Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
 
Should Europeans play WAR on US servers?

A lot of European WAR fans are currently considering the option of playing Warhammer: Age of Reckoning on US servers instead of on GOA European servers. Can't really blame them, GOA hasn't done much to earn our confidence. Big announcements of how nothing could possibly go wrong, then things going wrong, radio silence followed by apologies, and the account site still not working: No wonder some people think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. The US has a working account site, and an open beta which by all reports is running quite well.

But playing on US servers has serious downsides. One is ping, the time between something happening on the server, the information getting to you, and your reaction travelling back to the server. I have no actual measurements for WAR, but for other games I observed about 50 ms ping to Europeans servers, and over 200 ms ping to US servers. Okay, that's only fractions of a second, but in a heated PvP battle fractions of a second can make all the difference.

The other big downside is time zones, I blame Copernicus. :) WAR, much more than WoW, is a social game. You *want* to be online when everyone else is online, be it for public quests or for PvP. Europeans live 6 to 9 time zones ahead of the US, so unless you play day and night anyway, you're not going to be online much during US prime time. Your US guild plans a big keep raid event, but they'll schedule it for the time when they are all online, which is 3 am in the morning for you. Been there, done that, it's not a good idea.

Of course for me it is easy to be confident that WAR will run on launch day in Europe, as I have that free US account as backup (Side note: Anyone noticed that I'm the only one reporting to have got one? I can't believe Mythic created that service just for me. There must be lots of game journalists and maybe even bloggers out there who also received one of those and kept mum.). But I'm really hoping that the European launch goes well, even if the open beta didn't. I want to play on European servers, not only for the ping and time zone, but also because my guild and all my friends will be on the Euro servers.
Comments:
I considered switching to the US version but I think the disadvantages are too many. I think, regarding RVR, you will definitely want to play during peak local hours.

I wonder how many people will buy the US version but return to EU after a few weeks when everything works.

BTW, my OB key was validated this morning so that's a good sign - for me anyway :)
 
If you follow communities of other MMOs at all (which I know you do, Tobold), then you are aware that not having enough people to play with is really not much of an issue. Before WOW gave us servers with an oceanic tag, the vast majority of Asia-pacific WOW players that didn't have a dedicated version played on Blackrock and Proudmoore.

If there is enough demand for it, people were form a cohesive community. Given the failures of GOA, I could see the disgruntled European players on US servers forming enough of a critical mass to make it worth it.
 
I just would play a different game rather than go to US servers, to be honest. There's a lot more choice now than there once was.
 
Actually, it's more about considering to not play WAR at all. Do I really want all this hassle just to play a game ? I dont expect it all to be much smoother once we get closer to release date.
 
Weighing the pros and cons, they probably should. At least on US servers you will be able to log in, actually play the game, receive decent customer servive and be treated like a valued customer instead of an highly unwanted (and potentially mentally ill) nuisance.

I seriously believe GOA is slowly but surely killing WH-EU. OB is supposed to be a test, but nowadays its also a marketing tool, intended to create positive buzz. Which evidently isnt happening right now...

If they have this much trouble registering a limited amount of customers, imagine what will happen in a few days, when headstart is supposed to begin, or even live start. It will totally smoke whatever defunct/halfheartedly patched up systems they have in place.

Its time for Mythic to pull the plug and end their marriage with GOA. These people are effectively destroying years of work of hundreds of dedicated people in a week or so. Thats not what you want in a business partner.
 
I've considered this - however I played on the EQ2 US Servers and anything before 7pm CET and the servers are deserted so I think its WAR EU for me.

However last night I did cancel my CE pre-order as I think £60 / 75 EUROS is far too much for something that I may not get to play when its released
I think the benefits of the CE seem to be diminishing quite quickly for me.
 
Im playing on the US Servers because that's where Ive always played and I have friends enough across the water with decent enough schedules that we will get to run together often. I dont mind staying up late on weekends when we'll plan to do the really big things that come our way. So it's all really down to if you know people.

