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Whoever invented Mega-Servers/Familiar-PlayerChannels does not understand the first "M" in MMO



  • PhryPhry OxfordshirePosts: 8,345Member Epic
    Originally posted by JIUBHUNNY420
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
    Originally posted by Purutzil
    You do realize why channels exist right? Since you might not I'll give a few reasons.   1.) Having to many players and not enough creatures/mobs/items to pick up/ect. A very basic issue many MMos suffer when over populated in an area. Having to kill enemies for say a quest, if their aren't any enemies around you can hit, you obviously can't go about killing them. It becomes a game of 'wait for a respawn' which is quite a terrible experience both breaking immersion and adding tedium to it all.   2.) Performance: Server side. MMos involved having lots of people doing many things at the same time. While they are designed for larger louds, there comes a point in games where just so much is going on at once it puts the server in great strain if so many resources are in one place at one time. Having channels mitigates this issue. latency becomes an issue when this happens with so much going on at once. However, this typically is done for the sake of...   3.) Performance: User side. Everyone has a different type of PC they are playing from. Some can support graphics and actions better then others. Channels mitigate having thousands of people cluttering together in one spot, something that can bog down even the greatest systems. This is one of the biggest things that tends to support channels, particularly in games which involve more action, meaning delay through either the system slowing down. Latency which is a server side issue becomes its own issue for the player as all those numberous actions from other players needs to be funneled down onto their system instead.    Channels don't exist as some 'feature' to attract players in. Its not there as some innovation but rather something to mitigate issues not having a channel causes.

    Agreed 100%. I am surprised this channel discussion even popped up, I thought everyone already knew why they existed.

    Its a discussion because although yes there are multple benefits for having channels, its at a greater cost for player interaction, which is already considered amajor issue in MMO's, hence the discussion.

    How many times have you heard the same thing from recent MMO's, "It plays like a single player game", "Little to no raid or group content", "Playing for hours with purely solo content".

    The point is, if your going to make channels, and even further remove the character from a massive community that is now dwarfed into a 50 person instance, stop calling the games MMO's. The name is meaning less and less and becoming more a gimmick because the companies are innovating in all the wrong areas. 

    The problems you talk about with overcrowding, etc. can be solved in other ways then simply limiting the scope of interaction you can possibly have to only you and your close friends and the occasional passerby. 

    Im sorry im not trying to seem snyde, I just feel like people dont actually have any sort of logical definition anymore on what constitutes an MMO's core gameplay mechanics.  

    firstly point 1, if that is an issue in the game, its because of poor development/game mechanics, although obviously reducing the number of players in an area to a minimum will 'alleviate' those issues to a degree, but its a limited answer to a development issue that really should be addressed properly rather than 'bodged'.

    point 2. if there is a server issue, its can only be down to 2 factors, the hardware itself being a bit mediocre, and secondly and perhaps more importantly, limitations inherent to and/or under utilisation of the game engine itself.

    point 3, not really a seriously thought out point at all as lack of resources would affect the games responsiveness regardless of server type.

    If a game can really only handle a limited number of players in an area or worse, on a particular 'server type' at any one time, then its a flaw that is either inherent to the game engine, or to how well the game is optimised and what resources are available to it in terms of hardware. Either way, it is a limitation placed on the game, and certainly not a 'feature'

    all in all i'd reclassify ESO as a LMORPG (large multiplayer online!) rather than an MMORPG. just through those limitations alone, with the possibility of downgrading it even further if it struggles even at that level.image

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 8,758Member Epic

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, that we're talking about a different MMO that has traditional servers. So what does that "M" mean there?

    Unless we're talking about a game with hardly any graphics needed to be rendered, like Eve, we're talking about separate servers of say 3000 players max each. The server cap is often lower.

    Let's say that the MMO has 3 factions that are segregated for PvP and "community building purposes" DAoC was. That leaves 1000 players in your server for your faction.

    Let's say that for some unknown reason those players have lives away from the MMO and at most, 60% of them are on at the same time on a weekend. We're down to 600.

