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Are Players Abusing Layering in WoW Classic?

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Players are apparently abusing layer hopping in WoW Classic to gain an unfair advantage over others. 

UPDATE: Blizzard officially confirmed the exploit to be fake. They're actively monitoring layering and all realms have been confirmed to only have a single-digit number of layers.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

We’ve been monitoring players’ use of layers, and we agree that we should add a delay between subsequent layer transfers. Under the hood we have all the controls I talked about in the Reddit AMA before launch, a few secret weapons we haven’t discussed publicly, and we’re working on deploying some additional controls to further restrain layering from being exploitable.

However, we also want to assure you that the issue is a much smaller problem than some people are claiming. We’ve been closely monitoring the effect layering is having on economies and other aspects of the game, and many of the stories we see posted are wildly inaccurate. We’ve seen screenshots of banks full of rare crafting materials, which we’ve investigated and proved false.

Another popular theory is that you can determine your current layer by doing a /who in a capital city, and comparing the results against the /who your friend does. That doesn’t work because /who returns results from the entire realm, not just from your layer, and if the result set is too large it truncates the results before sorting them. This means every player gets different results, but those differences in result set have nothing to do with which layer you’re on. This has led some people to claim that they’ve discovered dozens of layers per realm, but that claim is completely false.

All realms have a single-digit number of layers. Most of them have a low single-digit number.

Rest assured that there are not people running around with banks full of Thorium Crystals or Black Lotus.

Startuptim created a thread on the official forums about how players abuse layering with an alleged screenshot of a player with more than 3,000 farmed Arcane Crystal Arcane Crystals. While we can't verify the authenticity of the screenshot, you can read the full post here.

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If the exploit is real, it could ruin a server's economy in no time and Blizzard will hopefully do something about it before the situation spirals out of control. Apparently, layer hopping has a five-minute cooldown, which is delayed by combat and PvP. Redditor Tiaan suggested a smart fix to stop people from switching between layers:

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Another option is to require the leader to be within a certain distance to you before the layer change occurs. This way legitimate groups can still change layers unhindered but abusers using these addons or asking any random person for an invite in world chat will be stopped.

What's Layering?

Layering is a relatively new technology invented for WoW Classic launch. Instead of sharding the zones, it shards the entire world, so on a Classic server you end up with multiple layers (copies) of the same continent. The goal is to have layering gone by Phase 2.

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I've seen people hop a layer to not get ganked in the world, but this is just 100 steps worst than that.
Already had the idea that the layering could be abused (as we have seen on the world first lvl 60 person who did it to farm mobs so he was faster) honestly they should make a time-out on it or as stated in the post when your leader is not in the area don't let them switch..

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I have yet to see any actual evidence of things being as extreme as people say. Most servers simply shouldn't have enough layers to do layer hopping on that scale. Not to forget that you need to be lucky enough to hit a layer with anode that doesn't get currently farmed by someone else, and then the node needs to have actually spawned.

Even with the odds being 100% on your side, it still takes 100 hours of non-stop hopping to get 1000 BLs.

 

If it is true, it should be bannable. It's an exploit used to disrupt the in-game economy. Just because a mechanic technically allows you to do something doesn't mean you won't get punished for abusing it.

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Yeah, this is an easy ban. It's clearly against the intention of the system, which is in the TOS. The defense of it's "their system, I'm just using it" never works when it's a clear known bug.

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Apparently, (I have not nor would I do it myself), it's possible to do some "cloning" of items as you layer hop.

I don't know how exactly, it's just what I've heard on discord.

A lot (constant spamming actually by some) of layer hopping going on on NogginFogger (EU Horde) and it's nothing to do with PvP as we outnumber Alliance. It's usually done by people supposedly to allow less populated grinding mob areas they happen to be in but seeing this here and hearing what I've heard, I'm not so sure if the intent of the layer hop is legit at all sometimes. 

 

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I've seen several top tier WoW streamers use this layering to their benefit just within the last several days. I think layering should be for an entire login session, not just minutes. I am sure they could implement that. With that said, I personally do not care for the layering, it takes away from the true classic experience as you can walk into cities at various times and only see 2-3 people. It feels like a ghost town or rather how WoW was when the subscriber base died out in mass numbers several years ago. Getting back to Ghost towns, it's an odd feeling when you want to do a Dungeon, you travel to the location and stand there, hoping someone else will see you and invite you to their group, which is how it was when WoW was originally released. You could find lots of groups just by standing at the entrance. That's another thing they need to fix, they need to adjust the servers so there is actually noticeable amounts of people in each area. Having lots of People around is what makes the game fun! I want to see 400 people in Stormwind, not 4.

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44 minutes ago, Dupa said:

With that said, I personally do not care for the layering, it takes away from the true classic experience as you can walk into cities at various times and only see 2-3 people. It feels like a ghost town or rather how WoW was when the subscriber base died out in mass numbers several years ago.

It's almost as if everyone in your layer is currently out in the world leveling... yes, the city is dead. But go to STV or any other popular zone, and it will be packed with people to the point where it's almost impossible to solo quest. Not to forget all those suckers who do nothing but SM all day.

Currently each layer is probably a bit smaller than the original realm pop cap, but that's just because the majority of people are still concentrated in lower-level zones. They are changing the size dynamically to make the game playable. And once P2 comes around, it's all gone anyway.

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Yes, layering is being abused. Blizz state it's negligible but in reality players are making HUGE amounts of gold, especially if it' abused by a coordinated group in VOIP.

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