中央研究院  |  資訊科學研究所  |  多媒體網路與系統實驗室
On the Challenge and Design of Transport Protocols for MMORPGs
(NOTE: Sheng-Wei Chen is also known as Kuan-Ta Chen.)

Abstract
Although MMORPGs are becoming increasingly popular as well as a highly profitable Internet business, there is still a fundamental design question: <b>Which transport protocol should be used---TCP, UDP, or some other protocol?</b> In this paper, we first evaluate whether TCP is suitable for MMORPGs, and then propose some novel transport strategies for this genre of games. Our analysis of a trace collected from a TCP-based MMORPG called ShenZhou Online indicates that <b>TCP is unwieldy and inappropriate for MMORPGs</b>. We find that the degraded network performance problems are due to the following characteristics of MMORPG traffic: 1) tiny packets, 2) a low packet rate, 3) application-limited traffic generation, and 4) bi-directional traffic.<p> Since not all game packets require reliable transmission or in-order delivery, transmitting all packets with a strict delivery guarantee causes high delays and delay jitters. Therefore, <b>our proposed transport strategies assign game packets with appropriate levels of transmission guarantee depending on the requirements of the packets' contents</b>. To compare the performance of our approach with that of existing transport protocols, we conduct network simulations with a real-life game trace from Angel's Love. The results demonstrate that our strategies significantly reduce the end-to-end delay and delay jitter of packet delivery. Finally, we show that our strategies effectively raise satisfaction levels of the game players.

Materials
Citation
Chen-Chi Wu, Kuan-Ta Chen, Chih-Ming Chen, Polly Huang, and Chin-Laung Lei, "On the Challenge and Design of Transport Protocols for MMORPGs," Multimedia Tools and Applications (special issue on Massively Multiuser Online Gaming Systems and Applications), Vol. 45, No. 1, Oct, 2009.

BibTex
@ARTICLE{wu09:game_protocol,
  TITLE      = {On the Challenge and Design of Transport Protocols for {MMORPGs}},
  AUTHOR     = {Chen-Chi Wu, Kuan-Ta Chen, Chih-Ming Chen, Polly Huang, and Chin-Laung Lei},
  YEAR       = {2009},
  MONTH      = {Oct},
  VOL        = {45},
  NO         = {1},
  PAGES      = {7--32},
  JOURNAL    = {Multimedia Tools and Applications (special issue on Massively Multiuser Online Gaming Systems and Applications)}
}