I originally submitted this post to /r/DualUniverse (which you should totally check out if you frequent reddit) but considering this forum gets more attention I figured it would be best to post it here as well.
So if you're a fan of MMOs or Sci-Fi games in general you probably noticed a post on /r/gaming about a possible $1,000,000 battle that was gonna go down in EVE Online. It blew up and even made national news in Canada. https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/7sa25p/after_15_years_eve_online_is_having_its_first/
Now for those who followed the event (or if you were like me you were there personally), while it was intriguing to watch and talk about it was clear that overall it was a pretty big bust. Granted, the reddit post in question somewhat predicted this, what couldn't be predicted was all of the server issues that would plague this battle. Being that EVE is a big influencer of DU and another sandbox Sci-Fi game, I want to address some of the mechanical and server-side issues that came up and what they mean for DU.
There's more reasons then just the server as to why not a whole lot happened but I really won't go into detail about them since they aren't important. This battle broke the previous record of pilots in one single system with a peak of somewhere around 6,100. That's HUGE, it may not seem like many but when you consider most modern MMO's aren't single-shard and that many games in general can't support more than 64 dudes in one instance, it's really quite impressive. Over 6,000 people in one place and as a result the server node, which was heavily reinforced by CCP, shit the the bed. So generally when a server node is under a lot of stress the game will automatically start to slow down so the server can keep up with all the calculations. This is referred to as Time Dilation, or TiDi for short.
Tidi can slow down the action down to less than 10% real time which means actions can easily take 10 times longer. Once the server gets past 10% tidi it begins prioritizing certain commands over others and that's when shit starts breaking, client crashes are frequent and modules break resorting you to spamming them hoping they turn on or off accordingly. The reason the fight ended prematurely is because carriers couldn't replace lost fighters due to server lag. Needless to say, even on lowest graphics settings (which is necessary in these fights), your framerate will be awful. Still, the fact 6,000 people were in one place and the sever had to calculate all of the actions of those players and their drones/fighters and the node didn't crash is somewhat impressive. Before Tidi the server would simply crash under too much load.
So I wanna raise a similar question regarding Dual Universe. Now I know the technology EVE was built on is outdated, and even tho server hardware has been upgraded over the years, the game still runs on a single core rather than multi-threading. Switching over to multi-threading would mean having to rebuild the game from the ground up. Dual Universe has the privilege of being developed today where the tech is better rather than 2003. Hell, Novaquark have even released videos displaying stress tests of how well the game handles a lot of people in one place. While impressive, it doesn't necessarily put all my doubts to rest. Calculating 1,000 people walking around in a small area isn't quite the same as 6,000 people shooting at each other among other things.
It could be argued that due to EVE's focus on PvP that those sort of fights are more prone to happen in EVE than in a less PvP focused game like DU. However being that it's a sandbox title, by nature anything can happen. Players generally like to work together to forge massive empires and alliances full of thousands of people. And naturally, wars will break out because let's face it video game wars are fun. It's not unreasonable to think that a fight like this could happen in DU if the pieces fall into place. What I'm wondering is if the game can handle it, obviously we don't really know as of yet, but I think it's worth being discussed.