in my free time I was delving a bit into multiplayer game programming. I made a simple MMO implementation to try out some concepts, and it is working fine for my needs; for the moment I'm relying on delta compressed messages sent at a fixed rate from the server to the clients whenever an object of interested is changed (interest is based on zones where a player is in ATM).
My question is very simple: now I'm sending a new delta compressed message (or packet if u prefer) for every object that is changed between the last update and the new one. I was wondering if this was a valid approach or if it would be better to send a delta compressed state of the whole region of interest at every server frame.
I believe that packing all the zone state into a single message will make my server logic much more easy to write and debug, but at the same time I fear that I might incur into too much overhead (consider that now I'm delta compressing the data at the binary level and then I'm deflating it again to pack it tightly).
The kind of game I'm working on is a very simple arcade twin stick shooter, with very simple modifiable environment (aka: some static objects can be damaged and then destroyed).