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Blizzard today provided more information about, layering, the new technology invented specifically for WoW Classic, to clear up some common misconceptions surrounding it.
We posted about the downsides to layering a while ago, and during the latest Reddit AMA, Blizzard provided more details about how the technology is going to work and it seems they've fixed a plenty of bugs that we previously saw on Beta.
The team is committed to reducing to one layer per realm before the second content phase goes live. The reason why they're implementing layering is because of overcrowded starting zones. They expect things to get better a few days after launch and will reduce the number of layers that will be needed for the initial hours of launch. There were bugs that caused players to switch to a layer for no apparent reason, but those were fixed on Beta. After accepting an invite, the layer transfer won't happen automatically. They don't want you to transfer in the middle of combat before you receive loot. This transfer delay does is non-existent at entrances to capital cities. They've implemented a separate and longer transfer delay following any PvP combat, so as to avoid switching between layers while PvPing. Your layer assignment will persist for a few minutes between logouts. Blizzard (Source )
Could you reiterate and clarify this and your current intentions and plans with layering, server caps and handling population at launch and in the future now that you've had the chance to study and tweak it during the stress test?
I'm so glad you asked this question.
We’ve seen some confusion about layering, both about how it helps support our launch, and how it’s supposed to behave while it's active, so I’d like to both speak to it and clear up some misconceptions about it.
First, we’re absolutely committed to reducing to one layer per realm before our second content phase goes live, and the sooner we can get there, the better. The reason we can’t do that initially is that on launch day, everybody will be clustered in the starting zones, and having players so close together causes an exponential drain on server resources. In fact, the same number of players cause more server problems crammed into Northshire than they do spread across all of Elwynn Forest. We expect that even after the first couple of days, we’ll need fewer layers than we need for the initial hours of launch, and our stress tests have confirmed that expectation.
A related concern that was raised during our pre-launch test was that capital cities felt empty, but that only occurred because we left the pre-launch test running two days past its original end date, and we didn’t reduce the number of layers at all during that test. During our launch week, as the players spread out across the world, we’ll monitor activity and reduce layers as necessary, so the world continues to feel full.
Some players have suggested using sharding in low-level zones to address launch demand, both because we talked about that at Blizzcon, and because it’s what they’re used to from our modern expansions. Unfortunately, while modern WoW has content designed to work with sharding, WoW Classic does not. The most obvious example of incompatible content is Rexxar’s famously long patrol path, but there are lots of other examples throughout WoW Classic. Since we want all that content to work as it was originally designed, we’ve made sure that every layer is a copy of the entire world, so you can kite Anachronos all the way to Orgrimmar, and you can ride the boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay with the same people alongside you the whole way.
Some players have asked us to use realm caps and login queues to handle the demand, and while those are tools we have at our disposal, we don’t want to rely on them exclusively, because they keep people from playing the game.
One of the most frequently reported problems during our tests was players transferring to a layer for what seemed like no reason. There were several bugs that caused this, and we’re confident we’ve fixed them. At this point, the only thing that should cause you to change layers is accepting an invite from a player on another layer. Additionally, it should always transfer the player who was invited to the layer of the player who invited them.
Nonetheless, after accepting an invite, the layer transfer doesn’t always happen immediately, because we don’t want to transfer you in the middle of combat, or before you get a chance to loot. During our pre-launch test, we saw a few reports of what seemed like random layer transfers, but when we investigated, we realized this was due to us making that transfer delay too long. The delay was so long that players could unintentionally chain one delay into another by starting combat immediately after looting. Because of those reports, we’ve fixed the transfer delay to give you enough time to loot, without being so long that you’re left wondering why you can’t join your friend. We’ll keep an eye on that, and we may decide to reduce it further.
We’ve also seen reports of people transferring suddenly at the entrances to capital cities, which was related to the transfer delays. If you’re waiting to transfer to your friend’s layer, and you enter a capital city, we ignore the delay and transfer you immediately. The long delays were making it more likely that you’d enter a capital with a transfer pending, and now that we’ve reduced the transfer delay, it will be a bit more clear that your transfer was the result of accepting a group invitation.
Regarding PvP, we saw many posts from players wondering if getting invited to a party is a good way to escape from PvP combat. I’m pleased to say there’s actually a separate, longer transfer delay following any PvP combat. We know a lot of world PvP enthusiasts are excited for WoW Classic, and we don’t want the additional layers to feel like they’re robbing you of your kills. When the time comes to withdraw from the fight, you’ll have to escape from your enemies and get to a safe place before you’re able to join your friends on another layer.
