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This is solely from the perspective of a lvl 79 Holy Paladin. I've leveled this guy as holy from the get-go, and have had a blast healing through dungeons. This is my first and only real healer. What I'm worried about is the fact that the entire time, healing seems to be pretty easy. occasionally when things get crazy or I loose focus someone might die, but that's only happened a handful of times these 79 levels. I never get below 90% mana, and rarely does anyone get below 50% health.
My concern is that the difficulty will hit me like a brick wall when I get into Cataclysm content and beyond. I've read up on a lot of Holy Paladin strategies that I simply can't see put into practice. I've yet to run into a situation where I need to heal like that.
So, will the difficulty curve hit me like Mt. Everest, or will I have some time to acclimate?
Healing is really easy prior to Cataclysm content. Once you get up into the mid-80s, player health will spike upwards and healing spells will start affecting your mana more. Basically, you'll find that your heals do less to the player's health bar but cost more relative to now.
Healing will get more challenging in cata+content, but the reality is you will rarely be challenged to the extent that you are in raids. As the stat scaling curve becomes more punitive, you will need to be more careful on overhealing and watch your mana more, but it never really gets to the point where you are required to min/max in 5mans. If you really want that playstyle, think of your leveling process as practice, slowly getting you used to your toolkit, not as the end purpose of your healing journey.
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