"It's technically infeasible to retrofit an old code-base to use an entirely different database paradigm--the modern, effective, scalable databases all require very different assumptions on your code," he states.
Esser also mentions that the way engineers have managed server upkeep has changed over the last ten decades. "In 2003, when we wanted to increase the number of physical instances we had been running on, we'd call our publisher, wait three weeks to get the hardware to arrive, have their network operations team put things up, add the IP addresses to a bunch of configuration files, and resume each the shards," he says. "Now, it's a couple lines of code talking to an Amazon Web Services API, or something like" Esser's fear is that once you've erased the older tech on the new systems, you will still need to slog through all of the exacting, hands on management that Gold in WoW Classic
was left behind when George Bush was president.
"You really do not want to start running a set of old applications which needs a great deal of manual setup and maintenance and does not understand the new systems--it will just rot and break and require a lot of manual upkeep," he says. "Presumably at some point in WoW's evolution they shifted the server code to utilize newer programs, but it is probably not something readily portable to the old code-base, so they would just have to do it again from scratch. Esser states that there are.
"An emulated version of an MMO can be much, much simpler, if they're not concerned about an occasional cheater or bug," he says. "When the customer says,'I transferred here,' an emulated host will probably just say'Okay,' however a true server, assuming it was built well and securely, will need to do a lot of tests to be certain that the client isn't trying to cheat." It gets even more dangerous with player-to-player interactions like trading or server-side microtransactions, which can be easily hacked on multiple servers without the proper protocol. "A nicely developed server will have a great deal of extra transactional logic to guarantee nothing gets lost or replicated," he adds.
As soon as I requested Jacobs, (who is now working on a brand new MMO named Camelot Unchained) exactly what it would take to get an old incarnation of DAoC online, he said the biggest barrier could simply be spelunking through ancient hard drives to discover the outdated data.
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