    Let's say that there is a level range with level-appropriate zones. But as we all know, there is a large group that levels at about the same speed at the beginning....let's say 60% do. Now  we have 360.

    So...M means that when you're PVEing you may, at most, have 360 people around you to play with or group with. You might actually even know about a third of them... 120.

    See where I'm going with this? In a megaserver, if they have a zone limit of 500 before they start calving off separate instances, you're likely to have about as many other players around you as in separate servers...more really, since there's a larger pool of potential players in the zone.

    You can talk about how nice it is to have your own server "X" with its unique name and better people than server "Y"...that's fine. But that's a discussion about communities.

    Just don't go around spouting the tired old BS that the "Massively" part of MMO is somehow compromised by a megaserver. That's just rubbish.

    Besides, the part of this game where community matters the most, Alliance vs. Alliance in Cyrodiil, WILL FUNCTION AS SEPARATE SERVERS. They are called campaigns instead of servers but they are persistent and permanent the same way servers are in other games,

  • JedidiahTheadoreJedidiahTheadore Beverly hills, CAPosts: 48Member
    Originally posted by keithian
    Originally posted by JedidiahTheadore
    I agree with the OP, so much so that the second they announced a mega server with instanced zones I wrote ESO off as another MMO I have no interest in ever playing.

    Instancing dungeons is bad enough, instancing entire regions completely kills any sense of being in a virtual world, to me. I'm just not interested in playing that type of morpg.

    zzzzzzzzzz I bet you play anyway lol.

    Maybe if this was 1999 and it was one of a handful of new games.  But there are plenty of MMOs to choose from these days, plus a lot of other interesting hobbies to partake in, theres no need and I have no desire to waste time on a game with an uninteresting world and what I consider to be lazy game design.


    I'll just wait for the next single player Elder Scrolls game to come along to get my ES fix.

  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Sugar Grove, VAPosts: 2,129Member Rare

    There are going to be thousands of people playing with you so I dont see the big deal. There arent going to be chopped up copies of areas with only 20 or 30 people in them. The game watching how you play and putting you with like minded fold isnt going to keep you from playing with your friends or keep you from seeing a full and busy world.

    Many players will not choose a " Low Pop " server over a " High Pop " server which is why the lower populated servers stay low more often than not.. With the mega server everyone is on the same master server which will be interesting to see play out IMO.


  • Lord_DarkmoonLord_Darkmoon GeislingenPosts: 2Member Uncommon

    I completely disagree - I know that I will be ripped apart because of my opinion ;)

    When there are hundreds or thousands of gamers online with you, do you really interact with all of those?

    Every time I am online in a game, people jump by, run by, go about their business. Everyone plays with his friends and his guild. So why do we need thousands of others jumping around if we ignore at least 90% of those players?

    I play MMORPGs since Ultima Online was released and I realized that I consider most other gamers a nuisance. I think that onlinegames would benefit immensely if there would be MUCH less players around. The world would not be crowded so much, being a hero would become something special again, you could explore a dark cave or a mysterious forest without constantly running into other players ruining the atmosphere.

    Therefore I am really looking forward to Richard Garriotts Shroud of the Avatar with its selective multiplayer feature. This is how I imagine an online rpg nowadays. Because if you ignore most other gamers in the gameworld why do you need them?

  • RoosterNashRoosterNash Tulsa, OKPosts: 283Member
    There was a time when the concept of channels really irked me (AoC in particular), but over the years I've realized that the MMO franchise is an ever-evolving monster. There are a great many kinks to work through when tweaking a game on such a massive scale. When it comes to ESO, I think they are doing superb so far in meeting in the middle and accomadating both MMO fans and TES fans alike.

    THE Rooster Nash

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 3,980Member Rare

    Massively is a myth that has never existed - hardware has always been a limitation!

    Two issues: mega-server(s) and instances.

    The decision to opt for megaserver(s) seems right to me. Yes a community can form around a single server but Eve shows that communities can form on a mega server. And the big advantage over single servers is that it avoids server mergers. The history of recent launches is littered with mergers and in all cases they are totally destructive of any community that has formed.

