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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:57pm 20/03/14 | 44 Comments
Following community reports from Australian Diablo 3 players having noticed their in-game connection quality had markedly improved, publisher Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed in an official announcement that it has indeed deployed local game servers for Diablo 3 in Australia, ahead of the upcoming launch of the Reaper of Souls expansion.
“We’ve listened to community feedback and set a goal of improving the game experience for Diablo players in Australia and New Zealand,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “By deploying local game servers to the region in time for the release of Reaper of Souls, we aim to make slaying demons more fun—for the heroes, at least. Malthael’s in for a world of hurt.”
Located in a Sydney datacentre, the servers are now running local Diablo 3 game instances started by Australian players. An official FAQ explains that Australian players still default to the North American region, and connect through Battle.net service there -- so friends lists and saved character etc will remain the same -- but when a game is launched, the server instance is now spawned on the new Sydney-based hardware, offering local players a much smoother game experience.

Notably, the arrangement still allows Australian and North American players to play together (or Asia and Europe via ‘global play’), with the server instance being established locally to whichever player started the game. Limited availability of the Australian hardware might still see some Australian players spawning US-hosted servers, with the exception of death-is-permanent hardcore characters, which Blizzard says will be restricted to local servers only, with a queuing system if they’re full.

Australian gamers have been begging Blizzard for local servers for its various PC games for many years, so it’s great to see some love coming to Diablo 3. As for its other games, the publisher remains tight-lipped, only saying “we will continue to explore optimal server solutions for all of our franchises in each region”.

The forthcoming MOBA/ARTS title Heroes of the Storm seems a likely candidate, and perhaps StarCraft 2 if we’re lucky. World of Warcraft, not so much, as it would still require enough local players to sustain a viable game world/economy, and to justify the publisher's hosting expense. Who knows though, maybe they'll surprise us.

The new servers are active now for players to enjoy, so jump in and report back with your experiences in the Comments section.





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Latest Comments
Toxus
Posted 07:52pm 20/3/14
Let me be the first to say...Woop de f*****g doo daar
GamerGuy
Posted 07:53pm 20/3/14
Noticed the 30ms the other night, so happy the severs are here to stay!
Mosfx
Posted 08:19pm 20/3/14
Yeah I was pulling 40ms before
Eorl
Posted 08:20pm 20/3/14
Its an amazing feeling having such low pings now in Diablo 3. Hardcore characters aren't a guessing game now.
samatt
Posted 08:35pm 20/3/14
Feeling the love, so much more smooth and responsive.
Rominion
Posted 09:50pm 20/3/14
I knew something had changed. When you stop constantly dying on a wizard all of a sudden, something has changed. Strange they didn't really announce it like a big thing because lets face it. It should have been there in the $@#!$@! first place.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:17pm 20/3/14
Love how in this industry, even with solid good news, you still can't please everyone :P
Jeffro
Posted 10:24pm 20/3/14
Sigh I played WoW for 4 years without them ever giving us Aussie servers. Gave up on Blizzard after that. Guess they finally came through. Pity its D3 and not WoW though.
paveway
Posted 10:25pm 20/3/14
wow players are less likely to leave as they will lose purpose in their lives, they know they have them hooked
groganus
Posted 10:34pm 20/3/14
So they have this for D3 but not wow.
Eorl
Posted 10:57pm 20/3/14
I have a feeling WoW is far more complicated than a action RPG :)
Toxus
Posted 10:58pm 20/3/14
And yet there is still no offline mode for no good reason whatsoever
koopz
Posted 11:31pm 20/3/14
And yet there is still no offline mode for no good reason whatsoever



are you considering for just one moment that micro-purchases might one day lay in the hands of self-owning gaming admins? What kind of witchcraft is this? We;ll teach you PC gamers...! You'll be paying a premium for internet to play PC based games here in the US in the very near future - you mark my words ( etc etc etc ). Yeah - it's coming.


btw - is it me, or is the 'EA SimCity' post exposing EA employees spruking the offline mode suddenly gone from Reddit now? Anyone catch and grab it?





