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Why have 'servers', instead create a cluster

garretthgarretth Chandler, AZPosts: 316Member

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?

 

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon

     

    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.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member

    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.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    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.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    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.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • redcappredcapp brook, NYPosts: 722Member
    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?

  • LienhartLienhart Markham, ONPosts: 635Member

    ....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?

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,418Member Uncommon
    Overflow servers. 

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

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,616Member Uncommon

    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.

     

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon

    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.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    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.

    image

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    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

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon
    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?
  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member
    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.

  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member
    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

  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member
    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

  • sanshi44sanshi44 BrisbanePosts: 1,088Member Uncommon
    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
  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member
    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

  • sanshi44sanshi44 BrisbanePosts: 1,088Member Uncommon
    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

  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member

    Well EVE's zone boundaries are the jump gates that take you from one system to another. The boundary makes sense in the conext of the game; it's not immersion breaking. That might be a little harder to do in a fantasy game.

    There are also some technical implications for the single-shard open world game. Like when 1600 of your players all want to have their big fight in the same zone... that means you need some pretty powerful server nodes and some really slinky netcode.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Never mind :)

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon

    Good morning, all!

     

    +1 to each of Malcanis' posts. Good explanations of how it works.

     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • BanaghranBanaghran HuisoPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by sanshi44
    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

    Well, that kinda hits the roadblock of the current design, story, quest hubs, capital cities with all the facilities and ofcourse the most importatnt thing: there is nothing to do in the outside world.

    Flame on!

    :)

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Malcanis

    Well EVE's zone boundaries are the jump gates that take you from one system to another. The boundary makes sense in the conext of the game; it's not immersion breaking. That might be a little harder to do in a fantasy game.

    There are also some technical implications for the single-shard open world game. Like when 1600 of your players all want to have their big fight in the same zone... that means you need some pretty powerful server nodes and some really slinky netcode.

    It also means you have to have gameplay which suffers little from high latency. We all know Eve has made significant concessions to accommodate the high player numbers. They've had to give a lot of stuff away in order to do that.

    Just active blocking becomes problematic in single shard design. A fantasy game designed in such a way would have rely heavily on dicerolls to resolve combat and/or have to be turn-based. Not to mention, you'd have to sell the indirect character controls to the players who have been using to direct controls for years now: pressing a button and seeing the character respond to that immediately. What about large scale fights? Type /follow to your anchor and press a button to activate autoattack.

    Tough sell that...

    In short: You also need to have the right (and simple enough) gameplay to make it possible.

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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Malcanis

    Well EVE's zone boundaries are the jump gates that take you from one system to another. The boundary makes sense in the conext of the game; it's not immersion breaking. That might be a little harder to do in a fantasy game.

    There are also some technical implications for the single-shard open world game. Like when 1600 of your players all want to have their big fight in the same zone... that means you need some pretty powerful server nodes and some really slinky netcode.

    It also means you have to have gameplay which suffers little from high latency. We all know Eve has made significant concessions to accommodate the high player numbers. They've had to give a lot of stuff away in order to do that.

    Just active blocking becomes problematic in single shard design. A fantasy game designed in such a way would have rely heavily on dicerolls to resolve combat and/or have to be turn-based. Not to mention, you'd have to sell the indirect character controls to the players who have been using to direct controls for years now: pressing a button and seeing the character respond to that immediately. What about large scale fights? Type /follow to your anchor and press a button to activate autoattack.

    Tough sell that...

    In short: You also need to have the right (and simple enough) gameplay to make it possible.

     

    There's no technical reason for anything you presented. It seems like you are confusing 'single shard server' with '1,000 player battle'.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

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