Role-Play Realms & Layers/Shards During Events

Every time there is a special event, the role-play servers find themselves in a conundrum of not having their normal communities available to them in-game unless partied due to layering/sharding. Because role-play has a lot of spontaneity with who you may be interacting with at that given moment, simply opting to ‘party up’ is not a solid option. And I’m not going to tell someone to ‘leave the city and RP elsewhere’, that’s silly.

As someone who plays this game as part of a role-play community on a role-play server, I am a tad disappointed at some of the damage the sharding of the server has caused to our primary focus: interaction with each other. We can no longer see each other! This occurs with every exclusive event and there must be some sort of workaround so the individuals who pay a subscription mainly for role-play, can enjoy their way of gaming too.

When the server is layered/sharded, it has the unfortunate effect of making the game world seem desolate. Players who may wish to interact with each other via walk-up role-play, for instance, are instead stuck in near-vacant layers with hardly anyone to interact with. Such an experience quickly leads to feelings of frustration for role-players. This can be especially damaging for those of us who rely on shared experiences interacting via RP and our characters within the universe of Warcraft.

It is my suggestion that either:

  1. The quota of people per shard is greatly increased on RP servers, making it much, MUCH less likely for a player to find themselves in a barren shard.


  1. Ideally and alternatively if it is possible: RP servers do not incur layering/sharding whatsoever associated with an event. Thus removing the isolation completely during an event and ensuring a rich role-play experience that hasn’t halted due to said event.


  1. Host special events outside of heavy-traffic areas. Get us exploring the world without city sharding.

Thank you for your consideration! This seems to happen every time with complaints each time ‘No point in logging in’ ‘Realm is dead due to event, look at this [insert screenshot]’, and so on and so forth, yet it stays the same. I do not know if it impacts other communities as it does the RP realms & communities so I highly encourage others to chime in. It definitely needs to be reassessed for how it’s handled for RP realms where we thrive off a living world of players, only to log in and see none.

Consideration is much appreciated so RPers can enjoy what we primarily play the game for while celebrating an event. :peace_symbol: Let’s work toward making this a non-issue for subsequent events.


Posting an example from Gavinrad the Bookish, a staple figure of the RP community, just posted a small bit ago. This may help others understand why such special events hinder RP servers and the core focus of RPing: interacting with one another in an open world.


I am all on this wagon, even so close as to say, block standalone RP servers from grouping up and phase people over to its server, just, no transfer while events go on, and then cut out all the layers and shards.


I agree with the block. It has been nice to see people work around the sharding/layering by sitting around Darkshire. However, this should be an option and not forced on players who RP characters that are situated in Stormwind. It is definitely thwarting some guild recruitment too for said individuals.

For RPers, we run recruitment faires and RP in-game to have an immersive recruitment experience versus a distant application process. It has been difficult with the sharding and there’s not so much real estate in the smaller towns like Darkshire to tastefully do it.

What I’d like is a resolution to this moving forward for RP-specific realms like Moon Guard and Wyrmrest Accord. There’s no reason this has to happen each time and it is out of touch with the of objectives many who are here, logging in to enjoy writing within Azeroth collaboratively.


Bumping. The event ended, and RP realms are still sharded/layered. Not only was sharding very counterintuitive for RP servers in particular, but the lack of flipping off the switch for sharding afterwards delivers even more uncertainty.


Another forum post explains this issue in even more detail:

From their post, I think this may help others understand who don’t get the big issue with this on RP realms:
"I’m sure it seems like a weird non-issue to a lot of people internally and externally, but having no sharding in population centers on RP servers makes our silly, nerdy hobby possible. Not just it makes it better, it makes it possible.

Otherwise our communities are fragmented and can’t see and interact with each other, it makes it impossible to hold large events or have populated cities.

It isn’t a matter of convenience, it’s a matter of having most of the people who play on Moon Guard and Wyrmrest accord, big swaths of people a lot of whom only subscribe to do this, through content lulls and without clamoring for new big expensive raids and generally dropping tons of real cash on transmog, mounts and pets, inclined to keep playing.

This always seems to take Blizzard’s internal team by surprise, that this happens, and it seems to always take a lot to get people to understand what’s happening and how to fix it. If there’s a better process we’re all ears, we’d love to have a more expedient way to have the issue addressed."

The sharding shouldn’t exist in the first place on RP realms and if that is non-negotiable, we need to have it turned off right after an exclusive event ends. As it is customary to be done - what is also unfortunately customary, is that the developer needs to be reminded to turn it off each time. It causes a lot of frustration for folks in the roleplaying communities.


Will there be any answer regarding this matter?

