Feral Enhancement: Inscription Promises BIG Changes

Posted by in Feral, Raiding, WotLK

While Phaelia from Resto4Life already highlighted a host of Inscription changes, I’d like to step back and take a look at the glyphs that will directly relate to Feral Combat. Inscription, as most people desperately looking forward to WotLK know, is the new profession available in the expansion that will allow for the enhancement of various abilities. Think of it a little bit like Enchanting—but for your spells.

So far as we know, each player has the ability to Inscribe his or herself with six: two major, two lesser, and two minor. The glyph list that I’ve shamelessly stolen from MMO-Champion doesn’t always specify which type is which, but the list pertinent to Feral Combat is as follows:

Right now, it looks like we’re missing the [Glyph of Makeouts and High Fives] and that the [Glyph of Dick-in-Hand] has been renamed to the considerably milder [Glyph of Shred], but it’s probably a reasonable assumption that this list is mutable and incomplete. That being said, what from the above list will actually be useful in a raiding environment?

[Glyph of the White Bear]
Clearly a major asset in any raid group. Polar bears are tremendous land-based predators with superior olfactory perceptions and the perfect physiology for enduring

the fiercely cold climate of Northrend’s darkest tundras—and guarantee your raid group a Coca-Cola sponsorship for the duration your inscribed druids remain in Dire Bear Form.

[Glyph of Moonfire]
Deceptively named, this glyph makes your Rage last stronger—longer. Well, not really. Bears who find the need to spec into Feral Aggression may find this a handy little glyph, but, as I already explored in the post “Why yes! I AM talented!”, the talented AP reduction of Demoralizing Roar is superseded by the talented version of a warrior’s Demoralizing Shout. A warrior included in your raid group can likely manage this buff himself; however, in a 10-man raiding environment where slots are harder to come by and Death Knights introduce an alternate form of tanking and DPS, this glyph might be more valuable where debuffs are at a premium and you still value your Rage.

[Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration]
If you’re like me and have Frenzied Regeneration tied to a fun macro that pops all of your oh-shit! trinkets in succession, you probably understand the lack-of-options when it comes to cooldown useage. With the addition of Berserk in the expansion, bears will have their own version of Last Stand but still lack abilities such as Shield Block and Shield Wall. Do we need them? I’d argue no—that’s not what our furry asses are for. But currently, Frenzied Regeneration remains a woefully depressing last-ditch effort to stay alive, and if you’re at a point in which you’d use it, boosting all healing effects to your person sounds like a great idea.

[Glyph of Growl]
Growl resists are an immense pain in the ass, especially if you happen to be unlucky enough to get one on a boss like Brutallus (and don’t use Challenging Roar quickly enough). While I might argue that I’ve never had enough raid-wiping resists to warrant occupying an entire glyph slot, especially when I wear my TPS gear, fewer resists equates to a smoother tanking experience.

[Glyph of Mangle] and [Glyph of Rip]
I’m putting these two together because they tend to work hand-in-hand for a normal Cat Form DPS rotation. Although the multipliers are different for Dire Bear and Cat Forms, Mangle gives a base bleed amplification duration of 12 seconds. Bumping that up to 18 seconds amounts to a bigger boost to Cat DPS than it (arguably) does for Dire Bear Threat; in Cat Form, you should really only be using Mangle to renew the debuff and then relying on Shred and Rip for your big specials. Thus, that’s an extra six seconds to Shred, pumping out bigger numbers without worrying about whether your damage amplifying debuffs are still up. Pairing that with [Glyph of Rip] we’re potentially looking at adding (at least?) one more Shred to your damage cycle before you need to Rip and then Mangle again.

[Glyph of Rake]
I fail to see how this glyph is useful. Unless you’re leveling, I can’t see why having a druid Judgment of Justice or Curse of Recklessness is important—especially because if you’re super desperate, you could always throw out Entangling Roots or a quick Cyclone, nevermind sit back in Dire Bear Form and wait for the rest of the mobs to come beat you up.

[Glyph of Shred]
Not so useful for raiding, but perhaps an added boon for Feral Combat PVP. For better or for worse, Blizzard seems committed to providing arena viability in WotLK for furries everywhere, and this glyph is no exception. Shred is one of those fabulous abilities that I’ve rarely had the opportunity to utilize in an arena environment, largely because many players make a conscious effort never to put their backs to you (and for good reason, especially if you’re wearing PVE damage gear). I see this glyph allowing for one or two boosted Shreds to a target before he manages to get himself free, giving kittens the chance to use their highest damage output attack without scrambling, chasing, and falling prey to the oft referred “Range Bug,” if only for a few precious seconds.

[Glyph of Swipe]
For trash and five mans, there’s nothing wrong with more AOE damage—I’ve always wanted to be a Bearadin. Will this at all boost your threat or damage to a single target? No, but I also couldn’t presume to say what kind of trash or bosses we’ll see for raids in the expansion. I’d definitely pick this up, but I’m not sure I’d slot it over the Glyphs of Mangle and Rip (assuming I am still occupying the dual role of tanking and DPSing in WotLK rather than focusing strictly on tanking).

Frankly, I’ve been more impressed with the Balance and Restoration changes in the expansion, and the glyphs are no different. I was hoping for augmentations more along the lines of:

  • [Glyph of the Pack]—a major glyph that allows you to turn your entire party into velociraptors, greatly increasing critical strike chance. Would you run from a worgen? What about a pack of dinosaurs who can open doors?
  • [Glyph of Pony Up]—a lesser glyph that allows your Travel Form to be utilized as a mount by another player. Everyone knows that druids love to be ridden hard.
  • [Glyph of Subterfuge]—a lesser glyph that permanently increases the threat reduction your Cower ability provides. You need to push the button for it to work. Seriously.
  • [Glyph of Anger]—a minor glyph that increases the amount of Rage generated when giving or receiving damage. Formerly titled “Glyph of Taking it Like a Champ.”
  • [Glyph of Blood]—a major glyph that permanently increases bleed damage over time by 2%. Formerly titled “Superbleeder.”
  • [Glyph of Rabies]—a lesser glyph that empowers your Infected Wounds talent, giving a 1%/3%/5% chance to temporarily reduce the STR and STA of your target by 20. You might want to get that discharge taken care of.
  • [Glyph of Balls]—increases the damage caused in Cat Form by 5% but increases threat generation by 10%. How big are they?

For more Inscription information, check out: