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Haven't watched Tips' vids yet but apparently Ion Hazzikostas has re-branded sharding as 'layering'. He implies that this feature will only be in place for phase 1 and after that removed completely from the game. Will be on a world-by-world basis, so no cross-realm 'layering'.

EDIT: great explanation on classic.wowhead.com - it's nothing like sharding!

My breakdown:

Basically you log in and are assigned a 'layer'. There are 3k players (that's a lot) per layer and once it gets to 2999 players in a layer the next person who logs on goes to the next layer.

You can only move layers if invited to a group by another person.

   Default Lassekaae pan0phobik Selexin Vhenx
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I feel like there's going to be a lot of bets made about this by the players.

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What's the reasoning behind this again?

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So it’s no longer sharding for “starting area”? Wtf..

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Jpy wrote:
7 months ago
So it’s no longer sharding for “starting area”? Wtf..
If this is true it would really be bad for the economy

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Jon Bloodspray wrote:
7 months ago
What's the reasoning behind this again?
Two points to consider first,
  • WoW Classic only requires a monthly subscription, $15. No need to purchase BFA. So the influx of new players, existing subscribers, and returning subscribers for the WoW Classic is going to be huge.
  • The amount of Realms to choose from will be much much lower than retail WoW.
Old WoW had one physical computer with tons of memory and harddrive space to run a realm. These are frequently shown around the internet as charity auctioned memorabilia these days.

Current internet trends and computing meet demands of connections around the world by using tech called "clustering". Meaning two computers can be the same realm, and all the realm data is hosted on a 3rd computer that the two computers can access. The third computers only job is to hold the information while the others can compute your interactions on the realm.

Now Sharding is the software side of this explanation, they can dissect the realm population so it evens out the opportunity of playing the game.

This allows many more people to connect at the same time instead of waiting in Queues. Effectively, without this technology your World of Warcraft experience would be a bleak grind of "survival of the fittest" in terms of being able to click on resource nodes, quests, quest objectives, and avoiding lag.


When the population and demand to Classic dies down, you'll start to see the true realm population. With this decline means a decline in sharding. They want absolutely 0 sharding/layering before Phase 2 launches.



Sharding/Layering is the same concept of why multiple Realms were created. We're already a divided playerbase.

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Yep. This breaks it for me. Every zone is effectively sharded. I won't be playing classic if this goes live

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Instinctz wrote:
7 months ago
Yep. This breaks it for me. Every zone is effectively sharded. I won't be playing classic if this goes live
See the edit to my original post, the way wowhead describe it makes it a lot less menacing!

Basically you log in and are assigned a 'layer'. There are 3k players (that's a lot) per layer and once it gets to 2999 players in a layer the next person who logs on goes to the next layer.

You can only move layers if invited to a group by another person.

Pretty nice solution I think and seeing as it's just for phase 1 (confirmed now) they've done a good job to get sharding out of the window.

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If you've ever played on a private server during a launch, you will know that it's pretty much impossible to play the game at launch, there are hundreds of people competing for the same mobs.

That being said... This is only for the first few days and after that the playerbase divides itself across different zones depending on how "hardcore" they are, which gives a more even spread.

I can understand having "layering" the first week, but at the same time... What's the point then? If it's just for a short time that people are already EXPECTING to be chaotic, and most people even WANT it to be that way. Why waste time and resources to "fix" something that most people see as a natural part of a servers birth?

It just doesn't add up to me.

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teebling wrote:
7 months ago

Basically you log in and are assigned a 'layer'. There are 3k players (that's a lot) per layer and once it gets to 2999 players in a layer the next person who logs on goes to the next layer.
So if there's 6000 people on a server... the next 100 people or so who log in are logging into a barren world with no other people?
What if people get disconnected from a busy layer 1 and log back in, do they find themselves in layer 3 with almost no people?

So many questions

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teebling wrote:
7 months ago
Instinctz wrote:
7 months ago
Yep. This breaks it for me. Every zone is effectively sharded. I won't be playing classic if this goes live
See the edit to my original post, the way wowhead describe it makes it a lot less menacing!

Basically you log in and are assigned a 'layer'. There are 3k players (that's a lot) per layer and once it gets to 2999 players in a layer the next person who logs on goes to the next layer.

You can only move layers if invited to a group by another person.

Pretty nice solution I think and seeing as it's just for phase 1 (confirmed now) they've done a good job to get sharding out of the window.
Its a bad solution.
They initially said no sharding.
Then it became low level zone sharding.
Now every zone is sharded.

I could totally abuse this to farm extra materials, or avoid world pvp.

Not touching this.

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3k players PER layer, and these layers are all existing on one server... I wonder what this means for server pops?

So the meta on launch will be to get into the lowest pop layer to reduce competition...? I guess I go for a quick log in, start questing ASAP to try and get a lead, and as soon as I face hefty player competition I go for relogs to get put into the next batch of players. Being with the first 100 or so players on a new layer will give you an INSANE leveling advantage, even if it is for a short 15-20 mins. This will completely change your leveling trajectory. I suppose I could also be using my second account to periodically log in and out to try and find that second layers spawn in time and then swap over with my main account once it pops...

