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WoW ClassicFeb 8, 2024 10:00 am CT

Everything you need to know about WoW Classic Season of Discovery — Phase 2 now live!

WoW Classic Season of Discovery offers us a new — and much changed — version of WoW Classic. In this season, we’re exploring Azeroth to find new, unexpected places in the same old world. But the biggest gameplay change is the addition of Runes, which will give us new class abilities and truly shake up the world. All in all, this season intends to send players to every corner of the world, discovering hidden treasures (and hopefully Runes) in new locations, raids, and quests.

Like other Classic content, Season of Discovery is rolling out in phases, with each phase adding Runes, a revamped raid, and a new event that we’ve never seen in Classic before. And with Season of Discovery Phase 2 launching today on February 8, it’s time to take a look at what’s new in the latest phase — for newcomers and existing players alike.

Season of Discovery Phase 2 is now live, and all of the Phase 2 content below is available now. We’ll see you in Azeroth!

Season of Discovery realms

There are a relatively small number of Season of Discovery realms: only eight, with two of them being AU realms. However, each realm supports a higher number of players (using the tech rolled out in patch 1.14.4) than we saw in vanilla (or Classic) WoW before. Blizzard has put extra effort into actively managing realm population, trying to avoid unbalanced PVP realms and overcrowded mega-realms and has attempted to maintain faction balance on PVP realms.

There have been no new Season of Discovery realms since launch, so if you’re starting a new character these are still your realm options:

  • PVE: Wild Growth, Penance (AU)
  • PVP: Living Flame, Lone Wolf, Shadow Strike (AU)
  • RP: Lava Lash
  • RP-PVP: Crusader Strike, Chaos Bolt

Season of Discovery Phases

Like other WoW Classic launches, Season of Discovery will roll out across several Phases, each broken down by level range:

  • Phase 1:
    • Level cap: 25
    • New content: Blackfathom Deeps raid, Battle for Ashenvale PVP event, Runes for chest, pants, and gloves
  • Phase 2:
    • Release date: February 8
    • Level cap: 40
    • New content: Gnomeregan raid,  Blood Moon free-for-all PVP event, Runes for belt and boots slots
  • Phase 3:
    • Release date: Spring 2024
    • Level cap: 50
    • New content: New Runes, new raid
  • Phase 4:
    • Release date: Summer 2024
    • Level cap: 60
    • New content: New Runes, end game activities
  • Phase 5:
    • Release date: Autumn 2024
    • Level cap: 60
    • New content: End game content updates

Runes in Season of Discovery, including new belt and boot runes for Phase 2

Throughout Season of Discovery, you’ll find Runes in various ways, then engrave them onto your gear to gain their effects. When the season first launched, Runes were available for chest, gloves, and leg armor slots, and in Phase 2 you can also equip Runes for belt and boots slots, adding new combinations. In later phases, even more Runes will be added.

Here’s the list of Runes in Season of Discovery as of Phase 2 — though be aware that some of these datamined Runes may not arrive until later phases. Watch this space for more details on Runes in Phase 2 as they become available.

Runes will be applied via Rune Engraving, an easy to use feature that lets you swap Runes any time you’re out of combat. Once you discover a Rune, it’s available to apply to the appropriate type of gear with a click from your character screen. The hard part will be finding these Runes: you’ll be directed to your first Rune at level 2 via a quest from your class trainer, but after that you’ll need to scour Azeroth to find more Runes. If you want to skip the mystery, Wowhead has a list of all of the Runes in Phase 1 and how to get them.

Some Runes are available via Waylaid Supplies quests that randomly drop throughout the world. Here’s what you need to know about completing Waylaid Supplies quests.

Gnomeregan raid in Season of Discovery Phase 2

Each Phase of Season of Discovery includes a new raid intended to match the difficulty level of traditional end-game raids, even though they’re at lower levels. In Phase 1, we ventured into a revamped version of Blackfathom Deeps at level 25, and in Phase 2 we’re heading to Gnomeregan, redesigned as a 10-player raid for level 40 players. The new raid has updated versions of the same encounters as the original, but with one additional, as yet unknown, boss.

Here are the encounters to look forward to in Gnomeregan:

  • Grubbis
  • Viscous Fallout
  • Electrocutioner 6000
  • Crowd Pummeler 9-60
  • Mekgineer Thermaplugg
  • Unknown!

Blood Moon PVP event in Season of Discovery Phase 2

In Phase 1 we had the Battle for Ashenvale event, but phase 2 is taking us to Stranglethorn Vale for the Blood Moon, a free-for-all PVP extravaganza that takes place every three hours, with each event lasting 30 minutes. (Battle for Ashenvale will still be available, on its own three hour timer that’s offset from Blood Moon so you can participate in both if you wish.)

When a red haze blankets Stranglethorn Vale, the Blood Moon has begun. For the next half hour, you can kill any player in the event zone, regardless of faction. Killing players will earn you currency that you can spend on various rewards, including two new faction-agnostic mounts: a mountain lion and a raptor.

Questing in Stranglethorn Vale but don’t want to get into the brawl? You can speak with the Zandalari Embassy in Booty Bay to opt out of the event.

What else is new in Phase 2?

In addition to new Runes, players will also be able to find new skill books in dungeons, that enhance your existing abilities without taking up a Rune slot. We don’t know all the details on these skill books yet, but Blizzard calls them quality of life improvements, addressing specific class problems like short Aura duration for Paladin Blessings and totem control for Shaman.

There are also new crafting patterns to collect, with BOP epic gear for every armor type, bombs and item buffs for engineers, three new enchants, and a “mildly irradiating” rejuvenation potion for alchemists. Players will also be able to unlock higher level crafting and enchants simply because of the increased level cap. Check out our list of Classic enchants to see what you can access.

Is it too late to start playing Season of Discovery?

Even if you haven’t logged on to the latest WoW Classic season, it isn’t too late to jump in and catch up with your friends. After Phase 2 launches, players under the original level cap of 25 will get a +50% XP bonus through level 24 to help them get into the newest content. The level 25 Blackfathom Deeps raid will also offer increased experience, so you can run the raid to help you level up.

And to keep players from falling too far behind, the new Gnomeregan raid will have an extended one-week raid lockout for the first two weeks (compared to Blackfathom Deeps’ three day lockout), so players can’t just rush to max and deck themselves out in top-tier gear immediately. So if you want to jump in and play with your friends, you have plenty of time.

What to play in WoW Classic Season of Discovery

You can play any of the classes currently available in WoW Classic: Druids, Hunters, Mages, Paladins (Alliance only), Priests, Rogues, Shaman (Horde only), Warlocks, and Warriors. However, the expanded abilities available to them could change how they play. While you’ll be able to play in the traditional style if you want, the Runes you’ll find will unlock new gameplay options. These Runes have the potential to make your class very different, so before making your decision here’s the rundown of classes available for tanking, healing, and DPSing in Season of Discovery:

  • Tanks: Druid, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Healers: Druid, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman
  • DPS: All classes

To pick your class, check out this list of Runes you can find in Season of Discovery and the powers they’ll give you. Priests should also check the list of unique Priest racial abilities and consider how they might interact with their desired skillset.

More Season of Discovery tips

We’ll have more advice once the Season kicks off, but for now we have a list of

Originally published November 30, 2023; updated February 7, 2024

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