[DAO:01982bf] Should Decentraland transition to a single realm?

by 0x5e5d9d1dfd87e9b8b069b8e5d708db92be5ade99 (paralax)

The Problem

Decentraland currently operates with multiple realms, presenting a challenge in understanding how to meet other users within the virtual world. To successfully connect with another user, one must understand realms, realm navigations, location coordinates, and the concept of islands or user clusters, all these must match in order for a user to be able to interact with a friend. This fragmentation hinders the platform’s potential for social engagement, collaboration, and the sense of a unified metaverse experience. There have been press reports that highlighted instances where high-profile events hosted in Decentraland did not witness expected user numbers or engagement due to participants unintentionally joining realms with a low user base.


The proposal is to transition from the current 11 realms in Decentraland to a unified single realm. This initiative aims to address a critical weak point in the platform by significantly improving how users are grouped in the world and removing a layer of complexity caused by the segregation of realms. While transitioning to a single realm would require a new centralized communication service, the commitment is to maintain decentralization by making the single realm service open source and easy to launch, allowing anyone to operate their own realm. On the other hand, the Catalysts will continue to exist and be in charge of managing the decentralized content. The cost of the single realm service will be covered by Decentraland Foundation using the existing LiveKit Cloud solution and might be transferred to the DAO in the future.
As this implementation implies protocol changes, it will go through a three-stage governance process.

Today the catalyst nodes have two responsibilities:

  • Decentralized Content Storage: Ensuring the content of Decentraland will be replicated and live forever.
  • Real-time Communications (Realms): Grouping users, messaging, voicechat, etc.

Nowadays a user can only interact with another user connected to the same catalyst.

The proposed solution is to move the communications service out of the Catalysts nodes to a centralized, highly replicated, service that will receive all platform users’ positions and be able to group them based on their location, regardless of the catalyst node that they are using for content management.


  • Unified and Connected Metaverse: A single realm fosters a more unified and connected metaverse, enabling users to seamlessly interact, collaborate, and engage with each other.
  • Enhanced User Experience: With a single realm, users no longer have to navigate multiple realms to meet with friends, reducing confusion and complexity. This streamlined experience improves user satisfaction, encourages longer engagement periods, and makes the platform more accessible and appealing to new users.
  • Cost Reduction for Catalyst Owners: Currently, each node owner must maintain a LiveKit Cloud account or host a LiveKit cluster, incurring infrastructure costs. Transitioning to a single realm eliminates the need for individual node owners to bear these expenses, resulting in cost savings for community members.
  • Although the solution may appear more centralized, the reality is that most real-time communications are currently managed by a few LiveKit instances. Unifying these instances with the single realm service enables the implementation of the single realm model.
  • Simpler and More Accurate Hot-Scenes Calculation: Currently each catalyst node must gather communication information from all nodes in the network and perform its own hot-scenes calculations, resulting in potential delays and slight variations in the data across realms. A single-realm model reduces the number of necessary requests and increases the accuracy and consistency of real-time data.
  • Transition to a Single realm
  • Keep 11 realms
  • Invalid question/options

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot


With a single realm, users no longer have to navigate multiple realms to meet with friends, reducing confusion and complexity.


i’d like to hear from @HPrivakos before voting on this :bat: :rotating_light:


I cannot stand trying to play a game inside DCL with others around, I accidentally click other people and get their passports…shoving everyone in one realm will be a nightmare for some games. But if you do insist on doing this horrible idea, please at least bring back the option for those with VPN plugins in browsers to be ghosts, dont see others and others dont see you. I know I am the minority here, but not everyone enjoys being around others, I want to grind my games in peace and quiet without seeing anyone else. Not to mention every large event or music festival has proven that DCL is incapable of having everyone in the same realm without serious lag and crashing. Those of us who pay to play certain games will enter the game, lag and crash, forcing us to lose the payment we made to enter. This is just a really horrible idea proposed by a small few with enormous VP, it does not reflect the will of the masses.

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how about two realms?

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I like the idea of cleaning up the number realms but is this actually possible to only have one right now? When it gets super busy, I have been redirected to other realms or I experience lagging or often get bumped out completely. I am voting invalid because I would prefer a choice other than one or no change at all. Maybe something like 2-4 realms? I am happy to change my vote to yes if I can be assured that there would not be issues when there are major events with a lot of attendees.

