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Reader Comments (211)

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 10:14AM mmogaddict said

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@Greyhame Well the Oceanic region is around 10% of the NA one and what's more plays during the offpeak hours so it's kinda hard to see how it's going to impact the NA server. So I;m not exactly sure what they are saving in terms of hardware.

And even if it by some remote possibility there was an iddue, why can't they come out and give a time frame for release in the red zone, like 2 weeks after with the promise of new servers or somethign liek that. Instead get 'we don't know but we'll let you know when we work it out' by the company spokesmouths.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 10:20AM Greyhame said

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@mmogaddict

Depends on what the plan on doing with the Oceanic region. Just because it's rolled into NA in some games does not mean it will be in all.

And as someone else pointed out, the Origin limitations may actually be more related to sales rules than anything else. For example, I normally don't pay tax for things I buy off Steam, but I did when I bought it off Origin. That shows a different setup for their store than Steam has.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:00PM mmogaddict said

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@Greyhame Unfortunately this just shows the stupidity of EA/Bioware. Caause what they have basically done is consigned any planned future Oceanic servers to almost certain death.

Know why, because due to PUBLISHERS regional pricing for the Oceanic region for 80% of games released in the last 2 years (They often WANT us to pay x1.5~x2 the US price) we've basically all been trained in Oceania to buy either online (through STEAM) or from online stores like www.ozgameshop.com or Amazon.

So what's happened with this short sighted plan by EAoware is alot of the region has just brought from these same places or come up with other work arounds (Guildies/Friends from other games sending codes/copies).

The only people that probably aren't doign this are the casuals. So when and IF any Oceanic server is introduced most of the regions players are going to be already established on the NA servers and unlikely to reroll or move. The new casual players are goign to struggle due to lack of numbers and leave.

So instead of a smooth launch and a later smooth rollout into Oceania they are going to get this instead.

1. Some 24/7 overloaded servers (The ones that will be designated Unofficial Oceanic or other Unoffical Red Zone servers) which the Red Zone community will overload and drive away the NA portion of the community on.

2. Some Oceanic servers (either just designated [ WOW model] or actually located in Oceania [Initial WAR model]) that there is a 50/50 chance of failing due to the split community (Half on NA servers half on OC servers)

3. Some dead NA servers where the NA population were driven off of and where the other half of the OC community was until they either leave for OC servers (If OC server prove sucessful) though this option would also result in alot of cancelled subs as there will be a group of people that won't want to reroll yet when faced with declining offpeak numbers will find the enjoyment of the game declinging and stop playign anyway.

EAoware Developers have failed to learn the lessons of the ones that have come before, people play MMORPG's for the community (as broken and disfunctional as that is sometimes). Trying to artifically put barricades in place to control the community does not work and has never worked. All it results in is bad PR and a negative view of your product.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:16PM Greyhame said

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@mmogaddict

There's actually no real proof that pre-ordering to Oceania would actual result in a smoother launch than if they did not. Nor do their digital store restrictions seem to actually stop the sale of physical copies, since they do seem to be selling those there from what I can see.

Personally, the fact that as a Canadian I had to pay tax when I got this online and I never do with Steam shows that this store is not operating under the same principle as Steam, so the two are not really comparable.

Plus they may be trying to limit the strain on their download server so people can actually download the game.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:21AM (Unverified) said

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Technically, they're allowed to do whatever they want. They're not obligated to cater to everyone equally. So I can see that side I guess. Really though, it's a stupid move. So many MMO's experience launch and patch difficulties and you still see people playing them. Who in their right mind would buy a game for $60+ and upon experiencing launch day issues just decide to quit on the spot? Does Bioware/EA expect their customers to be that fickle? So many of us are used to dealing with this sort of thing. And you can bet if the U.S. was the country to be held back, so many of the people currently saying it's okay would create a shitstorm.

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:21AM Matix said

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No, but I understand why.

A PREFERABLE solution would've been to simply gauge the need for servers based on sales. That would've allowed unlimited pre-orders and sale-scope while still ensuring more than enough room for all.

Having said that, a strategy that calls for buying servers based on projected use that ends up going beyond the ACTUAL usage may bite a company in the rear as it is now stuck with hardware it has no purpose for.

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:34AM Greyhame said

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@Matix Warhammer Online had this problem I think, which is EA's other experience with MMOs.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:34AM alinos said

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@Matix

They have months to buy servers so i think anything server related is crap.

i actually think the issue might be that Bioware is gonna be cutting it extremely close to release in order for the product to go gold. And if as rumour has it their is like 30gb worth of game they are gonna be printing on multiple DvD's which could cause production issues
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 9:03AM Fabius Bile said

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@Matix

I doubt SWToR will have a server problem anyway.

EA owns both BW and Mythic, and Mythic's WAR has left EA with a 100+ surplus of unused servers...
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 10:03AM mmogaddict said

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@alinos A standard DVD production machine produces just under 30,000 DVD's / day.

Any decent sized production facility is goign to have a dozen+ of these machines. I doubt the time to produce these disks is really an issue. Likewise with all the NON-CE items there is similar not a large delay in production and again we're talkign about an extra 10% for the entire Oceanic region and probably a similar size for eastern Europe.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 10:55AM (Unverified) said

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@mmogaddict

It's not a matter of the physical copy. Think of the download server issues EA/Bioware would have with Oceanic (bad latency) trying to download 30gb of the game There would be a s***storm of complaints from the player base all blaming EA usually to the tone of "I've only got 5% done and it's been a day! I'm never going to get the whole game downloaded in time for early start, let alone release. GG, EA you ****ing suck! I want my money back." As pointless as it may seem, many time players blame their internet issues on the game and the developers.


