I've been playing World of Warcraft and Paladins in general since release date, back in 2004: when Blessing of Kings was the 31 point Retribution talent, we had a spell called Seal of Fury, and were expected to wear cloth and heal raids. I played through the entirety of classic WoW and its many changes, and all of Burning Crusade; though I admit to playing little of Wrath -- WoW had really lost its appeal to me by then.
Through it all, I had always wished that paladins could do more than simply heal for raids; that we could tank and we could do damage like other classes. That as a plate wearer, we'd be on the front line and getting into the thick of things. Through all of classic WoW, this never really happened, and those dreams slowly became a reality through Burning Crusade.
Blizzard, you've really hit the nail on the head this time -- I have to hand it to you. I have never felt, until now, that Paladins were Paladins. What you've done to this class is absolutely excellent and well crafted. I have had so much fun since the latest changes, I can't really even start to name them all, but I'll list what I can~
The Holy tree has such great synergy; where do I start? I love that Crusader Strike is a melee attack that generates Holy Power, giving me a reason, as a healer, to get into melee range and attack enemies to pay for a free, solid heal. Judgment (and healing others) also heals me as well, giving me greater safety for being in melee range and doing damage; it also boosts my spell haste and refunds mana (Seal of Insight). This is a load of fun to be on the front line, as a healer, with my tanking friend and being effective.
Besides that, the Holy tree has a lot of other fun dynamics; such as Holy Shock proccing instant-cast Exorcisms. I also love that Exorcism, with talents, is a cheap spell with no cool down, allowing me to play a pseudo-caster role when I have that itch. Holy Shock can also make my casted heals faster, and my casted heals can give me freebie Holy Shocks! Wow!
Protection is amazing as well; I love not having to worry about mana (same with Retribution). I like the rotation as well; hitting Hammer of the Righteous then filling in with another spell of my choice. It keeps it active and engaging; while Grand Crusader procs add a random "Yay!" flare where I can fire off Avenger's Shield again for mega-damage and threat. Building up Holy Power for Shield of the Righteous is great, too, and feels rewarding. I duo paladins with a friend and sometimes we go into a dungeon both as protection spec and create total carnage, it's great and thoroughly fun.
I have less experience with the new Retribution paladin, but I'm very glad we finally have an Interrupt there and a lot of buttons to press.
All in all, I have to say: Thank you, Blizzard, for the very impressive and incredible revamp of the paladin class. I have never had so much fun and it, along with all the new expansion stuff set in classic Azeroth, has really got very interested in WoW again.
My only wish is that you took holy paladins one step further and completely remove caster plate, and added spec benefits such as converting Strength into Intelligence.
Again, thank you! ^^