A lot of stuff has happened since my last post. PTR participants are venturing further into Ulduar, loot are being added to the bosses in there, the PTR has been updated with a few new builds etc. As an old holy paladin I'll focus on changes relevant to this spec in this post.
* Auras will now persist through death and affect a 40 yard radius.
I didn't mind reactivating auras after getting resurrected, but the range change...about time...
* Blessing of Kings is now trainable at level 20. Removed from talent trees.
A change long overdue. The buff is too important to be limited to one (or perhaps two) specs. In fact some other class should recieve an eqvivalent version.
* Hand of Sacrifice: The damage transferred by this ability is now capped by the Paladin’s health.
I'm not sure why it would have to be limited in two ways, it already has a time restraint.
* Forbearance reduced to 2 min duration.
Won't really make a differance.
* Sacred Shield: This effect cannot be cast on more than one friendly target at a time.
I can see why it would be nerfed. Well, I can't see how it could be nerfed due to heavy raid damage mitigation as they claim. There are worse culprits in that area, like Judgement of Light, that require less effort to boot. I would have liked to do something more fun than to keep a spell up and running on all raid members with my spare GCDs. Bad thing is that it devalues FoL even further and that Blizzard doesn't throw holy paladins a bone to make up for the loss.
* Aura Mastery: Now makes anyone affected by Concentration Aura to be immune to Interrupt and Silence mechanics and increases the effectiveness of all other auras by 100%. Lasts 10 sec. 2 min cooldown.
Seem very unpolished. It also doesn't have the wow factor other classes specs have when they get their 11p talent at level 20. It could potentially be a fun talent.
* Blessed Hands: No longer reduces cooldowns of Hand spells. Instead, it improves the effectiveness of Hand of Salvation by 50/100% and Hand of Sacrifice by an additional 5/10%.
From worthless to great to worthless again.
* Enlightened Judgements: No longer increases the range of Judgement of Justice. Moved to Tier 10.
* Infusion of Light: Now increases the critical chance of your next Holy Light by 10/20% instead of reducing cast time. Moved to Tier 10.
* Judgements of the Pure moved to Tier 9.
* Sacred Cleansing moved to Tier 8.
This redesign doesn't change much for PvE, other than tree look less estetic. PvP'ers might be even more tempted to go for a retribution hybrid, which is bad. The Enlightened Judgements change...why? Isn't it more fun for the spec if it can stop a runner and save the day? Did druids cry their eyes out that they have one counter class? The Infusion of Light change makes no sense at all. Bottom line is that playing a holy paladin just got a whole lot less fun.
* Improved Concentration Aura: The resistance to silence and interrupt granted by this talent now becomes active when any Aura is used, not just Concentration Aura.
Good change, from a PvP perspective. Now the paladin have a choice to change aura depending on the setup they face.
* Improved Devotion Aura: The additional healing granted by this talent now becomes active when any Aura is used, not just Devotion Aura.
Good change. Devotion Aura usually isn't prio one amongst auras.
* Divine Guardian re-designed: Now increases the effectiveness of Divine Sacrifice by an additional 5/10% and increases the duration of Sacred Shield by 50/100% and the amount absorbed by 10/20%.
This talent was nerfed, and I could see why. How exactly is Divine Sacrifice improved? More health transfered or a higher potential? The Sacred Shield part is nice.
* Divine Protection: Cooldown reduced to 3 min.
Seem natural after the spell effect was changed.
* New Talent: Divine Sacrifice: Causes all party/raid members affected by one of the paladin’s auras to transfer 30% of all damage taken to the paladin (maximum of 150% of the paladin’s max health). Lasts 10 sec. 2 min cooldown.
Wierd and somewhat unimaginative talent. What happens if you use it during a raidwide AoE? Instant death?
* New Talent: Divinity: Tier-1 protection talent, increases healing done by and to you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Decent entry talent for holy into the protection tree.
* Sanctified Seals: Renamed Sanctity of Battle. Now also increases damage done by Exorcism and Crusader Strike by 5/10/15%
Even more of a reason for holy paladins to get this talent. For PvP and damage dealing potential in general.
The long story short is: Blizzard is dumbing down the spec and are making it less fun to play. Come on! Don't nerf the stuff that makes healing as a paladin remotely fun and start nerfing stuff that doesn't have an impact on the fun factor. Honestly.
On a different note, I've been feeling like designing a hero class. A healing hero class. Will have to see if I can think of something.