Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan ColumnAge of Conan Editorial: A Tale of Two CitiesMitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan Column - RSS 2.0
It's important to take note of the selection of words in the Friday update, as Funcom has said explicitly a "potentially" poorer gaming experience could be have by playing on a server on another continent. Now, this could simply be a matter of the PR department waving their wand and casting a rank three Calm spell on those considering playing on a non-native server, but to me this sounds like Funcom is placing quite a lot of faith in their server setup and what IPsoft will be doing to ensure server stability. This places the onus on the individual player and the reliability of their own internet connection. Thankfully, most developed countries around the world are now using broadband internet connections as it is now a system requirement on modern online games to have such a connection. The question of your broadband speed is a different matter however, as some countries offer faster broadband speeds than others. A report written in September of this year indicated that the top five countries offering the fastest broadband speeds were (in order from fastest named first): Japan, Korea, Finland, Sweden, and France; with Japan and Korea averaging broadband speeds as fast as between 45 to 60 megabits per second. Interestingly, the Netherlands ranked just outside the top five and the United States beyond the top 10. Norway, where Funcom's headquarters are, ranked higher than the United States and managed to scrape in to the top 10 of the list. But okay, your broadband is good, but to be closer to a server is better.
For those of us in between Europe and the US, namely players in Oceania and Asia, we're obviously caught in middle choosing either the European servers (Amsterdam) or the North American servers (New Jersey). There isn't going to be an Asian or Oceanic client of 'Age of Conan' as far as we know, so purchasing either the European or US client is inevitable, but where do we go? History has shown that Oceanic players tend to favour US-based servers due to the social gameplay potential, but we are, naturally, a lot further away from Amsterdam or New Jersey than those who, for example, are living in the UK wanting to play on the US servers. Typically players in the Oceanic region get better latency times on US-based servers also, but that's probably because US servers tend to be better equipped for larger server populations and are able to carry the proverbial load. So this will mean a potentially poorer gaming experience for us in Asia and Oceania, but as we only have one of two options: Europe or the US; we're going to go where the gameplay and the social aspect of the MMO takes us.