Once in a layer, you should stay in that layer unless ‘invited’ to a different layer. The reason:
Imagine a guild with 100 members. The GM gets all member invited to his layer. Everyone is happy. Then that night everyone logs out The next morning everyone logs back in. The guild is now randomly distributed across layers and the gathering-of-members starts all over again. Every time a guild member re-logs there is a chance to be placed in a different layer than his guild. Obviously layering can not work this way.
Additionally, to avoid exploits changing layers should be time-restricted like the Hearthstone.
These inn/city layer change solutions aren’t very good because it’s going to constantly drag you into different layers outside the city automatically and you will have to constantly go back to switch from something they are doing on their end. At that point just don’t have layering.
You can’t just restrict changes like that though because the whole point of it according to Blizzard is to control busy areas so starting zones, popular areas, or wpvp will be switching regardless. If you are jumping between friends or guildies and can’t join them until you go to a rested area this is going to cause extreme confusion and hassle. As I said before just drop layering at that point as that’s where the problem lies. WoW was fine before layering and it doesn’t need it.
The purpose is not to control starting zones, according to Blizzard. It’s to control population. Layers allow them to simulate Vanilla populations. Because they’re more confident than us that tourists will get to level 12. Layer changes are semi-destructive to the “Vanilla population” goal, so they should be limited, and using an Inn or City ensures that you will never see someone randomly disappear (except logging out) in the middle of a field or mid fight. It’s almost an active decision to change layers instead of changing whenever.
During the first few weeks, how many friends and guildies are you group hopping between constantly? If its for questing, changing groups constantly will be pointless. If its for fun and discussion, then do it in a city and no delays.
Hassles changing layers is a good thing and part of the point. You don’t want it to be easy for people to node farm multiple layers, or escape PVP because they joined a group.
WoW Launch in 2004 was an abysmal disaster. If you think it was “fine” at launch, you weren’t there. They are refusing to have the same problems this time, and in 2019 they have a different problem in that the population of tourists is likely to hit all at once, front-loaded, unlike 2004 when box sales limited growth to a natural progression.
Classic is not Vanilla. It does have unique challenges in the first few weeks. And Ion promised to remove it after those first few weeks.
I don’t quite get the necessity of the Inn or City thing? I must be missing something.
Why not just have layer-summoning where you can only accept a layer-summon no more frequently than once per hour regardless of location. Other than being summoned to another layer, you stay in the layer you were assigned.
You can’t easily check multiple layers for nodes or rares. If you have to return to an Inn every time you want to change layers, you can’t guarantee that someone else isn’t going to saunter by that node you’re sitting on, or kill the rare before you can get back.
Its an active decision. One of the biggest complaints about sharding (and the current issues with layering) is people disappearing in the middle of a fight, or in the field as you run past. That effect is jarring and breaks the concept that you can see everyone. By using a Rested zone, you ensure that they have to actively make the decision to change layers, in a place that is unlikely to be jarring (since Inns are where everyone logs off instantly anyway).
The idea is that changing layers should not be something that can be done easily, because people should only need to do that, if they actively want to participate in a group’s activities.
One hour is far too long as a lockout. I’d put it down to 10 minutes, BUT with the added positional requirement, so that it is a hassle.
I don’t remember Blizzard ever saying that. I would guess layers get merged whenever 2 layers on the same realm have their populations reduced to the point it is possible to merge the two layers without negative effects. When that happens may be a long time if the populations remain strong. This is not bad as you will still be playing with the same people and not even realize the other layers exist.
They said they were investigating sharding because they knew that there would be issues in the starting areas, at Blizzcon. After everyone complained about disappearing people, their investigation led them to continental layering.
When I said in the previous post, “This is not bad as you will still be playing with the same people and not even realize the other layers exist”, this is why I believe layer hopping should be severely restricted - maybe even more than one accept per hour.