WoW PTR: Like Christmas Morning for Your Toon

If ever I need a pick-me-up to make me feel like the in-game badass that I know I can be, I know where to turn.

The World of Warcraft PTR is a magical wonderland for seeing the potential that your character possesses. Well, not your character, EXACTLY, but pretty much. The process is simple:

  1. First, of course, download and install the WoW PTR.
  2. Transfer a pre-made character of your preferred class (don’t worry about race or gender just yet) and wait for him/her to show up on your designated server.
  3. Re-personalize your character to the race/gender/look that you desire. For added affect, give them a badass version of your original toon’s name.
  4. ???

Upon logging in, you will be delighted to own all the best pieces of both PvE and PvP sets currently available. Your bags will be filled with just about everything needed to upgrade that equipment further with gems and enchants (that you can make yourself with level-capped skills in both professions), and increase your survivability with included potions and goodies.

Blizzard wants to make it easy for PTR testers to log in and (who’d have thought) actually test the encounters and other features that are on the test server. But beyond that, it’s also amazingly fun just to be able to run around as the badass that you always knew you could be.

Assault test dummies for a while and find joy in your new-found DPS. Enter dungeons that you previously found difficult and laugh at the ease of them now. Find encounters that were previously impossible to live through on your own, and see what you can do now. With both kinds of gear available, try out a new playstyle and see if you enjoy it while capped. Try out new specs without losing any gold (or prestige) on your main — and in the process of all of this, also contribute to the game by reporting any odd bugs or hiccups that you run into.

Sure, these experiences will be wiped away with the closing of the PTR — but I like to look back on them as a dream that I’m striving to live up to. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s definitely some motivation to get my butt in gear and get my main up to a comparable level of awesomeness.

Once you’ve had your fill of that, take on a couple of premades of classes that you haven’t played before or don’t usually play. You may find a new respect for healing, or discover that you love (or hate) tanking. These experiences can’t replace that of actually taking the time to level through a character and slowly build your skills with them, but it can be an indicator.

I know these aren’t necessarily your conventional reasons for taking a dip in the PTR — to get in a practice shot of the new raid before anyone else, or to try to be involved in forming the first tactics used in a particular encounter, or just to find all the cool new stuff in the game that you can tell your guildies about — but it’s one of the aspects that I find most fulfilling while running through it.