IVY_MiKe
Posted 12:14am 21/3/14
Is this just 12 months late, or a full 24 (I don't recall when D3 came out...)
Rominion
Posted 01:47am 21/3/14
Well it's actually brilliantly done. The amount of Aussies ive played with lately is amazing and really fun. They have nailed this perfectly before the expansion. It's going to be huge.
Silk
Posted 04:21am 21/3/14
Would prefer WoW servers, but won't look a gift horse in the mouth.
d^
Posted 09:11am 21/3/14
My expansion is on the way in the mail and I see this announcement, good times.
Hogfather
Posted 09:40am 21/3/14
Please note that for the record, I broke this story on QGL first several days ago. RIP thread, Steve is just a dirty thief!

There's probably hope for Aussie WoW servers, but not in the way you might expect. They're doing a lot of work on virtualisation lately, bringing realms closer together for instance, and I think the way the D3 servers work is a hint to how localisation of WoW might one day creep in.

It wouldn't surprise me if one day in the medium term Aussies on Oceanic servers didn't spawn into local instances of dungeons that reported back player loot / character changes to the boss server on delay but otherwise ran the show. For mixed premade groups, the group / raid leader would determine the location of the instance. The same thing in theory could happen in the world but introduces deeper phasing than might be desired.

Was wondering last night if all this work they are doing on virtualisation and cross-realm stuff might not indicate a direction for their new MMO ... serverless, just one big, fat world? O_o
IVY_MiKe
Posted 10:02am 21/3/14
Aww c'mon Hoggy, don't be like that.

I noticed that this wasn't 'new' news.

I keep forgetting about WoW (I avoided the game like the plague).
It seems an age since I've heard anything from WoW (other than about their 'last, last expansion') for some time.
Is it still kicking strong? or have player numbers dwindled somewhat?
Hogfather
Posted 10:36am 21/3/14
WoW is pretty flat, not really dying but no longer growing.

Anyone interested in playing HC now that we have a local server? I want to give it a go but need someone to hold my hand :D
ph33x
Posted 10:47am 21/3/14
Problem is when you play HC and your friend dies, the game kinda dies around you as well.
Hogfather
Posted 10:53am 21/3/14
Problem is when you play HC and your friend dies, the game kinda dies around you as well.

Nah f***em, you laugh and move on.

Shame you can't loot their corpse TBH
Eorl
Posted 10:59am 21/3/14
I'm up for some hardcore this weekend, apparently all my friends are too cool for HC now. Though I may be busy with inFamous now :P
ph33x
Posted 11:05am 21/3/14
Yeah I could probably get in on that. XP comes out soon.

Warning: I'll think it was a s*** idea once I die.
paveway
Posted 11:45am 21/3/14
Warning: I'll think it was a s*** idea once I die


that is why i will probably stay away from hardcore

i can only imagine the hoggy rage when he dies
Hogfather
Posted 11:54am 21/3/14
:D people want me to FRAPs it lol
Khel
Posted 11:54am 21/3/14
I keep forgetting about WoW (I avoided the game like the plague).
It seems an age since I've heard anything from WoW (other than about their 'last, last expansion') for some time.
Is it still kicking strong? or have player numbers dwindled somewhat?


Not as strong as wrath days when it was at 14 million subs or whatever crazy number it was at the time, but its still in the realm of 7 - 8 million. It fluctuates a bit as new content comes out or people get bored, but generally holding steady around there. They've done a kind of server merge and connected a lot of the low pop servers together to give them a better population, so that helps too.

But yeah, its awesome to see more people seriously considering Australian servers for stuff, first Titanfall now this, its setting a promising precedent!
kappa
Posted 11:57am 21/3/14
Not interested in HC. Losing all my s*** when dying doesn't appeal to me. But some people love the challenge.

My goal before RoS is to hit P100.

