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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2024-01-10 03:11:12

Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 4,369

Paired Server Concept

Motivating Problem: Some players feel fine with resettling dead towns and/or feel comfortable with massive amounts of scavenging from towns without any players present (dead towns).  That allows for nonlinear town development.  Some players feel fine with even resettling old towns, even if experienced apparently.  Apparently, they could care less about town development or feel that some town that they had previously lived in, didn't have enough development (the later I kind of understand... the former... not so much).  Some other players would rather families started from scratch and/or feel comfortable only with some to no amount of scavenging from dead towns.  These players prefer linear town development and new towns, or as Kotryna calls it "organic gameplay".  Some of this third group of players can get seen talking in this thread by forman:  Also, this thread started by Frodo: … p?id=10868

The third group of players runs into an issue, in my experience, because I don't wish to look a gift horse in the mouth.  And there exist complications like "well, can they get rubber supplies later and enough buckets?  Will they have kerosene?  Will anyone want to deal with the language barrier and get rubber?"  And "do you really want to run a charcoal newcomen pump instead of a kerosene newcomen pump?"  From what I could tell from Awbz, other multiplayer games do run into a similar issue of advanced objects getting thrown at some players without those players having taken the game's basic steps.  In OHOL, did anyone in your family either make a loom and feed sheep for those loom clothes in your generation 6 camp or do any sort of resource exchange/gifting such that they have some plausible claim to have earned those clothes?  Or did someone just gift those clothes to your family and (unintentionally) ruin the possibility of linear gameplay?

OHOL has traditionally got run on what can get described as a "one server" concept.  All servers, potentially, are the same.  Low population servers don't have different rules, or at least didn't until race restrictions came into play with Eve chaining, which spread families out too far for bi-directional resource exchange or gifting or stealing.  These days, bigserver2 and server1 potentially have the same set of rules.  I believe server2 does also: and perhaps servers3 and beyond would also have the same rules if there were enough players on one of those servers to kill off Eve chaining.  I don't understand how the code works in that detail.

In contrast, a paired server concept would run roughly like this:

1. We first have a persistent server like bigserver2 getting incoming players not checking a custom server (default players) for some period of time.  Maybe a week, since weekly updates got advertised.

2. The paired server gets wiped.  A hard wipe back to nature.  Then default players start coming to this server.  The server stays active for some period of time.  Maybe a week also or maybe something less like 3 days (not 2 hours during an update period... there should exist enough time for players to substantially explore the tech tree in a meaningful manner... that is, that can be useful for their family or other players on the server).  Then players start getting redirected to the persistent server.  The paired server either gets wiped as soon as no families live on it any longer, or just before the persistent server stops getting the default players.

3. The even numbered servers could be the persistent servers, and the odd numbered servers could be the paired, "start from scratch" servers.  Thus, if bigserver2 is a persistent server fills up, it's overflow goes into server2, if server2 fills up, then server4, and so on.  Server1 fills up, then server3, ..., server (n + 1).

Such a paired server concept would, I think, do something to satisfy the desires and needs of the players who want more linear game play.  People who resettle dead towns, perhaps, wouldn't get frowned up by the likes of me and others, since there wouldn't be such a conflict with those seeking a linear/somewhat linear style of gameplay.

Now, there do exist some problems that such a concept runs into:

1. Whenever a server starts up, it's basically no more than a matter of timing who gets an Eve spawn.  Genetic score is not tied to Eve spawns until there exist enough players on a server.  If we end up with feral/griefer Eves, that can be bad.  Then again, the game's advertisements said weekly updates, and before genetic score got tied to Eve spawns pretty much all Eve spawns were a matter of timing (following how using /die use to get used by some to force an Eve spawn or those who didn't like towns for some reason would /die out of them and then end up an Eve).

2. Players would have to accept that lineage length as not necessarily meaningful.  But, some of us, I suspect, long ago accepted that (even if we didn't say otherwise).   However, with such an acceptance a possible benefit can arise.  Servers having a natural pause period (for the persistent server) or an end state (for the hard wipe paired server) would imply that families could have a sort of natural goal.  Families natural goal wouldn't be some hazy, undefinable "survive as long as possible", which in the end is something for nature to decide since "as long as possible" can't get known from the perspective of the present, but instead would have a goal of surviving until the default players shift servers period.  Families that survived from the beginning of the restart of the persistent server until the shift period could get said to have "won".  Families that survived from after the wipe period on the "start from scratch" server until its shift period, could also get said to have "won".  And perhaps some that started in the middle of those periods, depending on how generous with respect to victory awards we feel.

The server as a whole could also get evaluated as having "won" or "lost" if all starting period families survive until the end period.  Or how well the server as a whole could get evaluated, more concretely I think, on how many families survived until the end period having started either at the beginning period or somewhere in the middle.

3. A paired server system would almost surely require re-coding. 

4. The redirection of players would need perfected.  There have been before, and currently again appears to exist some bug in the server split/merge process.

5. Long-term that would mean that if the game wanes a lot in terms of interest, it ends up with two servers instead of one.

So, even if Jason likes this idea and think it could make things better, I wouldn't at all feel surprised if nothing ever changed.

Thoughts?  Impressions?

Last edited by Spoonwood (2024-01-10 04:22:33)

Danish Clinch.
Longtime tutorial player.


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