One year ago, Blizzard unvelied a massive overhaul of all the classes, including new 51-point talents. We were still level 70, weary from long months of hard raids, looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King (which was about a month away), and eager for something new and exciting.
We got unified spell power. We got barbershops. We got super-easy-mode nerfraids on which to test out our new talents.
And by golly, we got Penance.
This brought the hitherto unfocused discipline tree into relief. It went from bitter toddler to vibrant teenager overnight. From a PvP-only tree whose top-tier talent was about survival, to a PvE-focused tree whose top-tier talent was clearly the best single-target healing spell in the game.
It was so fresh and novel that it almost felt like a completely new healing class. To this day, it still does.
Looking over some of my old posts—especially this one, in which I listed the gear I was wearing the day I installed Lich King—reminded me of just how exciting that time was. I had completely revamped my equipment from spirit-based holy gear to a full crit-based set (almost spirit-free) that I had been building for shadow. Somehow I scraped together a ridiculously high 21% crit, and was totally wild-eyed as I watched the soap bubbles pop around the raid, as they did so often from PoM, Penance, and PoH.
We've had a long year, with ups and downs just like every other class. But I can safely say, one year later, I still love it.
Thank you Blizzard!