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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering with Gears of War supporting 8 players online and others 360 games supporting 16 players, what is the limiting factor for a game not supporting 32, 100 or 400 players at once?


~ Is it the system ram?

~ Is it the processing power?

~ Is it the network?
 

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I have not played GOW online but it could be the size of the maps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by admonish /forum/post/15593871


I was wondering with Gears of War supporting 8 players online and others 360 games supporting 16 players, what is the limiting factor for a game not supporting 32, 100 or 400 players at once?


~ Is it the system ram?

~ Is it the processing power?

~ Is it the network?

Its a little of all 3, but it is other factors too.


For example, on 360 most games do not use dedicated servers to host games, instead relying on a player machine to host. This really limits the number of players because of bandwidth. I think Frontlines: Fuel of War was the first 360 game with dedicated servers and it hosted up to 40 people. Resistance 1 had 40, Resistance 2 has 60, Warhawk has 32, all of these use dedicated servers.


So that is one thing off the bat. You know, beyond that, the sky is the limit I guess. BF2 came out in 2005 and has supported 64 players from day one. Planetside came out in like, 2003 and supported hundreds of players. Sony claims their game "MAG" will have 256 player games. It's all very do-able, but I think a hard part is balancing out the game and making it work right with that many players (and less too). BF2 did a great job with that, if the game wasn't so damn buggy and supported widescreen I'd probably still be playing it.
 

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If you ask me, there is an interesting thing about online multiplayer, and the quest to add ever more people to the fray......and the biggest limiting factor right now? Human Behavior.


On the PC you have 64 player online FPS's....with vehicles on large sprawling maps and they play flawlessly. On those games with 32 on 32 you may find that about 10% of the population is actually playing like they are supposed to.


The more players you add, the more "objective based" the game must become...a 65 player deathmatch game will get damn old, damn fast. But in order to have objectives you have to do things that many FPS players deem BORING like...surprise.."defend a spot". So you have 3-6 guys defending a spot. Suddenly one or two get bored and take off....then you're down a few men, then you're over-run.


Thats what makes a game like Battlefield 2 and its followups so fun..but..so UN-fun too. When only a handfull of people actually work together, because everyone wants to be on the run n-gun.


Even back playing Day of Defeat 1.3b I used to volunteer to guard flag capture spots while literally everyone else would take off and try to capture flags...every now and then I'd find someone who was like minded and we'd defend a spot, and it made the game that much more enjoyable. But few people were like that.....


Playing BF2 when it came out was fun, getting on a squad of AVSers and actually listening to the orders given by whomever was commanding. Begging for an air-drop and getting one, made the game seem totally cool. But that experience wouldn't last...pretty soon we were lucky to get 3-4 guys on a squad working together in a sea of guys just freelancing.


In a way thats why a MMORPG works well with thousands of people, these aren't the people who are looking for INSTANT ACTION all the time.


On the CONSOLES its simple, a lack of RAM means a lack of dedicated memory to hold LARGE, SPRAWLING maps.


Its kind of sad to know that 15 years ago SKYNET was out with awesome, huge maps on the PC, vehicles and so on..and its still taken years to match that non-3d Accellerated Glory. What a fun game that was.




Sure the graphics pale by todays standards, but the game itself was just so fun..there were like 18 weapons to use, Terminators had auto tracking but everything was in red making it harder to see, humans had portable hand scanners, you could climb up into buildings and shoot down from windows or....well..anyways I'ev played that record before



That game due out for the PS3...MAD or whatever it is....with 256 online players....gonna be a huge cluster**** I think.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/0


On the CONSOLES its simple, a lack of RAM means a lack of dedicated memory to hold LARGE, SPRAWLING maps.

Seriously now? I was playing Starsiege: Tribes on LARGE, SPRAWLING maps in 1998 with 64 megs of RAM and 24 megs of VRAM (which was beyond overkill for the game by the way).


BF2 worked more often than not because if one group of people left position A to go fight for position B, the other team would swoop in to position A and then the group of people would go fight for it again. That is why the point system was designed the way it was. In a CTF game, that doesn't really work as well, because people not defending just ruins the title.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by number1laing /forum/post/15595061


Seriously now? I was playing Starsiege: Tribes on LARGE, SPRAWLING maps in 1998 with 64 megs of RAM and 24 megs of VRAM (which was beyond overkill for the game by the way).

And tell me again how detailed those maps were? Oh right....nothing but 2 bases with 2 entrances. Give me a break Lang.

Quote:
BF2 worked more often than not because if one group of people left position A to go fight for position B, the other team would swoop in to position A and then the group of people would go fight for it again. That is why the point system was designed the way it was. In a CTF game, that doesn't really work as well, because people not defending just ruins the title.

