Game Development Reference
Before you start learning more about the various servers, it is important to
understand the term cluster. A cluster is a common server word (very much
like the term farm) that means that multiple servers belong to the same
In Figure 5.1, you can see four possible tabs:
n Master Server: This server manages all of the game servers; it is the
game world administrator. The server is the central data repository. Any
changes made to this server will propagate down to any other servers.
There can be only one Master Server in a cluster.
n Account Server: This server deals with authenticating (checking) that a
user has the rights to log into the game. It will also present the users
with the ability to select a character. In Realm Crafter Professional there
is no graphical account front end for managing users, but you can edit a
script called AccountDatabase.cs, which allows you to create more
complex web-based front ends to user account logins and payment
processing systems. Many MMOs require that users have web accounts
in order to manage payments and upgrades to their accounts.
n Proxy Server: A proxy is a forwarding service; it will receive a connection
and then forward it to the right address. In Realm Crafter Professional
case it is the only part of the server that is visible to the player, and will
direct the player to the Account Server.
n Zone Server: An MMO game is made up of many zones. A zone server
allows you to split up areas of your game into zones and as such have a
server represent a particular zone. This ensures that you can provide
maximum performance for the heaviest traffic areas. These are usually
main city areas where people congregate.
Concurrent and total users are two important words in MMO games. When a company sells an
MMO, the number of copies it sells is the total number of possible users. Concurrent is the total
number of actual users accessing the MMO at any one time. When figuring out concurrent
numbers, you need to take into consideration time zones (different users will log in at any one
time) and initial free trial time (more users will be logged on during the free 30-day trial period).