I’d also like to clarify how multiple layers work with logout. Early in our stress testing, players reported that logging out and back in would let you hop to a new layer to farm the same mineral or herb node on different layers. That was a bug, and we’ve fixed it. Your layer assignment now persists for a few minutes between logouts, long enough that by the time the game would choose a new layer for you, that node would have respawned on its own anyway.
I hope that all makes things a bit more clear.
All low-level dungeons available through Maraudon should have a player cap of 10. Blackrock Depths, Scholomance, Stratholme, and Dire Maul will be capped at 5 players in WoW Classic.
Blizzard today clarified how the player cap is going to work for dungeons in WoW Classic.
Check out our WoW Classic Hub for the latest news!
What is the intended player cap for Dungeons in Classic WoW?
Hi ZeldenGM, thanks for the question! This was indeed a bug that we have fixed and you should be able to enter most lower-level dungeons with up to 10 players, as was possible in Original WoW 1.12. There are some dungeons that had specific caps by the end of Original WoW, however. To be specific, all lower-level dungeons available through Maraudon should have a player cap of 10, with Blackrock Depths, Scholomance, Stratholme, and Dire Maul being capped at 5 players.
As was the case in Original WoW 1.12, Blackrock Spire should also have a cap of 10 players.
Today, we're looking at an ambitious Classic Addon called IamAMerchant, currently developed by Redditor NukiWolf2. The addon will turn you into a vendor, and that's something the RP community will appreciate.
Visiting the Auction House and spamming Trade chat can be tedious if you want to sell your wares. Often, you won't sell anything, and you'll lose your deposit on top of that.
The main goal of IamAMerchant is to transform players into vendors, allowing others to inspect and buy items from you. You must set up a list of items that you want to sell and assign them a price. Then, you must wait for a player to inspect your wares and they can make item requests through whispers.
Click here to download IamMerchant for Classic!
The next step in development is to add a UI that will simplify the process of adding items you want to sell. The developer is looking for feedback, and here's how the addon currently looks like. What do you think?
In this article, we're taking a closer look at how to choose a realm and create a character in WoW Classic.
UPDATE #3: Blizzard announced new EU and US servers yesterday.
UPDATE #3: Check out our third report for the latest realm pop details. Blizzard urged players to stay away from Herod (US) and Shazzrah (EU). The realms are extremely overpopulated based on name reservations. Expect 10K+ queue times if all existing players remain there.
UPDATE #2: A new PvP server is now available in the US. We can expect extended queue times on select realms. Check out our latest realm pop report for more information.
UPDATE #1: Blizzard announced a new PvP server for Europe amid increasing realm population. Most realms went from Medium to Full overnight.
1. Installing the Game
The first thing you need to do in order to create a character is to install the game. This is done by selecting World of Warcraft Classic in the Battle.net desktop app. Click the Install button, and the installation bar will show you when the game is available to play. Click the Play button to log in.
2. Understanding Realm Types
Before picking a server, you should familiarize yourself with the different server types that will be available at Classic launch:
Normal: On these servers, you must manually flag yourself for PvP. No ganking while questing and you can create characters of both factions. PvP (Player versus Player): Here, you will be flagged for PvP at all times. Exceptions apply. IMPORTANT: If you choose to play on a PvP realm, you will be only able to create characters within the same faction. RP (Roleplay): These servers are intended for players who want to fully immerse themselves in the game. If you know the infamous Moon Guard, you probably get the idea. Same rules apply as for Normal realms, meaning you must flag yourself for PvP manually. RP-PvP (Roleplay Player versus Player): Virtually the same as RP realms, but with PvP added. 3. Choosing a Server
Now that you've picked your realm type, you can easily narrow down your results depending on your preferred time zone and language.
European realms are separated by language. There are English, German, French, and Russian realms. US & Oceanic realms are separated by time zones. How do you know which server best suits you? Another factor to consider is server population. Do you want to play on a highly-populated realm with many players where you won't have issues finding groups at any time of day or would you prefer a server with low population, no lag, but slow economy?
Servers with high population have clear downsides such as server lag, long queue times during peak hours, but you won't have problems finding players for pretty much anything (even at 4:00 AM), and you'll pay less Gold for goods on the Auction House.
