You're completely right, jaysgsl, if you look at this one nerf as an isolated incident. Unfortunately the nerfs have been building. 4.0 Paladins were built with WoG as part of their natural survivability structure. It has been made almost nil, and has NOT been replaced with anything. Shield slam is not even made readily available to low level players, which means low level Protadins will literally just be sitting on Holy Power for large chunks of time.
Now don't get me wrong, as Ret I could run through a BG or Arena, pop CDs, and literally complete heal myself and 2 other people with WoGs. Broken? Sure. I totally understand that they don't like that: not only does it make a Melee DPS a better healer than some purebreds, but it also forces the assumption that a Retadin will use his CDs for that purpose and not for DPS which he is supposed to be doing.
But don't be mistaken, either. Since 4.0, all classes have had significant boosts in self-healing, leeching, and self preservation. As I said, and I was not exagerrating, my Arcane Mage (Glyph of Evocation
, Arcane Flows
) does more healing in a Heroic than my Protadin. It is near impossible to test this accurately based on the encounters, DPS, healer, etc, but it happens consistently enough for me to get it: this is happening. Warlocks? Shadow Priests? These classes can net nearly 30% of healing done in groups. Rogues have Recuperate, Hancement Shammies have Shamanistic Rage and Maelstrom Weapon, Cats have Nurturing Instinct, need the list go on?
Furthermore, on Heroic trash, it is now the norm to see Protection Warriors and Blood DKs FAR outperforming Paladins in self healing. Now why's this a problem? Well because Protection Warriors have far better Survivability to both Physical and Magic sources. DK's, while on a level playing field (if not a tiny bit inferior) in physical mitigation, have far superior magic depression abilities. Both of these classes have more interesting cool downs, and for both of these classes, Self Healing does NOT sacrifice threat...
...which brings us to an overarching problem here. At release of 4.0, it was apparent almost immediately that in competitive play, Paladins were the weakest link on threat. This is NOT to say that they cannot hold threat in Raid situations, nor that they don't have excellent (and easy)
threat production up to this point. But fact is this: Warriors produce nearly twice as much threat in both AoE and Single Target situations. DKs and Bears produce nearly twice the threat on single target situations. Bear's AoE threat is a problem in its own right, and you do not see me mention them here often because I still feel bad for them.
Now the thing about threat is this: having far superior amounts of threat is not only pointless, it's not even noticeable IF you are keeping agro. I get that. The interesting thing about Paladins was, though, that the choice had to be made between a bit more survivability (WoG) and a bit more threat (Shield Slam.) I think this was not only fun, but appropriate. Any sort of potent decision making is gone, crunch phases become prayer sessions. And I WILL tell you from experience, my Heriocs have been hard experiences the last few days.
I've been told multiple times now in ZG that my survivability is wanting on a number of fights, including the last one which is a doozie. This from strangers and close friends, alike. Even a few of the bosses in ZA I'm having trouble with, and the fact is I'm geared enough to play in these zones. It's NOT that I do not appreciate a challenge, but I healed a DK through a ZA timed run on my HPriest (we barely missed it) and my Mana hardly ever dropped below 60%. Looking at my HPS doesn't reveal anything spectacular either. Switch my Pally in to tank that same Heroic and you have healer crying in the corner constantly OOM.
It's just annoying. It seems like someone has some chart -> This is how this class tanks, he uses this and this and this for survivability. This is how this other class tanks, he uses this and this........ etc.
Then, somewhere down the road, someone totally different looks at one aspect of PVP, or one example of a raid boss, and says "well this doesn't seem right, why does he get this ability that I don't think he should have." 2 weeks and a blue post later and that ability is nerfed or gone. Why? Because he wasn't on the same page with the original creation of the class.
The comical thing? Neither of them are even concerned with low levels. I feel SO bad for leveling paladins. I cannot see how leveling as Protection is even possible right now. At least Ret and Holy have viable HoPo dumps and reliable heals.