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#1 2009-02-17 08:00:59

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

As you may or not may be aware CCP runs it's eve online on one single server cluster creating a true mmorpg experience. If someone plays eve all you need to is their name and you'll be able to find them/play with them/kill them/etc. I must say that I find this a true mmorpg exprience where as games like wow and daoc feel more like multiplayer games without an offline single player experience.

Otherland would lend itself extremely well for the CCP model, however reading the previews/info released so far it looks like it will deploy the (failed) DDO model (central lobby from where you access content). Sure it's conjecture based on info available but better to suggest/discuss it now then to end up with a hugely dissappointing game.

With Otherland I envision a sandbox style game where you can live in shards, travel between them, where resource trading between shards creates economies and industries that allow for crafting (again have a look at the SWG/EVE Online model), and rulesets within shards to allow for playstyles (i.e. economical/political/war/etc). The filthy and extreme rich could then create their own shards and own/control them.

Not enough time here to fully explain my thoughts (@work) but /discuss away... :P

 

#2 2009-02-17 13:36:57

Wolfshade
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From: Warwick, RI
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 3468
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

I think you're comparing apples and oranges here.  From what I've read, EVE has recently peaked at about 50,000 players online at once (out of a total player base in the quarter million range I think).  The most populated WoW server is at about 40 thousand, with a total population on the order of 10 million subscribers.  Are you saying the server cluster model can scale up 40 times?  I do dislike the idea of being on one server, making friends there, and then finding out another friend is on another server, but I don't think seperate-server based games have "failed" as you claim.

Anyway, I guess we'll see what happens.

{Edit due to typos caused by sticky keys...wait, that sounded wrong}

Last edited by Wolfshade (2009-02-17 13:38:33)


"The rhythm is broken by continuous illumination, continuous darkness, or by decapitation." M.Morita and J.B.Best. The Journal of Experimental Zoology. 231: 273-282 (1984)

http://twitter.com/wolfshade
http://www.fullcastpodcast.com

 

#3 2009-02-18 02:33:46

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

Wolfshade wrote:

I think you're comparing apples and oranges here.  From what I've read, EVE has recently peaked at about 50,000 players online at once (out of a total player base in the quarter million range I think).  The most populated WoW server is at about 40 thousand, with a total population on the order of 10 million subscribers.  Are you saying the server cluster model can scale up 40 times?  I do dislike the idea of being on one server, making friends there, and then finding out another friend is on another server, but I don't think seperate-server based games have "failed" as you claim.

Anyway, I guess we'll see what happens.

{Edit due to typos caused by sticky keys...wait, that sounded wrong}

50k online at 400k accounts for eve online.

What I meant with failed is failed from a true MMORPG perspective versus it being more sort of a multiplayer game where the world\community depends on the server you are connected to (much like the fps community). Eve as an example here is a true mmorpg in that respect in my eyes because well it really is one persistent world not 1000 times the same virtual world (aka wow).

Devs need to stop thinking about trying to be the next wow. Who cares. A 200k subscriber MMORPG can be highly profitable.

Scaling wise much can be done to size a cluster upwards to around 2 million sub as long as the database model is designed with it in mind and solidstate storage is used. Shards will be able to comfortably hold around 2000 active users using this design.

 

#4 2009-02-18 08:28:19

Wolfshade
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From: Warwick, RI
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 3468
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

I agree that Otherland would probably be more along the lines of an EVE sized fan base, and as such I hope they borrow from the EVE pieces that have made them successful.  I've never played EVE, but I've heard they've grown steadily while other (maybe more hyped)  MMOs have burst out of the gate and then faded.  This means the people the DO get into EVE are having fun and staying.

Do you know if EVE has a very international fanbase?  With Otherland being developed in the far east, I'm guessing it will have a market there.  I would guess Germans will be into it as well (They were the market for an audio drama of the books after all).  Would you suggest seperate language servers. or throw everyone together even on that level? 

Interesting topic, in any case.


