Not to be confused with Layer.

Layering is a game design tool that prevents player overcrowding in outdoor areas of World of Warcraft: Classic. It is effectively the same as sharding, but covers the entire outdoor world of a realm.


At the launch of Classic, players on overcrowded realms were grouped into different "layers". Each layer is a copy of the outdoor world,[1] with minor differences:

  • Players can only see other players on the same layer.
  • Each layer has its own set of NPCs. As such, rare NPCs may respawn at different times on different layers.
  • Each layer has its own set of objects such as herbs and mining nodes.

Players can move to a different layer by joining a party with a party leader on a different layer.[2]

Blizzard originally intended to merge the layers of each realm before Phase 2.[3] This was made effective in November 13, 2019.[4]

Patch changes

See also