Roleplaying Demon Hunters
WHAT IS A DEMON HUNTER?
The above excerpts do a pretty good job of covering the core of a demon hunter. It is important to note that nowhere does it claim them to be “power-hungry villains bent on destroying everything they hold dear." No, demon hunters, at their very core, seek to destroy the Burning Legion. Their methods are extreme in the eyes of those who do not understand, and their sanity is definitely in question, but a demon hunter is not a template for a cookie-cutter villain.
Demon hunters make a noble sacrifice. Not only are they sacrificing what remains of their mortal lives to mistrust and potential corruption, but they are also sacrificing any potential afterlife in which they may have believed. They bind themselves to demonic forces, demonic essences, and in some cases to demonic spirits entirely. Some demon hunters even evolve so far as to become demons themselves (Illidan Stormrage is the seminal example). This means that whatever hope of a peaceful afterlife a demon hunter may have is effectively obliterated under the reality that they're likely to be sucked into the Twisting Nether with the rest of the demon spirits.
Can you fathom such a sacrifice? If you were given the opportunity to fight evil using evil's powers, but you were given no guarantee that you would succeed, and if you were told that you would be shunned and mistrusted for the rest of your life and that your spirit would be sent to your world's analogue of Hell...would you choose that path quickly? Demon hunters do.
It is true that many crave power. This much is told to us through the quests dealing with Varedis and Illidan's school of blood elf demon hunters atop Karabor in Outland. But even these demon hunters seek to fight the Legion. Illidan has surrounded himself with demons of all sorts who are in opposition to the Burning Legion. And even though his methods are questionable, his original intent still holds.
It is also revealed to us that the power hungry demon hunter trainees atop Karabor are all expected to die. The rituals and training are harsh, and only those with the sheer will, ability, and conviction to survive make it to the end.
Corruption and madness are not uncommon amongst those who walk the path, but it is important to understand that these things do not have to be the ONLY thing that defines a demon hunter. There is a nobility in the path that they walk. Their sacrifice is immense, and they receive nothing but pain and suffering in return for it. Because of this, true demon hunter characters become an exceedingly complex mix of motives and emotions.
That is what I believe makes a demon hunter.
WHY ROLEPLAY A DEMON HUNTER?
Demon Hunters are characters who put sacrifice above all else. These are men and women who believe so strongly that the Burning Legion must be stopped that they bind themselves to the very powers they seek to destroy. They understand that they, too, may one day be hunted, but they continue down their path so that the world can be safe from demonic incursion.
But is their method right? Are demon hunters truly helping get rid of demonic influence? Or are they, by their very nature, merely propagating the chaos and destruction inherent in fel energy? That question, and the many more that surround such a class, should be at the core of demon hunter roleplay.
DO I HAVE TO USE THE DEMON HUNTER HERO CLASS?
Many of us have been roleplaying demon hunters for far longer than they have been available as a hero class. So I can say without reservation, no, you do not have to use the hero class. However, now that one is available, it provides you with a class that aligns with the established lore, and makes some of what we had to do in the past obsolete.
An example would be the blindfold: only night elf male characters had a blindfolded face option originally. Other races and genders had to rely on retrieving the Cursed Vision of Sargeras, or similar eye-covering head pieces. With the demon hunter hero class, there are plenty of blindfold options built right into the character.
Another example is the warglaive weapon type. Similar to the blindfolds, a prospective demon hunter's only glaive option was Illidan's Warglaives of Azzinoth set. Cool weapons though they were, they had the problem of specifically being Illidan's, and they were also class restricted. This left some of us (Hunters) without a proper glaive option, forcing us to choose different iconic weapons (Tharion Greyseer, for example, always preferred swords).