Layering Returns to WoW Classic

With the boost in popularity of online games that came with the pandemic and everybody staying home more, queues for some WoW Classic servers have become a reality again.

Classic is as classic does

After riding this out for a bit, Blizzard decided to take some action.  Four US servers, Herod, Whitemane, Arugal, and Faerlina, have had layering reactivated in order to allow more players to log in.

Layering was the tech that Blizzard introduced to meet the expected initial surge of players hitting WoW Classic when it launched. (Explained in detail in this post.)

Blizzard viewed layering as a temporary solution and removing it was a gating item for the company to unlock Phase 2 of the WoW Classic plan.  But now it is back.

In addition, Blizzard has also disable realm transfers to a list of EU servers in order to keep people from changing to servers where login queues are an issue.

4 thoughts on “Layering Returns to WoW Classic

  1. flosch

    I think they’ve been using something conceptually very similar far a long time already in retail, which allows them to merge low population servers (sub) zone by (sub) zone as required? And opposite, splitting up very busy zone Hotspots.

    The main reason they’re doing this back and forth is world bosses I think. They stopped layering before phase 2 presumably because layering with world bosses needs additional decisions: do more world bosses spawn if their zone is layered? If so, can you force layering and more spawns by flooding a zone with characters? There’s enough people with multiple accounts in guilds that target world bosses… And probably a few other cases I haven’t thought of.
    I didn’t expect this, to be honest, after they (finally) went through the reengineering of black lotus spawns: you’d think a good dose of layering would’ve solved that, too,and they could’ve saved the extra work. Especially considering none of the World bosses spawns in zones with black lotuses.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – I do not think there is a situation on retail where a single player can swap between two versions of the same zone the way you can with classic and layering. That said, as Flosch noted, they have done a lot of work on how servers work on retail such that in town you can see people from a variety of different servers and most servers are hard paired with another server (e.g. Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz) such that you could claim that Blizz did server merges.

    But there are still a few very popular retail servers that they haven’t paired which still get queues when there is a new expansion. Maybe we will see layering on those servers when Shadowlands launches.

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  3. Shintar

    @flosch That’s now how layering in Classic works though – layers are not zone-specific; they cover the whole of Azeroth. So they are only influenced by the total number of people trying to log into the server, not by what zone those people are in.

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