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WoW ClassicMay 21, 2024 2:00 pm CT

Blizzard extends WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 3 and plans a PTR for Phase 4 “soon”

Blizzard has opted to extend WoW Classic Season of Discovery Phase 3 for an undetermined amount of time heading into the summer, which also means the Phase 4 release date has been pushed back as well. Not just that, Blizzard will also break from the previously established “no PTR” practice for Season of Discovery and will run a PTR for Phase 4 that includes template characters with all runes and abilities to use and some form of level 60 tier sets to test bonuses.

Right now, there isn’t a set time for how long Phase 3 has been extended which also means that we don’t have a date for Phase 4. We also don’t know when Blizzard plans to begin Phase 4 PTR testing either. Originally, we expected Phase 4 to launch in early June to fit with the Classic 2024 roadmap but now it would make sense for the Phase 4 PTR to slot in there. Full PTRs usually run for about 2 months and since this is a limited PTR, it’ll probably run shorter than that, setting up Phase 4 to release in mid-July.

By Blizzard’s own admission, the PTR will exclude the Phase 4 activities and will be limited strictly to class and combat balancing. It sounds like players will be able to test out certain raid content (not necessarily bosses), battlegrounds, and on training dummies. An interesting tidbit here is Blizzard’s plan in Phase 4 to redesign certain classes runes and abilities by making some of them intrinsic. This PTR also gives Blizzard a chance to see how these reworks, new runes, and new abilities interact with the level 60 set bonuses and is also setting the foundation for additional Season of Discovery endgame updates still scheduled for later this year (which are likely getting pushed back as well).

When Phase 4 does arrive, Blizzard will roll it out like they did for Classic Era’s endgame content in 2019: Molten Core and Onyxia will arrive first, followed by Blackwing Lair, and then Zul’Gurub. Blizzard describes the timing between each tier as a “few weeks” which is pretty ambiguous but it likely won’t be every 2 to 3 months like the original Classic Era tier releases.

With Cataclysm Classic now live, hopefully we’ll get more information about Season of Discovery Phase 4 soon!

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