Originally by: Melissa Lyrus
Having thousands (or more) people effectively connect to the node with the tourny solar system in would lag it to hell and back. It's not going to happen. Not a matter of cost, but just impractical/impossible.
while this is true, its far from being impossible. just a matter of solving it another way.
intended to view-only, this ingame sub-client should only be capable of / allowed to read data and not write any. so we are talking about a single direction data stream - from the source node to the client nodes.
as the viewer only receives raw data (no video), he may interact as far as the client usually allows - say zapping through ships, change viewing angle, locking targets, etc.
without going too much into detail, this can be easily achieved in two ways:
(probably more and/or different ways to solve this, these two just as examples)
1. additional servers with the solele purpose of receiving all necessary data and relaying it directly to the viewers.
2. a chain relay or peer-to-peer backend, which seeds the necessary data to each link/node. any pilot may then get the tourney data straight from the node he currently is located on, no need to ask the tourney system node. thinking of the future, this could/should be implemented in a way where each node serves two other nodes (1->2->4->8->16...). this should be a good balance in terms of traffic/load/delay.
sure there are downsides as well, like needing more servers (first example) or having a constant traffic/load even when no one on that receiving node is interested in the stream (second example).
still both far better than blobbing the tourney node with viewers directly ^^
all depends on the full specifications tho, if you eventually want players to also be able to seed to multiple viewers, the system should be way more dynamic and loadproof - compared to the tournament solution, where you can utilize a static chain link map from the serving node to the reading nodes.
...and finally: as you have the ingame view-only client and do receive a raw data stream, it only needs a record button and you can view the tournament any time again. this should also enable players to record their own gaming stuff, for whatever purpose. send the last op by email to the guys that missed lots of fun, rewind and repeat scenes for editing/video purposes, whatever... =]