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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why have 'servers', instead create a cluster

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37 posts found
  garretth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/08/03
Posts: 318

 
OP  2/22/13 7:28:52 PM#1

It seems that as a game matures a bit there is the inevitable server merge.

 

Why not have a server cluster instead that allows a player to have a unique name across all servers and would allow the server population to be dynamically balanced?

 

Many would say 'server pride!' but I believe that could be solved in a more interesting way.

 

Guild pride, home town pride, country pride, world pride...etc.

 

What do you think?

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12238

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

2/22/13 7:31:47 PM#2

 

Are you suggesting channels (Runescape) or single server (EVE Online)? The former seems to me to make more sense than individual servers, so I'm not sure why devs don't go that route. The latter seems optimal for a variety of reasons, but can be technically difficult and expensive to pull off.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Quesa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

2/22/13 7:34:57 PM#3

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5528

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/22/13 7:46:45 PM#4
You mean channels/districts, right? Those are widely used.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12238

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

2/22/13 8:00:38 PM#5
Originally posted by Quesa

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

There are no instances or shards in EVE Online. A gate functions like a teleport to cross long distances.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12238

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

2/22/13 8:03:49 PM#6
Originally posted by Quirhid
You mean channels/districts, right? Those are widely used.

Channels in most cases are just instancing of a zone accessed through an in-game menu. I don't think many NA/EU MMOs use channel system as seen in something like Runescape or eastern MMOs, where characters are not tied to a particular server.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  redcapp

Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/11
Posts: 733

2/22/13 8:11:40 PM#7
Originally posted by Quesa

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

So.. we're just making stuff up now?

  Lienhart

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/07
Posts: 673

2/22/13 9:57:57 PM#8

....right now I'm reading a lot of

"bullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshitbullshit bullshit"

How many of you are actually in software development? And among those, how many of you work with MMO web services?

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1084

2/22/13 10:14:19 PM#9
Overflow servers. 

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3793

2/22/13 10:26:12 PM#10

Servers, shards, clusters, whatever, are all software devices that developers use to separate populations--based on what their testing shows the combination of 3D-engine and average connection speeds allows before the performance is negatively impacted.

In the simplest terms, the more complex the rendering required is, the fewer the number of on-the-fly player characters and effects they want to allow to co-exist in one spot simultaneously.

Clusters and "one server technology" are methods of attempting to broaden the base of players available to do group activities but usually only to congregate in instances where the maximum number is already tightly controlled. These "instances" can be WOW 5-man group content or GW2 WvW instances with several hundred allowed.

Sometimes they get the numbers right, sometimes they don't and they also usually have contingency plans to deal with abnormal congregations of players in one spot...like auto-reducing the rendering quality, auto-reducing the area around a player that is fully rendered, etc. GW2 WvW is a recent example of where a dev's decission to auto-reduce full-rendering areas can have an impact on gameplay which results in invisible (i.e. not rendered) players. You can also see this in heavily populated GW2 dynamic events.

The background environment also has a huge impact on how many players (and their effects) can be releiably rendered by base specs computers: lots of trees with detailed foliage and effects such as fires, storms, etc., create a large rendering overhead. In those environment the max number of players allowed before performance is compromised is drastically decreased. The opposite is also true for barren, featurless landscapes: many more players can be together in those environments before performance takes a noticeable hit.

 

  ZombieKen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

2/22/13 10:32:09 PM#11

Some systems already have this (if I understand the OPs description).  Login, select a server and any of your characters can play on that server.  It's handy for scaling, never needs server merges, but it does create problems with finding other players.  Your guild mates might be scattered over different servers.  It also makes multi-server chat problematic because the single channel can be talked on from any server.  This obviously wouldn't work well if there were 100 servers with 1000 players each.  The channel would be too noisy.

 

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  Robokapp

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4641

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

2/22/13 10:36:44 PM#12

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

Actually...I argue this is false.

 

when capitals jump, they jump between systems. the systems have distances, and so within the universe they exist at the same time in different places.

 

instancing, or multi-servers (to me) implies you can be in the same place at the same time yet not in the same...frame. in eve this isn't possible. while space is fragmented as you mention, by the gates, space itself is continuous in the sense of uniqueness. two plyers cant be in same place at same time yet not in the same frame of reference.

