Ahh blog titles. What fun we have together. Also a technical note, while I fiddle with the html, any links needed are on the sidebar or in the title.
For a great many people who may read this (honestly I've no idea how many do), the point may at first blush seem pointless.
Servers! Then when and where of them.
This is nothing to do with rulesets like core or Pvp or Rp or what have you. This is more to do with geographic separation, time differences and why I play where I do.
The where I play comes from a quick history lesson. My very first MMO was EA/Westwoods shortlived Earth & Beyond. There were three servers as far as I recall and all of them American. Galileo (my server and later I discovered the rp inclined one), Andromeda (An-drama-da) and you know... I don't recall the last one.
I live five hours ahead of the east coast of America and have always done, barring a two year stint in Canada. This oddly worked out very well for me playing an American game on American times and servers. When I had had my dinner, been with my friends and all the other little bits of life, people were home from work or school and getting their game on. Weekends if I stayed up late, Pacific people would show up and I was garunteed things to do pretty much all the time.
Fast forward to recent times. I'm playing City of Heroes. In the coalition we have British people, me from Ireland (honestly are there any other Ireland based mmo players?), EST people, PST people, a handful from Brazil and a bunch from Australia. Because of the time differences, sure it can be hard to get us all in one spot at one time. Inevitably someone ends up losing sleep. On the other hand, the world for me is collected in my coalition and there is almost always something to do, be it roleplay or teaming without me having to PUG it.
That's not going to be quite the option in Warhammer though for me. Mythic, for whatever reason they have, is separating servers. There are going to be Oceanic, EU and NA servers. Sure it may cut down lag as people wont have to connect to a computer half the world away. Sure it may concentrate the number of servers so more people at your play time are available in your timezone. It seems the best way from a technology and numbers standpoint.
Is it the best way for the rest of us? I don't think I'm sold on it.
They already recognise that gamers are going to connect at any time no matter where they are. I interviewed for the position of English GM for Warhammer here in Dublin (and I'm still waiting for a yes or no GOA) and it was asked if I minded doing late night shifts as the customer service and GM positions are 24 hour jobs. People will play through the night, all day and everywhere in between.
Obviously there are merits to separating servers, be it by load limit or by geography. Otherwise why would they do it? Not everyone feels the need. Eve, even though it is a different beast entirely, for the longest time had one main server. Tranquility. All the world was welcome to make a quick ISK or shoot down someone else chasing that New Eden dream all in the same place.
However because of this separation, arbitrary and spinks from the fantastic Book of Grudges wont be able to participate in the Open Beta blogger guild organised by Boathammer.
Because of the separation, I may find playing on NA servers a little quiet when I get home from work, and find I miss some of the best battles because I have to sleep sometime.
For the North Americans reading, you face the same question but in a smaller way. Do you pick a predominantly pacific server when you live in New York because you work late? Do you make do with lower server population because you are on at, for America, an odd time? Do you then do what I am doing, only backwards. Do you pick an EU server or Oceanic server so that despite odd working hours you will still have people to play with?
In the end it comes down to something Tobold mentioned on his blog about the future of grouping. Warhammer is making it easy for you to hop on and hop right in to a group doing what you want or join a public quest instantly so even the most casual of gamers can feel as though they took part in a meaningful manner.
But in the virtual world, where all are supposedly equal before the 0's and 1's, is the future of grouping still divided by geography?
Personally I will always go for NA servers. It's where my friends are. Friends I am only going to meet in person for the first time this January. Distance has never mattered before, it's just a pity it may matter now.
Death in 5E
4 hours ago