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Topic: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors (Read 14313 times) previous topic - next topic

Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
First and foremost, remember the decision has NOT been made. We do not consider having the data we need for committing yet.
However, due to some good points being brought in discussions occurring lately, we decided to share both the statistics we have access to and the factors that will drive our decision of a final server location.
We will remain as factual as possible, so you can all share our dilemma.

Statistics:
- Activity wise, NA players represent 45% of daily connections, with NA prime time having around 30% less actives than EU prime time, but the gap has been closing over the months.
- 55% of purchases have been made from North America, with USA representing 48.2% and Canada representing 6.8%.
- Western Europe represents nearly 25% of sales, with the largest being GB 9%, Germany 6.85%, France 3.9%, Italy 2%, Netherlands 1.9%, Austria 1%, ...
- Nordic countries have a decent showing with 13% overall, split with Sweden 5.55%, Denmark 3.10%, Norway 3%, Finland 2%, Indicating that a northern location could favor more players. 
- While we had great hopes for Eastern Europe, Russia only represents 3% of our paying player base, Poland 2% and other countries being negligible.
- Australia is only 1.35%.

Potential bias factors:
- The server being located in France has certainly reduced the appeal for NA, SA and Oceania players.
- The North American market tends to be more receptive to the pre-order and early access models, while European are more skeptical by nature.
- Our communication vector has always been in English, but that is likely to remain.
- Historically, DF 2012 was more popular in NA, but many differentiating changes have not been implemented yet which means the true spread could be completely different.
- We have not done any meaningful marketing yet, which is perhaps the most important potential bias factor.

Decision factors and other consideration points:
- We will try to be at the gravity center of the paying population.
- We will be looking at the results of our marketing when we start it and observe the growth trends of which market is the most receptive once aware.
- We have currently great hardware, great support, great bandwidth and unlimited data transfers for 4 to 5 times less than in NA, without including bandwidth costs.
- On the other hand, NA infrastructure is unreliable, and while latency has an impact on gameplay, it is lesser than packet losses in our experience. The improvement for west coast could prove marginal.
- Do the features we can develop with the money saved bring more population faster than a server location switch?

There it is, you have all the same elements we have, and can now understand why we did not take any final decisions.
Our greatest doubts being about the cultural differences regarding early purchase and how the past could be heavily weighting down the current spread due to no marketing efforts yet.
We do believe a large majority of the potential playerbase has not yet committed and will only when we show more results and make them aware of it.
The Darkfall: New Dawn Dev Team.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #1
Wherever we would have placed the server, there would have been a bias.
Changing from one location to another has a cost, so we don't have the luxury to do experimentation as you suggested.
That said, you caused an internal discussion, and we'll be posting in a bit all the data we have, with our potential expected inaccuracies and our decision factors.
This way, the community will understand why we haven't taken a final decision yet.

On your latest comment, are we really that optimistic? Perhaps, but we do believe that there are more players out there.
At least those that were once interested in Darkfall for its potential, but were turned away by its implementation, and that group will not play until either we do enough changes or we make them aware of New Dawn's existence.
This is why we put so much stock into the results of a marketing campaign and the trends it will show afterwards. The spread could potentially be very different, with the old population being inaccurate in spread.

Let's leave this thread for roadmap discussions, for server location, the new thread will be more appropriate.

There would be a bias, but without the option for better latency, the bias wouldn't be as big.

You're right, there was a big group that was turned away by AV implementation of Darkfall, and that was 8 years ago, majority of that group was there with hopes to relive UO pre Ascension times, which dates them even more. At this point in time, only fraction of those people will have time to play another mmo.
Times are changing, your niche slowly dies off. Take EVE for example, they are now seeing decline in their subscriber base, a sign of aging population.

Furthermore, your lack of luxury to experiment with server location, confirms even more that it will remain as is. Unless by some miracle your marketing campaign is going to be even more successful than you think, and you're the one being exceedingly optimistic already.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #2
I think the numbers speak for themselves.  55% NA purchases for a EU game.  Just imagine.  /bias

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #3
Regarding population in various prime-times: It's easier to play 6 hours earlier than prime time during the day, than it is to play 6 hour later past the prime-time. Hence the skewed numbers. You'll see that exact trend in virtually every game on steamcharts.com

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #4
If you want to call it a World Server you can't have it in America. Turkey fits the location if you want one world server.

It hurts my brain for people trying to justify a world server being in America. Makes zero sense geographically.

I hope you get the funds to have server for the Americans (to stop them crying) then have a world server in a proper location.

Turkey could be great to attract Asian countries to play.

London based player

no turks pls
Emperor Jack - Supreme General of Giants

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #5
If you want to call it a World Server you can't have it in America. Turkey fits the location if you want one world server.

It hurts my brain for people trying to justify a world server being in America. Makes zero sense geographically.

I hope you get the funds to have server for the Americans (to stop them crying) then have a world server in a proper location.

Turkey could be great to attract Asian countries to play.

London based player
There won't be an emphasis on a World server because the population most certainly won't be evenly distributed throughout the World.

  • Nuyur
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #6
Mega, please realise that the middle of a map is based on where you start drawing.
And that all maps show scales poorly the further from its center you get.

I put it in spoilers, because they are quite oversized...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
On this map turkey would be in the middle...(sorta)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
And here's the same world with the America's in the middle...

