I figured that as an Australian internet gamer I should inform the niave masses in the rest of the world about how different Australian internet was and how it effects our online gaming. There are many hurdles to be an Australian gamer, and unfortuantly many developers, as well as gaming "elite" (i use the world extremelly loosely) do not understand these effects.
Distance From Australians to a game serrver in Sydney will range from 1km to 4000km along mostly optical fibre. This may sound fantastic until you realise that almost no games set up servers in Australia. The next closest servers are often in Singapore (6300 km away from sydney), for US servers in California you are then looking at 12,000 km from Sydney, and for London you are looking at 17,000 km. As a result times can reach between 200-300ms for a signal to return from destination.
Many people suggest Satelites are a better alternative, this is simply showing a science stupidity. Communication satellites orbit at 36,000 km above the Earth's surface, this means that the signal now travels a much larger distance. And if you argue that your signal is travelling as light for a satelite, then remember that an optical cable works on... yep, light!
Australia is often thought to be behind in technology, this is not 'completely' true. Australia actually has many areas where technology is well up to date. the problem lies in that as Australia has only 20million people in the size of the USA then the demand is not worth the cost for infastructure in low populated areas (except mining towns), a problem the current government will be solving shortly as it unrolls an upgraded government run infastructure, even then, the problem of distance still over rules many solutions.
Many Raid based MMOs often get sick of Australians complaining about raids, or events... it is simple to understand if you are aware that the world is round. Australia is the exact opposite side of the world to the Northern Atlantic Ocean, as a reuslt, when it is peak time in Eastern US, it is offpeak for Western Australia, and vice versa. So you expect an Australian to turn up to your guild party when it is 4am in the morning? The question should be, will you turn up for us at 4am?
Personally I am sick of non-Asian, non-Australians not understanding such limits of world geography and just feel like busting some heads in.
The worst insult to Australians is probably the "Oceanic servers" of some games, which are conveniently located in... California, hmmm, yes that should solve the distance problem.
After getting home and re-reading my post I decided to alter it: here is the extra detail.
So 200ms is not much, so what? Well, the problem lies in that 200ms doesn't seem much until you realise that playing a rogue it can make a difference of the person you want to back stab no longer has their back to you. It means that in a dual the enemy gets an extra quarter to half a second to cast the first spell, and it means that by the time you have loaded into a map then someone already knows you are there.
Luckily for Australians there are some developers that are actually gifted with brain matter. Eve: online for example has a period of time where you can not be attacked after entering a system. However probably those most gifted to help Australians were the devs of Warhammer:online who conveniently altered the cooldowns for skills based upon your latency, this meant that you could click a button faster if your latency was higher (thereby resulting in spells simultaneously cast).