Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Blizzard Addressed Layering Concerns

Recommended Posts


Blizzard today provided more information about, layering, the new technology invented specifically for WoW Classic, to clear up some common misconceptions surrounding it.

Check out our WoW Classic Hub for the latest Classic news!

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 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 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.

Click here to read our Reddit AMA Recap!

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the significant differences between Vanilla and present was being in an open chaotic  world where everyone was climbing over everyone else. Yes, waiting for mob drops was annoying, but it was part of the experience. I understand why they are using layering, but it detracts from the World experience. Players are motivated by seeing other players around them attempting the same task.

BFA's phasing ruined the leveling experience for me. Most importantly, server identity is critical in a classic environment. Seeing the same player names over and over as you explore can foster relationships.

Edited by Abom
  • Sad 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Abom said:

One of the significant differences between Vanilla and present was being in an open chaotic  world where everyone was climbing over everyone else. Yes, waiting for mob drops was annoying, but it was part of the experience. I understand why they are using layering, but it detracts from the World experience. Players are motivated by seeing other players around them attempting the same task.

BFA's phasing ruined the leveling experience for me. Most importantly, server identity is critical in a classic environment. Seeing the same player names over and over as you explore can foster relationships.

Layering doesn't prevent any of that. Even with layering, zones are gonna be absolutely packed, especially early on. And if those people stick around, you will be able to see them again once layering is gone.

Waiting for spawns is one thing, the game being even remotely playable is another. If the stress test is anything to go by, than it will be impossible to get anything done as a solo player for the first few days. There is a limit not just in terms of hardware but just in overall game design to how many people can play at the same time. The game is designed for 2-3k people. You can't have 30k play at the same time and still have everything work, especially if all of them are in the starting zones.

So the only alternative to layering are either endless queues or more servers. More servers means some of them will become underpopulated, which means they have to be merged, which is the exact same thing as turning off layering, only now, instead of having one community that isn't always 100% in the same layer, you have two seperate communities forced together. I have experienced a merger on retail, and it made me transfer all my chars somewhere else. And Blizz knows that mergers are garbage, that's why they don't do them anymore.


I don't like layering either, but the alternatives are just worse.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine there will probably be a few complications on the heavily congested servers once the launch of Classic goes live.  Most likely a queue time, random disconnects, or severe congestion of a populated singular area. If you are expecting everything to be just peachy and run smooth with over 30k players in one area then you are in for a rude awakening.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when I first read this!  Such great news, it seems like Blizz has really listened to the playerbase!  Reducing layers ASAP, they even hinted that the need for layers would be much less after the first few days O_O  maybe we'll get what we hoped for and have layers out very soon after launch!  In addition, the fact that layering persists over certain periods rather than instantly transfering when logging out / joining groups. 

Blizz, it's almost like you're trying to make us love you again.  What's the deal?  *filtered*

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Starym
      Achievements have come to Classic! Well, sort of, and not all of them. RinesThaix has put together about 140 achievements to collect, but the mod is constantly being updated so there should be more soon.
      The Classic Achievements addon lets you not only gather those points up but also share and compare them, as you can link them in chat!

      English and other languages are also supported.
      If you want to check out how it looks in action, here's MrGM taking it for a spin:
    • By Starym
      Blizzard have stated that the BC Classic beta is coming soon, but didn't specify when exactly. Today the Battle.net launcher's app catalog was updated with the TBC Internal Alpha, visible only to Blizzard but datamineable nonetheless!
      Right at the bottom there, the Internal Alpha most likely won't last too long and many have speculated that the beta won't be too long either, as there aren't as many issues to be dealt with as there were for Vanilla Classic. The release date is up in the air but hopefully Blizzard won't put it too close to patch 9.1, as many players will want to play both.
      In any case all we can do now is make sure we've opted-in to the beta (here) and wait!
    • By Staff
      The level 58 boost option that is offered with the arrival of  Burning Crusade Classic has caused quite a bit of controversy and Blizzard have now tried to clarify the details on it a little, clarifying that the boosts will only be available on the new BC realms, while the Classic Era realms (where characters will stay if they don't transfer to the new BC  realms) will not have the boost available.
      Boost (source)
      I think it might be helpful to note that what we’re now calling WoW Classic Era realms start at Level 1, and we feel the same as we did two years ago: no Boost would ever be needed (or appropriate) there. When we originally laid out our principles for WoW Classic, the 1-60 experience was the only thing to which we could refer.
      Burning Crusade Classic begins at level 58, and we’re configuring this new Boost service to avoid minimizing the accomplishments of existing players or skipping any new content at launch. It’s for players who want a way to quickly join their friends in Outland.
    • By Staff
      While BlizzConline may be done, the interviews sure aren't, and we got a lot of new info on the Burning Crusade Classic from MrGM's interview with John Hight and Brian Birmingham!
      The biggest takeway from the interview is the fact that BC Classsic will work in the newest Shadowlands client, meaning we may get new graphical options like Ray Tracing and other goodies!  Raid attunements will mostly work as they did, but there will also be improvements, like everyone getting attuned instead of 1 person, and possibly non-current raids no longer requiring attunement at all.  The release Phases themselves aren't 100% set in stone, there's still room to tweak them depending on community feedback. Fresh Classic servers (meaning starting at Phase 1 of Vanilla) may happen, but not until after launch. They did not mention fresh BC Classic servers, however (meaning new servers that you can start on when BC launches). Leatherworking Drums will be changed/nerfed as they feel too powerful and mandatory. The fact that the whole expansion is based on the final patch, 2.4.3 was reiterated, and it was chosen because they felt that was the best balance the expansion had. We hope it won't have similar adverse effects they way Vanilla Classic's class tuning did. The XP curve will also be as it was in 2.4.3. There will be other quality of life improvements that came either with the final patch or even beyond it, like mounts at level 30. Collector's Edition items from the original Burning Crusade will be given to accounts that have it in Classic as well. And here's the full interview, very helpfully marked with each question in the video timeline/progress bar!
    • By Staff
      The Burning Crusade Classic will follow the same route Vanilla Classic did but with a twist, with a lot of the game being based off of the expansion's final patch.
      As talked about in many in panels and interviews, the approach to BC Classic is different than Vanilla Classic, with a new motto to replace "no changes". "Some changes" means that class balance will be based on patch 2.4.3 of BC, but the rest of the game's features might not. The developers talked about quality of life improvement changes from the final patch and beyond, but not everything will be taken from it - attunements will still be needed for current phase content for example, as well as both Paladin seals being availabe to both factions. The XP curve will also use the final patch changes instead of the BC start values.
      Luckily, the raid bosses themselves will actually be in their pre-nerf states (although we're unsure to what degree, as some were potentially impossible), so the difficulty should be significantly greater than in Vanilla Classic, where everything was much easier than the original, with more powerful classes due to the final patch tuning and some extremely nerfed bosses. 
      So the approach and "some changes" mantra seems like a good one, as each improvement/change is individually vetted and then added to the game if it fits and is a quality of life improvement. Not all details are clear yet as Blizzard are still deciding on what goes in and what doesn't.
  • Create New...