- Item Squish is in. All your numbers are going to go down. Don't panic!
- Intellect no longer increases your Crit with spells.
- Sanctified Light was added, increasing the amount of Crit we get from things like gear and buffs by 5% (so if you'd normally get 100 crit rating from a piece of gear, Holy Paladins get 105).
- There are no more Haste breakpoints. If you like Haste, stack it without worrying about your HoT ticks.
- Spirit should be a lot more powerful, but you should need a lot less of it. However, this is not as apparent at level 90 and kicks in much more at 100.
- Health with respect to healing throughput should be much higher, so people will be at less than 100% health more often. Your heals, however, will also do a much smaller percentage of your target's health. This should be okay! Admittedly I am unsure as to how much SoO changes with this.
- All healers lost their big, expensive heal. For Paladins, Divine Light is gone.
- All healers lost most of their mana regeneration abilities. For Paladins, Divine Plea is gone.
- Our throughput cooldowns got pruned. Guardian of Ancient Kings and Divine Favor got rolled into Avenging Wrath.
- Blinding Light removed baseline and turned into a talent, replacing Evil is a Point of View.
- Hand of Salvation is no longer available to Holy Paladins.
- Eternal Flame once again procs our Mastery, but the length of the HoT is now proportional to Holy Power spent, up to 30 seconds for 3 Holy Power. So no more spamming small HoTs everywhere; it's just not efficient.
- Stay of Execution is a bit more powerful and the burst of healing is now at the beginning rather than at the end, making it easier to use.
- Selfless Healer no longer affects Holy Radiance, and Judgment doesn't generate Holy Power. However, it buffs Flash of Light (now our primary throughput spell) a fair bit more than it did previously, by nearly twice as much.
- Holy Light is our "efficient" heal, whereas Flash of Light is our throughput heal. They actually heal for identical amounts, but Flash is 66.7% faster to cast.
- Avenging Wrath is now the mother of all throughput cooldowns, boosting healing by 100%, and Haste, Crit, and damage by 20%.
- Beacon of Light now transfers multistrikes (of which for now the only thing that this affects are the multistrike SoO trinkets). Casting spells directly on the Beacon no longer generates Holy Power; however, casting Holy Light or Flash of Light on the Beacon will refund 40% of the mana cost, making direct Beacon healing extremely efficient. It also now has a small mana cost to keep people from macroing the ability to every spell cast.
- Our area heals, like Daybreak and Holy Radiance, now only affect up to 6 injured targets instead of all targets in the area. (Note Light of Dawn always had this effect).
- Holy Shock has twice the chance to Crit, rather than having a static +25%. This should help make Crit more attractive.
- Mastery: Illuminated Healing is now applied by multistrikes (for now, only the SoO trinkets, same with Beacon).
- Denounce now has a 40 yard range, up from 30. (hooray!)
- All healers had most of their instant cast heals gain a 1.5 second cast time. For Paladins, Word of Glory, Eternal Flame, and Light of Dawn all have a cast time now, leaving us with only Holy Shock which is still instant.
- Redemption no longer costs excruciatingly large amounts of mana.
- Seal of Insight no longer increases our spell haste by 10%. Instead, that was rolled into Infusion of Light, a baseline Holy passive (and increases all Haste instead of just spell). This means if you want to do less healing but more damage, you can switch your seal without losing the haste, just 5% healing.
Not listing every glyph change. Many of them are just numbers tweaks. But here's the major playstyle-altering changes.
- Glyph of Divine Wrath now reduces mana costs by 25% while Avenging Wrath is active, but halves the healing bonus of the cooldown.
- Glyph of Cleanse now grants Cleanse 2 charges, but increases the cooldown to 12 seconds.
Overall, the biggest changes to our playstyle is a much slower generation of Holy Power, and a lot less mobility with Holy Shock and our 90 talents being the only instant cast heals we have left. With less holy power, it makes Eternal Flame much less attractive, so I expect that whole tier to balance out a bit with all of them being viable choices.
With Divine Light gone, get used to using Flash of Light as our throughput heal. Note that unless you have stacks of Selfless Healer banked, Word of Glory at 2 Holy Power is still significantly stronger than a Flash of Light/Holy Light (and at 3 HP is a full 150% more powerful in a single cast).
Holy Radiance should be harder to spam, and only really worth casting if it'll hit two or more injured players, whereas today on live I use it almost exclusively over Divine Light because it hits nearly as hard on the tank after Beacon transfer is taken into account.
I'm not sure if at level 90 we'll see players sitting at less than 100% health much, but if that's the case, we should see Crit become a bit more valuable than it has been in the past, and it should also naturally make our Mastery a little less potent, because throughput will be a bit more important than bubbles.
I raid on Wednesday after the patch, so we'll see how this plays out in practice. I imagine SoO has been nerfed through the floor in anticipation of these changes, so I wouldn't panic about current content.