Rise, rise my fellow paladins we are no longer a hybrid, WE are the main healers
I found an interesting post that shows the evolution of the Paladin class into the main healer role.
As for me, I will always be spec’d protection. I dont mind healing but that is not my playstyle.
Quote from the link above
As Tseric recently posted,
Paladins are supposed to be a Tank/Healing hybrid. Thinking about this the other day, I noted it was interesting how they had come to this decision based upon the growth of the class since release. I’m going to posit the theory that paladins were initially designed/conceived as a melee support hybrid, capable of off-tanking in a pinch (mostly in small content), spot healing when necessary, and buffing/meleeing the rest of the time. It’s interesting that this vision has never come to pass. For new paladin rerolls or new players to the game, maybe this will be an interesting walkthrough of where the class has come from a raiding/group perspective, and where it is today.
Rewind to January, 2005.
While learning Molten Core, our paladins are all buffing and meleeing. It becomes clear rather quickly that their melee is pointless, so they should just stay back and heal and refresh the 5 minute blessings. Keep in mind they are all wearing Lightforge, with 0 +healing and just some raw stats, so Flash of Light hits for something like 300-400, but that is all there was. This new set, Lawbringer, seems designed for pure melee support. It has some +healing on it, but also Str, and the 8 piece bonus was a proc that healed the whole raid for 200-300ish. I recall having a 8 piece Lawbringer paladin in melee just for that proc. Of course, after a few weeks it was nerfed and reduced to only the party, and he went back to healing again. Tanking at this point was never an option, because there was no gear at all comparable to warrior’s Might, amidst other problems.
Fast Forward to Summer, 2005.
Blackwing Lair arrives and is buggy as sin but pretty fun. At this point virtually all raiding paladins are healers, with the best ones mixing DM healing gear (cloth/leather/mail/plate) with pieces of Lawbringer. Yet by item design, it still appears that Blizzard feels paladins are a melee hybrid: Judgement armor has +spell damage and +Str, and an 8 piece proc designed around judging a target whenever it is up. Yet in virtually no raiding group that is clearing BWL this summer/fall are paladins doing anything but healing, buffing, and cleansing. There is still no gear to tank, and they are a wasted spot in melee. Their gear is getting better, so FoL spam is starting to look pretty good on the healing meters, but half the paladins are /afk in the corner hitting Whispercast every few minutes while the priests handle the healing load, and the druids innervate the priests.
Fast Forward to Spring, 2006.
After a huge dearth of 40 man content, AQ hits the raiding community. By this point, raiding paladins have geared up in ZG with a full assortment of +healing items for the first time. The ZG set still seems to indicate that paladins are a hybrid (Agi, +Heal, +Str), but the rest of the items in the zone do not, and paladins only wear those pieces if they have nothing else. At this point the “shockadin” starts to become a bit more popular in PvP, but in raiding all paladins are healers. As AQ progresses, hybrids rejoice at the sets, but don’t really use them for raiding. Druids and priests get no use out of them, while paladins and shaman, again devoid of a raiding set that supports what they do, grab a few for upgrades and bank the rest for leveling/grinding. Raiding paladins are using a mix of ZG/BWL healing items with AQ cloth and leather healing items to build a pure +healing set.
Fast Forward to Fall, 2006.
The ultimate WoW Classic dungeon, Naxxramas, comes, and at this point it seems like Blizzard is finally admitting to themselves that ALL of the originally categorized hybrids (shaman, druids, paladins) are full-time healers: all the T3 sets are fully optimized for healing, and amazing at that purpose. Warriors become legendary due to their ability to fill two roles with the same spec (tank, DPS, we have warriors tanking on 4 horsemen and #1on DPS on Loatheb), while everyone else has their one role—ironic to many since they were not conceived of as a hybrid class. Paladins, at last, no longer need to wear cloth or carry around flowers in their off-hand because of raiding itemization.
Fast Forward to Xmas 2006.
WoW 2.0 hits in preparation for the Xpack. Without new gear and spells, there are not a lot changes for some classes, but Priests, marketed as the game’s “primary healer,” are suddenly the only fully legitimate class with a heal button that is a hybrid. Shadow priests trivialize fights like Loatheb, and compete with the top DPS classes on nearly every fight while providing group utility. Paladins, shaman, and druids (mostly) continue healing, now better than before with new talents. Cynics point out the irony that two of the dubbed “pure classes” are more effective hybrids than the hybrids.
And now we reach the Burning Crusade.
With a slew of new gear and spells, class roles are shifting all over the board…except for paladins. In smaller content and in smaller guilds, paladin tanks alleviate the tanking shortage for 5 mans and the like. Some even tank Karazhan and heroics. But none are tanking the Big Boy bosses like Gruul, because that remains the domain of protection warriors. While druid tanks become legitimate choices in most raiding content (even post nerf), paladins are not. Your average Gruul-killing raid healing is done primarily by Holy paladins, who have the ability to lead healing meters with the repeated use of one button. Shaman have earned 2 spots for DPS, enhancement and elemental; Druids have 1 spot for a feral tank, and Priests have as many shadow spots as you can fit because they are so amazing. It is perhaps the greatest irony of the Paladin class that the ability designed to allow us to effectively tank like warriors, Spiritual Attunement, is used instead by the majority of raiding paladins as a justification to have an “off-spec” in your group, a shadow priest, to give you a mana battery for healing.
It has been 28 months, and this class has deviated greatly from the vision of the paladins of Warcraft Lore, and even from that of original release. Make no mistake: paladins are the primary healers of World of Warcraft. Every other healing class has more, sometimes vastly more, legitimate hybrid potential than paladins. Even if a paladin tank had the same mitigation as a warrior, they offer you no synergy bonus for them tanking, wheras a shadow priest DPSing gives your casters more damage, a shaman meleeing increases your group’s melee damage, and so on. A paladin tank is just another tank – so why not bring a warrior? A paladin in melee is just another melee class with substandard DPS (and a Holy paladin 38/0/23 can bring almost all the same utility as a Ret paladin while healing), so why not bring another melee class?
The modern priest community is up in arms about paladin healing because they are supposed to be the “primary healing class,” but the numbers and evolution of this game tell a different story. Priests are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Druids are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Shaman are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Warriors are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Paladins are a pure class, excellent in 1 role.
I am a Paladin. I am a healer. And this is how it came to pass.
Source: WOW Forums