Holy Tier Set
Hopefully this feedback collates a number of perspectives as well as my own opinion.
Functionally the Holy 2 piece and 4 piece bonuses work: they are essentially reworded versions of Conduits: Holy Oration and Resonant Words respectively, with a slight tweak on the 4pc such that it affects more spells. It is a throughput increase, absolutely, but… I feel it’s quite disappointing—in the absence of any other changes that perhaps may exist but are not yet seen.
Light of the Naaru
The 2pc bonus feels very familiar to Light of the Naaru (Talent) and Holy Oration (Conduit). More Holy Word CDR is, of course, a good thing: Holy’s filler spells are rather lackluster without the legendary Flash Concentration propping up Heal. I’m certainly not going to turn down 15 seconds of CDR on a Holy Word… but…
Prayer of Healing
… I’m also not going to cast Prayer of Healing (unless there’s some tuning pending). Renew is also not going to feel fantastic with the 4pc bonus, but at least when in a Divine Conversation, if I really need Holy Word: Sanctify back quickly, I’m going to choose Renew… but it will still feel bad. If there’s a situation where I want Holy Word: Sanctify back quickly, it’s likely because damage across multiple targets is occurring. In theory I should want to cast Prayer of Healing in that situation, but more likely (without any unknown tuning) I’m going to cast Heal (with Flash Concentration) and play whack-a-mole. Amping Prayer of Healing sounds great—but only in a scenario where Prayer of Healing isn’t the wrong spell to cast. It currently is the wrong spell to cast.
Divine Conversation sounds fantastic with a varied core kit. Unfortunately a large number of our spells do not interact with our kit baseline. Expansion of our Holy Words repertoire requires a legendary. We have a number of spells that have interactions with the other specs (Mind Blast has an interaction for Disc and for Shadow, but when it becomes Holy Fire it does not have a “kit” interaction (one could argue it’s the DoT… but DPS isn’t really our ‘kit’ considering we have fewer DPS spells…), requiring Harmonious Apparatus). Empowering a Holy Fire sounds great for DPS. But for more challenging content it’s unlikely that Harmonious Apparatus would be used over Flash Concentration—not that Harmonious Apparatus is particularly interesting, it’s mostly getting mentioned as a lament that its effects were/are not baseline.
Ultimately the bonuses undoubtedly increase our throughout (without any unknown tuning), but that may not particularly ‘mean’ anything. What is our niche? It’s not throughput—that’s currently Mistweavers (and ~Resto Druids). I’ve heard utility and that Symbol of Hope was supposed to be the start of heading us in that direction but the spell still leaves much to be desired. It’s more useful in M+ now, absolutely, but the spell still contradicts itself (% missing mana vs. defensives).
If utility is our niche, could our tier set perhaps be more of an experiment towards that end? I certainly like bigger numbers, but in higher M+ it’s not really about bigger numbers because a crit Holy Word: Serenity is going to do the job anyway. One thing that is often brought up is that we need a Damage Reduction or more damage (yes, practically we do more damage in terms of raw numbers on a spell-by-spell basis than Disc, but damaging while healing and damage reduction are still “always” better). I personally do not want just a raw DR spell. I will cling to this until something better comes along but we have a unique spell that could provide us utility and “damage reduction” (by healing): Ray of Hope. It is currently an Honor talent. I think if our 4pc was “gain spell: Ray of Hope” it’d be interesting and an experiment in a potential niche for us.
Our tier set does not inspire. Perhaps there’s some way to make it so that we do inspire (in a support-y sort of way). It does increase our healing throughput and while more Holy Words is nice… one thing that (presumably) is supposed to make Holy attractive is having a spell for every situation, and right now I’ve got a spell I’ve only cast this expansion because I like to see the animation from time to time and even the 4pc won’t change that.