Oct 4, 2013

Second Class Internet Citizen

Nowadays, if you’re playing an MMO, chances are, it’s being run by a company based in the US.  With the prevalence of high speed broadband, latency is no longer an issue, so why do non US players still get the short end of the stick?

Case in point, SOEs recent unveiling of EverQuest Next.  In Europe, the game is run by ProSiebenSat.1, which I really don’t like at all.  I decided I was going to sign up through SOEs site, to avoid all that rubbish, but alas, I was met with popups informing me I was in Europe (with an EU flag, which doesn’t apply as I’m currently in Switzerland, not part of the EU,  I digress, this isn’t about politics); it asked if I would like to venture to ProSiebenSat.1′s site, or remain on the SOE run, US site.  Obviously I picked the SOE site, as thats where I want to keep my game account.  Did it work?  Nope.  I was sent into an endless loop of confirming I wanted to remain on the US site, logging in, applying for beta, then reconfirming my wish to use the US site…  I eventually beat the system using a proxy.  This simply isn’t good enough, SOE have stated they have no problem with EU players using their services instead of ProSiebenSat.1s, so why the problems getting it to work?

Another example: TERA Online.  In the States, it’s run by En Masse, who seem to be doing a sterling job.  Content updates, loads of free stuff, an instant level 58 promotion going on at the moment, an actual CS team helping out any players in need.  Unfortunately for me, I decided to go with Gameforge’s version, hosted in the EU.  What do I get for my trouble?  Weekly server maintenance during daylight hours, not primetime, but there is usually a lot of disgruntled players, several versions behind the US version, and owners of the game before it went F2P got a fraction of the stuff their US counterparts got.  The short end of the stick it seems.

After being a bit burned by Gameforge in regards to TERA in Europe, I decided to persevere when it came to Dragons Prophet, and insist on a US run SOE account.  Oh boy, did I make a mistake…  Infernum in the EU are updating the game constantly, free stuff codes being handed out, Raptr Rewards in place, and an actual playerbase.  SOE’s servers on the other hand are dead, very little has been done with the game, no attempt to fix the controversy with the housing (founders got a house, which sounds excellent until you see the price of the land you must buy first).  SOE have sent the game out to die, and I was going along for the ride.  Very disappointed to say the least.

I think these game publishers should put a bit more effort in.  There are no “borders” on the internet, language barriers aside, so games should be released without IP blocks and all the other nonsense which makes people feel others are getting a better deal.

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