I will start off by saying as a PvE Holy Paladin in a Relatively Hardcore raiding guild, I am concerned. Holy Paladins will always be good healers, Beacon is excellent for tank stability and our absorbs are usually rather beneficial. (Blizzard has stated they plan to "emphasize HoTs more" so before seeing any SoO content that could change.) Im not worried about paladins sucking, nor being overpowered i just want to point out things i don't like.
First and foremost I would like to talk about Sacred Shield, for me Sacred Shield was my favorite part of WoTLK, when it was taken away I was disappointed. As time went on I missed Sacred Shield more and more, and was overjoyed to have it back in MoP. Now it appears blizzard wishes to take it away from Holy? Sacred Shield was a fine talent choice throughout most of MoP, although always overshadowed by Eternal Flame, it was never far behind.
With the nerf to Eternal Flame as of the latest 5.4 build, I think a healthy competition would exist between old Sacred Shield and Eternal Flame.
The second thing that concerns me, although it has been mentioned by a blue that the numbers are not set in stone. Are the set bonuses.
For thoose that missed it, our set bonuses are as follows.
2pc While Infusion of Light is active, your next Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance heals for an additional 10%.
4pc: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Favor by 45 seconds, and increases your mastery by 1500 while Divine Favor is Active.
Both of these set bonuses have the potential to be great, but as they are now are lackluster.
Our 2pc is by far the weakest 2pc we have had thus far. Assuming 1 in 3 Holy Shocks were to crit (usually a bit more) we would not benefit much by this. Our 2pc from T14 was a flat 10% mana cost reduction which is far better than this 2pc, even our T15 2pc which increases our daybreak healing is better and more reliable.
Why would we want a 2pc bonus that is rarely active and gives us such a small healing bonus? Every single set bonus has been better than this 2pc, 50% daybreak though is weak would be better. 10% less HR cost miles better. Linking a 2pc with a proc, is a bad choice to begin with so the benefit will have to be a large one.
*** In my personal opinion I would love to see some kind of Spirit Shell like mechanic for this 2pc, something that while IoL is active your HL/DL/HR becomes an absorb, but that is my personal opinion of something i think would be cool.
The 4pc In past blizzard has said for the last tier they go "all out" im not seeing it with this 4pc, this is one of the most boring set bonuses in a while. the 45 sec cd reduction is lame, having 45 seconds less means that as far as cooldown usage, it would be ideal to hold off from using Holy Avenger and using it with DF, if this is your "design goal" why not go the whole mile and make Divine Favor a 2 min cd to work with Holy Avenger. It also means that Avenging Wrath and Divine Favor are on different cooldowns, so if you are not using Holy Avenger, or you use HA as it comes up you are using all 3 of your cooldowns at different times, which to me feels just wrong.
The extra mastery is a nice bonus, but 1500 is such a small amount it would be negligible. In comparison to every other healers set bonuses ours is by far in the poorest shape. I hope that there are changes in the future for the T16 set bonuses.
Finally in my opinion the biggest "problem" is our mastery. People like to talk about how overpowered paladin mastery is, and you know what I agree. Our Mastery makes up too much of our healing, but here is the problem. IF you were to nerf our mastery anymore paladins would be far behind in general healing throughput. Im not a big numbers guy, so i won’t comment on how to balance it. But Mastery making up 30-40% of our healing (in some fights higher) is a problem, but if a nerf does come to our mastery, we will need buffs to our raw healing in some way shape or form I think buffs in the Holy Radiance/ beacon area would be ideal.
TL;DR Removing Sacred Shield from Holy was a mistake, our set bonuses need tuning, mastery is too strong, but nerfing it would cripple paladins and we would need buffs to our raw healing.
More below, hit post count =P