Btw anyone else get f*** all legendaries dropping? My mate gets a tonne of drops and I get jack s***. Loot 2.0 my ass.
kappa
Posted 12:00pm 21/3/14
Hoggy you need to twitch stream that s***.
Hogfather
Posted 01:07pm 21/3/14
Hoggy you need to twitch stream that s***.

No NBNs or I so would
Thundercracker
Posted 01:43pm 21/3/14
At first I thought this was an elaborate ruse from some people to get my hopes up.

I was pretty happy when I saw the 30-40ms pings after jumping on a few days ago :D
paveway
Posted 01:59pm 21/3/14
:D people want me to FRAPs it lo


i want to you setup a video recorder behind your computer and record when you play, just keep recording over it until you die

then post the video of you destroying your monitor with your keyboard
Morax
Posted 02:40pm 21/3/14
The game is running awesome with the new pings :D having tons of fun! Really excited for the expansion next week
deve
Posted 01:18am 22/3/14
Gave a witch doctor a go this evening.

Bottle of red, 10mg of valium and i'm level 16 after 90 odd minutes of play (the community boost is pretty rad (50% XP boost), so take advantage if you're not already.
Tepid
Posted 09:45am 22/3/14
why is everyone on prescription meds these days.
Gloth
Posted 09:52am 22/3/14
Great news, game feels like it always should have, hoping whatever these new methods they are using is transferable to wow and maybe even all future games.
deve
Posted 11:13am 22/3/14
why is everyone on prescription meds these days.


I've got a script for it. I don't take it often, every once in a while i'll have it and it's delicious.
Andrewus
Posted 11:53am 22/3/14
Pity its D3 and not WoW though.

this. may have considered getting back into wow
Trin
Posted 01:19pm 22/3/14
boost is now %100 xp gain... get in there!
ph33x
Posted 01:41pm 22/3/14
Aus WoW realms would end a lot of s*****, yet convenient excuses for being a raid noob.
Khel
Posted 03:55pm 22/3/14
I'd imagine the infrastructure involved with running locally based WoW realms would be magnitudes greater than it would be for D3 game servers, but it could be the first step along the way, see how popular Australian based servers are before they commit the resources and stuff. Heres hoping!
MoulaZ
Posted 07:21pm 22/3/14
This is great news and all, but did everyone forget about, at the time of release, Diablo 3's 'revolutionary' way of having the Client communicating with the Server? Along the lines of moving more processing/calculating off to the Client, than the past. Even with pings of 200-300, the game felt very close to feeling offline.

Truth be told, if I hadn't seen this article, I'd have never known.

http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/video-of-diablo-3-no-latency-for-high-ping-players
ph33x
Posted 07:31pm 22/3/14
^ This is true, but the problem is when the server does less work, the longer it takes for other players to see whats going on. I notice it with enemies dying in a chunky fashion at times. The actions are instant only for the user.

WoW does the same thing re: walking. Walking is instant so the game doesn't feel like s*** - but in regards to spells, every player needs to see what's happening as soon as possible. So attacks/spells/abilities are still done on the server and are therefore laggy. (Think PvP)

There is upsides and downsides to both methods, but the rule of thumb still is you can't defeat latency at the software level. Compare BF to a game like COD. Different ways of dealing with latency but both games have their nuances.
Hogfather
Posted 09:24pm 22/3/14
This is great news and all, but did everyone forget about, at the time of release, Diablo 3's 'revolutionary' way of having the Client communicating with the Server? Along the lines of moving more processing/calculating off to the Client, than the past. Even with pings of 200-300, the game felt very close to feeling offline.

Truth be told, if I hadn't seen this article, I'd have never known.

Look it made it playable for sure, and this is coming fro someone who couldn't stomach D2 Realms. But the difference between what the server believes to be the truth and what you believe to be the truth becomes very clear when you get yoinked back into a Frozen effect you were clearly out of.

It did a good job of pretending to be low latency but without allowing the client to determine the truth (ie, inviting hax) it was always limited. Skills like Dashing Strike just work better with true low latency.
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