It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen. Not to long ago Blizzard announced their sixth expansion for World of Warcraft, and I know I say this every time, but I couldn’t be more excited. The aptly named World of Warcraft: Legion features the return of the Burning Legion on Azeroths shores in what is likely to be the biggest invasion that the Alliance and Horde have ever experienced.
Players will set foot on the continent of The Broken Isles, a land mass that has been known since the days of Warcraft 3, but never been explored. This new land features 6 zones including Suramar, Azsuna, Stormheim, Highmountain, Val’Sharah, and the Broken Shore. Initial artwork shows that possible 7th zone may be added at a future date in the form of Thal’Dranath…but we all know how well that worked out for Farahlon on Draenor. For the central hub, players will again walk the streets of the floating mage city Dalaran.
“World of Warcraft: Legion features the return of the Burning Legion on Azeroths shores in what is likely to be the biggest invasion that the Alliance and Horde have ever experienced.”
Legion will introduce a new Artifact weapon system. Each player will be given a powerful and iconic artifact weapon at the beginning of the expansion, one that symbolizes your characters class and spec. Throughout the expansion this weapon will get more and more powerful, and you will be given options to change this weapons appearance to better suit your aesthetic desire. As this weapon grows in strength, you will select talents for it, much like the game’s old base talent system. This tree will grant you boosts to stats and even new spells. Examples of these weapons are Ashbringer for Retribution Paladins and Doomhammer for Enhancement Shamans.
All of this aside…arguably the biggest new feature in Legion is the new playable class: Demon Hunters. These powerful warriors wield demonic magic against other demons to fight them with their own fire. Many who have followed World of Warcraft will know this class is synonymous with the infamous Demon Hunter Illidan Stormrage. Knowing the game’s fan base that this character has, Blizzard has done the smart thing here and brought him back into the limelight. Demon Hunters are just dripping with excellent lore, and their inclusion into this popular MMO is doing a great job of honoring that so far.
The Demon Hunter class will only be available to Night Elves and Blood Elves. This makes perfect sense from both a lore and gameplay stance. Traditionally Demon Hunters are primarily elves with a few barely notable exceptions. This works well given that there are only two Elven races present in Warcraft, each on opposing factions. How Blizzard plans to explain why these Demon Hunters are fighting one another after they rejoin the Alliance and the Horde has not yet been addressed, but it is likely that they will tell us given that it wouldn’t make much sense to just have them fighting without any explanation.
Demon Hunters have a melee class with a surprising twist. Up until this point each class in World of Warcraft has had three specializations to choose from but in the new expansion The Demon Hunter only has two. The ideology behind this decision was not to water down the identity of the class, which is a respectable choice, but it feels a little out of place nonetheless. These specs are “Vengeance”; for those who enjoy tanking, and Havoc; for the people that prefer to deal out impressive damage. A Demon Hunter is proficient with Leather armor, and many types of melees weapon including Daggers, Fist Weapons, One-Handed Swords, Axes, Maces, and the all new weapon type, Glaives. Demon Hunters also boast an interesting new trait which is unique to the class, a Double Jump. Being able to jump whilst already in the air will allow for Demon Hunters to reach places that no other class can. That’s pretty rad if you ask my opinion.
Now let’s take a look at the known spells and abilities:
- Chaos Nova – 30 Fury, Instant, 1 minute cooldown –Unleash an eruption of fel energy, stunning all nearby enemies for 5 seconds and dealing 5,772 Chaos damage.
- Chaos Strike – 40 Fury, Melee Range, Instant, Requires a Melee Weapon – A brutal attack that strikes all enemies in front of you for 8,741 Chaos damage.
- Eye Beam – 25 Fury, 40yd range, Channeled, 12 second cooldown –Blast the target and any enemies near the target for 21,650 Fire damage over 3.71 sec.
- Fel Rush – Instant – Rush forward, dealing 7,215 Fire damage to all enemies in your path. Generates 40 Fury if you inflict damage to at least one target.
- Spectral Sight – Instant, 2 minute cooldown – Allows you to see enemies through physical barriers, as well as those stealthed and invisible.
- Vengeful Retreat – Instant, 24 second cooldown – Vault back and avoid the next attack or spell directed at you.
So with the known spells and abilities, lets move forward and speculate somewhat. Here are a few things that could be in the “I Hope” column for potential spells and abilities:
- Demonic Flight – Demon Hunters could potentially have a sort of “built in” flight form, not unlike Druids. Gotta put those gnarly wings to good use!
- Fel Trail – Burning with corrupt magic as the Demon Hunter sets the ground below their feet aflame. All who touch the green fire would take Chaos Damage.
- Glaive toss – This one has actually already been shown off in some capacity. During early gameplay footage, the demo showed a Demon Hunter that struck three demons from a distance using what looked like its weapon. This ability is very reminiscent of the Paladin staple Avenger’s Shield.
- Glide – Another good use for a Demon Hunters wings that has much more combat utility. Mages have Slowfall, Priests have Levitate, and so Demon Hunters could have Glide. Imagine jumping from a high cliff and using your wings to drop down onto your prey from above.
- Goring Strike – Demon Hunters have pretty sweet looking horns, but rarely do we see them ever put them to use in combat. A potentially cool spell would be to do just that; have the Demon Hunter strike forward with a head-butt, impaling their foe.
- Guillotine – Using a weapon in each hand, the Demon Hunter strikes inward seeking to finish their enemy. This attack could serve as an execution technique for Demon Hunters.
- Metamorphosis – Currently a spell belonging to Warlocks, Metamorphosis isn’t exactly a question of “if”, but when. Metamorphosis will be an integral part of the Demon Hunter gameplay. Demon Hunters Metamorphosed forms have already been shown off during Legions official announcement.
- Wing Buffet – Using their strong demonic wings, a Demon Hunter could strike forward displacing the air around them and knocking back their opponents.
I for one am extremely excited for the potential of this class. Being someone who has played World of Warcraft since its very beginning it is great to see this iconic Warcraft class finally get it’s time in the spotlight. It seemed like a huge missed opportunity not to include them in The Burning Crusade, but Blizzard is making good on that by incorporating that period in time as the Demon Hunter starting experience. After all…who doesn’t want to be one of the biggest bad asses on all of Azeroth?