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FireFall will be running on state of the art servers.

IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

AMD has introduced to MMO fans around the world brand new tech that will revolutionize the MMO world. AMD has "deployed an AMD SeaMicro server with the SeaMicro Freedom™ fabric to power a high-performance mobile gaming unit (MGU.) The MGU, which is a 48-foot bus, was created as part of the launch for its new game "FireFall."

I know how cool is that. Here is some of the specs of this state of the art server:

"AMD's SeaMicro SM10000-XE server contains 256 CPU cores and the 1.28 terabits per-second Freedom™ fabric, which removes the constraints of traditional servers while delivering up to 50 percent reduction in power consumption. It is the industry's highest density, most energy-efficient x86 server. By integrating switching functionality, it removes the need for top of rack switches, terminal servers and hundreds of networking devices and cables simplifying installation, management and maintenance."

Amazing eh! the artical goes on to say...

"The mobile gaming unit would not have been possible without AMD's SeaMicro server. It allowed us to install a data center into a closet on a bus, yet achieve performance equal to one of 'World of Warcraft's' original data centers," said Mark Kern, so FireFall is taking on Blizz lol ok I just hope that AMD did not make the wrong choice with FireFall to interduce us this great new tech after all I dont see FireFall standing the test of time as a MMO game.

Well my hats off to AMD may they endever to wow us with thier contribution to the MMO world.

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Isturi

    AMD has introduced to MMO fans around the world brand new tech that will revolutionize the MMO world. AMD has "deployed an AMD SeaMicro server with the SeaMicro Freedom™ fabric to power a high-performance mobile gaming unit (MGU.) The MGU, which is a 48-foot bus, was created as part of the launch for its new game "FireFall."

    I know how cool is that. Here is some of the specs of this state of the art server:

    "AMD's SeaMicro SM10000-XE server contains 256 CPU cores and the 1.28 terabits per-second Freedom™ fabric, which removes the constraints of traditional servers while delivering up to 50 percent reduction in power consumption. It is the industry's highest density, most energy-efficient x86 server. By integrating switching functionality, it removes the need for top of rack switches, terminal servers and hundreds of networking devices and cables simplifying installation, management and maintenance."

    Amazing eh! the artical goes on to say...

    "The mobile gaming unit would not have been possible without AMD's SeaMicro server. It allowed us to install a data center into a closet on a bus, yet achieve performance equal to one of 'World of Warcraft's' original data centers," said Mark Kern, so FireFall is taking on Blizz lol ok I just hope that AMD did not make the wrong choice with FireFall to interduce us this great new tech after all I dont see FireFall standing the test of time as a MMO game.

    Well my hats off to AMD may they endever to wow us with thier contribution to the MMO world.

    Very cool tech. I don't see the statement as being that they are 'taking on Blizzard' so much as to create a comparison that a wider range of people can wrap their heads around.

    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

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Isturi

    AMD has introduced to MMO fans around the world brand new tech that will revolutionize the MMO world. AMD has "deployed an AMD SeaMicro server with the SeaMicro Freedom™ fabric to power a high-performance mobile gaming unit (MGU.) The MGU, which is a 48-foot bus, was created as part of the launch for its new game "FireFall."

    I know how cool is that. Here is some of the specs of this state of the art server:

    "AMD's SeaMicro SM10000-XE server contains 256 CPU cores and the 1.28 terabits per-second Freedom™ fabric, which removes the constraints of traditional servers while delivering up to 50 percent reduction in power consumption. It is the industry's highest density, most energy-efficient x86 server. By integrating switching functionality, it removes the need for top of rack switches, terminal servers and hundreds of networking devices and cables simplifying installation, management and maintenance."

    Amazing eh! the artical goes on to say...

    "The mobile gaming unit would not have been possible without AMD's SeaMicro server. It allowed us to install a data center into a closet on a bus, yet achieve performance equal to one of 'World of Warcraft's' original data centers," said Mark Kern, so FireFall is taking on Blizz lol ok I just hope that AMD did not make the wrong choice with FireFall to interduce us this great new tech after all I dont see FireFall standing the test of time as a MMO game.

    Well my hats off to AMD may they endever to wow us with thier contribution to the MMO world.

    Very cool tech. I don't see the statement as being that they are 'taking on Blizzard' so much as to create a comparison that a wider range of people can wrap their heads around.