If you'd like to play on a realm with high population, you can't go wrong by picking a streamer realm. If you're, on the other hand, looking for an authentic Vanilla experience, you should avoid them. Many streamers have already created their characters and it appears that Faerlina-US will be the main streamer realm in WoW Classic in the US. EU streamers have so far picked Golemagg-EU.
We have preliminary data regarding WoW Classic realm population based on the recently-created characters. The latest realm population report from August 14 can be found here. The second report is available as well.
Name Type Language Population Gehennas (New) PvP English Medium Golemagg PvP English Full Hydraxian Waterlords RP English Low Medium Mirage Raceway Normal English Low Medium Pyrewood Village Normal English Low High Shazzrah PvP English Full Zandalar Tribe RP-PvP English Low Medium Auberdine Normal French Low Medium Sulfuron PvP French Low Medium Everlook Normal German Full Lucifron PvP German Full Хроми (Chromie) Normal Russian Low Medium Пламегор (Flamegor) PvP Russian Low Medium US Realms
Name Type Time Zone Population Atiesh Normal Pacific Low High Mankrik Normal Eastern Medium High Myzrael Normal Pacific Low Medium Pagle Normal Eastern Full High Stalagg (New) PvP Eastern Low Faerlina PvP Eastern Full Fairbanks PvP Pacific Low Medium Herod PvP Eastern Full Whitemane PvP Pacific Full Bloodsail Buccanneers RP Eastern Low Medium Grobbulus RP-PvP Pacific Low Medium Thalnos PvP Eastern Medium High Oceanic Realms
Name Type Time Zone Population Arugal PvP Australian Eastern Time Low Medium Remulos Normal Australian Eastern Time Low Medium 4. Character Creation
You've picked a server and now must decide between the Alliance and the Horde! Note that in Classic, Paladins are only available to the Alliance and Shamans to the Horde. The final thing you must do is choose a fitting name for your character and wait for Classic to launch on August 27.
WoW Classic name reservations now open! Players with an active subscription or game time on their World of Warcraft account can create up to three characters per WoW account before WoW Classic releases worldwide on Monday, August 26 at 3:00 p.m. PDT.
When you reserve a name, you’ll also choose the realm you will play that character on. There are a few additional things to keep in mind as you make your choice: Players who choose to play on a PvP realm will only be able to create characters within the same faction. This means that if you create an Alliance character, all further characters on that realm must also be Alliance characters. After WoW Classic is live, you’ll be able to create up to 10 characters on any given realm and can create a maximum of 50 characters across all WoW Classic realms. This character count does not impact the number of characters you can create on the current World of Warcraft realms. Characters that were created for the WoW Classic beta or stress tests will not be available to use in WoW Classic. To create a character and play WoW Classic, you will need to download and install the client first.
Open the Battle.net desktop app and select World of Warcraft in the game selection menu. Under the Version menu, select World of Warcraft Classic. If you have more than one World of Warcraft account, you’ll see a second dropdown for Account. In that column, select the active account you want to play on. Click the Install button. You’ll see an installation progress bar that will show you when the installation is available to play. Once the installation is complete, click the Play button. You’ll need to select the realm you want to play on then select Create New Character. You’ll be able to choose your faction, class, and race, as well as fully customize your new character and name them. If you change your mind about a character and have already created your three, you will need to choose a character to delete. Please note, the name associated with the character deleted will be immediately available again to be claimed.
Before you put your plans too firmly in place, we encourage you to gather your allies together to select your new home realm. If you’re looking to reconnect with your old friends and guildmates, be sure to check out our Classic Connections forum.
AVAILABLE REALMS FOR NORTH AMERICA
Name Type Time Zone Atiesh Normal Pacific Mankrik Normal Eastern Myzrael Normal Pacific Pagle Normal Eastern Faerlina PvP Eastern Fairbanks PvP Pacific Herod PvP Eastern Whitemane PvP Pacific Bloodsail Buccanneers RP Eastern Grobbulus RP-PvP Pacific AVAILABLE REALMS FOR OCEANIA
Name Type Time Zone Arugal PvP Australian Eastern Time Remulos Normal Australian Eastern Time AVAILABLE REALMS FOR EUROPE
Name Type Language Golemagg PvP English Hydraxian Waterlords RP English Mirage Raceway Normal English Pyrewood Village Normal English Shazzrah PvP English Zandalar Tribe RP-PvP English Auberdine Normal French Sulfuron PvP French Everlook Normal German Lucifron PvP German Хроми (Chromie) Normal Russian Пламегор (Flamegor) PvP Russian In this short guide, we'll try to help you pick the best Classic server.