 

also, very long ago you could warp to bookmarks from anywhere. a 15 minute warp from Esoteria to Jita ? yes. and in the case of such  a warp there would be no loading screens. just warp-speed flying. They changed this many years ago but the old vets might remember the jita bookmark trading :D

 

EVE space is much smaller than you think but not because of gates. if you randomly warp between two points bookmarking spots along the way you'll find that there's only a handful of repeating bookmarks you made. Why ? because 'space' itself only generated a few points, and the space surrounding them. if space was fully continuous thered' be infinitely many.

 

When you warp 20 AU...you dont really warp 20AU. you probably travel the equivalent of maybe 1,000 km. even if the background is moving. That's how i think EVE gets its seamless appearance. it generates space only locally. this "local" is very big, so you never know it has boundaries, but there they are.

 

or as Fry puts it...THE SHIP DOESNT MOVE A ALL. THE UNIVERSE MOVES BACKWARDS.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5528

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/23/13 3:08:52 AM#13
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Quesa

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

There are no instances or shards in EVE Online. A gate functions like a teleport to cross long distances.

Well... isn't the same old, sam old skybox an instance? An ever repeating area? Atleast in a terrestrial game likely you would name such an area an instance.

And have you ever heard of travelling from one system to the next without jumping? I haven't - only failed attempts. They may not be instanced or shards but they are areas handled by different serves within the same server group.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Scot

Elite Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5244

2/23/13 3:15:52 AM#14
Channels and instancing do not help build a gaming community. Also I dont think you can have a PvP "Channel", but maybe you could have a RP channel?
  CalmOceans

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 1822

2/23/13 3:41:30 AM#15
Originally posted by Scot
Channels and instancing do not help build a gaming community.

^^ this

The bigger the server is the more of a jerk you can be and get away with it.

  Malcanis

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 3206

"A very special kind of stupidity"

2/23/13 4:10:35 AM#16
Originally posted by Quesa

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

There are no instances or shards (barring the Chinese EVE license) in EVE. The word you're looking for is zoned

Give me liberty or give me lasers

  Malcanis

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 3206

"A very special kind of stupidity"

2/23/13 4:15:42 AM#17
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Quesa

Not only expensive, as the above poster mentioned, but that typicall MMO's don't need that degree of integration and players would likely never know the difference.  You already have Realm vs. Realm PvP/PvE adn that's probably the most important aspect.

Eve Online was always developed and advertised as a single shard however apart from the ability to use global chat channels to talk to anyone in the universe, it's still instanced or sharded, it's just hidden well as a gate jump.

There are no instances or shards in EVE Online. A gate functions like a teleport to cross long distances.

Well... isn't the same old, sam old skybox an instance? An ever repeating area? Atleast in a terrestrial game likely you would name such an area an instance.

And have you ever heard of travelling from one system to the next without jumping? I haven't - only failed attempts. They may not be instanced or shards but they are areas handled by different serves within the same server group.

 

(1) That's not what an instance is. An instance is the same game area generated seperately for a player or group that disappears when they leave it and is not accessible to other players. There are no instances in EVE.

(2) The background - the nebulae and the position of the stars is generated seperately for each system. Those aren't just random wallpaper dots, they're the actual EVE systems. The position and the orientation of the nebulae change as you moved through a region. The latest patch actually shows you your autopilot route in space, highlighting the 'reality' of the stars you can see.

Give me liberty or give me lasers

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1053

2/23/13 4:26:22 AM#18
Crazy thought but would it be posible to devide a huge game world across muiltipal server machines so each machine has it own section of the map and have 1 huge game with a huge population instead of servers with with say 5000 people on each server. Just curious cause that would be nuts if u couyld have one game that has say 40 different massive areas across 40 PCs servers
  Malcanis

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 3206

"A very special kind of stupidity"

2/23/13 4:40:48 AM#19
Originally posted by sanshi44
Crazy thought but would it be posible to devide a huge game world across muiltipal server machines so each machine has it own section of the map and have 1 huge game with a huge population instead of servers with with say 5000 people on each server. Just curious cause that would be nuts if u couyld have one game that has say 40 different massive areas across 40 PCs servers

That's basically how EVE works.

Give me liberty or give me lasers

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1053

2/23/13 4:54:25 AM#20
Originally posted by Malcanis
Originally posted by sanshi44
Crazy thought but would it be posible to devide a huge game world across muiltipal server machines so each machine has it own section of the map and have 1 huge game with a huge population instead of servers with with say 5000 people on each server. Just curious cause that would be nuts if u couyld have one game that has say 40 different massive areas across 40 PCs servers

That's basically how EVE works.

hmm would like to see than in a fantasy MM non space ship one :P

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