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Massive Multi Player Qs

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Hi, My team is getting close to finishing an MMORPG that we have been working on for about 8 months. It has come time to prepare for the next step of the project. I had a few questions that I was hoping someone could answer Sorry for wasting anyone''s time. I am simply looking for a few estimates and opinions since GameDev has always been a great help. If anyone can answer any of the below questions, please do so Thanks alot - Lease or Buy server? Is it smarter to lease or buy a server? I personally feel leasing is definately the way to go with the constantly improving technology. Does anyone feel its better to buy? why? - Pay GMs? Do other MMORPGs pay the GMs? Do games such as EQ or UO pay their GMs for the work they do or are they volunteers? If so, are they paid hourly?, flat fee? Anyone have any idea about GM support? Customer support reps obviously cost money but how about GMs? - How many players online? Is it safe to estimate 10-15% of the members from a server would be online at any given time? e.g. server has 10 000 players, 1000 would be online at any given time, with the possiblity of a little over 1500 during peak hours. If my estimate is wrong, can anyone provide a better estimate? - Server Cost How much would a server cost under these conditions: 1- Live Action Game (real-time fighting, etc.) 2- 1000-1500 players connected at any given time 3- Aiming for no server side lag at all Can anyone provide a quick estimate on how much such a server would cost to lease? - 1 GM per how many players? About how many GMs per players? The GM job is simply to maintain a good community, solve problems amongst players, ban or suspend trouble makers, etc. I''m guessing 1 GM per 500 players. Is that a safe estimate to maintain a good community? - Sales Team Percentage What is resonable for the price of a sales team? We are contacting various "Sales teams" since we have decided to not use a publisher. We have been given prices ranging from 10-25%. This is only for promotion (we still have to provide the money required for promotion. They simply use it the best way they know). Can someone tell me what a fair deal would be? - If anyone knows of a good sales team, please post. I am personally going to have to do alot of accurate research but was wondering if any gamedev member can help me out with estimates. Thank You very much for any help

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I would lease any servers you need for now. Especially if you''re planning to run the game yourself.

As for paying your GMs...you can probably get some good volunteers to help out at the beginning. After a while you have to start considering payment, though.

As for how many GMs...depends on how many you think you need. You can''t pin it down to a 1-per-this-many-players ratio. You almost have to see the game in action for a while to get a feel for how many you''re going to need.

In our games, the average number of players online at any time has been around 1% of the total player database. We support free players as well as paying players, so that may skew our numbers. Your milage may vary.

Server Costs...depends on the hardware configuration you need to support what you want. Hardware isn''t the cost you have to worry about, though. Bandwidth is what will eat your lunch.

Sales...you''re on your own. We sell direct, contracting with a third-party to handle payment processing.

Best of luck!


DavidRM
Samu Games

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One of the reasons Ultima Online sucked so much when it first game out is because Origin completely underestimated the number of players that would be online at once. They predicted 10% of box sales would be playing at any single time, and it turned out to be closer to 50% (!wow!) during the initial release... can''t remember the exact numbers, but that was definitely on their list of "oops, we goofed" kind of things.

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MMORPG's could be the best games out there, but they cost WAY to much to play.

Dark Ages was the best game I ever played and it was like 30 dollars every 3 months. I could pay that if I really wanted, but, I mean, I don't play games like that very often.
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Dark Ages was the *fourth* best game I ever played. Metal gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7, and Final Fantasy 9 were way better, but they were no MMORPG's, Dark Ages was.
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What about the kids who are on it all the time? Thier parents don't really want them to pay money like that..

It's too bad servers and modems cost so much.

It seems like this game is going to be pretty serios and popular, so your going to need a OC3 probably.. They arent very cheap. I think its 1 to 4k per month?

You could probably start small, and then go into an OC3.

Edited by - Drizzt DoUrden on September 22, 2001 6:00:58 PM

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Thanks everyone for replying.

I guess everything will be be confirmed or decided during beta test but your responses were very helpful. I think I have a better idea of what ball park we are in now.

As for 50% UO, thats amazing. The average player spends 12 hours a day on the game? Hopefully, that only happened because it was the first MMORPG and people were too excited.

Anyway,
Thanks again



Edited by - SD2 on September 23, 2001 12:49:18 PM

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