Monday, 10 August 2015

Demon Hunters

When death knights were introduced, a lot of people planned on rolling one straight away when WotLK landed, and potentially main change if they liked what they saw. From what I remember at the time, the enhancement shaman community in particular took a hit because the DK could fill a similar role and style, with their recent design (shaman having not received a class review), plate armor and hero class status making them superior. We can expect that there will be a similar influx to demon hunters, but I wonder if rogues and demonology warlocks will be impacted more than other classes due to role or identity?

The announcement suddenly made more sense of some 6.2 spec changes. Demonology locks were hit by the nerf bat pretty hard, and the reasoning given was that they didn't like the way it played, and to promote the use of the other 2 specs. They were in a pretty strong place in BRF, but players couldn't make sense of the severity of the nerf, and speculated that it was a scaling or tier/class trinket issue in Hellfire Citadel. But in hindsight it seems that it was because demon hunters would be taking some of the identity of the spec, and having demo really strong/popular at the time of the announcement would have taken more shine off it than otherwise.

That might seem a bit of a stretch in isolation, but survival hunters were also nerfed heavily, and it would seem now that was because they had plans in place to rebuild it as a melee spec, and it's just easier if it isn't FOTM. Not that I agree with the approach, but it makes more sense looking at it that way.

I had expected any new class addition to the game would be a mail wearer, because there are 3 classes for each type of armor except for mail, which is only shaman and hunter. Blizzard this weekend explained that they considered mail for demon hunters but it didn't fit the class identity, and that having 4 classes wear leather won't be an issue because of personal loot. Interesting, as we still use ML/EPGP... would like to see stats on that.

On the other hand, demon hunters will be put on the conqueror token, making 4 classes on each. Not that it impacts our current raid group, having 0 mages and rogues, and over half the raid on protector tokens.

The class concept and lore is pretty cool I admit. What they play like, we only have a glimpse so far, but the standout features are listed as 'unrivaled' mobility, metamorphosis, and spectral sight. For mobility, they have the ability to double jump, glide, and 'vault in and out of combat' - probably Metamorphosis and Demonic Leap straight out of demonology. However I can't help but think of Shadowstep as well. I don't see double jumping as gamebreaking - anything other than clearing small obstacles would get patched out pretty quickly, especially in PvP. Gliding sounds like a steerable moonkin flap (which I love - but probably just because it is cute). Spectral sight is likely to be an activated ability that is only useful in arenas.

I also saw a note today that demon hunters would get glaives as a new weapon type, coming as a pair that fills both weapons slots. Now that will work fine for artifact weapons given weapon drops won't be available, but I can't imagine the idea of a weapon type for only one class existing beyond that. Enhancement shaman getting Doomhammer as their artifact are reportedly dual wielding a spectral duplicate of it, perhaps that will operate similarly to glaives when equipped.

All up, I am slightly intrigued and will inevitably use my 12th character slot for a demon hunter, but I'm a shaman through and through. I will roll one long past the initial rush is over.

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