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Lonewolf Darkmoon

?'s about servers and MMORPG's.

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As my first post mentioned, I am a newbie at the technical side of game development, so for a while all my post will be in this forum. I do have an idea for an MMORPG, but I first want to see if, A: The technology is here to make it. B: If the many ideas I have for it will make for a good and entertaining game to play. As I learn more about the technical side I will ask questions in other forums that deal with that issue. Feel free to criticise or compliment on any thing I say, this is after all a learning experiance for me, and I believe I can learn from both types of advise. The post I will be making are strictly, as I have stated before, on ideas I have for a MMORPG. I have been working on story, characters, locations ever since a dream I had over 3 years ago. There was an article I read here at GD.net on how to develope the game idea, and it said something about jotting down notes and basic story, and then put it in a closet and forget about it for weeks or months. Then come back to it after you have forgotten many of the details and reintroduce yourself to it....If it still sounded as good then as it did before, then it was a good concept. So this I have done several times, and each time I pulled it out I would come up with a wealth of new ideas for it and add them to the growing list of notes and materials I had on it. I know the story and ideas work great in the table top RPG world, for I created an entire world using D&D rules and have ran many a player through it. Every one that has played in it loved it, and this gave me more content to use in a story I have written, and also in the Neverwinter Nights world I am creating for said CRPG. However I apologize for my rambling, but thought I would try to explain why I am so passionate about this "dream" of mine. So on to my first question. I know nothing about the server side of a MMORPG. There was some articles posted here that I read, but they never really delt with what I am looking for. I have dug up as much nfo as I could on the net, and looking at FAQ's on other MMORPG's web sites, but really not much nfo out there. So I humbly come before all of you for answers. I would like this hypothetical game of mine to run on a single server cluster, like Dark and Light is doing, but on running a server like this, A: How many players could be on at the same time? (like I have read in a post here, I do not expect to have 500k players, but theoretically is it possible with this type of server?) B: Would it be possible to allow characters to jump from this server to another server, that is running the same game but the new server they hop, or "Portal" over to, would be an alternate dimension, or even a whole new world in the same universe? Since I am a novice at this, remember that layman's terms would be greatly appreciated, but not expected.

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Quote:
Original post by Lonewolf Darkmoon
A: How many players could be on at the same time? (like I have read in a post here, I do not expect to have 500k players, but theoretically is it possible with this type of server?)
B: Would it be possible to allow characters to jump from this server to another server, that is running the same game but the new server they hop, or "Portal" over to, would be an alternate dimension, or even a whole new world in the same universe?


Well, how many players are on at one time depends on many factors. If your game is deployed globally, then there will be peak hours that may be seperated based on time zones. However, if you're looking at a pure US deployment, then you may expect fairly predictable traffic daily with constant peak hours. Personally, I'd say to have at least enough server resource to deal with a peak load of at least 25% of all registered players

Server-wise, you probably do not want to have one single server, but rather work with server clusters, which makes load balancing an added issue, but makes maintenance alot easier. However, don't expect any single machine to be able to handle a few thousand people with ease.

As for warping from server to server, that really just depends on how you "split" your world. This also leads to load balancing issues as well, since you probably don't want the a server to crash just because everyone suddenly decided to do a MMORPG style flash mob at a certain location. So, is it possible? Yes. Whether you should do that? That's questionable in itself.

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Thank you for your input WeirdoFu. Have you heard of the game Dark and Light? It is a MMORPG that has 15,000-square-miles of land, and is ran on a server cluster. Features to this game are here: http://www.darkandlight.net/article.php3?id_article=172
They say they have no zones and every one is on the same server. This is what I would like to do also.

As for the portals, this is a very intricate part of my story and the whole concept behind the MMORPG idea. With out giving away to much random portals open up in the game world, and some times some can be opened by those in the know, these can lead to new worlds, differant dimensions, new time zones and much more. The player can step through it. but since most are random they may not be able to find another one back to where they started. But as for the different servers, there is a reason I would like the trip through the portal to put the character on another server. I have toyed with the idea of making the game so people that like to mod could concievable create thier own world, and then run it on one of these servers, after running it by the development team. There are pages of notes and documents I have written on this, so for right now I will not go in to much depth on it....Save it for another post and set of questions. But I hope that might give you some clue as to what I am trying to do.

Again Thank you for your input.

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if Dark and Light had written their own server/client system, we wouldn't have any screenshots now. They use (as do I, and I recommend you also) BigWorldTech, a powerful client/server system.

This allows you to do tons of stuff, like having no zones and millions of players in the same zone. It also comes with a reasonable 3D engines and great tools.

It costs a bit though.

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Server cluster are/can be used either for "zoned" worlds or "seamless" worlds.

I think that you mean that you want a seamless world. Seamless is a bit more complex because they need share data of objects that boarder one another.

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Original post by Lonewolf Darkmoon
As for the portals, this is a very intricate part of my story and the whole concept behind the MMORPG idea. With out giving away to much random portals open up in the game world, and some times some can be opened by those in the know, these can lead to new worlds, differant dimensions, new time zones and much more. The player can step through it. but since most are random they may not be able to find another one back to where they started. But as for the different servers, there is a reason I would like the trip through the portal to put the character on another server. I have toyed with the idea of making the game so people that like to mod could concievable create thier own world, and then run it on one of these servers, after running it by the development team. There are pages of notes and documents I have written on this, so for right now I will not go in to much depth on it....Save it for another post and set of questions. But I hope that might give you some clue as to what I am trying to do.

Again Thank you for your input.


Your idea of portals remind of the concept behind the .hack series of games/anime/etc. The MMORPG in .hack, The World, functions in a zone fashion based on portals through root towns on each server. Zones are defined by a combination of three key words that specify properties of the zone. So, there is near infinite number of zones as new keywords are added and combinations are crated.

As for having people create their own worlds, would those worlds then be a possible destination of these random portals? If so, it might not be a bad idea to have random portals along with fixed ones to make things easier to manage. I've also toyed around the idea of player created worlds, but my thinking is slightly different from yours. The problem with player created worlds being run on your servers is just book-keeping, maintenance and possible security issues that may occur. Also, it will take extra man power to sort through the possibly large number of "submitted" worlds as probably every other person who knows how to create one would want to try.

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Original post by WeirdoFu

As for having people create their own worlds, would those worlds then be a possible destination of these random portals?


Yes these worlds would be possible destinations of the portals. And yes there will be random portals, a few fixed portals that will open up when set events happen near them, but there will also be ways that players can figure out how to open portals on there own, and again these could be random or world/dimension/time zone specific, depending on players knowlege and the item they use to open it.

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