The bog-down is starting in Malaysia. It's could be a faulty transfer router there causing issues between Australia and China - and that's creating a backup behind it. It's also possible your ISP is now using a different transfer route then it was the last time you played - meaning it's intentionally forcing you through the poor router in Malaysia.
Either way I'd file a bug report with Cryptic and contact the ISP to see if they've changed routing recently. I'd also do some virus/spy-bot scans to see what's bogging down your system.
Okay, very definatly a vonnection issue as i've seen same when everyone else is using net in house and i try to log in. ALso saw it when they did some work on our net line at the local telephone exchange.