Time differences are one of the less-than-fun elements of playing an international online game. Due to the spherical nature of our planet, and the inevitability of server maintenance, it’s impossible to keep all the people happy all the time. Developers instead have to aim to keep the majority happy – which means predominantly scheduling downtimes that best suit American gamers.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has done just that, announcing scheduled maintenance for Wednesday January 4th. The eight-hour downtime will kick off at 2AM CST (12AM PST/3AM EST/8AM GMT/9AM CET) until 10AM CST (8AM PST/11AM EST/4PM GMT/5PM CET). For gamers in North America, those times are quite appropriate – starting late enough to not affect overnight gamers, and stopping at an hour that shouldn’t affect too many people who stay home from work to play games. In Europe, it’s the reverse, but still convenient – you might just have to find something else to do during the day when you’ve probably got other plans anyway.
But. There’s more to the world than those few regions – and for them, the timezones are a little less-than-pleasant.
The downtime, which hits on Thursday January 5th in Australia and New Zealand, starts at 7pm Sydney time, running happily all the way to 3am. And while Star Wars: The Old Republic hasn’t been released in those regions just yet (soon, my pretties!), that hasn’t stopped plenty of Antipodean gamers logging in to EA‘s latest MMO.
Looks like they’ll just have to find something else to do on Thursday night – spending time with loved ones, reading a book, cleaning the house, or – perhaps, playing another, offline game.
Hopefully, with the advent of local servers when Star Wars: The Old Republic does arrive Down Under, maintenance time may be a little better planned.