A proposal to replace layering

Layering was done to address a very specific problem; the servers being overcrowded at first, and then said servers having drastic reductions in their populations after the people leave

they cannot instead split each server into three actual servers, such as mal’ganis1, mal’ganis2, and mal’ganis3(which for the sake of example are PvP servers), for two reasons:

A: people might, with the same account, make a player of a faction on mal’ganis1, and also make a player on mal’ganis2 of a different faction; in the event of a server merger, said player would either have to delete one of those characters, or not be subject to the one-faction-per-PvP-server character creation restriction; this only applies to PvP servers
B: player names and guild names between mal’ganis2 and mal’ganis3 may be shared, causing the involved players and guilds to have to change their names; this would apply to all servers

but this doesn’t have to be the case

what if, across mal’ganis1, mal’ganis2, and mal’ganis3, which would all exist on august 27th, name restrictions and PvP-based-faction-based character creation restrictions were shared across mal’ganis1, mal’ganis2, and mal’ganis 3, and then, after the tourists left, mal’ganis1, mal’ganis2, and mal’ganis 3 were merged together?
EDIT: to clarify, this would be different than layering because the players could choose which server(1, 2, 3) to play on before logging in and would have their character be bound to one server(1, 2, or 3), all of which would be merged in phase 2

why does there have to be something as convoluted and detrimental as layering, when you could do this instead?

I mean, you’ve already sort-of splitted each realm into three thirds, so why not just have them be three servers that eventually get permanently merged instead?

is it because… you want to be able to re-split the realm after merging it, like when the AQ gates open? thats the only reason that I can think of, and that’d be A HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE REASON THAT WOULD CAUSE A GREAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR PLAYERBASE TO QUIT

so, is there anything wrong with my proposal to replace layering; is there something that I’m missing, something that would cause it to not work, or would it be worse than layering?
I mostly wrote this on a whim, fyi

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Layering is fine. A good solution to a significant problem. Relax. Very, very few will quit over it. Most of us will not even know it’s happening. And it will be gone by Phase 2.


This is literally what layering is.


layering has an important difference
when you log into the server, you’re assigned to a random layer
sure, inviting someone to a group that you’re friended with can teleport them to your layer and vice-versa, but layering hinders the creation of friendships because, well, imagine seeing the same guy doing alot of the quests you’re doing when you’re questing for 20 levels straight

that just won’t happen with layering because you’ll be alot less likely to recognize the guy until after the server stops being layered because you’ll see him one third as often on average as you otherwise would

i mean yeah you might say something to him the first time you see him if you’re that kinda person, but sometimes people don’t really become friends until the 8th time or something

after people finish levelling up(and are finished making characters), all thats left is making friends while farming, doing dungeons, or raiding
even if people are only gonna be at level 30 or so before phase 1 ends, thats still alot of time to recognize people taken away from people

tourists just aren’t gonna quest or otherwise play with the same vigor that people who plan to stay are

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Its good thinking, but having 3 separate servers like that with the intent to merge them is worse for the community of the server than layering. Layering is pseudo servers. Everyone can still play together, and everyone still gets to know everyone on the server with layering, which won’t happen with the 3 server idea proposed. Further, it makes it hard for guilds and friends to play together on their intended server until the merger happens. Everyone will try to get on the same servers, and in the end we get all the problems we had anyways.

Meanwhile the only thing good about the proposed idea over layering is that your idea won’t allow for the possibility of layer hopping… but thats not going to be as big of a problem as everyone pretends. Aside from people who get ahead of the pack, its almost guaranteed that if your spot is permafarmed, its probably permafarmed on the other 1 or 2 layers too, so hopping doesn’t matter. Its only in emptier zones where it matters, and that only effects a very small portion of people who get ahead of the curve. By the time server player pops spread out enough that it can be abused in most places, chances are the layer numbers will drop and we are all fine anyways.

