I believe the game had around 5 or 6 million players when TBC launched, and around 11 million when Wotlk launched. Sharding and layering did not exist for the launch of either game.
To hear Blizzard talk now, layering is a neccesity. Yet somehow 11 million players all logged in at once and were able to play in Wotlk. I’m not saying it was a perfect experience, but people logged, dealt with some crowded zones for a little bit and then just played the game.
Is it overly simplistic to just ask for that again? The wide ranging, worldwide problems that layering is causing just does not seem worth the small benefit of less crowded starter zones for a day or two.
Except Blizzard would open fewer servers out of necessity and we’d have a much higher count of people rolling (as it takes less to play, since everyone has a sub already) who might not stay past the first week.
Blizzard doesn’t want to have ghost towns this time around, which it will if it doesn’t go with some form of protection. And this also lets people play on a more naturally populated realm with layers.
By TBC there were something like 300+ servers just in the North America region.
They’re saying we’ll have a lean number of servers at launch, which has put forward expectations of anywhere from 10 to 50.
Besides, if they just wanted to avoid queues, they could spin up hundreds of servers for very little cost. The problem is twofold. High burst population, low residual population. Its not the same environment because TBC was still a rapidly growing game.
Uh… except the massive lag, server crashed, bottle necks, and the like. Plus they’re private servers, they have nowhere near the amount of people on them. I fully understand some got to very high populations but they always had issue with latency and stability.
Up to you. I’ve seen what happened on a number of servers. Personally I’ll take the stability and low ping, and the more natural leveling experience. Layering is a necessary evil and it will be temporary.
Not being able to hop between layers makes it harder to play with friends. In reality, you should have a cooldown on layer hopping so you can’t do it regularly. Especially when it comes to node and rare spawns.
But that is almost exactly how it works in reality. When layering will be removed is dependent on population, but no later than P2.
My server which was a Medium-High population realm (Warsong) had maybe 300-400 player queue that took only 2 or 3 minutes. A 5,000 player queue was more around 40 minutes. The queues only lasted 3 or 4 days until most people hit 70/80. There was no queue at non-peak times. Maybe a full server would have a queue of less than 1,000 that would clear in 7 or 8 minutes.