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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Single server for all MMOs

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39 posts found
  dimasok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/04/12
Posts: 192

 
OP  2/08/12 10:41:45 PM#1

The more I think about it the more I realize it has to be the right choice. 

One server for all players of all continents, one seamless world where the outcomes of the player decisions are real and tangible by all players (even if the outcome is generated colletively rather than individually).

I think that would increase the retention rate of players, would encourage developers to add larger-scale end-game content and would generally be a boon for the genre.

No more "i have 20 characters on EU server A and 10 characters on NA server B" type of scenarios and in fact all characters could be played concurrently if needed and interchanged on-the-fly (no need to log-in and out). That would be sort of a seamless integration of the "legacy" feature which would work splendidly with the whole idea of a single server and a persistent world.

Imagine being able to level up multiple characters at once and going on large sieges where everyone controls an army of their own creation fighting collectively at any given level! There are way too many great ideas that can sprout from this...

Any other takes on this?

  SoulSurfer

Novice Member

Joined: 6/19/08
Posts: 1255

2/08/12 11:20:08 PM#2

Sounds great on paper, but I don't think the technology infrastructure has matured to this point yet.

  stealthbr

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 1059

2/08/12 11:42:19 PM#3

You mean like EVE?

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

2/08/12 11:44:50 PM#4

EVE is a good example, because to have a game that is guaranteed to have ping issues like that, you want everything to be a much slower-paced ordeal. A lag spurt doesn't hurt all that much in EVE, but APB would be *impossible* to play. The ideal will effect the scope of the game, or else it's dooming itself.

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  EricDanie

Tipster

Joined: 2/10/05
Posts: 2244

2/08/12 11:51:29 PM#5
Originally posted by stealthbr

You mean like EVE?

It indeed sounds like EVE, which is currently one of the closest things we have to this model, just differing because it's a whole universe instead of a single world and because the level up progression is different from the usual experience rush-to-the-cap-then-go-raiding-until-the-next-patch.

I heard Perpetuum is similar to EVE, but does it employ similar server infrastructure?

This should be plain impossible right now for the usual theme park model MMO, even with the extreme instancing seen on end game they still feature multiple servers.

For a sandbox, a land-based one should also be extremely hard because it requires the game world to be big enough for whatever number of players is expected, so IMO it would absolutely not have its release preceded by extreme media hype campaign such as the usual AAA releases. It would make sense though, a civilization starting slow with a limited view of its world.

  miagisan

Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 5298

2/08/12 11:57:01 PM#6

you would need an ungodly large land mass for a ground based game if the game ever became successful. THe reason that eve can do it is because of space and its nature...its infinite.

Also, imagine starter areas in a quest based game , or quest hubs? you wouldnt be able to move or get your 10x kills or whatever...you could have a few thousand in each area.

  drbaltazar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 7985

2/09/12 12:14:21 AM#7
Not gona happen.even with remote differential compression. and ms donnybroom.max per server would be about 10000 but it would be 10000 the way you see it
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13680

2/09/12 1:13:45 AM#8

There are a lot of things that you could mean by that, and they run the gamut from reasonable to stark raving mad.

I think that what you mean is a single huge world akin to EVE, that can expand as necessary to accommodate players.  For most games, that simply won't work.  If the extra land is procedurally generated or otherwise very easy to create, it's fine.  But in a theme park game with a bunch of quest givers linked to a particular location, it would completely fail.

Something more reasonable that might be what you mean but I don't think it is would be heavy use of instancing akin to Champions Online.  If the active playerbase doubles, you open up twice as many instances of Millennium City and accommodate them.  But they can still switch to whatever instance they like.  While I'd personally favor this approach for most MMORPGs over a separate servers approach, some people like being unable to meaningfully interact with the overwhelming majority of the playerbase.  Apparently they think this games the game more "massive" or some other such nonsense.  And I wouldn't want to deprive them of having any games at all that they like.

Another thing that might be what you mean but probably isn't would be to say, no matter how many people play, cram them all into the same small game world.  If your game world is meant to accommodate 1000, and 10000 want to play at once, they just make it really crowded.  That would be a disaster for obvious reasons.

And finally, the stark raving mad option:  don't allow more players into your game than a single 8P Westmere-EX server can handle.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

2/09/12 1:19:10 AM#9

If the problem we're solving is "I'm on Server A, you're on Server B", then free transfers or Guild Wars-style instancing and poof: problem solved.

But if the desired result is a persistent world with territory conquest and world PVP, many players just don't want the type of gameplay which automatically follows that overarching design decision.

  drbaltazar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 7985

2/09/12 1:19:37 AM#10
Best bet is a la perfect world Corp.you got x number of server each with say 30 channel each. Each channel are accessible for any player.gm organise even say in undercity for all player on channel 29 everybody just hop on channel 29 etc
  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3367

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

2/09/12 2:49:15 AM#11

One server can technically, at maximum, manage about 10,000 player connections. WoW for example appears to have a limit of 2,500 players on a single server.

BUT

Of course you can have multiple servers in the background and change them on the fly in the background.

 

This way you could let each server handle a limited number of players but, by transparently changing servers in the background, simulate to the player a single server that can hold hundreds of thousands if not millions of players at the same time, while actually you have douzens or hundreds or even thousands of different servers and the player simply jumps between them whenever they change their current game fragment.

 

Your game world would have to be fragmented. If a player attempts to enter a fragment that has already reached the maximum of players manageable, they would get an error message.

Also, such a gameworld would have to be extremely large, probably random generated.

