WoW Classic Season of Mastery Design Intentions and Details

We’ve been very pleased by the reception to our WoW Classic Season of Mastery announcement last week, and we’ve seen a great many questions from players about this new version of WoW Classic. With the Beta now underway, we wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about the philosophy around Seasonal WoW Classic.

Design Intentions

First, it’s important to explain what the Season of Mastery is, a little of what it isn’t, and our overall thoughts about Seasonal WoW Classic. The main goal for the Season of Mastery is provide a WoW Classic experience that brings about “Faster Progression and More Challenging Content”. This is our core design pillar that speaks to many of the changes we’re testing in the Beta, and you can see this reflected in adjustments such as increased quest XP, a 12-month content release cycle, and the Honor System and certain Battlegrounds being available from the launch of the game.

We’re increasing the difficulty of raid encounters, restoring raid mechanics removed in early iterations of certain encounters, and we’re prohibiting the use of world buffs inside raid instances. Of course, these are just the changes we’ve announced so far, and we’re still reviewing feedback and suggestions from the community. There’s certainly room to include additional adjustments if they’re consistent with this season’s design goals.

While these are significant changes, we want to make it very clear that these adjustments aren’t intended to become a permanent change to all versions of WoW Classic going forward. When the Season of Mastery launches, existing WoW Classic Era realms will remain configured as they are now.

Loot and World Buff Details

There have been a lot of discussions about loot, and specifically the rate at which players can get loot from raids, as we don’t currently have plans to increase that. Part of the challenge of Season of Mastery is the speedy arrival of content throughout the year, and this raises the notion that you may not approach every new challenge with the level of preparation you did in WoW Classic. We feel that loot scarcity was an important part of what made original World of Warcraft challenging and hope to recreate that feeling. Of course, we’ll be watching this closely and are open to adjustments here if we identify a need.

The issues raised by world buff play in WoW Classic have been discussed at great length for years now. We really like the Chronoboon Displacer as a solution to the raid log dilemma, but for the Season of Mastery, world buffs in raids are contrary to the “More Challenging Content” part of our core design pillar. There is a truly great feeling when you get fully buffed and then race through raids to try and beat your best clear time, and we’ll continue to look elsewhere for a place to bring that about again.
Please note: the Chronoboon Displacer will be present and will function in Season of Mastery. You won’t lose buffs that are stored in the Chronoboon Displacer when you zone into a raid. You will, however, lose your buffs if you restore them from the Displacer while in a raid instance.

Speaking of raids, we’re quite aware of the concerns around the opening of the gates of Ahn Qiraj on a truncated timeframe. We don’t have anything specific planned for that yet, but we do have the ability to accelerate the completion of the War Effort, should the need arise.

The PvP Honor System

Achieving Rank 14 in original World of Warcraft was always meant to be a prestigious accomplishment that few players obtained. We feel that maintaining that level of prestige is important, and we’ve got to consider how it will play out with the Honor system active from the moment Season of Mastery launches. This is especially difficult, considering how powerful the Honor gear is for many classes.

We’ve read many great suggestions from players on how we could improve this system. We’re currently discussing what we could do to fit our goals for Season of Mastery. Please keep your feedback coming!

Looking Forward

Even though we’ve just gotten started with the Beta, many players want to know what might happen after the 12-month schedule is completed. While we don’t have specifics to share now, we’re currently exploring all of our options, especially when it comes to allowing characters to persist in some way when the Season ends. We’ll let you know!


Please, give us a Devblog. Also no respec costs, if you truly want to avoid people raidlogging.


IMHO to not raidlog you need something that would require respec in the first place. Like say starting to work on Cenarion rep relatively early vs BWL age.

Make a fresh phase 1 server on Classic Era then.


Whilst communication is welcome and encouraged, I can’t help but feel like this doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. It’s full of “thanks but no thanks” and “it’s fine we’re just going to leave it as it is”.

WOW Classic SoM promised change but they aren’t really changing much except making it more challenging by releasing the content quicker and having less time to gear up.

The only question I want to know is what happens after 12 months? I want to know if it’s worth my time investment or will it be wiped and we do it all again in WoW Classic SoM2?

When will we get actual change and not recycled content!!

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Release the same thing again.
No changes.
It takes no work.
Dont complicate the best version of the game.


