The 4.3 Public Test Realm and patch notes came out today. There are pretty significant changes for Holy paladins. I'm going to quote changes from Ghostcrawler's explanation post as they're the most high level:
We changed Seal of Insight to no longer return 15% base mana and then changed Judgment of the Pure to provide mana regeneration so that Holy paladins would not need to Judge every eight seconds. With these changes, they will want to Judge every 30 seconds, which seems more reasonable. Judging every eight seconds is hard to ask someone who is also targeting players a lot to heal them.I like this change from the Judging standpoint. You now need to only judge once a minute or so, instead of having to judge on cooldown. On the other hand, tying Judgement mana regen to Spirit guts the Mastery/Crit build. I would suspect that Spirit/Haste will go back to being the one true build.
We made several changes to Holy Radiance to make it a cast time spell. We felt like Holy paladins couldn’t go into a group healing mode because Holy Radiance had a long cooldown and in the absence of a cast time, didn’t compete with any other spell. With this change (and the Light of Dawn change below), paladins can opt for an AE healing “rotation” (insofar as healers can ever have a rotation) of using Holy Radiance to Light of Dawn instead of Holy Light et al. to Word of Glory.This is the big change to paladin AoE healing. Holy Radiance becomes a cast spell, with pretty much the same cast time as Holy Light and Divine Light. The current implementation targets another player and heals the people around her for a 3 second HoT.
Several Holy talents changed to support the change to Holy Radiance, such as allowing it to benefit from Illuminated Healing, Clarity of Purpose, and Infusion of Light.
There's also some Holy Power tossed in there, but the current notes are inconclusive. No word on how it interacts with Beacon of Light or our Mastery. This is the spell we'll have to keep an eye on. Not sure if the numbers will work out for us to spam it during high AoE, or do something like Holy Radiance, Holy Shock, Holy Radiance, etc.
I think it's way too early to evaluate this spell. It's definitely something we'll have to see on the PTR.
It didn’t make sense for Speed of Light to be triggered by a cast-time spell, so we caused the Paragon of Virtue talent to lower the cooldown on Divine Protection, so that Holy wouldn’t lose quite so much functionality of Speed of Light. Speed of Light has definitely been nerfed compared to 4.2, but we feel it’s an acceptable change given the entire package.We do lose a little run speed boost, but we also get 30s Divine Protection, which can be pretty huge. There are a number of effects that trigger every 30 seconds, and we will be able to cooldown all of them.
We reversed the glyph for Light of Dawn. Instead of providing an additional target to Light of Dawn, the glyph now reduces the number of targets but increases the throughput. Light of Dawn was not a very useful spell in 10-player raids or similar small groups, like Arena teams. This glyph should allow paladins to tailor Light of Dawn for their group size.An interesting change to Light of Dawn. There's also a change such that Divine Plea give a Holy Power when you use it. That's a bit odd, but it's a straight buff, so I guess we'll take it.
All in all, 4.3 will be very interesting. We will see if this change makes us acceptable raid healers. I do lament the death of having two viable builds, but I think cleaning up Judgement was worth it.