just got my beta invite the other day and played through as WD. I played through as a WD and then a Monk and I have to say I really liked the WD. I mostly ran with Poison Dart, Grasp of the Dead, Zombie Dogs and Soul Harvest. Although I tested the other available skills.
Before I got the beta invite, I poured over the forums and have made countless builds on the calculator, so for those of you that haven't received your invite yet, here are some of my observations:
It's been said a bunch and it's true the beta is very easy. I've played through as a WD, a Monk and a WD Hardcore and I have never died and only saw the screen start to turn red once (as Monk incidentally). As WD, I mostly never used Soul Harvest. It was hardly needed and mobs often didn't get close enough to bother. The range is very small too.
Poison Dart is awesome. With 20 mana per/second regen you can spam it to death and the range was incredible (expect a nerf).
It's been said in the forums and my experience was the same, Zombie Dogs and Followers are meat shields. Don't count on them for much damage. They worked more as CC to keep things off me while I spammed Poison Dart. Worked great too. I was amazed that they held any aggro at all to be honest. Occasionally I used Grasp of dead to give me more CC coverage. I expect to rely on Grasp of Dead for the live version of Diablo III.
I also played with Plague of Toads and loved it. I have a build that uses a bit of CC and Plague of Toads with Todd Affinity and I think it would totally rock. You can literally make a Plague of Toads--go figure. Spam it three or four times; it looks cool and they do a lot of damage. Seems to me that it has to be coupled with Grasp of Dead or Wall of Dead however to be affective. Obviously works best short range and spammed three or four times because the frogs attack is random.
I was underwhelmed by Firebats, without runes the range is very short cone and just doesn't look that special. I shouldn't say that it looks ok, but could just as well be a flame breath attack. I think the toads are unique and the poison dart seems right for a witch doctor.
I have a hard time imagining living without Poison Dart. I used the Splinters rune and a couple spams is like shooting a machine gun. I hear a lot of talk about Monk mobility, but my Monk couldn't out maneuver or out run Poison Dart. I can see where Dashing Strike or Tempest Rush will be required for Monks because several times I found myself trapped in a mob while getting pommelled by them and several ranged mobs out of my reach.
With my WD the mobs only got as close as I let them and Poison Dart let me hit mobs anywhere on the screen.
My current "calculator" build uses Hex instead of dogs, but I found them very useful as meat shields. I may have to reconsider. Although I don't really understand the connection between dogs and witch doctors? They don't do much damage but they attack on sight, which gives them aggro (and can pull a new mob...sometimes at inopportune times).
That's about it for now. Go check for your invite!