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Client-Server Multiplayer for D3? - 04/30/97

 

>That said, the point is moot.  Outrage (or Volition; I can't recall which of the two is doing D3) has already announced that D3 will use the client-server model.  This means less cheating, but worse Internet gameplay.

I don't think this is a foregone conclusion, really.  Client-server certainly puts an increased load on one machine (dedicated or not), and of course that machine has greater bandwidth needs, but it also offers some potential performance advantages (disregarding the bonus of decreased cheating).

What if all the AI processing (a substantial element in coop Descent or other peer2peers like Xvs.TIE) was offloaded onto the server as well?  The clients would certainly have more processor time to handle packets.  Many of the lost packets in your average Descent game are not really lost, but discarded because the processor's swamped with game rendering, AI, sound mixing, processing earlier packets, etc.

As much as I hate admitting it, I've seen Quakeworld games with 10+ players run as smooth as a Descent 2 game with 8 players, despite its use of the client-server model (although AI isn't an issue there). There were lagged players, of course, but it didn't change my game because...

If Descent was made client-server, then lagged players would only be punished for high latency rather than all the other players, as seen in peer to peer games.  If you had a nice clear connection to the server, then you'd be able to wail on him onscreen and know that your shots were landing because the server is the "authority," not the lagged user.  Not fair to the lagged guy, but better that than to punish everyone to varying degrees.

Those are my thoughts on it, anyway.  BTW, Outrage is doing D3.  We're doing FreeSpace.  : )

Adam Pletcher
adam@volition-inc.com

taken from alt.games.descent

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