An Australian guild perspective on Guild Wars 2 launch
As the Guild Master for Nocturnal, an east coast Australian guild (GMT+10), there is much to consider when it comes to the launch of GW2. Our time zone means that our population is many times lower than the US and EU prime times so server choice is critical. Our ping times are much higher than those in other countries and our sense of humour and code of honour is widely considered a bit strange, but how do we cope with such things and others like it?
Here is an insight into our lead up to the Guild Wars 2 launch.
World (Server) Choice
For us shrimp throwing, beer guzzling, croc hunting Aussies a good server choice is going to be paramount to the enjoyment of our guild members. Thankfully due to World vs World never sleeping, our presence on a server is highly beneficial to all and that gives us a certain power of decision and pride of community. We are essentially the graveyard shift, the night watch – we keep the world in order while the rest of the world drift in the inevitability of sleep.
Nocturnal have had many guilds from both US and EU approach us, requesting alliances. The first decision is easy; our world will be a US one. The second decision of which server and which alliance is a lot harder.
Do we take the easy way out and follow the Oceanic zerg to Sea of Sorrows, always having our compatriots around in large numbers or do we look for a greater challenge; form alliances with other Oceanic guilds, accept that against “unofficial Oceanic servers” we’re going to be outnumbered and rely on greater tactics and execution to win the war?
We’ve chosen the latter.
By world standards, our ping times are horrendous, our infrastructure so aged and dilapidated that we are at a real disadvantage in any game hosted overseas. EU ping times are generally something we don’t even consider due to the great distance between the EU and “down under”. US ping times at best are around 150ms and usually around 250-600ms depending on where we live. If outside a major city, we may as well forget any serious competitive PVP. I think we deserve credit for just being mildly competitive a lot of the time.
Thankfully with WvW being our main focus, ping times won’t play such a major role as it would if we were focused on SPvP. While we still do SPvP and enjoy it, we are more likely to hold in-house or inter-Oceanic tournaments than strive for “uberness” in the world stage. We’re likely to have our ADSL connection dropout or get wireless interference in the middle of a tournament and that’s not cool for anyone.
Thankfully, Australia has the National Broadband Network upgrade coming, but for most the benefits won’t show for another 4-6 years.
For Nocturnal it’s about quality of person, not skill or quantity.
Firstly, we are a mature age guild (21+) which tends to filter out many people that don’t have the same line of thinking as us. We always put family first and understand members sometimes need to leave a raid to tend to their children or give the missus a bit o’ lovin’ when she demands it. It comes with the territory.
As with most Australians, in real life as in gaming, we’ll fight to the last breath for something we believe in, against impossible odds and often come out on top. Then we’ll make a joke about it and drink a beer - we pride ourselves on all of the above.
We are the “land of the underdog”, where the little guy will rally massive support to take down a giant, where the most unlikely winner comes from nowhere to stand on the podium at the end of the day. Our history is rich with examples of this and we live for it - it’s in our blood and hammered into us from a young age – at least in my generation.
But most of all, being Australian is about loyalty to your mates, whether it be in real life or in Guild Wars 2. Our guild members and allies are our mates and we stand by them to the end – usually over a laugh and few cleansing ales.
We'd like to thank our friends from Nocturnal for taking the time to share their thoughts on world selection for Oceanic players in GW2, and about the guild. To learn more about Nocturnal, be sure to visit their official website!