After seeing a video of a player on twitch exploit the layering system to repeatedly mine an iron vein (I would link it but the forum won’t allow me to) I have become fully persuaded that layering must not be allowed to become a reality for any significant amount of time.
I have seen many suggestions on how to possibly fix layering. Most of them are incredibly unreasonable and make for terrible game play. I have even read some suggest that going to capital cities to change layers is a good idea! (Someone plays BFA cough war mode)
Going to capital cities
Those who suggest this are clearly ignorant of what makes Classic — Classic. The game world feels alive, huge, and it takes time to traverse it. Who on earth wants to travel a long distance of time just to group with friends, guildies, or dungeon members. Obviously this suggested fix is totally awful.
But what about other fixes? Is there any reasonable solution for sharding 2.0? Afterall, everybody with an IQ above that of an apple realizes that this is merely nerfed sharding. The developers themselves called it sharding in the interview with “Tipsout”.
Placing a cooldown on swapping layers
Makes for horrible gameplay also. Imagine joining a party in order to do a question and swapping layers. Upon leaving group you are transported out of that layer back into your previous one. Now you need to do a new group quest. Too bad! Wait (x) amount of time before finding a group.
Placing a cooldown on layer changing significantly hinders and alters normal play experience in more ways than I can imagine.
Layering is indefensible
It has negative effects on PVE gameplay, PVP gameplay (hoping layers to avoid ganks or stack layers in one factions favor), and the economy.
The only clear solution is to severely limit the duration layering exists to a few days at most.
Very few players will be able to abuse the system in a couple days, those who do will be considered collateral damage to a supposed necessary evil.
And yet I must ask the question… Why is this necessary in the first place? We already know that a que system is in place (stress test) that severely limits server population. I can see two that outshine the current easy-to-abuse layering method…
Limited dynamic respawns
We have a WoW Vanilla developer (Kevin Jordan?) come out and say that dynamic respawn existed in the entire world in Vanilla anyway. Why not make use of it during the launch? Lower it or eliminate it shortly after launch (days) and there is no issue.
Nothing at all
Complex, eh? Let the population struggle. Let those who have no propensity for pain go to bed early and try again the next day. Let it ride. No harm, no foul.
Obviously, the “nothing at all” approach will lead to people not playing. That means less money for Blizzard in the long run. So that means they won’t do it. Alternatively, dynamic respawns have been proven to be useful via private servers. They were also abused on private servers, but that could easily be avoided by limiting the duration that dynamic respawns are jacked up.
I can’t see how the WoW Classic team is looking at the afformentioned video and thinking that it was okay. Is it not incredibly obvious, guys?
WE ALL STOPPED PLAYING MODERN WOW BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE SHARDING. SHARDING (LAYERING 2.0) IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY REASONS I STOPPED PLAYING. GET IT OUT OF CLASSIC.
You are seriously running the risk of alienating your core audience and destroying the launch and economy on several servers merely because you (as a company) are worried about retaining as many players as you can. Isn’t that ironic?
That same philosophy is what led to the decline of WoW in the first place!
PS: Most normal people are smart enough to know that the WoW Classic streamers are not going to critique and be negative about layering to the degree that they should be. They stand to gain (and are gaining as we speak) too much money, publicity, inside information, media privildges, etc by calming the storm. This doesn’t mean that once people like myself finally DO get our hands on this product, we won’t realize how AWFUL layering is. You are literally playing with fire and running the risk of ruining the game. Make the right choice here. Pledge to end layering after only a few DAYS. (Blizzcon Ian said few days or weeks, right? What changed to “only phase 1” 2-4 months!!!)
TLDR: Layering is awful and gamebreaking. Streamers aren’t being too vocal about it because they stand to gain too much by staying quiet and lose too much if they say anything too negative. There is no good solution for limiting layer hopping, mainly because of the unintended negative gameplay effects, therefore it should be removed or employed for an extremely short amount of time. 2-3 days seems fair. That would weather the initial storm of launch and it shouldn’t be long enough for the majority of the population to reach higher level zones and abuse the layer hopping method to gain valuable rare mats at an incredibly high rate which will break the economy. It will also make layering disappear prior to STV, which is one of the most memorable aspects of leveling on a PvP server in classic WoW, as well as Tauren Mill vs Southshore.