Blizzard addresses the gray area with WoW Classic layering exploit: “The key factor here is intent”

Blizzard's community manager responds to fans.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

After days of WoW Classic players complaining about layering exploitation, Blizzard has finally set the record straight on where it stands on the matter.

WoW community manager Josh “Lore” Allen addressed the issue on Blizzard’s forums yesterday, claiming that the “key factor” in determining whether the layering exploit is punishable or not is “intent.” Layering allows players to join different “layers” in order to kill the same enemies over and over again, getting continuous experience and item drops.

“The key factor here is intent,” Lore said. “Did the player do something with the specific intention of causing a glitch to occur, and did they do it to exploit said glitch for their own benefit?”

Lore said that players abusing the layering exploit had to do some “very weird stuff” in order for it to occur and then repeat the action. This would be considered punishable, according to Lore, because players were going out of their way to cause the glitch and benefit from it.

In other cases where the replication of the glitch is unintended, however, Blizzard deems the action an accident.

Popular WoW streamer Esfand encountered the layering glitch when he, along with his guild, were raiding Molten Core. The guild stopped at Ragnaros and then reformed the group after getting a fire resistance buff from Blackrock Spire. The glitch transpired when a player who wasn’t in the initial clearing of the raid invited all of the guildmates and Molten Core’s bosses reset.

Esfand and his guild realized that all of the bosses reset and reported it to Blizzard. Lore came into the streamer’s chat and gave the guild approval to re-clear Molten Core because there was no clear intent to exploit the game.

“They didn’t do anything intentional to cause it or go looking for reproduction steps so they could abuse it – in fact, they reported it to us and didn’t continue until they got confirmation that it was out of their control (and that we wouldn’t consider it an exploit if they cleared),” Lore said.

Despite Esfand getting this approval, Lore admits that the layering glitch still isn’t what Blizzard wants for its MMO because it wants to “provide a fair playing field” for the fan base.

For future instances of layering, Blizzard will sift through all of the nuances and context of each case before making a judgment call.