Members of the Netherbane have been roleplaying demon hunters since the guild's inception back in mid-2005. At first, we started with the most common classes that made sense: the hunter and the rogue. We soon expanded into both the warrior and warlock classes as well. As the game evolved, however, some of us began to experiment with how the path would look from the perspective of other, less obvious, classes in World of Warcraft.
This section explores how a player may attempt to maintain demon hunter elements while playing a non-demon hunter class. In order to do this, we have introduced new “pseudo classes" into our own lore to provide roleplayers with a couple of fresh takes on the demon hunting path.
We call these pseudo classes because they're not actual in-game classes. Pseudo classes are instead classes that you choose to roleplay as, even if your in-game class is something different. Prior to the introduction of hero classes, you often found people roleplaying hero unit types from Warcraft III. This included the demon hunter, blademaster, death knight, and others. In the beginning, these were the most common pseudo classes roleplayed. As roleplayers began to get more creative, new character concepts introduced different ideas altogether.
Game Mechanic Considerations
To roleplay a pseudo class, a player needs to first choose an in-game class that aligns most closely with it. As mentioned above, for demon hunters, this was mostly restricted to hunters, rogues, warriors, and warlocks. Providing a pseudo class appropriate match for a normal class's abilities is important, however, sometimes there is a need for a little roleplay hand-waving. For example, a demon hunter aligned character is unlikely to use Holy magic, but healing is not entirely out of the question—see the Vengeance Demon Hunter spec. Therefore, a player may still heal but may casually ignore all the brightly lit golden spell effects.
Often times an ability can be reimagined by simply wrapping an emote macro around it. This can also be a little more immersive. Be certain to have both an emoted option and non-emoted option for the abilities, however, because no one wants to see emotes spammed repeatedly for those often-used spells.
Visual Style Considerations
The demon hunter visual style has always featured the following: baggy pants or a long kilt, no shirt for males or light wrappings or harnesses for females, and a blindfold. This has been expanded in Legion to include normal pants, eye veils, full face masks, and even exposed eye sockets still burning with fel energy.
Most classes can find something to help match these appearances, with the hardest part being the blindfold itself. The Cursed Vision of Sargeras is a leather head piece that can be transmogged by leather-wearing classes, or just worn outside of the transmog by mail and plate wearers. Male night elves actually have a blindfold built-in to one of their faces, though the alterations done since the introduction of the higher resolution models make this less convincing.
Cloth wearers have a more difficult time of this. There are a few hoods which cover just the eyes, however, but they are somewhat few. There are others that provide a full face covering that can fill the need as well. We will cover potential options as we explore each psuedo-class.
The Original Demon Hunter Classes
When we first started roleplaying as demon hunters, there were four primary classes that we used: hunter, rogue, warrior, and warlock.
The hunter was chosen for various reasons. At launch, the Survival spec was heavily melee focused, being similar to a rogue without the combo mechanic. They could also track demons as a part of their base class abilities, which was a good way to simulate the spectral sight. In addition, the ability to wear mail armor allowed us to build a set of RP gear out of three quarters of the available armor pieces in the game. This gave us a solid variety that ranged from light armor to medium armor.
Later iterations of the hunter class pulled away from the melee aspect entirely, which pained many of us who had put so much time into our characters. Still, there were aspects that persisted, and Legion once again finds Survival as a melee focused class.
The rogue class was perhaps the easiest to use in order to simulate a demon hunter. It was a very strong melee fighter that wore light armor. The Cursed Vision of Sargeras, introduced during the Black Temple raid, was a leather blindfold that even gave leather wearers the ability to track demons, much like a hunter's built-in ability. Even Illidan's Warglaives of Azzinoth were restricted to rogues, along with a few others.
Throughout the life of the rogue class, it maintained many of the melee-focused aspects for which demon hunters were known, and this made them a strong choice for many roleplayers.
Warriors were largely chosen for two primary reasons: 1) They were a strong melee class with a variety of weapon options open to them, and 2) They could wear every available armor class in the game. Granted, plate was their primary, but in the days prior to transmogrification, we all kept sets of RP gear in our inventories for when maximum stats were not needed. Even to this day, most regular quests do not require maximum stats.
The primary drawback for warriors was not truly a drawback, it was merely an inconvenience: aside from the melee aspect, there was not much about the warrior class that could be applied to demon hunters. Rogues were naturally shadowy, and some of their abilities could be very thematic when aligned with a demonic path. Warriors were just, well, warriors.
Warlocks encapsulated the spell-casting abilities of the demon hunter. Many people forget that the Warcraft III hero unit had two primary states: the standard melee state and the metamorphosis spellcaster state. Standard demon hunters were exceedingly strong melee fighters, but once transformed into their demon form, they became potent spellcasters, too. The warlock class in World of Warcraft was often times used to represent characters who were less capable in melee, but more capable when it came to spellwork. Later incarnations of the class even got the metamorphosis ability, leading many people to believe that we would never see a true demon hunter class in the game.
In addition, the character fantasy of a warlock already aligned strongly with that of the demon hunter. Warlocks who were not corrupted were known for binding demons to their will so as to use them as weapons against their enemies.
The biggest two drawbacks of this class option, however, were that night elves could not be warlocks, nor could cloth wearers use the Cursed Vision of Sargeras.
The Pseudo Classes
As the Netherbane started to expand, we had to find in-character places for other classes that wanted to join. We created the “Ally" ranks to represent people who were not demon hunters, but who wanted to support our fight. However, some people actually wanted their character to follow the path of the demon hunter, so it was that we began to develop concepts for these other classes.
Below you will find links to overviews of these pseudo classes. Guidance on how the class functions and suggestions on appearance are provided within each section.
The demonhost pseudo class is available to all classes currently existing in World of Warcraft: Legion.
Demonhosts are shadowy beings who have chosen to share their bodies with a demon spirit and become vessels for repeated possession. They accept the risks for a sliver of that demon's power and strength, and in return the demon is allowed to wander the mortal world wearing the skin of its host for a time.
The Exorcist pseudo class is available to priests, mages, warlocks, paladins, shaman, and death knights.
Exorcists are spellcasters who have learned the dark arts of manipulating demonic spirits. Able to expel a demon's spirits even from its own body, an exorcist is a powerful foe with which the Legion must contend.