[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

lynx at lynx.purrsia.com lynx at lynx.purrsia.com
Mon Mar 3 14:16:58 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Sun, 2 Mar 2003, Crosbie Fitch wrote:

>> ... or you must abandon that particular style of entertainment
>> and find a different kind of game.

> Yes.  I fancy empire building. Perhaps a bit like the board game
> 'Dimplomacy'.

I'd be cautious about using either resource-aggrandizement models or
competitive models, because in a peer-to-peer trust/reputation-based
system, this will cause people to want to find a way to abuse the

>> Arbitration does not imply a hierarchy, but in fact, simply the
>> existence of another entity who is considered to be neutral.
>> *Authoritative* arbitration, where the entity is selected from a
>> class of entities which are accorded that authority, does indeed
>> have a hierarchy, but the imeplementation of such is a design
>> decision.
> Well, I didn't figure out any other way that would work as well or
> better, so that's the design decision I came to.

Didn't your earlier posts and the discussion on that site suggest
that yo uwere looking at/after a trust/reputation scheme?  That
would be a different type of design than a hierarchial authority

> I don't see why differing amounts of resources implies different
> software configurations, but I guess it's possible. Anyway, I'm
> suggesting a single software install if only to make maintenance
> easier, and coincidentally to emphasise the absence of separate
> client and server packages.

It also accounts for the possibility that people might want to
choose to play out different roles in a universe's management.  This
person might want to be the webmaster and do the webpages for the
community website, which might also host the chats for the game.
That person might be content providing the invisible but extremely
important database support.  Still another person might not have the
resources to host any kind of 24/7 service but might have a lot of
cool ideas for content, so he or she would want content creation

They all require different packages, and making the same software
serve all uses only results in bloated software and a much bigger
download time.

> Hmmn. Terminology. I used 'world' for 'universe'. For a given game
> or universe (set of rules, theme, etc.) I don't think you can kid
> players that it's a bonus that it's split into multiple shards
> when this is really only because you have to have fairly
> independent servers.

Sure you can!  If a game is 'winnable', then you want to eventually
allow the game to be won and start over with another game so people
can start fresh, especially so if the game is balanced such that the
person who takes the lead becomes stronger than other players, and
therefore more able to keep that lead.

Different instances of the same game might be run by different
people, creating a different feel.  One instance of Pern might be
warm and social, focusing mainly on relationships between
characters.  Another might be action-driven, with struggles for
leadership and duels of words and knives.

Sure, having one big world with lots of people in it is cool, but
the small worlds can be fun too.  Not everything has to be big to be

>> The small P2P graphic MUD could be a very cool discussion
>> subject.  Trying to beat every MMOG out there...  Not so
>> interesting, because it's just not going to happen on a
>> shoestring budget, and it's hard to discuss the nitty-gritty
>> details with such a huge canvas.

> I hear what you're saying, but sometimes that isn't enough to stop
> one trying.

Well, think of it as working up a proof of concept then.  What's the
smallest it can be and still demonstrate that a P2P MMOG is
practical?  What can you do with it that will interest people in
playing even if it isn't absolutely huge and filled with content
that would take a dedicated team years to build?

>> With art, stories, and characters that people have designed and
>> might want to keep restricted to their particular setting, rather
>> than sharing freely and without recompense with others?

> I'm addressing that issue too. You can sell the release of content
> to multiple players concurrently. www.digitalartauction.com

An interesting system, but I think missing the point here.  A
virtual world is built by a dedicated team of creators and
administrators, for the enjoyment of their players.  They may want
the right to decide who should be accepted into their list of people
with administrative access, and who remains merely players.  They
aren't necessarily going to charge people for access, but they do
want to control access to the experience they have created, perhaps
to ensure the experience is seen in the way that they intended, and
not redistributed, altered, and copied, perhaps in a malicious or
parodical context.

In a purely P2P system, content has to be distributed to all nodes
in order to be used.  Per your suggestion above, all nodes running
the same copy of the software, this suggests you are leaning toward
such a distribution mechanism.

Digital art auctions cover recompense for the release of one's
artwork, but they don't guarantee the integrity of the virtual world

-- Conrad

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