[MUD-Dev] DEV: Peer-to-Peer MUD

Dan MacDonald danmac at windows.microsoft.com
Wed Oct 3 16:12:58 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phil O'Donnell [mailto:podonne at yahoo.com]=20

> I may have brought this up before, but has there ever been any
> development of a peer-to-peer graphical MUD

I too played with this for about two months and came to the
conclusion that the two critical factors for an MMORPG on the
technical side are Security and Scalability in that order. It is
nearly impossible to be a commercial success without tight security
in an MMORPG because the world is persistent and any hacks become
permanent they don't disappear when the session ends. (ala Diablo
type gaming)

Any time you talk about a distributed system where more of the
processing is pushed off onto the client you're talking about
trusting the clients with some of the game state. This is bad, if
you leave any portion of the game state on the client it will be
tampered with, no matter how hard you disguise it.

With a peer to peer type system I was not able to find a
satisfactory way to keep a group of players who come into a control
of a portion of the game state from running hog wild with it. The
only way to validate the game state is to compare it with other
copies and if a group of players all execute the same hack at the
same time, it's impossible to validate since they are all in
agreement with one another.

A client server based architecture doesn't scale that badly, if
correctly designed it can scale at a O(n) rate, which is actually
quite satisfactory. Because if you are charging for your Game your
revenue also increases at a O(n) rate. :) As long as your expenses
are less then your revenues you'll be able to grow indefinitely.

If your running your Game for free or don't care about hackers;
there are some very scaleable solutions for you to explore, but in
my experience a free game that is hacked and unbalanced isn't very
fun to play :(

Dan MacDonald
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