You got the penalty for down-ranking wrong. The correct penalty is ("level where you learn the spell" + 11) / character level. So FoL 6 does have a penalty at level 70 albeit small. Someone in some paladin thread here tested it and posted the formula.
2p t5: 0 mana to your group when using a judgement
4p t5: chance on critical flash of light or holy light to reduce the cast time of following holy lights by -0.50 for 10 seconds. this effect can only trigger once per minute
Unless you were using 4pc T6... But even then the downrank nerf probably means you just want to use FoL when you need small heals doesn't it?
Also I forgot to mention that spiritual attuenment actually doesn't change anything regarding the argument of giving/not giving the pally a shadow priest. If the paladin takes any damage, he will need to be healed in 1 way or another and therefore will get mana back from spiritual attunement regardless of having a shadow priest or not. Heck, without a shadow priest you'll get more mana if you get overhealed by any amount, and let's face it, nobody heals *exactly* to 100% so you actually get more mana from spiritual attunement if you don't get a shadow priest. This is not saying if you should/shouldn't get a shadow priest, just saying spiritual attunement doesn't really help your argument to get one. Correct me if I'm wrong please.
I don't want to get us offtopic, but this is the most ridiculous change I've ever seen. Understandably, Blizzard is probably upset that BT clearing guild paladins are still wearing T5, but why make this move? It's a personal choice based around gear and playing style. There's no reason to make this change. /sigh This basically makes all paladins move to FoL spammers with the occasional HoL when the tank gets low.
Also, it is important to point out that those of you who are under the impression that the [Ashtongue Talisman of Zeal] is a terrible item, there is some new information that you can find [url=http://elitistjerks.com/f31/t15513-paladin_healing_efficiency/p5/]here (starting with my question about it on post #114).
Just wanted to help back up this claim in the new thread since I posted some theorycrafting in the other one (nice thread by the way). Here's a wws that shows off how good the BT trinket can be compared to a 70 healing trinket effective healing wise: http://wowwebstats.com/vbuvjnt51r3z3?s=13020-13491&a=9 For this fight I was just prehealing with rank 11 holy light, which is the worst possible way to use this trinket to its full effectiveness, and I was pretty impressed with the results. After calculating potential crits and overheal for a 70 healing trinket, and the overheal for the talisman ticks that went off, I got 741 healing vs 3321. That means if I was wearing the scarab or prayerbook, I would have done 741 effective healing, while the talisman did 3321 effective healing. These results are kind of abnormal, 4.5 times as much effective healing, but I usually see over twice as much healing being done by the talisman.
Hope this helps some people make more informed decisions about their trinkets. Knowledge is power! :P
Well, there goes my goals for the next month or so as far as gear goes Can someone test out the new BoL situation on the PTR? I'd like to see how that compares to current, and how much of a nerf it is.
I'm just incredibly disappointed by the change to Tier 5. Not because I considered it my endgame set (I planned to upgrade to 4pc T6 once my guild has killed Illidan), but because its absence absolutely destroys playstyle variety in holy paladins, which is really lacking from talents and abilities in the first place.
The idea that by downranking crystalforged/hasted Holy Light, a paladin would have more than 2 useful heals (and sometimes upwards of 5) is a good thing, it encouraged some thought and a mild (without overselling this...) amount of subtlety to healing on a paladin. Tier 6 is a better all around set, and for that I would upgrade to it, but it doesn't encourage anywhere near the same variety. Crystalforge isn't absolute endgame, it's situationally useful after T6 is available, so I really can't understand the need for a nerf of this kind. As was suggested early in the 2.3 notes thread, swap the proc to haste rating so there is no chance of this set sticking around at 80 and call it a day. The -.25s Holy Light is a great set bonus, and gives versatility to a healing class that is otherwise severely hurting for choices.
I haven't run the numbers yet, but it's my guess that you'll be losing a ton of +healing/crit/mp5 by using haste gear over other items. I'll have to play with spreadsheets later and take a look at it in more detail, but my gut feeling is that it's no longer a viable way to do things.