As an alternative solution, the gameworld could be split into instances. Meaning you can have, for example, one douzens of copies of the gameworld, and you would have certain points where you can jump to different instances. Say you get randomly assigned a gameworld when you start and end up in instance #9. You could then reach a portal and check out if maybe instance #1 or #5 or #12 have less players and thus less lag and more chances for ressources.

And you cannot have starter cities this way. Either you need a huge number of copies of the starter city, or you need to spread new player characters across the gameworld (and possibly instances).

Same for global chat, or global broker. Not possible.

 

I dont get the rest of the OP though. Controlling armies of characters ? That makes no sense if you have the usual depth of roleplaying player characters used in games where you control a single character. They need very detailed control. You cant just flip a switch and control them all at once. You would need pause-and-play like in Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age: Origins for that.

 

 

Originally posted by SoulSurfer

Sounds great on paper, but I don't think the technology infrastructure has matured to this point yet.

We dont talk about technological barriers here. The fact is simply that the faster hardware gets, the more functionality the gamer demands. Thus no matter how much your technology advances, the current state cannot change. In fact, because of additional technology required, the situation might get worse.

 

 

  Nitth

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3414

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

2/09/12 2:53:30 AM#12


Originally posted by Adamantine
One server can technically, at maximum, manage about 10,000 player connections. WoW for example appears to have a limit of 2,500 players on a single server.

Last I herd a wow shard can hold up to 7500 players...


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  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3367

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

2/09/12 6:08:34 AM#13
Originally posted by Mellkor

 


Originally posted by Adamantine
One server can technically, at maximum, manage about 10,000 player connections. WoW for example appears to have a limit of 2,500 players on a single server.


 

Last I herd a wow shard can hold up to 7500 players...

Okay, that part was wrong then.

  Joliust

Novice Member

Joined: 6/08/05
Posts: 1338

2/09/12 7:33:47 AM#14


Originally posted by Adamantine


Originally posted by Mellkor
 



Originally posted by Adamantine
One server can technically, at maximum, manage about 10,000 player connections. WoW for example appears to have a limit of 2,500 players on a single server.



 
Last I herd a wow shard can hold up to 7500 players...


Okay, that part was wrong then.

What it comes down to now is having a game that hides the fact you are changing servers when loading into a new zone. Eve gets away with it, going through a jump gate doesn't feel contrived, it feels natural. Walking through an wall in a very narrow valley, or talking to an NPC, hitting a loading screen for 20 seconds, then appearing somewhere else does not feel natural.

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  LeegOfChldrn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 369

2/09/12 9:07:28 AM#15
Originally posted by SoulSurfer

Sounds great on paper, but I don't think the technology infrastructure has matured to this point yet.

 

Originally posted by stealthbr

You mean like EVE?

ROFLMAO..........that was too funny.

I read one right after the other, lmao.

 

I absolutely LOVE how everyone here is an expert on technology, claiming "IMPOSSIBLE!" when it was already done decades ago... hehehehe....

 

I love you stealthbr :P

  LeegOfChldrn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 369

2/09/12 9:32:22 AM#16

I have a question then...

 

 

Do you get to know people in EVE? Familiar faces? Common faces?

 

 

In SWTOR, I love how the PvP is NOT cross-server. You get to know all the familiar faces in PvP and get to make repeated enemies, nemesis', and friends.

Smaller communities allow for repeated encounters with the same people, which is something I absolultely love and totally miss from games like UO/EQ/DAoC.

Massive communities or cross-server game design ruin this and turn community into vomit.

 

 

Does the EVE community suffer from being "too massive" to encourage smaller community repeated encounters?

  Gardavsshade

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/27/11
Posts: 655

2/09/12 9:34:31 AM#17

If a MMO is PvP than yes a single server makes sense. if a MMO is primarily a PvE server than it depends on the gameworld, the "story" and how the everything is put together. Some PvE MMOs would do better with single server, some would break.

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3367

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

2/09/12 10:40:46 AM#18
Originally posted by Joliust

 


Originally posted by Adamantine


Originally posted by Mellkor
 



Originally posted by Adamantine
One server can technically, at maximum, manage about 10,000 player connections. WoW for example appears to have a limit of 2,500 players on a single server.



 
Last I herd a wow shard can hold up to 7500 players...



Okay, that part was wrong then.

 

What it comes down to now is having a game that hides the fact you are changing servers when loading into a new zone. Eve gets away with it, going through a jump gate doesn't feel contrived, it feels natural. Walking through an wall in a very narrow valley, or talking to an NPC, hitting a loading screen for 20 seconds, then appearing somewhere else does not feel natural.

I am quite unsure why you believe a server switch has to take 20 seconds. All that needs to be transfered is the player data, which shouldnt be that much really; which are maybe several KB of data. Shouldnt take longer than a second, really ? In fact propper caching technique should reduce that further (you see the player approaching the barrier, you already send the data, you see the guy crossing, you confirm the switch and maybe update some things that changes in the last moments before the switch).

 

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20242

2/09/12 12:22:09 PM#19

Very bad idea for any games with a big player base.

You think there is enough land to cram 1M toons? There won't be places to even walk on. And no logging out? Really?

  nyxium

Novice Member

Joined: 3/15/09
Posts: 1206

Tumbling down the rabbit hole?

2/09/12 12:24:50 PM#20

EVE Online manages ok, they even have mechanisms, time dilation, for huge numbers showing up in one planetary system for a fight now.. there are hints that their World of Darkness game will employ a similar single shard architecture, I live in hope.

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