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  1. #1
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    Default Why no cross server grouping.

    How come there isnt any cross server grouping? I dont really see a down side to this, since the entire game is instanced anyways. Ehat harm would come from allowing people on all servers to group for quests? Its def not lack of money or resources, because DND online turns enough profit to write the code for cross server groups. Or is it already that way and im just not seeing it? They make 6.9 million, and i call stright up bull honkey if the excuse is they cant figure out how to do it. You could pay some one 1 percent of that fo code cross grouping. Out of the 22k subscribers, the max population on st one time seems to be 2500.

    The only excuse i can see for not doing it, is they are lazy, and dont see any profit in it. Cross server grouping would def keep people playing longer.

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    Community Member kanordog's Avatar
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    I am not a IT guru but I guess that would require server transfer which is a loss on revenue and opens up opportunity to You-know-what. As long as those are not fixed they will surely won't allow it. They just disabled server transfers yesterday btw.
    Last edited by kanordog; 01-23-2021 at 08:00 AM.
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    I believe that would be completely opposite the point of having multiple servers....
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    Founder & Hero Vordax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonesols View Post
    The only excuse i can see for not doing it, is they are lazy, and dont see any profit in it. Cross server grouping would def keep people playing longer.
    How about: They are a small comp[any with a limited dev count, this would require a decent amount of work to implement, especially since it wasn't designed from the start. Calling them out as lazy is inflammatory and childish.

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    Founder & Hero Vordax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seph1roth5 View Post
    I believe that would be completely opposite the point of having multiple servers....
    They more than likely came from WoW which added this to help with their declining server populations.

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    In theory, every time a party (be it solo, or group) enters a dungeon, it spawns a new instance. So the instance would be a group of players copied across just for that dungeon, and then updated on their home server on leaving it.

    I would stipulate that it'd be a service only available to subscribers.
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    Because...they're on different servers?

    Like the physical (or at least virtual) computational architecture is separate. Thats why e.g. one server can go down and it doesnt affect the others. They'd have to network between servers, and that protocol simply doesnt exist, and would probably be a lot of trouble to create and implement. And probably a huge source of lag, whenever one server got out of sync with the other.

    Also there's all the usual problems of putting servers together: what happens if someone else in your group from another server has the same name as you? Or what if you want to send a /tell to a party mate but someone on your server also has the same name, how does the game know which one you're trying to message? How can you block/ignore party members that are being antisocial if they belong to another server?

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    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonesols View Post
    How come there isnt any cross server grouping? I dont really see a down side to this, since the entire game is instanced anyways. Ehat harm would come from allowing people on all servers to group for quests? Its def not lack of money or resources, because DND online turns enough profit to write the code for cross server groups. Or is it already that way and im just not seeing it? They make 6.9 million, and i call stright up bull honkey if the excuse is they cant figure out how to do it. You could pay some one 1 percent of that fo code cross grouping. Out of the 22k subscribers, the max population on st one time seems to be 2500.

    The only excuse i can see for not doing it, is they are lazy, and dont see any profit in it. Cross server grouping would def keep people playing longer.
    You shouldn’t call them lazy for failing to provide cross server grouping when there is lag to call them out on instead.
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    Such a feature would bring great joy to a great number. Beyond the obvious benefits, teaching raids would attract participants from all servers, people who regularly correspond in the forums could play together, and the days of being stranded on Wayfinder would end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonesols View Post
    How come there isnt any cross server grouping? I dont really see a down side to this, since the entire game is instanced anyways. Ehat harm would come from allowing people on all servers to group for quests? Its def not lack of money or resources, because DND online turns enough profit to write the code for cross server groups. Or is it already that way and im just not seeing it? They make 6.9 million, and i call stright up bull honkey if the excuse is they cant figure out how to do it. You could pay some one 1 percent of that fo code cross grouping. Out of the 22k subscribers, the max population on st one time seems to be 2500.

    The only excuse i can see for not doing it, is they are lazy, and dont see any profit in it. Cross server grouping would def keep people playing longer.

    that would require a significant rework of how the servers function presently - it would be a great change, but i am doubtful it will make sense financially for SSG to do it. Each server presently is a separate entity; allowing groups across all would require they put all the servers into a mega server - something that would allow astral shards to work on any server, and guilds, rather than being stuck on the one. but again, that would require a significant investment of capital to change the way the candy machine works - I dont know SSG's present financial situation, but it would likely be beyond the scope of a yearly budget. We hit 15 years this year. We'd all like to see another 15 years and a mega server would certainly help, but only SSG knows what the business plan really is. The candy machines DDO/Lotro as they are make X revenue a year as long as they update the candy with new content that should remain relatively stable. Significantly changing the way the game works on the server/account level could be an endless money pit that isnt worth the risk.

    my prediction, though I am not a burning bush, or anyone who matters, is that the only way we will get mega server grouping etc is if SSG sells the games to a private investor who continues their development as an open source allowing the community to keep the games alive as a non-profit. maybe then we'd get the hours needed to recode the 15 year + games into something of a more modern MMO with accounts that can log into mulitple servers, not just one.

