Except… you can’t have 500 people in the same area, and we’ve only had at best 100 in the same area during bingo stuff. Once you get past 400, you run into issues where the client can’t keep up, even if you have the beefiest server.
The other thing is honestly demand. Right now, as in RIGHT NOW, most servers don’t need to hold more than 20 at best except during events or meetings. Bear in mind that users themselves have to run the servers, and that is also hurting things a bit. The reason why Second Life can’t handle more than 100 is due to using potato servers and VRChat’s limit is honestly ideal for what its doing, where the servers rarely run into issues and the client’s don’t get overloaded.
Honestly, that’s something most people tend to forget, and that’s that shaders can be f***ing expensive. Having run around VRC for awhile now, as in actually running around, the safety system which lets me render base models and extra things only if I want it has shown that some people do focus on optimization whereas others do not, and when people tend to have the flashier stuff, having more than 30 people with all that extra goodness would most likely make any system cry a little inside. Done right, it can really optimize things and enhance stuff.
But here’s one final thing to also note, and this is one thing that I have to deal with all the time with paying customers: DO THEY CARE? Do they care that High Fidelity is a beta platform? Do they care that the controls are still troublesome? Do they care that you can shove 500 people into the same area and have a frame rate that rivals a flip book? Do they care that TheSpot was a near 400MB behemoth of a domain as your default starting area?
No. More often than not, no they don’t, and that is one thing that ALL domain owners need to keep in mind. Yes, you can have up to 500 people on a server cluster setup that will cost maybe $50 a day to keep going, but is that an ideal experience? How would such a domain be funded and organized? With upcoming Quest and Focus, does 500 people in a server mean the flight recorders strapped to their faces will become toasters?
Yes, having the ability to have so many people in the same area is impressive, but it means nothing if it doesn’t create ideal experiences. For what it offers with 30 people in a room, VRC found its happy medium where it’s an ideal experience without being too taxing on a system. You can’t really laugh at that without first realizing that it’s apparently a working formula. If High Fidelity’s ideas were really a working thing, then the numbers would reflect it, and right now, they don’t.