WoW: Season of Discovery Phase 4 patch notes: Molten Core, Rune changes, more

James Lynch
Players fight Ragnaros in Molten Core in Season of Discovery

World of Warcraft: Season of Discovery enters its final phase on July 11, and it’s bringing with it the biggest set of changes yet.

Season of Discovery has widely been seen as Blizzard testing the waters for the highly requested Classic+. It has proved popular among players overall, though some of the more out there experiments have failed to pay off fully.

For those who have moved away from the game or are unhappy with its current state, Phase 4 looks set to change the landscape entirely. Here’s the full breakdown of all of the upcoming changes in Season of Discovery’s final phase.

What’s changed in the July 11 update?

The arrival of Molten Core is the centerpiece activity, operating as a sprawling 20-man raid dungeon with new bosses and increased mechanical challenges throughout. Runes will continue to play a central role as players journey to Level 60, with a new cloak slot to take advantage of.

Blackrock Depths, Blackrock Spire, Dire Maul, Scholomance and Stratholme will all become available, with new rewards and redesigned encounters in some cases. The much-maligned Nightmare Incursions are also being drastically changed, becoming daily quest hubs.

Season of Discovery Phase 4 full patch notes

A player discovers a Rune in Season of Discovery bots


  • All cosmetic trinkets such as the Atal’alarion’s Enchanted Boulder and the Bargain Bush are no longer trinkets and may now be placed in the Keyring for storage. Now, when you obtain one of these items, it will go directly to the keyring automatically. Please be sure to check there first if you feel you misplaced or lost the item.
    • Developers’ notes: Inventory space in Season of Discovery is at a premium, but due to the fact the Classic Era client does not yet have the full collections interface that Cataclysm Classic has, we’ve enabled these items to function as toys and be stored in the Keyring as a stopgap solution so that players don’t feel like they have to choose between a fun toy item and bag space. This is not a permanent solution.
  • Ziri Littlesprocket in Gnomeregan now has an option to allow players who own the 60% version of the Florescent Green Mechanostrider to obtain for a 100% speed version of the mount in exchange for 800g plus the original mount item.
  • Mai’zin in Stranglethorn Vale ha had a few updates to his wares.
    • He will offer players the option to upgrade their Golden Sabercat or Mottled Blood Raptor to a 100% version of the mount for 800g plus the original mount item.
    • Bloodstained Commendation honor tokens are now purchasable for 25 Copper Slaughter Coins.
      • Slaughter Coins are the new Blood Moon Currency earnable from player kills above level 58.
  • The Alliance have gained access to a version of the Warchief’s Blessing world buff effect: The Might of Stormwind. This new buff is gained for turning in a new quest “End of the Dark Horde” in Stormwind and is mutually exclusive with Warchief’s Blessing.
  • The maximum of Rank 10 is now available in PvP.

Rune Engraving and Discoveries

  • Players may now earn additional runes for the cloak slot as well as special weapon skill and spell school specialization runes for the ring slots. These runes are hidden in various places all across Azeroth, waiting to be discovered. Good luck and happy hunting!
  • A number of former rune abilities have been converted to baseline abilities and are now learned via spell books. These and other special Season of Discovery spell books are available to purchase from Milton Sheaf in the Stormwind Keep library in Stormwind for alliance players, and from Zor Lonetree at Grommash Hold in the Valley of Wisdom in Orgrimmar for horde players.
  • Priests can now discover a method to unlock the ability for utilize a second Priest-specific racial ability such as Fear Ward, Devouring Plague, and Starshards.
    • Developers’ notes: We’re going to be keeping the nature of this discovery secret, but there are elements of this process that involve a one-time server-wide unlock. May the power of the light (or shadow) guide your way!

