Massive Multiplayer online role playing games or simply MMORPG is a genre of game where a player of the game is exposed to an open world within the game, by formulating his/her own identity or character. He/she does random things to progress or play a role as a part of the story or hero character which influence the story of the game and settings. These games are “long games” with no particular end. Consequently, these types of games (because of its huge player base and data) are possible only due to high-speed internet connection and powerful mechanism, because it can handle huge number of players, which also interact with other players on the same game. Which give this game its name “Massive Multiplayer”.
Modern MMORPG games support millions of players online at once. With this sheer number of players coming online at once and everyone player their own role in the game without getting disconnected or any problem. Makes one wonder how the game is handled and how it works. We will answer such questions in this article.
The history of first commercial MMORPG goes back to early 1985, the first game that surfaced as this genre of the name is just a text based RP game, called MUD or Multi-user dungeon (later variants ‘Multi-User Dimension’ and ‘Multi-User Domain’). In this game players made a character, fought the virtual monsters and role played their own stories. There was also a text based active combat system in place. The MUD game became the basis of later MMOs and started a new era of his genre. Everquest, World of Warcraft are one of games which are now successful MMORPG based on the MUD. With the advent of the internet, and its technology. Networks are becoming optimized for huge MMOs. For example; World of Warcraft is now handling 14 million players now.
Science Behind It:
The basic concept behind is that the core elements of the game are stored and managed by the game company on their server. The user (Player) connects to that server with small charge or monthly subscription. The game client is installed on the console or PC platform where the player wants to play. The player has a high-speed internet connection and a subscription to connect and enter the game. So to simplify the concept, MMORPGs are the game environments collectively made up of a pool of servers, clients and players that are interacting with the server through client. The client is the program that runs on the gaming console or the PC. The server is the machine or machines that you connect to when player are playing.
A client is provided by the game company in the form of disc or downloadable data. It has a combination of playing board or user interface (UI). It also has nearly everything about the game files and world, like map files, landscape designs, and the creature models. If the condition for playing the games are met, your computer or game console will use algorithms, or sets of rules, to translate the game files into a representation of the game world and what’s in it.
The client also comes with sounds and advance graphic rendering files and options. Some games also allow the player to modify the UI experience through independently created add-ons. The client also tells the server where the players are, where are they going and what actions they are taking. The client will also tell the player’s position and location or other players and the data or mods or creature spawning. The amount of the information between game client and server is very huge. The information is also simultaneously updated with every player connected to the server and handling it all, requires lots of processing power, both on the player and server end. To play the game with the full experience, the player needs lag free fast internet (like Spectrum Internet), steering strong console or PC.
The game server has also several responsibilities. The server capability is maintained by the game company and updated according to need. The data that is processed on the server is as follows:
- It compares players and mobs, NPC and elite boss locations (in come cases even the environmental changes like the weather, critters, etc. Phasing in/out are the modern term used for this technology).
- It calculates whether a player character is in range of the mob the player wants to attack or not and calculate the probability of whether your attacks are successful or not.
- It also generates the notification in client if the player is being attacked. It also calculates the damage or healing done to the player or inflicted by player in the graphical figures or in the forms of change to HP bars.
- Reports how much damage or healing is done by the player to its party.
- Notifies other players’ clients when a player does damage or heal to their characters
- Instructs the player’s computer to display an animation of combats or attack, or death animations.
- Determines what loots or awards will drop when a player kills something.
Usually term “realm” or “zone” is used for the server. Most modern MMORPGs requires lots of servers. In advance modern age servers, player can allow to hop from one server to another (realm hopping). Sometime players are distributed according to their level and task (Phasing), in which player is doing a particular thing like player-versus-player combat, player leveling up, player not interested in fighting other players or player going through particular event in which other players are not involved etc.
MMORPGs require other servers as well, like login server, which is a neutral zone of the game, chat server where players and communicate, VoIP servers if player like to talk through voice chat and also GM (Game Master or admin) server, which is logged by the admin of the game company to monitor the activity of the players to maintain law and order of the game.
In prime time of the MMORPG, it was difficult to maintain the games due to the lack of good internet and server technologies. Now with the best client/server connections and blazing fast internets like charter internet deals. MMORPGs is becoming cheaper and easier to obtain with optimal results.