Change is coming. Be prepared.
Blizzard is looking to reinvigorate World of Warcraft Classic players who want a fresh experience with Season of Mastery servers. And while the game will give players a fresh version of Classic to play, it wont be quite the same as the product released in 2019.
While the original mentality behind WoW Classic was #NoChanges, Blizzard has noticed an interest from players to have some potentially slight differences from the way WoW originally released in the mid-2000s.
Now that Classic servers have moved on to a new legacy expansion of content, Blizzard announced that it will be bringing a fresh vanilla WoW server soon. But it will be more condensed with more difficult end-game content and increased quality of life.
Here are the changes coming to World of Warcraft Classic with the Season of Mastery.
The first big difference between the Season of Mastery and Classic will be the timeline that content is released on.
Classic started in August 2019 and its final patch was released at the beginning of December 2020. That final patch then lasted until June 2021 before TBC Classic began.
For the new Season of Mastery, Blizzard is looking to release content at a significantly faster pace, looking to produce a 12-month cadence.
This change is presumably coming so that Blizzard can restart the Season of Mastery every year, giving tried-and-true vanilla WoW players a repeated Classic experience.
The six phases of the Season of Mastery will largely look exactly like the content drops in Classic, except that the PvP honor system and battlegrounds will be introduced right away in Phase One as opposed to coming in a staggered fashion later on.
Because dedicated Classic players tend to enjoy challenging themselves by speedrunning and using highly optimized strategies, Blizzard is also introducing a more difficult end-game experience with the Season of Mastery in raids.
The first step in that process is getting rid of the World Buff Meta that encouraged players to stack powerful buffs on their character for raids, something that oftentimes made content seem trivial.
For the Season of Mastery, world buffs will be disabled in raid instances.
Additionally, Blizzard is going to increase boss health in raids and restore some mechanics from bosses that were removed in WoW Classic.
But some of the impacts of greater health pools will be mitigated by a quality-of-life change that will remove the debuff limit bosses had in Classic.
Along with making it so there’s no debuff limit on bosses, something that forced guilds to be hyper-conscious of what classes they brought to raids, there are a number of other things Blizzard is doing to make the Season of Mastery feel better to play than Classic.
To make up for the shortened length of the game, players will be able to level significantly faster. Experience gains in the Season of Mastery will be comparable to that of TBC, which was notably better than Classic was for levels one to 60.
Additionally, the reduced timeline will bring about increased nodes for mining and herbing so that players can have all of the resources they need given the seasons length.
Lastly, meeting stones, which previously served no tangible purpose, will be summoning stones. So you wont need to porch alternate Warlock characters at the front of every instance to be able to move around the world quickly.
This will allow players to play the game more and auto-run or fly across the world significantly less, saving everyone a whole lot of time.
The Season of Mastery beta has already begun and Blizzard is continuing to look into ways to adjust the difficulty and quality of life for players.
In a post last week, Blizzard acknowledged that it will likely need to tweak the way that loot works considering the faster progression of the gameand perhaps the honor system as well. No final decisions on either matter have been made.
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