As for EA not putting Oceanic servers or sales just yet, there could be several reasons beyond download size. Cost/Benefit analysis failed to see a good profit margin? Seeing as how Australia's rating board requires exposure to the entire game to give it rating, maybe Bioware didn't want to give them a full version access this early, thus is cannot get past rating board and cannot sell there because of that?


As for the whole "but we play really late at night, our crap latency won't effect the US players" argument, that's totally false. US players play at all different times of the day depending on their life/work schedule. Many times in other games I've played the very late night/early morning when Oceanic players connected and those guys ....well, they lag, their connection is horrible and is badly effects gameplay. Sorry, this is honest truth. They should not be appeased to when it negatively effects other players' gameplay.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 11:14AM Kalex716 said

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@alinos

well having the hardware bought and ready is one thing, but actually simulating live environments is much more hard to do than you think.

You can have focus test, friends and family tests, test simulations, smoke tests, open beta's, and all kinds of things to try and emulate a live environment, but its still never the same.

A soft release is actually smart, because it might only generate demand for their product. We see this type of launch in consumer hardware all the time now (think ipads, wii's, etc.), why not try it in consumer software?
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 11:41AM Matix said

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@alinos: The issue I raised regarding servers wasn't at launch per se, but rather what to do with surplus servers should the playership drop off suddenly afterwards.

Fortunately, Fabius knew where I was coming from:

@Fabius Bile: Yeah, that's true about having surplus servers (assuming there isn't some sort of compatibility issue) except that EA is (wisely IMHO) letting Bioware handle the game for the most part, and I have no idea if those servers would be of any use.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 1:30PM Borick said

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@Kalex716 Because it is a marketing shill game and not an honest business practice.

The server-load nonsense, while having some credibility, is a misdirection.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:31PM mmogaddict said

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@(Unverified) I'll address your incorrect opinions one by one.

1. Latency
Latency has almost zero affect on download speeds. Bandwidth affects DL time far far far more. The Origin system (How I cry everytime I see how EA has abused that particular once great name) is not a single hosting location, it's a network of hosting centres similar to Steam which is what Origin is trying to copy and on the topic of that, in October, BEFORE SWTOR is released EA is releasing BF3... WORLDWIDE as an Origin Exclusive for DD versions and BF3, like most FPS shooters will outsell any MMORPG (Star War's or not). So the distribution system would have to be already in place for a larger game PRIOR to SWTOR release.

2. Australian Ratings Board
Online Games are excluded from the Australian Ratings Board, it's one of the reasons games like Age of Conan (with it's full nudity and fatalities) is sold in Australia without any hassles.

3. Cost/Benefit
Exactly what costs do you think there would be over what is already beign provided for? Localization? - the language here is English. Distribution? - See above point 1. about the DD version and as to the psyical versions it costs $4,500 for a CIF 40' container US to AUS, Thats around 48 cubic metres worth of product. (2,560 cubic feet?) Either way that's ALOT of copies / container. Shipping time is around 4~5 weeks from ATD. I bring containers in all the time, it's not that hard to distribute any product. Inland costs are around $0.30 ~ $0.75 / kg depending on destination (Our inland costs are actaully far cheaper than US inland costs).

4. Latency
Latency does not have the same affect in a mmorpg to other players as it does in certain types of FPS. It's not a disease you can 'catch' from other people playing on the server.

I really suggest you try to do some actual research ather than just making bullshit stuff up.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:26AM chauncy said

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I think that a staggered launch is a good idea for TOR. And that's essentially what this is - both the limited pre-orders and the region limits will help to stagger the launch. There are going to be more people playing this at launch than I can even imagine and staggering it like this is very sensible.

The claims of a "money grab" don't make sense, either. If it was a money grab surely EA would just have copies for everybody, from every part of the world, with terrible customer support, awful lag, ridiculous queue times and constant server crashes? Or is that logic somehow flawed?

That said, I think that EA has gone about this completely the wrong way, particularly by way of communication. Leaving people in the dark about pre-order dates for their countries was a massive foul up, they should at least have a release plan which they should have made public. Fair warning (at least a month) should have been given too - they sprung this information on the world as the pre-orders went live.

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 9:03AM Unverfied B said

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@chauncy
I mostly agree about both limiting and not being a money grab.

I think they would get much less backlash if they dropped region locking on digital editions but kept the limit on numbers.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:28AM Alluvian EstEndrati said

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Like I have said elsewhere: Good idea by BioWare. You should never, NEVER EVER outsell your capability to support your customers. Only sell as many copies of the game as you can support at launch.

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:44AM alinos said

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@Alluvian EstEndrati

sure but why should that mean that one region gets access while another doesn't everybody should have a fair chance to buy the game.

Do it like a music concert say right at this time worldwide, we will be making available pre-orders there will be X amount and that will be it.

One would argue that if they don't have the capacity to serve the consumer base. Or even provide an alternate release date for other regions. Since at the moment it's just when we feel like it.

That they aren't ready to launch there game and that they are sacrificing things in order to meet the end of 2011 release window
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Posted: Jul 25th 2011 2:06PM jaycenlightrider said

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@alinos

Unfourtunately life isn't always fair.


"That they aren't ready to launch there game and that they are sacrificing things in order to meet the end of 2011 release window"

Wrong assumption. It is much more that the lag caused by players in the red listed regions will negatively impact the game for those not in those regions, so instead of having all their customers pissed, the piss of the lesser audience. Neither situation is ideal, and I am certain BW wants to sell EVERYONE the game, however, they are keeping the majority of players happy at the expense of the minority.
That is just good business sense.
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