With the holy light glyph, beacon, buffed holy shock, etc. Paladins can do a good amount of raid healing?
I bold that question mark because "good" is quite a relative terms. Many paladins believe they won't be able to raid heal at all until they get Chain Light; other paladins boast about raid healing pre-3.0 with mondo FoL spam and despise smart targeting heal spells. I'm really in the middle of the road on this one. A 5-yard range on the Holy Light glyph is honestly laughable if you ask me (why couldn't we get the 10-yard again?), but if your raid is intelligent you should be able to stack on top of each other to maximize the effect. Beacon of Light is a powerful niche tool as many have said, and Holy Shock is useful for countering immediate damage spikes on high-priority raid members. So yes, it's not like anyone can claim that we don't have tools
for a powerful healing kit. We just might not have Black & Decker Power Tools.
Personally, I'll be convinced that Paladins are in a good state for healing when a 25-man raid can be healed using 8 paladins as effectively as it can be healed using 8 shamans, 8 druids, or 8 priests. I don't like the idea of having to rely on other healing classes being present in order for us to do our jobs. We should be able to heal whatever we are told to heal regardless of if we have a Shaman to raid heal or not. Otherwise it just flies in the face of Blizzard's new "interchangeable tank & DPS" policy.
And yes, this does have a very important influence on raid encounters and their so-called dumbing down. Can anyone
claim that Bacon+SoL+GoHL is as powerful a raid healing tool as CoH, Wild Growth, or Chain Heal? This isn't a whine that the other kids got better toys than us, it's a serious concern for how they balance raid content. If they balance content assuming that we won't
always have incredible raid healing tools from other classes, then Holy Paladin healing will become Normal Mode, and the second a Shaman walks in the whole raid turns to Easy Mode. Conversely, if they assume we will always have those options in our raids (which is admittedly going to be pretty common, as Disc Priests are the only other healer without gonzo raid heals) then Shaman healing becomes Normal Mode and Paladin healing becomes Hard Mode.
This sounds like I'm calling for more class homogenization, and I don't know if I am or not honestly. My jury's still out on that. I think we're all just concerned that a large enough gap
between the healing classes' basic abilities will result in a repeat of TBC's drama wherein Holy Paladins went from the gods of healing to the jobless hobos passing out buffs at the entrance to BT/Sunwell.