MMO server performance

I have been thinking about the performance of the mmo’s server.

How would it work, If there were 500 players in a Skyrim-like game?

Wouldn’t the particle system of water overload the server?

How much processing does it actually do? (I guess the animations etc. aren’t rendered)

Hi Mikolaj, sorry but I don’t get the point of your question.

Rendering “overloads” just the client, it has nothing to do with the server. The server has to send information about the scene to the clients; each client is responsible of rendering particle systems and other stuff, with an efficiency measure that depends on the hardware of the local machine.

You wouldn’t broadcast (probably) a particle system and the emitted particles transforms through a server. Things that are really for ascetics and not functional, typically are just rendered to the player for their screen only. You wouldn’t put a fire place into the inn of your game, then broadcast the flames positions, rotations, etc, because technically no one cares, so long as it looks like fire.