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1 year ago (Beta)
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I'm not trying to stirr up anything here. I know some people have strong feelings regarding this subject, but I can't seem to find anyone discussing this in a normal, civil matter. Guess that is why I came here with it.

I just have a couple of questions regarding layering:

1. What is Blizzards plan regarding layering? Will it stay in Classic forever? Does the new realms affect how people predict layering going forwards?

2. What does layering do that makes my gameplay feel worse? Will I not be able to play with my mates? Will Orgrimmar be empty? Every time this subject is discussed on reddit/the forums, all I see is people capslocking their way through the discussion, saying how Classic is dead and Activision will ruin Classic as well.

3. My main question: seeing how the Classic developers have responded to the forums continuous feedback, and how most of their choices regarding Classic seem to take into account the massive amount of replies they have gotten on the forums, as well as how they have continued to emphasize how important it is for them to create a truly "classic" game; are all these doomsayers on the forums just spouting something, or will layering actually be a huge problem throughout classic?

Again, I am not trying to get a pro/anti layering discussion going on here, just want to know the pros and cons, and if it is something that will actually have such a huge effect on the game that some people are advocating.

Cheers

Felwood
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1 year ago (Beta)
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I'm unsure about how layering will affect classic WoW as this is the first time it's been done.
Because world PVP doesn't really start until level 30+ we have yet to see how it impacts world PVP in zones such as stranglethorn.

The private server community seems to want no stability measures in place, and 1000's of players in the same zone doing exactly the same quests. It would be chaos. I don't have any problem with layering for the starter zones because I want to quest without having to sit and wait for everyone else.

However when I visit a capital like Ironforge, I want to see the city brimming with life, I don't care if I have performance issues from the number of players logged in.
When I world PVP I want to see 100's of players and balanced factions, unlike the bronze vs platinum shit that they couldn't figure out in Overwatch.

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Warlock Affliction
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1 year ago (Beta)
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In order to maintain an authentic Classic experience, Blizzard had already previously spoken against the presence of sharding in the game. However, as the sharding has been one of the main tools to keep stress periods like patch releases and expansion launches smoothly in recent retail WoW history, they developed an alternative system to deliver the same experience for Classic, which is Layering.

Instead of balancing players around shards of zones and combining players from multiple realms, layering will allow realms to create a separate instance of themselves to balance their own population. However, unlike sharding once in a layer, players won't leave this layer in favor of a better one whenever they move or change zones, removing the awkward phasing present in retail. The only way to change a layer will be to enter a group, which will have all players from the group in the same layer.

Layering will only be used for a couple of weeks or maybe a month at the start of Classic WoW, in order to balance the huge influx of players in the same zones. Once the situation reaches a controlled state, it will be completely disabled and realms will once more have one instance of themselves. Layering also will not happen after Phase 1, the importance of that being that Phase 2 is planned to introduce the World Boss Kazzak, with the Green Dragons being released later on, both of which would make layering a tool to disrupt the flow of World Bosses in Classic.
Sources: https://youtu.be/O3b423uqrdo?t=219, https://www.wowhead.com/news=291722/lay ... lassic-wow

And they say Blizzard games don't have bugs. - Anub'arak
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1 year ago (Beta)
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Thank you both for your replies.

@Kazukii , the way you put it is also the way I have thought about it. I tried playing on the stress test, and felt that the game played out like normal: there where a lot of players around me at all times, and I never experienced a "sharding jump", where the world changed around me because I changed a layer. This, in my opinion, will only help to make the first period of leveling more smooth. I do hope that layering wont result in how retail feels, where the capitol is filled with random players I see only once, or worse, that it is completely empty. Overall, it seems like Blizzard will remove layering once the ammount of players stabalizes, so I suppose it is not that big of an issue.

@Kall This gives me renewed hope. I was a bit sceptical of the whole Classic endeavour, as layering seemed like the sort of implementation that would really make Classic a lot more different than Vanilla, but if it is only to make things work better in the beginning, and is something that will be removed in a short period of time, I have no issues with it being implemented.

Warlock Affliction
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1 year ago (Beta)
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Yup! There should be none of it by phase 2. Welcome to Barrens' Chat btw :)

And they say Blizzard games don't have bugs. - Anub'arak
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1 year ago (Beta)
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Kazukii wrote:
1 year ago
I'm unsure about how layering will affect classic WoW as this is the first time it's been done.
Because world PVP doesn't really start until level 30+ we have yet to see how it impacts world PVP in zones such as stranglethorn.

