[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

lynx at lynx.purrsia.com lynx at lynx.purrsia.com
Mon Feb 24 17:35:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Sat, 22 Feb 2003, Crosbie Fitch wrote:

> Interesting idea, but I wouldn't have thought the nature of the
> system's design should that visibly affect the game design.

It *should* affect it.  The ground rule of the classic MUD is that
the server is the GM, the user is the player.  The server controls
what is scarce and what is not.  When all users are both GM and
players, you can no longer depend on scarcity for balance.

> There is no server. Or on the other hand, every node is a server.
> Authority is distributed.

> Think in terms of 2 million PCs, not just 2. Massive redundancy.

Fine, let's see the implementation.

> Some more discussion here:

>   http://www.cyberspaceengineers.org/issues/technical/techfaq.htm

Forgive me for being blunt, but I skimmed through this and found it
rather blue-sky in nature.  I found neither a game idea that could
be reasonably implemented nor sounded as if it might be fun to play.

I think the problem is the hidden assumption that the p2p system
should be democratic and monolithic: in other words, every player
connected should contribute equally to the maintenance of the
system, and all players should be able to interact with every other
player, in a single, seamless world.

Do away with these assumptions:

  1. Some players are more equal than other players.  Not everyone
  is creative to the same degree.  Not everyone has the same
  capability of bandwidth or processing power.  Have people with
  authority select others with whom they want to share authority,
  then you won't have the problem of self-anointed authorities.

  2. Let the worlds of the P2P network be small and separated.
  Knowing others is impossible in a huge city, but easy in a
  neighborhood.  Furthermore, there might be a lot of interesting
  ideas and stories that can be explored, which you lose by forcing
  them all to co-exist.

-- Lynx

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