Max Users Per Unity/Photon Instance

Hey All!

I'm actually not really working on a project that includes Photon yet but been reading up on the product and just have a general interest in how it all works and how people get around some of the bottlenecks(more of a real question below). I've also been playing Albion online which uses the Unity and Photon engines/frameworks which is also made me question more.

When it comes to an MMO like Albion Online, my guess is they are using Photon Server for a whole slew of reasons. I'm curious with this setup would they have 100% of the server/network code sitting off by itself or would they be running headless and stripped down instances of the client to do things like manage AI navigation or other miscellaneous items.

If they do use instances of the client acting as the server:
Lets leave interest management out of the discussion for just a moment or lets assume there's a large amount of players all in one area like a main town center so interest management doesn't really play a factor here. Lets also just say they have optimized their networking code. When it comes to 300 people being in the town center is the unity instance much of a worry when it comes to can it handle all the messages and computations?

When I start thinking of cheat detection I go back and fourth(due to videos or reading I do) on how they would handle it as far as if it uses a Unity instance or not. When I think lets say some type of character that has a pet, if they are out in the middle of no where you really cant trust that a cheater isn't somehow manipulating the location of his pet so that has to be handled by the server. No problem.. Problem comes into play(at least the way I'm thinking) when you start talking about how do you calculate the time/distance/route needed to be traveled without having an instance?

I apologize if this is just all over the place. I've been reading a lot and just generally interested in learning more and how they accomplish certain things. I'm not necessarily looking for some in depth answer even just general information is good for me as I am able to dive deeper via searches or books that way.


  • I'll update this with my nonsense ramblings as I read things from this forum and others. There's TONS of information and opinions out there on this topic which is what makes it difficult.

    For example I just read
    - The majority of MMO's don't use Authoritative server setups.
    - Using Unity instances doesnt allow you to scale if needed (this is really what my questions/thoughts above are about)
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