WoW! Thoughts! — On New Glyphs in Mists of Pandaria

Impressions of some new glyphs and the changes they will bring to WoW.

The glyph is cool but stags are ugly.

So as those of you who listen to the Mashcast may know, I play WoW, and I play it enough that I’m not allowed to talk about it.  These are my thoughts for this week in WoW…

With the radical changes to talents that are forthcoming in Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard is also looking to change the glyph system.  In an attempt to get rid of ‘cookie cutter’ builds that effectively turn talent and glyph selection into a right or wrong choice, Blizzard has added a ton of new glyphs that will allow us to make some amusing changes to our play styles.  I’d like to highlight some of what I find to be the more interesting here.  Most of these are minor glyphs and as such, provide mostly cosmetic affects; although, there are a few which offer some interesting gameplay choices.



Druids really have the opportunity to change how they look.  Tree form is back, Moonkin form doesn’t require looking like a Moonkin, and travel form can now let you be a mount.  Even just testing these out on the beta briefly made me feel more… druidy.

Glyph of the Chameleon — Each time you shape-shift into Cat or Bear Form, your shape-shifted form will have a random hair color.

Glyph of the Stag — Your Travel Form now appears as a Stag and can be used as a mount by party members.

Glyph of Stars — Your Moonkin Form now appears as Astral Form, conferring all the same benefits, but appearing as an astrally enhanced version of your normal humanoid form.

Glyph of the Orca — Your Aquatic Form now appears as an Orca.

Glyph of the Treant — Teaches you the ability Treant Form.  The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of movement impairing effects.

Glyph of Charm Woodland Creature — Teaches you the ability Charm Woodland Creature.  Allows the Druid to befriend an ambient creature, which will follow the Druid for 1 hour.



The Glyph of Demon Hunting caused a lot of consideration over warlock tanking several weeks ago.  It won’t be a viable build, but you should be able to step up to tank for a short time if there’s a problem.  I think it will be fun to start carrying around a polearm just for my Felguard to equip.

Glyph of Falling Meteor — If you use Demonic Leap while falling, you slam into the ground rapidly and will not die from falling damage.

Glyph of Crimson Banish — Your Banish spell is now red.

Glyph of Felguard — Your Felguard will equip a random two-handed axe, sword or polearm from your backpack.

Glyph of Demon Hunting — Teaches you the ability Dark Apotheosis. You imbue yourself with demonic energies, reducing damage taken by 10% and allow the use of various demonic abilities.  In addition, Soulshatter taunts your target, Twilight Ward will absorb all schools of damage, and Demonic Slash is shorter range and generates fury.

Glyph of Nightmares — Your Felsteed and Dreadsteed can cross water while running and leave a trail of flames.

Glyph of Subtlety — Your Soul Shards no longer display while out of combat.

Glyph of Verdant Spheres — Your Soul Shards are transformed into Verdant Spheres.

Glyph of Eye of Kilrogg — Your Eye of Kilrogg is no longer stealth and can now place your Demonic Circle.  In addition, the movement speed of your Eye of Kilrogg is increased by 50% and allows it to fly in areas where flying mounts are enabled.

Glyph of Shadow Bolt — Splits your Shadow Bolt into three smaller attacks.



STEALTH!!!  The Aspect of the Cheetah glyph will be a nice quality of life improvement.  Glyph of Fetch seems helpful, but with the introduction of AoE looting and all the other minor glyphs, I don’t know if it’s worth the spot.  I thought Stampede was meant to ensure the people switching in and out of Beastmaster could make sure they still had five pets to attack with, but that’s been debunked.  There’s too much cool stuff to waste a glyph on, and if you really want to run with five copies of the same pet in Stampede, it’s probably easier to just run with only that pet.

Glyph of Camouflage — Your Camouflage ability now provides stealth even while moving, but your movement speed while Camouflage is active is reduced by 50%.

Glyph of Endless Wrath — While Bestial Wrath is active, your pet cannot be killed, but can still be damaged.

Glyph of Explosive Trap — Your Explosive Trap no longer deals damage, instead knocking enemies back from the trap when it explodes.

Glyph of the Cheetah — Your Aspect of the Cheetah no longer causes you to be dazed when struck.  Instead, the effect is cancelled and all your Aspects are placed on a 4 sec cooldown.

Glyph of Aspects — Each time you activate a new Aspect, an animal companion representing that Aspect will follow you for 15 sec.

Glyph of Marking — Your Hunter’s Mark ability now places a bullseye on your target instead of its usual visual.

Glyph of Stampede — Your Stampede no longer summons pets from your stable, and instead uses copies of your current pet.

Glyph of Fireworks — Teaches you the ability Fireworks  Launch fireworks from your gun, bow or crossbow.

Glyph of Fetch — Teaches you the ability Fetch. Command your pet to retrieve the items on a nearby corpse.



Shouting is fun, if not just to float and watch any nearby critters run off in terror.  Blazing Trail and Thunder Strike should be fun too.  I don’t know that Crow Feast and Gushing Wound do anything more than graphically, but they also should be amusing.

Glyph of Bloodcurdling Shout — Your Battle Shout and Commanding Shout terrify small animals.

Glyph of Burning Anger — You get so angry when Enraged that you catch on fire.

Glyph of Crow Feast — Your Execute critical strikes summon a flock of carrion birds.

Glyph of Mystic Shout — Your Battle Shout and Commanding Shout cause you to hover in the air for 1 sec.

Glyph of the Blazing Trail — Your Charge leaves a trail of fire in its wake. If you’re going to Charge, why not do it with some style?

Glyph of Thunder Strike — Your Thunder Clap visual includes a lightning strike.

