Gameplay Concept - Infinity MMO

Hey, no need to get upset :-).

To require a continous 7,3 Mbit/s downstream from all players is utopian.
Even a tenth of that would be a struggle for some potential players. A that alone is are only the updates for position, a lot more has to be communicated in a complex multiplayer game.
Also the gameserver has to send this to all clients, the though of that is laughable. Unfortunatly the internet does not work like that. There has to be a downstream for each client, not one for all.

But there are surely never thousands of players in one region. Also the rate of the updates must be much higher for a shooter than a RPG.

Yes hundreds vs hundreds like Planetside 2. Not thousands vs thousands. And the keyword is “aiming”. If you want to have one universe for all players, the maximum of players in a system must be limited or there must be instances.

No I don’t think so, you simply cannot have battles with potentially thousands of players. At least not with the current infrastructure.

The players can be send back to the nearest friendly station.

Thats not how shooter gameplay works. Maybe you never die in a session of counterstrike. Normal players certainly do.
You can either have a space combat simulator, with gameplay that would be incredibly frustating to common players, or you can have a Space MMO with the core gameplay beeing large space battles.
If the penalty of dying is that high, large battles will be a very very rare thing.

This is all observable in Elite Dangerous today. PVP is non-existant. The game is a trading grindfest of the highest magnitude and the replay incentives are low to zero. No sane person will play this as much as a normal MMO with a real progression system.

Um… take it from someone studying computer science – you do not seem to know the various technologies of the internet very well. Such a task is easy – how do you think Netflix streams video? Live broadcasts are sent? Just by using multicast for sending updated player position the server load is decreased enormously.

I do think that 7.3 Mbit/s is high (although I’m far above that, thankfully :smiley: ) for a game, but you forget compression of data (which should work well here) and a whole lot of tricks that game developers have been working on for years.

Multicast works well for video and audio streaming because packet loss is not very important and multicast only works if the internet provider supports it. Generally multicast does not work in multiplayer mmo games. Please study a little more. :wink:

Also multicast is only used in live streams. Like video telephones for hotels and things like that. Netflix is a video on demand service. Meaning that the users request data at whatever times they want. It would only be usefull if people all wanted to watch the same stream at exactly the same time. That isnt compatible with the whole concept of video on demand.

Meaning it would be useful for streaming same data to many clients such as player data in a MMO?

I’m really itching on finding out how this is possible though:

Yes it would be useful for that, unfortunatly it currently doesnt work without special hardware. I was talking in the context of him claiming that streaming services like netflix use it. Which is total bogus. If it were that simple companies would have already done it!!!

Yes, like planetscape which has a maximum of players in one location (this cap is much lower than the actual player numbers on one server). Even planetside 2 never has its maximum of players in one location. These calculations just don’t add up. To support the data rates Runiat calculated, the server would need to handle and upload 7 GB of data every second and players would need a downstream of 7 MB/s (which is near most peoples theoretical dsl modems bandwith limitations). This is all only positioning updates not all else that needs to be communicated!

It has to be player isolation, maybe different strike forces at different locations in the system or some other trick like that…

I suppose it depends on @INovaeFlavien intended meaning of “battle”.

1 Like

I agree. Isolation or instances. I prefer the proposed isolation explaination I described in my first post.

Planetside does the same thing. There are hundrets of players on one map but they designed the gameplay in a way that allows for huge battles (which are laggy yes) but makes them rare because the “Squads” or Lone Wolfs aren’t all attacking/defending the same spot.

For me fine. I prefer lag over invisible walls or pararell dimensions though.

But that is exactly what multicast is meant for? Sending the same data to many recipients. Here, take a look.

Um, but they do. Take a look at this section.

Obviously it requires the hardware to support it, but most large ones here in Europe seem to already have it. Plus there are probably many different reasons why no one has used that in a multiplayer setting so far – probably because existing methods are good enough.

Inovae has already tested their network code quite a while ago with the combat prototype. I am confident that they know what they are talking about, unlike either of us. :wink:

Again I wasn’t denying the purpose of multcasting…
You claimed that netflix and other companies that stream content use multicasting, this is complete bogus. It’s bogus because streaming the same data to multiple receivers defeats the purpose of video on demand.

Please read this quote from the link you provided:

While IP multicast has seen some success in each of these areas, multicast services are generally not available to the average end-user.[citation needed] There are two major, related, factors for this lack of widespread deployment. First, forwarding multicast traffic imposes a great deal of protocol complexity on network service providers.[citation needed] Second, core network infrastructure exposes a far greater attack surface, with particular vulnerability to denial-of-service attacks.

No, the reason is the unavaiability to end users and the pitfalls of this technology.

I don’t think that inovae already has finished network code laying around that supports battles between hundreds of players and I never said that hundreds of players are not possible.

Reading peoples posts where they fantazise about space battle between thousands of players with no instancing and no lag is really frustrating though.

Hundreds. I wish they could manage hundreds. And I expect some lag. And yes it’s hard to do but it’s one of the big future selling points of I:BS. I wish all the best for Inovae to find a way to overcome those big network problems.

1 Like

Peanuts. I simply posted to state that it was possible and that various technologies exist to solve the problem – any server is capable of handling large data rates, it is what they do. Apart from games there are so many applications that have way more demanding requirements that I believe the difficulty you seem to perceive to be not so difficult – not easy, it never is for various reasons, but doable.

