MMO Server

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MrFadi 101 Dec 20, 2010 at 18:26

Hello all,

i was searching over the net for tips to setup a MMO server, then i found a very helpful topics about designing MMOs here so i decided to register, then i found my self already registered before years ago and my last visit was on 27/12/2007 O.o

SO I MISS YOU ALL :D

OK now to real business, i decided to translate a MMO to my language and launch the game for my region and i had a list of MMOs to contact and pick the best option for me but thing is i don’t want to show my self as the NOOB in this field, i only want to know some infos about this, i am very good in hardware and networking and security but zero at development.

So what hardware and software i should have?
Is it better to rent a dedicated server or setup my own server?
What internet speed i should have to make my server never lag?

The MMO that i am trying to translate is heavy loaded game on client computer, it’s not simple like perfect world or LOTRO, it’s Action/RPG game close to Blade & Soul game.

The number of players could be 20k+ maybe more but don’t think less than 20k.

Thanks in advance all and miss u all :D

23 Replies

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rouncer 103 Dec 21, 2010 at 04:04

Look man, in my dream i own my own mmo, but i guess if you get there, renting a server’s not a bad option?

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alphadog 101 Dec 21, 2010 at 15:32

@MrFadi

So what hardware and software i should have?
Is it better to rent a dedicated server or setup my own server?
What internet speed i should have to make my server never lag?

The number of players could be 20k+ maybe more but don’t think less than 20k.

Seriously?!?

Apologies, but I will likely offend you, since you seem to think you are “very good” at some of these things. However, the juxtaposed questions above indicate you don’t have any clue about what you are asking about. Especially the third question.

Either a) it would take a long time to ramp up to 20K players and you are being premature, or :huh: you have some “hot” IP and you must face the idea that you could ramp up quickly. (D&D Online being an example of 0 to 80-90K in no time.)

In a nutshell, without an initial working alpha, you have no idea what your bandwidth and processing requirements are, so that would be your first step. MMOs can range from the hundreds to the thousands of players per server. It highly depends on the type of MMO, the architecture of the MMO and its performance needs.

Furthermore, at that scale, you will likely need dedicated servers in a secure location offering high-availability and redundancy of infrastructure… unless you want players to leave in droves when your home “data center” outage lasts more than 8hrs. You’ll need game servers, lobby servers and maybe a separate “corporate” server to process membership issues, etc. You’ll need advanced firewalls, “fancy” load balancers, and other advanced networking technologies. And, you’ll need a few people to support it all.

There are even more non-technological issues you probably haven’t even considered, such as PCI-DSS compliance. (If you want to accept credit cards, you’ll need to be PCI compliant for VISA (or affected clients) to not sue your ass off when you get your billing hacked.)

Do you even realize how much support calls and emails you get from 20K players?

No, you can’t run at this scale out of your home.

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rouncer 103 Dec 22, 2010 at 00:11

AlphaDog, it is possible though from a rented connection to a certain degree, correct?

And more advice to you MrFadi, even though i somehow suspect you cant even code frogger and expect to be able to finish a whole professional video game out of no experience… is that strategy multiplayer games are ten times easier to make than action multiplayer games, so I would do something small and maybe less impressive (turn based) if I were you.

But there was a 14 yo prodigy not long ago that came out with a successful, free, strategy, small community base mmo…

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alphadog 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 04:31

@rouncer

AlphaDog, it is possible though from a rented connection to a certain degree, correct?

You may be able to start from a home connection. It’s a risky move, though. If you put together something actually nice and ramp up decently, you’ll be like a shooting star through the sky and burn out really fast. And, it doesn’t take much to ramp past your typical home connection.

Let’s forget that you have no SLA, no redundancy and no real “infrastructure”. Probably no backups. Also, forget that when all your neighbors get on the net around dinner time, your bandwidth actually tanks because of your local over-subscription. Also, forget that when you start consistently maxing out your home connection, you show up on NOC radars and someone will call you checking out why your usage is so high, then turn you off because your residential agreement doesn’t allow servers.

