#1 - 2012/06/09 12:45:00 AMHere is a summary of my issues and concerns with the current holy paladin design, some more important than others.
-Lack of single target burst - With the passive crit buffs to Holy Shock (from the Infusion of Light talent and the Holy Shock glyph) removed, coupled with the redesign of the Daybreak proc, we are going to lose 2/3 to 3/4 of the Infusion of Light procs we currently get on live. On top of that, we lose 12% passive haste.
Unless spell crit rates scale up incredibly with raid level gear, we are looking at way less than 1 Infusion of Light proc per minute. That just isn't adequate or reliable enough to deal with emergency situations. With 3000 haste at level 90, I still am at a 2.4 second cast time on Divine Light, Holy Light and Holy Radiance. I can understand if the goal is to slow down the game and cast times. However, if abilities like Tidal Waves and Borrowed Time are going to remain as is, we need either something else to bring us up to par with single target, or we need Infusion of Light to be made more reliable/controllable.
-Weak AOE healing and very limited spread AoE healing - From a spell design standpoint, Holy Radiance has been nerfed by about 70%. The HoT portion was removed (~50% nerf), and the direct heal on targets other than the primary target is now 50% instead of 100% (a roughly 20% nerf). Yes, a 15% beacon transfer was added, but we are still looking at a spell that is at best 50-60% weaker than the current version. Even though it doesn't have a target cap, it now feels like Holy Radiance is significantly weaker than both Healing Rain and Prayer of Healing, and it will likely be seldom worth casting, and definitely will not be worth casting on less than 5-6 targets. I don't feel that the new Daybreak adequately compensates for this; it's actually going to be a net loss over the old double Holy Shock cooldown proc when you consider what you can do with the HP it generates. Given that we have nothing but Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn (with a lengthy ramp time) for AoE output, Holy Radiance needs to be much stronger than it currently is.
Removing the facing requirement from Light of Dawn is a nice change. However, it's also all that we really have to deal with spread AoE damage. In this type of situation, it has an 18 second effective cooldown. With the raid spread, you aren't going to be casting Holy Radiance, so you won't be generating HP any faster than waiting for Holy Shock cooldowns. That means that between those Holy Shock casts and the 18 second ramp on Light of Dawn, we will have nothing to use except single target direct heals (with very slow cast times with the haste removal/Infusion of Light proc nerfs). No other healer has that limitation. Other healers have options like Prayer of Healing, Rejuvenation blanketing, glyphed Riptide blanketing, etc to deal with this. It's a glaring hole in the paladin toolkit.
Lack of Unique Raid Utility - Every other healer brings distinct, unique utility to the raid that you only get by having that spec present. Ironbark, Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit, 3 minute buffed Tranquility, 3 minute buffed Divine Hymn, Spirit Link Totem, Power Word: Barrier, Ancestral Vigor, Inspiration/Ancestral Fortitude, Mana Tide Totem, for example. Holy Paladins bring nothing to the table that you don't get from bringing a paladin of any spec. Our unique raid cooldown was given to all paladin specs. This means there will be little reason or incentive to bring a holy paladin to a raid in a class environment where there is now a 6th healing spec being added - if you already have a paladin of any spec in the raid. Unless our raw output significantly outpaces other specs to the point that it overcomes this gap - we will be the first healing spec you would drop.
Mana Regen Concerns - With the removal of Judgements of the Pure, I have serious concerns about paladin sustainability and scaling in 10/25 man raids (Holy Power will carry you in 5 mans - we already know this). I know that GC has stated that they ran tests that showed paladins having superior longevity. However, I have played around with the math several times, and remain skeptical. The only way I can see paladin regen even being on par with everyone else is if Selfless Healer talent is taken. This talent should not be mandatory, especially when it forces you to forgo 2 healing related options to take it (Sacred Shield/Eternal Flame)
Mastery not Working with L90 talents All 3 of the level 90 talent options are direct heals and none of them currently interact with Illuminated Healing.