    But I could be wrong and would welcome a surprise
    Last edited by Dark_Lord_Mary; 01-25-2021 at 07:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Because...they're on different servers?

    Like the physical (or at least virtual) computational architecture is separate. Thats why e.g. one server can go down and it doesnt affect the others. They'd have to network between servers, and that protocol simply doesnt exist, and would probably be a lot of trouble to create and implement. And probably a huge source of lag, whenever one server got out of sync with the other.

    Also there's all the usual problems of putting servers together: what happens if someone else in your group from another server has the same name as you? Or what if you want to send a /tell to a party mate but someone on your server also has the same name, how does the game know which one you're trying to message? How can you block/ignore party members that are being antisocial if they belong to another server?
    Each server runs as a separate entity, oblivious of any other, there is nothing now to allow one server to talk to another, beyond character transfers - and even they don't always work - SSG would have to create from scratch a server account environment that allowed servers to communicate with each other live. I don't have access to the SSG financials but doing that would require a lot of code and testing and could break the 15 year old games to the point that they'd have to recode them too - likely its beyond the scope of the business model SSG chose when they purchased the candy machines DDO/LOTRO from Turbine. Right now as they are the candy generates X amount yearly, that only requires maintenance and new candy. Redesigning the candy machines themselves is likely not in the budget for 1, 3, 5, 10 years - though I am positive they want to do it. It would allow them to deliverer significantly better candy by allowing us to group with other servers and have LFMs span all of the servers, not just 1.

    The problem comes down to time and capital - is it worth their investing in a new system that may fail and require X2 or X3 or more time and money than they planned; or use the capital and time to make new candy, like a Dragonlance expansion. Wizards of the Coast just announced new content in Dragonlance is coming; perhaps the issues with Dragonlance are sorted out now and Hasbro can move forward with licensing more of that franchise - maybe SSG could get it. Would be great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordax View Post
    They more than likely came from WoW which added this to help with their declining server populations.
    Wow has taken time to do all kinds of big ticket upgrades to keep the game running.

    "Magaservers" as floated on some of the dev talks should aim to allow anyone to play together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonesols View Post
    How come there isnt any cross server grouping?
    Megaserver would be FAR easier to do. You're not just asking for temporary server transfers (from home to instance and back), but also for cross-server communication and UI support to coordinate the groups. Why bother? Just transfer everyone to one server. The sum total of all players across all servers is less than what once existed on a single server in DDO's prime.

    No changes required to existing live code for mega, just a one-time merge effort. More effort means a smoother more seamless merge, but it could be done with very little effort indeed; eg. rename/reID guilds & characters to prevent conflicts, merge the DBs, then boot 'em up on the new server. Could even use Lam as the target for this process to give it a trial run and work out issues before making one server to rule them all and in the darkness .. oh, wrong game.

    Complications only arise when you want the merge to automatically apply some kind of artificial fairness resolution to name conflicts; if you're OK with a uniform Soandso.HomeServer rename for chars & guilds, the merge becomes trivial. Update store to "sell" guild/char renames for zero points and let the fur fly is how I'd do it. Whatever is done will yield a forum furor. So, might as well make it easy to implement and let those who badly care camp the bring-up of mega.

    DB merges are VERY simple; could probably have first trial DB merge done with only a day or two of effort by one dev.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjond View Post
    Megaserver would be FAR easier to do. You're not just asking for temporary server transfers (from home to instance and back), but also for cross-server communication and UI support to coordinate the groups. Why bother? Just transfer everyone to one server. The sum total of all players across all servers is less than what once existed on a single server in DDO's prime.

    No changes required to existing live code for mega, just a one-time merge effort. More effort means a smoother more seamless merge, but it could be done with very little effort indeed; eg. rename/reID guilds & characters to prevent conflicts, merge the DBs, then boot 'em up on the new server. Could even use Lam as the target for this process to give it a trial run and work out issues before making one server to rule them all and in the darkness .. oh, wrong game.

    Complications only arise when you want the merge to automatically apply some kind of artificial fairness resolution to name conflicts; if you're OK with a uniform Soandso.HomeServer rename for chars & guilds, the merge becomes trivial. Update store to "sell" guild/char renames for zero points and let the fur fly is how I'd do it. Whatever is done will yield a forum furor. So, might as well make it easy to implement and let those who badly care camp the bring-up of mega.

    DB merges are VERY simple; could probably have first trial DB merge done with only a day or two of effort by one dev.

    It seems simple until you run down the details. Each server is unique with its own characters and guilds and astral shards - there's only character transfers and the ###-1 name convention to deal with duplicate entries. There's no code that exists to move a guild or astral shards - like i said in my previous post - I'm sure SSG likes the idea of a mega server and has considered it, but it would require a the fully functional and money generating candy machine to be recoded from scratch - unless they are flush with capital, what is the motive? SSG is a business, based on a model of an existing turn key candy machine DDO/LOTRO - investing significant capital into a project that may require significant more time than they plan, for they haven't ever done it before, as well as planning to deal with players who have lvl 200 guilds and thousands of astral shards that would need to be moved - I cannot see how it would ever be financially viable unless they drastically change their business model.

