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Oct 03, 2005



I remember seeing a similar IBM brochure for Star Wars Galaxies. It was somehow connected to grid computing, but I can't think of how an MMORPG would use grid computing at run-time.

Eve Online has a unique challenge that other MMORPG's do not choose to have: it promises to have one single server for all subscribers. I'm interested to know if other MMORPG's typically allow 15,000 or more players on the same server. At what number do MMORPG's tend to limit users per server?


Both DAoC and WoW cap at around 3500 (crashing) and may start to have problems at 3000.

As far as I know.

Eve-Online is unique because it has 15k on the same *game world*, not server. In fact if 100+ move in a single solar system the whole node may collapse in a black hole, despite the slow pace and point&click interaction (which uses zero badwidth during normal travel, also a major timesink in Eve).

As it happens with the subscription numbers there can be all sort of different measures.

There's a more interesting problem that is always dismissed, though. And it's about the design balance to keep the community unite and, at the same, manageable into smaller groups so that the single player can relate to it without feeling overwhelmed.

Noone has ever tried to complement the two goals (single game world + manageable communities), beside my fanciful ideas.

"There were a lot less of us back then, so it was easier to get to know most of the folks around you. Since there were so few players reletive to current community sizes, you become friends of friends of folks and a lot sooner you really end up knowing virtually everyone whos playing, or at least are familiar with guilds."


I can't think of how an MMORPG would use grid computing at run-time.

In theory, this would allow for easy and transparent load balancing across and potentially even within regions of the world. It would thus go a long way to resolving local crowding issues (as happens even in Eve-Online as Abalieno notes), and might allow for a one-world (no "shards") approach with a large population. Even without that it would make for a geographically seamless world on the client end, and a hot-swappable, failure-resistant, dynamically balanced and scalable world on the back end.

IF grid computing lives up to its promise it could be a huge boon to MMOG developers. It is as yet an unproven technology in this area, however, and would require significant glue code to successfully distribute any world on a server grid.


I am not so sure this will come about unless IBM cuts their rates for this kind of hardware. It did say that he read it off a "marketing" brochure. I think Dell or Sun have a far better chance in delivering this kind of computing punch for MMOs. IMHO EOM :P CRLF


As of mid-Feb 2006, CCP are in the process of replacing their server farm, totalling 140 Xeon CPUs, with 70*IBM LS20 dual Opteron blades. They just passed 100k total subscribers and have had over 23,000 players online at once.

But butterfly.net, another IBM Gaming case study, seems to have fluttered off into oblivion.


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