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Hi guys,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on the viability of AoE grinding as a mage when classic launches?
The servers will, of course, be heavily populated at first especially the starting zones, but with layering, this might not be an issue.

How about AoE grinding later on in some of the 20+ zones like Duskwallow Marsh will this be a possibility or will it simply be too contested to be a viable way of leveling near launch?

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I think I speak for everyone horde side when I say please don't grind the swamp of sorrows quest murlocs.

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Escalotes I will leave your precious murlocs alone don't worry.

However do you think it will be viable to AoE or will vanilla simply be too crowded for that?

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@Andemand you can tag users using the Mention command in brackets []

IIRC mage grinding has always been a thing, you just need to find a zone that isn't too taken up. As long as you're going into it before phase 2 goes live you should be fine, though you may have to go to some unconventional areas to do so.

Also, tips mentioned that many abilities in Classic aren't present on private servers; for example, fire rocs in Tanaris actually cast fireball so gathering them is more difficult since they stop chasing you to cast.

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Andemand wrote:
1 month ago
Hi guys,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on the viability of AoE grinding as a mage when classic launches?
The servers will, of course, be heavily populated at first especially the starting zones, but with layering, this might not be an issue.

How about AoE grinding later on in some of the 20+ zones like Duskwallow Marsh will this be a possibility or will it simply be too contested to be a viable way of leveling near launch?
We don't know the specifics of layering, but based on a preliminary look at their definition, if you can find a way to consistently manipulate the layer you are in, AoE grinding might be the fastest leveling strategy we have ever seen. This has potential to set new speed running times in my opinion.

Typically AoE grind spots consist of 1-2 excellent pulls and then you use 2-3 filler small pulls in the area to burn time while you wait for your large pulls to respawn. They are also in areas that questers wont typically be traversing. If you could get ahead of the pack and then systematically hop layers to reset your 1-2 large pulls this could be insane. Regardless though, having several layers to choose between will inevitably reduce your grinding competition so there is no doubt that AoE leveling will be easier and more viable with layering.

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I think the main challenge will be finding a spot that isn't busy on all layers - then once layers are gone it will be a more straightforward battle for dominance over an area.

As we have not experienced the Classic WoW launch meta we don't really know what to expect. We don't know how many servers there will be, what their expected population will be, or how long layering will be active (and it's impacts). With all of these unknowns, AoE grinding could be fantastic, or fantastically impossible.

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
I think the main challenge will be finding a spot that isn't busy on all layers - then once layers are gone it will be a more straightforward battle for dominance over an area.
You wont need to. Even if you find a spot that isnt busy, which is more likely with layers capping at 3k, grinding will be incredibly viable. The advantage of layers is that you will either be able to hop layers to find that vacant patch, use layers to reduce your overall competition as players are divided by layers OR in the most extreme cases, you will be able to consistently manipulate layer hopping to simultaneously farm multiple layers. Regardless of layerings implementation, it will have a drastic impact on AoE grinding/farming. It can ONLY make grinding and AoE farming easier.
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
As we have not experienced the Classic WoW launch meta we don't really know what to expect. We don't know how many servers there will be, what their expected population will be, or how long layering will be active (and it's impacts).
Totally agree with this point. These variables will completely influence to what degree layering will optimize AoE farming and grinding. Layering will make grinding and AoE farming easier and more effective, the questions is, by how much?
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With all of these unknowns, AoE grinding could be fantastic, or fantastically impossible.
It cant be worse.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
It cant be worse.
Unless you end up wasting time searching layers I guess.

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
It cant be worse.
Unless you end up wasting time searching layers I guess.
Thats the beauty. It doesnt take any time. For those of us who can type and play simultaneously, it wont stunt efficiency one bit. This is especially true for mages who spend half of their time AoEing and half of their time drinking.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
It doesnt take any time.
Source? :lol:

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
It doesnt take any time.
Source? :lol:
"if we party up for example you may still see a transition there (relating to players phasing in or out while switching between layers), because we want to make sure if you are creating a group you will still be able to play together." Omar Gonzalez, Senior Software Engineer for Classic (Classic WoW Summit, 2019)

Omar goes on to talk about sticky layers and how their technology will aim to keep players together in layers that are persistent to each continent. My question is, what if players don't want to stay in the same layer? It would seem there are no restrictions, at least none that have been mentioned to prohibit players from swapping their layers. As you can imagine, this would reinforce the divide that layering has placed in the game... This could (will) become a problem when players are incentivized to switch layers. This would be true in the case of an AoE mage who is leveling. But how can you communicate with others to initiate a layer swap?