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    There are PS games that allow cross SYSTEM gameplay between PS4/XBox and PS5. And we can't have cross-server play? Seems a bit backward to me. Are we still in 2008?


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    The TL;DR of it all boils down to cross-server v.hard, merge v.easy, post merge hard and maybe impossible. Don't jump up & down in game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Lord_Mary View Post
    It seems simple until you run down the details.
    Name/ID conflicts are the only issue for a merge and are trivial to make unique. Copy, make unique, merge, bring up. That's it. You will have EVERYTHING you had before the merge. Your guild, your shards, your items, your levels, your friend lists. EVERYTHING. The only thing you'd not have are your names. I wasn't kidding about a one day effort to achieve a working 1st trial. I could do it myself and 100% guarantee that result and I'd be walking in cold.

    IMHO, there are two serious barriers. One is human, not technical at all. People will go ape over a rename by fiat. There's no way to predict the business impact of people not getting back favored names if they can't log in fast enough to do a name change. Fairness resolution by CS as a fallback is a huge issue when we know CS punts & ignores almost all requests. It's a sociological nightmare.

    The second barrier is technical. The "lag" could very well mean the server code has been hacked into bits too small for even Dr. Frankenstein to reanimate. Perhaps the code that could once host 10x what it does can't do it again. If this is the case, we're SOL until they solve the problem. That issue may require outside expertise plus a willingness to rewrite server fundamentals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal_Lannes View Post
    There are PS games that allow cross SYSTEM gameplay between PS4/XBox and PS5. And we can't have cross-server play? Seems a bit backward to me. Are we still in 2008?
    Different clients on the same server isn't even remotely comparable. Those servers likely don't know players are on different clients outside of the login/update process. It's essentially no effort at all to do (the effort is baked into the work for a new client). It takes more work for servers to know and treat the clients differently in play than not.

    Cross-server play needs players to be able to communicate cross-server. It needs to copy character data to the instance server and then receive it back. IF the server code was built with distributed processing in mind at it's inception, the the step from single to multi-server play is pretty easy. The easiest player-visible way to tell if a game planned on it is if they ensure ALL names are unique across ALL servers (GW2 and FFXIV both did this).

    Writing it that way introduces complexity (gotta hire devs that are MUCH more expensive). A business won't do that unless they're expecting a truly vast population (think WOW, GW2, FFXIV sized). My bet for DDO is that there is no copy in/out of an instance nor a character server for copy-by-reference. An instance is likely only a separate process on the same server. So, your "ask" is really pretty enormous. It would be like asking them to produce the server code for DDO v2 and make it backwards compatible for running DDO v1 instances.

    Why do instances exist then? It keeps network and server from exploding. Wanna bring down a server? Cram everyone on it into a single instance and then get them all to jump up and down together. Most games, DDO included, defend against this by forking off copies of instances when too many try to gather in the same one.

    Why would they "explode"? Client updates scale by N^2. Adding 100 people doesn't cost 100x as much, it costs 10,000x as much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobril View Post
    Wow has taken time to do all kinds of big ticket upgrades to keep the game running.

    "Magaservers" as floated on some of the dev talks should aim to allow anyone to play together.
    WOW at it's worst had more players play in an hour that DDO at it's best had in a week. It is entirely likely that DDO entire history is less income than WOW's worst 2 years. They simply don't have the same economy of scale.

    The mega server is an acknowledged massive, massive undertaking. Cross instance might be able to be done but I expect there are challenges around posting the LFM, voice chat and messaging / tells not to mention passing loot. It's not insurmountable I am sure but it's also not likely simple, especially if you don't want to encourage or introduce more exploits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal_Lannes View Post
    There are PS games that allow cross SYSTEM gameplay between PS4/XBox and PS5. And we can't have cross-server play? Seems a bit backward to me. Are we still in 2008?
    Yes yes we are still in 2008, if not older maybe 2006. That is the code base we are operating on.

    Other games with cross system compatibility were designed from the get go for that and therefore can support it. DDO simply wasn't, ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconScout View Post
    Yes yes we are still in 2008, if not older maybe 2006. That is the code base we are operating on.

    Other games with cross system compatibility were designed from the get go for that and therefore can support it. DDO simply wasn't, ever.

    That is not true No man sky was never designed with crossplatform, they just added it. Just because the games old has nothing to do with if they can or cannot cross server it. Now that I have played a bit more I see why they dont, theres to much lag as it is. If they added cross server grouping it would just make more. They obviously run these servers on low end computers, not a high end 5.3ghz intel, which that would matter being a old game. Old games always run better on higher frequency cpus.

    They obviously do not have thier own server equipment, which is the only way to get high end cpus for servers. So if they arent even gonna upgrade the server equipment they use, they never will do cross sercer grouping.

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    Can you imagine the lag that would be caused by reading up to a half dozen server character DB's for Reaper enhancements every time a group zoned into a Reaper quest?

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