Almost any time a discussion about EVE Online
comes up, one way or another we end up talking about the server. EVE Online
is unique among today's most popular MMOs for its single-server approach. While most MMOs deal with large number of users by starting up large numbers of separate servers with identical game universes, EVE
maintains only a single copy of its game universe on a massive cluster of servers. CCP
's decision to go with a server model that doesn't use any sharding or instancing whatsoever has had a major impact on in-game activities and how the game has developed.
Unfortunately for CCP, maintaining their vision of a single game universe has proven a lot more difficult and costly than anyone anticipated. Working with IBM, the EVE
server cluster is maintained in London and is currently the largest supercomputer employed in the gaming industry
. Even with this massive power behind the EVE
universe, there are still problems as CCP tries to keep the server upgraded ahead of its ever-expanding playerbase.
In this article, I discuss the unique gameplay that is possible thanks to EVE
's server model, the problems the server currently faces and what CCP is planning to do about it.