    Thats just my take on it. It seems that way to me. Note I ended the quote before I said that.

    image

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Isturi
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Isturi

    AMD has introduced to MMO fans around the world brand new tech that will revolutionize the MMO world. AMD has "deployed an AMD SeaMicro server with the SeaMicro Freedom™ fabric to power a high-performance mobile gaming unit (MGU.) The MGU, which is a 48-foot bus, was created as part of the launch for its new game "FireFall."

    I know how cool is that. Here is some of the specs of this state of the art server:

    "AMD's SeaMicro SM10000-XE server contains 256 CPU cores and the 1.28 terabits per-second Freedom™ fabric, which removes the constraints of traditional servers while delivering up to 50 percent reduction in power consumption. It is the industry's highest density, most energy-efficient x86 server. By integrating switching functionality, it removes the need for top of rack switches, terminal servers and hundreds of networking devices and cables simplifying installation, management and maintenance."

    Amazing eh! the artical goes on to say...

    "The mobile gaming unit would not have been possible without AMD's SeaMicro server. It allowed us to install a data center into a closet on a bus, yet achieve performance equal to one of 'World of Warcraft's' original data centers," said Mark Kern, so FireFall is taking on Blizz lol ok I just hope that AMD did not make the wrong choice with FireFall to interduce us this great new tech after all I dont see FireFall standing the test of time as a MMO game.

    Well my hats off to AMD may they endever to wow us with thier contribution to the MMO world.

    Very cool tech. I don't see the statement as being that they are 'taking on Blizzard' so much as to create a comparison that a wider range of people can wrap their heads around.

    Thats just my take on it. It seems that way to me. Note I ended the quote before I said that.

    I know that's your take on it. Red 5 would never say anything that ridiculous.

     

    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

  • sacredfoolsacredfool prague, TXPosts: 760Member Uncommon

     ^^ The tech is obviously a WoW-killer. 

    That said... seems pretty good that someone is finally making MMO-centric hardware. I never understood why it didn't happen before especially that such hardware could possibly find other uses too.


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,754Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Isturi

    Amazing eh! the artical goes on to say...

    "The mobile gaming unit would not have been possible without AMD's SeaMicro server. It allowed us to install a data center into a closet on a bus, yet achieve performance equal to one of 'World of Warcraft's' original data centers," said Mark Kern, so FireFall is taking on Blizz lol ok I just hope that AMD did not make the wrong choice with FireFall to interduce us this great new tech after all I dont see FireFall standing the test of time as a MMO game.

    Well my hats off to AMD may they endever to wow us with thier contribution to the MMO world.

    Very cool tech. I don't see the statement as being that they are 'taking on Blizzard' so much as to create a comparison that a wider range of people can wrap their heads around.

    yeah i dont see how are they taking on Blizz either. OP maybe didnt understand when they said achieving a server performance as good as WoW's. They arent talking about beating WoW in any way. Anyways, cool tech indeed.

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  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Cool tech, can't wait for Isturi to get dissapointed by Blizzard in some way XD a scorned woman hath no fury like a disenfranchised fanboi.

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  • birdycephonbirdycephon Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 1,314Member
    So their server is almost as good as WoW's original server. That's before all the improments. In today's terms, its not even close to a WoW server.
  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Cool tech, can't wait for Isturi to get dissapointed by Blizzard in some way XD a scorned woman hath no fury like a disenfranchised fanboi.

    Wait has been over lol I was disapointed with CATA lol np. But pls stay on subject it is a thread bout FireFall and its new AMD tech.

    image

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by birdycephon
    So their server is almost as good as WoW's original server. That's before all the improments. In today's terms, its not even close to a WoW server.

    Incorrect, it's a smaller more efficient server, ergo you get less maintence costs, less space consumed for the same oomph as an old WoW data center, donno price tag but that already sounds like a pretty big difference (they can fit in more into the same space thus reducing rent costs, they get half the energy consumption so again reduces energy costs so while yes their preformance is kinda crappy you get twice as many per building/space for the same price :-?? which sounds on par with what current WoW servers can do).

     

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  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,592Member Uncommon
    Very impressive technology.  Not to mention rather expensive.  I'm wondering about Red5's source of funding for their studio and bleeding edge technology like this.  I hope its extensive enough to see them through to the release of Firefall.
  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wraithone
    Very impressive technology.  Not to mention rather expensive.  I'm wondering about Red5's source of funding for their studio and bleeding edge technology like this.  I hope its extensive enough to see them through to the release of Firefall.

