World of Warcraft: Legion, the latest expansion pack for the long-running MMORPG, is scheduled to release at the end of the month. In preparation, Blizzard released a pre-launch patch that gave players access to their newest class: Demon Hunters. As is always the case with a new class, everyone wants to create one immediately to try it out; if you’ve already created one and have some lingering questions, or you haven’t yet and want to know more about them before you dive in, here are the five most important things you need to know.
1. Demon Hunters Were First Conceptualized for Burning Crusade
Blizzard first considered adding Demon Hunters to the game back in 2007 when they released Burning Crusade, the first World of Warcraft expansion. However, World of Warcraft: Legion Game Director Tom Chilton told IGN in an interview during Gamescom that, “at the time, we weren’t really ready to add more classes to the game. We felt like we were still kind of trying to get class balance all worked out.” They also didn’t want to create the expectation that there would be a new class for every expansion, so they decided instead to direct their focus towards adding two new races: Blood Elf for the Horde, and Draenei for the Alliance. He then went on to add, “Since then, there hasn’t been a natural fit until now.”
Additionally, Chilton and Senior Art Director Chris Robinson told Gamespot that Blizzard has also planned on Illidan’s return since Burning Crusade. One of the first cinematics players are shown after creating a Demon Hunter is the raid on Black Temple, followed by one that “that ties off what happened right after the raid ended”. Not only does Legion tie up many of the loose story threads surrounding Illidan, but it also gives Blizzard a perfect opening to finally implement the Demon Hunter class.
2. Players Are Limited to One Demon Hunter Per Realm
Similar to Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King, Demon Hunters are a hero class. This basically means that they start at a higher level than standard classes and that there are prerequisites for unlocking them (i.e. having a character of a particular level on the realm). Demon Hunters, in particular, require a level 70 character on the realm and start at level 98, meaning that by the end of the starting quest chain they should be level 100 and ready to jump into the new Legion content.
As was the case when Death Knights were first added, players will be limited to just one Demon Hunter per realm. However, as players can now switch between specializations with the click of a button, this is no longer as limiting as it used to be. Also, if you’ve already filled all your character slots on a particular realm or don’t have a character at 70 yet, don’t worry – not only will Legion be adding another character slot for Demon Hunters, but Blizzard is also giving each player a free boost to level 100 for one character of their choice.
3. Demon Hunters Have Unique Character Customization Features
Demon Hunters are only available for two races in World of Warcraft: Blood Elves and Night Elves. Playing as a Demon Hunter, however, opens up unique customization options beyond the standard Night Elf/Blood Elf racial features. These options include horn type and style (or no horns), tattoos, skin variations, and blindfolds. According to Demon Hunter lore, they ritualistically blind themselves and wear blindfolds in order to cover their eye sockets. Illidan had his eyes burned out with magic fire, and Demon Hunters apparently do the same in order to gain Spectral Sight, which allows them to see enemies even through obstacles.
Although Demon Hunters have a tanking specialization, they eschew heavy armor in favor of speed and agility; as such, they only have the proficiency for cloth and leather armor. This allows them to utilize their agility as a means of defense rather than being weighed down by mail or plate.
Other characteristics unique to Demon Hunters are their class mount, known as the Felsaber, their ability to double jump, and their use of a runic power bar as opposed to mana, rage, or energy. They also have wings which enable them to glide, although these are not customizable like their other features.
4. Demon Hunters Heal With the Souls of Their Foes
There are two specializations available for Demon Hunters: Havoc and Vengeance. They are a DPS and a Tank specialization, respectively; there is no healing spec for Demon Hunters, but they do have the ability to self-heal. It’s not exactly a healing spell, but both specs have a passive ability called Shattered Souls, which consumes Soul Fragments (sometimes generated from killing enemies) to restore 25% of the Demon Hunter’s maximum health. If the enemy is a Demon, the Demon Hunter will also gain 20% increased damage for 15 seconds.
While the drop rate is unspecified, in our experience these soul fragments seem to drop more often than not, with the majority of enemies seeming to drop these healing orbs. This is great for dungeons and questing when there are multiple enemies but unfortunately doesn’t help much during single target raid bosses. However, players will earn other healing abilities as they level up to 110.
5. Demon Hunters Are the Only Class That Uses Warglaives
While this is not the first time Warglaives have been seen in World of Warcraft (Night Elf sentinels utilize the Moonglaive, for example), this is the first time they will be usable by player characters. While Demon Hunters can also use daggers, fist weapons, one-handed axes and one-handed Swords, they are the only class that is able to wield Warglaives. Their artifact weapons are also Warglaives.
Dual-wielding one-handed weapons is another way in which Demon Hunters maximize their speed and agility during battle; even the tank specialization lacks the ability to use a shield, which is an interesting stylistic choice on Blizzard’s part. They can, however, temporarily metamorphize into a demon for increased health. It seems that the developers are choosing to forgo multiple damage specializations, and a healing specialization didn’t make sense for the class, so they really put some effort into making a tank one work for their character concept.