I have this theory that every now and then, just to stir things up, Blizzard completely redesigns a class or spec that doesn't get played often, just to get more people to play it. They buff it and make it crazy awesome so that more people will roll that class, and then later on, when there are plenty of people playing the class to equalize the numbers a bit, they nerf it back to a reasonable level.
Some classes they just completely redesign, and give a whole new meaning. Back in the day, and by "day" I mean Burning Crusade, priests generally specced discipline for 1 of 2 reasons. 1. Just far enough to get Divine Spirit, since it was a talented spell, and not baseline (I was one of those). 2. For pvp awesomeness.
Since around the time of Wrath being released, however, Disc priests took on a whole new meaning, and a whole new role. No longer are you simply the durable healer for pvpness. Now you are a rockin' healer with a whole new twist that makes you unique, a la druid. Druids even out damage, creating a smoother ride. What makes Disc priests unique is not their healing abilities - it's their damage mitigation abilities. Now we have a real competitor for the powerful single-target Pally heals, but in a completely new light. It's more about preventing damage in the first place. What a novel idea, eh?
I am fascinated by Disc priests, and they are the hot new thing in healing. I think what has probably promoted this more than anything, honestly, is Matticus. He helped inform and instruct a whole new generation of Disc priests. I am seriously considering dropping my shadow spec and dual speccing holy and disc. The only two things that are really stopping me are 1. Holy gear and Disc gear needs are different, and therefore my awesome holy gear is not so awesome for disc and 2. Although we have something of a shortage of healers in my raiding alliance, of the healers we DO have, there is no shortage of pallies. What we don't need is more single-target healing. Therefore, I doubt I'd get much of a shot to try out Disc in a raiding environment. Now that I think about it, for as popular as Disc priests seem to be if you read all the blogs, I actually have yet to raid with one. We pull in various people from various guilds quite often in our raids, and though we have managed to snap up quite a few priests, not once have we had the honor of a Disc priest. I specifically ask every priest what spec they are if it's not obvious (ahem, shadowform), because it changes the healing assignments.
In closing, I require you to bow before the power of the bubble. Everyone has probably already seen it, since Matticus linked it on his blog, but I'm still giggling days later. I sorta have a *thing* for flow charts and spreadsheets and lists, oh my.
Random thought of the Day: If you floss with minty floss, and then eat a fortune cookie (thereby defeating the purpose of flossing) you taste a minty fortune cookie, and it's delish!