[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG Server design

Damion Schubert damion at zenofdesign.com
Fri Feb 21 21:39:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

>From Weston Fryatt
> From: "J C Lawrence" <claw at kanga.nu>
>>> What is the best design for an MMORPG Server?
>>> Single Massive server? The whole game run on one multi-processor
>>> machine with gigs of ram.

Don't be too sure.  One Shadowbane World(Shard/Server) equals one
(high-priced, multiprocessor) machine.  Last night, our beta had
1500+ people on it, with more lag hitting the login server than the
game server.  (Login and patch servers are seperate, of course).
We're inviting more testers this weekend.

Sure, if you want a larger world, more peeps or more computing, it
might not be enough.  Then again, one has to factor in (a) how many
people do you actually think your project will have simultaneously,
and (b) where will Moore's Law take CPU power and other limitations
3 years from now?

>> On the homogenous back end cluster side there are several
>> different approaches, each with tradeoffs in hardware expense,
>> code complexity, etc.  You can go for SGI-style CC:NUMA clusters
>> with fully virtually VM and CPU resources such that processes and
>> VM blocks freely migrate about the cluster according to your load
>> distribution algorithms.  Without significant support from your
>> system vendor and an experienced development team this can be
>> expensive and difficult to get right, but works beautifully when
>> it does.

> I couldn't even begin to afford something like this...

In most projects, you don't need to get more than 200 testers or so
until fairly close to launch (6 months, max).  Hopefully by then, a
smaller scale demo has convinced a publisher to foot the bill for
the big, fancy boxes, if that's what you need.


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