Subrealms: Classic Solution to Modern Population

I’m not going to address the lot of problems that this new “layering” system (basically sharding 2.0) they introduced to us a couple days ago bring with it, as there are many other threads that do so better than I possibly could.

Instead of patching one issue at a time to eliminate exploits (which will happen as it is) and for the sake of keeping the Classic experience authentic I propose a simple solution: Subrealms.

What are subrealms? Read below. It’s simple.

Basically, we have a realm called ‘Hogger’.

‘Hogger’ is composed of ‘Hogger 1’, ‘Hogger 2’, ‘Hogger 3’, ‘Hogger 4’.
These are separate (but linked) realms with their own pop cap (3000 max? with queues) and their own universe (no phasing or interaction between players will ever exist between one another). The player is given the option to choose which subrealm he wants to begin their adventure at the realm selection screen.

As population dies down…
After X weeks,

  • ‘Hogger 1’ and ‘Hogger 3’ will merge into ‘Hogger 1, 3’
  • ‘Hogger 2’ and ‘Hogger 4’ will merge into ‘Hogger 2, 4’

After X+Y weeks,

  • ‘Hogger 1, 3’ and ‘Hogger 2, 4’ will finally merge into ‘Hogger’

Other characteristics:

  • The player is fully aware the merge will take place in the future from the start.
  • The player will not be able to communicate (or maybe in a very limited way) or hop through subrealms. You have no control over which world you inhabit once you have made your character there.
  • Characters and guild names are global. Meaning that if the player wants to name their character ‘Molly’ in ‘Hogger 1’ but there already exists a ‘Molly’ in ‘Hogger 2’ they won’t be able to.
  • Action House is shared across all subrealms to promote healthy population distribution and keep the economy as stable as possible when the merge happens (this point is debatable).

I’m sure I missed some others points but this is the rough idea. I’ll update if necessary. I hope Blizzard at least reads this :confused:
I apologize in advance for my broken english. Please understand many people from all around the world are eagerly awaiting the return of this gem of a game.

With nothing else. I phase out.


So basically you have described a less flexible version of layering.
And if let’s say in your version I start playing one day late and at that point hoggers 1,2, and 3 are already at max capacity and all my friends are at hogger 2 I can’t go and play with them because it’s full until the hoggers merge.
And if you don’t impose population limits on the subrealms then there is the very real possibility of having one really full and several pretty empty ones.

So it’s basically layering with different problems.
And layering is perfectly fine solution that fixes the few weeks of launch it needs to be used without any unnecessary hassle and overcomplication.


Layering is way more complex than this (both in theory and practice) and bring many more problems.

You can play with your friends as queues will still exist like in original vanilla if necessary.

Literally the only problem it brings is the potential abuse of layerhopping which seriously ain’t gonna matter all that much for the few weeks this system will be active.

Many believe it’s game breaking. I’m with them.

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You are free to believe whatever you wish, it just won’t make it true.

The same can be said for you or Blizzard, really.

I can’t help it if some people get triggered by logical systems that make the game launch an actually playable experience and smooth out the long term server population health issue.

I suppose some people just want an unplayable launch and dead realms after a month of game being online. This is their prerogative but I will do everything I can to let Blizzard know that they are on the right path with this Layering for the launch.

That sounds problematic for two reasons:

  • It would almost certainly be a lot more expensive for Blizzard. Setting up complete servers from the start with the plan to rubbish them later is extremely wasteful.
  • Players would not even use this model. Did you play the demo? Blizzard provided something like ten servers (I can’t remember the exact amount). Did everyone spread out among those ten servers? No. People like to play where there are other people. There was one high-pop server, a few medium-pop servers, and the rest were low-pop. Players also really dislike being forcibly merged into other populations of other players, as many examples from the days of “connected realm” shenanigans illustrate.

Fair points. I think, however, people dislike more being phased in or out of the world >.> (willingly or unwillingly).

Hopefully the stress test coming up will help to give people a better idea of how good or bad layering is. I don’t expect it to be that bad, I’d think the only time you should see people phasing in or out is when someome joins a party in another layer.

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Oh, I despise sharding. I just think that the layering, as described, won’t be nearly as obnoxious as dynamic sharding–especially if the population cap per layer is set well, to balance the quality of play experience of the players online and the length of queue for people wanting to log in.

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Exactly my thoughts

My sides, stop wasting your time on this!

No, you’ll just have to wait in a long queue, just like any high population server.

Which should correct itself by players choosing subrealms without long queue times. Later, merging will correct subrealms with low populations.

Blizzard can also alleviate the problem by providing a suggested subrealm on character creation. Players who aren’t targeting a specific server will often choose the suggested server if it’s the first option available, for much the same reason that warrior is the most common bank alt, because it’s the first option and players don’t care about the bank alt’s class.

It’s layering without the CRZ/Sharding elements, thus a massive improvement to layering.


So you just want more servers?
And them to be forced to merge them after some amount of time.
The whole point of layering was to not have server merges as many predict the realm populations will have significant drop off / distribution over time after the first few weeks.

I know it’s not the cleanest solution but it’s still better than layering…

In what way are server merges more detrimental than layer merges? Besides player name uniqueness, which can be corrected with shared name databases, I can’t think of a way in which server merges and layer merges are significantly different.

Layering merges server sized populations in the same way that the OPs subrealm merges would, except that before the merges we get elements of CRZ and sharding infecting the entire game.

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Just saying the purpose of this solution was to prevent certain servers from having an unhealthy low population forcing merges which are very impactful if you have ever been a part of one.

Blizzard knows the population on week 1 will be 5x that of week 3.

If your server only has 3000 people online there would only be one layer even if layering is still enabled.

People are blowing this out of proportion and I’d imagine blizzard will address the exploiting.