Everything We Know About WoW Classic: Cataclysm and Season of Discovery

WoW Classic is getting treated to a “new” expansion and a fresh way to play with these new annoucements.


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WoW Classic players are in for some new content in the coming months with several announcements coming out of Blizzcon 2023, including the next step in the WoW Classic lineup and a brand new way to experience classic World of Warcraft with a unique twist.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm will be the next title that fans will get to replay through the classic servers. But it’ll bring with it a selection of quality-of-life features and much-needed updates that players have been asking for.

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WoW Classic: Cataclysm Release Date & Changes

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Classic WoW players will soon return to the broken and changed world of Azeroth in WoW Classic: Cataclysm, which will see WoW Classic: Wrath of the Lich King move over to the Cataclysm expansion. With it, players will experience the story of Cataclysm once again and explore the forever-changed Azeroth after Deathwings return.

In addition, there will be some added changes and requests from players making their way into this version of Catalysm, starting with a faster and more streamlined leveling experience so players can progress at a quicker rate. On top of that, patches containing additional content from Cataclysm will be released in a faster cadence, so there will be less time between patches and give players shorter time between “new” content.

The Titan Rune Dungeons introduced in Wraith of the Lich King will also be making a return, with dungeon difficulties and new rewards coming. An expanded collection system, with Transmogs being account-wide, guild features, updates to the auction house, and more will be detailed as the early 2024 launch approaches.

WoW Classic’s Hardcore

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Not much was discussed with WoW Classic’s Hardcore mode, but they did have one reveal for those seeking an even harder challenge from the hardcore offering called Self Found mode that will be coming in early 2024.

This optional mode will keep all the same threats and challenges of hardcore with some extra restrictions thrown in, as players will be unable to trade, send mail, or use the auction house until they reach max level, making the journey to top-level even tougher for those truly wanting to test their skills and patience.

Season of Discovery

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Arguably the most impressive and surprising announcement from Blizzcon regarding WoW Classic was the reveal of Season of Discovery, which looks to be a major shake-up for the MMO.

The most significant change is the new runes system, which will allow for some never-before-seen class builds that will shake up the game in a big way. These new runes, of which there are over 100, will be hidden out in the world for players to find via Discoveries, which involves exploration, challenges, and puzzles. Each offers players unique abilities that can be swapped out and equipped to change up their playstyle. Some of the examples mentioned included a mage being able to heal or having a rogue be able to tank, all thanks to these new abilities that draw from across WoW’s history, as well as new and reworked abilities, while also retaining that classic feel.

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There will be a level cap of 25 at the start of the season, with this increasing every few months, and with this comes endgame content centered around the lower level cap. This includes a reworked Blackfathom Deeps, which will be reimagined as a ten-player raid with reworked bosses, mechanics, and rewards for players.

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Additionally, Ashenvale will become home to a new PvP event that sees the whole zone become a battleground, with both Horde and Alliance having leaders to protect, and other small bases for players to attack and weaken enemy leaders. There will also be a mount only usable in Ashenvale that players can unlock.

An exciting tidbit mentioned during the Blizzcon presentation also hinted that future content or additions to this season could include previously unfinished and unreleased content never seen in WoW before. This means we could get some brand new content and adventure to discover in Season of Discovery.