-Discord communities of players. Most people will be sitting in discord with VOIP access to several users at any given time.
-Chat channels ingame like /1 /2 if these chat channels do spill over into multiple layers. If they don't, this will cause alternate issues and will actually reinforce the divide that layering will cause
-Friends list, with Battlenet integration
-Secondary accounts used for invites to hop layers
-Potential ingame addons???

These are just off the top of my head. If layer hopping is as simple as a group invite, which is what Omar says, this shouldn't be difficult to manipulate. It will work the exact same as a group of players looking for a rare spawn ID in an instance. Drop group, enter instance, find the mob, send invites out to the rest. BAM.

If we are to believe that players will be 'sticky' and will trend towards one layer, based on guild etc, layering could be EEEEVEN easier to manipulate. Example: Jump layers, ask in general for a guild invite, get guild invite. You are now stuck to a separate layer than your friend who was guilded in the previous layer. You can now invite eachother to party to hot swap layers or leave party to return to your guild layer. We dont know the specifics of layering. What we do know is that the layers have a max of 3k players, meaning you will NEVER have as much competition as was present during high cap retail vanilla servers or private servers. We also know that other layers exist and you will be able to transition (we dont know the specifics of how easy this will be). This means grinding can not be more challenging for a leveling AoE mage. Less competition, with a 3k player cap and the potential to swap layers can only make this easier. Best case, layering provides an insignificant advantage to leveling mages. Worst case, we see record breaking speed runs as AoE mages. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Based on what we currently KNOW, layer hopping seems incredibly simple. Your source to suggest otherwise?

edit: spelling

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
Based on what we currently KNOW, layering hopping seems incredibly simple. Your source to suggest otherwise?
Oh I don't have a source to the contrary, and now that you have provided a source I am happy to concede that layer hopping will be instant, easy, abusable and rampantly destroying the vanilla feel (which is a shame). So much of the layering argument has been conjecture and assumptions, so with sources we can actually accept things and move forward.

I guess I'm in some weird niche who doesn't want to waste time/energy trying to exploit the game, but just play it like it was intended (Classic). Gross, I know. I'm playing for enjoyment, not to eFlex my AoE grinding/Rare Spawn farming abilities. I'll just quest with friends, do some BGs/Dungeons and slowly make my way to 60. I'm guessing layer abuse is maybe more something that will be a streamer fan meta? Not sure, I don't get it. I don't want to grief people in PvP by jumping layers, I don't want to AoE farm in multiple layers, if I don't see a rare elite, ok I'll keep going.

If further beta/stress testing shows PvP griefing through layers is common and unavoidable, I guess I'll roll on a PvE server.

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Oh I don't have a source to the contrary, and now that you have provided a source I am happy to concede that layer hopping will be instant, easy, abusable and rampantly destroying the vanilla feel (which is a shame). So much of the layering argument has been conjecture and assumptions, so with sources we can actually accept things and move forward.
I thought you had watched the videos we were all discussing and read the Blizzard releases. I should have sourced earlier to give full context and to obtain credibility. I kind of treat this forum pretty casually... Usually just post on my phone throughout the day, but I could have communicated my point in a better way. Noted.
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
I guess I'm in some weird niche who doesn't want to waste time/energy trying to exploit the game...
Exploiting layering will save time and energy.
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
I'm guessing layer abuse is maybe more something that will be a streamer fan meta? Not sure, I don't get it. I don't want to grief people in PvP by jumping layers, I don't want to AoE farm in multiple layers, if I don't see a rare elite, ok I'll keep going.
And you wont have to. Classic is not a race. Some of us will choose to sprint through the obstacle course, because thats how we prefer to play, but we will all end up at the other side together eventually.
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If further beta/stress testing shows PvP griefing through layers is common and unavoidable, I guess I'll roll on a PvE server.
I doubt that layering will increase griefing. If sharding has showed us anything, it's that multiple shards or layers actually decrease any one players impact on the world. Layers contain you. Layers isolate misery and those who attempt to create it. Can it be used to grief or to avoid being camped? Yes. But overall it will just invalidate those who wanted to make an impact. You get together a HUGE raid of 40 players and raid a major city! You're technically only raiding on layer 4... None of the other 3 layers even know you exist. A raid of phantoms. You want to control Nessy's in STV! Go for it, the other guys will just bounce to one of the other layers and avoid you.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
Exploiting layering will save time and energy.
I don't think you understand, I won't spend my time or energy exploiting. Exploiting wouldn't be exploiting if it didn't give you an advantage, but that wasn't my point at all.