"The rhythm is broken by continuous illumination, continuous darkness, or by decapitation." M.Morita and J.B.Best. The Journal of Experimental Zoology. 231: 273-282 (1984)

http://twitter.com/wolfshade
http://www.fullcastpodcast.com

 

#5 2009-02-18 09:59:51

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

-. Yes, very international with the exception of China. Due to local legislation CCP made them their own server cluster which resides in China.
-. No need for single language servers as long as you program your client in such a way that it supports multiple languages and give players some sort of organizational control (guild). You'll see pure nationality based guilds arise gathering for the people who only speak their own language.
-. Allthough part of the development is done in Singapore, that team consists mainly of Australians. Most software comes from the so called cheap labor countries. The software house is german so I seriously doubt any appeal from the asian market based on the location of the development team.

Give Eve Online a free trial to see how they did it https://secure.eve-online.com/ft/FreeTr … aid=103559 the game itself is sorta a hardcore elite (commodore 64) clone, either you love it or you hate it but thats besides the point of the discussion. It's interesting to see how smooth a true one virtual world concept can work.

 

#6 2009-02-18 10:35:57

Wolfshade
Pilgrim
From: Warwick, RI
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 3468
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

Despite the software house being german, I thought a lot of the artists and art influence were far-eastern.  I'm not sure where I read that, though.


"The rhythm is broken by continuous illumination, continuous darkness, or by decapitation." M.Morita and J.B.Best. The Journal of Experimental Zoology. 231: 273-282 (1984)

http://twitter.com/wolfshade
http://www.fullcastpodcast.com

 

#7 2009-02-18 18:05:59

mabinogi
Pilgrim
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2001-07-26
Posts: 10528
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

I don't know about anyone else, but 40,000 on any one server counts as "massively" to me.

I could play with my friends on a 5 user NWN server, and it wouldn't be massive.  The MMO feel is given by the there being thousands of people you _don't_ know on the server.

It doesn't bother me which approach Otherland uses, as long as it works, and as long as it works just as well for those of us down here in the world of unavoidable 300ms latency...


..and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you,
no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..

My Musical Experimentations

 

#8 2009-02-19 03:17:18

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

mabinogi wrote:

It doesn't bother me which approach Otherland uses, as long as it works, and as long as it works just as well for those of us down here in the world of unavoidable 300ms latency...

A single datacenter with a single cluster server also tackles that 300ms latency issue (unless it's 240ms latency from your computer to your provider) because it will allow the network guys to create peerings to all networks around the world (i.e. direct shortcuts between the highways).

Again give eve online a test to see how they did this (lots of kiwis and aussies playing eve).

 

#9 2009-02-19 04:05:41

mabinogi
Pilgrim
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2001-07-26
Posts: 10528
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

DrAtomic wrote:

A single datacenter with a single cluster server also tackles that 300ms latency issue (unless it's 240ms latency from your computer to your provider) because it will allow the network guys to create peerings to all networks around the world (i.e. direct shortcuts between the highways).

Only partially - local servers would cut down the latency to those servers, but the data would still have to be replicated to and from the other servers in the cluster, meaning that there's still effectively 300-400ms delay on everything - probably more, as the replication protocol itself is going to add overhead.

Of course, the point is fairly moot, because games with multiple server regions very rarely have Australian servers, just "Asia/Pacific", and Australians end up playing on US servers anyway just so we can speak English.


..and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you,
no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..

My Musical Experimentations

 

#10 2009-02-19 08:00:16

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

Try this:

1. start -> run -> cmd <enter>
2. Ping 87.237.38.200
3. tracert 87.237.38.200

See what the roundtrip times are.

That is the ip of the proxy cluster of eve online, they accomplish this with network peerings, not with local proxies/servers. The cluster and all the eve hardware resides in London.

Last edited by DrAtomic (2009-02-19 08:01:00)

 

#11 2009-02-19 14:18:00

mabinogi
Pilgrim
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2001-07-26
Posts: 10528
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

start->run could be interesting, so how about I bring up an xterm instead ;)

However, that aside, ping gives me, as I expected, between 300 and 400ms.
The speed of light is the major limiting factor - assuming that there were absolutely zero other contributors to latency, and that the cable was a perfectly straight line around the earth from Canberra to London, then the lag would still be 130ms.
But of course, every computer and piece of network equipment along the way adds to that, and the cable length is probably significantly longer than the 40,000km circumference of the earth, given that the path certainly won't be a straight line.
There simply are no shortcuts from Australia to England.  (Or more accurately, the shortcuts still take a long time).

