I don't have the resources to pay for dedicated servers(and I'd rather not deal with paying and managing them) but I was thinking about how a game could be client hosted while seeming like an MMO.
I was thinking of having a very large city with loading zones or checking areas in between to give an illusion of a seamless world. Players would remain in a holding area when a new playing area is loading. It's a futuristic game, so it could make sense. Each area would be hosted by the best suited player in that area(the guy with the best connection).
If no one is hosting an area, the first player to enter becomes the host. Although I think I'd just make players on a 56k modem go somewhere else, lol.
If an area is full I could spawn another instance of that area with anymore players entering that the first instance could not handle.
I'm not sure how I'll handle cheating attempts though, any ideas?. Any other criticisms of the design?