World of Warcraft Demon Hunter Preview
World of Warcraft is about to release their latest expansion, Legion, that officially drops August 30. However the new Demon Hunter class went live on August 9th allowing any players who pre-ordered the World of Warcraft Legion expansion through Battle.net to play the new class. I had the opportunity to give Demon Hunter a test run and here’s what Legion players can expect.
Demon Hunter: Background
Illidan Stormrage, also known as the Great Betrayer and twin brother of the hero Malfurion Stormrage, was a Night Elf who embraced the Fel magic of the demonic Burning Legion and betrayed his own kind during the War of the Ancients. The magic blinded and corrupted him, transforming him into a demonic hybrid to serve the destructive Burning Legion. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Illidan’s reason for betraying his people was to defeat the Burning Legion by becoming one of them and turning their own power against them.
Illidan left Azeroth for the broken world of Outland where he conquered and subjugated the ruling demons and the races that served them and became the new lord of Outland. There he created the Illidari, his own personally trained Demon Hunters, with the sole purpose of hunting down and destroying the Burning Legion forever.
The members of the Illidari are other elves who followed Illidan to Outland. Illidan gave them the gift of Fel magic, turning them into demonic hybrids like himself and granting them the power to fight demons. Because of this, players can only choose between Night Elves and Blood Elves as the playable races for the Demon Hunter class.
Starting Zone: Mardum
In Warcraft lore, Mardum is the pocket dimension created by the titan Sargeras to imprison the demons who had escaped from the Twisting Nether to plague the universe. When Sargeras went mad and began his campaign of terror across the universe, he released all the demons he had imprisoned to form his Burning Legion.
Now players will get to experience Mardum as the starting area for the Demon Hunter class. Demon Hunters begin at the assault on the Black Temple in Outland which took place at the end of World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade. During the assault, Illidan sends his Illidari demon hunters to Mardum to attack the demon home world and put an end to their invasion of Azeroth from the other side.
Mardum is a dark, tormented place that is seething with Fel energy and all manner of demons. As players advance through the starting area, they are joined by Illidan’s other loyal followers, the Broken, the Naga, and the Shivarra as they attack the Burning Legion in Mardum. Throughout the quest chain, players must fight the demonic lords of Mardum and then escape back to the Black Temple in Outland just in time to witness Illidan’s defeat at the hands of the warden Maiev Shadowsong and be imprisoned along side him.
Many years later, the Demon Hunters find themselves being released by Maiev herself as the Black Temple is over run with demons. Players then learn that the Burning Legion has begun another attack on Azeroth and ironically, Maiev needs the Demon Hunters to help put a stop to it. Thus begins the World of Warcraft Legion storyline.
Players will get to choose from two different specializations for their Demon Hunter: Havoc or Vengeance. Havoc specializes in dealing damage through the use of warglaives and Fel magic. Vengeance specializes in tanking, balancing out damage and wards to protect allies. Both specializations possess the ability “Metamorphosis” which allows the Demon Hunter to turn into a full blown demon for a short period of time.
In addition to their battle abilities, Demon Hunters also possess the ability to double jump and glide by hitting the space bar while in the air. Players have already found the fun in “batman-ing” off in-game rooftops using their glide ability.
The Legion expansion introduces world events in the form of demonic invasions. Players will experience random invasions that will pop up on the world map and will have to battle demons to save the area. These invasions are open to both Horde and Alliance factions, allowing players of either faction to work together to stop the invasion. Completing invasion events grant experience as well as Nethershards which can be exchanged for specialty items and equipment.
So far, I am very pleased with the new Demon Hunter class. The class plays dynamically with a lot of mobility and area of skills that make them effective fighters. The ability to double jump and glide adds to the fun of exploration, and the starting area and storyline are engaging and filled with lore. I can’t wait to see what the new area, the Broken Isles, has in store on August 30th, and if you can’t wait until then, pre-order Legion now and give Demon Hunter a try!
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