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Hero class

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A hero class is a character class derived from the base classes, but with exclusive perks. Examples of these perks include a higher starting level, better starting gear, unique abilities, and class mounts. Hero classes may also have other distinguishing features. There are currently two hero classes, the death knight that uses as its resource the rune system, and the demon hunter that uses either Fury or Pain, dependent of the Specialization, which are unique to those classes. The concept of a hero class is derived from the "heroes" in Warcraft III.

At Gamescom 2015, Blizzard announced the demon hunter as World of Warcraft's second hero class, to be added to the game with World of Warcraft: Legion.

Definition

The term "hero class" is commonly misunderstood to mean that the class is more powerful than other classes. The term instead signifies a unique playstyle and experience, as well as denoting a class of heroes which start at an already "heroic" level, with abilities and gear to match.

"It's also important to keep in mind that even though the death knight is a hero class, that doesn't mean it is more powerful than the other classes, just that it will offer a very different playing experience."

— Quoted from the official Q&A on Death Knights.[1]

"Hero class" meant that the DK started at higher level (and also with a lot of blue gear and so on). We thought it made sense for the DK story because you're treated as a high-level character and veteran of past events. We didn't think that made as much sense for the monk, especially when there were so many low-level pandaren running around, and the (perhaps flimsy) justification for non-pandaren monks learning how to be monks from the pandaren. We might very well use hero classes again if it makes sense for a future class though."

— Ghostcrawler - The Term "Hero Class".[2]

Death knight

Main article: Death knight

The first hero class, the death knight, was announced at Blizzcon 2007, and released with Wrath of the Lich King. It was stated at the time by Nethaera that current plans were to introduce one new hero class per expansion set.[3]

Death knights start at level 55, in a unique phased starting experience set in Acherus: The Ebon Hold. Death knights do not have a mana, rage, or energy bar; instead they have a runic power bar and use runes to power their abilities.

The death knight can have two roles: tanking and damage dealing (or DPS). They do not use shields while tanking, instead using two-handed weapons or dual-wielding one-handed weapons. Death knights also use melee and non-melee magic abilities.

Special features

  • Death knights start at level 55.
  • Death knights quickly obtain a full set of rare gear right in their starting area.
  • Because they start the game at such a high level, death knights are automatically given all flight paths for the original continents.
  • Their [Runeforging] ability allows death knights to enchant their own weapons.
  • Only death knights can obtain the Acherus Deathcharger and  [Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade] mounts.

Prerequisites

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.

When death knights were first introduced, their creation had certain prerequisites. Over time, these have been removed, and as of Patch 6.1, there is no longer any special restrictions on death knight creation.

Originally, in order to create a death knight, the player had to already have at least one level 55 (or higher) character, and to have purchased the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Players were also only able to create one death knight per realm. These restrictions can be seen as an attempt to reinforce the concept of the death knight as a hero class.

Demon hunter

Main article: Demon hunter

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

The demon hunter is the second hero class introduced into World of Warcraft during the Legion expansion.[4] An armor-wearing melee class, demon hunters fulfill DPS and tanking roles, using flips, dives and agile attacks to evade damage while defeating foes using one-handed weapons and magical abilities.

Bard

Main article: Bard

The Bard hero class was announced on April 1st 2008, as a Blizzard April Fools' Day hoax.

According to the announcement, the Bard "can vanquish evil with the power of ROCK!" and wields a two-handed "axe" (that is, an electric guitar). Screenshots revealed a new "Fret Bar" interface (resembling that of the Guitar Hero games) powering the Bard's "Groove" resource system. Blizzard claimed that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion would ship with a Frostmourne-themed "guitar-based keyboard peripheral".

Two Talent trees were revealed, including Metal Talents (such as Starstruck, Epic Solo, and Axe Specialization), and Punk Rock Talents (such as Shred, Mosh Pit, and Rock 'N Roll Racing).

Original announcement: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath/features/bard/bardclass.xml

Pre-World of Warcraft heroes

Paladins were a hero unit in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos but were implemented as a normal class when World of Warcraft was released. Paladins were, however, originally considered as a hero class.

Other possible hero classes

In Blizzcast 7, it was revealed that while making Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard considered a number of ideas for the hero class, which they narrowed down to four front runners. Besides the death knight, they also considered:

Although they did not ultimately choose to implement the class, some of the ideas for the necromancer class were incorporated into the death knight instead.[5]

Note that, during the Blizzcast interview, J. Allen Brack mentions a figure of "29 hero classes that we've got completed". However, some sources quoting the interview frame this as "Brack joked that ..."[6], and the interviewer who was face to face with him during the interview laughed after he made the statement. However, he delivers the statement deadpan, and some people have taken the comment seriously and literally. In any case, regardless of the actual number, it is clear that Blizzard has a number of ideas beyond the one we've seen implemented so far.

The monk was later added as a regular, non-hero class in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

See also

References