel free to skip it and/or play with it.)
Then, create a new indicator called “Atonement” and tie it to that status.
And then tie it to some sort of indicator. I tied mine to the top left position, as an icon, but feel free to try variations that make you hum show tunes in a happy manner.
I know a lot of people have said that Disco healing Ain’t All Dat. I am not yet advanced enough to say for sure in that area, but I am observant enough to know that the new Disco is a different beast. What was once an option (smiteyHealz) is now mandatory if you want to tread the Disco path. It is complex, it is not easy, but once we hit raiding, it might just prove to be a real useful addition to the healing team’s toolbox.
The important thing is to remember that Atonement is the center of the Disco healing universe now, and that means you have to maximize DPS as well. You’re not playing by Holy’s rules any more. Your focus isn’t mainly the health of your charges, it’s the health of your charges five seconds from now. Think ahead, keep your buffs up, and remain calm. You got this.
I do admit at this moment that I am having a hard time getting comfortable with it. It feels clumsy, inelegant, frantic, right on the edge of failing at any given time. It’s hard to say whether that is the spec or my incompetence. It will take many dungeon runs – and many deaths of my charges – for me to be able to say for sure.
May the Light watch over us all.
(1) – I note that Grid (the original) is also still being updated, so if Grid2 ever gets abandoned, I’ll check that out. A bit more work, but much more in my wheelhouse.
Anyone that uses my poor excuse of an addon, HerbYield, to gather stats on pigment yields when milling, be of good cheer – I’ve updated it for Legion.
I mean, really, don’t view the source code. It’s ugly. Unless you wanna make fun of me, but I will quickly point out that it’s LUA, so you already have a lot of ammunition to start with. Not my choice.
ANYHOO. If you’re not familiar with this tool, what it does is watch as you mill herbs, and tally up how many of each kind of pigment each herb yields up. This will allow you to make more intelligent decisions when farming or buying herbs to process.
Having said that, some notes:
- In Legion you can also get some tertiary yields, such as Yseralline Seeds and Nightmare Pods, which can lead to further yields. I thought about accounting for them as well, but decided against until I find a compelling reason to do so. Out of scope for what I need this tool to do.
- While Nightmare Pods do yield up pigments, I’m again not sure if that’s in scope for the scale of operations I typically carry out. I have some thought son how to manage it if I decided to, however.
As always, this comes as is and if it blows up your WoW, I’m sorry but that’s as far as I’ll go other than maybe try to fix it.
If that’s a bit scary, then just watch this space for a report of findings after I gather a few thousand samples. See you in a month or two, in that case.
Version 7.00.03.02 is up, which fixes a bug that would occur under high latency situations. Which is a stupid thing for this sort of addon.
One of the probable requirements of our guild raiding in this expansion is that I bring Jas as my main once again, so I’ve gone as far as to rearrange my login screen to reflect the reality of the situation. For the first time since I ever logged into WoW, Grimmtooth is no longer the first entry in the login screen.
But I’m okay with that.
So the story of the Legion launch is the story of Jasra and her excellent adventure.
A new home
The first step in the process is getting in touch with Khadgar and getting him to put Dalaran into warp drive to The Broken Isles. I have to say here that “we have to go to the Broken Isles” is the Captain Obvious moment of the expansion so far. Good sleuthing, Khad. I bet you were the pride of your Hogwarts class.
While I was in Dal, I had to wander around to see what changed.
- The Auction House is gone. Not a big surprise. Blizz associates auction houses with … something incredibly unfair in favor of auction house barons. I’m not sure what they are bringing to this table other than GOLD BAD POVERTY GOOD but at least all other auction houses are one portal away.
- The good news is that the capital portals are back! Instead of a single portal to your faction capital, you have portals to all of the major capitals for your faction. This is a welcome move away from the Org / Stormwind bias of Cataclysm.
- Speaking of which, the Dalaran Must Move quest rewards you with a Dalaran hearthstone. This is in addition to your Garrison and regular Hearthstone. This is massive, folks.
- The Sewer is apparently a PvP area, and just entering will flag you. I mean, yah.
- And while doing the Monochrome Marathon back to my Sewer corpse, I lost internets when a massive lightning strike occurred nearby. No matter how smoothly the server team rolls out the new expansion – and they did a massively good job, by the way – mother nature always finds a way to put you in your place.
Assembling your Staff
The first order of business is the artifact quest. Now, I have no idea who this Faol guy is, but I bet you Hordies are full of the loves for this guy. At any rate, he was The Guy for the Light’s Wrath quest line.
This quest line, without throwing too many spoilers out, required all of your Disco toolkit, though in many cases in a very contrived and blizzard-like manner. The hand of ham, it was very evident.
But the fun part is that it took you back to Northrend and some old familiar stomping grounds, even if it’s somewhat difficult to associate the Blue Dragonflight with Discipline priesting.
