Haha, the good old Vanilla one shot spec? Reckfull(Is this the name of the prot talent?) + SoC = hope for a proc that procs from the proc after the proc.
But for real - We had NOTHING to do before. In Vanilla we only had Judgement and Seal swapping. TBC we got CS, woho:P 3 things to use, and even Exo and Holy Wrath against UD!
WotLK we finaly got some sort of "rotation", FCFS (First Come, First Serve) where we could litterly pull some dps by facerolling trough the raid.. But everyone could tell a casual from a good ret tbh. Those Blessing of Protection and how those where used for instance. But the dps difference wasnt all that huge.
In Cata and HoPo we finaly got something similar to a true rotation: Build up HoPo, pop Inq, Build up HoPo etc etc
So the spot we're in now, is (in my opininon) the best spot we've been in. We're not just facerolling. BUT we rely way to much on CDs.
The only thing I don't like on my 2 pallies is Inquisition.
The only thing I miss from old times is the First crusader strike icon. The one we had when the new talents applied, before the release of BC.
Oh, and the seal of crusader activation animation. "The middle finger".
Holy power took some getting used to.
It wasn't great, but its better now that they've added in the "storage tank" from Boundless conviction helped out the mechanic a ton.
However I do wish they made mana a little more relevant to ret and prot. I may be playing a monk and a rouge a little too much, but it would be nice for mana to be used as a resource like energy without mana for paladins becoming "energy".