Forget all that and let’s look at the math. Let’s assume you need an average of 10kbps up/down per client. (This is approx and a good number for an RPG.)

I have a home connection that basically gives me about 20-25Mbps down and 2-3Mbps up on the best occasion, although I’ve seen as low as a third of that at times. At any rate, I am going to be limited on concurrent users by my ability to send out. Let’s also assume 10% going to networking overhead, and another 10% going to management stuff (website, forum, patching, etc) which has to co-exist with game traffic.

So, I have 2400kbps for the game itself assuming I can maintain 3Mbps. So, I have enough bandwidth for about 240 concurrent users.

That’s a far cry from 20K, huh? :huh: It also means don’t use your connection for downloading porn, because all of a sudden players will be dropping off your server like fumigated flies. :)

So, we decide to host on one server. Let’s say you get a basic monthly VPS that gives you 1TB of bandwidth a month! That’s a lot right? BTW, those aren’t the cheap VPS that give you that much.

It’s actually not easy to convert this to a raw bandwidth because of weird billing methods but I think best-case, this translates to about 3Mbps, and after overhead, we’re back to 200-250 users.

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Hyper 96 Dec 22, 2010 at 16:19

@rouncer

… even though i somehow suspect you cant even code frogger…

I think this video answers those type peoples questions/posts very well!
This is in essence that “So you want to make an MMORPG?” thread, but with audio.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2IMmrc0P2U

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MrFadi 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 20:41

@alphadog

Seriously?!?

Apologies, but I will likely offend you, since you seem to think you are “very good” at some of these things. However, the juxtaposed questions above indicate you don’t have any clue about what you are asking about. Especially the third question.

Either a) it would take a long time to ramp up to 20K players and you are being premature, or b) you have some “hot” IP and you must face the idea that you could ramp up quickly. (D&D Online being an example of 0 to 80-90K in no time.)

In a nutshell, without an initial working alpha, you have no idea what your bandwidth and processing requirements are, so that would be your first step. MMOs can range from the hundreds to the thousands of players per server. It highly depends on the type of MMO, the architecture of the MMO and its performance needs.

Furthermore, at that scale, you will likely need dedicated servers in a secure location offering high-availability and redundancy of infrastructure… unless you want players to leave in droves when your home “data center” outage lasts more than 8hrs. You’ll need game servers, lobby servers and maybe a separate “corporate” server to process membership issues, etc. You’ll need advanced firewalls, “fancy” load balancers, and other advanced networking technologies. And, you’ll need a few people to support it all.

There are even more non-technological issues you probably haven’t even considered, such as PCI-DSS compliance. (If you want to accept credit cards, you’ll need to be PCI compliant for VISA (or affected clients) to not sue your ass off when you get your billing hacked.)

Do you even realize how much support calls and emails you get from 20K players?

No, you can’t run at this scale out of your home.

will sorry but your name explain your manners, i never said i wanted to run those things in my home, am the man with the money who can run any thing as long i have the money but thanks for the reply.

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MrFadi 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 20:43

@rouncer

AlphaDog, it is possible though from a rented connection to a certain degree, correct?

And more advice to you MrFadi, even though i somehow suspect you cant even code frogger and expect to be able to finish a whole professional video game out of no experience… is that strategy multiplayer games are ten times easier to make than action multiplayer games, so I would do something small and maybe less impressive (turn based) if I were you.

But there was a 14 yo prodigy not long ago that came out with a successful, free, strategy, small community base mmo…

thanks but i am here looking for the experience and i don’t have any problem with getting some professional in this field to support and don’t you believe that you born with no experience O.o

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MrFadi 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 20:53

to update you guys the game will look like LOTRO and i don’t have any problem of getting any internet connection or making clustered servers at all, load balance and making up time 90%+ is not that big problem.

about customers support i am certified ITIL so i think i can manage those things.

what i hooping that you guys where not less-respect others while you know nothing about what things he can offer and how much budget he willing to pay.

and in Arab region there is only ONE MMO game and it’s Rappelz so i believe a good (Hash & Slash games) would take all the players from there to the new game with the a real graphics and good looking game for 2010/2011

so again consider all please that money is not a the block that i will face, i just need to know what should i get because i don’t want simply to pay over much or be in risk when servers can’t handle the traffic.

thanks again.

