[MUD-Dev] Star Wars Galaxies: 1 character per server

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Wed Jan 8 22:47:01 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: "Caliban Tiresias Darklock" <caliban at darklock.com>

>> If SWG has bought into a database liscense that says they may
>> only have X characters per server, that's a business decision,
>> not a design choice, and certainly not a law of nature.

> Actually, it is. It's not the database license, it's the world's
> capacity.  Each server is only capable of handling a world of
> finite size, and a world of finite size can only handle a finite
> number of characters before you simply cannot have enough
> resources for them. Even if you generate your world dynamically,
> using fractal algorithms to expand the game world every time a new
> character is created, you can still only have so much world --
> mass storage space is finite, system memory is finite, processor
> power is finite, there are innumerable bounds and limitations on
> your server capacity which will simply never be infinite in
> scope. Even if *everything* you develop will *theoretically*
> handle an infinite number of characters, it will never be able to
> do so in practice. There is simply no way around this problem.

You've convinced me, DAoC, EQ, Asheron's Call, UO, AO, they all
can't exist.  The 1.6 million character records my analysis programs
move around twice a week are figments of my imagination.

There are no inherent limits "at any reasonable level".  If the
structure is MCS, only one character is online at one time, and
offline characters do not affect the availability of game resources
for other characters, then the only limits are imposed by handling
the data those characters represent.  That can be appreciable,
theoretically each account in DAoC could have 224 characters spread
across 20 servers.  However, the *actual* loads involved are such
that we do not even remove long-dormant characters, the miniscule
resources they consume are more than worthwhile as an incentive for
former players to return.

Failure to scale is a design flaw, not a choice.

--Dave


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