I have recently been playing World of Warcraft. While the game has much to recommend it, especially since they have a trial or starter edition that is free-to-play [up to level 20], it has a serious problem with its design of “realms” or “shards” as some games call it.
“Shards” or “Realms” of course is the name used for the “instances” of the server that are required to support very large numbers of players. These games are MMO – Massively Multi-Player – and “Persistent” which means that they do not place players in private “instances” of the game as they play. But it is not possible to have hundreds of thousands of players all playing in the same server at the time. How is the game going to solve the problem when thousands of players show up in the same town at the same time for a party or just to hang out on a Saturday night?
Well the point is that World of Warcraft solves this problem very badly. There are better solutions out there. Let’s look at the Wow solution and then look at some other games and see much better solutions. Continue Reading