IF you prevent mass instance farming for exp then leveling will be slower, more in vanilla style - by questing. :smiley:

Alpha idea testers, a.k.a private servers did test one option and that is cyclical fresh that merges all toons to static realm after it’s done and launching new fresh. Players can continue on static or go with new toon on fresh. Fresh has the benefit of lots of other players also leveling while static is more “matured” with more raiding than leveling and open world.

Can we have at least one FRESH without boosting, spell-cleave and long raidlogging “content droughts” ? :wink: (and smaller realms, better bot banning).

And then, Classic guilds invented split-raids…
Loot drama before AQ will be top notch, get ready for hardcore poaching.

There is a truly great feeling when you get fully buffed and then race through raids to try and beat your best clear time, and we’ll continue to look elsewhere for a place to bring that about again.

Pleased for my World Buff loving fellow players - sounds as though they’ll be able to do what they love in some way

Give us fresh on era then


If they limit time and speed you can make alts (or player intent in making alts) then there will be no split raiding aside of very specific guilds.

you trust bliz to fix anything? they prob just gonna make it worse somehow

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I can’t understand how faster content would reduce boosting. If you want an alt it’s impossible in these 2 month content windows so can only imagine boosting and GDKP for loot will be worse than ever

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but for the Season of Mastery, world buffs in raids are contrary to the “More Challenging Content” part of our core design pillar.

If classic players were interested in more challenging content TBC population wouldn’t be falling off a cliff.

Blizzard won’t be happy until every iteration of WoW plays and feels exactly the same. Boring dismal soup for everyone, yay.


Desperate attempt to disrupt the FFXIV Endwalker release. Recycling content we’ve had enough of.


From one side I want to play “organic” Classic from the other Blizzard and their buggy TBC patch :wink: Worst case scenario I will play Endwalker only… but I still have hope :stuck_out_tongue:

Boosting in Classic is possible because instances give a lot of exp (mobs there) and because you can make super big pulls giving in total a lot of exp quickly. If they kill those pulls you can’t really boost so quickly or at all in so little time. There will be also less gold (big pull = lots of stuff) and if they prevent bots in instances then there will be less gold in the economy and no actual GDKP.

Hopefully the next Season of WoW Classic will have World Buffs. Because you do realize no one wants to play on the Era realms, right?

And like some other people pointed out, if I wanted hard raids, I’d play TBC or Retail. A lot more. Than I am doing right now. Man, I don’t get it. You just couldn’t leave Classic be. We’ve been asking for a fresh server for years now. When we finally get it we get this version with removed features and increased levelling speed and summoning stones… Thanks, I guess? I’m just glad I was around for the first re-release of Vanilla, because I doubt we will ever have another release of the game that is as close to #NoChanges as that one. Guess all things come to an end :confused:


Saw this comment on the US forums regarding world buffs, and I personally agree 100% with this approach, credit to Omegal-US:

"I like the idea floating around of allowing world buffs in older raids once newer ones come out. In other words when BWL ships, Molten Core is now allowed to have world buffs, or perhaps SOME world buffs. Then when AQ launches, BWL is allowed to have some, and MC is allowed to have even more.

The idea behind this is to gradually still allow for a fun “go back and steamroll it for speed” meta that exists today on the older content, while still keeping goal of current content being challenging and unpressured to participate in this buff meta."

My small input: this would also incentivize those who don’t “need” to run previous raids anymore by allowing them to grab buffs and just do them simply for fun, while also allowing new comers to jump into raids without putting too much emphasis on gearing first.

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This season seems to be aiming at the former private server audience, which was very fast-paced, knowing that the server they played on might be closed anytime, and they’d have to move on to another server. While that community is still present in WoW Classic, there are also those who want to know that the servers are not going away anytime soon, and that a period of absence will not put you far behind the rest of the server. And since you are already starting servers aiming at the hardcore community, it would make sense to also start servers aiming at the casual community at the same time, in order to properly separate the hardcore and the casual communities.

As for the casual community, we do expect the raids to be challenging, but we do not like the stressful feeling that we need to rush in order to not fall behind. We are adults with our own responsibilities, and while we like some challenge, we don’t like devoting our real lives to a video game. Therefore, we would like a server that progresses a lot slowlier, and with disabled rested XP, because a lot of us like the Classic levelling experience, but don’t like having it accelerated due to the lack of time to play. Treat it as a “boomer-friendly server”.


This. There are a lot of us that wants this over Seasons and will generate subs and more activity. You literally had this on the classic PTR for ages. Maybe tweak node/herb spawns and kill mage boosting.