A few friends of mine and I got together and played part one of Crypt of The Everflame adventure module using some of the advanced classes.
I GMed and four of my friends were the PCs.
Hunter - Human
Arcanist - Human
Blood Rager - Human
Investigator - Halfling
The Hunter - Everyone agreed that at least for first level it felt like the hunter was just a ranger with some spells, less attack bonus and an animal companion. Since there was no dedicated healer in the party he did most of the healing during and out of combat. He said that the class felt fun but nothing fantastic of obviously faulty with it.
The Arcanist - Everyone agreed that the class felt a little overpowered, and made the standard wizard feel some what lacking in comparison. The ability to spontaneously cast spells from a prepared list in any combination throughout the day + having acess to a spell book and being able to effectively add any number of spells to that list over the course of a campaign seemed like too much. We were not sure how to change this but that was the general consensus. Also he picked the bloodline that allowed him access to the bonded item ability so he used his blood points to cast extra spells during the game effectively adding more than 3 spell uses to his total spells per day. We were unsure if we misread or used this ability incorrectly during play but if it was correct then there needs to be a change or rule that he can only use that ability once per day.
The Investigator - The player really enjoyed the class and felt very versatile in the non-combat situations and in figuring out a few of the secrets the game presented and allowed the players to discover. In combat he felt some what useless but that may not have been a fall back of the class and purely his choices as a player to have low strength and no ranged weapons. Otherwise at low levels he said it played much like a rogue without the first level of sneak attack.
Blood Rager - We all agreed that the class played just like a normal barbarian and that there was really no difference to the class other than a smaller hit dice. Perhaps it will start to feel different as we level up but right now it just feels like a barbarian without rage powers. Nothing special or bad about it.
Conclusion: At low levels many of these classes felt like one or the other of their two class combinations. That fact had both good and bad implications to the game. The good was that all party roles were filled and no one felt useless the bad was that they all felt like there was nothing special about the classes, other than the Arcanist who stated that he felt like he was just a better low level wizard than a normal wizard was.
I hope to post more about our thoughts and experience as we play more with these classes over the course of the next few weeks. Our next session if to finish Crypt of the Everflame and then level the character to 8th and play another adventure module for that level after which we will jump to 12th then 20th to get a feel of each of the classes at various power levels.