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alphadog 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 23:06

@MrFadi

will sorry but your name explain your manners, i never said i wanted to run those things in my home, am the man with the money who can run any thing as long i have the money but thanks for the reply.

You have a problem with honest and forthright? I am always plain-talk in my dealings. Some people are ill-equipped to handle it, admittedly, so my apologies if you prefer more diplomatic, fawning tones.

Again, you supply nowhere near enough key information to give you any useful information. What the MMO looks like is irrelevant. One would need technical requirements, architecture details, etc to be able to answer your questions.

No offense intended…

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MrFadi 101 Dec 22, 2010 at 23:16

@alphadog

You have a problem with honest and forthright? I am always plain-talk in my dealings. Some people are ill-equipped to handle it, admittedly, so my apologies if you prefer more diplomatic, fawning tones.

Again, you supply nowhere near enough key information to give you any useful information. What the MMO looks like is irrelevant. One would need technical requirements, architecture details, etc to be able to answer your questions.

No offense intended…

will yes i don’t have infos at all and that why i am asking.
to remind all am not planning to make a MMO, it will be translating it to another language only.
i can handle the customers support i am ITIL certified and i have some background about types of internet connection and servers and the hardware and networking and clustering in windows server (MCSE here)

if u want more infos about the game type and what ever u want i am here and will be happy to see help from you and from all.

and thanks for the support again.

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alphadog 101 Dec 23, 2010 at 00:16

Well, if the MMO already exists, it should be possible for you to get information on it. If it’s already running, why ask us to guess at what you need? Go see it in action!

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MrFadi 101 Dec 23, 2010 at 00:19

@alphadog

Well, if the MMO already exists, it should be possible for you to get information on it. If it’s already running, why ask us to guess at what you need? Go see it in action!

my friend look again at my first post
@MrFadi

i don’t want to show my self as the NOOB in this field, i only want to know some infos about this

@MrFadi

The MMO that i am trying to translate is heavy loaded game on client computer, it’s not simple like perfect world or LOTRO, it’s Action/RPG game close to Blade & Soul game

that what i already said in my first topic \^\^ and that what i was hopping to get, that’s all m8.

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rouncer 103 Dec 23, 2010 at 01:06

Its just MrFadi, even if I take you seriously (like you really are prepared to put the work in) I cant really help, cause I could maybe get 240 users going at once yeh, like alphadog says but past that I dont have the networking experience… your gonna have to be better than me…

Pulling an MMO “stunt” can get you rich, but you really DO have to know what you are doing… for all I know, you could be really smart, I honestly couldnt judge you, but its just you have to understand how people get tired of mmo questions coming from people that know bugger all and arent even prepared to put the work in, and its more of a “pipe dream” post than anything else so its others faults why you are being treated perhaps a little poorly.

This “porting” idea is interesting, like at least youll have the product to start with (and maybe you could also personalize the game a little as you port, sorta like making a doom mod), and thats more than nothing… (but make sure you are allowed to use the game and it isnt illegal too)

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MrFadi 101 Dec 23, 2010 at 01:20

@rouncer

Its just MrFadi, even if I take you seriously (like you really are prepared to put the work in) I cant really help, cause I could maybe get 240 users going at once yeh, like alphadog says but past that I dont have the networking experience. Pulling an MMO “stunt” can get you rich, but you really DO have to know what you are doing… for all I know, you could be really smart, I honestly couldnt judge you.

yea that very true i have to know what i am going to do, to be honest with you a 30k $ is the budget and am not planning to waste the money on nothing, i do know the market size and how many users i can have in first launching months (20k) or even more, so maybe sometimes i have 5k users online at the same time and that require me activate load balance on the servers, i can configure that on ISA it’s easy job (for me) but what i am trying to know how many servers i do need for 90% uptime and non-lag services.

is each service on the game use it’s own server?
like server for login, server for forums, server for update, server for security, server for the game it self!

thanks folks.

and i need the help all the help.

