Well, we have access.
Apparently the Cataclysm NDA was lifted around the end of June.
You can create new characters, transfer existing ones, or create one from a list of pre-made 80s, with full gear. In the manage games section of your battle.net account you will see a PTR Character Copy link. As of this writing the transfer is pretty much immediate, but your mileage may differ.
We won’t be showing much in the way of spoilers, but we will have screenies and some info. Since it’s so early in the beta process I think we can count on everything changing. Also, since so many people in any beta I’ve ever been in asks if there will be a character wipe when it goes live, I’m assuming that there will be a character wipe. Actually, I’m 100% certain, even though I haven’t looked for a confirming statement.
I predict the the first level 85 characters will appear within 48 hours of Cataclysm going live. After all, who needs sleep? 😉
The character creator is largely unchanged except for some animations and the new races and classes. The Human starting area has a few changes, the Blood Elf areas has none that I saw, but that was a very short look. I haven’t seen the others yet.
Hunters now start with pets, but I’m sure that all of you knew that already.
The Goblin area is cool (haven’t looked a the Worgen area, yet.). Clearly the Devs had fun with this one and a ton of work has been done. I think the RP crowd will like it. There are lots of funny bits, the total disregard for Goblin life, by Goblins, is evident. I thought the Hot Rod was pretty slick, too. I didn’t seen any issues with the Goblin area and so filed no reports. Of course, I expect this area has been pretty well pounded on by this point.
Sexy little guy, isn’t he? Getting read for a party, the smell of money in the background. Those are his party tools in the toolbar.(click to embiggen the pic. Oh yeah, he’s a Warrior.)