We're not making enough noise about layering

UPDATE 9/15/2019:

LAYERING is still having detrimental effects on the current game. The economy is getting exploited. The stopgap fix of the cooldown they implemented on switching layering helped, but it’s not cured the major problems. Every hour or so you can still escape from World PvP or get more materials.

Worse, we’ve now seen it can be used to farm dungeon bosses and as a result their loot, which isn’t fixed by the cooldown.

I’m not trying to speak for the entire community here, as I’m aware there are those who are perfectly content with the system. However for those of us who aren’t, which I feel is the large majority, I’m here to say we need to make our voices heard as much as possible if we want an actual hope of this being addressed. I only see at most a handful (5-8) of threads about this and none of them really fully does justice as to why layering is such a big deal.

I’m going to outline my own issues with layering here and I encourage all of you who read this to comment with your thoughts and feelings about layering as well.

Why do I think Layering is bad for Classic?

-It is community breaking. While admittedly miles better than sharding, large server communities will still be fragmented into at least 3-4 ‘layers’. That’s sure to lead to lots of confusion and frustration as players try to coordinate or hope to participate in for example large player-organized events which were common in Vanilla and will likely/hopefully return in Classic. We’ve already seen it cause problems for streamers trying to run fun events on the beta for their viewers.

Not only that but part of Classic was being recognized on your server, either for your achievements, good deeds, or bad deeds. I don’t want the server ninja looter to just be able to escape his reputation by switching layers and preying upon different unsuspecting players.

At the same time I don’t want the idea of being recognized to lose it’s agency by having the server split up into all these sub groups.

-Layering is very easily exploited. We’ve already seen it on the beta where players can easily hop between layers to gather the same node of ore, for example, 3 different times in less than a minute.

In World PvP on the beta we’ve seen players switch or drop groups and immediately warp out of the battle.

The first response to this is always, “Well they can just fix it so it’s not exploited”.

But have you stopped and thought about that, really?

How do they fix it without completely and utterly changing it into something completely different or removing it entirely?

Layering is supposed to be a fluid server sorting tool that can handle massive amounts of log-ins by the second. The most suggested fix for the exploits is implementing some sort of 5-30 minute cooldown on switching layers. However doing that will quickly clog up the server and not allow for the by the second player-sorting the system needs to be capable of.

The reason is because the cooldown will have to persist the entire 5-30 minute or whatever duration even for players who have logged out of the game to prevent abuse, otherwise people seeking to exploit layers will simply relog to lose their cooldown and go back to layer abusing.

This means every time someone switches an alt, or logs out, etc a ‘blank space’ is created on the server where a character has a slot on a layer counting towards the cap but that character isn’t actually logged in. This will quickly cause the server to overload, lag, and also automatically create a bunch of unnessecary new layers to accomodate all the people trying to log in, further splitting up the community.

Not to mention all the people playing on the layers will have a smaller overall amount of players to interact with at all times on them because of slots taken up by logged out characters.

You cannot fix the abuse of layering without removing or fundamentally changing the system period.

-Lastly I completely disagree with Blizzard’s idea of when the servers will be flooded. They are guessing the very beginning will be the most populated time for Classic and thus using layering in that time will alleviate the servers instead of having massive realm queues.

I don’t think that’s when Classic will be the most populated at all. I think the majority of players will come from word-of-mouth from friends or friends of friends or whatever playing Classic and then they get into it from there over the course of several months just as it was when Vanilla was out. There was huge hype at the start sure, but the ‘worldwide phenomenon’ levels of success didn’t come until BC was almost out and people were really starting to find out about the game.

I think similarly this time around slow word of mouth will mean the game is actually bigger a year after release than when it starts.

My reasoning? Most of the potential audience for the game is so far removed from WoW/Blizzard these days they likely don’t even know Classic is coming out. They don’t watch WoW Youtube Videos, or streams, or come to the WoW forums, because the vast majority quit over 8 years ago and have moved on.

They will slowly find their way back through word of mouth over time, as well as attracting new players who never tried the game before, and that is why I believe we could see double the population when Naxx, for example, releases as opposed to when Phase 1 begins on August 27th.

What do I think should be done?
I believe layering needs to be removed entirely. Instead, use realm queues like what was in place in Vanilla WoW, as well as the old dynamic respawn system. Problems solved.

That’s all I’ve got for now, I may comment more later. I encourage anyone who bothers to read all of this to share their thoughts and feelings on the matter as well.