Kids in the Class Hall
After getting the artifact in your sweaty Disco hands, it’s time to do the Class Hall thang.
The neatest thing about the Class Hall was who the avatars of the three disciplines were. Miora for Shadow, which I had no idea. Valen for Holy, because DUH. And Faol for Disco, which, being Alliance to the core, all I have to say is WHATEVEVS, DISCO PRIEST GOY. I’m sure he’s a big deal for Horde. Good for them.
The oddest thing is the voice of Saa’ra, a Naaru that we rescue with my magical fucking staff. She sounds like a cross between a sci-fi movie computer and a horror movie angel. Creepy as FUCK.
Also, Faol addresses me as “Cardinal”. Why the everloving HELLS is that not now a title for my character. BLIZZ U DISAPOIT MEH.
Starting the Levelling
Remember that lady from the Illidan graphic story thingy that questioned the difference between Demon Hunter and Demon? Well, according to the lore nerds, her name is Kor’vas. And then you start questing, if you’re in Azsuna – and what Elf wound not be? (silently judging Elves that started in a different zone)
Remember that earlier wandering around Dal? Well, one thing I learned is that your profession providers will be providing entry level quests so you can start gathering stuff off of your victims and level up your crafting.
The neat thing about first aid was that I was able to accumulate recipes from all levels from Cataclysm forward. As a priest, I really didn’t need any of those, but it was neat seeing that they have a compensation process for, at least, secondary skills.
A nice new addition to Dal^2 is a transmorgrifier living in the Enchanting shop.
And finally, once I entered “the world”, I found that the Draenor “bonus objective” thing has been carried over, and, in some cases, incorporated into the main questing scheme. Good luck with that.
Also, don’t forget to visit your primary crafting trainers. They have fairly straightforward quests for you to fulfill before you can gain your new crafting skills.
I like the job that Blizz did in forming a conduit into which you pour your toons’ essence. The moving-dal to artifact-weapon to class-hall progression makes perfect sense as you go along, and the point where you finally choose your entry into the Broken Isles is flawless. Four starting zones versus two, or, even, one, is a great idea and I approve with all of my thumbs.
Time to get some rested XP. Night all.
The Invasion event is almost over, and I’m glad for it.
Not to say that it wasn’t fun and productive, in a limited way, but it wasn’t three weeks worth of fun and productive in a limited way.
Sure, I only have all six pieces of warforged gear on one toon, but all of my 100s have at least four. More than that is just a grind.
Invasion Gear Ain’t All That
If you get all of your invasion gear up to iLevel 710, you’re on par with some of the less well-developed WoD raiders, but I have to ask how long it’ll be good for. Traditionally, my epics are chucked just as fast as I can find superior questing greens when the expansion starts.
Broken Isles Event was Cheap
I won’t spoil the “surprise” but …
I don’t mean in the form of no expenses spared. I instead mean, Blizz generated some tension between Horde and Alliance in a cheesy way. Instead of laying down a solid story that explains to you why you should be pissed (Alliance) or feeling REAL misunderstood (Horde), they chose to hide bits of the story behind the Iron Curtain, as it were. And the joke of it all is that all you have to do is go up to YouTube to see the other side of the scenario, and that tension is instantly negated. Hordesplainers be like “well actually” and this time it’s actually a valid defense.
Had the story been more expertly laid out, I would have given this event full marks. Having said that, it was still pretty damned good.
Getting Tired of Jaina’s Shit
In fact, the whole “Kirin Tor Takes Dalaran on a Field Trip” series of events is pretty thinly plotted, but the bitterest pill of all to swallow is how they have reduced Jaina to a whiney little jerk that spends a lot of time doing the Kylo Ren Stomp all over the place. So much so that I think most people were glad when she /ragequit the Kirin Tor – and not just on the Horde side.
Let’s go for extra points and point out how sleazily that Khadgar basically manspreaded right into her old spot in the council. I gotta say, people upset that Khadgar has basically preempted Jaina’s rightful place as the Mage of Mages in the past two or three expansions MIGHT be onto something. And as a guy that named his cat after her, I’d like to see better.
I hope they redeem the character with some solid storytelling in this expansion, but I’m worried we’ll get the ragey version of “*sniffle* just proud of my king …” (gag). I’d love to say that I know Blizz can do better … but I can’t. The major character arcs seem to be in the hands of someone that really can’t tell a story that well (cough cough Metzen). They need to hand that over to Kozak.
Invasions were good for one thing, anyway
Getting out there and learning your new rotations is a good thing. For those of us not raiding, the only way to really test your mettle was against the major demons in at the Throne of Kil’jaden.
The invasions provided new and useful targets. They also taught me that melee in that sort of environment is no fun. Let’s just say I’m glad for the opportunity to learn defensive cooldowns on an Unholy DK, but I would have preferred not to.