I could be way off but this is definitely fruit for thought and will have a glaring impact on PvP servers... What does this do if there is a faction imbalance??? How are the factions split? Is it just player count? If the horde have 2000 players and the allies have 4000 are the horde equally distributed in both layers so that they are at a complete disadvantage in both layers or is it just player count? If so could this lead one faction's logins to breach the threshold creating a second layer composed almost entirely of one faction? I feel like this emphasizes the streamer server dilemma even more... If one faction has a sudden influx of players (due to a streamer calling out their server choice on launch - most fans will play with their streamer), their new recruits will all be separated into a layer with almost no opposing faction players.

When we consider speed running times and Private server authenticity vs Retail vanilla... and bla bla bla... Changes like this will likely have a massive impact on speed running numbers. We could see the fastest run times ever, during Classic by speed runners who find a way to manipulate their layer to reduce competition.

I've played private and dynamic respawns are awful... They are not a perfect solution. Playing with 12k players simultaneously is also painful... But given these new updates, dynamic respawns are starting to look a lot more authentic than these proposed changes.

Example: I want to do this escort, but the other guy grabbed it right before I got to it! DO I wait 10-15 mins for him to finish and the escort to respawn or do I cut my losses and leave... Fear not, layers exist!!! My friends start quickly cycling me invites as I surf seamlessly through layers without moving my position in the world... Within 10 seconds I am in front of a fresh escort!

Just thinking out loud!

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Instinctz wrote:
7 months ago

Its a bad solution.
They initially said no sharding.
Then it became low level zone sharding.
Now every zone is sharded.

I could totally abuse this to farm extra materials, or avoid world pvp.

Not touching this.
Every zone is included, you're on a single shard/layer throughout Azeroth. There isn't individual zone shards.

To hijinx your way around avoiding fights, and finding materials would require identifying someone on a different shard/layer; given they aren't on the same one as you to begin with.

Without LFG tools in game, I'd say you'd be spending more time trying to get off the shard/layer rather than playing to begin with.

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So i could basically abuse this to gain an advantage if my friend ends up in a layer that has a less players in that particular zone?


Meh.

   Stfuppercut
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Default wrote:
7 months ago
Without LFG tools in game, I'd say you'd be spending more time trying to get off the shard/layer rather than playing to begin with.
This assumes you arent using two accounts. This also assumes you arent talking with people on discord. If you are playing with a group of people (most of us will be), it will be fairly apparent which people are in which layer. You dont need to identify the specific layer, you only need to be able to reduce competition... Layers allow players an opportunity to position themselves better. Players can invite me to group to change my layer? Perfect. I'll be using friends invites to shift through layers to find a layer without someone trying to tag my quest mob or at the very least to find a layer with the least competition... This system can and will be abused to dramatically reduce competition at high-traffic points. This is especially valuable as it is not bound to a zone... If I get in the lowest competition layer, I have a passive buff for less competition.

g0bledyg00k wrote:
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Stfuppercut wrote:
7 months ago
Default wrote:
7 months ago
Without LFG tools in game, I'd say you'd be spending more time trying to get off the shard/layer rather than playing to begin with.
This assumes you arent using two accounts. This also assumes you arent talking with people on discord. If you are playing with a group of people (most of us will be), it will be fairly apparent which people are in which layer. You dont need to identify the specific layer, you only need to be able to reduce competition... Layers allow players an opportunity to position themselves better. Players can invite me to group to change my layer? Perfect. I'll be using friends invites to shift through layers to find a layer without someone trying to tag my quest mob or at the very least to find a layer with the least competition... This system can and will be abused to dramatically reduce competition at high-traffic points. This is especially valuable as it is not bound to a zone... If I get in the lowest competition layer, I have a passive buff for less competition.
Yup there will be outliers. But I feel as if its becoming a hyperbole as if no one will ever be engaged in PvP combat. To have someone on deck to send you an invite or another account seems like a one off to me. Its not as if you'll be the only lone person on a 3k player layer, as everyone is at the same starting point and by the time we reach Phase 2 the tech will be gone.

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Default wrote:
7 months ago
To have someone on deck to send you an invite or another account seems like a one off to me.
Does it? I'll be in discord with about 5-6 buds throughout my leveling experience... "Hey Default, toss me an inv real quick?!". Bam. Invited.

This happens all the time in gchat too when you need someone in group to convert to raid or to reset a dungeon... Players have been doing this for years. It takes no time at all, and you lose nothing. You could be in Mulgore leveling a Tauren and I could be in the Barrens trying to get the stolen silver... All it takes is a quick invite and I am in a new layer. This will be very common practice IF this is infact how layers are implemented.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
7 months ago
Default wrote:
7 months ago
To have someone on deck to send you an invite or another account seems like a one off to me.
Does it? I'll be in discord with about 5-6 buds throughout my leveling experience... "Hey Default, toss me an inv real quick?!". Bam. Invited.

