[MUD-Dev] Re: TECH: Distributed Muds

Derek Snider derek at idirect.com
Thu Apr 12 16:40:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Behalf Of Vincent Archer

> Right now, you have a good example of distributed MUD. I'm speaking
> of course of Everquest, where each zone is a self-consistent,
> separate MUD (which is probably running as a single process).
> And when you have a GM-run event of too large a scale, you get zone
> crashes and whatnot when a zone that supports 50 users suddendly
> accomodate 200.

A distributed zone design should be set up so that each "zone" is the
process that handles all the NPC's and ongoings in that zone, so that
there does not have to be one massive process handling everything
going on all over the entire world.

A zone should not necessarily be designed to handle a certain capacity
of players.  It should be designed to handle a certain capacity of NPC
AI and related events.

If you have a game that you expect to handle 100,000 players, and you
have 500 "zones", you cannot expect that each zone will have a maximum
of 2,000 players.  If you want your game to handle 100,000 players,
you'd better make sure each zone (especially starting zones, hometowns
and popular locations) can handle at least 25% of your game capacity
(ie: 25,000 players).  Otherwise you had better devise some really
good ways of keeping players out a of zone that it at peak capacity
(an army of monsters is blocking the path, a natural disaster, magical
barrier, etc).

Ideally you'd have a system set up where you have network management
servers that handle little more than authentication and network
connections.  Basically you'd have a bunch of boxes that accept
connections from the outside world on one network interface, and
stream concentrated packets to and from the zone servers.

  Player0001 <--------> +---------+ <======>  [Zone-Server1]
  Player0002 <--------> | Auth/   |
  Player0003 <--------> | Network | <======>  [Zone-Server2]
    ...                 | Server  | 
  Player1000 <--------> +---------+ <======>  [Zone-Server3]

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