Some initial feedback after playing about 8 keys on Holy Paladin (this is mostly centered around dungeon play, haven’t tried raid testing or PvP yet):
- HoPo adds interest and complexity to Holy Paladin. I know many aren’t looking forward to this, but I’m happy to see some more depth come to the class. The current retail build is fast-paced and powerful, but there’s very little opportunity to show mastery of the spec over a novice, beyond not casting Crusader Strike when it wouldn’t actually benefit Holy Shock. Having another layer to gameplay - and one that can also be converted into damage with SotR - is fun, in my opinion. I’m sure some others will disagree, but I find it a good change.
- Divine Toll is amazing, maybe too much so for dungeons. The combination of Divine Toll, Glimmer of Light, and the Shock Barrier legendary is a very powerful 1m CD in dungeons. It’s fantastic and a lot of fun, but might be too powerful right now for just 1m. Granted, this is literally where it is at its zenith in power (so it will fall off in other situations), but it’s something to keep an eye on. But DT overall is a fantastic covenant ability, and frankly I’m just not really interested in looking at the other ones, they seem to bland in comparison.
- Thank you for giving us HoW baseline. This is a great tool, both for adding damage (something we all like), but also for this interesting interaction where our healing ability increases late in a fight, due to extra HoPo generation. I think that’s a cool niche to have. It’s not a huge gain, but it’s present and a way for expert Holy Paladins to shine.
Auras are useless. It feels like someone said “Hey, let’s add Auras back to Paladins! Those were awesome, right?” but didn’t think about how the game has changed since Auras were around. There are effectively 2 Auras - Devo and Conc - and then 2 Auras that were stolen from existing passives and made incredibly clunky tack-ons just to fill out the bar. I’m all for Auras coming back, if it makes sense, but as it is right now it’s very unfun to have to devote GCDs to swap between these effects. Ret Aura in particular seems almost Machiavellian, the idea that you would take a GCD while your party is dying to instead swap into an Aura to benefit from a death, rather than take that GCD to try to heal.
Proposal: Revert Ret and Crusader Auras to passives and instead look into other effects to add in as Auras (such as the old Ret Aura, adding a new spell damage resist Aura and setting Devo back to Armor, or something else), or just scrap Auras all-together.
Holy Light and Flash of Light feel weak and uninteresting. Unlike Holy Shock and its tight interplay with Holy Power, HL and FoL feel very bland and weak. The change to IoL means that Flash of Light now heals for a very small amount in all situations (while costing a ton of mana), and leaves you with an odd partial GCD if you cast it during IoL. IoL effectively does nothing for FoL. HL gets more of a benefit, but it’s a colossally slow spell in all circumstances now, and it’s rare you have that long to stand still and cast without a penalty, and also that you have that long to wait before you would be delaying another cast which could generate HoPo for you. It’s not a good situation when your main heals feel like a fall-back or also-ran option over what you want to be pressing.
Proposal: Change IoL, either by having it make FoL/HL grant a HoPo when cast with the IoL effect, or allow IoL to stack so that the effect can be improved (such as 2 stacks making FoL instant, or making HL a huge bomb of a heal).
LoD is in a sad state. It’s almost always the wrong decision to cast this ability right now, even when you can actually hit 5 damaged allies with it. For dungeon healing especially, having it even on your bar is a trap for newer Holy Paladins, and if I were writing a guide for SL M+ I would advise new Paladins to not bind it at all. LoD needs a buff, or honestly a general rework would be better at this point - LoD hasn’t been a fun ability since its rework into its current form for Legion.
Proposal: Go back to something more like Holy Radiance for the AoE HoPo consumer. To add some variety (and get away from everything consuming 3 HoPo), perhaps this could consume all available HoPo for an increased effect and radius. If possible, a spell where you literally keep holding the button down to keep consuming HoPo beyond the initial 3 cost (not just a channel that you have to break with movement or escape) could give the player more options here.
- Make Beacon of Faith only reduce the healing transferred if you have both Beacons active. This would allow for more flexibility with the talent, only having 1 Beacon up when only one is needed. The main issue with this is that it’s clumsy to try to un-cast an existing Beacon, so this would have to be improved (such as casting Beacon of Faith on a Beacon of Light target overwriting the BoL with BoF, and vice versa).
- Consider the large ramifications to PvP with the IoL change. PvP Holy Paladin revolves around massively buffed, quick cast Holy Lights, and that’s completely gone now. I’m not a big PvP’er so I’ll let others more capable weigh in, but it seems like the cornerstone of that playstyle is completely upended now. General improvements to IoL like mentioned above might help, but better PvP talents that don’t center as much throughput onto Holy Light might be good as well.
- Make Awakening trigger off of SotR, too. I doubt anyone will take this talent anyway, but a slight improvement for dungeons would be to have it trigger on all HoPo spenders. That at least helps shore up its DPS capabilities - though again, I don’t see it competing with SW. Though I am curious about a DP/Awakening build with high Haste levels.
- Change the bonus effect on activating Avenging Wrath. Under AW, Holy Shock already has a base 60% crit chance, and even with our pitiful secondary stat levels right now my Holy Shock crit chance is 77%. Can we change this effect to something like Chaos Bolt, where the first Holy Shock’s effect is increased by your crit chance? Or make it both auto-crit and also get a 50% bonus to its crit effect, like the passive for Ele Shamans?