Last night, Blizzard announced that they were going to start letting PTR players hop into Ulduar and try out a few bosses. They announced that Hodir was scheduled for 7pm EST at somewhere around 5pm. So the race was on with little to no warning, and no hope for west coasters with jobs (testing began at 4pm for them) to get on in time.
As promised, I got my character copied over in one of the early waves, and logged in ready to get a group for Hodir and bring you a preview.
The first 5 times I logged in, WoW crashed. Then I managed to stay online in extraordinarily laggy Dalaran (it took 5 mins of standing there for the portal to Org to even appear) long eonugh to get through a portal to Orgrimmar, which solved my crashing problem for a while. I thought I had beaten the rush and secured a spot on the server. I turns out I had only done so narrowly.
As I was negotiating my way into an Ulduar 10 group, my client crashed again. Attempts to log back in were met by 2000+ qeues. About halfway through the qeue, I was disconnected. It turns out they had locked both test servers, either because they were done with testing (it was 9:30ish by now) or they needed to reduce the population.
So dont' get too excited about the test servers. They aren't there for our fun. They aren't there for you to go in and get a free preview of the content. Blizzard doesn't give half the posterior of a rat about how "unfair" it is that you didn't get a chance to go in and check it out. All they care about is getting the right number of hardcore raiders in there and getting their testing data. I'm OK with this.
What I find confusing is that they said they wanted all kinds of players to test the content. But with the tight scheduling and locked servers, only the most motivated and time-unrestrained players can get in to test, and of those only a small percentage are lucky enough to make it through all of the hoops. Looking at trade chat, almost everyone in a raid or looking for a raid had the Twilight Vanquisher achievement, meaning they had completed OS + 3 drakes. That's only a small percentage of the population, folks: that 2-3 guilds on each server that are viewing the PTR as their ticket to server firsts on Live. Is that the only group they want feedback from?
It seems like they'd rather severely limit the number of people able to see the bosses at all. This makes sense from a "make world firsts matter on Live" perspective, not so much from a testing perspective. They will have no clue how the average raider is going to find the fights. They'll only have one point of view.
So anyway, I'm going to keep trying to get you a preview, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The PTR doesn't care how "fair" things are. It is coldly focused on it's purpose, which I suppose in some ways is a virtue.