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

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.

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Acknowledgements

This work would not have been possible without players that voluntarily interrupted their gaming sessions in order to help this research. The authors want to thank following characters of the European Bladefist realm: Aika, Belisarius, Bothari, Bondocksaint, Bethragor, Grinda, Durga, Kekin, Naimed, Othilius, and Vrisanaar. This work was carried out within the research project 036-0362027-1639 “Content Delivery and Mobility of Users and Services in New Generation Networks,” supported by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and the project “Future Advanced Multimedia Service Enablers” funded by Ericsson Nikola Tesla company, Croatia.

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Correspondence to Mirko Suznjevic.

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Suznjevic, M., Dobrijevic, O. & Matijasevic, M. MMORPG Player actions: Network performance, session patterns and latency requirements analysis. Multimed Tools Appl 45, 191–214 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-009-0300-1

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Keywords

  • MMORPG
  • Networked game
  • Player activity
  • Performance
  • Patterns