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. Another example of a perk is that your abilities can run off of something other then mana, rage, and energy. The hero class right now, the death knight, uses the rune system which no other class has. Prerequisites are required to "unlock" the hero class for play. The concept of a hero class is derived from the Warcraft III hero units.
Blizzard's Meaning of "Hero Class" Edit
When Blizzard said "Hero Class" they never had any intention of saying a class is more powerful as if you were a hero. It just means a class is more unique in play style. The word hero often seems to confuse players to think the opposite of what Blizzard defined it as.
"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.
Death Knight Edit
- Main article: Death Knight (hero class)
At Blizzcon 2007, Blizzard announced that the death knight hero class will be a new addition in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack. Nethaera posted on the Wrath of the Lich King forums that the current plans are one new hero class per expansion pack. Death knights do not have a mana, rage, or energy bar; instead they have a runic power bar and use runes.
The death knight can have two roles: tanking and damage dealing. They do not use shields while tanking, instead using two-handed weapons or dual-wielding one-handed weapons. Non-melee magic abilities can also play a role during combat.
To create a death knight, the player must already have at least one level 55 (or higher) character. Only one death knight can be created per realm. Death knight creation is limited to realms that have been open for 90 days or for players who have a level 55 character on the realm.
Unique perks Edit
- Death knights start at level 55.
- Death knights have no race restrictions.
- 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, they are given the 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.
- Main article: Bard (hero class)
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-WOW Hero Classes Edit
Paladins were a Hero Class in Warcraft 3 - Reign of Chaos yet were made a non Hero Class when WOW was released.
Other possible hero classesEdit
Blizzard has made plans for 29 hero classes, 3 of which were final contenders for Wrath of the Lich King, besides the death knight (which got implemented) they were also considering:
Some of the necromancer's abilities have been integrated into the death knight, so we may not see the necromancer for a while. 
See also Edit
- Warcraft III hero units, the inspiration for hero classes.