Now, video on demand can obviously not use multicasting, agreed – but the fact remains that they manage to send a multitude of streams of data to millions of users every second. Therefore solutions that are already working must exist. Multicasting was only meant as an example.

You also continuously exaggerate the amount of data that has to be sent. Apart from the positions of objects around the current player, what else must be sent to him? All graphics are only client side (it is all procedural after all, once the seed has been sent no updates required). You’re hardly going to be trading a whole bunch while in a fight (and even if you did the data is insignificant in comparison). And even if you were, that is data that is sent once every few minutes while the user navigates the GUI in between. Hell, just by staggering the rate of data based on distance to the player you can decrease the amount significantly – there is after all no need to update every ship every second. Ships far out can suffer to be updated at a significantly lower rate compared to the ship the player is fighting against.

Look, I’m just going to let it be here. It is obvious we disagree – I think it is possible, you don’t. If everything goes well we’ll see soon who was right based on I:BS. Furthermore the MMO is still years out. Look where we were in terms of internet speed 5 years ago and where we are now. If Infinity the MMO comes out in 5 years (which will not happen, I almost guarantee it), networking speed will again have increased significantly (and also server computation power, and yes I know that Moore’s law is coming to a close, but that doesn’t matter here).

Enjoy your further discussions. :smiley:

Yes, but they use a huge number of individual servers that do not interact with each other. That’s the key difference! They don’t even access the same files for identical data streams, there are lots of copies because the servers can’t all read simultaneous from only one drive. You are studying computer science for gods sake, how can you not know that??

Yes, procedual or not, it would be complete news to me that any game regularly streams graphics assets during multiplayer sessions, that doesn’t even make sense (not including a background downloader of course which downloads files from a whole other server). I agree, continuing this debate is useless. :slight_smile:

Lets wait for the kickstarter video. I am sure they are aiming towards 100 - 200 max players per battle. Hey, maybe I am completely wrong and by some dark magic we will see battles with thousands of players. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

But an MMO across a galaxy size does not need to run on a single server – each system could be a shard, or even multiple systems per shard based on how the server performs. So when you have a battle, more servers take parts of the system and handle the game logic there; if you have a group of lonely explorers, a single server can probably handle a large number of independent systems. It is a matter of building good scalability and plays into concurrency issues etc. You don’t need to have the whole game run in a single main game loop; only the database must be persistent, and that is a solved problem (see any search engine or database service).

Wait, did anyone ever say anything else? They’ll probably be aiming for a higher number for the MMO (which I have been arguing for based on your opening post), but for I:BS I think the number was as you stated.


There was this experiment about three years ago for a “1000 players FPS”. IIRC, it was 2 teams of 500 respawning players, reportedly atrociously unbalanced and not very fun, but it was a success as they ran a 1000 players battle fluidly, and didn’t require a particularly high-end connection.
So it’s definitely possible to have hundreds of players in one battle, as it was done already. Given that Flavien and Keith clearly know what they’re doing, I don’t see what’s unreasonable in their goal there.


No-one said thousands. Instanceless servers are possible via sharding. EVE doesn’t have instances, but splits the load between servers to keep things running all smooth-like. Keeping data consistent between shards could be tricky, especially if you want them distributed geographically for latency issues, but it’s not like that problem hasn’t been solved before.

Define friendly. The state of the station may change after the player leaves it. That’s what I meant when I said that the system can be exploited. Attack a station. Have the players inside transported to your station by making it friendly (or do it through a proxy pretending to be friendly. Wait for target ship(s) to leave station. Make station auto-attack nearby “hostile” ships.

Obviously I die in CounterStrike. But I expect that I will, because I’m not the best FPS-gamer in the world. It’s a frustating experience too sometimes, as I lose my gear and don’t get so much money in the next round.

But what it does is teaches me caution. If I know I’ve not got great equipment, and my enemy is better equipped, I will play a lot more carefully and move more carefully, but ultimately the reward at this point is greater than the risk. If I am well equipped, I know I will generally be able to take on an enemy I encounter. If I get injured, I will attempt to retreat from battle until I can seek advantage or the round ends, in order to preserve my gear and funds. I’m fine with having a similar system in games like Elite and Infinity if the combat itself is relatively fair.

Perhaps. But it depends on the reward. If large corps have some kind of benefit for fighting over stuff (like resources on planets or profitable trade lanes), then those corps will be more than happy to wage war to get those rewards. EVE works in a not too dissimilar way, with the many player corporations fighting to control territory, even though the cost of failure and the cost of losing ships is high enough that it has a measurable real-world monetary value on it. Some of the epic battles of the like reported in gaming media have run up expenses in the thousands of pounds range.

1 Like

Penalty of dying can be high without putting off larger battles so long as risk of dying is low.

If you need to send a big chunk of your fleet to chase down and destroy a single fleeing ship that’s had it’s weapons disabled, you risk loosing the battle. People would let ships flee until the diehard core of the fleet slugged it out to the bitter end or engaged in a full retreat and covered each other in getting away. It would make dying in a large fleet battle incredibly difficult to do unless you were grossly incompetent or were willing to sacrifice your ship for a greater cause and knew it was going to happen ahead of time.

1 Like

If you can give them a few million dollars American no strings attached I expect them to get on it. But like they said, doing I:B first gives us (them) practices. If we do well enough on I:B, learn enough, then we (them) have the experience to make a MMO.
And that’s all I read of your tomb. And that’s not a quote.