Well, this is certainly an innovative solution. Tonight the Black Temple opened on the test realms. However, Blizz seems to have realized that most people would not be sufficiently geared to test it out. So what did they do? Gave everyone free Tier 5 gear! That's right, if you go to the Terrace of Light (or the banks, or the inns) in Shattrath on the test realms, there is an NPC named Johnny McWeaksauce handing out free boxes full of T5 tokens and comparable items to fill the other slots, along with Black Temple keys.
There's a slight catch: you need to be honored with the Violet Eye. Basically, this means Blizzard is selecting for people with some experience raiding Karazhan. You don't need that much raiding experience, though -- I got Honored clearing through Curator twice. Also, as you might expect, seemingly every single character on the PTR is either at McWeaksauce or the T5 vendors, resulting in horrendous lag and mountains of "This item is busy" errors. In fact, at this time, I still haven't managed to get my actual T5 -- it took a couple minutes of spam-clicking just to get the box of tokens. They tried to fix it by replicating Jimmy many times, but the bottleneck now is the T5 vendors. There's a few more of them, but not near enough.
Anyway, if you're Honored or above with the Violet Eye and want to see what it's like to have phat epics, log on and try it out! Or, to save much frustration, wait a day or so. And here's a few tips:
- If you want cash for your epic mount or whatever on the PTR, you can grab some boxes of gear from Johnny and just vendor the gear. Free boxes of epics + epics sell for cash = profit.
- If you're an off-spec (Shadow Priest, Feral Druid), you can grab the box for your class to get the T5 gear and then pick an appropriate other class to get their box for gear for other slots. (Shadow Priests, for instance: grab a Priest box and a Warlock or Mage box.)
- There aren't any vendors for enchants or high-quality gems.