    Yeah, very cool stuff.

    But expensive... compared to what?  Building an HP blade server setup would be comparably priced if not more.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon
    The ironic thing about it is that they're buying Intel processors from AMD.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon

    I might as well explain what the fuss is about.  While there is a good case for calling this "state of the art", it's not at all "high end".

    The way that high end servers are done is that you put 4 or 8 physical processors on a board, each of which has a bunch of system memory, and can communicate with each other and access all of the memory for all of the processors with low latency.  The current top of the line as far as x86 goes is eight Intel Xeon E7-8870s in a single server.  Those processors cost $4616 each and have ten cores each.  Eight of them is a fortune for CPUs alone.

    Meanwhile, the server has to have its own monitor port and ethernet and everything else to make a functional server.  You might mount a bunch of them on a rack, but each server kind of has its own "box".  Communication within a server is very fast, but with other servers, is somewhat slower.

    SeaMicro came along and said, well, there are some situations where you do need an enormous amount of CPU power, but the CPU cores don't really need to be all that fast or able to communicate with each other all that quickly.  Think, for example, of Facebook, where a process that is handling one user connected to Facebook pretty much never needs to be able to find out what another user connected to Facebook is doing with sub-microsecond latency, or even sub-millisecond latency.  Meanwhile, the server side of handling one user connected to Facebook isn't terribly demanding, so you don't need terribly fast CPU cores for it.  Handling many millions of users connected at once adds up to needing a ton of CPU power, however.

    So what SeaMicro said is, let's make a ton of very weak servers each using several CPU cores, but let's not give every server its own SATA and ethernet and monitor ports and so forth.  Let the servers communicate with each other via PCI Express (with something like x1 or x2 bandwidth each, not x16), which is plenty for situations where different processes don't have to communicate that much and don't need extremely low latency.  We'll use low power CPUs for reasons of cost and energy efficiency, and put a bunch of "servers" in a box.  If each "server" is only using 20 W or so, you can put 100 of them in a box and cool them just fine.

    I think that SeaMicro started with Intel Atom processors, though they've branched out since then with a number of other offerings.  Atom and ARM aren't viable (yet) if you need 64-bit, but you can use relatively cheap server processors higher up the chain if you need to.  The idea is to use the cheapest, slowest processors that are good enough for your needs, and use a ton of them.  In this case, they're using Sandy Bridge quad core processors, roughly equivalent to a low-clocked (45 W TDP) version of a Core i7-2600.  $300 is a lot for a desktop CPU, but not really for a server CPU.  They're using SeaMicro's technology to stick 64 of those processors in a single "server"; if you use an ordinary Intel chipset, you can only use one such CPU, as you'd need a higher end model to go multi-CPU.

    And then AMD bought out SeaMicro.  SeaMicro still sells Intel processors, as AMD didn't buy the company to shut it down.  Rather, AMD wants to take the way SeaMicro allows a ton of server CPUs to communicate with each other over PCI Express and offer that to companies like Dell or HP for servers using AMD CPUs.

    SeaMicro now they offers AMD Piledriver-based Opteron CPUs as well, and soon will offer Jaguar-based Opterons.  The latter could be great for some markets, as it's 64-bit and can use a ton of memory (which means it will be fine in situations where either of those rules out Atom or ARM), while being very cheap and low power.  It will have low single-threaded performance, however, which makes it a complete non-starter for some microserver situations.  And, of course, if your different CPUs need to be able to communicate too much, microservers don't work at all.

    Intel is going to launch a 64-bit version of Atom soon, and ARM v8 will be 64-bit and should arrive next year.  Intel Atom and ARM Cortex A53 will be lower power and slower than AMD Jaguar cores, which will make them better for some purposes and worse for others.

    So yes, microservers are arguably the state of art for servers, as they didn't even exist until not that long ago.  And they're a lower cost, lower power way to get a ton of CPU power than traditional high end servers.  But there are some situations where they simply don't work at all, and you need a higher end server.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Any servertech-savvy posters care to translate what value all this brings to the players? Quizzical? Anyone?

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

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    I might as well explain what the fuss is about.  While there is a good case for calling this "state of the art", it's not at all "high end".

    The way that high end servers are done is that you put 4 or 8 physical processors on a board, each of which has a bunch of system memory, and can communicate with each other and access all of the memory for all of the processors with low latency.  The current top of the line as far as x86 goes is eight Intel Xeon E7-8870s in a single server.  Those processors cost $4616 each and have ten cores each.  Eight of them is a fortune for CPUs alone.

