This post will include talk about Bellbell, but will not be in her voice. Sorry, fans!
So, this weekend, I tried healing on my Paladin for the first time. Her gear, though not the best, has been sufficient for normal 80 instances (all that she has been healing since she dinged; did I mention she's 80 now?). Obviously, I have two more years of experience on healing with a Druid than I do with a Paladin, as before this level, Bellbell only threw out emergency heals until her tiny mana pool ran out. So needless to say, this has been an entirely new experience.
The first thing I noticed was that I could no longer jump around while healing. I was intensely stationary. Any loss of mobility has never been a problem for a druid (barring Judgement of Justice), and to suddenly be glued to the ground caused me some irritation. Yet, it was not an overwhelming problem; I still had Holy Shock should I need a quick, small heal while I was in transit, or Lay on Hands in an emergency. Sacred Shield, though not really a heal, is also instant cast and can ease the burden of mobility issues.
The next difference was the cast timer. Rather than the bulk of my heals being instant, I had to deal with cast times. This, I will not lie, stressed me out. It didn't matter how short the cast was, I was completely tense while I waited for the cast to come off. Why? Well, with a Druid, while your cast-time spells are going off, generally there are HoTs ticking on your target. You're still healing while you're casting. On a Paladin, no such luck. And though I am attempting to pre-cast my heals, the lack of practice makes me only correct about a fourth of the time.
Finally...no AoE. This has been a major adjustment. Though Beacon of Light takes some of the pressure off of tank healing during those times when everyone is taking damage, the lack of an instant (or even cast-time) AoE heal just plain hurts. Due to my current gear situation, it obviously hurts a little more than others with better stats, but, still. Ouch.
Paladin healing is by no means bad, nor do I dislike it. It has simply been a major adjustment, especially as I raised Bellbell since level 10 to be Retribution (I was Ret before Ret was cool). She is slowly gaining gear, and being able to try out a different perspective in healing has been very informative. It may just be the two years of experience talking, but, I still love Druid healing most of all.