|Nihimon Goblin Squad Member|
Nihimon wrote:I really liked one of Ryan's first statements about offloading the AI processing to a server farm that can be constantly running to determine what the NPCs are doing even while there are no players in the area.Ultima Online originally wanted t do something like that, but it became too unwieldy to have the server playing with itself when no players were there to care. It still seems weird to me...
It's an open question how the devs might address this, but in my experience it's easier to manage software when you don't have slightly different pieces of code that do almost the same thing. I see it largely as a choice between 1) having well-defined processes for interacting with the game-world that can be used live or automated vs 2) having one section of code that's used live and another bit that's supposed to simulate everything that would have happened. I would also worry about how much "server lag" would be introduced by having the server "play through" that simulation when a player first entered a previously unoccupied hex.
In my ideal MMO, the server wouldn't know or care whether it was a scripted PC or a live PC. Likewise, other players wouldn't necessarily know if it was a scripted PC or a scripted NPC, or even if it was a live PC played by someone who had some reason to want to appear to be an NPC, etc.