In this review I don't want to get too hung up on bugs, since bugs get fixed. It's more the intentional design decisions. Of course sometimes bugs have a significant impact on how a class plays and mar my ability to evaluate it properly, but I can still get the gist.
I'm going to be giving each class a letter grade based for the early play experience. What this grade means exactly is hard to say. I would like to say I'm grading based on the current experience and not on my perception of how much they have improved, but I think it would be dishonest to suggest I could completely separate those ideas, so lets say it will be heavily weighted to the current state with some acknowledgement of history. It's also impossible to escape the fact that I just like some classes better than others, but what can you do?
So far I have played Warlock and Mage. My warrior and paladin were both erased when the servers were renewed on Saturday and I'll have to start them again since I don't think I can give a reasonable review without getting to at least level 12 or so.
It was nice to start with a pet right away, even without full control of it. Initial DoTs are quite powerful, allowing you to start two-dotting enemies at level four. Voidwalker is also much improved, as torment is now a strike that does significant damage in addition to increasing threat. At level 10 I chose destruction and was disappointed that Conflagrate is bugged (the damage is very low). Also, it is strange that as destruction Immolate takes over Shadow Bolt as your nuke. There wasn't much cool to look forward to in terms of talents until relatively high level. Mana was a consideration if I ran from mob to mob two-dotting but not really one if I nuked down one mob at a time. Not a huge change from how leveling felt with a warlock before the patch, but warlock leveling was always pretty fun.
Overall grade: B
Mage (Blood Elf)
Fireball is a real beating at level 1, dealing over 30 damage and allowing you to go on two shotting everything until you learn Fire Blast, which does about the same damage as an instant. Very quickly you get arcane missiles and start proc watching, making combat feel much more interactive than it would just spamming one spell. At level 10 I chose Arcane and even without yet having Arcane Blast it felt pretty good. Fights were quite variable depending on missile procs and every now and then a mob be reduced to a health value between Fire Blast and Arcane Barrage and my best action would actually be to just run past them for a second before finishing them off. After the first few levels I always wanted to have multiple attack spells on my bar and had lots of room to make good and bad choices between them. My first couple of talent points weren't that exciting, but the tier two talents were very enticing. Mana became a minor consideration in the mid teens when I found that when monster hunting I would run out of mana slightly before my second Evocation cooldown. So given nearly continuous combat I stopped to get my mana back about every 8 minutes, which felt pretty good. I played to level 21 because I was having such a good time.
Overall grade: A