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Questing on a MegaServer? Question

Started by Do’Chuma Ukucha
Post #32489

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Aldmeri Dominion (Khajiit)
So, I realize that everyone who plays TESO will be on one big megaserver, besides PvP and instanced situations. My question is, if everyone is on the same server, how will questing work? It seems as if there will be too many people to get quests done, since potentially thousands of people are trying to do the same quest.

HYPOTHETICAL ZONE!!!! (dun dun duuuunnnn)

Hello kind souless murderer! I’m farmer Bob! There had been a wild hog killing my chickens, and I need you to take him out and bring me his ears for proof! In exchange, I’ll give you 2 silver pieces, or your choice of a prized pair of overalls!

Well, everyone in that zone might be trying to kill this hog for this quest, and you have to wait a long time to get your turn. How will they deal with this?

Are the quests phased?

Thank you for reading this and putting up with my ignorance!
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Post #32533

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Daggerfall Covenant (Orc)
That have not released any info as to quest but:

I would assume there will be group updates and they have also flirted with universal loot options if you helped with the kill....
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Post #32546

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Very good question. Even on a less popular MMO that I played recently with my friend, there was a quest to destroy some pillars. And at least three other people were on the exact same quest. My friend and I had to wait for at least 2 or 3 minutes for the pillars to respawn after the last guy destroyed them all. Then we both had to take turns destroying them while simultaneously fighting off powerful enemies. I hope that the mega server will be broken down for different groups, or that some of the other players will be invisible to my group. :P

O TES, why hast thou entranced me so? That reality is naught but a fragment, as I bask in your splendour and commune in your depths for as long as this mortal life shall carry me.
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Post #32559

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No the mega server is completely different.

The server is actually a whole bunch of servers mixed together putting you together with your friends and guild mates and other people, but not the whole TESO community. Just some, the server is said to put you in game spaces that you will enjoy based on your questionaire at the beginning after you sign up.
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The following 1 user likes magmablue1's post:
Post #32572

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Warning, this will be explained in layman terms, as I'm not privy to the technical understanding to explain it in techno speak. I cannot say if this mega server will work exactly like this. But I imagine it will be somewhat like in EVE Online. Where you are essentially playing on "one server" This server however is split into server cluster that controls various regions/constellations/systems. (The systems is the equivalent off a zone, each constellation contains several systems. And each region contains several constellations.) And if any off these gets a higher traffic than the cluster normally handles they have backup clusters that can can be brought online to reinforce the cluster under high traffic.

Now I think there's going to be at least one difference for TESO. And that is due to TESO instancing up the world to put people in with like-minded people. And the various campaign instances off cyrodil. So in this case the various server clusters would controls the various instances instead. As to what population "limit" if any they intend to pose on each instance. I'm not sure. I think I recall some developer saying 2000 for cyrodil. Which from I what I recall is a pretty standard regular server limit, or used to be, its possibly higher now. And I don't think they've said if the instances will be the size off the faction areas, or if they will split the various faction areas up into chunks, and then split that into instances based on what people like and don't like.

As for your example, this is usually dealt with through an adjustable respawn rate, that will adjust itself to the number off people in the area. But as with every other mmo, I think you'll have alot off competition for mobs in the opening days and weeks. Simply because the population isn't spread out across the world.

Hopefully something in that rant made sense.

Caught between imagination and reality, the truth and the lies, dreaming and waking.
-And wanting it no other way.

I reject your reality and substitute my own
– Adam Savage
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Post #32582

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"When you want to enter the game no server list appears. You just click “Play” and you are in Tamriel. All players are housed on one “mega server” but in several separated worlds. But these worlds are not stable. The system can add new players to the world or can merge several worlds into one. It is a new technology that sets new MMO standard.

Here is the example of how the system works. Imagine that an area can house 500 people before being overcrowded (it is just an example to understand mechanism, so the numbers are not real). And at the peak times there can be 10, 20, 30 or more such separated areas with 500 players in each. At quieter times, the 'mega server' can merge such areas together to maintain the world active. That means your area will never look empty. You will be able to find players any time in the morning or evening. It will be interesting to play in any time of the day.

It is not one server. No, it is group of servers with modern hardware that work together. It is a new technology of “flexible” servers that allow to maintain the same amount of players in a particular area. ZeniMax does not tell details about how Mega Server works. It is their secret and we will be able to see everything with our own eyes."
This post was last modified: February 2nd 2013, 02:59 PM by lugnut360
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Post #33935

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From all the reading that I've done, I'm thinking that Eve and SWTOR are probably the best examples of how this could work. Individual quests will be instanced, much like the new zones in WoW or the Missions in Eve. If you are in a group, you can work on the quest together, say freeing a town from Werewolves. If you are not in a group, it will be phased to you and other players who have completed the same quests. So if you visit the previous Werewolf town and have freed it, you will not see any werewolves, but you will run into other players who have also freed that town.

