I'm just rolling new classes and giving the first couple levels a whirl on the PTR. These are some impressions.
Uhh, low level hunters are a little insane. Before, Arcane Shot had a 6s cooldown, so you only got one shot off per fight. Now, Arcane Shot costs 25 focus, and you start with 100 focus, so you can pop off 4 Arcane Shots in a row. The new hunter starts with a pet, which is great, but stuff dies before your pet even reaches the mob. Maybe low level Arcane Shot should do a little less damage, so combat lasts longer than 2 GCDs.
Mages are very nice at low levels. You start with Fireball, which is pretty much the essence of magery.
Then at level 3 you get Arcane Missiles. The new Arcane Missiles is a lot of fun. It's now activated (like a proc) by your spells, but it's free. So you Fireball a couple times, and then Arcane Missiles proc and you blast the mob with them. It's lots of fun, and much better than just spamming Fireball.
The proc also shows off Blizzard's new built-in Power Auras. When Arcane Missiles proc, two purple lines appear on your screen to either side of your character. It's very noticeable, and is much better than watching your action bar or buffs.
Warlocks start with the Imp and Shadowbolt. They also start with Demon Armor, but that wasn't on the action bar so I didn't notice it.
The Imp is good, but I don't agree with Shadowbolt. It makes the low level warlock feel too much like a mage. But then again, I'm prejudiced against Shadowbolt. I think the single worst mistake ever made by the WoW Class Dev Team was warlocks at the end of TBC. We started with a pet class with a focus on DoTs and lovely, lovely complexity. Then it was turned into a class that sacrificed the pet and spammed a single nuke.
So yeah, putting Shadowbolt forward as the introductory warlock spell is bad. I would suggest giving level 1 warlocks Drain Life instead. It's very different from mage spells, and is much more appropriate thematically. Warlocks don't just blast you down, they drain the very life from you, healing themselves at your expense.
As well, 4.0 warlocks get Drain Life at level 8, so moving Shadowbolt up to level 8 in its place doesn't really change things in the long run.
Level 1 Warriors are very meh. You start with Attack, which starts auto-attack, and Strike, which is a 20 rage attack. It's better than starting with Heroic Strike, I guess. It takes about two auto-attacks to generate enough rage for a Strike. I found that I was actually pressing the Attack button, just to have another button to press during combat.
But then, at level 3 you get Charge. And the warrior goes from meh to great. Charge, swing, Strike, good times. Charge is just awesome, definitely a contender for best spell in the game.
And at level 5, warriors get Victory Rush and go from great to outright amazing. Victory Rush does a fair chunk of healing and damage. Charge, swing, Strike, Victory Rush the next target, swing, Strike, Charge, Victory Rush, etc. It just flows so beautifully.
I like the low level tooltips on abilities. They're geared to the beginner, and often offer tips on how best to use the ability. For example, Fireblast suggests that you use the spell when you are moving or in melee.
Ranged classes also had their range increased to 40 yards. I'm not sure I really like this. It feels a little too far from the mob. 30-35 yards felt a little better.
As well, from a healing point of view, 35-ish yards was ideal because heals reached 40 yards. The tank was often on the other side of the mob from you. So when ranged stood at 35 yards from the boss, you could stand with them and still reach the tank on the other side. And if mob did that charge the closest range thing, they'd hit the ranged instead of you.
Now with both heals and ranged hitting 40 yards, if the ranged stands at 40 yards, the healers will have to stand closer to reach the tank. That creates some separation meaning that AoE heals will be a little less effective. Not to mention that rather than just having the melee in one place and ranged in another place, we'll now have melee at point 1, healers at point 2, and ranged dps at point 3. As well, healers will soak random mechanics that target the nearest range. Or that any effect which causes the ranged to run will probably cause the healers to have to run farther or in different directions.