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Which technologies would you use if you were to write a (MMO)RPG, and why ?

Would that be Java + AJAX + HTML5 + Linux

or ASP.NET + MVC + JQuery + Windows

or PHP + Linux + MySQL

or ColdFusion + Windows + MySQL

or ASP.NET + MVC with mono on Linux

or Perl + Linux + cgi/fastcgi

or C++ + Linux + lighthttp module

or Desktop client-server application

or WPF

or anything else ?

Would you rather use HTML5 or Flash or Silverlight ?

I would argue towards Linux + mono/ASP.NET-MVC + FireBird + Flash/Silverlight

The reason: Linux because it is cheap and customizable, which is a definitive cost advantage if you need to run many servers.

mono/ASP.NET-MVC because one can easily develop quite complicated things in it quite fast, with a defintive speed advantage over PHP.

FireBird because it has more capabilities than MySQL and a better license plus it's free and nearly as fast as MySQL, while PostGre would be too slow in comparison to MySQL/Firebird.

I would rather dispose of HTML/HTML5, because it's very browser specific, and replace the UI with Flash.

Flash because it is more popular than Silverlight and JavaApplets, although Silverlight would probably be better from a .NET developer's point of view.

I'm eager to learn whether somebody has (or thinks he has) a better combination

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This question isn't really answerable since the ultimate answer depends on so many different variables that are specific to your needs. How many total users are you expecting to support simultaneously, how many users per server are you expecting, how much bandwidth per user do you want, what kind of development environment are your developers familiar with, what kind of response time to certain operations is acceptable to end users, how many different server types are you going to be running.

And that's just for the server. What is your client going to be running? Do you expect a standalone app or do you want it to be a web game? Do you need 3d graphics?

Don't underestimate how much time you can save by throwing money at a problem (in certain situations). Sometimes paid solutions aren't as powerful and flexible as open source ones. It really depends.

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In my opinion, paid solutions are only necessary if you you cant deliver a service yourself, e.g. because of lack of bandwidth. While it saves you time at first, recurrent billing and lack of possibility to add a feature yourself are major drawbacks of paid solutions, and I don't think they are profitable on the long run. However, this is my opinion, and probably there are quite a few short-term people out there. – Quandary Nov 15 '10 at 17:23
Well sure. Instead of debating you on this I'll point you to this article that sums up some points on the matter. – Tetrad Nov 15 '10 at 18:55

The first technology I'd use if I was anywhere near an MMO project would be the technology that went into the pair of trainers on my feet. As I'd be running away from it as fast as I could!

Seriously, if you don't have the resources, finances, talent, and experience of Blizzard, the chance of success are incredibly low. Even if you tackle all the technical obstacles with some level of competence and create a shippable game.

The fact that you're asking this question hints at another programmer thinking 'OK, I've made a Breakout clone, I've made a 2D platformer... now it's time to try an MMO'...

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