[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #286 - 13 msgs

Dundee SkeptAck at antisocial.com
Sun Feb 20 13:24:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> Distributed processing is Good. I've often toyed with the idea of
> independent servers run by independent people, but with players capable
> of moving between them transparently... but this creates way too many
> "soft" issues that can't really be solved in software.

Have you been following Neverwinter Nights?  Apart from solo CRPG mode and
"design and DM a game for your three or four friends"-mode, they seem to be
putting an awful lot of effort into allowing folks to host persistent
worlds.   One key feature of this would be the ability to open portals from
one server to another.  Already there are a few groups (one old AOL NWN
crowd, for example) that plan on hosting various parts of a single massivle
world.  A few are planning for a central world which characters would
initially login to, with other parts of the world available sporadically -
just whenever the person hosting that part of the world is online.

Example would be when an admin creates a dungeon/adventure/etc, logs in,
opens the portal to the main world map, then maybe sets up some keyword NPCs
around the ol' tavern to encourage players looking for action to go there.
The "portal" might be, for example, a ship - step into it and some music
plays while the text explains "you're sailing off to an island now..."

They're also hosting a character vault which is supposed to allow various
people to simply design a chunk of "genericD&Dworld" and pull in players
randomly, with some control over just how badly hacked those characters
would be (time limits on advancement, pointvalues for various gear so that
persons of a particular level will be no more twinked than is allowed,
etc.).  But then, if one doesn't trust the vault, you could also store the
player's characters serverside and disallow other characters entering the
world.

Anyway, between the character vaults, server rings, private games, etc. they
seem to be giving distributed processing a pretty good go.

> Getting all those
> independent people to agree on what players can and can't bring between
> servers, for example, would be next to impossible.

It doesn't strike me as being terribly different than getting admins to
agree on what sort of world it will be, distributed processing or one
server.  Possibly greater issues of trust involved since on "their server"
there can't be a hard limit built-in.  There can be policy restrictions
though.  "Don't do x, do y, disallow z and encouge q, or your little chunk
of reality won't be a part of this particular world any more."

    http://www.neverwinternights.com/ if anyone is interested.  There's a
FAQ there.






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