Ever since the announcement of artifact weapons, I knew I would be continuing to use my Paladin as my main in Legion. I couldn't imagine anything that could be revealed through the class previews that would change my mind. My dream was for Tankadin to get a Gladiator type of talent so I could stay Prot and DPS, but after Warriors lost Gladiator, I knew I was in for disappointment. I'll probably have to go Ret as my main raiding spec. I still love tanking and I'm sure I'll do my fair share in 5 mans or LFR, but I can't be a raid tank with only 50% (at best) attendance.
The developers stated they wanted to get back to the fantasy of each class. The mythos and fantasy of the Paladin was what originally drew me to the class. I love the idea of being the warrior dedicated to the Light helping those who cannot help themselves, championing the cause of the innocent, the helpless, and the powerless against beings of far greater power.
I was blown away by the news we would be able to trispec in Legion and they would have the UI to support it. I dabbled in Holy at one point in Warlords, but I’ve never done it very long. I prefer tanking and I needed Ret to solo/dps. Which spec do I give up? If I give up Ret, how can I solo effectively? If I give up Prot, then I can't tank. Now, I'll be able to have all 3 specs going. I may actually give Holy another try in Legion.
I like that they are bringing (or trying to bring) Holy back to the front lines. It always felt weird for the plate wearing healer (though in Vanilla and tBC we wore cloth like all the rest) to be standing in the back. I wonder how this will work in practice. Will the Holy Paladin be constantly running around trying to get close to each target? What happens for those ‘spread out’ raid mechanics? The talent to also base your mastery off your Beacon location should help, but it might very well undo their intended effect. If I can Beacon the tank and stand in the back, out of the melee mess, I probably will.
Blizzard will also need to code their raids better. One of the problems of Holy Paladins getting close is that sometimes ranged effects would target the Holy Paladin and hit the melee. Holy would need to be considered melee targets, but what happens if they stay at range? I do worry this new Holy Paladin mastery could be like the Resto Shaman mastery and not be very useful sometimes.
I also like that Holy will no longer be using Holy Power, but I'm not entirely sure about taking it away from Prot. It added some depth to the gameplay by having to make decisions on the fly about how to spend that Holy Power. Are we going back to the 969 days? My biggest worry from the preview is the new (old) talent Redoubt. Redoubt used to be talent way back in the day that increased our chance to block, but the new iteration gives us charges to use Shield of the Righteous or use Light of the Protector which is a new skill that does what Word of Glory with Bastion of Glory does today. The problem I see is that the charges are granted on an auto-attack critical. Crit turns into Parry for Tankadins but we generally don’t stack it. Will we now? I don't like the idea of basing so much of our mitigation on an RNG effect. A bad string of missed crits could really hurt our mitigation and we already aren't up to the standards of what DKs and Monks can do with their absorbs.
Ret doesn't look like it changed much though I am excited about the new teleport spell, Lothar's Might. As many have pointed out one of the new Ret talents is called Lothar's might, but Lothar was a warrior. How about Yrel's Might instead?
Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic about the future of Paladin. It looks like the specs are sharing less abilities than ever and I’m excited to try them all out during Legion, though I’m sure Prot will still be my favorite.