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Single server for all MMOs

dimasokdimasok toronto, ONPosts: 189Member

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?

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Comments

  • SoulSurferSoulSurfer Denver, COPosts: 1,248Member

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

  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member

    You mean like EVE?

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    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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  • EricDanieEricDanie Rio de JaneiroPosts: 2,238Member

    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.

  • miagisanmiagisan NY, NYPosts: 5,156Member

    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.

    image

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member
    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
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    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.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,719Member Uncommon

    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.

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  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member
    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
  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    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.

     

     

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    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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  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    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.

  • JoliustJoliust stoughton, WIPosts: 1,329Member


    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.

    Sent me an email if you want me to mail you some pizza rolls.

  • LeegOfChldrnLeegOfChldrn Jcakson, MSPosts: 364Member

    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


  • LeegOfChldrnLeegOfChldrn Jcakson, MSPosts: 364Member

    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?

  • GardavsshadeGardavsshade Cedar Springs, MIPosts: 761Member Uncommon

    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.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    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).

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    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?

  • nyxiumnyxium ManchesterPosts: 1,221Member Uncommon

    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.

    image
  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,719Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by LeegOfChldrn

    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?

    I imagine it's just like real life.  If you're in the city it's a chaotic bustle with few familiar faces, but away from those social centers you have plenty of smaller communities.

    The only downside, socially, is the competitive angle.  It's a lot easier to be "best guild on the server" in a game with heavy sharding.  It's much harder on a single-shard game, but it's not like players fully comprehenad how much more meaningful it is to be the "best guild" on a single shard game.

    But that's pretty minor and certainly the social upside of single-shard (being able to play with every one of your friends) far exceeds it.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Originally posted by nyxium

    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.

    A spaceship game in EMPTY space is quite different from a game with terraine and toons.

    I highly doubt WoD will be a single shard, unless they want the player base to be really small.

  • stayontargetstayontarget Tacoma, WAPosts: 6,068Member Uncommon

    If you take a look at blizzard and what they are doing with wow (yes Iknow, everyone hates wow)  they seem to be heading in that direction of just getting rid of servers all together and just having one single server with multi-channels on it.   Wow already has "cross-server this" and "cross-server that" so the only logical conclusion would be to get rid of servers altogether.

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  • SuprGamerXSuprGamerX Montreal, QCPosts: 531Member

    Originally posted by dimasok

    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?

    Take the whole MMO population which it's safe to say is about 30 million (Which WoW / Maple Story carrying most the big chunks)  , Out of those 30 millions , I'll be generous for argument sake and give you 1% of the population having 40ish characters. So your up to 300K people that actually got more then 10 characters on a single MMO , honestly , the demand is far from being high enough for being a priority for any Dev to be concerned about. Even with EVE-Online you just got a handful of people with 5+ accounts all logged in at the same time. 

     The core meaning of a MMORPG back in the 90's was being able to group with people from around the world to PvP and PvE for hours non stop for levels and gear , not to have 30 characters and log them all in at once to then level them up by using a bot program.  

     Honestly , I fail to see why the hell this thread is still active , your posting something on a MMO website to enhance solo play? 

  • CalfisCalfis Brooklyn, NYPosts: 352Member

    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Originally posted by LeegOfChldrn

    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?

    I imagine it's just like real life.  If you're in the city it's a chaotic bustle with few familiar faces, but away from those social centers you have plenty of smaller communities.

    The only downside, socially, is the competitive angle.  It's a lot easier to be "best guild on the server" in a game with heavy sharding.  It's much harder on a single-shard game, but it's not like players fully comprehenad how much more meaningful it is to be the "best guild" on a single shard game.

    But that's pretty minor and certainly the social upside of single-shard (being able to play with every one of your friends) far exceeds it.

    Yesterday, I was actually killed by old corp(guild)mates I used to fly with a year ago. I didn't realize until after the battle was over and they waved (o/) to me in local chat. They told me they called me primary target first for old times sake. I only flew with them for a few months but after a year they still remember me, it was kinda nice, even tho they exploded my internet spaceship, seeing them still active and doing well(well cuz they killed me and 6 of my mates) kinda made me a little happy even tho I was a bit bummed that I lost.

    There is certainly a community, much more so among the nullsec and pvp people. And even if you play EVE exclusively PVE its difficult not to hear something about the "Top" alliances/corps in the game. There are a few names people will recognize  even if they don't know too many details about why a certain group is EVE-famous. There are probably a handful of alliances that most people would consider "dangerous" pvp machines to be avoided.

     

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  • Zlayer77Zlayer77 dPosts: 826Member

    Originally posted by LeegOfChldrn

    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?

    Im going to put it to you like this.. As we share the same server in EvE your reputation and your good name is all you got. Just like In IRL if you behave badly.. word of mouth will spread.. If you pull off a stunt.. people will buzz about it.. And getting to know people is the Number one thing you need to do in EvE. It is all about the comunity...

    You have people you hate, you have people that you fear and you have people that you work with and people that you trust with your stuff... EvE is all about comunity.. much more so then anny other game I have ever played...

    Coming into a tradehubb with expencive stuff you always watch local to see who is around.. and if the wrong people are there you think twice about trying to make it safly to port...

    I also have an exeample about something that happend a few months ago. I was traveling with a friend through low sec and we get jumped on a gate.. We know we are doomed but suddenly about 25 ships jump in and save us... Looking around I see alot of familiary faces. We are both swedish and well we know other sweeds in the game and lucky for us some of them were passing by and saw that we were in trubble..(lucky break as the world is Hughe)  We have been in corps with them from time to time over the years.. and we all keep in contact.. through chat channels etc... Lucky break for me and my friend but that is the sort of thing that happens in EvE..

    Another example is when I got trapped inside a WH.. It closed behind me and the rest of my fleet could not get to me. Only way out was through the barrel of my gun.. but before I did so I looked around and found that there were some people living there.. After about 15m of trying to get in contact with them I found their Representatvie (diplomat) and well they were nice enough to give me a hand so I could get back into normal space.. free of charge..

    Evrything fun about EvE happens when you Interact with other players...

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