Despite all the controversies surrounding Blizzard lately, this is still a pretty good time to be a World of Warcraft player. TBC Classic is in full swing and the developer recently announced Shadowlands 9.2. Meanwhile, Classic era servers are still popular and we just got a new and improved version of them in the form of WoW Classic Season of Mastery. But what exactly is Season of Mastery? Keep reading this guide to find out.
Before we begin it’s worth noting that we only know about the changes introduced in SoM’s first phase. Just like regular Classic, WoW Season of Mastery will take place over six different phases. While we can answer essential questions like “is PVP undergoing any changes?” or “are raids any different?”, we don’t really know how the game will evolve from phase two onwards. But let’s worry about the future some other time and talk about the present for now.
Can You Level Up Faster in World of Warcraft Season of Mastery?
Saying you can hit 60 in SoM would be an understatement. Experience gains from quest turn-ins have been increased by a whopping 40%, a bonus that also applies to group and dungeon quests. Ideally, you’ll want to stack the extra XP with the rested bonus you get from logging off in a town. But even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to reach max level way faster than before.
Any Changes to World Buffs?
If you played the original iteration of WoW Classic you probably remember how a lot of the endgame used to revolve around stacking World Buffs. This led to raid content becoming ridiculously easy at one point. I’m happy to report that this won’t be a problem anymore. In World of Warcraft Season of Mastery players can no longer benefit from World Buffs in raid instances. This change is meant to encourage players to focus on the content itself rather than the buffs. And is overall one of the best changes introduced in Season of Mastery.
What About Other Buffs?
Blizzard also removed the previous limit to the number of buffs you could have at any one time. In WoW Classic Season of Mastery, you can have as many buffs as you want. Conversely, the debuff limit was removed as well.
Looking for Group Tool
The controversial Looking for Group tool from Burning Crusade Classic has also made its way to Season of Mastery. The tool adds to the game’s social aspect by allowing players to find parties much faster. However, it does hurt the Classic WoW experience just a little bit. This change will undoubtedly raise a lot of eyebrows so we’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.
Are the Raids Any Different?
Phase one of WoW Season of Mastery only features two raids – Onyxia’s Lair and Molten Core. For the most part, they’re the same raids we all know and love but Blizzard did implement a few changes to make them more difficult this time around. Namely, bosses and mobs that are part of boss encounters now have increased health. Meanwhile, many boss mechanics have been augmented and you can even expect a few new ones. Unfortunately, we can’t give you any specific details regarding these changes at this time. We’re still in the early days of World of Warcraft Season of Mastery and most people are a long way off from hitting max level and checking out the upgraded raids.
What About Dungeons?
A few dungeons have also received adjustments, albeit to a much lesser extent than raids. Specifically, you can expect Undead creatures in Stratholme to now be immune to snares and roots during the first 30 seconds of combat. The same goes for many of the mobs found in Maraudon. In both cases, trying to crowd control the mobs will reset their immunities.
Meanwhile, Zul’Farrak Zombie Trolls drop far less valuable loot, a change that was no doubt meant to thwart Mage solo farming. Rogue solo farming isn’t faring much better as pickpocketing BRD mobs now yields less loot as well. In addition to all of that, Blizzard also decided to make Dire Maul available from the very start of the season. On the flipside, the Gordok Tribute chest can no longer be looted by players that haven’t aggroed the boss. In other words, no more Tribute runs.
Level 50 Class Quests Available From the Get-go
This change is pretty explanatory. We no longer have to wait until later phases to pick up the beloved level 50 class quests because they have been made available from the very start of the season.
Any Changes to PvP?
PvP has traditionally never been a major focus of WoW Classic phase 1 but that’s no longer the case in Season of Mastery. WSG, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley have all been made available from the launch of Season of Mastery complete with associated reputations and rewards. In addition, World PvP objectives in Eastern Plaguelands are already enabled and the amount of maximum weekly ranking progress has been doubled.
For the full list of changes check out this post on the official website.