Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 45, Issue 1–3, pp 191–214 | Cite as

MMORPG Player actions: Network performance, session patterns and latency requirements analysis

  • Mirko Suznjevic
  • Ognjen Dobrijevic
  • Maja Matijasevic
Article

Abstract

Providing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) is a big challenge for future mobile, IP-based networks. Understanding how the players’ actions affect the network parameters, the game platform, and the overall perceived quality is highly relevant for the purposes of game design, as well as for the networking infrastructure and network support for games. We break player actions down into discrete categories, and show that each category is distinct in terms of several key metrics. We discuss which categories of actions could be supported on current mobile devices, and present evidence in form of a user survey demonstrating the demand for such services. The starting points into the discussion include the networking, session and latency requirements for particular player actions on one side, and the players’ interest on the other. The Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft (WoW) is used as a case study.

Keywords

MMORPG Networked game Player activity Performance Patterns 

References

  1. 1.
    Bergsträsser S, Hildebrandt T, Lehmann L, et al (2007) Virtual context based services for support of interaction in virtual worlds. 6th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. doi:10.1145/1326257.1326277
  2. 2.
    Busse M, Lamparter B, Mauve M, Effelsberg W (2004) Lightweight QoS-support for networked mobile gaming. 3rd ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. doi:10.1145/1016540.1016543
  3. 3.
    Chen K-T, Huang P, Lei C-L (2006) Game traffic analysis: an MMORPG perspective. Comput Netw: Int J Comput Telecommun Netw. doi:10.1016/j.comnet.2005.11.005
  4. 4.
    Chen K-T, Huang C-Y, Huang P, Lei C-L (2006) An empirical evaluation of TCP performance in online games. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series 266. doi:10.1145/1178823.1178830
  5. 5.
    Chen K-T, Huang P, Wang G-S, et al (2006) On the sensitivity of online game playing time to network QoS. 25th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications. doi:10.1109/INFOCOM.2006.286
  6. 6.
    Claypool M, Claypool K (2006) Latency and player actions in online games. Commun ACM 49:40–45. doi:10.1145/1167838.1167860 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dick M, Wellnitz O, Wolf L (2005) Analysis of factors affecting players’ performance and perception in multiplayer games. 4th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. doi:10.1145/1103599.110362
  8. 8.
    Digital distribution key to online game market growth (2007). DFC Intelligence. http://www.dfcint.com/wp/?p=14. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  9. 9.
    Dredge S (2006) ‘Most ambitious mobile game ever’ sharpens its sword for cell phone glory: GamEvil’s military epic Path of a Warrior could slice up the opposition. http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Mobile/Path+Of+A+Warrior:+Imperial+Blood/news.asp?c=1884. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  10. 10.
    Ducheneaut N, Yee N, Nickell E, Moore RJ (2006) “Alone together?” Exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer online games. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/1124772.1124834
  11. 11.
    Elder N (2008) Review of Quake for iPhone. http://www.appleiphoneapps.com/2008/07/review-quake4iphone. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  12. 12.
    Events (API) World of Warcraft Wiki pages. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. http://www.wowwiki.com/Events_(API). Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  13. 13.
    Fernandes S, Antonello R, Moreira J, et al (2007) Traffic analysis beyond this world: the case of Second Life. Presented at the 17th International workshop on Network and operating systems support for digital audio and video, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 4-5 June 2007Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fritsch T, Ritter H, Schiller J (2005) The effect of latency and network limitations on MMORPGs: a field study of EverQuest 2. 4th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. doi:10.1145/1103599.1103623
  15. 15.
    Johnsson F (2006) Mobility gaming — social interaction in massive multiplayer online games within a mobile context. http://hdl.handle.net/2043/4027. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  16. 16.
    Kim J, Choi J, Chang D, et al (2005) Traffic characteristics of a massively multi-player online role playing game. 4th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. doi:10.1145/1103599.1103619
  17. 17.
    Koivisto EM, Wenninger C (2005) Enhancing player experience in MMORPGs with mobile features. Presented at the 2005 International Digital games research association conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, 16–20 June 2005Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lady Vashj strategy guide (2007). http://www.bosskillers.com/cgi-bin/bbguild/index.cgi?action=view_guide&guide_id=88. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  19. 19.
    Massey D (2007) Lord of the Rings online: Ask Turbine #2: Exclusive interview with Jeff Anders. http://www.warcry.com/articles/view/interviews/askturbine/4647-Lord-Of-The-Rings-Online-Ask-Turbine-2-Exclusive-Interview-with-Jeff-Anderson. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  20. 20.
    Massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mmorpg. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  21. 21.
    Mobile gaming trends and Web 2.0; average session 28 min./day (2006). Metrics 2.0. http://www.metrics2.com/blog/2006/11/27/mobile_gaming_trends_and_web_20_average_session_28.html. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  22. 22.
    Review of Age of Empires for Pocket PC (2002). http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=1028. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  23. 23.
    Roy D (2007) Mastery and the mobile future of massively multiplayer games, M.S. thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Suznjevic M, Matijasevic M, Dobrijevic O (2008) Action-specific massive multiplayer online role playing games traffic analysis: a case study of World of Warcraft. Presented at the 7th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 21–22 October 2008Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Svoboda P, Karner W, Rupp M (2007) Traffic analysis and modeling for World of Warcraft. IEEE International Conference on Communications. doi:10.1109/ICC.2007.270
  26. 26.
    Tarng P-Y, Chen K-T, Huang P (2008) An analysis of WoW players’ game hours. Presented at the 7th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, 21–22 October 2008Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    The Measurement and Traffic Analysis in Wireless Networks (METAWIN) project The Telecommunications Research Center Vienna. http://www.ftw.at/ftw/research/projects/ProjekteFolder/N2. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  28. 28.
    Virtual economy. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_economy. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  29. 29.
    Wallis J (2008) n00b world reorder, part 1. http://www.spaaace.com/cope/?p=111. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  30. 30.
    World of Warcraft® subscriber base reaches 11.5 million worldwide (2008). Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. http://www.blizzard.com/us/press/081121.html. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  31. 31.
    World of Warcraft Ace3 AddOn development framework. http://www.wowace.com/projects/ace3. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  32. 32.
    World of Warcraft API World of Warcraft Wiki pages. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_API. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  33. 33.
    Woodcock B (2008) An analysis of MMOG subscription growth. http://www.mmogchart.com/charts. Accessed 25 Dec 2008
  34. 34.
    Zhuang X, Bharambe A, Pang J, Seshan S (2007) Player dynamics in massively multiplayer online games. http://reports-archive.adm.cs.cmu.edu/anon/2007/CMU-CS-07-158.pdf. Accessed 25 Dec 2008

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirko Suznjevic
    • 1
  • Ognjen Dobrijevic
    • 1
  • Maja Matijasevic
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical Engineering and ComputingUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

Personalised recommendations