The private server community seems to want no stability measures in place, and 1000's of players in the same zone doing exactly the same quests. It would be chaos. I don't have any problem with layering for the starter zones because I want to quest without having to sit and wait for everyone else.

However when I visit a capital like Ironforge, I want to see the city brimming with life, I don't care if I have performance issues from the number of players logged in.
When I world PVP I want to see 100's of players and balanced factions, unlike the bronze vs platinum shit that they couldn't figure out in Overwatch.
Layering can do some weird things while changing even zones within the same continent. We've been doing raids on westfall and elwynn and we've had a few times where the enemy raid gets shoved into another layer when chasing us across the river.

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1 year ago (Beta)
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@Kall Cheers! :)

@Kaiju Yeah, there seem to be some issues with layering in the stress test and beta. Hopefully, these issues will not be present in the final version, as layering will work differently then what it did during the stress test.

Burning Steppes
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1 year ago (Beta)
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It's really bad atm, but hopefully they're in panic mode and keep tweaking it.
This is from last stress test and is something that should never happen.



That's someone getting phased from their own group in that same zone and while they are in combat.

I say never because by their own description, getting in group should force you on the same layer as the party leader, so either they
(a) do not know how their own technology works
(b) are lying about implementation
(c) have serious bugs

None of those options are particularly auspicious so close to launch.

[:flag_eu: :dragon: :flag_gb: :large_blue_diamond: | EU-PvE | English Speaking | Alliance | GMT+1 | Family & Work friendly | Mid-Core]
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1 year ago (Beta)
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According to Blizzard that shouldn't have happened :o

Hopefully it's just a beta outlying issue.

And they say Blizzard games don't have bugs. - Anub'arak
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1 year ago (Beta)
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I had a ton of issues with layering in the stress test. Even when we built our first few toons, we had issues trying to get on the same layer at level 1. We had to relog several times (while in the same party). Not just once... Several times. It was like attempting to fire up an old lawn mower. It eventually worked.

We did a bunch of 1-5 and 1-10 runs and have DRASTICALLY different times on our leveling routes based on the layer. It would seem that some layers were MASSIVELY populated. I mean private server levels of players. Everything was dead and people were standing on bodies waiting for respawns. We played other layers that were ghost towns. All of the concerns people expressed early on are still big issues. We also tried the "layer cooldown" and it did NOT seem to be 20 mins. I was able to hop to several layers without a cooldown... Maybe this is just based on the starting zone? Or maybe they havent implemented the full ruleset for layering on the stress test (which would make sense). On our runs we found a REALLY big advantage in communicating with other guys and jumping to the lowest pop layer in the 1-15 bracket to find a light layer (this also backfired on us once and both of us got split and couldnt get back to the same layer - which contradicts my earlier point about being able to repeatedly shift layers). Overall it felt unpolished and didnt seem to address ANY of the obvious concerns people had early on in its announcement. Layering hasnt seemed to improve one bit.

By the 2nd or 3rd day of the stress test everywhere feels empty outside of the start zones. Its as if these layers still dont collapse properly. You can go check it for yourself on the stress test right now.

None of this even attempts to address the numerous new methods that have been developed to manipulate layering, like instance jumping. You jump in an instance which removes you from the world. You jump out and are in a new layer with no layer cooldown. No matter how much balancing and duct tape they throw on a broken idea, it will be broken. The idea was inherently bad. Something needed to be done, layering was an option, they chose layering and that is what we are getting for better or for worse. They had better options but did not choose them.

If layering is intended to make the world feel realistic and to balance players it should function in a way that players are not thinking about it. The reality of layering is that it doesnt make the world feel cohesive at all, it is constantly interrupting gameplay and is blatantly in your face the entire time.

As far as the layering squish, we seen VERY few servers announced... We also have murmurs of a stress test realm reaching 30k players. What do you think the reality of a 30k player realm squishing down to 6-10k players by phase 2 will be? You would need to estimate that you are losing about 66% of your playerbase before phase 2. I'm still holding out that they will be adding several more servers before launch as they mentioned that they are willing to add servers as needed. If they do not add more servers, layers will exist for a very very long time...

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10 months ago
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