To the fans of persistent worlds: ask yourself 2 questions.
- Do you have a server that is permanently on and that can host many players? Larian said they do not have servers. Do you want to check all the time what the players are doing on your server?
Yes, the dedicated server is require and we already had it (like many PW). Secondly, players can (and are supposed) to do their own stuff without a DM behind them. In a PW, the majority of the interactions are between the players, in many PW players could play for weeks without DM. In practice, several DM are connected every day for 3 or 4 hours.
The best way to imagine a RP PW is from the point of view of a MMORPG. In a MMORPG, you don't need DM to do explore the world, do dungeon or other stuff like that. If you want you can RP with other player and some players do such RP for hours everyday.
In a RP PW, the main goal is to do RP stuff and there is zero Out Of Character interations. But good PW also have MMO and SandBox system, like dungeons, resources collection. So when a DM is not here (mainly for interactions with non-playable characters), the player can do these MMO stuff.
- Have you ever played a game with 5 or more players at the same time and with turn based combat (one creature acts after the other)? In all games with pw I know (not so many, I admit) all players can do something all the time, they do not have to wait until all other players finished their turn.
I heared somewhere that Divinity accept local turn by turn, i.e. players away from the combat are not in turn by turn. The miss-conception with PW is that player are fighting all together. In PW, players are not friends or even allies, they can be enemy. Usually there is a main HUB, like a city or something else where players can meet. In these city, players don't fight and mainly talk (and even, in PW 80% of time, it's just talking). So the TbT is not a problem. When players fight (or even are with a DM), they are usually in little groups (it's why we need several DM).
Fight actually involving more than 10 players are quite rare and anyway just a mess. Instead of a big fight with wave of trash-mobs, i think it can be managed with lesser and harder mob, taking advantage of the turn by turn setting. In a PW, there is no reload the past savegame or other stuff like that and if you are killed during an animation or by another player, your character is dead, like really really dead and you have just to create another. So I think that having a Turn by Turn setting could actually be quite welcomed. It's never nice to die because an assassin killed your 2years character in 10 sec while you where looking elsewhere :p.
It's a little like i am repeating myself by we don't ask (or don't even want) that Larian create a "MMO DM mode" for Divinity. We just want the tools to create our PW, more precisely:
- Dedicated server
- No hard limit on number of players
- Flexible party system (different players in different party, with no party by default unless the player join one)
- Flexible DM system
For crafting the world, the MMO/sandbox system and all the other stuff, we can do that ourself.