What BF2 really needed was an ASSAULT mode like UT had..where once an objective was achieved, it was no longer reversable. You use that formula, MAYBE mix it up with the ability to possibly reverse a chain of events to give the game longevity..you'd have something.


but "capture the point" is dull beyond words to me because of exactly that reason, its just capture..recapture....capture..recapture.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/0


And tell me again how detailed those maps were? Oh right....nothing but 2 bases with 2 entrances. Give me a break Lang.

Man, I don't think anyone is expecting a game with gigantic levels and tons of players to have the same graphical detail as Gears of War. Of course, maybe some of the retards that make up the current console fanbase DO, and developers are shying away because they know its impossible. In any case, yes my example may have been contrived but I don't think it was inaccurate. Warhawk for example has pretty decently sized maps (that scale, similar to BF2), good graphics, air and ground, and 32 players, and it was a first gen PS3 title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/0


What BF2 really needed was an ASSAULT mode like UT had..where once an objective was achieved, it was no longer reversable. You use that formula, MAYBE mix it up with the ability to possibly reverse a chain of events to give the game longevity..you'd have something.

Assault mode was cool, so was, I believe the name was Onslaught.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by number1laing /forum/post/15595277


Man, I don't think anyone is expecting a game with gigantic levels and tons of players to have the same graphical detail as Gears of War. Of course, maybe some of the retards that make up the current console fanbase DO, and developers are shying away because they know its impossible. In any case, yes my example may have been contrived but I don't think it was inaccurate.


Assault mode was cool, so was, I believe the name was Onslaught.

I think we live in an age where we could get GEARS type of visuals rendered in huge areas, providing you kept the resolutions reasonable. My gripe is Gears is loaded with pretty pictures but noplace to go, i want doors I can smash, stairs I can climb...


We still aren't quite there yet....and yes, theer we are talking a game that takes 10 years to develop and would REQUIRE a subscription model to pay for in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by number1laing /forum/post/15594099


Its a little of all 3, but it is other factors too.


For example, on 360 most games do not use dedicated servers to host games, instead relying on a player machine to host. This really limits the number of players because of bandwidth. I think Frontlines: Fuel of War was the first 360 game with dedicated servers and it hosted up to 40 people. Resistance 1 had 40, Resistance 2 has 60, Warhawk has 32, all of these use dedicated servers.

...

thanks for the info, without mentioning any names I wondered why the 'other' console had games that supported 32+ players. So X years from now when the next version of xbox comes out. we still may be limited to 8vs8 or 4 vs 4.



I wonder how expensive it would be for Microsoft to implement dedicated servers for their 1st party games like Halo or Gears of War.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch /forum/post/15594966


If you ask me, there is an interesting thing about online multiplayer, and the quest to add ever more people to the fray......and the biggest limiting factor right now? Human Behavior.


On the PC you have 64 player online FPS's....with vehicles on large sprawling maps and they play flawlessly. On those games with 32 on 32 you may find that about 10% of the population is actually playing like they are supposed to.


The more players you add, the more "objective based" the game must become...a 65 player deathmatch game will get damn old, damn fast. But in order to have objectives you have to do things that many FPS players deem BORING like...surprise.."defend a spot". So you have 3-6 guys defending a spot. Suddenly one or two get bored and take off....then you're down a few men, then you're over-run.


Thats what makes a game like Battlefield 2 and its followups so fun..but..so UN-fun too. When only a handfull of people actually work together, because everyone wants to be on the run n-gun.


Even back playing Day of Defeat 1.3b I used to volunteer to guard flag capture spots while literally everyone else would take off and try to capture flags...every now and then I'd find someone who was like minded and we'd defend a spot, and it made the game that much more enjoyable. But few people were like that.....


Playing BF2 when it came out was fun, getting on a squad of AVSers and actually listening to the orders given by whomever was commanding. Begging for an air-drop and getting one, made the game seem totally cool. But that experience wouldn't last...pretty soon we were lucky to get 3-4 guys on a squad working together in a sea of guys just freelancing.


In a way thats why a MMORPG works well with thousands of people, these aren't the people who are looking for INSTANT ACTION all the time.


On the CONSOLES its simple, a lack of RAM means a lack of dedicated memory to hold LARGE, SPRAWLING maps.


Its kind of sad to know that 15 years ago SKYNET was out with awesome, huge maps on the PC, vehicles and so on..and its still taken years to match that non-3d Accellerated Glory. What a fun game that was.




