****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Demon Hunter starting zone (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****
On Sunday night my guild was doing mythic Archimonde, which I am nowhere near geared enough for at the moment, so was on the bench. I decided that it would be a good time to get back on the Alpha, and have a look at the Demon Hunter starting area.
I had initially started a Demon Hunter when I first got in, but had a whole of 10 minutes available so didn’t get very far.
If you’re like me, character creation is going to take a long time. There are so many choices! The skin tattoos have loads of different designs and colours, there are loads of skin colour choices (feels like more than previously? But I could be wrong) I particularly liked the eye covering choices – there was a lot of variety, so you could really go for something that just suits you and what you have in mind for your character.
Here she is:
I’m not going to talk about the starting areas quests themselves, other than to say that I really liked the flow of them and how the story was revealed. I also really liked how we got new abilities – I thought it was very clever indeed! There were a few cinematic not included which is just fine by me – they would have been full of story spoilers that I’m not interested in seeing just yet!
The zone itself is quite dark with LOADS of green all over the place. It’s definitely easier to see in a dark room, so bear that in mind when you have a go at this in Legion. But check this out! How amazing does it look!?!!
So, on to some abilities.
First up, one of the most commonly used abilities is Fel Rush, which zooms you forwards (damaging anything in your path!) I really like this ability. I’m not very good with it yet, but it will just take some practice. Here’s a gif of my showing it (not very well! But I tried!)
Fel Rush works really well with another ability that you get a bit later on called Vengeful Retreat. Vengeful Retreat jumps you back around the same distance Fel Rush dashes you forward, so it’s a really great combo to use when you need to get in and out of bad stuff (it also looks AWESOME!)
Next up we have Spectral Sight. This one is just kinda cool… not sure exactly how useful it will be in anything other than levelling. The spell allows you to see enemies and TREASURES through walls or that are stealth etc. Look out rogues! The ability looks like this when you use it:
The green around the edges is a bit much, I feel, but otherwise it’s a neat ability. You can see the enemies outlined in red, and a treasure chest outlined in purple in this screen shot.
Ex-warlock spell, Metamorphosis is AWESOME. It has a 5 min cooldown and with a targetable leap, slams you in to the ground as you turn into a hellish demon for 30 sec. It looks fantastic, too. This really made me feel strong, and also a little scary. You really don’t want to mess with a Demon Hunter!
The wings that you see there also come out during another ability called Glide, which, as the name suggests, allows you to glide from high distances, slowing your falling speed. This can either be toggled on by clicking the spell, or by pressing the jump button 3 times – once to jump, the second for your double jump, and the third to activate Glide (assuming there is still distance from the ground beneath you).
At one point during the questing we Glide off of a very high place. However when I did this my game crashed, and when I came back in again I was lower than where I needed to be and didn’t make my destination. I ended up continuing to fall. Which worked out alright because I got this killer screen shot of my Demon Hunter Gliding!
There are some other great abilities, like Throw Glaive, which does as it says and throws out a glaive to an enemy (which will make it nice and easy to pull some mobs from a distance), and Blade Dance, which has you zipping about all over the place. And of course there’s Eye Beam which I foolishly forgot to get a screen shot of. Aside from looking super cool, it’s a very strong multi-target ability that will annihilate anything in the beam line in front of you. You can move from side to side with this, too, though you can’t move forwards or backwards.
The Artifact questline
I’m not going to go in to any details about what you do in this. I struggled a little with this because it was lagging terribly, so it was difficult to jump out of damaging abilities in time. Having said that, I only died once, which is a LOT less than when I did the restoration shaman artifact quest!
The lag will be a problem in general because this class is aaaallllll about the movement. But aside from that, getting this artifact was a lot of fun! I felt it really suited the class fantasy perfectly. It’s such a “zippy” spec that it makes it feel really engaging and so much fun. I felt really powerful going up against this big scary guys and just zipping around the place and beating them up. It’s a little difficult (judging distance for rush etc, mobs hurting a lot), but I like that (and I will also put some of that difficulty down to lag as well).
Like I said, not going to give anything away about the quest line or story behind it. Instead, have a screenshot of me getting these killer glaives!
I chose the Havoc specialisation because I have more experience with DPS and can talk about that a bit better than tanking (although I will definitely try out the Vengeance tank spec at some point!). As a DPS spec, it is really good fun. It’s such a mobile class. (DH’s will definitely be responsible for mass ressing raid wipes because they will always get back first!!) Generally I’m not a huge fan of melee classes, but this has you jumping in and out and all over the place, so it feels really engaging and not at all like you’re just standing there hitting things with your face.
The Vengeful Retreat + Fel Rush combo is a LOT of fun – I think that’s what made me feel so strong. At one point while I was fighting an elite I did the combo and found myself yelling out “yeah you can’t catch me, can ya?! Suck it!!” and then laughing maniacally. It’s a great feeling.
The Metamorphosis ability is excellent – I particularly love that I’m able to target where I’m going to leap to and land, as the landing has an AoE damage and stun so will be great for fights with lots of adds. A couple of abilities are made stronger when you’re in that form, so it just feels like a really badass time. And it just looks cool.
I don’t know how it compares in damage to other classes as I’ve only done the introductory area and have gone in to my class hall. However I felt quite survivable whilst doing those quests – I took a little damage, but not so much that I had to stop and wait to be full health before pulling again. There were times where I was taking on groups of 3-5 mobs (because accidental pull!) and didn’t die, which I felt was on par for health/strength.
For me, the double jump takes a little getting used to. There were times that it just failed entirely because I (probably) didn’t hit space again at the right time. Lag will contribute to this being a successful ability, too, so bear that in mind before taking a running leap over a chasm! Similarly, Glide is a nice ability, and I like that there are multiple ways of activating it. I’d recommend having it on your bars in case you can’t get it with the jump button properly. And again, it looks cool.
Also, from a transmog perspective – the gear you get while levelling looks AWESOME!!!! Here’s what I look like after finishing the intro quests and getting my Class Hall set up:
It’s going to sound really lame, but I honestly didn’t really have any. I think the only real con for me is how much of an impact lag has on this being a successful class to play – these starting areas/quests expect you to be quite mobile and the lag can really impact on that. So hopefully that won’t be an issue when it comes out.
There were a few bugs that I reported, though nothing drastic. Just things like a kill not counting for a quest or a bridge not being solid – stuff you’d expect in Alpha.
I think the only con (if you can call it that) is getting used to Fel Rush etc, and just how mobile this class is. That’s definitely not a bad thing – the rotation (so far!) is very limited. The real joy of this class comes from using those few abilities to get around. And it’s fast. Fury is easily generated and spent, so you always have something to do. You’re never sitting there waiting to have enough power to make spells work, you just use your abilities to generate the Fury you need to use a particular ability, which makes it nicely fast paced and quite controlled. So if you like a slower style of play with not too much moving around, Demon Hunters are not going to be for you.
Overall, I had a LOT of fun getting my Demon Hunter started, and I’m keen to make another one when Legion comes out. Blizzard have done a really brilliant job bringing this class in to the game. These questing is great – makes sense, logical, engaging, and I don’t feel needs too much knowledge of Illidan etc. to get an understanding of what’s happening (though it’s nice if you do know!). The class fantasy is perfect. I feel a little evil, but I just want to do the right thing – I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way! 😉
Nice work, Blizzard! 😀