People who play this game in some minor regions frequently need to connect to NA servers for game modes: for example, ARAM or ranked modes have excessively long queue times
Before server bundling, we were able to connect to specific US servers of our choice. This meant that I could connect to US West as my primary NA server. I would average about 120-170 ping.
After server bundling, I cannot control which US region I can connect to. The default seems to be US Central with average 260-320 ping (I'm connecting from Western Australia).
This change initially drove me to quit the game – it's not fun to play on 260 ping. My husband has started playing again for fun (he loves ARAM) which has pulled me back. I spent last night playing ranked – it was frustrating, unfun and I likely will go back to not playing. This change has truly killed play in game modes outside of AI/QM for minor regions. We don't have those modes on our servers and rely on being able to play on a foreign server. The ping has now been doubled, which makes the game way less fun.
Before I moved to Australia, I was plat 1. After moving here and continuing to play on US West, I dropped to gold. That's reasonable. I have ping and can't play as well. After server bundling, I dropped to low silver and bronze. I am around level 1400, so my gameplay isn't wildly variant. This isn't a rant about ranked. I think I'm fairly placed – I only give those numbers as an illustration of the effects of ping on game quality and play ability.
I don't know which solutions are best, I just feel like this change has been relatively ignored but it's absolutely killing HOTS in minor regions. I stopped playing for months and now that I'm back I notice that queue times on regional servers are much longer, which indicates fewer players.
Minor regions used to be fine with SOME ping but this change has ensured our ping is always very high if we want to play modes outside of AI or QM.
At the least, people west of California should be able to connect to US West as a server choice – this would fix things by reverting server options back.
Game queues in minor regions: several hours to get a rainbow game with a GM and bronze on same team – side note, exploiting these rainbow matches is how some people hit GM, you have a stupidlong queue but you can effectively ensure you are matched against newbies as the queue goes into "anything fits" after a span. So the issues are just making ladders worse, anyone can play on a NA minor region and stomp if they are above average and can endure the wait time + ping…and that ranking converts back to real servers…
So, really, this change affects major regions as well. It's creating a lot of downward ranks in gameplay (eg ANZ players are relatively worse), while still leaving the door open for the worst offenders who are taking advantage of the system by playing on minor regions.
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