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View Full Version : Make DDO a "real" MMO



psi0nix
04-03-2012, 04:01 AM
MMO = Massively Multiplayer Online.

DDO, among the many other games, is considered by definition an MMO.

It is my opinion that there is no game currently released that is what I would call a "real" MMO.

Why can we not join ALL servers together so no matter what the server everyone who is playing at that point in time is able to interact just as if they are on the same server.

This would of course require a huge amount of processing power / connections / connection speeds.

If anyone reading this has ever used mIRC (*IRC, Internet Relay Chat), it uses a group of servers that operate around a main "hub" that is for this purpose the "main" server.

All users across all servers are able to interact as if they are all on the same server.

Not sure what the mechanics / latency issues might be (I imagine it would be huge) and of course a netsplit would have catastrophic results, but if it could be done (I'd like to see DDO be the first), then I am sure it would create a really incredible online community / gaming experience.

Something worth looking at if Turbine and everyone else isn't already . Seemed an obvious goal to me.

Havok.cry
04-03-2012, 04:09 AM
It would be cool, but I would predict a massive influx of drama threads on the forums as the differing cultures on the servers clashed like it was world war three.

Truga
04-03-2012, 04:18 AM
Turbine probably won't do this due to the drama around names it would spawn. A lot of characters have the same names across different servers.

Other than that, I don't really see any issue. There's already multiple instances of public areas, which are (hopefully) spread across different (physical) servers, and everyone already has their own instance of quests, which are also spread across multiple servers.

Ap0k
04-03-2012, 05:22 AM
*snip*I would predict a massive influx of drama threads on the forums*snip*

And what would be different from the forums of today? :P

Meetch1972
04-03-2012, 05:44 AM
Apart from the aforementioned issues (I have one toon name used on 2 different servers myself!) I'd happily /sign that. I have difficulty with resolving what an MMO would look like (and work) with something such as IRC, which, simplistically, under the covers is just a bunch of servers that Relay Chat messages along via conventional Internet routing methods.

Unfortunately, unless the SKA goes belly up half way through implementation I don't think there'd be a processing farm available that's cheap and powerful enough to deal with it. Ok, maybe that's a teeny tiny exaggeration... :D

It would certainly require a lot of power and a lot of rework of technology. Having said that, cluster technology continues to evolve better algorithms to both scale up and scale out, making instancing at the back-end less and less transparent, depending on how much you wanna pay. I bet if Time Warner could afford to buy Google and hand them over to Turbine, those smart people could figure out a way to help make it happen...

... and my bags would tell me where the ingredients I'm going to need are the moment before I think of asking the search tool. :)

Ungood
04-03-2012, 06:23 AM
Why can we not join ALL servers together so no matter what the server everyone who is playing at that point in time is able to interact just as if they are on the same server.

This would of course require a huge amount of processing power / connections / connection speeds.

I love it when a post asks and answers it's own question.

Alrik_Fassbauer
04-03-2012, 06:34 AM
I could imgine one server having nothing but let's say a massive (and I mean *massive* !) Wilderness on it - and that players *automatically* get transported there when they enter a certain door or whatever on their "home servers".
It'd be like an instance - only that a single server would be running there for that wilderness.

RabidKoala
04-03-2012, 08:24 AM
it would make it a lot harder for coming up with names for your toons

Impaqt
04-03-2012, 08:30 AM
Actually, there are several games that use a "single" server for their MMO. Eve Online being the most popular.

their server costs are astronomical compared to other games with far more players.

Truga
04-03-2012, 08:41 AM
Actually, there are several games that use a "single" server for their MMO. Eve Online being the most popular.

their server costs are astronomical compared to other games with far more players.

The thing with eve is, it also all runs on a single instance. Not nearly the same as what DDO is, where you can split 1000 people in marketplace into nice 30 instances of 30 people per instance, which is then workable with a single 5 year old machine.

No, in eve you get 5000 players on the same grid, shooting and bombing each other. The problems eve has have nothing to do with what ddo would be if it were ran on a "single" server.

Razcar
04-03-2012, 09:35 AM
The thing with eve is, it also all runs on a single instance. Not nearly the same as what DDO is, where you can split 1000 people in marketplace into nice 30 instances of 30 people per instance, which is then workable with a single 5 year old machine.

No, in eve you get 5000 players on the same grid, shooting and bombing each other. The problems eve has have nothing to do with what ddo would be if it were ran on a "single" server.
That is true. Except for things such as AH, LFM's, Guild Chat, Who list and such, DDO is extremely instanced. And the instance tech seems to work fine. I remember when they blew up the Market tent and there was like 40 Marketplace instances. Wasn't too laggy, at least for me. New instances should be able to get sent to seperate blade servers through load balancing. And this is most likely how it is working today.

However, the prementioned shared components such as AH and the LFM box could get rather slow and unwieldy. Other than that, Turbine probably keeps different servers for other reasons than just technical ones. A smaller community means people and guilds get more recognition on each server, the already mentioned naming aspect, server pride, different server cultures etc.

Quarterling
04-03-2012, 09:54 AM
No thanks, I don't want my character to be renamed to "Quarterling-1" or something like that if all other Quarterlings merge with us. Not to mention those other Quarterlings are most likely inactive and haven't logged in in 2-5 years.

Anyways there are other reasons stated from other posters above that are sufficient.

Lithic
04-03-2012, 09:56 AM
Runescape has the best of both worlds. Individual servers, but you can log into and swap servers at will. Thats the best way to do it IMO.

