April 6, 2012

[GW2] Client Region ‘Locks’ and the Loss of Basic Literacy

When did everything go so very wrong for speakers of the English language? How is it that even basic English can be misunderstood by so many? Why is it that people comment and post before they finish reading what they are commenting or posting about?


New information was posted on social networks this evening about datacentre location and regional purchases for GW2.

This was the first message:

Is my copy of Guild Wars 2 tied to my region?

Yes. To play from North America you must purchase a North American copy of the game. To play from Europe you must purchase a European copy of the game. Note that this restriction impacts where you can play from, not which game worlds you can choose to play on.

By purchasing the correct copy of the game, you’re supporting the game in your country, and you’ll be connecting to your local data center, using your local customer support team, and downloading the correct language support for your country.


Apparently people couldn’t quite understand this. I’ll get to that in a second. So a clarification was posted:

Here are some answers and clarifications for you! First, if you purchase the game from you’ll automatically be sorted into the right region.

And don’t worry — we want you to play with your friends wherever you are. This policy only affects where you can login from — not which worlds you can access. People from NA will be able to play with people from EU at launch. We’ve got two datacenters — one in NA and one in EU. Those who do not fall into either of those two regions will default to the NA datacenter.

Finally, we are aware that a lot of our players travel, and we are looking into a solution for you.

Hope that helps some! ~RB2

Reading the comments under these posts on Facebook fills me with despair for literacy standards.

So let’s break it down for people that are struggling.


Regional Datacentres

First of all, understand that ANet have two datacentres: one in North America; one in Europe.

(I admit that this does suck for Oceanic players who once again seem to get shafted on the lack of relatively local servers. I can’t imagine what their pings will be like, or how they’ll fare in PvP due to their distance from the NA servers… However, many players seem to have been under the assumption that they would for definite be getting oceanic servers and are now up in arms that they aren’t. I know, it sucks hard, but raging at ANet because you made an assumption that turned out to be false isn’t entirely fair…)

In order to log into the game from Europe, you’ll need a European copy of the game. In order to log in from North America, you’ll need a North American copy of the game.

All European logins will be directed through the EU datacentre for billing and customer support. All logins from North America and elsewhere will be directed through the NA datacentre.

This is not difficult to understand. Right? Everyone with me so far?


Multinational World Servers

Regardless of where you log in from, everyone can play together. Servers are not region locked. At launch, I can play with my friends in America, my friends in Australia, my friends in Europe, and even a couple of my friends in Japan if they plan on picking GW2 up.

This is also not difficult to understand, right?


So why are so many people up in arms about this? The only people I can see this affecting are people who travel a lot and, guess what, ANet have already mentioned they are addressing that: “we are aware that a lot of our players travel, and we are looking into a solution for you”.

So where is the issue here?

The issue is in people failing at basic literacy. It’s no wonder standards in English are at an all time low in countries where English is reported as the first language. People just don’t bother to read things through fully anymore. They see one or two words they don’t like and immediately post their ‘thoughts’ before they’ve actually thought anything through.

I’m aware I sound cynical and jaded here. I am. I’ve been an English teacher for almost a decade now, and while my spelling and grammar on this blog is questionable at the best of times — proofreading and me don’t always see eye to eye — it really bugs me when basic statements are constantly misunderstood by so many people. I hate to use the phrase “lrn2read” but seriously, people…


Now this isn’t to say that I don’t recognise how silly it is to have region locks in the first place. The only reason I can think of for them doing this is to stop us Brits buying the North American version of the game since it is so much cheaper than our own version thanks to our lovely 20% VAT rate and all the other crap we have to put up with.

But yeah, at the end of the day it has so little impact on anyone who doesn’t travel. If your comment is about who you can play with, read the posts again. If you move about a lot, then you have my sympathies with the regional issues. It would kinda suck to buy your game in the US and then move to the UK for six months — but again, ANet are looking into ways to support you guys.

ANet want everyone to play together, just like SquareEnix did with FFXI and FFXIV. It’s a big step up from hard region locks like in WoW, where I couldn’t play with my American friends. That is, in my opinion, great!


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Written by: demajen
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Jon Burrage, aka Demajen. Urban Sci-Fantasy writer, digital artist, supply teacher, evil genius. One of these things is not like the others...



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