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Multiplayer online role-playing games

The development of affordable broadband Internet connectivity has ushered in many more options and alternative for the gaming industry. Game publishers have innovated massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPGs). Examples include RuneScape, World of Warcraft, EverQuest, and Ultima Online.

Compensating for the Range of Connection Speed

The new gaming paradigm has introduced challenges as not every networked game player has the same type of connection access over the same number of hops as other players. How does one assure that connections are sufficiently robust so that gamers on the slowest speed connections have an equitable game experience?

The Online Audio Challenge

In addition, distantly located players interact with each other during the game in both on-line chats and in audio conferences. How does the game publisher make sure that the voice over IP connections are of reasonably quality such that the audio conference is successful?

How can you test MMORPGs?

The Maxwell Network Emulator enables game developers to emulate multiple players accessing the game servers over a range of connection types.  The game developer may dial in a "scenario" that emulates the performance of the connection under adverse network conditions for each gamer.  In this way, the game developer can appropriately characterize and provision the load on the servers to assure that each gamer has "equal access" so that fairness is preserved.

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