It is a bit of an inconvenience, and one of those exceptions or sacrifices I spoke of in the opening paragraph, but it is at least a workable solution. Like the driving distance I would have to stomach from Perth to Fremantle to get to work, players outside of the US wanting to play with others from their US-based guild would have to stomach first ordering in a US client from abroad, and suffering (if we can all it that for the time being) the higher latency they would experience than those living at least in the same country as the server's location. The more serious gamer would have to make the individual decision as to whether the higher latency would be worth it: being with the guild, or being part of possibly with a different guild but experiencing better latency time because they are on a server closer to their own location.

Regardless of any inconveniences, we are at least given the option and the freedom to play on the servers we choose based on the client that we purchase, so essentially, guilds are able to stick together, and with that, a sweeping sense of relief hits those with already-established 'Age of Conan' guilds with member-counts surpassing the 100 and sometimes the 200 mark. For a lot, it's not a question of latency time or waiting for the game client to arrive in the mail, but a question of actually being able to play with their guildmates and get the most out of their 'Age of Conan' experience. I myself played in a US-based "supergroup" when I was playing City of Heroes/Villains on a US server, and because I considered most of these people friends and people I could most enjoy the game with, and if they had been European-based and resided on an EU-based server, I would have joined them there also. MMO gaming is becoming more about the social aspect rather than a sole focus on the gameplay.

imageBut you still can't help but feel just a little bit sorry for these players having to log in from Europe to play with their friends on a US server, and vice versa, because we're all too aware of the impact latency time has on online gaming. First-person shooters spring to mind when considering the importance of a low/good latency time and your ability to simply do well in the game. Reaction time is crucial in that particular setting and could mean the difference between killing or being killed, and so it makes sense to first have a good connection and to play on a server close to home with a good ping. The same could be said for 'Age of Conan' due to its revolutionary trademarked "real-time" combat and its particular emphasis on PvP combat. You could make the argument that the player with the better latency time or ping (and by "better" I mean significantly better) will have the higher likelihood of victory due to the fact their reaction time will be better matched to the data transfer time from server to them. It's not always the case, I understand, as even skilled players can overcome those with better latency times, but as long as the latency time doesn't make the online experience unbearable, where movement and combat is reduced to the likeness of a slideshow or a cheesy PowerPoint presentation.

With the conscious decision for players from abroad to play on servers not "native" to them, as Funcom has suggested, it is acknowledging that the game experience could not be as good as playing on a server closer to home:

"Should you play on a server on another continent it would mean a potentially poorer gaming experience, latency wise, and we would like to avoid that at all cost."

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categories: fantasy
categories: 3d, fantasy