So, I’ve recently started writing for DarkZero, a site about video games that covers news, reviews as well as articles. I stumbled upon it through N4G and really liked the setup, so after emailing them, I (surprisingly) got into the team over there. Really excited to be part of the staff.
Anyway, as my first piece over there, I decided to rant about how annoying gaming can get when you’re located in Asia. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time, but never really wanted to do so on a personal blog of mine since very few people would read it anyway. However, hopefully by writing about it over at DarkZero, it’ll gain a little more exposure.
Of course, the annoyances of being Asian in the online world hardly stops at gaming, there are a whole ton of other annoying things I’ve encountered throughout the years. But that’s a story for another time, for now, here’s a short excerpt from my post as well as a link to it.
Problems Playing Online
The biggest example? Game servers. Every single time I refresh my server browser in practically any game, I’ll see dozens, if not hundreds, of USA servers available. Of course, living on the opposite side of the world means it’s impossible for me to play on those servers, seeing as how I’ll definitely have a ridiculously high ping. Of course, the same applies to UK servers as well, though there are probably slightly fewer servers available, but it’s still a substantial amount.
In contrast to Singapore, it’s a pain to search for game servers that give me a reasonable enough ping. And it’s not just small games that have insufficient Asian servers, I’m talking about the major, so called Triple-A titles that don’t have enough Asian servers as well. When Left 4 Dead was first released last year, I almost always had to host games locally just so that I could play without any latency. But then again, my computer itself then proceeds to lag because I’m hosting the game. It wasn’t until roughly a month later that a group of Singaporeans managed to sponsor a couple of servers for us to play properly. However, the demand for local servers was so high that they were almost always full as well and I had a hard time trying to play online.
For Team Fortress 2, I can count the number of servers available on 2 hands. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare? I can count the number of servers available on just 1 hand.
This problem isn’t just present in Singapore. For example if you went over to Game Tracker and searched for Call Of Duty: World at War servers:
Number of Servers
USA 303 million 1375 UK 60 million 505
Number of Servers
China 1.3 BILLION 8 Japan 127 million 5 Korea 47 million 4 Malaysia 25 million 1
Not to mention Japan and Korea are probably the two Asian countries with the most active gaming communities. Oh and at the time of this writing, only 1 out of the 8 Chinese servers have 29/38 people playing, the other 7 are completely empty.
Thus, you can see how frustrating it is for us to come online and see people discussing about how great the multiplayer aspect of a certain game is, yet we’re simply unable to enjoy them in the same way.