Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Should game servers have preferred time zones?

    • 581 posts
    March 31, 2020 1:34 PM PDT

    Celandor said: or go with more of a shard/cloud implementation where they call up resources on demand.

    Does that not mean that on a busy Saturday (for example) I could log on late in the day and find that I'm now on a new shard with strangers and that all my friends are spread among 2 or 3 other shards?

    Is there some common system to avoid such a situation other than having named servers?

    • 147 posts
    March 31, 2020 2:03 PM PDT
    Shards would let you choose your shard directly or indirectly (e.g. letting you switch to shard with friend / guildmate /teammate). And most MMOs are already pretty good with managing multiple shards--this is known territory.
    • 236 posts
    March 31, 2020 3:02 PM PDT

    I'm in favor of regional servers, not for collecting people in similar time zones but for lower latency.  Living on the US west coast I'd much prefer a server located on the west coast so my latency is good.  It can and often does get noticably bad when playing on servers located on the east coast and much worse on servers located in Europe or elsewhere around the world.

    If that has the side effect, as it so often does, of collecting people in similar time zones on each server then so be it.  That has worked out just fine in pretty much every other game.

    • 1893 posts
    March 31, 2020 3:21 PM PDT

    Akilae said:

    I'm in favor of regional servers, not for collecting people in similar time zones but for lower latency.  Living on the US west coast I'd much prefer a server located on the west coast so my latency is good.  It can and often does get noticably bad when playing on servers located on the east coast and much worse on servers located in Europe or elsewhere around the world.

    If that has the side effect, as it so often does, of collecting people in similar time zones on each server then so be it.  That has worked out just fine in pretty much every other game.

    I can get behind this.

    • 420 posts
    March 31, 2020 5:29 PM PDT

    I wouldn't be in favor of any type of mega server. Ive played some games that used one massive server, ESO comes to mind, along with defiance. These were big budget games and they were riddled with issues, players vanishing as they stood grouped right in front of you for example.

    I didn't stay to find out, but Maybe all the technical issues were eventually ironed out, but again those were games with AAA budgets, not an indie crowdfunded budget.

    However even if it could be guaranteed zero technical issues, I’d still prefer traditional shard/realm style servers with no instancing, no chance of the game world being in an different state for me than it is for another player standing right next to me.  

    • Moderator
    • 8798 posts
    April 2, 2020 3:55 AM PDT
    This topic has been shared as part of my CM content, please follow the forum guidelines and continue the discussion.

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    • 1605 posts
    April 2, 2020 5:51 AM PDT

    Will this tie in with the - oh what do they officially call it- I call "Matchmaker" profile idea they have?

     

    To be clear, I call it "matchmaker" and that name in and of itself I realize has the potential to conjure in some minds an aspect of something like a dating site- IT IS NOT- as far as my understandiong of the Pantheon intent of it is.

    The purpose is merely to allow players to voluntarily share some info/data on a simple benign level, like what times they are on and when they play, with a further choice to express more info if they want to like if they are sports fans and the like.

    Taking the simple bit of voluntary info, play times for instance: If a player is in EST timezone, and their work schecules are such that their play times are 4am to 7am. Would the Player registration screen then reccomend servers that are more populous during those times? IF there were dedicated servers to timezones. That way ther player could choose the Oceana server because more players would be on during his time zone. However, should the player be on at other EST times of the day woud this limit the player to only playing on those non EST servers? or would they have to create another account to play on an EST server. This assumes the EST player will be keeping their schedule that allows them a 4am to 8am play time.

     

    Player matching tool? what is the name!- "matchmaker" is stuck in my head for some reason.

     

    • 790 posts
    April 2, 2020 6:42 AM PDT

    Yes, due to raiding and grouping issues.

    • 192 posts
    April 2, 2020 6:55 AM PDT

    Nephele said:

    I live on the west coast of the US.

    One of the frustrations I routinely face in MMORPGs is when I join a "US" server that happens to have a large east-coast based population.  3 hours may not seem like a big time difference, but it's quite telling when you get done with work for the day and log in only to find everyone else logging out.

    I know that the same issue happens in reverse - 10 years ago, I lived on the east coast, and often would find that things in the MMOs I played weren't happening until really late at night.  As much as I'd love to be able to raid at 1 am on a weekday, that just doesn't work.

    I know that I am not the only one who runs into this problem.  I'm also fairly sure that people in europe experience it as well to a degree - there are enough time zones there that I could see someone in italy struggling to match schedules with someone in ireland.

