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.
Corruption and madness are not uncommon among 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 believed so strongly that the Burning Legion must be stopped that they bound themselves to the very powers they sought to destroy. They understood that they, too, may one day be hunted, but they continued down their path so that the world can be safe from demonic incursion.
And they succeeded.
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.
But the Burning Legion has been defeated What now?
With the climax of World of Warcraft: Legion, the Burning Legion as an organized threat to the cosmos has been vanquished, and Sargeras remains trapped in his prison with Illidan Stormrage as his jailer. This means that the task of the demon hunters is done, right? No more demons. No more threat. It’s all sunshine and drinks on one of Azeroth’s many beaches! Someone call Johnny Awesome!
The world has been dealt a seemingly mortal wound by Sargeras’s final act of spite, and she is bleeding out from the grievous wound caused to her by Gorribal. The world is dying beneath us, and the time is ripe for other threats to take advantage of her weakness.
The very threat that Sargeras and his Burning Legion was trying to turn away is still out there. The Void Lords and their Old God minions still vie for power in our reality, and their darkness is encroaching upon the cosmos. There is still a very real threat to Azeroth and the worlds in the Great Dark Beyond. The demon hunters of the world are the last bastion of the very power that Sargeras hoped to use against these beings.
The demons themselves are not gone, either. The Legion, as an organized army, has been defeated, but there are still plenty of demons out there in the Twisting Nether. They may even be more dangerous now than before, as they are no longer under the thumb of the dark titan’s control. They are, frighteningly, free of his hold.
There is still plenty of work to be done.
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).