Blizzard Re-Applies Layering To Select World Of Warcraft: Classic Realms To Combat Population Issues

Blizzard Re-Applies Layering To Select World Of Warcraft: Classic Realms To Combat Population Issues
Credit: World of Warcraft

Recently, we’ve discussed the serious population issues that are plaguing the World of Warcraft: Classic servers. The most populous realms have even been locked, with players no longer allowed to transfer characters to these realms while only players who already have a character on them are allowed to make new characters for the realm.

There’s a number of reasons for this. Classic doesn’t have as many servers as it may necessarily need, and given that servers are split into multiple categories – Normal, Role-playing, Player-versus-player, and Role-playing Player-versus-Player – people naturally gravitate towards a server that offers the playstyle they want to focus on. Additionally, the Classic servers don’t have the cross-realm feature that the modern Battle for Azeroth servers have, which means that everyone is condensed into one server.

To combat this, Blizzard implemented layering at launch. The layering mechanic eases the strain on servers a bit by essentially making it so that players are in different instances, spreading them out instead of focusing them into one area. Eventually, Blizzard was able to remove this mechanic and allow everyone to play together.

Unfortunately, amidst the strain of population issues, it seems that Blizzard has had to revert to the layering mechanic. Select realms that are especially suffering from the population issues will have layering implemented once more.

Additionally, they’ve extended their restrictions on character creation and transfers to another realm, Grobbulus. The realms with layering also are unavailable for paid character transfers or for new character creation, unless the player already has a character on the realm. These servers have had layering and character/transfer restrictions implemented:

  • Arugal
  • Benediction
  • Earthfury
  • Faerlina
  • Fairbanks
  • Herod
  • Pagle
  • Sulfuras
  • Whiteman

“Considering the current population issue, both players and our co-workers on the WoW team have wanted to try many different solutions before layering.,” Blizzard writes in their announcement on the new implementations. “Some of these can be implemented in days, while others are more radical and come with unknowns, but the global pandemic is happening now, so we don’t have the time necessary for new technology to be developed, tested, and deployed. We have to use the tools we already have to address the overpopulation.”

Blizzard also discussed numerous solutions and discussed whether they’ll be implemented or what complications could stop them from being added in. It seems like there’s still a good distance for them to go before they’re able to have the population issue completely under control, but they’re making progress every day and it’s been making a visible improvement, so hopefully things continue to move forward!