That said I now know a bunch of people on the EU servers and it's a pity I won't get to play with them.


Also speaking as a War blogger (tiny though it be) I've not had a free account, nor have any of the other bloggers I know. Lucky git that you are :P
 
hm...
I could promise GOA that i would never write a flame posting again for free account..

But i think i could not resist for long...
 
http://mmorpg-finder.com/
 
Ive an idea id think would be quite fun in principle, realise there might be timezone issues.

what if there was a joint US/EU server, where US played order, EU played chaos? i would be interested in the results!

know it would never happen. but still
 
200ms ping from EU to US? Welcome to the World of Warcraft for anyone NOT from US or EU (and possibly China). As a first-world, two wrold war spanning ally of the US and EU, the best Australia/New Xealand (and the rest of Sth East Asia) can hope for is 350-400ms pings...and it has been that way since day one.

In saying that, with enough pressue, Blizz gave us Oceanic servers. Sure, they are nowhere near up to standard lag-wise, but at least it gives a certain region of the world a sense of community.

From what I gather, you guys in Europe should rock on an 'unoffical EU (US) server' like the first post alluded to in regards to Australians et al when WoW started on Proudmoore and Blackrock servers.

I'm not rubbing it in anyone in Europe's face, but WAR IS worth the effort. It's a pity these incompetents at GOA are trying their best to wreck it for you.

Hang in there guys.
 
No free accounts over at our place (not surprised though, you cover a multitude of games and have a much wider audience).

I won't be playing on a US server unless my entire circle of friends decides to. On the whole I still prefer to play on Euro servers for a variety of reasons. But never say never, eh?
 
Having experienced the colossal nightmare that was Southeast Asia's IAHgames (in turn supposedly linked with Hannbitsoft, which then was supposed to get updates from Flagship Studios) and Hellgate London...

I'd say yes. Save yourself now and switch to the US WAR servers.

Enough disgruntled Euros will be a sizeable 3am community on the US side that you all can construct your own midnight keep takeovers to keep folks on their toes.

For the morbidly curious, the HG:L fiasco for us went the full course from zero communication from anybody, a crippled and unstated 'local' version that disallowed validating the code on US servers, late patches, patches that never arrived, and other such ridiculous "take it or leave it" service.

At least you got a semi-apologetic, semi-obnoxious letter from GOA's CE, so maybe they're not -that- bad.

Thank god Mythic is taking care of the Oceanic WAR servers. But I can feel your pain.
 
The ping problem only applies if other sources of lag are equal. Given GOA's track record, I have very little faith that their servers will perform better overall than the ones in the US.
 
At this rate, the problem will be more that the EU servers will be empty, even in CET prime-time.

The only people playing there will be a few americans avoiding the crowding caused by all of europe migrating to the US servers.
 
I wonder how many members of Casualties of War (mmo blogger guild) are actually paying to play :P
 
I'll let you know if I hear of any of them getting it :P
 
No free accounts for me! I don't know if I'd accept it or not, but it would have been nice to have them offer it to me. :P
 
RE: Free account -

Not me, I only wish. Not as a TTH employee or as a blogger. Though with my TTH income, and my weekly article at Hammer of WAR Online, I'm technically getting paid to work around WAR, which covers more than the cost of my sub... but still. :)
 
I played on usa servers for 5 years and live on gmt.

it became hard when server pop went down. but as clustering went it was fine. it was fine on mlf server where there was alot of foreign people playin. that meant there was rvr 24/7, on low pop servers there was only rvr action peak times.

If people whold be play'in on usa servers it meant that we had action all day and all night long.

sure when pve raids were in the middle of night it was horrid. but I can never get that awfull goa site to even load. yet alone be able to register my pre order. and all my online friends are in usa.
 
No, I wont play on US servers. I will w8 some weeks after launch to see if there is any improvement over GOA's customer support.
If there is no improvement I won't give my money to that game.
Not to Mythic for not listening to the players by choosing GOA again and certanly not to GOA.
 
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