Sure the graphics pale by todays standards, but the game itself was just so fun..there were like 18 weapons to use, Terminators had auto tracking but everything was in red making it harder to see, humans had portable hand scanners, you could climb up into buildings and shoot down from windows or....well..anyways I'ev played that record before



That game due out for the PS3...MAD or whatever it is....with 256 online players....gonna be a huge cluster**** I think.

I have to agree. The first game on the PC online I ever played was the original Ghost Recon. I found a dedicated server where players made donations through PayPal to keep it up and running 18vs18. I then joined a clan called {JAG} and started playing on another clan server for the =SealZ=. We played siege all the time, 24/7, and it was fricking fun because everyone knew their roles and we switched it up, some would guard and some would go out hunting when we were defending. Of course the =SealZ= ran a tight ship and if you were caught cheating or teamkilling you got banned. I can tell you though that is some of the most fun I ever had.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by admonish /forum/post/15595420


thanks for the info, without mentioning any names I wondered why the 'other' console had games that supported 32+ players. So X years from now when the next version of xbox comes out. we still may be limited to 8vs8 or 4 vs 4.



I wonder how expensive it would be for Microsoft to implement dedicated servers for their 1st party games like Halo or Gears of War.

It has everything to do with bandwidth as others have mentioned. Dedicated servers are the best way to connect larger numbers of gamers with less lag but they are expensive to maintain and most developers don't want to do it. In fact when Live first started dedicated servers were on the proposed feature list. Some games like Rainbow Six actually had them. Very quickly though everyone moved to p2p.


How hard would it be for Microsoft to provide us with them? Not hard in the least. It would cost more for them so that's why it's out. I think Xbox Live Gold subscribers should be allowed to use Dedicated Servers and Silver members should be allowed to connect p2p.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynn /forum/post/15600895


It has everything to do with bandwidth as others have mentioned. Dedicated servers are the best way to connect larger numbers of gamers with less lag but they are expensive to maintain and most developers don't want to do it. In fact when Live first started dedicated servers were on the proposed feature list. Some games like Rainbow Six actually had them. Very quickly though everyone moved to p2p.


How hard would it be for Microsoft to provide us with them? Not hard in the least. It would cost more for them so that's why it's out. I think Xbox Live Gold subscribers should be allowed to use Dedicated Servers and Silver members should be allowed to connect p2p.

This is pretty much it. Development costs are already through the roof with houses going under and merging. And really, how many games on the 360 maintain their popularity long enough to warrant the extra costs (literally millions) to have deidcated server farms set up? What is there...Halo 3 (are people still playing that?) and COD? GOW2's popularity is already on the way out, and it's only been like 2 months. Any others I'm missing? Could you imagine if Valve had spent all the money to set up dedicated servers for Team Fortress 2? As great as that game was, it was never really that popular and died out really fast. It would have been a horrible investment.


The other great(?) thing about P2P is it's always available. The moment a company decides that keeping the dedicated servers up is no longer financially viable, multiplayer dies completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynn /forum/post/15600895


...I think Xbox Live Gold subscribers should be allowed to use Dedicated Servers and Silver members should be allowed to connect p2p.

that would be an excellent way to inspire people to upgrade to gold level. as a side not i think silver members should be able to play multiplayer XBLA games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/15601907


...And really, how many games on the 360 maintain their popularity long enough to warrant the extra costs (literally millions) to have deidcated server farms set up? What is there...Halo 3 (are people still playing that?) and COD? GOW2's popularity is already on the way out, and it's only been like 2 months. Any others I'm missing?...

You would be suprised to see that halo 3 is still quite popular. On major nelsons top ten list (of xbox live games) halo 3 is always in the top 3! But I do see your point about the number of sold units not justifying the cost.


I was curious because I would love to have a large multiplayer game where some commander would give out orders to everyone and each sub-unit would do a specific task and did it well whether it guarding, attacking or serving as a decoy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by admonish /forum/post/15602229


I was curious because I would love to have a large multiplayer game where some commander would give out orders to everyone and each sub-unit would do a specific task and did it well whether it guarding, attacking or serving as a decoy.

Good luck with that....it's hard enough to get a GOW squad of 4 or 5 people working together.


If you've ever played anything like Battlefield or something, you'll realize it just generally chaos with every-man-for himself and very little teamwork going on.


Of course as I believe a previous poster mentioned, about 95% of the people are in the chaos, and then there will be small pockets of a few people working together, but they're the exception rather than the rule.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by admonish /forum/post/15602229


I was curious because I would love to have a large multiplayer game where some commander would give out orders to everyone and each sub-unit would do a specific task and did it well whether it guarding, attacking or serving as a decoy.