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
Exploiting layering will save time and energy.
I don't think you understand, I won't spend my time or energy exploiting. Exploiting wouldn't be exploiting if it didn't give you an advantage, but that wasn't my point at all.
I understood =). I was just giving you an opposing perspective. From your viewpoint you wont be spending any time or energy exploiting because it only serves to detract from your experience. But for those of us who plan to game the system and gain ANY advantage we can, we value the time and energy we save by increasing our efficiency. Though our conversation is starting to derail from the OP's original question about AoE farming on low level mages.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
I thought you had watched the videos we were all discussing and read the Blizzard releases. I should have sourced earlier to give full context and to obtain credibility. I kind of treat this forum pretty casually... Usually just post on my phone throughout the day, but I could have communicated my point in a better way. Noted.
Just so you know what I am basing my posts off, I have included some timestamped videos discussing layering which largely allayed my fears.
(timestamped) Ion discussing Layering, it's duration and it's promise to be removed before anything significant occurs in the world:


(timestamped) Brian and Patrick really seem to be enthusiastic about trying to find a way to recreate vanilla WoW without sharding/dynamic respawns which are a retail WoW 'problem':


(timestamped) Tipsout speaks to John and Omar about layering, again I think they are trying to find a way to preserve vanilla in this unique way:


None of this disputes your claims, or provides any evidence to back me up. I guess what I took from these interviews was a sense of positivity and willingness to try to find away to recreate that vanilla feeling in Classic.

Unfortunately, from what you have surmised from the videos you have seen and your own conclusions, is that the layering tool will be heavily and regularly abused by the majority of players to disadvantage and discourage other players. This will destroy the vanilla feel. I don't think dynamic respawns or sharding are good alternatives personally, as they destroy the vanilla feel also. We will never recreate what we had, and I guess we all need to accept that and find a way to create a new positive feeling from this inbred cousin that is Classic.

I guess I will just pray to the Blizzard Gods that I roll on a low population Oceanic PvE server that doesn't require much/any layering. I would have preferred a PvP server as I really enjoyed World PvP, but if what you are saying will happen, then the experience I will get from layering will destroy our memory of vanilla WoW. I probably put too much faith in Blizzard finding a way to preserve the vanilla feel in Classic. Maybe they should do nothing and just have huge queues? Who knows. Getting griefed in PvP, having people hit 60 in 2 days, and seeing the auction house get screwed by people be able to layer farm rares may just ruin the whole experience. I was hoping to stay optimistic about layering, but there is so much negativity I am beginning to think I was in the minority.

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
None of this disputes your claims, or provides any evidence to back me up. I guess what I took from these interviews was a sense of positivity and willingness to try to find away to recreate that vanilla feeling in Classic.
You're an optimist, I like that! They are selling a product to you, they arent going to give you bad vibes. They're going to say the things they need to say to make you buy the product (or in this case renew your sub), and that includes rebranding sharding as layering. It was a pretty diplomatic move, and it seemed to win them favor with the community. Their PR guy needs a raise. I like that they also grabbed all of these primary influencers that are feeding us content and conveniently invited them to Blizz headquarters... The same fear-mongers (looking at you tips out) who have questioned EVERY minuscule change and lead the #nochanges movement, are suddenly totally in allegiance with Blizzard and totally accepting a change with MASSIVE implications. Infact in previous posts you were actually telling me that layering IS #nochanges! If they put the same level of care into Classic as they have into their PR for this project, we have NOTHING to worry about.
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Unfortunately, from what you have surmised from the videos you have seen and your own conclusions, is that the layering tool will be heavily and regularly abused by the majority of players to disadvantage and discourage other players. This will destroy the vanilla feel. I don't think dynamic respawns or sharding are good alternatives personally, as they destroy the vanilla feel also. We will never recreate what we had, and I guess we all need to accept that and find a way to create a new positive feeling from this inbred cousin that is Classic.
I have no idea how layering will turn out. I know that it sounds pretty easy to manipulate. I know that players will manipulate it if it is possible. I know that having layering for the entire duration of your leveling experience will have far wider reaching impact than dynamic respawns or temporary sharding in starting zones. Layering will absolutely destroy the "vanilla feel" for me, but I can only speak for myself and I am also open to being persuaded otherwise. I don't think the majority of players will abuse layering or even that they will consider it. I think the minority of players who will abuse sharding will have a reaching impact on those who do not, whether they are aware of it or not (most wont be - ignorance is bliss).
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
I guess I will just pray to the Blizzard Gods that I roll on a low population Oceanic PvE server that doesn't require much/any layering. I would have preferred a PvP server as I really enjoyed World PvP, but if what you are saying will happen, then the experience I will get from layering will destroy our memory of vanilla WoW. I probably put too much faith in Blizzard finding a way to preserve the vanilla feel in Classic. Maybe they should do nothing and just have huge queues? Who knows. Getting griefed in PvP, having people hit 60 in 2 days, and seeing the auction house get screwed by people be able to layer farm rares may just ruin the whole experience. I was hoping to stay optimistic about layering, but there is so much negativity I am beginning to think I was in the minority.
This is a bit much... I never advocated that layering will "destroy our memory of vanilla". Vanilla is vanilla. Private is private. Classic is classic. They are individual experiences and they are all unique. Vanilla was great, but if I wanted to relive vanilla, I would need a time machine. That has always been the case. I wasn't anticipating that this was going to be a 1-1 replication of the original product... I was rational enough to know that wasn't the case from the beginning. My memories of vanilla are contained within Vanilla. It sounds like you are a really optimistic guy who thinks of things in absolutes. Classic will either be perfect or a cataclysmic and abysmal failure! Layering will either be #nochanges or it will rip the fabric of our reality in two!!! All rainbows or doom... I'm somewhere in the middle. In regards to your comment about queues - No. They NEEDED to do something about launch. Layering is a viable option. One of 4 options as I see it: Dynamic respawns (proven method on private), temporary sharding in start zones (their original plan), layering (what we are getting) or nothing (unacceptable).

