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I'm just so curious. I've never seen any other game do this.

It seems like genuinely about once every ~5 times I try to play, the servers are down- this adds up when you look at their Twitter showing how incredibly frequently they perform maintenance.

I play during reasonable daytime hours after work on the West coast of the US, and the downages often last ~6 hours- meaning essentially the entire US is unable to play during the peak hours of that day from the West to East coast...

Is this not total insanity?

I also don't remember this being an issue a few years ago when I played much more often.

I searched this sub to see if the answer existed, but I saw a surprising lack of discussion on it- with the only "input" mostly consisting of children reminding OP there are other time zones...

Does anyone know the actual rationale behind this choice?

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Hey yayapfool! Maintenance is done during regular working hours in Seoul, where the dev HQ is. There is 1 long monthly maintenance tied to major updates and routine weekly maintenance which can sometimes take up to a few hours or have no downtime depending on the work required.