I bit the bullet and respecced to Holy today. I very quickly got into a Heroic Utgarde Keep run. My immediate thought:
"Wow, when did healing become so hard?"
Maybe I've just gotten used to face-rolling my way through instances as DPS, or maybe I'm just undergeared and out of practice, but it feels like paladin healing has gotten a lot more complex.
The following is my thought process throughout the instance:
Begin Stream of Consciousness.
Okay, I have to keep up Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield and a Seal. I've pretty much abandoned Flash of Light and am mainly using Holy Light. Nothing else seemed to keep up with the tank's damage intake. Does Sacred Shield even do anything? You know, Sacred Shield is a lot more expensive than I remembered. Why is the tank's health not going up? Oh, Beacon fell off again! I'm supposed to Judge to do something or the other, but I can't stop spamming Holy Light.
Who thought an AoE silence/interrupt on the final boss of Utgarde Keep was a good idea? Why did the DPSer who does 2K+ DPS just take a 24K Smash? Couldn't you have Smashed one of the other two who are doing less than 1K DPS? Let's try Holy Shock. Yeah, that really did a lot. Back to Holy Light. Sweet, sweet Holy Light. Why are there axes attacking me? Where are you, AoE heal! Oh I see, Beacon fell off yet again. Divine Plea, thank the Light!
End Stream of Consciousness.
What this game really needs is some way to challenge the DPS without affecting the healer. Healing is hard enough without the added worry of standing in the fire. Or more accurately for paladins, spell interrupts and silences.
The thing is that because environmental hazards affect both healers and DPS, they are necessarily less challenging than they could be. They have to be easy enough that a distracted healer can avoid them, and that leads to a difference in challenge level for the two roles. Since a DPS only has to look out for herself, an environmental challenge that is complex enough to challenge her is probably going to kill the healer.