You're going to have a blast. It wont be vanilla, it will be Classic. Go in with realistic expectations and you will love it. Regardless of how layering turns out, it is temporary. As far as your concerns about PvP. DON'T BE WORRIED ABOUT BEING GRIEFED! Layering gives you an out. You cant be camped. What you will experience is an extremely watered down version of PvP with a safe space. Players who are competitive PvPers or gankers should be unhappy with layering, as someone who wants to avoid being griefed, layering gives you an out that you can use at ANY time! Instead of that level 60 who is camping at Nessingwary's and destroying leveling in STV, you will have a 60 in layer 3 or 4 who will be very lonely when everyone else moves to other layers. His impact and misery is confined to 1 layer. His impact is divided by the amount of layers that exist.

We're just talking. Its fun to talk about the game and to have fun speculating. The day Classic launches we will all have gigantic grins on our faces and play whatever the hell they release. My posts aren't meant to distract from the hype or to derail your desire to play... I'm just a guy who wants to talk about Classic and despite our differences of opinion, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your posts.

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
What you will experience is an extremely watered down version of PvP with a safe space
It's things like this that make me think your interpretation of layering is pretty bleak. You say that my reaction is 'a bit much' but what you are claiming is Classic (in this case PvP) may end up being a completely watered down version of Vanilla. I don't want a watered down version of Vanilla, do you? Does the community?

That's my point, yes vanilla was vanilla and a time machine was the only way to have it again - but the hope was always that Classic was going to be as close as possible to vanilla that was achievable. Your gloom and doom assessment of layering does not suggest that Classic will be a good representation of Vanilla, and that is why I have been trying to find the positives in the decisions to utilise layering. I was being optimistic, I was trying to find solutions to the problems created by layering, but ultimately it appears as if what they have created will not help replicate the vanilla experience. No one expected it to be 100% vanilla, I was 16 for god's sake, I have a wife and children now. But I did hope it would be exploitation/abuse free and close to the same game I enjoyed. It appears layering certainly wont help in recreating a chance to relive some of the same experiences. I have reluctantly taken your advice onboard, and I will move forward with the facts you've stated to find a way to enjoy Classic that wasn't quite as optimistic as I had hoped. This isn't a recreation of vanilla, but rather vanilla relaunched in the image of retail WoW with their own variants on sharding that destroyed the game previously.

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In every Thread the War of Layering!

