TRB wrote:You're wrong about BF3.
They have a vast backend network setup handling just as much character data as GW2.
They have to maintain all the same level of log-in servers and the only data difference is in actual gameplay, but guess what, its not that much data, its not like here is Australia where we don't have unlimited quota.
They aren't paying their network links by the megabyte.
on top of that they use a browser interface which could well use up as much or more data as the character data in a game like GW2.
I have to dispute this. There are fundamental differences between the make up of a content server like Battlelog and a persistent MMO world. You're just thinking about bandwidth costs which are a fraction of the overall load. The reason MMO's largely require a subscription or ongoing funding is to cover the human capital required.
First off, and this isn't even taking into account dedicated servers for PC whcih aren't moderated or maintained by EA, offsite servers, the largest amount of people EA would have on a BF3 server would be 64. These servers do not have to be monitored 24/7 either, so you can almost essentially set them and forget them. Most server admins won't bother to monitor them unless there is a report of a cheater or the server drops offline for some reason.
An MMO server can sometimes hold up to 2000+ players, split across enormous zones that interface with other servers that host instanced content. These servers require an almost constant human presence of moderators and network administrators to ensure server load is stable, raid/event/quest content is operating correctly and players aren't harassing, griefing or abusing bugs.
On top of this, MMO servers are significantly more complex beasts - A BF3 server is a largely static empty field, where an MMO server involves NPC properties that may operate on scripting or an AI based free-mind algorithm. These properties are constantly changed and modified on the fly to improve gameplay, or as part of a real-time event that drastically impacts the state of the entire server.
MMO devs also need to introduce free new content on a regular basis, generally monthly and outside of a standard expansion pack system. This can include new quests, new raids/dungeons, loot, talents, abilities and so on. All of this stuff requires inhouse artists, programmers, designers and a host of other teams to roll out without delay.
If you're wondering about this, take a look at this great dev blog about how the team at CCP had to react to an enormous sudden spike in player activity thanks to the recent Burn Jita event. http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=2864
Can you imagine this happening in BF3?