This happens all the time in gchat too when you need someone in group to convert to raid or to reset a dungeon... Players have been doing this for years. It takes no time at all, and you lose nothing. You could be in Mulgore leveling a Tauren and I could be in the Barrens trying to get the stolen silver... All it takes is a quick invite and I am in a new layer. This will be very common practice IF this is infact how layers are implemented.
To me it is, I agreed there will be people that will do it, but I don't think it'll be happening at the rate that would break the game. I want to instill my faith to Blizzard that this is the best effort of recapturing of a special thing to many people. They've stated that when the first world boss comes out, "there must be only 1 world boss."

So at some point I think us players have to understand that the tech is to benefit us while the servers brave the storm of launch. I just want to play Vanilla. If this is literally the closest they can bring us until things smooth out, then they have my $15. I don't want to be staring at a queue or being disconnected for the nth time repeating the former.

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Default wrote:
7 months ago
To me it is, I agreed there will be people that will do it, but I don't think it'll be happening at the rate that would break the game. I want to instill my faith to Blizzard that this is the best effort of recapturing of a special thing to many people. They've stated that when the first world boss comes out, "there must be only 1 world boss."

So at some point I think us players have to understand that the tech is to benefit us while the servers brave the storm of launch. I just want to play Vanilla. If this is literally the closest they can bring us until things smooth out, then they have my $15. I don't want to be staring at a queue or being disconnected for the nth time repeating the former.
Thats fair. What do you think would create a more authentic experience? One world with dynamic respawns where all players are visible and can interact with an increased mob respawn rate for the first phase (increased based on the amount of players in that specific area) or layering? Having had experienced dynamic respawns on private and sharding on retail, I can say that I feel dynamic respawns are FAR more authentic.

There is no doubt that there is an underlying issue with launch that needs to be addressed. My only concern is that they chose an awful solution to the problem when better solutions exist.

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There seems to be so many ways to abuse this.
Even being the whole continent.
I'm gonna play Night Elf. So a Human can just invite me, and bam, i'm in a new Layer.
If i'm on a treasure chest location, maybe the chest is there in the other Layer.
Think about rare mobs, NPCs with limited quantities of items, running away from pvp campers etc.
If getting invited to a group in another layer makes it so you can abuse it, then it shouldn't be there.
It's better for people to have a harder experience in the first few days or weeks with less mobs, more competition and everything, than having it so we're swamped by people making more money, more items and abusing the system. I feel like the impact in the long term with Layering is a snowball effect.
Experienced players will abuse it and get more money, more gear faster. More money means more manipulation of auction house.
Jumping between layers to farm mobs and gear.
Idk... I wish they gave us more information or a video explaining more things about layering.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
7 months ago
Default wrote:
7 months ago
To me it is, I agreed there will be people that will do it, but I don't think it'll be happening at the rate that would break the game. I want to instill my faith to Blizzard that this is the best effort of recapturing of a special thing to many people. They've stated that when the first world boss comes out, "there must be only 1 world boss."

So at some point I think us players have to understand that the tech is to benefit us while the servers brave the storm of launch. I just want to play Vanilla. If this is literally the closest they can bring us until things smooth out, then they have my $15. I don't want to be staring at a queue or being disconnected for the nth time repeating the former.
Thats fair. What do you think would create a more authentic experience? One world with dynamic respawns where all players are visible and can interact with an increased mob respawn rate for the first phase (increased based on the amount of players in that specific area) or layering? Having had experienced dynamic respawns on private and sharding on retail, I can say that I feel dynamic respawns are FAR more authentic.

There is no doubt that there is an underlying issue with launch that needs to be addressed. My only concern is that they chose an awful solution to the problem when better solutions exist.
More authentic?
I don't think you can gauge that question. What period of authenticity of Vanilla? Launch, 3 months in, or 2 years in? The amount of people within zones for the purpose of leveling and the amount of available resources varies between time frames.

Tangent thought.. if you saw +20k players all at once split between 2-4 zones. Do you think you'd be able to have a chance to recognize a name?

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For me it's a good thing, only big problem is people transporting between layers to have an advantage like rare spawns, gathering nodes, avoiding big crowd etc. But for me it's required for start of Classic, this will help launch problems but will be not required in a long term becouse of people population will decline near Phase 2 of Classic.

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Raven wrote:
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People are pretty negative about layering, but it is vastly better than sharding and it is temporary! If it lasts a month, a LOT of people won't even be 60 yet, I don't see this being a huge issue. 10,000 players in starter zones and in queue is worse than layering.

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Selexin wrote:
7 months ago
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People are pretty negative about layering, but it is vastly better than sharding and it is temporary! If it lasts a month, a LOT of people won't even be 60 yet, I don't see this being a huge issue. 10,000 players in starter zones and in queue is worse than layering.
At least sharding as proposed by blizzard would have been limited to low level zones, wouldnt affect world pvp, or rare resources.
Layering checks all 3.

   Stfuppercut Syturio
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