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3-13-2012 @ 5:47AM
I may be misremembering, but the design of holy paladins in Wrath and the introduction of beacon swung the pendulum too far towards paladins being the 'go to' tank healer. I speak as someone who took up disc healing just before the Wrath tweaks that made disc more viable and as someone whose raid group rarely if ever had a holy paladin, and when we did, oddly the paladins didn't want to tank heal and sucked at it.One paladin could heal two tanks. No other class could do that. They were pretty much mandatory for some heroic modes (Deathbringer Saurfang I think was a 3 holy paladin set up). Blizzard ended up designing ICC around the concept that your tanks would be healed by holy paladins. Valithra (the green dragon you heal) was pretty much a show case of holy paladin strengths, including spiffy ways of glyphing for more throughput. If a holy paladin has no mana issues they can heal bomb with their biggest most expensive heals and beacon transferred that full amount in Wrath. As a disc priest, I was next to useless trying to heal up Val herself :) The design of Infest on the LK fight lent itself to shield spam by disc priests.In Cata, Blizzard tried to break down the niche roles and gave holy paladins a couple of AoE options they were sorely lacking, but the combination of spell design and raid encounter design is crucial to performance of any given healing class as a whole in each tier. My understanding is that resto shamans have suffered due to this. I still see a lot of raid encounter designs that would be simpler to heal if you had a holy paladin with beacon, but that could be personal bias given our lack of one. The redesign of Holy Radiance in 4.3 plus the design of a lot of the DS encounters lends itself well still to holy paladin healing. Because it isn't a capped target aoe, the stacking up on Ultra for example lends itself very well to holy paladin aoe. As a disc priest, I find the worst fights to aoe heal are the ones where random people take damage, as PoH is group based and is wasted to some extent if only a couple of people in said group need healing.For all that, as the healing lead, I have had all my healers tank and raid heal at differing points. I don't believe that X class can't heal a tank or can't heal raid. I think some are stronger at one or the other but are capable of doing both. Our resto shaman beats the pants off the holy paladin, so while I understand there are design issues around classes, I know that a bad player can still fail to make the most of the current "top' class and a superb player can make the current 'underpowered' class shine.
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