    Thus, my question.  Instead of simply regions (US, Europe, Asia, etc), should Pantheon's servers have preferred time zones?  Should there be eastern US and western US servers?  western and central europe?  Australia/New Zealand?  other blocks of asia?  Would it make a difference for you and your play schedule or not?

    "should Pantheon's servers have preferred time zones?" At first glance, No. But I am open to the idea. I think there would need to be at least two timezones per server.

    I'm not sure how preferred time zone servers would alleviate these concerns. It would potentially compress the population into very specific hours instead of having players on at all times (there would basically be big spikes in traffic opposed a smooth consistent line). Your problem would still exist but to a greater extent. This solution only benefits those that play during very specific hours (say 6pm-10pm?) It doesn't help those that play outside of "standard" hours.

    Also, the proposed solution still exists within a US based server. When the east coast is logging off the west coast will be logging on. This kind of has the same effect as consolidating timezone servers but allows those who play outside of "non- standard" hours to mix with others who playin during "standard" hours.

    With all that said, I might be slightly biased because I live in the Central time zone and would have the best of three worlds playing with people from three time zones.

     

    I think the solution to your problem is to find a specific timezone guild. I ultimately would prefer a world that is always populated and alive opposed to big ups and downs.

     

     

     

    • 4 posts
    April 2, 2020 7:08 AM PDT

    I personally don't look at the time zone the server is in for play time.  I only take the time zone into consideration for network latency.  I live in Eastern Time and it doesn't make sense to connect to a server located 3000 miles away when I can connect to one much closer.  My play time varies, and I'd rather see the server with folks from various time zones so I actually have a chance to interact with people.  

    • 7 posts
    April 2, 2020 7:54 AM PDT

    If your US servers are in the same location, don't name them.

    If you have some in the east and some in the west, name them by where the server is physically located.


    This post was edited by Reiver at April 2, 2020 7:54 AM PDT
    • 766 posts
    April 2, 2020 10:01 AM PDT
    I see no reason to have different time zones unless the server is located in a specific location. I played on a server in EQ that had three raiding timezones. And did just fine.
    • 255 posts
    April 2, 2020 11:10 AM PDT

    Having a ping meter on server select will go a long way towards shuffling people into the appropriate box.

    • 1707 posts
    April 2, 2020 11:49 AM PDT

    A preferred timezone is useful for when a server is being set up, so people can make a decision suited to thier own scheduling.

    Timezone should be enough most times, but *really*, ongoing, servers should indicate peak population time(s) (calculated from the mass of statistics available for these things these days) so a new player can make a properly informed decision.

    • 22 posts
    April 4, 2020 2:33 PM PDT

    I do like the idea of servers that offer variant play rules... PVP, Factional PVP, RP, No ALT (Single character), etc.  Those can really mix things up in a good way.  No we don't need all of them.  Those are just some I've seen and they each have offered something unique.  I also see the advantage of servers stating where they originate for players with temperamental latency issues.  LAG is BAD.  I think we can all agree there...  but there's little to no point in further seperating the servers. 

    As others have stated, a server could easily accomodate 3 or more timezones worth of players.  As long as the backend isn't over stressed by maintaining all of the character info... you can easily expect to see a change in the demographic of players roughly every 4 hours or so.  Of course there will be bleed over from those that gangbust for 8 to 12 hrs, but for many a 2 to 4 hour game commitment is fairly common.  You're going to see a change in who's playing, there really is no reason to build one in.  That also means .... in a good way... that for players like myself, I'll see many  of the same folks during the week days, and a whole slew of new players running about on Friday evenings til Sunday night.  When I'm up early and going at it come early Saturday (I'm a dreaded Daywalking type) the people I'm running into will be quite a bit more diverse than those I regularly run with.  All the better!!  In the right setting, I tend to put in 16 hour Saturday game sessions, I'm going to be joining people from all over the world.  This is Good!!  I'm here to have laughs, live pretty and die horrid in a hard to reach corpse-run kinda way!!!

    What may help many decide more, would be instead of seperating servers, just show on a server status page a population tracker for the last 24 hrs.  Show where it's strong to play.  This will also show where a new joining mom/pop style guild might find a cozy home without a huge over population to compete with as well.  There are times when I really enjoy that quiet time to harvest, explore, and run about talking with npc's.  Hello 7am Saturday EST! 

    Ping Meter + Population Graph is all that we need.  The rest is choice by flavor.  Don't push for others to make our choices for us.  We can all play our own way.

     

    • 19 posts
    April 5, 2020 11:29 AM PDT

    WOW Classic didn't differentiate languages etc, and it was a horrible, HORRIBLE mess, half the server of Thanos was spanish speaking, or more, it was deemed the "unofficial" spanish server.