WoW Classic is nearly upon us and here's our Classic hub to help you out!
Welcome to our WoW Classic content hub! Here, you will find links to our latest Classic news coverage and guides.
WoW Classic is set to launch on August 26 in the US // August 27.
WoW Classic Launch Date: August 27th See below for details on the exact time you can log in and experience the origins of World of Warcraft.
Blizzard will use a new technology called layering to ensure a smooth launch.
Layering Technology in WoW Classic The Downsides to Layering in WoW Classic Character Creation
An active subscription is required to play the game and to reserve up to three characters ahead of launch. We've created a short guide, where we go through how to install the game, realm types and differences to help you pick the best server.
Avoid Streamers in WoW Classic Faerlina Will Be the Main Streamer Realm in WoW Classic How to Pick a Realm and Create a Character in WoW Classic Realm Population Reports
We also post realm population reports on a regular basis to inform you about the current realm population, based on available data.
Realm Population Report #1: August 14th Realm Population Report #2: August 15th Realm Population Report #3: August 16th Blizzard Urges Players to Stay Away from Herod (US) & Shazzrah (EU) Realm Population Report #4: August 17th New & Returning Players
It doesn't matter if you're completely new to the game or a veteran, here are some interesting links to get you started with Classic WoW
WoW Classic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) WoW Classic Official Survival Guide Glossary of Classic WoW Terms Reconnect with Friends
If you're looking for old friends that you played Vanilla with, the community resources listed below may prove to be useful:
Introducing Vanilla Friends WoW Classic Connections WoW Classic Guides
Our team has been hard at work to bring you guides for WoW Classic before launch! The goal is to have Class, Dungeon, Profession, and Reputation guides up as soon as possible with Raid guides and more to follow in the coming weeks.
WoW Classic Class Guides WoW Classic Dungeon Guides Which Profession is the Best for My Class? WoW Classic Profession Guides WoW Classic Reputation Guides Content Release Phases
To allow for meaningful progression, Classic will have 6 content phases that will be released over the course of the game to mimic Vanilla patches. In the initial phase, players will be able to access Molten Core, Onyxia's Lair, and Maraudon.
Phase 1 (Launch) Molten Core
Open World PvP only (no honor or rewards) Phase 2 Dire Maul
Honor System (including Dishonorable Kills)
PvP Rank Rewards Phase 3 Blackwing Lair
Darkmoon Faire deck drops begin
Alterac Valley (version 1.12 4.1k)
Warsong Gulch Phase 4 Zul'Gurub
Arathi Basin Phase 5 Ahn Qiraj War Effort begins
Ahn'Qiraj raids open when the war effort dictates
Dungeon loot reconfiguration: Tier 0.5 dungeon gear, Relics, drop rates, and location changes Phase 6 Naxxramas
World PvP objectives in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands WoW Classic Addons
Nobody is forcing you to use addons for Classic, but for those of you who don't want to waste their time with searching for every single quest, here's a list of addons that we previewed throughout Beta:
AtlasLootClassic (Loot Helper) Classic Addon Azeroth Auto Pilot Classic Addon IAmAMerchant Classic Addon Details (Damage Meter), Vendor Price, WeekAuras2 Classic Questie (Classic Quest Helper) Classic Addon TukUI (Classic User Interface) WoW Classic Interviews
Here's a collection of AMAs and various interviews:
Upcoming WoW Classic AMA: August 20th Eurogamer Wow Classic Interview WoW Classic "Not a Bug List"
Here we have a list of the most common misconceptions. Features that are perceived by players as bugs.
Not a Bug List (Final) WoW Classic "Fixed Bugs List"
A list of bugs that have been fixed thanks to thousands of detailed bug reports sent by beta and stress testers who provided invaluable feedback over the course of testing!
Fixed Bugs List Classic Spotlights
Links to articles that cover a variety of Classic topics.
Anathema/Benediction Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian Classic WoW Racials and Passives Players Form Lines to Complete Quests on Beta Riding Skill & Cost in Classic WoW Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker It's almost time for Classic and our content hub has you covered with the latest news and guides!