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First, they have already said they will 100% will not have layering beyond phase 1, and when the time comes for AQ to open, they aren’t going to turn it on again, and that it will be interesting to see how the event will go.

Second, you are completely not seeing a huge drawback to your great plan. What will happen with your solution is that let’s assume there exactly 9000 people trying to play on Mal’Ganis. If you hard split them into 3 realms, you will have 3 distinct communities that you plan to eventually just smash together. Your server troll works hard to make a reputation for himself, and you certainly know him. Then 1 month later, they merge the servers. Suddenly 2 out of 3 people you run into will be strangers. The majority of the people on the server won’t know at first not to take that dude seriously ever… or who they can trust to get enchants from… or who will ninja loot their items in dungeons.

With the layering you have those same 9000 people, on the same 3 separated groups… for 1 day. Then some people log off, pop drops down to 1 layer overnight. Next day you are at 9000 again, and there are 3 layers but the players have been mixed around and you get to meet new people from your same realm. The server troll who was plaguing your layer yesterday is gone today because he’s off annoying layer 2 now. Rinse and repeat the mixing for a few days and everyone on the entire realm has seen this troll and knows his name already… and who they can trust for enchants… and who will ninja their loot in dungeons.

By the end of week 1, they only need 2 layers because Bob, Sally, and Tim can only play on wednesday and thursday, but Eric, John, and Susan can only play on sat/sun. Instead of waiting for a month to merge it all and know the community, people on the layered version got to know each other as they leveled up, and became more cohesive as population died down rather than have a hectic launch followed by a massive wave of strangers.

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It will be removed by phase two because of world bosses. It might also be removed before then also depending on how many people are playing.

well, thats what I get for writing the OP on a whim; I forgot that they said they won’t do it for AQ and didn’t realize that mal’ganis3 might have alot less people than mal’ganis1 and 2, and theres the part about world bosses

I guess layering would work out better, then

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I think the best fix to most of the layering issues would be to restrict layer hopping so that you will only jump to another layer if you are in a capital city (or rest zone). In addition when you enter an instance from any layer you all go to the same instance.

This would prevent people from hopping layers at important resource nodes and stop people dodging world pvp. Rest zones are pretty easy to get to in most zones so its not a huge waste of time to go back to an inn before moving out to quest with your friends on a different layer.

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Congratulations you basically described layering.

I’m waiting to see from the Beta how it’s exactly going to work.

First stress test should give us at least a little glimpse into the whole process and I suspect the third stress test will show us what layering is like with how ever many full shards per server they are planning to go with for launch

Because that is basically what they are doing, setting up separate sections for the overflow to go until the tourists leave, without having to actually go through the process of setting up servers that will just be merged out anyway.

Layering is actually way better than a dozen dead servers.

Layering is being done because it costs blizzard very little and resolves a launch day dilemma. I can think of better systems, but there’s a good chance they’d cost blizz money. Layering is the minimal cost solution since it just takes sharding and increases the number of people and the scope. It’s a bad solution, but it’s a cheap solution and it will hopefully go away when they say it will.

The problem of restrictions on layer movement is that they don’t have separate login servers.

True, but it feels like it is something possible to accomplish given all the time they have invested in phasing/sharding/layering tech. And if it is possible to restrict players from layer hopping on a whim in the open world then you are basically fixing the major issues with the layering system.

Besides… i think thematically its kind of cool that you have to meet up with your friends at the local inn before heading out on an adventure xD.

Well hopefully, a month after launch, it won’t matter because there won’t be any more layering.

Just don’t go upstairs in the goldshire inn on an RP server at night.

Basically what I proposed a couple days ago.

At a guess: Layering is the solution because it’s similar to doing a split server, but it wouldn’t take as much resources to pull off because it’s functionally just sharding with different rules to it.

If Classic really is being built with a smaller team, it’d probably be a pretty tall order to do sub-servers with shared rules in addition to actually making Classic.