MMORPG Browser Games

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a perfect combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games where a large number of players interact and play together in real-time. Alibaba Cloud’s robust cloud architecture provides a high throughput capacity allowing game developers to easily perform online scaling to ensure smooth gaming experience for players.

Recommended Architecture

Solution description

  1. 1. Static Game Content Acceleration: Developers can use the CDN and OSS to build an accelerated distribution service for static browser game content (textures, UIs, audio, sounds, special effects, etc.). Alibaba Cloud's hundreds of CDN nodes cover the vast majority of areas in China and some international regions and perform optimization for image downloads. The seamless integration of OSS and CDN allows developers to achieve automatic detection and delivery of changes to objects stored in OSS. The CDN provides API control, allowing users to conveniently preheat resources through the API. OSS can be used to compress, crop, transcode and otherwise process images in batches.
  2. 2. Multi-level Game Security: First, Alibaba Cloud Anti-DDoS defenses are provided through Alibaba Cloud Security Services highly protected IP address and ESN featured. Second, Alibaba Cloud's Security WAF product provides web security defenses for browser game servers and sites, effectively preventing hackers from using web vulnerabilities for infiltration and penetration. The SCAN product regularly performs vulnerability scans and vulnerability analysis on servers. In addition, some anti-plug-in policies are added in the game service, such as parameter validation, maximum possible server reproduction of operation results, verification code mechanisms, etc.
  3. 3. Static Game Content Acceleration and Security: Alibaba Cloud achieves this purpose in two ways: using CDN and OSS to build an accelerated distribution service for static browser game content (textures, UIs, audio, sounds, special effects, etc.); and optimizing resource loading policies. The following methods are generally effective: reducing resource size, pre-loading, and loading as needed. The OSS service supports image processing for efficient batch compression, cropping, transcoding, and other image operations.
  4. 4. Partitioned Server Architecture: The architectural diagram shows that server-based MMORPG browser games have basically the same architecture as traditional PC-based MMO games. The difference is that the browser games rely more on the CDN for the accelerated distribution of large volumes of static resources so players can play and download simultaneously, whereas console games require players to download the entire game client before playing. In addition, MMORPG browser games can go without centralized storage methods like casual browser games. Rather, they use a specialized distributed method. Furthermore, casual and MMORPG browser games use different game server deployment methods because of their different server interaction requirements. Casual browser games generally deploy all game services for a region in the same machine room. MMORPG browser games adopt a distributed nearby deployment method like that for traditional console games.
  5. 5. Dedicated Regional Server Databases: For a MMORPG browser games server, its data layer is usually equipped with a dedicated database for a single region that at least enables primary/secondary disaster recovery for database services. Games that frequently have a single server online must set up a data cache layer to lower the database read/write requirements.

Solution Driven

Many gamers want to be able to play their games anytime, anywhere. This is the most prominent advantage provided by browser games. In terms of gameplay, browser games are primarily divided into traditional MMORPG games and casual games. Casual games are the more popular type and include farming, music, business and racing games. These casual browser games have relatively low hardware requirements. Generally, gamers can use low-configuration computers or netbooks to play these games through a browser as long as they have Internet access. Browser game developers face several core technical challenges:
Alibaba Cloud provides a cloud computing platform to address the needs and challenges faced by browser games. This solution provides the following advantages:
Game Security
Secure and Stable Game Servers
Browser games often include many automated gameplay aspects with very little interaction required from players. This leaves a space for the use of plug-ins. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce mechanisms to prevent players from using plug-ins to reap massive in-game benefits in a short time, thereby affecting the balance of the game's value system. Attacks pose another security risk. Browser games are the most vulnerable to attacks.
Through the protection offered by Alibaba Cloud Anti-DDoS IP addresses, WAF, penetration testing, and other Alibaba Cloud security services, the risk of frequent attacks on browser game servers can be avoided. This provides gamers with a more stable game service, while a series of anti-plug-in policies ensure a level playing field.
Elastic Resource Scalability
Elastic Resource Scalability
Casual social browser games are generally run on a social network. Some highly popular games experience a rapid surge of users. MMORPG games also constantly launch new servers to attract new players. In addition, browser games are usually short-lived. After a time, players become less active and gradually stop playing. Browser games also experience high and low peak periods, so they require server resources that support quick and reliable elastic scaling.
By combining Alibaba Cloud Server Load Balancer and ESS, developers can easily perform automatic online scaling for game logic servers to respond to sudden changes, such as the increased pressure on servers caused by drastic changes in the number of game users. This can also help users most efficiently use server resources.
Large Offline Interaction Data Read/Write Volume
Distributed Databases Supporting High Concurrent Access
To enhance user loyalty, SNS browser games generally all add offline gameplay aspects based on the relationship chain of social networks. This involves reading and writing large amounts of offline interaction data (far exceeding the amount of data to be processed for concurrently online players). Therefore, the games require a data storage solution that supports the concurrent reading/writing of mass data.
The Alibaba Cloud high-performance Relational Database Service and Distributed Relational Database Service combine to provide a database service supporting high concurrent read/write and horizontal extensions. In addition, database capacity and specifications can be flexibly adjusted according to different service cycles.
Static Game Content Acceleration Problem
Stable Static Game Content Acceleration
Browser games are non-client games, players must simultaneously play and download. This requires developers to combine download acceleration for some game content with dynamic resource loading policies in order to improve the gaming experience.
The Alibaba Cloud CDN possesses rich node resources and excellent image download performance. Combined with the Object Storage Service (OSS), it creates an integrated system for the storage, processing, and distribution of static browser game content. This provides convenient image processing and nearby download capability with a super-high throughput, delivering a stable and fast gaming experience for players. Moreover, the solution effectively reduces bandwidth and traffic costs.
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