Heroes of the Storm artwork for Alterac Valley

[Update #2]: I'm happy to say that World of Warcraft: Classic has now been officially released and that the servers are practically overflowing with players!

[Update]: Blizzard has announced they will be adding a whole bunch of new WoW Classic servers on August 26th, right before launch!

World of Warcraft: Classic is set to release on August 26th, bringing with it an almost perfect recreation of the original World of Warcraft experience. In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, as well as to give the community a chance to ask some of the most pressing questions, the WoW Classic team has recently held a Q&A.

You can find the full list of questions and answers over at the official forums, and I would highly recommend giving them a look as they offer some pretty good insights into the development process behind WoW Classic and the team's overall goals. But for now, however, I would like to highlight Blizzard's response to the all-important layering question:

"First, we’re absolutely committed to reducing to one layer per realm before our second content phase goes live, and the sooner we can get there, the better. The reason we can’t do that initially is that on launch day, everybody will be clustered in the starting zones, and having players so close together causes an exponential drain on server resources. In fact, the same number of players cause more server problems crammed into Northshire than they do spread across all of Elwynn Forest. We expect that even after the first couple of days, we’ll need fewer layers than we need for the initial hours of launch, and our stress tests have confirmed that expectation.

Regarding PvP, we saw many posts from players wondering if getting invited to a party is a good way to escape from PvP combat. I’m pleased to say there’s actually a separate, longer transfer delay following any PvP combat. We know a lot of world PvP enthusiasts are excited for WoW Classic, and we don’t want the additional layers to feel like they’re robbing you of your kills. When the time comes to withdraw from the fight, you’ll have to escape from your enemies and get to a safe place before you’re able to join your friends on another layer.

I’d also like to clarify how multiple layers work with logout. Early in our stress testing, players reported that logging out and back in would let you hop to a new layer to farm the same mineral or herb node on different layers. That was a bug, and we’ve fixed it. Your layer assignment now persists for a few minutes between logouts, long enough that by the time the game would choose a new layer for you, that node would have respawned on its own anyway."

Long story short, it would appear that most of the layering problems encountered throughout the closed and open beta have already been fixed for the launch version. More importantly, Blizzard has once again confirmed that all layering will be taken down once Phase 2 arrives alongside Blackwing Lair! How exactly this is going to pan out given the massively increased server populations, I have absolutely no idea, but it's certainly going to be an interesting period to live through on a PvP server.

The final thing worth mentioning is that Blizzard has recently launched the character creation and name reservation service for WoW Classic. So if you would like to get ahead of the curve and create your characters before the massive influx of new players at launch, this is pretty much your last chance. Just remember that you'll need an active subscription in order to do so!