16 February, Funcom released another preview of the class: "Herald of Xotli".<hr />
We continue our preview of the playable classes in Age of Conan with a look at the demonic and fearsome Herald of Xotli.
Some of those who meddle in the demonic arts are either too weak-minded or venture too far down the path of demonology to remain untainted for long. The Heralds are those who with an insatiable lust for power regardless of the cost have bargained with the demon god Xotli and paid the ultimate price.
They become a host to true demonic forces, allowing their very flesh and blood to be twisted and shaped to the purposes of their master.
The arcane and twisted pacts that have allowed the Herald to call upon the power of Xotli mean that they are powerful and dreaded foes in combat. Whereas other priests or students of the demonic arts can call upon the servants or blessing of their respective deities the Herald actually transforms themselves into a walking incarnation of Xotli’s wrath.
In battle, the Herald transforms into a demon, preferring to melee opponents and feel the enemy's flesh tear rather than rely on spells, although they retain a powerful arsenal of spells to call upon as needed. With their frenzied appearance and blood soaked muscles rippling with demonic strength the Herald becomes one of the most fearsome sights on the battlefield.
While many of the Herald’s abilities concentrate on strengthening themselves and their allies they can also call upon the primordial forces of fire and brimstone, hewn from the demonic depths, to smite their foes.
‘Hellfire Breath’, that the Herald can cast from level 25 onwards, deals instant fire damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. Likewise from 55 onwards, their ‘Hellflare’ spell blasts the enemies around the caster with an intense searing wall of heat, lowering their damage output and causing them to take more damage from physical attacks.
When combined with spells like their ‘Inferno Curse’ these attacks can be even more lethal. 'Inferno Curse' is available from level 40 onwards and allows the Herald to curse enemies in his near vicinity so that they take increased damage from fire based attacks.
So while the demonic flames might be their speciality the Herald is usually in the thick of the action and uses spells like ‘The Exultation of Xotli’, which is available from level 45 onwards, to increase their melee damage for a short period of time but with a period of reduced damage for a short while afterwards.
At higher levels the Herald gets access to the ability to not just strike fear in their opponents but can actually force them to run away in terror through their ‘Dread Visage’ ability. So the Herald is not only a fearsome foe at close quarters on the battlefield but their demonic powers can actually instil dread and make even the most hardened of opponents flee from them in stark fear.<hr />
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