So I was dueling a Priest the other day…

… and I have no idea what spec he was running, but it wasn’t shadow. We were just herp derp’ing around at the stone before a Baradin Hold raid. I had the foresight to run my solo/questing spec, which is also what I use while looking really bad in some weekly 2s Arena. I lost the first 3 (4?) matches while I was figuring stuff out and before we gave up on the last match I was turning it into a real game. Between his Drain Mana and my aggressiveness I was usually near empty on mana and spending a lot of time under half health. What kept me in the game? Rebuke to lock him down a bit, Denounce for free dps, dirt cheap Holy Shock heals, Blessed Life for extra Holy Power, a self-Beacon with Tower of Radiance for even more Holy Power, and Word of Glory (often with only 1 or 2 charges). He could not believe I could be healing myself so well with basically no mana. I admit I felt a little Overpoweredtm!

Efficient direct heals have always been key to the Paladin style and, as much as Blizzard says they want to avoid overspecializing the classes into particular healing niches, they know nobody would appreciate copy-pasting the same toolkit across every spec. So I really appreciate the new Paladin experience and Blizzard’s experimentation with some new and unique mechanics.

Did I say ‘experiment’? Well, in case you haven’t been MPQ-diving or reading the fine print on the Holy talent panel, there’s been a little ‘b’ for ‘beta’ next to each version number since The Shattering. Posts like this and this in my feed reader provide confirmation. Doesn’t that just suck all kinds of *nasty and horrible things you don’t want near your face*? Sure this change by itself isn’t game breaking and I’m sure I’ll heal pretty well next week, but it’s all getting a little bizarre. This recent comment from Nathera, combined with the 4.0.6a change, reveals how unstable the entire Holy Power system is for healing. Blizzard doesn’t quite have a handle on it but, worst of all, it looks like their right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

I enjoy Holy Power, but what was once a interesting and situationally powerful mechanic is slowly becoming a minor bump to healing output that only makes a difference in the long run. No matter how much crap I used to give my guild leader about padding with Judgement of Light, I’m not a meter whore and neither is any good healer. I play a Paladin because I save people and because, when it comes down to it, I’m one of the best at keeping that one special player alive; whether he’s the tank, the debuff target, or just “special”. Spending Holy Power for a little extra output just isn’t interesting or even very relevant to the way I play as a healer.

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