A guess, or a hope I suppose, would be a situation like Eve's missions. Using the previous example in the thread of getting the Hog's ears, we can see the situation working something like this: Player A gets this mission. Player B also gets this mission. Player A's map indicates they should go north and work in a certain part of the map to find this evil hog. Player B's map says they should go south. Player A heads north and enters their own instanced version of that area of the map. There is only 1 "Evil Hog"© and only Player A. Epic "Hoggy" © Battle ensues, Player A cuts off the ears and merrily heads back to the quest giver where they run into Player B who has just completed their fight against the "Evil Hog"© and has a set of ears to turn in.

Scenario B: Player A and Player B both get quests to slay the "Evil Hog"© and they decide to team up for the Epic "Hoggy"© Battle. Since they are on the same quest, both players maps indicate that their prey is in a westerly direction. They head west and end up in an instanced area. Since there is two of them, the "Evil Hog"© is somewhat stronger, maybe has "Evil Piggy Babies"©, and after the battle, both players take the ears back to the quest giver.

An instanced system such as this cuts down on griefing, wait time on spawns, and other such issues. I would like to see it implemented more like Eve, where the instancing is fairly seamless as opposed to SWTOR, where there is a giant, see through Green or Red wall that the player runs through to enter their private instance. The wall really destroys some of the epic feel of SWTOR. In the Eve system however, it is possible for another player to find and enter your mission/instance/quest, which allows for spawn killing, theft of loot, and general griefing.

This is what I am hoping is going to happen. I fear my hopes may be coloring my readings of the posts though.
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Post #34383

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As Menzo said, ZOM hasn't released any official info on the mechanics you're asking about yet. That being said, we went into an in depth discussion about theories of how this could work over on. this old thread.

Anyway, copied from that thread, here's my take on how they might do things:

Please also keep in mind that this is all purely theoretical, even where I start talking as though it's fact. Nobody has yet mentioned exactly how the megaserver will in fact work...

Okay. Now to understand how a mega server works, you have to understand what a server cluster is and how load-balancing works, since there's no way for this kind of technology to exist without that. Anyway, the megaserver is a server cluster. What's that you say, well, it isn't a server, but rather a lot of servers that are all running special software that lets them talk to each other and share in the processing of tasks. In networking, each of these servers in the cluster is called a node - You've heard Matt and his team call them 'shards'.

Each node (or shard), is connected by the software platform running on each server that connects them all together. In fact, you could even develop a platform that allows overlapping of game environments. What I mean by this is that when you reach the 'edge' of what your node is processing, it begins processing your interactions in tandem with another node, until you finally cross over into content that is completely being processed by the other node you just crossed into. Why is this important? Well, it's the only way I can see the megaserver allowing for seamless transitioning among nodes.

Please also note that having nodes process content 'on their edges' in tandem puts an ENORMOUS additional load on the nodes. For one, you're processing content twice around the node's edges, and secondly, you're using a godawful amount of resources to ensure you do it in tandem with the other node. (Think about it. If you didn't, you might end up killing a moster twice, getting 2x loot and 0 loot sometimes, etc). All in all, you're looking at a godawful expensive piece of software that has to be written by some very, VERY highly paid computer scientists. In fact, if ZOM has this kind of system in place, I applaud them for pulling it and the game off for just three hundred million.

So you get my theory of how shards will work. Now, what happens if a node starts to get overloaded and can't handle anymore without lag/locking up? That's easy, just like task manager tells you how free your resources are, the platform gauges how free the resources are on any given node. When they reach a defined level, the platform can do one of two things:

1. disallow new people onto the node, instead deferring traffic to a new instance of the node. Interestingly, this also skyrockets the needed processing power for the 'edges' being processed in tandem with adjacent servers, as now it's 2x as much processing for EVERY server with those edges.

2. start processing the 'busiest' areas in tandem with a free node until you can have the overloaded server stop processing all but the 'edges' of the busy zones that are now processed by the new node. The advantage here is that the new edges are exclusive to the overloaded node, so you don't have to have any other nodes processing the egdes of that new node. In fact, I bet this is what ZOM will do, because it could easily reduce the need for new nodes by half or more compared to method 1.

Okay, so the last little bit is the AI. How on earth do you get placed into a node with your friends/like minded players? Well, you've got to take the example I've given above and make it a little more abstract. Don't think of the 'edges' of a node (where content is processed in tandem with adjacent servers) as static. Nope, edges can expand, contract, overlap, etc. Do this right, and the platform can literally create and merge zones in a manner that puts like minded players together. But what if you and your friend are on different nodes but are in the same area? Well, there's a couple methods I can think of to get you two on the same node seamlessly, but I don't even know how to articulate them well. For now, just think portals for that limitation.

If they use these design concepts, you could avoid the need for instances altogether. Smiling

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