Class balance has always been a huge issue in RPG games and to be fair Blizzard has done quite a lot to attempt to change it compared to other games. In the case of healers however, there is always some outcry after a nerf and this is the case for holy paladins. After the nerf to the Tier 14 set and mastery (in the same patch), paladins have seen a drop in the healing meter ranks while Discipline priests, who absolutely needed a nerf still does competitive amounts of healing, even with the AFK dps/heal spec which was apparently the target of the nerf. Absorbs needed to be nerfed but they were only nerfed to one class. To be honest I’m not happy about getting nerfed, I don’t want to rank lower but that is the truth of the matter. The first time you heal without the Tier 14 set, you will smash that holy shock button for around 2 seconds before getting it off. You healing will decrease as you become adjusted to it. Personally I’ve been using the Tier 15 set for a few weeks now so I’m used to the change to the healing spells.
Check out this website:
It shows a distribution of the healing lots for holy paladins for heroic 10-man fights. I’ve used the median (I think it’s kind of stupid to compare top 10). The patch came on May 21 and you can see a dip on Tuesday due to patch time each week so you can kind of see where the patch came. On a majority of fights, holy paladins have gone down in the past week. This was the intended goal of the nerf and that’s all fine. But where is the drop to discipline priests? Monks and druid heals increased by a lot with their recent buffs and shamans went up a little but still remain one of the worst classes in terms of meters. I think the way paladins are now is fine and they are on par almost exactly with druids and monks. Discipline priests should be nerfed for real this time, and shamans and of course holy priests buffed. Just don’t understand what the deal is with holy and why Blizzard doesn’t seem to give a crap about them anymore despite them being excellent classes in the old days. Perhaps priests just choose to play discipline and there isn’t a lot of data on holy.
There’s also been some indication that eternal flame is going to be reworked in 5.4. The argument is that eternal flame essentially makes paladins resto druids AND discipline priests. Now hold on a second. Having a HoT and an Absorb in one spell makes you two classes at once? This doesn’t mean you can fill both roles at once. Eternal flame is neither as strong as a discipline priest’s absorbs which absorb 100% with certain spells nor as strong as a resto druid’s absorbs in the sense that you actually need more than just mana to use them. Sure it’s not hard to get Holy Power but thanks to the patch it’s now harder to get it. Ever since the introduction of more absorb based healing spells, everything has been shifting to them. Don’t be fooled by resto-druid mushrooms. Call them mushrooms but they are exactly the same thing as absorbs. It’s not that eternal flame fills the roles of druids and discipline priests but that it has absorbs and now every class which doesn’t have absorbs wants absorbs. Everyone points to healing meters to say absorb classes are over powered as if the fault is in who plays the class and not in who designs the class.
The most frustrating thing is that similar to this eternal flame debacle, so many things this patch have been designed, “tested in the PTR”, implemented and then taken away when they’ve just become too powerful. It’s tiring to play a class that was so versatile and active to have it change to something cumbersome and methodical. Sure, it may have been necessary due to it being overpowered but it was already something we were used to and you can not fault players for complain about that. Then at that, fail to nerf properly a class which needed to be nerfed for the same reason that holy paladins needed to be nerfed. We’ve learned game to game that players will find the easiest way, the most overpowered way to play the game. This is only one more example of something which worked and was changed.