[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

Crosbie Fitch crosbie at cyberspaceengineers.org
Wed Feb 26 10:48:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


From: lynx at lynx.purrsia.com
> 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.

Sorry, but 'classic MUD' and 'scarcity' are the last things I have
in mind.  Perhaps the only things I'm thinking about are 'scalable',
'virtual world', and 'entertaining'.

> Fine, let's see the implementation.

Chicken and egg. No implementation without funding. No funding
without implementation. Perhaps what has to happen first is that
enough people get a vague suspicion that there might just be
something in this harebrained notion...  then maybe one day someone
will provide the funding.

>> 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 don't think a game idea was mentioned, and yes, it is blue sky -
such is the nature of things that haven't been done yet.

> 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.

If we're talking arbitration then it's not democratic, but
hierarchial.  As for monolithic, I'd say that every computer should
run the same software, but otherwise things are pretty heterogenous.
As for 'maintenance', the resources of the system are provided by
whatever amount players feel like contributing.

I'd agree to remove the assumption that all players should be able
to interact with every other player, or at least 'interact with
equal fidelity'.

But 'single, seamless world'?  You don't want this? I suppose that's
one way to solve scalabilty - simply have multiple shards
instead. End of problem.

> 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.

I wholly agree that "Not everyone has the same capability of
bandwidth or processing power."

However, giving players the burden of having to worry about who to
trust, and which players should own what content, is too
great. Players just wanna play. There'll be enough micromanagement
and politics in the game itself.

>   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.

Hmmmn. Are we 'forced' to co-exist on this planet?

If there's one world, then yeah, things within it must therefore
co-exist.  Doesn't seem that coercive to me.

However, you can have as many different worlds or, more accurately,
'universes' as you like. Each universe is a separate game.


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