Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s online-gaming service, said it is deploying World of Warcraft game servers in Australia for the first time in support of the upcoming “Warlords of Draenor” game expansion.
Australian WoW servers will come online October 28, more than two weeks prior to the November 13 launch of Warlords of Draenor. There will be downtime as servers will be taken offline on October 28, with the game servers put back online “as soon as possible,” according to Battle.net.
In the 10 years that WoW has been around, gamers in Australia and New Zealand had initially had to connect to faraway North American servers. Blizzard later introduced a cluster of servers for Oceania located on the west coast of North America, and, now, these servers will be migrated to Australia. With the game servers closer to the actual users, it’s likely that players in this region will experience lower latency, which is especially important in creating an immersive gaming experience that responds quickly to the gamer.
Unlike other games that allow third-party game hosts, Blizzard only allows its Battle.net division to host WoW. While there have been WoW realms illegally hosted in Australia, these have been largely unpopular because they could be shut down really at any time, losing players whatever gains they had made on those servers and in that world.
Many players have expressed their excitement around the announcement, and some have questioned why this has taken so long.
Hey Blizzard just announced dedicated WoW servers for NZ and Aus to be located in Australia. Cool to see this community seeing more love. — Travis Gafford (@SotLTravis) October 23, 2014
The WoW universe is actually split into different “realms” which are like parallel universes that only contain a fraction of all players, and which make it possible for WoW to host such a massive number of users.
The Oceanic realms include Barthilas, Frostmourne, Thaurissan, Saurfang, Caelestrasz, Jubei’Thos, Khaz’goroth, Aman’Thul, Nagrand, Dath’Remar, Dreadmaul, and Gundrak.
According to a Q&A posted to the Battle.net forum, players can choose to move their characters on a North American realm to an Oceanic realm for free for a limited time. It states, “While no players will be required to move off their current realm, Australian and New Zealand players who opt not to play on Oceanic realms will not receive the same latency benefits as those on regional game servers hosted in the ANZ data centre.”
Blizzard is the game developer behind not only Warcraft, but also the Starcraft and Diablo franchises, and various other games. The company has been looking into ways to improve the experiences of its users in various localities. For instance, in March it added local game servers in Australia to support Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and it used dedicated local infrastructure for alpha testers of the upcoming game Heroes of the Storm.
This article originally appeared at: http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/battle-net-adds-world-warcraft-game-servers-australia-reduce-latency