Server-travel is a reality

For all those who criticized and mocked my idea on server population/faction dynamic balance.

This is from Jeff Strain about Guild Wars:

Our server infrastructure is actually kind of reflective of our core technology. We have data centres all over the world – we have data centres in Europe, data centres in the US, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. As you know, when you create your account in Guild Wars, it’s a global account – you don’t pick one of those data centres or servers, you’re not even really aware of them.

What happens is that it knows where you are, and when you play, you’ll probably be connected to one of the European servers – if you’re playing with your buddies, or by yourself, in general it knows your home datacentre. But if you want to play with me, and I’m on one of the US datacentres, the datacentres will communicate with each other and try to figure out the best place to host our game. They may decide that the total experience across both of us is going to be better if it hosts the game in Europe, and so it’ll hand off my character – it migrates my character record temporarily to the European datacentre, you and I play our game, and then when we’re done, it migrates my character back.

The datacentres all work in a confederated manner. It’s presented to you as one big massive server that’s serving the entire world, because you never have to be aware of where they are, but there’s a lot of datacentre communication going on on your behalf in the background to make sure that it’s optimising the play experience for you.

They not only move characters between different servers, but ACROSS the oceans between different datacenters. Now tell me again that my idea is impossible.

Quoting again the goals behind my project:

1- Regulate the load on each server/shard, so that the population is spread equally on the servers, avoiding queues, overcrowded and crashing servers and totally empty servers.
2- Regulate the balance, so that the population is even between the factions of a PvP environment.
3- Create an united, global and massive environment that doesn’t artificially encapsulate the players inside air tight spaces.
4- Allow the players to travel cross server, meet and play together with their friends and reorganize and build new guilds without the need to restart from zero or create alts specifically to overcome the limits in the current mmorpgs. The choice of a server won’t be “tragic” (as an unavoidable consequence that cannot be made up) as it is in other games.
5- Break the global community into smaller, manageable units-per-server through the shard system (too big communities are overwhelming and, paradoxically, make the social ties nearly impossible).

“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.”

If I’m a visionary, I dream of possible things.

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