I am strongly considering supporting the dev of DU (pledge) and would like to ask your community a few questions before making that step.
1) For you to know where I'm coming from, I am already backing Star Citizen... I know many people try to oppose DU and SC or are skeptic about SC but in my opinion the industry would be better off if both projects would succeed. I say this because some of my questions are based on my experience and knowledge gained while following the SC development, but I’d like to avoid triggering a debate on which is better or anything like that. I’m in the “AND” mindset, not “OR”.
2) I really love the DU project from what I’ve seen in many respects. So I’m sold 90% already but I still have some doubts on a few aspects of it. So I’d like to seek your view on a few topics:
a. Network technology: my biggest concern with SC today is how they will be able to put 2 million+ people in one permanent universe (which I think you guys call “single shard”) and still deliver enjoyable performances for players. So far lot of interesting ideas / reasons to believe were presented to SC backers, introducing conceptual technologies such as “object container streaming” and “server meshing” and the likes. But I wonder if it’s realistic at all given the scale of the game. So, I would be interested to understand what make you believe that DU will achieve this challenge (or what makes you doubt as well) and what are your proof points beyond concepts (I’ve already watched DU videos on this topic and it seems still very conceptual to me).
b. Economy: How will be the DU economy be balanced and fair? As a trained economist, I understand the concept of economic nodes, markets places, and various actors (players, group of players) balancing the demand and offer which naturally leads to equilibrium. However, that’s very theoretical. I wonder how 10k players (and in fact much fewer active players at any point in time) can simulate a fluid economy that is not insanely volatile with many dead areas where demand and offer never meet, and that is not subject to the ruling of a few very large organizations. On that front, I have the impression that the direction of SC (simulating millions of NPCs to create market liquidity, coherence, and avoid that a few groups of players can own the economy) is more likely to generate a realistic and fair experience. I would really appreciate your view on that.
c. Social norms vs. self-regulation: I love the space for creativity that DU is proposing. This is a clear differentiator from SC. But with so many players creating so many things, how will the universe not become a complete mess at some point? How will the game boundaries deal with players imagination which may sometimes also break the immersion (“funny” shapes, etc)…
d. Laws of physics: How is your experience so far with the physical models of the game? So far, I am a little disappointed by the direction of SC in this respect. It’ very arcade and I wish the game took a more realistic stance on how ships are flying in space and in various atmospheres. There’s also no orbiting concept, as if the universe was flat and static. My best reference in this respect is KSP. I would be happy to know where you see DU positioning itself between those two extremes? How's your experience so far?
e. PVP: How will PVP look like? I believe DU value proposition is not focused on PVP but from other MMO experiences I also know that once PVP is on, it’s on. And it becomes a significant part of the game whether you like it or not. So I’d be interested to better understand how DU approaches this? Will there be mitigations for large organizations trying to take control of parts of the universe. What will be the risks for individual players and large organizations when engaging in offensive activities, beyond potential economic losses? Will there be a law system in place? How will such law be enforced? Will there be “safe zones”, reputation systems, etc...
That’s it for now ?! Thanks a mil in advance for your input!