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Totem Talk: Restoration glyphs

Joe Perez

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast

Last week, we went over some blue posts about healing and restoration shaman, as well as a small discussion of the difference in Healing Waves. We also had news of a new beta build last week, and with that build came the news of brand new glyphs for many or the classes like rogues and shaman, as well as the new glyph system.

Some of the glyphs we use regularly have been updated, as well as some people may not have really given much thought to using. There has even been a return of some that were scrapped in the Wrath of the Lich King beta phases prior to its release. Some of these may offer game-changing, play-altering effects to our mechanics, while others just add a fun flavor to our classes. So what can we look forward to with restoration shaman glyphs in Cataclysm? That is exactly what I would like to talk about this week.

With new glyphs also comes the introduction of a new level of glyphs for all classes. We now have prime glyphs, major glyphs and minor glyphs. Prime glyphs have the biggest impact on the game, changing base spell effects without any drawback, reducing major cooldowns and things like that. Major glyphs have an impact on the gameplay, but some of them come with a drawback. While still having a big impact on the game, most of them are deemed to have a smaller impact than prime glyphs. Minor glyphs do things like remove the need for reagents, change minor cooldowns or change the way a spell looks. Shaman got some cool new toys, and some of the glyphs were divided between their prime and major rankings.

Keep in mind that this is information based on the beta and is subject to change. You may see some of the major glyphs become prime or vice versa.

Prime glyphs

A few things different here: Glyph of ELW now increases the amount of healing the proc effect instead of increasing the chances or the proc itself. Glyph of Water Mastery gets a pretty substantial boost, going up to 50 percent from 30 percent and a "rename" as the original glyph of WS only increased the number of charges by one. Mana being a concern as it is, anything that boosts passive regeneration is good for us. Most players haven't really considered water mastery necessary in Wrath, but in Cataclysm, I can tell you it has already made a big difference in the ability to heal instances and tough fights where you have to chain cast heals to win.

Major glyphs
  • Chain Heal Increases healing on secondary targets by 15 percent; reduces healing on main target by 10 percent.
  • Ghost Wolf Additional 10 percent movement speed.
  • Grounding Totem Reflects instead of absorbs spells, but cooldown increased by 45 seconds.
  • Healing Stream Totem Increases fire, frost and nature resistance.
  • Healing Wave When healing someone else, you also receive 20 percent of the healing done.
  • Hex Reduces cooldown by 15 seconds.
  • Shocking GCD of Shock spells reduced to 1 second.
  • Totemic Recall Refunds an additional 50 percent of the mana cost of recalled totems. (Totemic Recall baseline refunds 25 percent of the cost.)
A few things changed here, some with different effects and others that are completely new. Glyph of Chain Heal has been changed a bit here. Formerly, it increased the number of targets the spell could target by one, bringing them to four total. Since that effect has been rolled directly into the spell, the glyph has been changed to increase the healing done on the secondary target by 15 percent for a sacrifice of 10 percent of healing done to the primary target. When you combine it with Unleash Elements and Riptide, you can get some pretty interesting results. I've been using the glyph for a little bit now, and I'm surprised at just how good it actually is. Glyph of Healing Stream Totem also gets a bit of a face lift as well. Currently it adds 20 percent to the healing it does, but now in Cataclysm it allows the totem to increase fire, frost and nature resistances of everyone in the party who is in range of the totem. Seems like a silly change, but running through the Throne of Tides and Stonecore, I've seen it to be really quite useful.

Grounding Totem's glyph is a new one. At the cost of increasing the cooldown of the totem, you can have it do a spell reflect rather than just kill the spell. You may think this is only a PvP glyph, but I've been playing around with it a little, and it is surprising how many boss spells can actually be reflected back on them. Makes for some interesting play, that's for sure. Glyph of Hex goes from increasing the damage taken to break the hex to instead reducing the cooldown. Right now with a 45-second cooldown, it isn't the greatest CC, but with this glyph bringing it down to 30 seconds, it isn't that bad. Again, another glyph that may see some PvE play, as CC in the early dungeon content is pretty necessary to survival. Glyph of Totemic Recall is another new one and one that goes hand in hand with the Water Shield glyph. With mana at a premium for healers, being able to recoup a little bit more mana may actually matter. Especially if you find yourself totem dragging on a fight, anything to help you get a little bit back could count for quite a bit.

Glyph of Ghost Wolf can also potentially be useful, considering Ghost Wolf is usable indoors now , and with Ancestral Swiftness already increasing the speed of the spell and making it instant-cast on top of being very low in the enhancement tree, the glyph could potentially be useful. It also moves up from the minor glyph category, up to major. I've included the Glyph of Shocking on the list because with Focused Insight, players may find themselves casting more shocks, and being able to do it pretty much at will can be useful. I haven't played around with it much, but I think that it is a contender for live use.

Minor glyphs
The Glyph of Arctic Wolf is actually something that was around in the days of the Wrath beta. It had a companion glyph that could also turn you into a black wolf. It was scrapped during the final stages of the beta and was thought never to be seen again. When the developers first started talking about inscription and the glyph system, they toyed with the idea of making minor glyphs to change the colors of spells. Some games allow you to do this already in their base files, and honestly, I know a lot of people who liked the idea of having that customization. The inclusion of the glyph in the Cataclysm beta may be a sign that more of these "fun glyphs" will be popping back up. I know personally I'd love to be able to change the color of my Chain Heal, if nothing else, just for the laughs of it. The other minor glyphs remain the same for now.

So what do you think of the glyphs so far? Do you want to see some more fun glyphs? Which ones would you change and why?

Again, keep in mind things may change, as this is still in a beta phase. New glyphs may be added, old ones could be removed, and as spells change, so too may their glyphs. As always, be sure to check for the latest Cataclysm news. Next week, I'll be talking about healing at 85 and Spiritwalker's Grace.

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Matt Sampson's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition,'s shaman experts have you covered.

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