Ghostcrawler was getting a little concerned about all the negative feeling on the Beta Pladin forums, and so she decided to give us a window into the current thought processes of the Devs:
Here are some things we are looking at right now. You may not agree with them all, but I will share them with you in the hopes of making you feel better about your class, and maybe even getting you excited again. I also can't promise they are final because it's still the sort of thing we're wrestling with, and I don't want to disappoint anyone if it doesn't work out or we change our minds. Okay, massive caveats out of the way:
-- We'd like to do something else with Kings. I don't know that a core ability is the answer, but burying it deep in Prot, when Prot warriors would just as soon play with BoSanc, doesn't feel great either.
-- We'd like to mess around with the top 2 tiers of all 3 trees, still encouraging you to cross-spec a little, but making that initial bite into the upper tier more tasty instead of just an icky appetizer to get the what you really want down deeper.
-- I think Beacon of Light is starting to feel pretty good. It may be a little OP right now, but I think we can get it in a good place. (I'm sorry, but I don't know if you have the version I'm talking about or not.)
-- We'd like to get Vengeance back to 3 stacks, because that just feels more fun than 2. I can almost assure you that it won't be at 15% total damage -- that is hugely generous for 5 talent points, and would normally be budgeted at more like 15 talent points. If I had to guess, it will end up at something like 3 talent points for 1 / 2 / 3% that stacks up to 3 times (so 9% at 3 stacks). That is still over-inflated for 3 talent points. I understand that your dps used to depend on Vengeance. We'll just have to buff it in other ways. Death Knights will get the exact same treatment, whatever it ends up being.
-- JotW was changed to support the new party buff system and it needs to keep that role. That is one of the main reasons why a group would want to take a Ret pally over another dps class. I understand your mana was dependent on this ability. We'll just have to buff that in other ways as well. Having too many talents that just lower mana costs feel like a band-aid, so we'd rather not overdo that route. Instead we'd just like to make sure you have enough mana. The new Divine Plea is one mechanic here (it works more like Blood Rage than Evocate now), but it's not the only one.
-- Deep Ret and deep Prot need 1 or 2 more cool talents. We'll carve out room by bundling or just swapping out some of the current talents.
I hope you take this little view into our current thought process in the spirit that it's given. Sometimes we regret talking about stuff that isn't final because it ends up coming back to bite us. But I also thought it wouldn't hurt to cheer you up a little either, so hopefully something I've said will do that.
Needless to say, this is just the sort of communication I think every Paladin has been wanting since before 1.09. More please :D
Hot on the heels of this, we discover that Judgements of the Wise has been hotfixed to restore 20% of total mana on Judgement. How long this will last in it's current position in the tree is debatable; Holy having access to this talent kinda blows whatever could be in deep Holy out of the water, especially with no downranking. It almost feels like something of a stop-gap to generate slightly more reliable testing data for the 10-man and 25-man Naxx raids - it isn't exactly a secret that Ret was having difficulty keeping up with other classes in some encounters.
So, changes are inbound. Keep an eye out for a new build later this week, perhaps with a large number of Paladin changes, perhaps not. Either way, committing to making the trees more interesting, esp Tier 9 and 10 Prot/Ret, is very welcome.
I'm back to being optimistic. Fickle,aren't I ;)