Iconic Hero is a new Class ( and Race )... well a new set of Class ( and Race ) once the expansion comes out.
On a related note, the loading screen featuring the expansion is a bit misleading.
It lists the owlbear hireling as one of the immediate ingame bonus if you prepurchase the expansion - rather than saying it is part of an optional upgrade you can purchase at the same time as ordering the expansion.
Seriously, Panther was well worth the Collector Edition last time at least to me. With the lone exception being EE content, a lvl24 fvs hireling and the panther hold their own against most every form of content if you know how to manage them. As far as the value of permanent hirelings, they are amoritized over time, so they're relative value to their original cost only increases the more you use them. Since the Panther has seen virtually no decrease in it's value relative to content its useful in (content which still gets run often), I'd say they're generally a good deal.
will the Iconics and quests be free to vip when the pack is released in august?
No chance for the expansion to be free for VIP. This is not an updated but expansion like MOTU. I also doubt that the 4 new set character Iconics, will be free to VIP either. Most likely you will be able to get with points though. I don't think that I would buy the premium set unless it had the owlbear in it. 49$ seems high. If you also have to pay the 39 for the legendary upgrade, it is what MOTU was and that gave so much more not only in content but perks. I definitely won't waste my money. If I cave in the most I will probably spend is the 29$ set, but really wait a year and it will all go on sale for 5$ like last expansion. Why do I need cosmetic ****. Give me good content, minimal bugs and well thought out systems before they are implemented.
Perhaps those in charge don't read the trade mags. WOW lost 1mil customers after their latest expansion. Expansions are not always good for the game.