previously downtime (DT) is annoying the hell out of me, and the subsequent long DT's for patching.
However the light at the end of the tunnel may not be a train after all.
CCP have announced the addition of Japan to the Eve Online empire with a localised client.
"Localized services for Japanese players will enable them to access the game in their native language through the Tranquility server, which currently plays host to over 350,000 subscribers from around the world in three languages: English, German and Russian."
Now when I read the dev blog quickly I assumed, incorrectly, that Japan would have their own server like China does. However while I was ice skating (true) I remembered that China has its own server for political gaming reasons and not technical ones.
So I read the announcement again and sure enough the new players from Japan will be added to our server, Tranquility, to eventually form their own Titan and Super Carrier juggernauts moving through the universe laying waste to all before them.
Before they become our inevitable overlords one thing has to change, and that is DT.
In Australia (+10 TZ) DT happens at 9pm, later for those states that have the sanity to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the Summer months. Japan is in the +9 time zone and does not seem to observe DST, so their DT will be at 8pm, every night of the year.
This I believe will be unacceptable for the new Japanese gamers, Nexon the gaming partner in Japan, and CCP themselves.
Way back in the mist of time, in the heady days of optimism and whimsy, or late October 2010, CCP posted this dev blog.
"As a part of the Carbon initiative, cluster management is being re-architected. It is our goal that sometime in the not too distant future, EVE Online will have no daily downtime. How awesome will that be!"
Now I'm not sure how far into the future the "not too distant future" is but I hope it's soon and not soon (tm).
So what I put to you is this.
In the near future Japanese players will be able to experience the Eve Online universe in their own native language so it will be available to more than the English fluent ones, which combined with the Nexon partnership will greatly boost Eve Online pilots in Japan.*
With their entry of Japan to the Eve Online universe DT will be at a bad time for a potentially lucrative new audience, thus I can see DT either being moved (hopefully earlier by several hours) or removed soon (not soon (tm)).
Australia will then be able to profit from this as now the time zone percentage of players in the +9 to +11 zones should increase, players from Japan will begin with the Noble Exchange system of hyper priced goods from the very beginning and maybe, just maybe, this will provide the critical mass to stop the Australian problem that is Eve Online's downtime.
Thus downtime will be gone, or at least gone for us.
* this paragraph edited in later after discussion in comments