Montoya here, sharing some speculation I’ve been making concerning the new WoW expansion, which we will learn about soon.
After reflecting on Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, I realized there was quite a foundation being laid for Demon Hunters as a future playable class :
1. There is an achievement for finding a Demon Hunter in Darkshore “Ghosts in the Dark”.
2. There is a long quest chain with a Blood Mage that has us bring a Demon Hunter back from the dead, who nobly makes a big sacrifice right afterwards.
3. In Felwood, a Demon Hunter named Feronas Sindweller is a kill target for a quest. We soon find that he has been killing demons rather than druids, as he had been accused. He then proceeds to show us what most NPCs, and all of BC, seem to ignore: Illidan sought power, not to conquer or lord over others, but rather, to help his people and prove himself to Night Elves, particularly Tyrande. He did these things, however, with a reckless attitude (poor Lord Blackforest).
All of these were added in Cataclysm, which makes me wonder about the possibility of a Demon Hunter class in the next expansion. However, I find that there are a few things in the way:
1. Demonology Warlocks have become more and more like Warcraft III Metamorphosis Demon Hunters over time. A book in Stormwind explains that a human warlock, Kanrethad Ebonlocke, has learned and taught the secrets to Illidan’s transformation.
2. The Warlock challenge set in Mists of Pandaria is clearly Illidan themed, which, combined with the Demonology Warlock changes, makes me wonder if Blizzard is folding Illidan and Demon Hunters into the Warlock class. This would be an alternative to Demon Hunters having their own theme and class (with the obvious exception of not using warglaives).
3. In patch 5.2, the Warlock Green Fire quest was introduced, in which the Warlock visits Black Temple in present day and witnesses a conversation between two members of the Black Harvest, Ebonlocke and Jubeka. They discuss witnessing Illidan’s end; however, before Ebonlocke divulges information about it, the conversation conveniently shifts to something else in the middle of his thought.
4. Cheng, a Pandaren monk, makes a comment that can be taken multiple ways. He says “Yes, I am a monk, though I always dreamed of being a demon hunter.” What was the intent behind this flavor text?
While Demon Hunters could be folded into Warlocks, their combat and flavor could also be made distinct from one another. Unlike Warlocks, Demon Hunters exist to destroy the Legion. They use the Legion’s power against itself. Warlocks do not seem to have this focus at all; rather, they just utilize whatever powers are available to augment themselves. Demon Hunters blind themselves, receive tattoos in order to see Demonic magics and utilize the tattoo patterns Sargeras introduced to empower Illidan. As far as making 3 specs, tanking or healing could easily be achieved with some creative Fel magic and weapon mechanics.
So what does this evidence point to? Illidan is likely coming back. Chris Metzen recently tweeted, ”No. I think there’s a spark of him out there somewhere… Muahaha…” in response to someone asking if Illidan’s return referred to his appearance in the 4.3 dungeons. With, or prior to Illidan’s return, will Demon Hunters be a new class? Or will their theme be absorbed into Warlocks? What was the purpose of laying all this foundation in Cataclysm and dropping hints in Mists of Pandaria? While this is all speculation based on hints dropped in-game the last couple of years, we may find out in a few weeks with the upcoming expansion reveal at Blizzcon. Perhaps “The Dark Below” will be revealed, giving us further details.
Well of Eternity
Ten thousand years in the past, the night elven capital city of Zin-Azshari was a magnificent, sparkling metropolis. Situated on the shores of the Well of Eternity, Zin-Azshari was where the aristocratic Highborne first opened a portal into the Twisting Nether and invited the Burning Legion to invade Azeroth. Under the command of the night elven queen, Azshara, the Highborne now pour their energies into the portal, preparing it for the terrifying and glorious entrance of the titan Sargeras.
With a gateway to the past now open, Nozdormu will transport players to Azshara’s palace, where you’ll witness one of the most catastrophic events in the War of the Ancients, dating back 10,000 years. While assisting the much younger Tyrande and Illidan in a battle against the Highborne and Burning Legion, players will need to steal the Dragon Soul hovering above the Well. With so many of Azshara’s most empowered wizards locked in ritual and pouring their magical energies into the turbulent depths of the Well, retrieving the Dragon Soul will require victory over some lethal foes.
Excerpts from the Dungeon Journal
Peroth’arn: Like many of his fellow Highborne, Peroth’arn swore allegiance to the corrupted Xavius in exchange for gifts of demonic power. As a master of fiendish magic and recipient of the satyr curse, Peroth’arn stands outside Azshara’s palace in defense of the Burning Legion, ready to destroy those hoping to disrupt the entrance of the Dark Titan, Sargeras, into Azeroth.
Azshara: The songs of Queen Azshara’s beauty, majesty, and power are too numerous to count, but it was her vanity that drove the Highborne to summon the Burning Legion. She now watches her most trusted magi empower the portal where Sargeras will be brought into Azeroth, content to let multitudes of her servants die in advance of the Dark Titan’s arrival.
Mannoroth and Varo’then: Varo’then, head of Queen Azshara’s personal guard, and Mannoroth, the pit lord whose blood will corrupt the entire orc race, stand as the last line of defense against those hoping to bar Sargeras’s entry into Azeroth. Though both Tyrande and Illidan have fought bravely thus far, the fate of Azeroth will be decided at the Well of Eternity’s very brink.