Glyph of Gushing Wound — Your Bloodthirst critical strikes are even bloodier than normal.



Contemplation causes you to take a knee in the middle of some beams of heavenly light, similar to the moonbeams that enshroud Elders during the Lunar Festival, but its doesn’t seem to have any actual benefit.  It seems like it might be useful for RP purposes.

Glyph of Contemplation — Teaches you the ability Contemplation. It allows you a moment of peace as you kneel in quiet contemplation to ponder the nature of the Light.

Glyph of Fire from the Heavens — Your Judgment and Hammer of Wrath criticals call down fire from the sky.

Glyph of Winged Vengeance — Your Avenging Wrath depicts 4 wings.

Glyph of Bladed Judgment — Your Judgment spell depicts an axe or sword instead of a hammer, if you have an axe or sword equipped.

Glyph of the Luminous Charger — Your paladin class mounts glow with Holy Light.

Glyph of Seal of Blood — Your Seal of Truth now uses the Seal of Blood visual.



DISGUISE IS AWESOME. Just playing around briefly, I was able to run around Stormwind as a Hozen, and there are already reports of people pickpocketing Gronns in outland and then hearthing home.  The five minute timer is too short, but if it were any longer, it’d be too easy to never maintain your own form.

Glyph of Blurred Speed — Enables you to walk on water while your Sprint ability is active.

Glyph of Decoy — When you Vanish, you leave behind a brief illusion that very closely resembles you.

Glyph of Detection — Teaches you the ability Detection.  Focus intently on trying to detect something.

Glyph of Disguise — When you Pick Pocket a humanoid enemy, you also copy their appearance for 5 min.  Your disguise will unravel upon entering combat.



Confession should be a fun tongue-in-cheek ability.  Shadow Ravens seems like a fun modification.

Glyph of Shadowy Friends — Your Shadowform extends to your non-combat pets.

Glyph of Confession — Teaches you the ability Confession. Compels a friendly target to confess a secret.

Glyph of the Heavens — Your Levitate targets will appear to be riding on a cloud for the duration of the spell.

Glyph of Borrowed Time — Your Borrowed Time is now displayed visually.

Glyph of Shackle Undead — Changes the appearance of your Shackle Undead.

Glyph of the Val’kyr — While Spirit of Redemption is active, you now appear as a Val’kyr.

Glyph of Shadow Ravens — Your Shadow Orbs now appear as Shadow Ravens.

Glyph of Holy Resurrection — Your resurrection target appears bathed in holy light for the duration of the Resurrection cast.



Spectral Wolf is strange up close because it looks like the game is clipping wrong since some of the polygons are missing.  Glyph of the Lakestrider continues the theme of allowing people to walk on water without calling for a potion.

Glyph of Deluge — Your Chain Heal now has a watery appearance.

Glyph of the Lakestrider — You automatically gain Water Walking whenever you enter Ghost Wolf form.

Glyph of the Spectral Wolf — Alters the appearance of your Ghost Wolf transformation, causing it to resemble a large spectral wolf.

Glyph of Totemic Encirclement — When you cast a totem spell, you also place unempowered totems for any elements that are not currently active.  These totems have 5 health and produce no other effects.



I LOVE CRITTERMORPH.  Nothing is more amusing to me than being able to leave a mark on the environment well after you were there.  Arcane language makes sense from a lore perspective but outside of a few instances in Undercity (for non-Undead), I can’t think of where it would be at all useful.  Do any races actually use their native tongue?

Glyph of Crittermorph — When cast on critters, your Polymorph spells now last 24 hours and can be cast on multiple targets.

Glyph of Arcane Language — Your Arcane Brilliance spell allows you to comprehend your allies’ racial languages.

Glyph of Mirror Image — Your Mirror Images cast Arcane Blast or Fireball instead of Frostbolt depending on your primary talent tree.

Glyph of Conjure Familiar — Teaches you the ability Conjure Familiar. Conjures a familiar stone containing an Arcane, Fiery, or Icy Familiar.

Glyph of the Porcupine — Your Polymorph: Sheep spell polymorphs the target into a porcupine instead.



Why is it always snowing on me???

Glyph of the Geist — Your Raise Dead spell summons a geist instead of a ghoul.

Glyph of Horn of Winter — When used outside of combat, your Horn of Winter ability causes a brief, localized snow flurry.

Glyph of Foul Menagerie — Causes your Army of the Dead spell to summon an assortment of undead minions.


At the very least with all the cosmetic choices we are given here, Blizzard is really allowing us to play and express ourselves as an individual.  I also like how Blizzard is giving certain abilities special critical hit graphics.  Not only does it give each of us extra flavor, but we can track just how often we are critting without having to rely upon numbers or a meter.   I’m sure some of these glyphs will be more popular than others, but the fact that you’re restricted to three minor glyphs is really going to glyph selection difficult in some cases.   I already can’t wait for Mists to get here so I can start playing with these for real.


WoW! Blurbs!

Blizzard issues a Security Alert regarding Riot Games getting hacked.  Change your passwords, people!

Tom Chilton on the Future of PvP.  I like that the guards will be different strengths on PVE and PVP servers.

Some daily quests in Mists will reward Valor Points!  Solo play forever!!!

Blizzard is introducing Summer challenges.  Just playing WoW at this point is a challenge itself!!!

Ghostcrawler clears up some Dungeon confusion.  All Level 90 Dungeons are Heroic.

Jaina’s got a new model in the beta.  Its like they said, “Lets make her hair look like Rogue’s, except not.”  I feel like Thrall’s going to be affirmed he was right to choose Aggra.

Ghostcrawler on class design.  Rogues are perfect!  Except for the hair…

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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