World of Warcraft Classic “Season of Mastery” – Questions from the Community

World of Warcraft Classic

Blizzard has announced World of Warcraft Classic “Season of Mastery”, which goes into Open Beta starting on October 5th, 2021. In the news post, Blizzard detailed many upcoming changes, such as no world buffs in raids and faster phase cadence. The Classic community is left with many questions, of which we’ve listed here…

Are We Sure About No World Buffs?

One of the most significant changes announced is the removal of world buffs in raid instances. World buffs were certainly a topic of discussion during Classic’s initial release, whether they should be removed or how the community wanted them changed. Blizzard offered an elegant and well received solution with the creation of an entirely new item, the Chronoboon Displacer. If Season of Mastery has world buffs removed from raids, many top players from private servers and Classic won’t be happy.

SalvDali reacting to the Season of Mastery announcement blue post

The Chronoboon Displacer definitely makes this whole world buff situation a bit more confusing. The Chronoboon came out late into Phase 6 of Classic’s release, and is effectively useless in Burning Crusade Classic. Why did Blizzard make this item for three, four months of gameplay? Should the Chronoboon make a return for Season of Mastery? Regardless of Chronoboon’s existence, there is definitely a split in the community on how World Buffs should be handled for Season of Mastery…

Payo reacting to the Season of Mastery announcement blue post (Language Warning)

Could Blizzard make a solution for Season of Mastery to make both groups of players happy? What about creating a new Realm type, such as PvP-WB and PvE-WB? These could essentially be realms with World Buffs or Chronoboon Displacer enabled? This seems to be one of the most popular community suggestions regarding this change. Or is there an entirely different side to this story? Could Blizzard be saving World Buffs for the Season AFTER Season of Mastery? Maybe in 2023 the Classic community will get Season of the Boon?

Will Raid Bosses Have More Loot?

This is a major topic of discussion in the community and it makes sense that the community would be asking this. If the Season of Mastery phase cadence is going to be sped up for a 12-month release, shouldn’t raid bosses drop more loot to make up for it? If Raid bosses didn’t drop more loot, would the majority of raids even be geared enough to enter the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj on the day of release? In the scenario where loot isn’t increased from raid bosses, there will definitely be very few Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker per realm (if any), bringing back that Legendary status to the item!

Will The Honor System Change?

With the PvP Honor System being released at launch, alongside Battlegrounds, the Honor System might not need to be changed at all. Moving this up in the release schedule will have most people achieving Rank 14 right around Blackwing Lair’s release, which matches up with how it played out in Classic. But for some players, the Honor grind is a bit too much effort invested and some are advocating for the system to change. Many community members have been advocating for a reduction in the decay system, which would reduce the amount of effort needed to get Rank 14 and reduce the amount of time required.

How Will The Ahn’Qiraj War Effort Work?

The War Effort is an extremely complicated part of Classic, where players work tirelessly to open the gates of Ahn’Qiraj and earn the coveted Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal. With an average of two months per phase, how will the Gates function? Many realms don’t get the opportunity to open the gates that quickly, and if it takes a realm two months to open the gates, then Naxxramas might actually come out before they even get to step foot in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj.

Blizzard Advertisement for Phase 5 in World of Warcraft Classic

During Classic, Blizzard did implement an auto-complete mechanic to the War Effort, but this would need to start almost immediately on a faster phase cadence. Will the amount of materials needed to open the gate be reduced? Will the Gates automatically open after a much shorter amount of time passes? For some Classic players, opening the Ahn’Qiraj gates is part of the reason they enjoy Classic so much. There are players that actually farm Peaceblooms and Copper Bars for fun, and those players might be impacted on how Blizzard chooses to change the War Effort.

How Many Servers, Layers, etc?

This is a really big question that could have a long lasting impact on the Season of Mastery. If you remember what happened during Classic, many servers became extremely one sided faction-wise, or basically a ghost town, very quickly. One of the most important things that Blizzard gets right is having the right amount of realms available.

Layering is another hot button topic in the community. Blizzard essentially had to use layers to keep realms functioning without an infinite wait time, but there were some detrimental effects of that change. Because Blizzard already mentioned that they will be increasing the number of herbs and mining nodes, it seems we might actually see a move away from layers?

Speaking of servers and realms, as we mentioned in the World Buff question, the community did suggest the possibility of World Buff and No World Buff realms. If you weren’t aware, the largest community of players still playing on Classic Era realms is the hardcore community. There is even a concerted effort for the community to come together for a Hardcore guild and bring down Ragnaros, a truly amazing goal! They have basically taken over Bloodsail Buccaneers on Classic Era and turned it into a hardcore server, where if a player dies, they delete their character. Could Blizzard show some support to this community and actually make hardcore realms?

Stadics trailer for “Road to Ragnaros” community event

There is also a large community of Warsong Gulch players that still get together on the Classic Era Public Test Realm (where consumables can be copied infinitely) for premade matches against one another. Could Blizzard implement a “Tournament Realm” on Classic Era, allowing players to create characters, purchase gear and consumables, and play one another freely? This would likely have a positive impact on the community and potentially lead to growth for the small competitive scene, as well as open up the opportunity for more Classic Tournaments.

What Happens When “Season of Mastery” Ends?

While this last question isn’t a pressing matter, it is something the community is thinking about. What happens when the Season of Mastery ends? Where do the characters go? How quickly will another “Season” of Classic Fresh happen? For some players, the idea of getting to stay in Vanilla Azeroth forever is extremely appealing, with fresh “Seasons” coming once a year, similar to other seasonal games, for example, Diablo III has Ladder Seasons, where each season adds new cosmetics or mechanics. Could we see something similar for World of Warcraft Classic?

The Open Beta for World of Warcraft Classic “Season of Mastery” begins tomorrow, October 5th, 2021. Hopefully some of these questions can be answered during the Beta and the Classic community can enjoy the upcoming Season!

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