You’re gonna say “But Grimm, the Invasion Event was also good for leveling toons!” Gonna say it again: I’m not getting why you’d bother playing a toon you don’t want to level in the first place. Let’s agree that that argument will never, ever carry water with me.
But this is from a guy that hasn’t used either of his boosts yet. So whatever.
Speaking of Raiding
Our GM has been getting more active in game and has actually canvassed us to see if we’d be interested in raiding this expansion. Might have to bring Jasra for this, as we look to be replete with DPS, but that’s fine, I like to be useful.
I’m also seeing some old friends I thought I’d never be playing with again, and that makes me very excite.
I don’t know if we will actually get there, but I think we’ll at least be able to cobble together some consistent 5-mans. Jas made an attempt at that last night and brought the house down with her screwed up keybinds. So we’re working on that.
At the start of WoD, everyone was like OMG Cutscenes and proclaiming the storytelling to be the star of the expansion. At the end of this content drought called 6.2, nobody’s wondering where the five million people went to – the answer is: away. They got bored and let down by the rest of the expansion not living up to the start of the expansion – or its price.
So, while I am hearing good things about the expansion so far, I’m also mindful that Blizz has a lot to make up for once again. Maybe they’ll deliver on the promise of a more content-ful expansion with a lot more to look forward to. You have to play to find out.
Tomorrow in the US, they roll out the demons in force. As always, I’m here first to have fun. Here’s hoping the rollout goes smoothly and it lives up to the hype.
I’ll see you on the Isles, fellow WoWheads.
Been to any demon invasions lately? Notice anything odd, such as a virtual carpet of slackers hovering over the site of the invasion on mooses they got through charity runs?
It’s true. You can be totally useless and still get rewards for just being around and breathing (or not breathing) during a Legion invasion.
Your natural and noble disdain for such crotch-rubbing weasels can be retained and yet you, too, can exploit a certain weakness of the invasion mechanic, earning you progress in an invasion event without having to, ya know, exert yourself for the entirety of the event. And yet hold your head up at the slackers meetings.
Here’s the deal – progression in Phase 1 of an invasion starts more or less when you enter a zone, not when you first engage. Progression of Phase 1 starts as soon as you’re in the zone. No matter what you do.
So the longer you are in a zone under invasion, the further Phase 1 progresses without your involvement.
The trick, then, is to maximize your time in an invasion zone prior to actually having to be involved. In short, finding the longest traverse across an invasion zone to your target flight point.
Consider for a moment the Northern Barrens.
If you choose Ratchet as your embarkation point, then it makes sense to fly across the zone on its long axis. In one case, I was able to get all the way to Phase 3 before landing. The trick was to fly from Southern Barrens to Ratchet on the way to the Crossroads invasion.
There are other similar examples. For example, Alliance should fly to Sentinel Hill manually rather than take a flight path for the simple reason that you spend more time over Westfall that way, and thus more time in Phase 1 in transit to the site of the invasion.
You could even maximize it further by taking the gryphon to Moonbrook first, then flying to Sentinel Hill manually.
Basically, this is all about plotting your entrance. I’m only surprised that Blood Elves aren’t involved in some way – they do love a good entrance.
Is this gaming the system? Well, in this case, Blizz has created the system. They have deliberately set things up this way in order to waste your time and make your grind for Nethershards and Fel-Infused armor as long and tediously as possible. As far as I’m concerned, this is a response in kind.
Contempt breeds contempt.
Shortly after logging in to the pre-patch content, I noticed something very disturbing about my favorite pet, Bumbles the Polar Bear. He looked … kinda scruffy, compared to his prior appearance.
I was not pleased.
As always, Petopia to the rescue! At the bottom of the linked page, they list bears using the old models, which, they note, there is now only one of each of the colors. And, as you can see, there is a white one – Bjarn, in Dun Morogh.
Now, I’m pretty sure that Bumbles the First was in fact Bjarn when first tamed, but I am hardly going to quibble over such an easy to find and tame creature. Well, easy for me to find. Your mileage may vary.
I digress …. bears are of course not the only pet family afflicted with new-look-itis, I’m sure, but our good friends at Petopia have an answer for just about any one of them. So, if you don’t like your new pet’s look, go have a look! You may find a pleasant surprise.
At any rate, all is once again well between Bumbles and I. In this particular case, anyway.
Based on the disgruntlements I have heard from “The Internets”, I had very low expectations for this film. Had I had moderately high expectations, they would have been exceeded. I quite enjoyed it.
Spoilers below the cut. Don’t read if you intend to see the movie now and don’t want spoilers. On the other hand, if you’re waiting for the Blu-Ray, you’re part of the problem and you deserve no spoiler guards, so read on.
(If you’re unable to afford to see the movie, this is probably your only chance to find out what’s in the movie since you wouldn’t be able to afford the disk, either, unless you plan to pirate it. Don’t pirate it.)