The thread linked above has been moved from multiple subforums because the devs who have responded can’t figure out where to put the issue, nor who addresses it each time.

From bug support to technical support to now moving the thread to general discussion, it would be nice to have a figure who can assist in responding to the many inquiries with clarity. RP realms would like to have the cities that serve as the primary hearts of RP back.

Can the appropriate person(s) kindly address this with a plan moving forward? This current plan is not working - RP realms are forgotten. It leads to upset from the RP community each time, defeating the reason many subscribe to the game within the community.

For those newer to the issue: For RP realms, it has been customary to turn off sharding after an exclusive event ends due to the nature of the realm’s objective (RP, which relies on getting to see people). But it seems like manual shutting off by the developers based on the inconsistencies each time. We should be looking toward maximizing efficiencies.

Please help us or at least demonstrate that this is being tackled, and also a future plan to prevent these headaches. :pray:


Bumping again because there has been no response for NA servers.

Does the EU response encompass NA?

On behalf of the community I represent in the council, we find this lack of consistent communication and accountability incredibly messy. It’s stressful, given many pay their $15/month exclusively to have access to other players to RP in primary cities. This is their source of fun in the game and the lack of care given ought to be stepped up.

Can we move toward a solution where exclusive events automatically shut off sharding in the subsequent reset, or automatically following the event ending? The way in which no one from any department at Blizzard seems to know ‘who’ performs this function doesn’t bestow much faith and this is such an important part of the game for roleplayers to fall messily by the wayside.

Taking ownership of a task is key, and it would be nice to know there is a steady hand on the wheel regarding RP-specific realms and sharding that thwarts activities that the realm represents.

Thank you for hearing me (us) out.


Edit: It appears that the Tuesday maintenance sured up sharding for RP realms. Nonetheless:

We need communication and a consistent time in which sharding stops. Please consider this moving forward - nothing helps a community more than transparency and communication, otherwise, it leads to unrest and uncertainty as it did here. :pray:


This is continuing to happen on RP realms and is causing city roleplay to be nonexistent. Or for people who are less-acclimated with the game and its phasing, it looks like the game tanked in popularity.

I have been on a phase that has had ~5-7 people running around on Moon Guard and was shocked to see that this phasing issue continues. This is not healthy for RP realms in particular, in addition to making the game appear desolate for all.

Please hear the pleas of roleplayers who thrive on communicating with others via walk ups (walking up to another character to roleplay, often in the city) as their game time. It is difficult to engage in our activities despite the event that we also participate in.


I’ve made another post a month ago about the excessive sharding happening across the entire game. I even made mention that sharding was supposed to be turned off on RP realms.

I understand why they turned it back on but they should have programmed it to turn back off once these limited events end. It’s frustrating to think that its a manual process and not an automatic process which furthers my theory that the technology has to be manually maintained or else we have the current mess of shardings happening at random across the entire game.

While those of us on RP realms aren’t supposed to experience this, Sharding as it is now, is way out of control.

Edit: I’d like to add this tweet from my Sharding thread that states that sharding is supposed to be off on RP realms unless it’s needed for events. It should be programmed to turn off after certain dates in my opinion:


It’s really strange how the necessity for server stability comes at the cost of destabilizing a server population. I understand the needs to localize launch/holiday events at major cities that is accessible to every class and race at any level yet at the same time both Elwynn and Durotar are just right outside of those gates too.

Can’t all those big events happen outside there as they are also accessible by every class and race at any level?


I will sacrifice my sanity and enter Goldshire for the sake of the Hearthstone event if they’d just put a little tavern there or something instead of Stormwind. :dracthyr_hehe:


Agreed with this completely! It would be lovely.

The weekly reset occurred and there are still multiple phases/shards on Moon Guard, I cannot speak for the other RP realms.

Whichever part of the development team controls ‘sharding on/off official RP realms’ really needs this added to their SOP/how-to handbook as a step in the process.

It is inconsistent every time and resorts in the RP community feeling unseen and unable to execute their preferred gameplay adequately.

From Sunday, March 24th:

And continued today across multiple RP realms:

Please remedy this once and for all. :woman_elf: :pray:



With my term coming to an end, I hope that fellow Community Council members on the roleplay servers impacted by layering ‘sharding’ will continue to push for there to be a Standard Operating Procedure for Blizzard to follow so we don’t get lost in the sharding. It severely hurts the RP community when our gameplay is centered around seeing other people for vibrant storytelling.


With the 9pm PST extension to the maintenance period, Moon Guard denizens are hoping that sharding will not impact the realm again. Please remember to keep sharding off for RP realms, it ruins the main reason many of us play.

Posting on behalf of Moon Guard community members who have messaged me with this worry.