World of Warcraft: Classic Gates of Ahn'Qiraj artwork

[Update #2]: Blizzard has detailed the changes coming with World of Warcraft Classic's Season of Mastery servers.

[Update]: After a successful beta, World of Warcraft Classic's fresh servers are coming this November 16 with the Season of Mastery.

While you can technically play World of Warcraft: Classic these days on the special forever-Classic servers, it's unfortunately a rather depressing experience. Not only is there a very small amount of players to group up with as you journey towards level 60, but the ones that are there are already heavily entrenched so you're pretty much doomed to forever play catch-up as a new player.

Thankfully, according to the latest announcement from Blizzard, that whole mess will soon be a thing of the past! On October 5th as a part of the "Season of Mastery" Blizzard will launch a whole bunch of fresh World of Warcraft: Classic servers into Open Beta testing, all of which will arrive alongside some interesting tweaks to make the whole experience a bit more exciting for everyone involved.

Speaking of which, the experience required to get to level 60 will be getting reduced to Burning Crusade Classic levels, which should make the whole process a lot more fluid, especially towards the end. Additionally, in order to facilitate grouping up and doing dungeons even while leveling, the often useless Meeting Stones will be converted into Summoning Stones that let you bring your laziest members to the dungeon entrance instantaneously.

On the other hand, raids will be getting a bit more difficult in order to prevent players from simply steamrolling their way through them once more. World buffs will be disabled while in raids, bosses will have increased health and additional mechanics, and in order to make as many classes as viable as possible, the 16 debuff limit will be entirely removed!

The final thing worth mentioning is that these new Classic servers will progress a fair bit faster than the original ones. As such, you can expect to see major updates every two months, with every piece of content hopefully unlocked by the end of the first year. Sounds like a pretty good time to me!

Once the servers go live (and inevitably down due to the massive influx of players) I'll make sure to let you know. Until then you can read a little bit more about the Season of Mastery and Blizzard's plans for Classic's future over at the World of Warcraft website. Enjoy!