The Season of mastery is the WoW Classic, as it should have been from the beginning – at least think players.
For a few days now, Blizzard has started the season of mastery in World of Warcraft. This is a modification of the original “Classic” idea, with a few special rules. So there are new content phases faster and certain design adjustments have been made.
- Black Lotus is no longer just a handful of spawn points per area, but can rarely be found on all Endgame herbs.
- The DoT limit has been lifted so that warlocks and shadow priests have a place in raid groups.
- Bosses have new or improved skills and more health, which makes them more challenging.
You know that there are definitely some puristic players out there who only recognize the World of Warcraft as the “right” WoW right after the original release and grind their teeth about every little change in this state.
At that time, every change was fought with hands and feet, especially by a rather noisy group who wanted to keep their “pure” World of Warcraft. But reality quickly showed that even if the game doesn’t change, the players themselves have long since changed.
- There were no more battles in Alterac Valley where a few players were fishing peacefully, someone was doing quests, and somehow some other little mini-battle was going on everywhere.
- Raid bosses fell on the first attempt.
- World Buffs did not become a special bonus but became a permanent standard that had to be maintained.
World of Warcraft Classic was played “more efficiently” without being really fun at this level.
Season of mastery just suits modern style of play. The mere fact that you no longer have to wait 30 minutes for the dodgy dwarf from iron forge to arrive when you’re forming a group for the visit to the Dead Mine increases the motivation. Summoning a group of players missing at the meeting stones is a feature from the more modern WoW versions – but it makes the game a lot better.
It ensures that the game cherishes your time in Azeroth. Yes, it used to be kind of okay to wait an hour for the last snoring nose, who “just had to get one more quest” from the other end of the world and died 3 times in the process. In the past, the only thing that somehow suffered from it was the first two hours of lessons, which you had to endure easily overtired. There was still almost unlimited free time.
Today you just don’t have the time anymore. If you have to wait half an hour for someone today, you find that impolite and you can literally see the remaining time of the weekend slip through your fingers.
And no, we don’t mean that things should never be slower and more relaxed. They are allowed to. Games like Minecraft are slow and relaxing, and so is World of Warcraft for a long time. But there is a difference between leisurely gaming and waiting where nothing happens.
The season of mastery feels like time well invested. The changes make the game attractive to players, but are essentially still WoW Classic and thus a nice contrast to Shadowlands. It’s good that the idea of #NoChanges didn’t last long. Because that ultimately created the better game for many players.
Can the championship season captivate as it did World of Warcraft 17 years ago? No, not guaranteed. But it eliminates almost all points of criticism that many had at the launch of “WoW Classic” and that made sure that shortly after level 60 and with the purchase of the epic night saber as a mount, many no longer logged in.
The season of mastery is not the “WoW from back then” – that is clear. But it plays like the WoW from back then in your memories. And a few changes were enough for that.