It's called an RTS.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/15601907


Could you imagine if Valve had spent all the money to set up dedicated servers for Team Fortress 2? As great as that game was, it was never really that popular and died out really fast. It would have been a horrible investment.

Look at frontlines, i'd wager to say that TF2 is/was more popular, yet they (kaos) set up dedicated servers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/15601907


The other great(?) thing about P2P is it's always available. The moment a company decides that keeping the dedicated servers up is no longer financially viable, multiplayer dies completely.

again, frontlines.... dedicated servers (50 people), and P2P support(16 people)... when they decide to shut the servers down, you lose the support for huge games, and thats it.




edit:


i'd really like to see a host modeled after the theory behind b*ttorrent, everyone (peer/client) is the host, nobody has an advantage.


edit2:


TO ALL THE MODS, I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHY B.I.TTORRENT IS A BAD WORD!


theres nothing wrong with it, and many good things come of it..... i bet you think guns and cars are bad, cause they kill people.... hell, halo kills people... purely retarded! i'm talking to you keyser!
 

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yes bigger maps and more peeps will require a dedicated server, which cost alot of money that "someone" has to maintain at a pretty high cost. Like it was stated before it would then become paytoplay and the only game I have ever payed a monthly fee for was everquest on ps2.


I have been playing alot of resistance lately and I prefer the smaller maps like 20vs20...man when you get 60 guys in a room you cant hardly take a step before you get sniped...that gets old
 

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I'm no expert, but here's my take on dedicated servers.


A dedicated server is made up of CPU; Storage and Networking capabilities. it could any type of hardware, eg a Unix based mid-range machine with serious grunt, or even a mainframe -It really depends on how it is going to be used as to what it will be.


Big game companies like Ubisoft could afford to own (or perhaps lease) this sort of hardware, so they can develop their games knowing they can leverage off existing resources.


I'll bet that once certain games start to decline in popularity then the amount of resource committed to that title (on their servers) is reduced and re-allocated to new titles.


I can't say I fully understand why at least some xbox360 games are not developed wth the idea of a utilizing a central server, but I'm guessing that as has already been stated, the cost of the development versus the risk of that cost making a good return is too high. I think it is possible that the Xbox Live architecture was designed primarily to support peer to peer, and thus in order to utilize a server architecture (over xbox live) would require a huge amount of in-house research-and-development. ie. The cost of developing a game based on a server architecture might be 3-4 times more expensive than designing it to work using a peer-to-peer architecture. If this is the case, then it's easy to understand that unless the developers can convince the investors the whole value of the game is in it's ability to run off a server, then that option is simply not available to them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/15601907


This is pretty much it. Development costs are already through the roof with houses going under and merging. And really, how many games on the 360 maintain their popularity long enough to warrant the extra costs (literally millions) to have deidcated server farms set up? What is there...Halo 3 (are people still playing that?) and COD? GOW2's popularity is already on the way out, and it's only been like 2 months. Any others I'm missing? Could you imagine if Valve had spent all the money to set up dedicated servers for Team Fortress 2? As great as that game was, it was never really that popular and died out really fast. It would have been a horrible investment.

Eh, TF2 is still wildly popular on the PC and it has dedicated servers (obviously other people can set them up). It also supports more players (at launch it was 24 vs. 16, though I could swear I saw 32 player server s- not that I think the game would benefit from 32 players).


Maybe the reason TF2 died out so fast was because the 360 online was so decidedly inferior to the PC one, and the lack of dedicated servers was part of that.


And let's be honest, you don't need super expensive hardware to set up some servers. The Warhawk servers are actually PS3s (Sony showed a screenshot of the "rack" of PS3s at the game's launch). Bandwidth is super cheap. It is not that expensive to set up 20 or 30 servers for a game and the game can really benefit from it. I also think Warhawk, borrowing from the PC idea, lets you use your PS3 as a server without you playing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quidam67 /forum/post/0


I'll bet that once certain games start to decline in popularity then the amount of resource committed to that title (on their servers) is reduced and re-allocated to new titles.

This is true, and a problem, but its also a problem with some P2P games. For example EA removes support of their games after 2 years I think and those games are P2P. It all comes down to what publishers want to do, though I think it is very cool that on Live, I believe you can still go online and play a match of Whacked! or Unreal Championship if you want to for some reason.


And the publishers could very easily let gamers set up their own servers for games. On the PC, there are companies which sell computer time to people to set up servers for games. So I pay them some nominal fee (like $20 a month) and they host the server. Why can't a publisher do that when they are sick of maintaining these? Have gamers that still want to play set up the servers. If the game is good people will do it. So this thing is really a business issue, not a technical one.
 
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