Updated Wed, Nov 19, 2008 by Xerin
Information provided in pre-release World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King information and could at any time change.
Inscription is an upcoming primary profession in the expansion World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. It will allow players to craft scrolls which can be used to augment the various skills and abilities in the game. Scrolls are physical items which can then be sold, traded, or outright given to other players allowing everyone to benefit from this profession.
Official examples given were that Inscription may add a knockback effect to Fireball (not likely to happen, was an off-the-cuff example), additional critical strike to Backstab, and additional damage to Shadowbolt.
That is all that is currently known on Inscription. Details were vague and only the general understanding that it can change spells and abilities were given. Continue reading for our predictions and a theory on the link between the profession and the class within the WarCraft RPG (including the link that may allow Inscribers to add effects to items):
(These are just predictions; nothing here is confirmed or denied… yet)
It’s an interesting ability to be able to use an item to actually change your spells and abilities. The question is how far of a change can you make and keep the profession viable and not over powered? Obviously, a knockback on Fireball would be ridiculously overpowered – but what about replacing the chance for a DoT with a 1% ability to do a slight knockback? That would be pretty cool, huh?
I imagine that this profession will be a massive money maker. PvP’ers are always looking at changing their gear, weapons, enchants, and spell threads at all times depending on how the current PvP environment. With the ability to change some of their spells or even make them better will drive them into a frenzy to keep a constant supply of scrolls on hand. That is, of course, if the Inscription profession has multiple options for the same spell or ability.
There are a lot of spells and abilities out there. That brings up a good point – will there only be a few select spells/abilities and will they have multiple paths from low level to high? Instead, will the profession just follow the spells as they level up with players allowing a single customization to lots of different spells and abilities?
That answer, of course, is only known by Blizzard but if I had to guess it’s going to probably be a mixture. I imagine each class has five major abilities, for instance the Mage: Fireball, Frostbolt, Blizzard, * Armor, and Frost Nova. Inscription could start at low levels, adding additional damage to Fireball and Frostbolt. As it levels up, it starts adding unique abilities to those two and makes Blizzard and Frost Nova have an extended radius. Then, perhaps it adds additional armor to Frost Armor. Towards level 80 we may see the knockback on Fireball option, perhaps a small ability for people to be frozen in Blizzard, and a few changes to higher level Mage spells.
Of course, this is all predictions. Who knows how the progression will be? It could be like the hero classes and available at level 80 and only allows you to craft inscriptions for spells and abilities that you know.
In the Warcraft RPG, Inscribers are similar to Runemasters in that they can channel arcane energy that is inherit within the world while being able to inscribe runes. They differ from Runemasters (think something like a un-undead Death Knight) in that they use their powers to help their allies by enhancing their companions and their companions’ possessions.
During BlizzCon they mentioned that they wanted to pull more out of the books and the RPG game. This may mean that, like that Inscribers will discover the ability to embed runes into other things. For instance, following the example given, we may see Inscribers beefing up items as well. Maybe they will be able to change or add effects to items. It could be interesting where this could go.
Chris Metzen, the person in charge of the series lore, has stated that all officially licensed WoW merchandise is official lore. That means the books, the RPG, and the game all share the same story. The MMORPG and the RTS games may not include everything due to the limitations, but it’s all one story. So that means it’s perfectly reasonable to assume the RPG Inscribers will be similar to the MMORPG Inscribers.
So it’s not insane to think that Inscribers may be able to add effects to items in the game. Logically, we have Jewelcrafters and Enchanters who can beef up the stats. However, the ability to add effects is few and far between. So it would make perfect sense that an Inscriber could maybe add a thorns aura to an item, maybe mana/hp regen, or a myriad of other unique abilities that could be interesting but not overpowering.
Of course, game limitations always change things and they may have enough on their plate with just keeping up with changing spells. However, Blizzard has always liked professions to make at least two things.
One thing is for sure is that once Dalaran is moved to Northrend they will obviously learn the power to inscribe runes from all the rune related things in Northrend. It’s going to be interesting, in my opinion.
Well that’s it for my predictions. I’m not sure what will come true or not, but let’s see!