World of Warcraft Classic’s wacky Season of Discovery servers has finally hit Phase 2, and with that advance comes an avalanche of new content. WoW players will match up against each other in PVP contests and new dungeons, a new raid and new quests as they move from level 25 to the new cap of 40.
There are new runes to discover, and class quests too, both of which can offer your character more choice and playstyle variance. With that in mind, here’s everything you should check out in Phase 2 of the WoW Classic Season of Discovery.
A new raid instance awaits
Gnomeregan, a dungeon that sits just outside Ironforge in Dun Morogh, has been revamped as the next WoW Classic Season of Discovery 10-man raid. If you played much of the last season, you'll know that Black Fathom Deeps, in Ashenvale had similar treatment.
Gnomeregan is intended for level 40 players and has six bosses. Five have been redesigned from the original dungeon, and one is brand new. New areas have been added to the raid, and additional loot and trinkets have been added. Druids, rejoice: The Automatic Crowd Pummeler mace is here, but unlike its Classic predecessor, it’s a permanent item that you don’t have to repeatedly farm.
Blizzard has said that this raid will include a world buff for players, class sets and a new profession quest chain to make even more powerful items. Unlike Black Fathom Deeps, Gnomeregan is available from the Phase 2 launch.
New runes and class quests to add items, mounts and abilities
Want to make your paladin ranged, or your hunter melee? Build on that tanking mage or shaman? There are new runes to engrave on your gear in Phase 2 that will add new abilities for every class.
There are also the many class quests included in this phase, including mounts for paladins and warlocks, totems for shamans, Berserker Stance and Intercept for warriors and a pile of gear for some lucky classes.
For all classes, don’t forget you can officially get mounts at level 40, so save up that gold!
Blizzard has also said that books will be added that teach players new spells for their classes, and they don’t require runes. These are mostly quality-of-life improvements. Some examples: Paladins will get a skill that increases the duration of their blessings, shamans can cast their totems at range, and rogues should have the ability to move combo points from target to target.
These books will drop from five-player dungeons in the new phase.
PVP adventures in Stranglethorn Vale
Every three hours, a new Blood Moon event at the southern end of Eastern Kingdoms will cause the entire zone to be covered in red fog. The event lasts for 30 minutes and killing other players in the area during that time will give you currency that you can use to buy rewards, including cat and raptor mounts, at a vendor just outside the Gurubashi Arena. Groups are welcome, but raid groups will be severely disadvantaged.
Quests in the area will give Arathi Basin PvP reputation. The previous Ashenvale PVP zone will move to a three-hour timer with this update as well, though its world buff won’t work after level 39.
Player levels won’t be limited in the zone, but the creatures here are a challenge even for level 40 players at times, so this is likely a max-level-only event. If you don’t feel like being hunted, you can speak with a Zandalari Embassy to opt out while questing or farming in the area.
PVP players will also get a little quality of life improvement when queueing for other types of content. Blizzard’s matchmaking system will now try to match groups of five or less who queue for PVP against other groups of a similar size, and groups of six or more against other similarly sized groups This is an attempt to match pre-made groups against each other as often as possible.
Profession updates abound
Phase 2 will bring about 20 new recipes in Alchemy, Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing. A new epic quest chain to unlock some crafting will also land this phase. Professions will now cap at 225, but specializations won’t be available yet–that’s coming in Phase 3. In addition to the new crafting quest chain from Gnomeregan mentioned above, new crafting materials are being added.
Some crafters will be able to make buff items that only work on themselves: enchanters, for example, can make a sigil that adds damage and healing for 30 minutes, while alchemists can create a healing and mana potion that also adds temporarily to their damage output.
No more GDKP runs
The part of Phase 2 attracting the most discussion right now is a new provision that eliminates GDKP runs from the game. These runs brought players together for raids, allowing participants to bid on items that dropped with in-game gold that would then go into a pot. At the end of the raid, the pot would be split between all players.
When it works well, GDKP runs give better-geared players gold (because they don’t often buy items), and lesser-geared players the chance to get gear they might not be able to otherwise. But it can also be a way for botters to “launder” gold, and the ability to buy gear makes some players irate.
Blizzard has said it plans to eliminate GDKP runs in Phase 2, while keeping an eye on the impact.
Even without GDKP, Phase 2 of WoW’s Season of Discovery offers plenty of innovative fun in a 20-year-old game. With the announcement of Phase 3, it’s clear that more SoD foolishness is on the way, so enjoy it while it lasts.