[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

Felix A. Croes felix at dworkin.nl
Sun Mar 2 17:35:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

"Crosbie Fitch" <crosbie at cyberspaceengineers.org> wrote:
> From Felix A. Croes

>> Assuming that a human-equivalent solution of the "trust" problem
>> exists, it does not follow that the resulting P2P system is
>> suited for running a MUD.  Among humans, the sky doesn't fall
>> when someone tells a lie.

> If you allocate 'ownership' according to both 'interest' and
> 'trust', then the objects that are most 'interesting' to most
> players are owned only by the most trustworthy.

I do not believe that a P2P MUD can manage with the same notion of
"ownership" as I think is implied here.

For someone who wants to cheat in a MUD, the most interesting object
will be his player object.  The player object is modified all the
time, while interacting with other objects.  A cheater who wishes to
modify his player object could either do so directly, or through
some object in the player's environment.  To prevent this from
happening, a system would have to be in place to assess the validity
of all interactions with the player object -- a very hard thing to
do even in a non-P2P game.

The cheater's goal is a maximum level character with topped-out
stats and the best possible equipment.  Unfortunately, there is
nothing implicitly invalid about the existance of such a character,
since non-cheating players will be able to reach the same stage.
This is very different from the usual P2P subversion, where the the
integrity of the system itself is attacked.

There is an implicit ownership of the player's character by the
player who controls it, and ownership of a high-level character does
not match a high level of trust in the game's P2P infrastructure.

> I'm not really championing an extreme/anarchic P2P system, but a
> distributed one. The problem I'm trying to solve is
> scalability. You can still have 'control', but it can be
> distributed hierarchically, and not on a crude level of saying
> "This is the central server, these are the secondaries, and these
> are the ISP co-located ones, etc.". Let the system figure it out,
> it's not hard for a million computers to figure out which of them
> should be at what level in the hierarchy.

I accept that P2P systems will be more scalable than equivalent
client-server ones, but I doubt that all of the latter can be
replaced by the former.  Particularly MUDs.

Felix Croes

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