    Meanwhile, the server has to have its own monitor port and ethernet and everything else to make a functional server.  You might mount a bunch of them on a rack, but each server kind of has its own "box".  Communication within a server is very fast, but with other servers, is somewhat slower.

    SeaMicro came along and said, well, there are some situations where you do need an enormous amount of CPU power, but the CPU cores don't really need to be all that fast or able to communicate with each other all that quickly.  Think, for example, of Facebook, where a process that is handling one user connected to Facebook pretty much never needs to be able to find out what another user connected to Facebook is doing with sub-microsecond latency, or even sub-millisecond latency.  Meanwhile, the server side of handling one user connected to Facebook isn't terribly demanding, so you don't need terribly fast CPU cores for it.  Handling many millions of users connected at once adds up to needing a ton of CPU power, however.

    So what SeaMicro said is, let's make a ton of very weak servers each using several CPU cores, but let's not give every server its own SATA and ethernet and monitor ports and so forth.  Let the servers communicate with each other via PCI Express (with something like x1 or x2 bandwidth each, not x16), which is plenty for situations where different processes don't have to communicate that much and don't need extremely low latency.  We'll use low power CPUs for reasons of cost and energy efficiency, and put a bunch of "servers" in a box.  If each "server" is only using 20 W or so, you can put 100 of them in a box and cool them just fine.

    I think that SeaMicro started with Intel Atom processors, though they've branched out since then with a number of other offerings.  Atom and ARM aren't viable (yet) if you need 64-bit, but you can use relatively cheap server processors higher up the chain if you need to.  The idea is to use the cheapest, slowest processors that are good enough for your needs, and use a ton of them.  In this case, they're using Sandy Bridge quad core processors, roughly equivalent to a low-clocked (45 W TDP) version of a Core i7-2600.  $300 is a lot for a desktop CPU, but not really for a server CPU.  They're using SeaMicro's technology to stick 64 of those processors in a single "server"; if you use an ordinary Intel chipset, you can only use one such CPU, as you'd need a higher end model to go multi-CPU.

    And then AMD bought out SeaMicro.  SeaMicro still sells Intel processors, as AMD didn't buy the company to shut it down.  Rather, AMD wants to take the way SeaMicro allows a ton of server CPUs to communicate with each other over PCI Express and offer that to companies like Dell or HP for servers using AMD CPUs.

    SeaMicro now they offers AMD Piledriver-based Opteron CPUs as well, and soon will offer Jaguar-based Opterons.  The latter could be great for some markets, as it's 64-bit and can use a ton of memory (which means it will be fine in situations where either of those rules out Atom or ARM), while being very cheap and low power.  It will have low single-threaded performance, however, which makes it a complete non-starter for some microserver situations.  And, of course, if your different CPUs need to be able to communicate too much, microservers don't work at all.

    Intel is going to launch a 64-bit version of Atom soon, and ARM v8 will be 64-bit and should arrive next year.  Intel Atom and ARM Cortex A53 will be lower power and slower than AMD Jaguar cores, which will make them better for some purposes and worse for others.

    So yes, microservers are arguably the state of art for servers, as they didn't even exist until not that long ago.  And they're a lower cost, lower power way to get a ton of CPU power than traditional high end servers.  But there are some situations where they simply don't work at all, and you need a higher end server.

    TY Quizzical for the translation.image

    image

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Any servertech-savvy posters care to translate what value all this brings to the players? Quizzical? Anyone?

    If their server code fits what microservers can do (which strikes me as plausible, though obviously I haven't seen the details of their server code), then using them means that they can build their servers for cheaper and using less power (which also means cheaper) than by using traditional servers.

    While players don't see direct benefits from this, being cheaper to host servers for games is a good thing.  That makes it less likely that a company will be losing money on a game and pull the plug, more likely that they'll be willing to use more server-side CPU power wherever it makes sense to benefit the game, and more likely that they'll be willing to pay the added expense to scale up CPU performance if they decide that it's beneficial.  None of those are likely to be enormous effects, but in the extreme case that infinitely powerful game servers were completely free, it's not too hard to imagine that players would benefit indirectly from these effects.

    The real purpose of the article was publicity for AMD, SeaMicro (which is owned by AMD), and Firefall.  Notice that they didn't point out that they were using Intel processors, and one could easily come away thinking that they were using AMD processors or that state of the art servers means AMD processors.