    Not knowing that was a horrible experience for me at least, LFG but unable to speak english...UGH. good thing it was easy mode game.

     

    3 months later most of them left to another "official'ish" spanish server, the server was left WAY WAY underpopulated , impossible to fill a group : it started out for the first 2 months in the top 3-5 most populated servers, with 1-2 hour log in wait time, to 5 months later being one of the least populated (other servers having up to 10x the population)

     

    Please do not repeat this mistake : have server list DISPLAY peak times when you want to play and raid : Australia will be a lot different than Boston.

    I get the mix / active population : but for server raids and ease of finding groups, there will never be  a good spread, after 2 years the population may very well flow against what you can have fun with, and anger and frustration with limited playtime to create a new char on a new server is NOT cool.

    • 1616 posts
    April 5, 2020 11:42 AM PDT

    Euther said:

    WOW Classic didn't differentiate languages etc, and it was a horrible, HORRIBLE mess, half the server of Thanos was spanish speaking, or more, it was deemed the "unofficial" spanish server.

    Not knowing that was a horrible experience for me at least, LFG but unable to speak english...UGH. good thing it was easy mode game.

     

    3 months later most of them left to another "official'ish" spanish server, the server was left WAY WAY underpopulated , impossible to fill a group : it started out for the first 2 months in the top 3-5 most populated servers, with 1-2 hour log in wait time, to 5 months later being one of the least populated (other servers having up to 10x the population)

     

    Please do not repeat this mistake : have server list DISPLAY peak times when you want to play and raid : Australia will be a lot different than Boston.

    I get the mix / active population : but for server raids and ease of finding groups, there will never be  a good spread, after 2 years the population may very well flow against what you can have fun with, and anger and frustration with limited playtime to create a new char on a new server is NOT cool.

    You wouldn't need Timezone servers to accomplish what you want, you wuod just need region servers, like West US, East US, EU, Australia, etc, etc, etc

    • 19 posts
    April 5, 2020 11:48 AM PDT

    You wouldn't need Timezone servers to accomplish what you want, you wuod just need region servers, like West US, East US, EU, Australia, etc, etc, etc

    I think you are extremely short sighted for thinkin gthat ? Because when you have a children you KNOW you can for sure play 6pm-8pm every night ?  or 8pm-11pm ?

    Someone in california, based on their work hours, may be home ready to play at 5pm if they work an earlier shift. That puts them peak time 8pm east.

    so they should pick that they are west coast time ? that would be shocking dumb of that person to choose that, the time zone they are in.

     

    Who ways 6-8pm is THE perfect time to group & raid ?

    for me, it is not : it's 8pm-11pm MY local time weekdays.  Time zone and main time(s) to play log in are 2 separate thoughts, based on work hours or family commitments .

    • 1616 posts
    April 5, 2020 3:18 PM PDT

    Euther said:

    You wouldn't need Timezone servers to accomplish what you want, you wuod just need region servers, like West US, East US, EU, Australia, etc, etc, etc

    I think you are extremely short sighted for thinkin gthat ? Because when you have a children you KNOW you can for sure play 6pm-8pm every night ?  or 8pm-11pm ?

    Someone in california, based on their work hours, may be home ready to play at 5pm if they work an earlier shift. That puts them peak time 8pm east.

    so they should pick that they are west coast time ? that would be shocking dumb of that person to choose that, the time zone they are in.

     

    Who ways 6-8pm is THE perfect time to group & raid ?

    for me, it is not : it's 8pm-11pm MY local time weekdays.  Time zone and main time(s) to play log in are 2 separate thoughts, based on work hours or family commitments .

    If they have an earlier shift and know they can play at 5pm comfortable every day than you would simply pick a East US server to support it, much like if you worked nights and for whatever reason you slepted and woke up for 8am or whatever you would simply just pick the server that serves you best, it still makes the region servers work, it just isn't as time specific as time zone, like you would have what like 5 time zones maybe instead of liek 8 or 9?  still plenty of options, just not so much to where iy seperates the community more than it needs too.

    • 169 posts
    April 5, 2020 3:53 PM PDT

    well i like the idea of playing with player from all over the world one has to consider not only time but ping as well. 

     


    This post was edited by Oldwargoat39 at April 5, 2020 4:53 PM PDT
    • 22 posts
    April 5, 2020 5:24 PM PDT

    I guess the big question is...

    How long would you be playing on a server before you look around and notice no one is there??

     

    I don't need the "GMT-6 7to9pm peak English speaking" server TAG to figure out I'm all alone on here

     

    Now if you decide to create a 40+ age group server... sign me up!