But regardless of where you start drawing...the ammount of people playing from each region isnt equal.
And as such, thats a far better starting point to make any conclusion as to where to place a server.

Personally would love a server in EU (london?), but thats because of low ping desires.
The good of the game is more important than that though, so if a NA (newyork?) server turns out to not be enjoyable for me (i hate delays and timings i cant get right due to latency) ill simply have to give up on the game.
Which isnt a threat, or demand, or anything. If i were in Uber's shoes, id take 5 customers over having 1, no matter howmuch you might want to include all.
  • Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 09:57:36 pm by Nuyur

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #7
If you want to call it a World Server you can't have it in America. Turkey fits the location if you want one world server.

It hurts my brain for people trying to justify a world server being in America. Makes zero sense geographically.

I hope you get the funds to have server for the Americans (to stop them crying) then have a world server in a proper location.

Turkey could be great to attract Asian countries to play.

London based player
There won't be an emphasis on a World server because the population most certainly won't be evenly distributed throughout the World.

So basically you want North America server, fuck everyone else
I will be playing no matter where the server is.  You've already said you won't play on an NA server.  You don't play because you love the game.  You just play because it's based in EU and you have a good ping. 
Quit your bullshit.
  • Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 10:07:58 pm by _SeeD_

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #8
I think your metrics are very reasonable and feel whatever choice you come to will be the best for the game, though I admit self bias in saying this I do think server costs can be misleading and have to be looked at through an income lost/cost analysis in that cheaper rent doesnt always equal more profit if the location makes the game unplayable from an area that generates more income than the cost difference. If possible I would research where the end nodes are for each side of the pond and pick one of those points as close as possible, because the current ping is too high for the sw US and even less hardcore players will not play over 150 ping, which should be your ping thresh hold for highest acceptable for a high potential player region (like the sw).
Mycke Soulslayer - Supreme General: Rastalfarian - An all Alfar clan of all play styles in all time zones, welcoming new and vet players alike.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #9
If you want to call it a World Server you can't have it in America. Turkey fits the location if you want one world server.

It hurts my brain for people trying to justify a world server being in America. Makes zero sense geographically.

I hope you get the funds to have server for the Americans (to stop them crying) then have a world server in a proper location.

Turkey could be great to attract Asian countries to play.

London based player
There won't be an emphasis on a World server because the population most certainly won't be evenly distributed throughout the World.

So basically you want North America server, fuck everyone else
I will be playing no matter where the server is.  You've already said you won't play on an NA server.  You don't play because you love the game.  You just play because it's based in EU and you have a good ping. 
Quit your bullshit.

Quit your editing.

Stop spamming your nonsense its neither persuasive nor self flattering in its content, you made your point  starting at flimsy and adding to its inanity with every further post.
Mycke Soulslayer - Supreme General: Rastalfarian - An all Alfar clan of all play styles in all time zones, welcoming new and vet players alike.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #10
The goal is not to have a world server but a global server for our potential population.
As far as we know, Darkfall is not well conceived for an asian market, neither is the subscription model. Aside from that, we know next to nothing about that market.
It makes more sense to go after the players we know and understand.

The real determining factor will be how the growth continues in the coming few weeks.
The increased infrastructure costs could be negligible or detrimental depending on how much success we have.

No matter what, we will move closer to NA, be it London or NY.
The Darkfall: New Dawn Dev Team.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #11
Removed all my posts.
Good luck Ub3rgames.

You said you won't play DND if it is hosted in NA then what will you play? 

Here is the issue.  If server is hosted in Europe a large population from West Coast will play RoA.  If server is hosted in East Coast with a good provider, the EU player will still play DND in NA and West Coast player will also play DND.  

We want to believe DND is a different game and RoA is not relevant.  This is not true yet and it will take some time before RoA won't matter. 

Don't judge NA servers based on how RoA runs their servers. Not all hosting provider are crap or sinking from general traffic in NY area. I am not going to pretend like I am a expert network/infrastructure but I have played MMOs on server managed in East Coast with mostly European players and they got similar ping/reliability to what I am getting to the server in Paris. 

  • MSWG
  • [*]
Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #12
First off LOL at all the EU nerds raging about losing there EU server. Secondly I don't understand how this is even a conversation? You just stated in your own numbers NA has 55% of all purchases that means the majority of your player base is NA. Lets look at DF History for a minute which server of DFO was running when it shut down? oh that's right it was NA. Well which DFUW server was way more populated and didn't die in a few months oh yea that's right it was the NA server. Third if you already have mostly NA players and you haven't even touched the west coast yet because most anyone on the west coast wont touch this server with 170-220 ping spiking constantly. I would know I live on the west coast. So I don't know how we don't already have an NA server everything shows that it will be the best and already has been the best in the past. So for all the EU's crying the best place for the server would likely be New York because it makes it playable for west coast NA while still being playable for EU.

Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #13
So for all the EU's crying the best place for the server would likely be New York because it makes it playable for west coast NA while still being playable for EU.
Says the NA player.

  • nubnax
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Re: Discussion: Population spread and server location factors
Reply #14
@Ub3rgames
can you roughly estimate where those american buyers are from in the US? i guess that's also an important metric to consider
Bala Eregi - SG of Pickaxe Inc