Subject: + Distributed Solar / Server System Management - The C.U.R.E. +This is a post/thread I made in the original Forum. I want what I said back in the early days to remain available as a reference in this new Forum. I have not modified this post in any way from it's original content, this does not mean that I necessarily believe that every part of this (or any part) still applies to what will come with this project, but I believe that it may still be of some value. Thank you.
Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:49 am
Perhaps a ( C.ore U.niversal R.egistry E.nforcer ) would be the CURE for managing Allowed MMO Assets.
It would be an aspect of Unimatrix 0, er, the Core MMO Server which would in some way manage the consistency of and verify permission status of solar systems which connect to the Core Universe.
Since it looks like the infrastructure will be Core server dependent as well as dependent on / allowing externally hosted solar systems to connect with and be a part of the MMO universe; I think the following processes may be necessary:
1. Any system (Server Solar-system) that wishes to become a part of the shared MMO Universe will need to undergo a Registration process. The entire Solar system and it's assets will need to conform to the then present allowed Standards and pass an Inspection (A copy of the entire system 'start-state' being delivered to an approved designee of the C.U.R.E. for secure scanning.)
Once a system is deemed acceptable for entrance into the 'Universe' a process will occur by which the location of that system within the Universe is decided. This will need to be done with care as the position of that system will become permanent regardless of it's future FTL accessibility (See point # 3).
In the initial 'Scan' of a new system some sort of hash or means of resource and asset measurement and recording must be done. After that, at the very least, some sort of consistency check must be performed every time a system attempts to connect again. It doesn't really matter how long the check takes, the system will not be a part of the universe until it passes a complete return check.
A system can only return to the universe in the exact same state in which it left the universe, regardless of how much time has passed. This will be chalked up to the nature of the 'WARP' (See point # 3). This is the only consistently 'Fair' mechanism that can be easily used by the MMO and the CURE. If possible, a 'Margin-of-Error' can be built in to allow for connection-data-loss, but huge buffs of fleets or planetary resources should be instantly noticeable in the check.
2. Any system connecting to the MMO would have to be designated as and vetted as an MMO-Only system by the C.U.R.E. and could not continue on as a Single-Player system and then return as MMO again later. The system owner could of course play an SSP version of a copy of their solar-system if they want, they just wouldn't be able to connect that version of it to the shared MMO.
3. An in-game explanation of and way of dealing with the fact that external systems can drop off-line from time-to-time or permanently:
- A Warhammer 40k type explanation (Periodic WARP-Space (Hyperspace) chaotic (unpredictable) storms and disturbances which make FTL travel between certain systems temporarily impossible by any means, sometimes permanently).
This is a solid mechanic for retaining believable in-game consistency which not only seamlessly deals with the real-world problem of server unpredictability but also becomes a fundamental strategic aspect of the game itself. People will then need to always account for the fact that access to or transport of assets in or from any particular system (solar system) may be cut off or lost at any time due to the turbulent nature of FTL travel.
It may seem harsh but people would just have to accept that any of their resources in "off-line" systems are just unavailable until those systems are "on-line" again. The game as a whole goes on in "real-time" regardless as it must.
** However; an Emergency game-mechanism can be invoked when a system has been Offline for a determined amount of time where-by all C.U.R.E. recorded relocatable assets in that system belonging to a player can be 'sent' from that system to the (at that time) nearest online system at sub-light speeds.
It will take a long while in game time for these assets to return to the FTL grid, but at least it will be possible to regain these assets again after a server permanently goes offline. This will only be possible because of the C.U.R.E. and its record of all assets. - This can be an automatic server action after a certain length of time or a wholly player initiated one, this will need to be decided.
++ Players should always retain the ability to self-initiate an Emergency Fleet Recall while the system is still in FTL-Block status (Offline). Once initiated though it cannot be reversed. They will have to wait for their fleets to arrive at the nearest FTL accessible system at sub-light speeds (whatever those speeds are decided to be).
Hopefully these few and rough guidelines show how it can be possible for a multi-server MMO Universe/Galaxy of the sort described for this Mod / Total-Conversion may be possible.
4. Solar/Server System Acceptance: [System Hosts/Lords]
Hosting an entire Solar/Server System in the main Futurecraft MMO Universe and having it be given a permanent set of coordinates should be considered a serious enough of a matter that only people who have shown themselves to be reliable and providing a reasonably stable server (performance, connection and up-time) should be considered as candidates for System Hosting.
Perhaps there could be a "Test-Universe" where applicants will be required to host a copy of their system map (Or a pre-made Test-Map, probably better so that people can't pre-scout a world before it goes live) for a period of time first to allow performance and up-time statistics to be gathered. Once approved the original system map as provided during Registration will be the one added to the Main universe, not the version used in the Test universe.
For the sake of long-term continuity; each 'System-Lord' (System Host) should consent to allowing their solar system to be hosted by someone else in the event that they will become unable to continue suitably hosting it themselves, or if they are found guilty of Gross-misconduct of some kind. They should be willing to provide the final (before Off-line) system-map to the C.U.R.E. Administrators for system reallocation. A Maximum Time-Offline for initiation of this process should be decided on. Ideally a System Host will initiate this as soon as they are aware that they will not be bringing the system back online themselves.
In the event that C.U.R.E. Administration is not able to obtain the final (before Off-Line) system map, an option should exist by which a roll-back, or partial roll-back of that system could occur so that the galaxy doesn't become permanently filled with Warp-storm FLT blocked systems everywhere.
- This would be accomplished by bringing the system back online with an available host using the initial system-map given to C.U.R.E. Administration during it's Registration process (See point # 1). This system will be considered/labeled in-game as having suffered a "Warp Distortion", causing a permanent hyperspace time distortion bubble around the system where-by anyone entering it from the present will be effectively going into that local spaces past, and returning to the present time when leaving that bubble (Or something like that, "Time distortion" is enough of an explanation really).
- The "partial" version of the roll-back option could be for a "Minor Warp Distortion" in which data from the initial Registration system map is merged with current C.U.R.E. Resource and Asset data (Including Ship and Fleet info). This might not perfectly restore the systems final state block for block but it would be far better than losing everything. * Having this option would also help take the teeth out of a system host "destroying" his own system for overall strategic game advantage (by destroying certain fleets etc) or pay-off or just Rage-Quit.
* If the full roll-back "Warp Distortion" is used then players should be given a fair warning in advance of the systems status change from just being in an FTL-Blocked Warp Storm (offline) to undergoing a full on Warp-Distortion (roll-back). This will allow them to initiate an Emergency Fleet Recall (See point # 3). Or this process could be automatically initiated by the Core server for all relocatable fleets recorded by C.U.R.E. as being in that system. - If the 'Minor Warp Distortion' is chosen instead then all resources can be left in that system as they will be available for FTL again as soon as the system is brought back online.
++ Players should still always retain the ability to self-initiate an Emergency Fleet Recall while the system is still in FTL-Block status (Offline). Once initiated though it cannot be reversed. They will have to wait for their fleets to arrive at the nearest FTL accessible system at sub-light speeds (whatever those speeds are decided to be).
Hopefully these methods, protocols and options will make it possible to maintain as stable a distributed MMO universe as is possible and maintain the greatest in-game continuity as is possible.