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alphadog 101 Dec 23, 2010 at 01:56

@MrFadi

my friend look again at my first post

What it LOOKS like is not what IT IS.

If you are legally franchising/licensing an existing MMO game’s property, you shouldn’t need forum-based advice.

If you are knocking off an existing game and starting/started from scratch, then you either have your own prototype and should give us some basic specs, or this is just going to be a GIGO exercise because you still have to put the alpha together and get some performance baselines.

At this point, if you are seriously going to put down $30K to start up a game, I think you need to seek out an experienced consultant in the field that can guide you more closely.

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rouncer 103 Dec 23, 2010 at 02:05

Getting over the average player latency problem is a bit beyond me.
I think if Id do it (the easy way out) id probably pick a less ping intensive game type, and if some players are really laggy it doesnt matter so much cause the game is turn based or something.

But wouldnt you have to have servers based all around the world to do it properly?

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alphadog 101 Dec 23, 2010 at 02:37

A certain amount of lag, like taxes, is an inevitability. It takes time for a message to get from point A to point B on the net. That is why lag compensating algos (ex: predictive movement) and architectures (ex: minimizing hops) abound.

Of course, some things are under your control. Negligence that allows oversubscribed servers, for example.

If you want to read about the complexities of MMOs, read something like the EVE blog.

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MrFadi 101 Dec 24, 2010 at 01:33

hello, i found good hosting and the price is believable check it from here and leave me a comment if you think i need more or that one is good.

http://www.netdepot.com/dedicated-server-hosting/enterprise-dedicated-servers-features.html

also i was thinking for renting 3 servers and cluster them load balance etc. and install every thing on the 3 servers, i will have 16 IP address so no worries about giving each service it’s own IP.
what i am thinking is if 1 server go down 2 server will back up if 2 down i think 1 server can handle every thing without any problems.

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rouncer 103 Dec 24, 2010 at 03:12

100 tB per month? thats pretty good, defo enough for a game. $500 a month is risky tho ;) you better hope your game is successful.

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Rollercoster 101 Dec 25, 2010 at 06:22

First thing I would do before going out into the real world is get a home server up and running so you or your people can get the basic functionality working.

Port the game and test it to make sure it still works as designed.

Once you get this accomplished THEN go shop for some horsepower.

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rouncer 103 Dec 25, 2010 at 06:27

Why not go billion dollar first time, thats what John Carmack did.

[EDIT] or when he was first practicing as the doctor of code, he didnt make a million FIRST year. [/EDIT]

[edit2] um sorry was a little drunk when i posted this… im not sure what i even meant… :)[edit2]

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MrFadi 101 Dec 26, 2010 at 08:12

@rouncer

Why not go billion dollar first time, thats what John Carmack did.

[EDIT] or when he was first practicing as the doctor of code, he didnt make a million FIRST year. [/EDIT]

[edit2] um sorry was a little drunk when i posted this… im not sure what i even meant… :)[edit2]

hahahah Merry Christmas :D

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MrFadi 101 Dec 26, 2010 at 08:16

@Rollercoster

First thing I would do before going out into the real world is get a home server up and running so you or your people can get the basic functionality working.

Port the game and test it to make sure it still works as designed.

Once you get this accomplished THEN go shop for some horsepower.

will in Jordan we don’t have great internet connection, the 8 MB will cost around 70$ a month and building a home server will cost more, my computer is E7300 CPU and 680i MB so i don’t think it will be good server to host even a ASP or PHP \^\^

i may go for cloud hosting it cost less but still not sure, i will not save 100 or 200 $ / month to make the service bad so am not sure and i think 500 $ is not that much for dual quad xeon server with 100 TB bandwidth.

if you guys have better ideas i will be happy to hear from you all.

thanks in advance and Merry Christmas to you all.