MMO-Champion has the new T12 set bonuses for us, as well as a post by the blues about why they’re raising our mana costs significantly.
Paladin T12 Holy 2P Bonus: Casting Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Divine Light on your Beacon of Light target has a 40% chance to grant you 2% of your base mana.
Paladin T12 Holy 4P Bonus: Your Divine Light also heals a nearby injured target for 20% of the amount healed.
New set bonuses:
Holy Paladin 2-Piece: Old bonus removed and replaced — Healing with Holy Shock has a 40% chance to grant you 6% of your base mana.
Holy Paladin 4-Piece: Old bonus removed and replaced — Your Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Light spells also heal an injured target within 8 yards for 10% of the amount healed.
My thoughts: (Edited May 14, 2011)
The 2pc is a lot better. 40% of the time you cast Holy Shock, you will only spend 1%
3% of your base mana instead of 9% (which is the current cost) or 7%, which is the new 4.2 cost (at least as of build 14107). Actually, you will probably need to have 7% mana (1640) in order to cast, but when this procs, you will probably get a refund of about 1406 since the real cost will be around 234 mana. Since Holy Shock is our cheapest heal that costs mana in 4.2 (Holy Light will be 12%) and is our primary method of Holy Power generation, this is a nice little bit of mana back. Remember, though, this could be on an internal cooldown, much the way Eternal Glory is!
With this bonus, it seems that they want to further emphasize the use of Holy Shock and so it is now taking Flash of Light’s place as an uber-cheap heal. In the old days, Flash of Light was stupidly cheap and even if you had pretty much no mana whatsoever, you could always afford a Flash of Light.
The 4pc is better, but not a ton, IMHO. They halved the healing of the splash heal to 10% from 20% but let us use more of our spells AND there’s no “you must heal the beacon” requirement. We still have to use a casted spell, but it can be any of the three casted spells. Even with the increase in mana to Holy Light, we’re still going to be using that quite a bit.
We increased paladin mana costs because they were too efficient at healing. In raid encounters, for instance, paladins were sitting at 40% of their mana while the other healers were flat out of mana. Paladins were casting Divine Light as their main heal because they didn’t need the efficiency of Holy Light. You personally may not have been in that situation, but when looking at the overall picture, as well as running plenty of tests, this was our conclusion overall.
To which I say, “you know what? This is what you get when you design mana-free heals. You have now introduced Holy Power to the paladin class and the holy paladins now have two resources with which to heal.” But no other class has that. Blizzard now has the unenviable task of balancing holy paladins between the maximum amount of holy power one can possibly generate (through use of Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, Tower of Radiance and the Blessed Life talent), plus their mana costs and regen rates in current gear levels VERSUS everyone else’s mana costs and regen rates.
Essentially, they’ve screwed up by giving us Holy Power and we are forever going to be overpowered if they tune our mana to what other healers have, but forever underpowered if people don’t make smart use of Holy Power or, perhaps more importantly, don’t smartly generate Holy Power.
It’s still early in the expansion and I’m still trying to find what’s right for me. I like to tank heal. So I have Tower of Radiance. But on a fight like Chimaeron, where I am not tank healing, I don’t pick up Tower of Radiance. Instead, I take advantage of the crazy raid damage that fight has and I pick up two points in Blessed Life. The last time I killed Heroic Chimaeron, I picked up 12 Holy Power that way instead of the 0 Holy Power I would have generated since I am emphatically NOT healing my beacon target on that fight.
There are much better players than myself out there, much more progressed players than myself, who have probably figured out the balance as it works best for them and it’s probably also a very efficient way for them to heal, which is likely why they’re better players than I am. (Though I would challenge anyone to heal through heroic Maloriak, keeping their tank alive, at 3fps at some points, though. I would totally win.)
So my thoughts are that Blizzard has screwed up. We will never be tuned “properly” because of Holy Power, unless they specifically limit the rate at which Holy Power is generated. They’ve already taken steps to do so — Holy Light on the beaconed target no longer gives Holy Power, as it used to with Tower of Radiance. Blessed Life now has an internal cooldown and cannot occur more than once every eight seconds.
There’s already a limit on how often we can cast Holy Shock (6 seconds) and Crusader Strike (4.5 seconds) and there’s a less-tangible limit on how much Holy Power we can gain from Tower of Radiance, due to the exorbitant mana costs of Flash of Light and Divine Light — which are only going to get more expensive.
I don’t think the limits are firm enough, though, and it’s going to make balancing us a really difficult job for the next few major patches.
My two cents.