The Demon Hunter Class
Many of us want to see is the Demon Hunter properly represented in World of Warcraft as a playable class. The reasons differ among fans, but it boils down to a few main reasons, in my opinion.
The Demon Hunter is an iconic class in Warcraft. Illidan is instantly recognizable worldwide, one of the biggest faces of Warcraft alongside Arthas and Thrall. The design aesthetic of the tattooed, blind Night Elf stands out among the classic fantasy tropes we find throughout the series. The class hasn't been around for a long time, but it has definitely made its mark in the Warcraft universe. Even someone who had rudimentary knowledge of Warcraft could point out a Demon Hunter. It should be simple to say, people want to play a Warglaive-wielding badass.
I would not be opposed to having Warlocks become Demon Hunters if Blizzard made it so. I would welcome it just as any other change, such as allowing new race/class combos in Cataclysm. This being said, I would rather see them as their own class, or not included at all before that happened. The reasoning is simple - Demon Hunters have their own identity.
Beyond visual design, there is one thing makes them instantly memorable - the fact that they have made great sacrifices to gain power to fight evil. Unlike any other hero or class in the game, they have made irreversible changes to their bodies and souls. This is something that is iconic to the class, and we wish to see it honoured if they become playable.
Imagine suggesting Death Knight as a playable Spec for an existing class. Say the idea was for Death Knights to be a Paladin spec, because in lore they were corrupted Paladins. Shadow priests worked out fine, so 'Shadow Paladins' could work too, right? But no matter how you cut it, Death Knights are undead, and it would be impossible to represent their irreversible nature through a spec. This is also what makes Demon Hunters unique, they are beyond 'mortal'.
Demons play a huge part in Warcraft's history. They are the reason Medivh opened the Dark Portal, the reason the Orcs became warmongers, the reason the Scourge was created, and most importantly the reason why the world was torn apart during the War of the Ancients. While there have been other villains throughout the course of history, none have the high-standing impact that the Demons do. With each new Warcraft game, we have been exposed to more and new types of demons. They're a persistent threat to the entire world of Azeroth.
Lets face it, we know the Legion will be coming back. It's inevitable that they will be invading again, and that we will be taking the fight to their doorstep. In context to all that is and will be happening, the Demon Hunter fits in the best with a Legion-centric expansion.
What Demon Hunter fans expect
I've explained why we want to see Demon Hunters as their own class, now I will address the other half of the argument; what we realistically expect.
With so much debate in support of a Demon Hunter class, it is easy to view the enthusiasm as an expectation. This is a mistaken notion. What we want to see is not what we expect to happen. Ultimately our goals are the same as any others, to see classic Hero represented in WoW. The Death Knights got their way in Wrath of the Lich King. The next most identifiable class in Warcraft 3 is without a doubt the Demon Hunter. We simply want them to have a greater presence in WoW.
Warlocks are spellcasters who have delved into the dark arts. They are summoners. Even if they have the same motivations as a Demon Hunter, they will still represent different values. If Blizzard does decide to make Warlocks become Demon Hunters (or vice versa), then that's fine; but until that happens they are not the same class. We, as Demon Hunter fans, see a clear line of separation between the two classes. It is a very jarring notion to assume that they are the same because of similarities; the way one might say a Paladin is a Priest because of Holy spells.
The Demon Hunter will not exist
I don't believe the Demon Hunter will be in World of Warcraft in any playable form. The main reasons I have seen are:
1) No room for more Melee. There is a clear saturation of melee classes in the game, and we certainly do not need more.
2) Potential for new themes. We should be seeing something that hasn't been covered by existing classes.
3) Filling in the gaps. Whatever the class may be, it should fill the design needs of Blizzard. If another Int Plate user or Physical Ranged class is what's needed, then it should be made.
These are a few of the main reasons why I think that Demon Hunters are simply not plausible.
The Demon Hunter can not exist
And this leads us to why we fans are still here.
While there are many of us who don't think this will happen, there are others who are making the argument that Demon Hunter class could or should not exist. I personally believe that anything is possible, and Blizzard has shown us time and time again that they can make any concept work. They have made Blue space goats/pre-demons a core part of the Alliance. They allowed the Elves to join the Horde. They've made the Scourge Death Knights playable for both factions. They've even created an entire expansion about Pandas. The idea that anything can not happen because it hasn't happened yet is a fallacy.
We can try to follow the patterns as closely as we try, but we won't get any closer to predicting the next expansion, or the next race, or even the next class. Simply said, Blizzard is unpredictable. We can get close to the mark by following the patterns, but ultimately Blizzard can throw us all on a loop at any given time. I do believe the Tinker currently has the best chance at becoming a reality, but even then we have had just as much hint for a Timewalker/Dragon-based class or again, the Demon Hunter. Only time will prove what classes will become a reality.