The debate around the legitimacy of layering abuse has raged not long after the launch of WoW Classic. More and more players are exploiting the system by changing layers on the same server. Players using this exploit can finish quests faster, or worse, quickly farm herbs or mineral veins. Blizzard addressed this issue in a forum post on Thursday September 5th, downplaying the impact of layering abuse.
Layering differs from Sharding in one key way:
"[Layering] is different from Sharding as the latter only requires the use of layers for small sections of the map, instead of the entire world being layered. Players can leave layers by joining group (effectively Realm Hopping)"
Blizzard could not have imagined that this system could be abused by players grouping together to switch layers, often excessively. This tactic is similar to Realm Hopping , sharing similar positive and potentially negative traits to the WoW Retail exploit.
Press Release Summary
- Blizzard wields absolute control over its layers and is very well positioned to react to any issues its implementation may create.
- No one has been able to farm an excessive amount of valuable reagents through layering abuse — it just isn't possible
- A delay between switching layers may be implemented
- It isn't possible to determine what layer you are currently playing on, regardless of method used.
- Severs are not excessively reliant on layers, typically only using between 1 to 9, with most servers using much less than 9.
What is Layering?
Layering is a technique deriving from Sharding which is implemented on World of Warcraft servers by Blizzard. In essence, each server is comprised of several layers. Each layer contains the entirety of the world in WoW. When a character is created, it is automatically assigned to one of these layers and is not able to leave it unless Blizzard deactivates the entire Layering system.
It employs the use of several smaller servers inside a larger server to reduce lag, issues pertaining to creature respawns, etc. This system is different from Sharding, as the latter only requires the use of layers for small sections of the map instead of the entire world being layered. Players can leave layers by joining groups (effectively Realm Hopping).
Blizzard's Official Response
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) Arcane Crystals or Black Lotus.
Since the launch of WoW Classic, many streamers have elected to explore Classic, bringing their communities with them. This nostalgia-laden rush to feel the Classic Experience has led to viewing figures soaring to 47.1 million total hours watched on Twitch.
Written by Laerezh, Translated from the French by Millenium.