The task at hand requires nothing short of total success. In order for Thrall and the Dragon Aspects to rally heroes of the Horde and Alliance to defeat Deathwing, you must steal the Dragon Soul from the distant past. However, the tragic events which took place at the Well of Eternity must ultimately come to pass, leading to the Great Sundering, the creation of the Maelstrom, and the loss of countless lives. — source
Cho’gall, once a key executor of the nihilistic Twilight’s Hammer’s vision, has been struck down. Lady Sinestra, consort of Deathwing and mother to the malevolent black dragons Nefarian and Onyxia, has fallen at the hands of great heroes. Ragnaros, lord of the realm of fire in the Elemental Plane, and Al’Akir, baron of the realm of air — both mighty arbiters of Deathwing’s destructive ends — have themselves been purged. But even with so many of Deathwing’s servants now vanquished, he freely roams the skies of Azeroth, wreaking havoc on the land and its people. It’s in these darkest of hours that the forces standing against Deathwing must carry out a desperate plan to put an end to his devastating twilight flight.
The other Dragon Aspects, with allegiance from Thrall, have devised a dangerous and unorthodox strategy to bring Deathwing down once and for all. But to do so, they must acquire the Dragon Soul from a pivotal moment in the distant past… and they’re going to need your help. In patch 4.3, level-85 players will gain access to three new Heroic-difficulty five-player dungeons, embarking on quests to aid the Aspects and other familiar faces in a fight against Deathwing, the Twilight’s Hammer, ancient armies of the Burning Legion and Highborne… and even time itself.
Much like the experience in the five-player content of Icecrown Citadel, players must quest through these dungeons sequentially to unlock access to them in the Dungeon Finder. You’ll also be afforded the opportunity for all-new epic loot, including new dungeon sets. While these sets aren’t broken down by class and contain no set bonuses, they offer cohesive aesthetic looks for each armor type: cloth, leather, mail, and plate. These set pieces can be taken from the grasps of defeated bosses in each of the new Heroic dungeons.
Now read on for a taste of what lies ahead and — interestingly enough — behind you in the first of these three new dungeons: End Time.
One of an infinite number of potential outcomes, this timeway depicts the desolate future of Azeroth should its defenders fail to stop Deathwing. In this bleak future, Nozdormu has identified an anomaly that bars access to both the past and the Dragon Soul: a powerful creature from out of time, living alone amid time-twisted echoes of the past.
In order for Nozdormu to provide you the ability to travel back in time to a point before the Dragon Soul was hidden by Malfurion Stormrage from anyone who’d seek its power, you must first go to a distant and desolate future to discover the anomaly blocking the past. You’ll find yourself in a very different Dragonblight, stripped of its snowy landscape, with little more than ruins of the once-great dragonshrines. Wyrmrest Temple itself stands only as a reminder of Deathwing’s madness — what’s left of his scorched remains is impaled atop the structure.
Before you confront the creature disrupting Nozdormu’s access to the past, you’ll first be called to fight any two of the following four ostensibly familiar leaders, chosen at random each time you play through End Time.
Excerpts from the Dungeon Journal
Echo of Sylvanas: Spawned from shattered timeways and cloistered within the Ruby Dragonshrine, a maddened fragment of the Forsaken’s leader, Sylvanas Windrunner, waits restlessly. Having lost everything and unable to find peace, this tormented echo aches for a chance to unleash her dark fury at anything still living within these barren, time-twisted wastes.
Echo of Tyrande: Once high priestess of Elune and leader of the night elves, this time-twisted fragment of Tyrande Whisperwind now wanders the desolate future of Azeroth. Enveloped by eternal midnight, she is forever separated from the comforting light of Elune and torn by questions about why her goddess did nothing to put an end to such madness.
Echo of Jaina: The tormented fragment of Jaina Proudmoore has been split and infused within the shattered pieces of her staff. To restore balance to the timeways, this echo must be defeated. However, the devastating magical power possessed by the once-proud ruler of Theramore is hardly lost to her time-havocked spectre. In this future Azeroth, she is only divided, and waiting….
Echo of Baine: Enraged by his failure to protect the world and, most importantly, the Horde, this time-ravaged shade of Baine Bloodhoof lingers within the ruins of the Obsidian Dragonshrine. Although he’s still as powerful as the tauren high chieftain from the present, within this shattered future Azeroth, this guilt-ridden echo is little more than a discordant vessel of unquenchable malice and anger.
These long-dead heroes are mere echoes of their former glory, further warped by the corruptive force of time. Their presence here is a great mystery, even to Nozdormu. Once these shades have been laid to rest, the maniacal figure blocking Nozdormu’s vision will be revealed at the Bronze Dragonshrine. None of the Dragon Aspects could have predicted what entity would have such power to interrupt the sight of the Timeless One… the ability to create a new and infinite dragonflight. Only by destroying a mysterious dragon known as Murozond will you give Azeroth’s protectors the opportunity to avoid the potential outcome to which your eyes bear witness.
Stay tuned for part two of our patch 4.3 dungeons preview: Well of Eternity. — source