Well, after downloading both Rift and Tera because I became crippled with indecision I ended going into Tera first after having a friend say he wanted to try it out.
It was actually rather funny hearing him go through the process of getting the game working as it seemed many of the same issues were still there. It was taking forever for him to download until, after a day I realised the client must still be using PtP for its downloading. I thought that had been removed, and so once changed the downloading began at a reasonable place. I began downloading then too but had none of that issue, my client performed and looked different… “Wierd” I said.
Then were a couple issues with the install and getting a crash every time he pressed play, apparently issues with how the is was set up in regards to ram. Then, finally, we both hopped in game and were organising a server to play on and I recognised none of the names he was saying.. They weren’t showing for me either. And then it clicked.. He had downloaded the EU client. After a few days for him of downloading and then bug fixing I just had to laugh. He swore profusely, rage quit for a moment and then began downloading the NA version.
I had always heard how bad the EU publisher for Tera was but it was more based on hearsay to me, it had never impacted me too much and I had promptly discounted it. Now I can’t believe how obvious it is. He was downloading nearly the exactly same client I was using nearly a year ago even though the newer client must be available to them. It played rather poorly as well with a decent amount of lag, much more than would be accounted for by the distance. I’m surprised a company is being that brash considering a comparison is rather easy between it and how other companies are running but then when you run the monopoly in your area.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that in the global industry of ours things are still being so segregated. The Tera client offered no options to switch region and required a completely new download from the proper distributor. That disconnection is rather ridiculous though considering that the game files are near mirror copies of each other. Same product, being ftp the purchase price differences are a non factor and all it does is restrict the playerbase further for the publishers.
Connectivity is still not great in many parts of the world and the larger ping can create varying gameplay but still.. Is there any reason to create all these unnecessary roadblocks and restrict with who, and how we can play besides the fact that publishers haven’t acclimatised to this new millennium. I can’t even believe in this day and age that the amount of publishing companies that are truly global is so small. Mostly It’s for arbitrary reasons. All the countries bring published in would of course have varying publication laws, taxes, and market factors that need to be resolved but once you have gained a certain information base regarding it it wouldn’t be as hard. Even if it is more difficult than that (and it probably is) a consulting agency would be able to do the same job.
The technology seems to be growing up now to support a greater sense of connectedness. Megaservers are the new buzz word and should offer a greater ability to play with who you want, Information is becoming more flexible to change and the options are being placed with the player more often.I believe Everquest Next is going this way and allowing people to switch between the regions as you please yet there are many others that are still rather restricting for artificial reasons.
I see server communities as being a good thing for mmo’s, but only for certain games that would support its growth in the first place. For all those other transient experiences the least amount of restrictions the better. I’m of course looking at this from someone who really has no idea about the legal, technological, and corporate restraints and issues so this is probably just more inane ramblings…. but still….