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Plans for the WoW Classic Discovery Season – mount price halving, 100% experience bonus and 20-man raid in Molten Core

The second phase of WoW Classic’s Season of Discovery is in full swing, pushing players up to the level 40 cap – which has also resulted in higher XP and gold farming requirements compared to old Classic WoW. As a reminder, Season of Discovery (SoD) is a version of WoW Classic from a small team of developers that is completely focused on experimentation: lower level limits for phases, new abilities, low-level raids, healers-rogues, mage-warriors, etc.

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In a recent update from the developers, the SoD team presented several plans for the future, both near and far. Firstly, an experience catch-up mechanic for returning players, allowing them to reach the current content of the season faster. Previously, it was a 50% bonus, valid up to level 24 – the ceiling of the previous phase. Now this is a 100% bonus up to level 39, one level before the current phase limit.

 

We knew back in the planning stages of Discovery Season that alts would play an important role here, so we decided to add an XP bonus to previous level ranges at the start of each phase. But if you already had several characters at level 25, leveling them up now may seem like a daunting task.

 

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We originally planned to increase the bonus to 100% from levels 1 to 39 at the start of Phase 3, so this change is only slightly ahead of schedule – it happens in the middle of the current phase, rather than at the beginning of the next.

 

In addition, the price of level 40 mounts has been halved. In the classic version, you had to pay a considerable 100 gold for them – 20 for the riding skill and 80 for the horse itself. These discounts coincide with increases in quest rewards at all levels to “make leveling through quests a little more lucrative.” Which is logical – faster leveling, fewer quests, and fewer quests means a poorer character. Although it’s a shame for those who just spent a lot of money on a horse.

 

Lastly, the Molten Core raid will become 20 player when Season of Discovery reaches level 60. The team says that initially the 40-person raids were considered an important part of the experience that they didn’t want to change:

 

This is such a defining characteristic of the original WoW, and completely unique to this version of the game. It was not even considered to completely abandon them.

 

However, the studio realized that some communities might find it challenging to go from one or two 10-person raid groups to a full 40-person raid, which is fair. Imagine that you have an established team, but to complete the content you need to expand it three times – a lot can go wrong.

Instead, the SoD developers are now looking to use raids like Molten Core to bridge the gap from 10-person raids to more mainstream content. Reducing other 40-seat raids is also possible, but there are many technical nuances:

 

While it’s theoretically possible to remake all 40-man 20-man raids, this could be extremely difficult and a significant distraction from other planned features and content after level 60 in Season of Discovery… Molten Core is definitely unique in that it’s fairly simple in terms of mechanics , and under the hood, so that they are relatively easy to trim.

 

The SoD team is also planning to swap out some raids at max level 60, although this is just a rough idea for now.

 

As a “theoretical example” it cites the possibility of tweaks to typically catch-up raids like Zul’Gurub, “which could slightly increase the difficulty but also significantly improve the quality and variety of rewards, making them a viable progression path alongside other relevant phase content “.

 

Overall, it’s just nice to see SoD development continuing to hum along at full speed – especially since the controlled and cautious retail space of WoW is that way for good reasons, but it’s also a bit dry.

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