Back in the day, spells used to have ranks. This is pretty common knowledge. What might not be as well known ias that you used to have to depend on drops to get some of those ranks - for instance, priest (prior to 2.0) needed to get a Codex of Greater Heal V from the bosses in AQ20 to learn Greater Heal (Rank 5). This method always seemed kind of silly to me, and it slowly went the way of the dodo with patch 2.0.1 (which put many or all of these kinds of spells on the trainers) and; in 4.0.1, these items became useless, grey-quality items - they still drop occasionally, and they’re fairly valuable greys, but they’re worthless all the same.
Yet the concept of the spellbook lives on, although mostly for mages. Mages are able to learn several alternate versions of their spells through items they can buy - for instance, Tome of Dalaran Brilliance and Tome of Polymorph: Black Cat. (Fun fact: despite the fact you can no longer buff pets, Dalaran Brilliance still causes the Kirin Tor symbol to appear over the heads of pets in your party or raid.) Some of these are even more than reskins - ask anyone who’s been trolled by the portal to Ancient Dalaran, aka “high in the air over Dalaran Crater.” MAGES. That one in particular requires a little adventuring - you can get the teleport version after beating and looting Flameweaver Koegler in Scarlet Halls without letting him burn the books, although it may require a certain level to click the book (But at least you can do the dungeon on normal). Once you know the teleport version, Endora Moorehead will sell you the portal version.
But so far, it’s just been mages. Why should we let the people who regularly troll us with portal roulette and flying mage tables (seriously, Presence of Mind + falling + Ritual of Refreshment = midair table)?
Enter the saurok
On the Isle of Thunder, there’s two mobs - the common Skumblade Saur-Priest and unique saurok Akolik - who seem to have the ability to cast a buff called Power Word: Dinosaur. For all intents and purposes, this is basically a reskin of Power Word: Fortitude - the wording is even the same (although right now Power Word: Dinosaur doesn’t seem to cost mana). But what Power Word: Fortitude is missing is the inherent awesomenss factor of being blessed with the stamina of a frickin’ dinosaur! What priest wouldn’t want this?
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Let’s act under the assumption that Blizzard’s development team is a benevolent entity who is not above spending a little time putting a way to get Power Word: Dinosaur into your priest’s spellbook. What are some ways it could be done?
- The most obvious route, bringing the post back to that first paragraph, is some kind of rare drop from the saur-priests on the Isle of Thunder - a Codex of Power Word: Dinosaur. Obviously not necessarily the most interesting idea, but it gives at least one class a reason to go back to the Isle of Thunder now that most of us are hitting exalted with the questing factions and rounding up all the rare kills we need. (Also, it probably wouldn’t be an actual Codex so much as a Scribbled Diagram of Power Word: Dinosaur - the Saurok don’t seem especially literate.)
- The second-easiest route is via a glyph. There’s already glyphs in game that change spell appearances - Glyph of Crimson Banish, Glyph of Bladed Judgment, Glyph of Crackling Tiger Lightning, and Glyph of the Bear Cub to name a few - so the precedent is there. Additionally, this would be a nice minor glyph for priests; with a few exceptions, a lot of their glyphs are for Shadow only. This might be something nice for Discipline priests who aren’t able to have shadowy friends or turn into a val’kyr when they die (admittedly badass).
- The third route would require a little more development, but is something that Blizzard has already seen fit to implement a couple different ways: using priest abilities in interesting ways. To elaborate:
- Hidden in and around Ravenholdt are two NPCs that require certain glyphs to interact with and to complete their interaction. WoW Insider has the details. Essentially, you use the Glyph of Disguise to take the form of Reislek’s Ghost, and fool the spirit of Orsur in the basement into thinking you are his master (or at least, close enough), which nets you a neat, unique, rogue-only item - the Survivor’s Bag of Coins.
- Prior to patch 3.0.8, if you wanted to learn how to smelt Enchanted Elementium Bars - and you did, if you wanted Thunderfury - it involved a fairly elaborate method, which required a priest. You would have to enter Blackwing Lair, pass the first four bosses, and find a relatively unassuming goblin by the name of Master Elemental Shaper Krixix. Nowadays you just have to kill him, but before Wrath, to learn how to smelt those Enchanted Elementium Bars you had to mind control him. The priest would then use an ability on Krixix’s command bar to teach it to a miner with a high enough skill. Fun, eh?
- Where’s all this going? Well, nowadays, Mind Control is gone - or rather, it’s now a talent, called Dominate Mind, available to all priests at level 15. Wouldn’t it be a neat little Easter egg if you could control Akolik or a Saur-Priest and have them teach you the methods of Power Word: Dinosaur? (I figure you can probably get them to cast it on you - but it’s more fun if you don’t have to go mind control a saurok every time.) Less work than a full class quest, but less ‘blah’ than just a plain old glyph or rare drop item!
All of these are pretty unlikely, but it would be insanely cool for priests to finally get a little alternate-spell-appearance lovin’. How would you grant the awesome might of Power Word: Dinosaur? Or perhaps you prefer the piratical Power Word: Arrrr instead? No worries, I’m not going to judge a pirate-priest!