Thank you Nechross for this list. Here is a link showing most of the layering problems and exploits: Examples of Layering exploits and problems

Edit 2: More layering exploits coming to light now that the game is out. Layering exploit is real - Guy has 160,000 gold in Arcane Crystals


I’m not bothered by the layering tech. I didn’t pay attention to it when I was running around Mulgore leveling my shaman.


I’ve think doing 5 posts a day about layering is GOOD ENOUGH noise about layering. I don’t want any more.


I’m really glad I’m not on a layer where the sky is falling and where everyone is doomed.


From my experience testing the game nearly 24 hours in the stress test, I can definitely agree that layering, phasing etc needs to be removed, and the earlier zones need higher respawn rates of mobs during launch to fix any potential issues. I witnessed people and chat popping in and out around me during my time playing, I experienced very crowded zones & zones with barely anyone around at all even in cities.

This is the biggest issue and one that many people will be quitting or refraining from playing because of this. We want to see/know everyone who is around us on our server to be able to interact with them, do events/quests with them etc. It’s literally like playing with ghosts when you don’t know if they are there or not. The fact that people can apparently cheat to get rare mobs/items etc by switching to other layers/phases is also a huge issue that will NOT be able to be resolved without removing layering/phasing.

Layering could be an issue that streamers/video makers COULD help make a difference about, they have a large following, so if they happen to come across this thread it would be nice of them to make videos about the topic, and point out all the points and suggestions to their followers.


Literally none of you have any idea how layering even works so you aren’t qualified to speak on it, regardless of your opinions.


This is part of the problem. You don’t have the contrast of what it would be like without the layering. You’re missing all the community bonds that form from leveling in a whole server. The side socialization that goes on when a zone is super crowded. And you fail to see what it’s like in the high levels with people teleporting away from you or if you are in pvp and transported away into another layer mid-playing.

People exploiting gear/nodes/items is easy enough to ignore but I think a lot of the problems are what you are going to be missing out on with layering on.


You know it works then?
I can see how it works because I literally played during the stress test and saw how it effected what was supposed to be classic World of Warcraft and compared it to when I played the original version, it’s not difficult to see the differences.


This is how layering works. You are placed into a copy of an entire continent with a maximum player cap similar to that of an old-school vanilla server (or whatever cap they decide upon, depending on their own internal metrics). There is no going back and forth between layers save for when grouping with friends or guildies who may be on another layer.

It is not sharding, nor is it CRZ. Stop acting like it behaves the same.


Layering obviously has issues that need to be worked out but there will be super crowded zones if layering is working properly. It doesn’t prevent there from being several hundred people in a starter zone.


I’ve seen that video and I also played the stress test as I said, I had people pop in and out around me along with chats appearing at the same time, people leaving group and I’m placed on another “layer” etc. This is not the classic WoW I played nor do I want to play.


So… I’m not playing or socializing the right way because I’m not bothered by the layering tech? I never had issues making friends in game before, and I didn’t have issues interacting with people in the stress test.

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Blizzard has a habit of ignoring the community until after their ideas crash, that’s when they do the damage control so don’t expect them to comment on it or change it until after release.


I think limiting it to the 1-20 zones would be a good way to solve both these issues.

You can manually pick your layers by logging out onto alts or like you said jumping into friends or guildies (or strangers) layer. The problem lies with the design of having to be able to play with others and the overfill into other layers. There’s no feasible way to fix this without harming the other so these exploits will be available wherever layering exists.


It isn’t a perfect system but it’s better than doing what they did on vanilla’s launch and having hours-long queue times to get into the game, followed by dead or dying servers weeks later.


Trust me you guys are making plenty of noise.


It’s not that there’s no wrong or right way it’s just that everyone is constantly split between layers while they play and group up so someone who you may have run into a dozen times while leveling would be much less likely to occur in layering. It’s just a simple fact that you are less likely to run into the same people and they are not always in the same world as you as they play with layering.


People have suggested some ways that this could be made less exploitable, such as giving a fixed time that you can “jump” between layers, or making it only possible while in a capitol city. I’m a fan of the latter suggestion, as it allows people to join up with guild mates or friends, while not being overly restrictive in case you join with a group that fizzles out.


That’s why I have a friends list. If I like running with someone, I friend them.

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Destroying the economy or having a system that can be used to gain massive edge by exploit is not better then a system that had no exploit to abuse in such a way.