Community Manager Kaivax recently addressed the community with a request. The currently largest classic server, Firemaw EU, is bursting. For weeks, more and more players started to play there. This leads to long queues. Now Blizzard is offering a free character transfer to the following realms:
All realms have a cap on concurrent players (this is configured to be the same number on all realms), and if that many players are in-game on the realm, additional players who come along are placed into a queue. The queue itself also has a cap, and if even more players than that attempt to log into the realm, they are denied access entirely.Community Manager Kaivax
So if you are playing on Firemaw, please bear in mind that with the WotLK release the rush will be at maximum and with a bit of bad luck you won’t be able to log in.
It’s worth mentioning that the subject of layering is not related to this issue. Layers are automatically created or collapsed based on the number of players who are outside of instanced content, and the layering configuration is exactly the same on all WoW Classic realms. Lately, Firemaw has consistently needed 4 layers to accommodate all players who are not in instanced content. Smaller realms have fewer layers, but this is related to the number of players congregating outside instances, not the total number of concurrent players the realm can serve. Adding more layers would not increase the total number of players allowed on a realm at the same time. That maximum is bounded by the limitations of hardware.Community Manager Kaivax