Zyerz
04-03-2012, 10:36 AM
MMO = Massively Multiplayer Online.

DDO, among the many other games, is considered by definition an MMO.

It is my opinion that there is no game currently released that is what I would call a "real" MMO.

Why can we not join ALL servers together so no matter what the server everyone who is playing at that point in time is able to interact just as if they are on the same server.

This would of course require a huge amount of processing power / connections / connection speeds.

If anyone reading this has ever used mIRC (*IRC, Internet Relay Chat), it uses a group of servers that operate around a main "hub" that is for this purpose the "main" server.

All users across all servers are able to interact as if they are all on the same server.

Not sure what the mechanics / latency issues might be (I imagine it would be huge) and of course a netsplit would have catastrophic results, but if it could be done (I'd like to see DDO be the first), then I am sure it would create a really incredible online community / gaming experience.

Something worth looking at if Turbine and everyone else isn't already . Seemed an obvious goal to me.

If we Join all servers, we get a system overload. I'm studying videogame programming, and when you need to render "zones" for a population of npcs and player characters to work, you need a max population per instance so the area doesnt overpopulate and crash. If we had one and only server, the game would be crashing frequently... It's like trying to fit 350 people in a restaurant who has a max of 30 people. Imagine being all bundled up, with the waiters taking hours to attend 350 people instead of the normal 30.
Also servers serve the purpose of having specific time zones for players. Khyber is mostly European, while Sarlona is in its majority North American players.

Phidius
04-03-2012, 10:41 AM
... It's like trying to fit 350 people in a restaurant who has a max of 30 people. Imagine being all bundled up, with the waiters taking hours to attend 350 people instead of the normal 30.
...

You just described my college job experience. At least, that's how I occasionally relive it in nightmares.

Zyerz
04-03-2012, 10:47 AM
You just described my college job experience. At least, that's how I occasionally relive it in nightmares.

Lol... I can sympathize. I worked for a while at a restaurant and man, I hated it so much.

Aliss7
04-03-2012, 11:24 AM
I too would like "one world". There is nothing "massive" about servers that separate your playerbase... however the technical and social hurdles with an existing code base like DDO I think aren't trivial to overcome. Me thinks the returns might not be worth the effort, however much I would like it to happen.

One thing they could do, is try to analyze and optimize their instancing setup to support much more players per instance. I would think any gains in this area would make, for example, the marketplace seem much more "alive"/"busy".

Chai
04-03-2012, 11:40 AM
Why can we not join ALL servers together so no matter what the server everyone who is playing at that point in time is able to interact just as if they are on the same server.


Player 1: I know D&D is supposed to be a turn based game in P&P, but why cant they make a real time MMO version of it.

Player 2: This is the real time version, its just so laggy that it plays like a turn based MUD.

Razcar
04-03-2012, 12:34 PM
If we had one and only server, the game would be crashing frequently... There is practically no chance that each "DDO game server" i.e. Ghallanda, Thelanis etc., is "one server", as in one physical machine, like you are sitting and writing on "one PC" right now.

Instead, each server is likely a cluster, meaning many servers ("blades") working together, with high-speed fibre optics connecting the cluster members. DDO Instances then get sent to different members - physical machines - by a load balancing scheme. Apart from the impossibility of one machine housing the data power to keep hundreds of quests and raids computing and in memory, this approach also means they can easily scale, add new cluster members or take them away, along with other advantages (if one instance cluster server hangs, the server/s in charge of load balancing might just send new instances to the other members, etc). All housed at some Boston data centre.

What really constitutes a "DDO game server" (apart from the server cluster) is likely a group of databases, containing stuff such as character info, bank data, questing data, guild data for each character and item on each server. So maybe we have one "ghallanda_characters" database, one "ghallanda_loot" database, one "ghallanda_raid_statistics" etc. Or they are all part of one big database per server. There also might be separate chat servers, voice chat servers, Auction House servers etc. for each DDO game server.

Caveat - I don't work with MMO architecture, so I'm just guessing :)

Chai
04-03-2012, 01:30 PM
There is practically no chance that each "DDO game server" i.e. Ghallanda, Thelanis etc., is "one server", as in one physical machine, like you are sitting and writing on "one PC" right now.

Instead, each server is likely a cluster, meaning many servers ("blades") working together, with high-speed fibre optics connecting the cluster members. DDO Instances then get sent to different members - physical machines - by a load balancing scheme. Apart from the impossibility of one machine housing the data power to keep hundreds of quests and raids computing and in memory, this approach also means they can easily scale, add new cluster members or take them away, along with other advantages (if one instance cluster server hangs, the server/s in charge of load balancing might just send new instances to the other members, etc). All housed at some Boston data centre.

What really constitutes a "DDO game server" (apart from the server cluster) is likely a group of databases, containing stuff such as character info, bank data, questing data, guild data for each character and item on each server. So maybe we have one "ghallanda_characters" database, one "ghallanda_loot" database, one "ghallanda_raid_statistics" etc. Or they are all part of one big database per server. There also might be separate chat servers, voice chat servers, Auction House servers etc. for each DDO game server.

Caveat - I don't work with MMO architecture, so I'm just guessing :)

This is very close to how most MMOs operate. This is how WOW for instance can assign "battlegroups". When PVP came out and it wasnt that popular, waiting in a queue for 45 minutes for one PVP match to occur was boring so they allowed 6-8 servers to queue for the same instance.

Having different "servers" does have its advantages. When "Sarlona" crashes I can log over to "Thelanis" and play for a bit. They arent putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak.