At the moment layering is not activated.

Layering is a game design tool that prevents player overcrowding in outdoor areas, it covers the entire outdoor world of a realm and improves the server performance. It is basically a copy of an area/map.

While layering is activated, there is a set amount of available layers that can be tweaked according to server performance. Players entering a map will be evenly spread among these layers.

  • 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 usually do not notice when the game moves them between layers, but players may notice NPCs momentarily disappear/move to another position.

Players can move to a different layer by joining a party with a party leader on a different layer.
After accepting an invite, the layer transfer usually does happen immediately. However, there are a few exceptions to this:

  • If you are on a flight path or transport, your layer will change after you finish travelling.
  • There is a separate, longer transfer delay following any PvP combat.
    If you are in combat and accept a group invite from someone on a different layer, your layer will change 15 seconds after combat ends (also 15 seconds after a duel/mind control/vehicle exit, etc).

If you are for example doing an escort quest and accept a group invite from someone on a different layer, your escort quest will most likely fail. So please be aware of when you are performing an action that could cause a layer transfer.

Switching layers to search for specific NPCs or gameobjects is a behaviour that was accepted by Blizzard on retail and therefore will also work here.
Layering is currently activated on the maps Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Outland and Northrend.

If you happen to find an issue/bug with the layering mechanic, please report this issue on the bugtracker here: