Yep. They're changing the game. Free D&D Insider membership required to read the article, but here's an excerpt:
What sets wizards apart from others who wield arcane magic are wizards’ unique implements. Most people recognize the three most common tools associated with wizardcraft: the orb, staff, and wand.
Any wizard can use an implement to increase the effectiveness of his spells. Just as a warrior gains a benefit when attacking an enemy with a magic sword, so does a wizard benefit from using a magic orb, staff, or wand with his spellcasting. In addition, each implement focuses magic of a particular discipline or tradition more effectively than the wizard would be able to accomplish otherwise. As a result, wizards are rarely without at least one of these tools.