Nethaera just confirmed that a change to Tower of Radiance‘s functionality is intentional. There’s also been a change to lower the overall healing done by Light of Dawn (although it now seems to not have a target cap. Whether that’s intentional remains unclear, but is likely a bug.).
The change to Tower of Radiance means that healing your Beacon of Light target with Holy Light no longer results in any Holy Power being gained.
Here’s the text of the forum post by Nethaera.
These hotfixes were intentional and we wanted to share more information about the “why” for you all here:
Mana is supposed to matter for healers, and in the case of Holy paladins, that just wasn’t happening. We were seeing raid groups attempting to learn new bosses where the other healers were out of mana while the paladins were still at 90% of mana. We also thought the experience of paladins healing harder heroic dungeons was inconsistent with that of other healers, or our design intent. We thought it was only a matter of time before groups started going out of their way to stack paladins for raids or recruit them for dungeon runs, which of course is not our intent. For this reason, we thought it was important to address this point now rather than sitting on it until a future patch.
The main culprit for the increased paladin efficiency this was Holy Power from Tower of Radiance. We were seeing a strategy develop where paladins would cast Holy Light on a Beaconed tank, and then cast Light of Dawn on the raid (and use very few other spells). This strategy was remarkably successful considering how simple it is. The Holy Power-based heals are supposed to be an important component of the paladin kit, but because Holy Light is designed to be super efficient, the overall strategy was too efficient. The intent of Tower of Radiance was to make directly healing a Beacon of Light target less punitive, but instead it was becoming the only smart way to play. You can still generate Holy Power by using Flash of Light or Divine Light on a Beaconed target, or through a variety of other ways. Remember, overall it isn’t balanced if paladins are just as mana efficient as other healers and have several mana-free spells.
Light of Dawn was adjusted because it was completely eclipsing Word of Glory. We lowered the healing of Word of Glory late in development, but also redesigned Light of Dawn. They had fallen out of sync, and Light of Dawn was just too good.
So now, we have 3 points in Tower of Radiance and four of our six direct-healing spells do not give us holy power when we directly heal the beacon target. Holy Shock won’t give us holy power through Tower of Radiance (because it already gives us one charge for using it), Word of Glory doesn’t give us holy power through ToR, nor does Lay on Hands and now nor does Holy Light. Only Flash of Light (our fast, very expensive spell) and Divine Light (our long, very expensive spell) will give us charges of holy power through Tower of Radiance.
What does this mean?
For one, it means that, unless we want to resort to standing in melee range and attacking with Crusader Strike, we will rarely be generating more than 3 holy power in the span of 12 seconds. (00:00 – Holy Shock, 06:00 – Holy Shock, 12:00 – Holy Shock)
For another, it means Blizzard hates us that Holy Light, our most efficient direct heal and the one that heals for the absolute least, won’t be cast as much because it really does very little in terms of healing someone up at all. With 125k tank health pools, is 7k actually going to make a difference? Not so much. We’d use it a bit as a filler, to get some healing out while Holy Shock was on cooldown, and also to generate holy power. Now? Well, I suppose it’s better than standing around doing absolutely nothing between Holy Shock casts.
The more important thing to realize here is that we’re now being punished for casting Holy Light on the tank instead of Flash of Light (which is stupidly expensive) and Divine Light (which is stupidly expensive and also stupidly slow). We’re actually being punished for keeping our tanks (or our beacon targets) at a relatively high level of health and are being encouraged by Blizzard’s mechanics to let them drop to a significantly low amount to justify casting things like Flash of Light and Divine Light. After all, no reason to cast a quick Flash of Light on the tank when they’re not in danger of dying really quickly, right? And there’s no reason to cast a long, big Divine Light when the tank’s over 75%, right?
So why bother casting Holy Light on the tank? Why bother keeping the tank at 75%+?
For that matter, why bother getting Tower of Radiance?
In thinking about it, the best reason I can think of to get Tower of Radiance is because we have nothing better to get. This is ridiculous. That’s five talent points (3 from Tower of Radiance, 2 from Protector of the Innocent) that I don’t feel benefit me particularly much, but we NEED them to get down the tree.
What else would we put the three points in? Fill out 3/3 Protector of the Innocent, 2/2 Enlightened Judgements and then… 1/2 in Blessed Life?
So take it. Besides, we’ll almost certainly have to use Flash of Light and Divine Light to save the tank’s ass now and again, so we can be pleasantly surprised to get a charge of holy power. :P
Does this mean we shouldn’t beacon the tank? Or shouldn’t take Beacon of Light?
Beacon of Light should always be part of a holy paladin PVE build and should be placed on a target who is tanking a lot of damage, which is typically a tank. Beacon is what allows us to heal the party plus keep the tank alive in a five-man setting, and allows us to attend to other wounded allies in a raid setting without leaving the tank without a heal for several seconds on end. Keep beaconing the tank. Keep taking Beacon of Light.
Besides, what else would you take? You’d end up with a build like this one.
So what does this change?
A lot less use of Light of Dawn. A lot less use of Word of Glory. Thought you were starved for mana before? Think again. I didn’t even use WoG and LoD all that much and I was still going through my mana like mad in regular instances. I assume at least some of it is because I’m still in a bunch of 264/277 gear, but if I still have these issues at 85 in heroics and in raids, it’ll be time to stack a ton of spirit.
Clearly, a bunch of paladins who were stacking holy power through Holy Light have wrecked things for the rest of us who weren’t healing like cheap-ass chumps. Thanks a bunch. :P
Honestly, we should be using a variety of heals, and those who are will now find the overall healing choices they make to be very similar to what they were using before, only using less of the “free” heals. It SHOULD be only those who were exploiting this strategy who find themselves in trouble.
It doesn’t mean that the fix Blizzard has implemented doesn’t hurt us all, because it does, but it means that if you weren’t overly reliant on Light of Dawn and Word of Glory, you should be okay.
You can still be angry that a few morons who aren’t as talented and skilled as you are got Tower of Radiance nerfed and therefore really changed how holy power is earned and used drastically, though. I know I’m pretty livid at them and I’m ticked off by how Blizzard elected to “fix” the problem.