How should we expand on WoW Classic’s Seasons of Mastery?
The Season of Mastery concept is a game changer for WoW Classic — it basically allows the game to constantly reinvent itself and keep what will otherwise become a very limited set of content (the original WoW and two expansions) into something evergreen. We know that Blizzard is considering a BCC Season of Mastery sometime after Wrath Classic launches, and it seems likely that there will be other such Seasons in the future.
So, since we don’t know what that will entail yet, what can we speculate might come with Seasons of Mastery? I expect we’ll of course see continuing Classic Era 1 to 60 Seasons, the aforementioned Burning Crusade Classic Seasons, and eventually a Wrath Classic Season. But what after that?
Could Season Themes work in WoW Classic?
One possibility is of course Themed Seasons. They’ve worked to great effect in Diablo 3, and I see no reason the idea couldn’t be brought to WoW Classic. You couldn’t just import them wholesale — there aren’t really Treasure Goblins in WoW and it would be a lot of work to put them in. But you could have changes to specific encounters (as we saw in the Season of Mastery versions of Blackwing Lair and AQ) or even something like World Boss Pandemonium, where bosses like Kazzak or Azuregos would appear and attack capital cities like Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Imagine a special Dragons of Nightmare mode where all four spawned at the same time. And we also know that it’s quite possible for raid bosses to be spawned outside of raids — anyone who has ever seen a PTR or Beta wipe when the Blizzard GM’s start spawning all the various WoW bosses knows it’s possible. There could be a special Season where various raid bosses appear and besiege specific locations in the game.
Another possibility would be to do Seasons of Mastery based on events like the Scourge Invasion or the pre-Cataclysm Elemental Unrest, which technically happens at the end of Wrath. These Seasons would basically be based around those events — so a Classic Era Season of Mastery could have the Scourge Invasion permanently turned on, for example. We could even see the Zul’Gurub Corrupted Blood Plague turned into a re-occurring world event.
Maybe we could just kill Dragons (and make it really worthwhile)
One idea that could be ported to WoW Classic from Diablo 3 would be the idea of a specific Season Buff, like the Trials of the Tempest Season Theme that provided a random elemental damage buff — it would need to be designed around WoW‘s trifecta of roles so that it didn’t end up useless, but it’s not functionally that much different than the way Corrupted gear or Azerite Armor worked. We’ve seen buffs like it before with Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer. In fact, you could even combine approaches — imagine a Season of Mastery that was all about killing Dragons and getting the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer buff for doing so, whether it’s the typical Onyxia, or a dragon in a raid, like Vaelastrasz or Sindragosa. That would have the potential to change up some established raiding strategies — maybe raids would find it a good idea to take turns through UBRS for a small buff from downing General Drakkisath before hitting Ragnaros in MC, for instance.
One final idea for Seasons of Mastery that doesn’t involve WoW Classic at all would be to bring Seasons to World of Warcraft‘s current iteration. How would it work? Well, it could work basically the same, except it would be rooted in one of the expansions that won’t likely ever come to WoW Classic. It could even be worked into Chromie Time, so that during the Retail Season of Mastery you still could level to 60 (or 70 in Dragonflight) but when you did, you would be locked to one of the expansions like Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria and all the dungeon and raid content would be from that expansion, unlocking in phases. Each Season could pick a different expansion to focus on, allowing players to rediscover that expansion at the height of their powers.
These are some ideas for how the Season of Mastery — probably the best addition WoW Classic has made — could be expanded and used to liven up gameplay in the future. If you have more, the comments await you. We’re very curious to see what you’d come up with.
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