World or layer hopping: Normal in most MMOs, not in WoW

Leveling with multiple people in Icecrown: fun!

layering worlds. phasing These are all terms that MMO players now know inside out and some of which have been extremely shaped by the technical achievements of the WoW development team over the years. Among other things, World of Warcraft was one of the first online role-playing games that divided an entire zone into various phases in order to simulate a dynamic world.

Phasing: The dream of development – and the absolute horror

The best example of the pros and cons of phasing was the Icecrown zone in Wrath of the Lich King. Phasing allowed the developers to design a zone that would change as the player progressed. In a way, this technique is a marvel of immersion. The dark side, however: If several heroes who were in different phases wanted to play together, then social gatherings became almost impossible.

Most players would eventually give up trying to meet up again at any stage in exasperation, preferring to play a dungeon together or hunker down in some other Northrend region. It took months, even years, for phasing to mature enough for the Blizzard developers to be able to reliably use the technology in many, regionally extremely limited places in the game world.

Leveling with multiple people in Icecrown: fun!

Source: buffed

But let’s be clear: The WoW makers have dared to do something and have consistently stuck to the technology in order to get it out of its infancy and to perfect it as far as possible.

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Layering: a developer’s nightmare?

Layering, in turn, usually refers to the opening up of multiple instances of a play area. Think of it this way: You have two groups of five characters each who want to visit Tazavesh. Each group has its own instance of this play area. You can also call this a layer; one layer belongs to group 1, the other belongs to group 2.

Now layering is mostly the technique to open multiple instances in the open game world. In other words: if the number of players in layer 1 exceeds X, layer 2 is opened. All subsequent players are distributed on layer 1 and layer 2, depending on how many players are in which layer. If the number of players exceeds the upper limit of both layers, layer 3 is opened. And in the same way, these layers “collapse” again when they are no longer utilized.

Layers are used in almost every MMO, often they are also referred to as channels or worlds. And now we finally come to the feature that almost every MMO offers: layer hopping. TESO allows that. Lost Ark. In almost every modern online role-playing game, it is possible to hop worlds without any problems. All you have to do is select the layer you want to check out from a drop-down menu and hey presto, you’re there. But why does it work so easily in Runescape… but not in WoW?

layer hopping? Undesirable.

You’ll say: “Suse, don’t talk such nonsense, of course you can hop in WoW layers!” And I’ll say, “Yes, you’re right.” But: Layer hopping is in World of Warcraft (buy now ) only possible if you open a group with another character and are then automatically “pulled” into the layer of the other character. This is the case, for example, when you join a raid for the current world boss via the group search. You will be teleported to another copy of the zone after joining and will exit if you leave the group.

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A drop-down menu for layer hopping? none.

Instead, in 2019, the developers of WoW Classic even brought a mechanism to the server that delays layer hopping if a player changes the game world too quickly. The reason behind this is simple: when Vanilla WoW was up to date with its limited spawning resource nodes, there was no such thing as layering. This in turn means that in the days of Vanilla WoW, no player had the idea of ​​using layer hopping to farm off resource nodes and earn a fortune on the way with coveted and rare materials such as arcane crystals and black lotus. 15 years later, with WoW Classic, things looked a little different…

But why stick to this awkwardness in a modern WoW, in which players largely share resource and rare spawns?

Maybe everything will be different with Dragonflight!

The WoW makers want to offer us a new maximum of comfort with Dragonflight, namely by changing all the user interface elements can push to places that were previously not possible without WoW addons. Maybe it would also be the right moment to officially allow layer hopping on the live servers and to offer it conveniently. Or am I not considering something? Am I missing something?

In most WoW regions there is currently only one layer anyway, because there is nothing else going on there. I don’t know if that would make it easier to farm rare enemies for even rarer mounts and pets for bots or hardcore farmers. But if you wanted to put a stop to that, then the WoW developers could also simply make the drops soul-bound.

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