[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG Server design

lynx at lynx.purrsia.com lynx at lynx.purrsia.com
Fri Feb 21 16:50:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Fri, 21 Feb 2003, Crosbie Fitch wrote:

> I feel like Slartibartfast - wake me up when the global economy is
> sufficiently prosperous that it can afford to finance the
> development of a p2p system...  ;-)

Well, the question is, how do you structure an MMOG around the fact
that you don't know how much you can trust your peers, and you
certainly can't count on them to be up at all times?

It seems to me that you have to invert the design: instead of having
characters attempting to gain levels and precious items, start with
the presumption that your characters already have all the levels and
items they could possibly want.  What's left to want-- but the
attention of your peers?

So the challenge is to design a piece of the game world, over which
you are the God, to be so attractive that other players will flock
to it.  They take up the task of mirroring part of your world,
feeding out such things as conversations and battles and what might
be seen in some particular corner, but your server remains
authoritative in case there is any question over what is where.

Perhaps if you sufficiently trust others, you might enter into an
agreement that they can be considered authoritative as well, but
then you run into data consistency issues.  (there is a Holy Grail
kept in a glass case.  You've allowed servers A and B to know about
it.  You go down, server B is down, server A has someone break into
the case and steal the Grail.  Server A then goes down and you and
server B come up, and assure people with calm confidence that the
Holy Grail is still in the case.

Could make an interesting design problem.

-- Conrad

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