    Instances are another topic; you can gave them with small servers or with megaservers. Used well instances can address a host of issues: camping, boss stealing, allowing greater flexibility in dungeon design, mob spawn issues. Some disagree but imo they have a part to play. Used badly however - in particular when they have been used to "stretch" the available hardware - they have been a disaster and can destroy far more than "community". Continuity and flow can suffer as well.

    Whatever their final approach Zenimax have been keen to play down the "traditional mmo" aspect of ESO. Single player rpg maybe albeit in a large open world environment + instanced dungeons maybe?  

  • GoldmundGoldmund Nixa, MOPosts: 8Member
    It's definitely disappointing to start building up your character on one server and find that your friends are playing on another, so my first impression is that the megaserver is a positive feature.  Channels are understandable too when considering hardware limitations.  In the end though, it will really depend on how large the channeled areas are, how many folks they can fit into each one, and how transitions from one channeled area into another are handled.  If I'm in Cyrodil, sneaking around and stalking some enemy, and the guy I'm following suddenly disappears into some unknown channel, then we've got a problem.  No way to really know until I get my hands on the game at launch, but for now, I'm overall optimistic about the feature.
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 8,758Member Epic
    Originally posted by Goldmund
    It's definitely disappointing to start building up your character on one server and find that your friends are playing on another, so my first impression is that the megaserver is a positive feature.  Channels are understandable too when considering hardware limitations.  In the end though, it will really depend on how large the channeled areas are, how many folks they can fit into each one, and how transitions from one channeled area into another are handled.  If I'm in Cyrodil, sneaking around and stalking some enemy, and the guy I'm following suddenly disappears into some unknown channel, then we've got a problem.  No way to really know until I get my hands on the game at launch, but for now, I'm overall optimistic about the feature.

    That... you won't have to worry about. Cyrodiil is the one place that has no channels. What they have there is "Campaigns" that function like a traditional MMO server. Everyone in Cyrodiil who is part of your campaign, friend or foe, will be in one single "channel."

    I'll say it again, the megaserver in this game is a PVE thing only.

  • GoldmundGoldmund Nixa, MOPosts: 8Member
    That's reassuring :)  Any notion though how they will handle dominant factions appointing an emperor?  One emperor per campaign?
  • artemisentr4artemisentr4 fresno, CAPosts: 1,431Member Uncommon

    <blockquote><i>Originally posted by JIUBHUNNY420</i>
    <br><b><blockquote> <i>Originally posted by azzamasin</i><br /> <blockquote> <b><i>Originally posted by Wellspring</i><br /> <b>Agreed. Instances and multiple instances of the same zones are one of my least favorite features in modern mmo's. </b></b></blockquote> <p><b> And yet it is no different then having separate servers.</b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>All are a form of splitting the community up in such a way to not stress the server infrastructure and all have their own pros and cons.</b></p></blockquote><p>Yes but a Server is a community in itself. One of the biggest draws to playing on a named server is that certain sense of community, your all members of "Feldsper Server" or "Corbantis" or "Earthen Ring", you know people based on the server, you cant have that same experiance if your always in "Channel 26" with all your buddys. It leaves no room for real random encounters with multiple different personalities. Its saying "Heres all the people YOU want to playwith, dont worry about making friends in game, cause you have your own right?" What if you dont have alot of friends in game, then your just going to be playing alone because you wont ever have anyone joining your channel. I dont know why everryone has to be put in there only personal channels away from the general populace with only a small number of random elements. </p></b></blockquote>

    <p>First, that is the way it is now most of the time. Everyone is on Vent or Teamspeak and ignore the general population in most games. From what I understand, in these channels will be players that play in a similar way. If you are solo then others with you should play solo most of the time as well. If you group but arn't in a guild, then you may be in the same type channel. Guild will be with guild and so on. So at least in thoery, players that want to meet others will be in the same channels.</p>

    “How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”

  • KingsFieldKingsField Beverly Hills, CAPosts: 37Member
    I've been playing MMOs off and on since the Ultima Online beta and I like the idea of mega-servers. That really is the way to go with an RvR-based MMO since it prevents one faction from totally dominating a server.
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