The feedback given by the community suggests a couple of pain points:
- Players with certain languages are having trouble finding each other (some current examples are Russian and Portuguese).
- There are occasional frictions between English speakers and Japanese speakers.
- Not everyone understands the server naming.
- The latency number isn’t working as input for server selection for everyone.
- Not so much a pain point as a feature request: players wish to be able to organize private games with friends or fans.
We are considering a major make-over to deal with these problems. This is our current thinking:
Add more automated intelligence
Instead of having people pick a server in a list, the “Get Born” button will directly put you on a server selected through automation. We would build logic that holds information of how many players with each language are present on each server, then we would use both your language setting and your approximate geo location to determine which server to put you on, where your latency will be low enough and there are people with the same language playing.
Reduce (unnecessary?) choice
The lack of a server list means that players have less choice. This is double edged of course.
- Players who know exactly how things work might loose choices that they would like to have.
- Players who don’t understand exactly how things work would not risk making the wrong choices.
- Players would be denied choices which put them on “the wrong” servers. For example: English speakers would be concentrated on servers in America and Europe, while speakers of Asian languages would be concentrated on servers located in Asia (unless their geo location is on a different continent).
- Add choices for hosting and playing on private servers
Since standard play would be optimized to spawn you with as many people as possible who share your language, the option to pick a low-population server to increase chances of playing with real-life friends would disappear. We have seen in the latest couple of events (Family & Friends) that this is something players would like to do, at least on occasion. We also saw frustration that “the wrong” people got mixed up in the same families.
By adding private servers that allow play by invitation only, we would give this possibility. It would be in the hands of the server hosts to decide whom to invite to play.
Building and maintaining this option will cost us a fair chunk of resources, so this feature would have to be a paid service. That is the only way we could make it scale to thousands of users and hundreds or even thousands of private games.
To summarize: The standard (public) game would change according to 1&2. There would be a paid service to access 3.
We welcome your feedback and a discussion on these potential changes. What do you think?