Raids and Dungeons

  • Starting on July 18, Azuregos and Doom Lord Kazzak will become available as instanced single-boss raid encounters. You may find portals to the Tainted Scar in the Blasted Lands and to the Storm Cliffs in Azshara.
    • These encounters are designed to be completed with 20 players but the instances themselves allow up to 40 players to be present. The difficulty and number of loot drops does not scale according to the number of players in the instance, however.
    • These two raids reset twice per week.
  • Starting on July 25, Onyxia’s Lair becomes available.
    • Like Azuregos and Kazzak, this encounter is tuned for 20 players, but the instance allows up to 40 players to be present. The difficulty and number of rewards does not change based on the number of players present, however.
    • This raid resets twice per week.
  • Starting on July 25, The Molten Core becomes available.
    • In Season of Discovery Molten Core is a 20-player raid featuring 11 bosses. Players will find a new variable difficulty system in place to allow for additional challenges and in some cases, additional rewards. Players may speak with the Hydraxian Waterlords agent inside the raid instance to change the difficulty.
    • This raid resets once per week.
  • Bosses in the Sunken Temple raid now provide a sizable amount of experience points when killed.
    • The Sunken Temple raid now resets twice per week.
  • Many classic Molten Core raid drops and endgame dungeon drops have been revamped for Season of Discovery. Additionally, many brand-new item rewards have been added to various different types of endgame content for players to discover.
  • A new max-level dungeon has been added to the game. Players will need to explore Azeroth to discover how to attune to and access this new dungeon.
  • Most dungeon boss creatures over level 55 will now drop a currency called Tarnished Undermine Real which may be exchanged to a certain vendor in Booty Bay for exciting rewards.
  • This currency drops from each boss once per day for each player in the group.
  • The Dungeon Upgrade set item quests will be available in the game starting on July 11 along with the launch of Phase 4. Players can discover new and improved versions of the classic 8-piece dungeon sets in various classic dungeons and upgrade these items into powerful new versions with several role-specific variants via the Dungeon Upgrade quest chain.

World Events

  • A new timed event has been added to the Searing Gorge, Blackrock Mountain, and Burning Steppes: Blackrock Eruption.
    • Every 2 hours, Blackrock Mountain will become unstable, causing additional spawns to appear and adding additional environmental hazards to certain areas. While the event is active, players will gain access to a number of daily quests that will award reputation with The Thorium Brotherhood and Hydraxian Waterlords.
    • Participating in daily quests and killing certain event-specific creatures in these zones will award players with Firelands Embers which can be exchanged along with Thorium Brotherhood crafted items to upgrade said crafted items into stronger variants. These items may be exchanged at Lohktos Darkbargainer in Blackrock Depths.
    • While the event is active, player kills award zero Honor in Searing Gorge or Burning Steppes, however, player kills award triple Honor inside Blackrock Mountain itself.
  • Nightmare Incursions event and quests have been adjusted.
    • The repeatable mission quests have been converted to daily quests and may no longer be repeated multiple times on the same day.
    • Daily quests now have a maximum level and can no longer be obtained. For Feralas and Hinterlands this is level 53.
    • For players at max level wishing to finish off their Emerald Wardens reputation, special repeatable versions of the Moonstones, Moon Dragon Scales, and Moonroot gathering quests are available. These quests award no gold or experience but continue to award reputation through exalted with the Emerald Wardens.
    • The power level of certain creatures within Nightmare Incursions has been reduced to make these quests more manageable in smaller groups or solo.


  • The Argent Dawn and Timbermaw Hold factions’ quartermaster vendors now allow players to exchange the base version of the crafted reputation items that they previously offered along with some other thematically appropriate materials for high quality epic versions of those same items.
  • These new upgrade items may be purchased at Honored with Argent Dawn and Friendly with Timbermaw Hold respectively. These items are Bind on Pickup and require skill in the profession correlating with the item themselves to be worn.
    • Developers’ notes: These new epic upgrade items are in many cases pre-raid best-in-slot or outright best-in-slot, for Phase 4, for one or more classes or roles. Our intent here is to take crafted recipes that were lackluster before and give players a reason to craft and trade them so that they may be upgraded. We also want to give players with Blacksmithing, Tailoring, or Leatherworking a selection of very good items to work towards that are likely to maintain their value for a decent timeframe.
  • Additional rewards have been added for earning different levels of Hydraxian Waterlords reputation. Duke Hydraxis in Azshara will make his selection of goods available when players reach Honored or better with the Hydraxian Waterlords.

That’s all there is to know. Phase 4 goes live at 1:00 p.m. PDT on July 11, so make sure to log in as soon as possible to avoid potential queues.

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