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IronBrutzler wrote:
1 month ago
In every Thread the War of Layering!
Yes. I have admitted defeat so we can be positive again! P.s. Ret sucks and I'll take you down as a feral druid :lol:

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Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
What you will experience is an extremely watered down version of PvP with a safe space
It's things like this that make me think your interpretation of layering is pretty bleak. You say that my reaction is 'a bit much' but what you are claiming is Classic (in this case PvP) may end up being a completely watered down version of Vanilla. I don't want a watered down version of Vanilla, do you? Does the community?
Yes. Vanilla had approximately 3500-4500 players on full realms with no layering. No way to escape being camped or abused. Forced interaction. Sometimes that interaction was negative. Lets call this adversity. Adversity that lead to communication and teamwork to turn the tables. Interaction that wont be necessary when you can take the path of least resistance by layer jumping. Private servers had upwards of 12k players on one server! It was a bloodbath... To think that this will be watered down into layers of 3000 players and that I will be able to avoid negative interactions is disappointing. That isn't being bleak, that's being realistic. Layering will offer a less competitive environment. World PvP matters when wins and losses dictate your control of a valuable resource or area. When you can simply avoid that competition, world PvP is not as meaningful for me.
Selexin wrote:
1 month ago
Your gloom and doom assessment of layering does not suggest that Classic will be a good representation of Vanilla, and that is why I have been trying to find the positives in the decisions to utilise layering. I was being optimistic, I was trying to find solutions to the problems created by layering, but ultimately it appears as if what they have created will not help replicate the vanilla experience. No one expected it to be 100% vanilla, I was 16 for god's sake, I have a wife and children now. But I did hope it would be exploitation/abuse free and close to the same game I enjoyed. It appears layering certainly wont help in recreating a chance to relive some of the same experiences. I have reluctantly taken your advice onboard, and I will move forward with the facts you've stated to find a way to enjoy Classic that wasn't quite as optimistic as I had hoped. This isn't a recreation of vanilla, but rather vanilla relaunched in the image of retail WoW with their own variants on sharding that destroyed the game previously.
Mmm... This is a bit dramatic, but I guess I agree with the core of what you are saying. Bear in mind layering is temporary... I feel like I started this conversation trying to highlight all of the negative impacts layering could have and now I'm trying to talk you off an edge... You're going to have fun in Classic! Layering is temporary. Its a viable solution to an issue that needed to be addressed. It wasn't my preferred solution, but there seems to be a pretty big divide within this very forum, so take my opinion for what its worth.

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IronBrutzler wrote:
1 month ago
In every Thread the War of Layering!
I mean... Its sort of related to the topic?!?! I tried to keep this one within the context of OP's question. It got sloppy though. hahaha

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Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
Vanilla had approximately 3500-4500 players on full realms with no layering
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
Private servers had upwards of 12k players on one server! It was a bloodbath... To think that this will be watered down into layers of 3000 players and that I will be able to avoid negative interactions is disappointing.
Wait, are you looking for a pserver outcome, or a vanilla WoW outcome? This one confuses me - granted you have shown your desire for dynamic respawns (a key element of pservers) so I'm not entirely surprised. You literally just said "vanilla was 3.5k-4.5k" "pservers were 12k" "God imagine if there is only layers of 3k!" Does that seem odd to you? 3k layer is much closer to vanilla than 12k with dynamic respawns, isn't it?
Stfuppercut wrote:
1 month ago
You're going to have fun in Classic! Layering is temporary.
This has kind of been my point from the beginning, yourself and others take a lot of time to point out how doom and gloom layering is, regardless of it being temporary - it's hard to not have that hit home eventually. You are right that there has been nothing official from Blizzard on implementing restrictions/safeguards on layering to prevent abuse (and this concerns me most of all). My optimistic side still hopes that Blizzard use the stress test and beta to find ways to prevent exploitation of layering before launch. But based on my experience with Blizzard and expansions/launches, I tend to agree with you that they will ignore feedback from people like us and launch a shit-show of exploits/bugs/shit we don't want.

Ultimately I think you're on the money @Stfuppercut, I think layering will have a negative impact on the game, but I just hope that it is minimised at much as possible so that we can all enjoy trying to recreate that vanilla experience. Don't get me wrong, I am still excited to play the game, I just really hope that it doesn't turn out to be quite so negatively impacted that yourself and others have predicted, that would kind of just be a kick in the guts after all of these years waiting.

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War... war never changes. Good discussion being had here though - we haven’t had as long to digest layering perspectives as we did for sharding.

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teebling wrote:
1 month ago
War... war never changes. Good discussion being had here though - we haven’t had as long to digest layering perspectives as we did for sharding.
Good point, I think we are all a little jaded from that experience. And people still feel that today. I remember seeing sharding in the classic demo at Blizzcon, it was horrific. People in Elwynn Forest get invited to a group, everyone around them disappears, mobs surround them and they are suddenly having to fight for their life.

I hope they find a way for layering to work better than sharding, I don't like sharding. I don't mind dynamic respawns, but I also don't think it is representative of vanilla WoW.

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