When the Public Test Realm is up, any player who has had an active account since November 2006 can copy their character over to help test the new update. During the Patch 2.1 Public Test phase, I copied my L64 feral druid over and respecced to Balance. Fortunately, I had a decent set of Balance gear with me and was able to give the spec a good test drive. I enjoyed it enough that I eventually went Balance when I hit L70 on the live servers.
With Patch 2.2 currently on the Public Test Realm, Blizzard is allowing players to copy up to 4 premade L70 characters to the Test Realm. This time, I decided to see what it was like to play some other classes I long admired, so I copied a shaman, a priest and a rogue.
Each toon starts out with a full set of raid gear and PvP gear for different specs as well as plenty of trinkets, rings, weapons, drink, bandages and gems. They also get epic mounts, both land and air. They have none of their talent points assigned, so you can spec them immediately, but you will have to find a trainer to get the higher levels of any spells/abilities you pick up in your talent tree.
Read on for my impressions on each class after the jump.
I started with an undead priest. I named her Moldylocks and specced her for shadow. In her bags I found the gear set to complement her new spec and headed to Outlands to see what it was like to solo. I was surprised how quickly a shadow priest can down a mob. Faster than my Balance druid, though the comparison isn't exact due to the difference in gear between my main and these PTR premades. Still, I can see why priests spec shadow and stay there. Great damage and great survivability. Mind control was fun to play with as well.
Next I logged in the tauren shaman, Totemtail (not so supringly, the name Shamoo was already taken) and immediately specced him for enhancement after reading this great guide to enhancement shamans. I ran him to Shadowmoon Valley and was again shocked at the speed of killing mobs. Dual-wielding PvP maces with Windstrike enchantment I quickly became addicted to seeing double crits on the Stormstrike ability for over 1k each and watching the mob's health drop from 60% to zero. I barely took any damage, but each mob drained about 40% of my mana. I suppose if I didn't go all out with every spell and totem I had, I wouldn't have such a large mana drain. But I wasn't grouped so I threw everything I had at each mob and had a lot of fun doing it.
Finally, I logged on my undead rogue, Manchewer, and specced for Assassination. I poisoned my PvP daggers and stalked Firewing blood elves in Terokkar. I was very unimpressed. Killing mobs took longer than the other two classes I tried. And I had trouble dealing with adds. Admittedly I haven't played a rogue past L15 before, but I do know the basics and I didn't have much Live Realm experience with the other two classes either.
I'm glad I got to try out these classes. It helps me decide which alts to pursue. I'm definitely going to spend more time with my enhancement shaman after this. For anyone considering changing their spec or leveling a new alt, I highly recommend giving it a risk-free whirl on the PTR. You can request character copies here. I've copied over a mage, hunter, paladin and warlock. I'll report back on those next.