I haven't gone into the problems I have with the direction Holy Paladins seem to be going in WotLK yet (of which I have many), but I came across this post in the EJ forums. Someone quoted a post in the official WotLK beta forum discussing the Holy tree and I agree with much of what was said. Here is the post in its entirety. Thanks to Hexagramx for his work in the beta on Holy Paladins.
"I'm just somewhat worried because every holy paladin in my guild is re-rolling or switching their main spec come the expansion.
I'm a gladiator and I've cleared sunwell countless times. I've seen the end game for paladins and it's less than impressive.
Prot and ret went from being both joke talent trees to being our strongest. I rolled a paladin to heal and I would love to continue to heal on my paladin, but first a couple things need to change.
1. Three paladins two blessings?
If sunwell is any indication of future raiding zones then a prot pally will be a necessity in every raid. Alliance ret paladins were always a trade off between utility and a loss of dps. However, the wotlk ret talents look amazing wanting every raid to bring one ret, one prot and one holy paladin.
As things are right now this would work out perfectly since almost every raid brings 3 paladins for might/wis, salv/light and kings. You removed salv/light and didn’t give us a new blessing to replace them with. Sanctuary isn’t worth buffing on any non-tanks. Dividing up the might/wis paladin to have one paladin buffing might on every one and one buffing wisdom on every one is far less then ideal. Great the warriors/rogues have wisdom and the casters have might.
We need a new 30 minute buff or we need at least blessing of light to be restored.
2. Divine Plea isn't the answer to our mana issues
The best return of any potion in the game has always been the dreamless sleep potions. The trade off to gaining more mana/hp is that you're taken out of the fight for the duration. There's a reason no healer in any raiding guild uses these potions. The risks far out weigh the benefits. If your assigned target dies from a lack of heals the mana you gained is useless.
There are of course quite a few difference between that and evocation/divine plea. It can be canceled and is shorter duration. Blizzard nicely put a trinket off muru in sunwell that's identical to divine plea to try the spell out and the trinket is terrible.
The only class that I've seen make use out of the muru trinket is druids. They put their hots up on a target and use the trinket. When a paladin uses Divine plea he stops healing and the tank dies.
We need some thing else especially with the potion change.
3. Judgements of the pure/enlightened judgements.
We spend 7 talent points, 14% of our base mana, and a gcd for 30 seconds of 10% spell haste? I really don’t understand the point of these talents. With the new judging system and the increased likelihood of a ret paladin in the raid; there’s no point for us to ever be judging after placing the initial debuff.
Was the intent of the talents for us to be adding to the raids dps through the combined JoR into the other judgements?
The increased range on judgement talents along with most of the other new talents they’ve added have just seemed like pvp only talents. Beacon of light isn’t the only reason holy paladins are considering dropping the 51 point talent in favor of sheath of light. The talents leading up to it are all very weak for raiding.
I really hate suggesting talents that are similar to other classes but ideally we want what you gave shamans. A reason for seal of wisdom to be up for a holy paladin. A passive mp5 on sow/ +healing on sol then having judgement give mana/health.
4. Beacon of light
The role paladins have been pigeonholed into filling is the main tank healer. The new 51 point talent is a raid healing spell. It’s great that blizzard wants us to be able to fill multiple roles. However, beacon light doesn’t allow us to become raid healers due to it’s horrible mana efficiency.
The catch of the spell is that it hits unlimited targets making it amazing if the raid ever clumped into a giant pile. This rarely ever happens because casters like to keep their passive threat reduction from being ranged and melee have to be next to a boss to dps. Tanks have to be on the opposite side of the group to keep the back to the melee dps.
Coh and chain heal both can be spammed to great effect because of their mana efficiency. Beacon of light can’t be spammed because not only does it have a high mana cost but also it can't crit so it can't take advantage of illumination. This spell is nothing more then a mana dump.
5. Ret tree for holy paladins.
Divine strength was moved to tier 1 prot to allow ret paladins easier access into the prot tree with out picking up worthless talents like imp devo/redoubt.
Two of the best healing talents in the game are in ret, conviction and sheath of light, but to get them we have to pick up filler that does nothing for us.
This is probably one of the least pressing of any of the issues I’ve brought up, but it would be nice to have my synergized talents in ret for holy paladins to pick up since it's likely holy/prot is dead.
Overall it feels like the focus of the changes to our class were to improve our ability to pvp in the 3vs3 and 2vs2 brackets with raiding as an after thought.
Paladins were widely considered the most efficient healer in the game when bc went live. You nerfed illumination and buffed spirit/water shield removing our only niche.
We’re given the job of tank healer because we can’t do any thing else not because we’re always the best person for the job. Druids, priests and to a lesser extent shamans can all main tank heal, but even with beacon of light we can’t raid heal.
We still need work to be brought up to par for raiding."