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,294Member Uncommon

    Good to see AMD is back on track with (server)CPU development. But indeed, why pick FireFall and not (lets say) EVE online instead. My guess is that this server type can indeed cripple most cluster MMO servers out there at the moment.

    One silly Q though... How much will a monster like this cost..? ;-)

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Reizla

    Good to see AMD is back on track with (server)CPU development. But indeed, why pick FireFall and not (lets say) EVE online instead. My guess is that this server type can indeed cripple most cluster MMO servers out there at the moment.

    One silly Q though... How much will a monster like this cost..? ;-)

    I don't know how much it costs.  The CPUs alone are about $20000.  But you can look it up as well as I can:

    http://www.seamicro.com/products/SM10000XE

    In order to use a microserver, you have to have code built for it.  You can't just grab the server code from any arbitrary MMORPG, put it on a microserver, and expect it to work with reasonable performance.  If you know what you're doing, design the code from scratch with the intention of using microservers, and are building a program that does things that naturally fit microservers well, then it probably isn't outlandishly difficult to make the server code for microservers.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Any servertech-savvy posters care to translate what value all this brings to the players? Quizzical? Anyone?

    If their server code fits what microservers can do (which strikes me as plausible, though obviously I haven't seen the details of their server code), then using them means that they can build their servers for cheaper and using less power (which also means cheaper) than by using traditional servers.

    While players don't see direct benefits from this, being cheaper to host servers for games is a good thing.  That makes it less likely that a company will be losing money on a game and pull the plug, more likely that they'll be willing to use more server-side CPU power wherever it makes sense to benefit the game, and more likely that they'll be willing to pay the added expense to scale up CPU performance if they decide that it's beneficial.  None of those are likely to be enormous effects, but in the extreme case that infinitely powerful game servers were completely free, it's not too hard to imagine that players would benefit indirectly from these effects.

    The real purpose of the article was publicity for AMD, SeaMicro (which is owned by AMD), and Firefall.  Notice that they didn't point out that they were using Intel processors, and one could easily come away thinking that they were using AMD processors or that state of the art servers means AMD processors.

    Yeah, thats what I gathered: cheaper and easier to maintain. No direct benefits unless they, like you said, scale up as a result of this.

    Meh...

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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Any servertech-savvy posters care to translate what value all this brings to the players? Quizzical? Anyone?

    One current issue with data centers is that they really can't be easily packed up and relocated. They also take a good amount of space to set up. If I'm reading this correctly, they've got a mobile gaming unit (MGU) that is portable enough that if they need to locate or relocate one to improve performance or add local servers somewhere they can do it without a mess of trucks, techs and downtime.

     

    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

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
    News that's not really news or useful news if you want that specified
  • sacredfoolsacredfool prague, TXPosts: 760Member Uncommon

    Hmm Lokto, I am not sure MMO companies ever really move servers, so I don't see how making them more portable is an advantage.

     

    The way I see it, it's just saying "Our servers will be built differently then other servers" but for an average gamer it's hardly newsworthy. All it means is they have lower maintenence costs. I found it quite interesting. 


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Any servertech-savvy posters care to translate what value all this brings to the players? Quizzical? Anyone?

    One current issue with data centers is that they really can't be easily packed up and relocated. They also take a good amount of space to set up. If I'm reading this correctly, they've got a mobile gaming unit (MGU) that is portable enough that if they need to locate or relocate one to improve performance or add local servers somewhere they can do it without a mess of trucks, techs and downtime.

    For the really big data centers, cheap electricity (i.e., next door to a big power station so that not much is lost in transmission) and enviornmental cooling (i.e., blow in cold air from outside to cool the building) are among the greatly desired features, and neither of those are terribly portable.

    That said, as data center giants go, FireFall isn't exactly going to be Google, Amazon, or Facebook.  Unless, of course, their servers are renting cloud space from Amazon or some such.

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    I always thought Internet latency is the problem, not server performance?

    Anyway, single server tech for the win.

    Having a list of servers to pick from is lame oldschool museum tech.

    ESO, TSW, now Firefall.. nice 

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,767Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by FromHell

    I always thought Internet latency is the problem, not server performance?

    There are a ton of problems that you have to solve in order to make an MMORPG, many (but not all!) of which are actually fairly easy to solve.  But you have to solve all of them or your game won't run.  Which physical servers to use is just one of the many problems to address.

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