for reference:

Code:

$ ping 87.237.38.200
PING 87.237.38.200 (87.237.38.200) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 87.237.38.200: icmp_seq=1 ttl=117 time=335 ms
64 bytes from 87.237.38.200: icmp_seq=2 ttl=117 time=333 ms
64 bytes from 87.237.38.200: icmp_seq=3 ttl=117 time=333 ms
64 bytes from 87.237.38.200: icmp_seq=4 ttl=117 time=334 ms
^C
$ traceroute -n 87.237.38.200
traceroute to 87.237.38.200 (87.237.38.200), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  192.168.222.4  4.417 ms  4.394 ms  4.394 ms
 2  10.20.20.171  31.212 ms  32.926 ms  36.109 ms
 3  202.7.169.66  38.580 ms  40.769 ms  42.973 ms
 4  202.7.171.21  44.678 ms  47.135 ms  49.339 ms
 5  202.7.162.249  56.464 ms  58.196 ms  60.634 ms
 6  207.114.154.9  216.824 ms  214.548 ms  216.921 ms
 7  66.192.251.27  230.704 ms  206.566 ms  207.079 ms
 8  80.91.252.157  275.536 ms  273.072 ms  271.239 ms
 9  213.248.65.209  338.755 ms 80.91.251.206  340.039 ms 213.248.65.97  342.275 ms
10  80.91.251.17  340.959 ms 80.91.249.78  335.349 ms  335.267 ms
11  213.248.90.90  335.133 ms  328.309 ms  328.827 ms
12  * * *

after 12 it gets itself lost in a world of dropped ICMP packets, but 11 is CCP's network.

11 hops is pretty good - they've certainly done everything they can to ensure traffic travels the shortest path possible (there's significantly more hops from me to my server hosted somewhere in California), but physics still wins.
Of particular note is step 6 - that's the unavoidable Australia->USA step where most the latency comes in.  That's the network equivalent of the 14 hour flight across the Pacific, and it will always add that 150ish ms to the total.

But in any case, my original comment wasn't implying that either the EVE style or the WOW style would handle the situation better than the other, just that I hoped the Otherland MMO did handle it well.
On the other hand, since they're in Singapore, there's a good chance Australia will be better off than everyone else anyway  ;)


..and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you,
no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..

My Musical Experimentations

 

#12 2009-02-23 05:52:08

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

Wow, that's quite a bit more then I expected tbh. I do notice that you loose quite a bit before actually leaving your house though; do you happen to be using wireless? Not that it will matter a whole lot given the 260ms that it takes to cross the oceans. I'm pretty shocked it's this much. Makes me wonder why/how the Aussies and Kiwis seem to be able to play eve just fine.

 

#13 2009-03-02 07:52:08

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

because a 200ms-400ms ping is negligible? lol


Do you even play online games? It only becomes unplayable (read: 1 second after you press a button for that action to occur in game) after about 1000ms-3000ms or so.

Wireless also has nothing to do with it.

I think that if they have an EVE setup that would be the closest thing to the books, but servers are funny creatures.  I am sure they will do the best they can.


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#14 2009-03-30 01:41:37

DrAtomic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2009-02-17
Posts: 20

Re: One server versus multiplayer/multiserver

Nerahla wrote:

because a 200ms-400ms ping is negligible? lol

As said Eve works great for the aussies/kiwis, maybe eve delays all actions by 400 ms or something, negating the latency. Or maybe Eve design (not being twitch/button mashing) allows for high latency to go unnoticed in client behaviour.

Nerahla wrote:

Do you even play online games?

Ask your mother to change your diaper please.

Nerahla wrote:

It only becomes unplayable (read: 1 second after you press a button for that action to occur in game) after about 1000ms-3000ms or so.

1 second = 1000 ms.

Nerahla wrote:

Wireless also has nothing to do with it.

It has, the worse your wireless recption to your base station/router the worse the latency. This can account for latency of up to 100 ms in really bad conditions.

Nerahla wrote:

I think that if they have an EVE setup that would be the closest thing to the books, but servers are funny creatures.  I am sure they will do the best they can.

Agreed, hence this discussion kinda derailed into technobabble.

 

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