I want my global Village!

It’s the new old latest achievement: global servers and they all have them – The Elder Scrolls Online, Everquest Next, Shroud of the Avatar. Or so it is said. One of the biggest, if not the biggest item on my personal MMO wishlist right now, is global servers across regions so I can play with fellow bloggers and friends no matter what side of the Atlantic. In these modern times of online gaming and communities, nothing feels more overdue than the removal of one of the last barriers in gaming: regional servers.

Who has them truly? While everyone (minus Carbine who need to make everything complicated) is speaking of smart mega-servers pairing friends via friendlist features or other mechanics, it doesn’t seem like global MMO servers, as in global global (not regionally global) will see the light of day anytime soon. I’m no expert on state of the art world servers and cloud technology, so I can’t judge how much of the old “ping issues” argument rings true in 2013. I’ve played on both Japanese and American servers before and it was never an issue but that’s not to say that what works for few (willingly sleep-deprived) individuals, would work with everybody on board.

All is not lost though; like GW2 and FFXIV, TESO will feature free server choice no matter your game version. The folks over at the official @TESOnline twitter account were so kind as to actually shed light on this matter and clarify the question for me and others –


It’s a start and who knows, maybe one day at least guesting features will become cross-regional in MMOs. For my part, this means rolling my future main character(s) on NA, or both NA and EU if such should be possible, to be able to join many of my blogging friends out there. I really look forward to explore Tamriel in some proper company although I won’t likely be around much for prime time. Ah well.

At this point I’d also like to whine a little bit in public (who knows who’s listening!) for still not having received my TESO beta key – surely something went wrong there?? Pfft.

Two more things before the weekend

Before we’re all off to our weekly panem and circenses, two more tidbits from the world of bleeps and blurbs for all the resistant non-twitterers out there:

– The NBI is back! Head over to CMP and become a sponsor once more or for the first time! Let’s keep the MMO blogosphere alive!

– Handwriting memes are fun and everyone should do them (yeah yeah, life/world whatever)! Happy weekend global blogosphere!



  1. I’m with you on the global accessibility thing. No forced regionalism, ever.

    I detest megaservers, though. I feel my server identity as strongly as loyalty to a sports team or the neighborhood I grew up in. Localism matters. Single server architecture isn’t in itself enough to put me off playing an MMO but it contributes strongly to my inclination to ditch said MMO for another one. I feel far less loyalty to MMOs where I don’t own a server identity.

    1. I don’t care so much about server identity since most MMOs fail at making servers a significant part of the experience, especially in PVE-centric games. if there were to be many global servers, I would insist on free transfers at any time. Otherwise it’s frustrating to find yourself split across different servers all the time – people do not always coordinate from the beginning because omg-launch. 🙂

  2. EVE and Cryptic’s current offerings have done the global mega-server approach, and as you note plenty of people have played on other regions’ servers. It’s not a tech issue. However, if you are going to have multiple servers then it makes sense to at least designate them for regions so players with similar on-line times can be pushed together (both to help them group, and to help plan server downtime for minimum impact). Also, having a hard divide between regions makes life a lot easier for companies that want to franchise out regions (such as Mythic did to GOA with DAoC and WAR, or Turbine did initially for LotRO with Codemasters).

    Bhagpuss has a point. Smaller servers with limited transfers each have their own community and feel like a village. Mega-server systems are more like big cities, and much more anonymous. Hmmm – any relation between that and the fact that EVE and Neverwinter both have a lot of ass-hattery in public channels, do you think?

    1. I don’t know; imo all MMOs have ass-hattery – WoW always did. somehow I doubt that server size is the primary reason how communities within a game develops.

      It’s true though that small servers can be fun, especially if you’re allowed to self-host and customize your communities further. I would be up for that in a heartbeat as long as server choice is free across all regions.

  3. I wonder if part of the cross-region issue is if there is actually a separate provider behind the scenes? We used to see that with MMO’s run by Codemasters in Europe etc. Then again, FFXIV is hosting its EU servers in North America.

    I’m going to go against your other commenters and say that modern MMO’s have too much instability and churn to maintain the single server community. As I just wrote on my blog, I had to agonize on which set of friends to roll with in FFXIV, and odds are that they’ll probably be gone in a few months anyway and I’ll be stuck on a server wishing I’d rolled elsewhere. I’d rather have a megaserver where I’m not hosed in 90 days then a community that won’t last that long, especially since all companies not named Trion will gleefully charge a month’s sub or more per character to fix their mess if you need to transfer off a dead server.

    1. This. this is exactly my experience and partly the reason why I look forward to mega-servers. I’ve tried finding ‘the server’ in Rift and GW2 and it never worked out; coordination at launch is hard anyway, and three months in people diwndle and I am effectively alone. with mega-servers at least you have a chance to access others more easily and establish a smaller group of people longterm that isn’t spread across the world and needs to pay for transfers.

  4. Unifying the regions would be nice. Maybe they could have some language-specific channels set up though, so that languages wouldn’t get all mashed into one general, trade, defense, and so on. Players who can understand multiples could tick them on, just as you could have a chat tab that includes multiple channels.

    1. I didn’t even think of that – shows how conformist I’ve become accepting English as the one world language. 😛

  5. I couldn’t agree more, having a game population split across multiple servers is not something that should be normal among MMOs by now. EVE, Champions Online, etc. all just have one world to log into. I’m even okay with Secret World’s and Guild Wars 2’s versions as long as names are game/account unique so I don’t have to worry about losing identity during a server transfer.

    While I’m interested in TESO, I hadn’t been paying much attention to it yet, so I’m glad to hear that they’re not making that particular mistake. I didn’t have any interest in the latest Final Fantasy MMO relaunch, but all of the Twitter comments I saw with people trying to coordinate which servers to roll characters on reminded me how nice it is not to have to worry about those things.

    1. I liked being able to chat with everyone in GW2; what I did miss with the different servers was easy transfers. the fact that you need to pay a lot of gems or delete all your chars to start over on the other region is not very satisfying imo.

  6. Hear hear! Global community all the way. Now we just have to figure out the issue of timezones and communication and playing together…

    I wonder if any of the latest and greatest would dabble in persistent chat that acted akin to message boards / Twitter? At least we would be able to leave memos for each other if we couldn’t be online at the same time then.

    1. That’s a lovely idea and I’d take it further and ask that worlds become more sandboxy like Minecraft, so players can leave each other physical/visible signs, presents etc. online even if they’re not around at the same time.

      it was wonderful how you could log into your ‘neighbourhood’ in MC and always see how things around you have changed because others were working on them – or then someone would leave you flowerpots at your doorstep or write silly messges into the ground. that kind of stuff would be amazing to have in MMOs – here’s to Landmark hoping! 🙂

  7. Haha “new old achievement” indeed. The now ancient Ultima Online didn’t -force- regions. You had the option to go wherever you wanted (though you may take a performance hit), and that always trumps any pathetic region division done by modern games to cover up the failings of their system. Good to see some are trying to break out of that “norm” now.

    1. Yeah I do welcome that trend. for me it’s either all out global or then self-hosted; I don’t really like anything in between anymore.

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