David Hollingsworth
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last seven years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist.

WoW: Classic TBC Raid And Arena Content Release Timeline, Phase 1 Through 5

An image from the Netherstone zone in outland shows a rock giant stalking the blasted landscape outside of a mana siphon
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With Classic TBC we see Blizzard again introduce the phased release of content. One major change is Blizzard altering the actual release of raid content to better fit the pace of Classic.


In Classic, we saw Blizzard match the release patch release of Vanilla content with a phase of release for Classic. While we saw a few things altered, such as BG releases and the honor system, for the most part, each phase was tied to a content patch. For TBC, however, Blizzard looks set to change that, especially for phase 1 and 2.

What patch will TBC Classic launch with?

TBC Classic will use the patch 2.4.3 TBC client. This means like Classic, we’ll see the end of expansion class tuning, rather than the TBC launch tuning. This won’t impact the bosses, however, as they’ll launch in their original state, bar any unkillable bosses.

What content will be included in each phase?

  • Phase 1 - TBC release, Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair released
  • Phase 2 - Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep released
  • Phase 3 -  Hyjal, Black Temple
  • Phase 4 - Zul’aman
  • Phase 5 - Sunwell Plateau release alongside new daily quest hub

When will each phase of TBC Classic release?

Phase 1 will launch when TBC Classic goes live on June 1st. As for the other phases, we won’t know a date until closer to their release. If we assume Blizzard pace it out like Classic, we’d expect content to drop in 4-6 month intervals.

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When will each PvP season start?

With TBC Classic, one thing that’s changing is the way Arena, and PvP balance will work. For a start, we’ll be getting Arena Season 1 at launch, with what would have been Season 4 balance changes. Ultimately, this makes for an unknown world of Arena. With Season 1 items (bar the old launch raids) but Season 4 balance changes.

The Nagrand Arena flies the banners of the Horde from it's stone rampartsThe Nagrand Arena will be host to many an Arena match during TBC Classic

  • Phase 1 for Arena Season 1
  • Phase 2 for Arena Season 2
  • Phase 3 for Arena Season 3
  • Phase 4 - no new Arena Season
  • Phase 5 for Arena Season 4

Blizzard brings #Changes

In a slight detour from the philosophy of Classic, Blizzard has sought to make changes to TBC Classic, especially the content release. The two most notable changes are that Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Caverns won’t launch at the same time as TBC, instead, they’ll move to phase 2.

Ultimately, having both Tier 4 and Tier 5 raids out at the same time goes against Blizzard's formula for content releases. In OG TBC, however, the idea was to have Karazhan (releasing in phase 1 as normal) as the smaller raid, with teams moving onto the larger 25-man raids. In reality (and speaking from experience) what happened was guilds got stuck in Karazhan as feeder guilds for larger 25-man guilds looking to push content. This change should solve that problem, allowing guilds more time to gear up before Phase 2.

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The second major change comes in PvP, specifically Arena. In TBC at release, Arena Season 1 started shortly after launch. That won’t change here, however, we’ll be working off of the Season 4 balance patch, making the TBC Classic Arena Season 1 a very different affair. The rest of the Seasons will release with each new phase, except for phase 4 (Zul-Aman) which won’t bring a new Arena Season.

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