Forbes interview with Ion Hazzikostas
Ion Hazzikostas, Game Director on World of Warcraft, was interviewed by
on the topic of realm queues, layering, and the Classic WoW launch. During the interview, Ion shared a few specific numbers, which haven't been shared publicly up until this interview.
Click here to read the full interview at Forbes.
The reason Blizzard doesn't want to open too many new realms is the fear that many of them might end up empty after the "day one interest" winds down. And the reason Blizzard doesn't want to increase total server size is fear that maybe the amount of players won't drop enough before Phase 2, when Layering is supposed to be removed.
As Blizzard begins to reduce the number of layers on a realm, they'll start doing nightly server maintenance, restarting the server and reducing the number of layers. Eventually, Blizzard will slowly reduce the number of layers until there is only one per realm.
While Blizzard can technically handle the overcrowded realms and the login queues, the reason they shared so many warning posts hoping to convince players to move to other realms, was only because Blizzard wanted a smooth launch for as many people as possible. They were hoping to spread the population evenly across all the realms, to prevent longer login queues.
Ion Hazzikostas is quoted as saying the queue cap is "around 30,000". Ion warns players that if you come home from work and find yourself in a queue, around 12,000th or 19,000th, that you won't be playing that night. Blizzard assumes that players facing those queues will just go to a different realm.
Back during the launch of Vanilla WoW, realms held about 3,000 people. When asked how many people are on a layer for Classic's launch, Ion stated a layer is "about the same amount as a healthy realm in Vanilla".
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