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Same as what @DedHeadJ has suggested, I second the idea of reducing to approx 4 or 5 realms. While I don’t see a need for 11 realms that have almost half occupied by single number users, there are times when the main realm gets congested in a particular event, the only way to participate in it is to go to another realm.

I experienced that during the Doritos event, and it’s definitely not issues with my CPU as I usually play AAA games at max settings

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Decentraland serves as a 3D social network, focusing on connecting people and facilitating the sharing of content and experiences, the value is in being connected rather than in being solo. While there may be other technical challenges present, they are not directly relevant to the purpose of this poll.

Experiences in big events and things like latency or lag have significantly been improved, the new comms over LiveKit implementation has even enabled people to use the voice chat when connected to a crowd, a thing that was not possible over P2P.

In terms of navigation within the virtual world, it is entirely feasible to offer options for both solo exploration or with users interaction. If you feel there is value in having a way for solo exploration please create a poll with the value propositions. If the community expresses acceptance and support for you, its implementation can be considered.

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If this proposal is approved, will deep dive on the details of its implementation. It is important to note that transitioning to a single realm does not imply a reduction in computing resources. The single realm service would consist of multiple instances with a load balancer, potentially incorporating regional affinity to optimize performance.

The existing functionality for content management, including downloading the virtual world and uploading changes, will remain intact. These processes will continue to operate as they currently do. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the communication service responsible for facilitating data exchange between users is already shared among multiple catalyst nodes.

Therefore, while the transition to a single realm presents new considerations, it does not diminish the available computing resources. The focus will be on configuring the single realm service for optimal performance and ensuring the seamless continuation of existing functionalities within the Decentraland ecosystem.

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From this response I see its time for me to list all my wearables and leave this community. So much for a community of acceptance, guess my kind are not welcome here. Some people are in DCL solely to play games solo, not for the social interaction. I have tolerated the forced social interaction up to this point because I could always change realms and get away from people. But if this will no longer be an option and DCL refuses to return the VPN Ghosting, then I have no choice but to leave. I never use the voice chat, cant stand how the chat box interferes with the UI of games within DCL (pops open when you hover mouse in that area), chat box needs to remain closed unless player presses ENTER or clicks to open it. I only tolerate social interaction in DCL for hour per week while listening to a DJ perform, but even that tiny interaction makes my skin crawl.

The only thing that would keep me in this community is an option in the DCL settings for solo mode, some sort of toggle switch defaulted to OFF for the noobs that join, but allows those few of us that want the solo experience the option to stay in DCL. It would be a waste of time to submit a proposal for that because a handful of people hold all the voting power and can do whatever they want, so much for decentralization.

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The idea of having a solo mode in Decentraland can be on the table. I’m not entirely sure if it’s something many users would be interested in, but hey, if there’s a real concern within the community, why not give it a shot? This single-realm concept could offer a solo mode where you can either dive into the virtual world with others or have the whole place to yourself.

Regarding the Voting Power, I’m personally backing this initiative, and my VP is sitting at a solid 150. The main goal here is to throw the idea out there, gather feedback, and make decisions based on what you all think. Decentraland is shaped by the community, so your opinions and preferences really matter.

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Hey @BaconGrease :wave: What do you think about this ?

This single-realm concept could offer a solo mode where you can either dive into the virtual world with others or have the whole place to yourself.

Thank you for this initiative, please consider Community members opinion here in comments.

Hey please give it a try, stay in our Community.

The only thing that would keep me in this community is an option in the DCL settings for solo mode, some sort of toggle switch defaulted to OFF for the noobs that join, but allows those few of us that want the solo experience the option to stay in DCL.

I support this idea.

OK I think this is totally possible, it would be exploring Decentraland without being connected to comms so a user would not receive any nearby chat messages or see any users around.

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Exactly my point, the entire idea would have to be put up for a vote, a dozen people will say NO, it will not pass.

I will stay in DCL if there is way to solo, but without that option I cannot play the games I love here.

This will be a tough decision. Even with multiple realms, we still experienced lag and delay issues.
If we want to expand to millions of users, similar to Roblox, I believe multiple realm is required.

Personal opinion only. Not a ChatGPT.

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I agree with @BaconGrease here!
If DCL did go to a single realm (if its even possible without creating too much lag for players) then there should 100% be a feature for players to explore DCL in solo-mode and have the ability to turn the chat off without it popping up from simply the mouse clicking above its area.


I’ve voted no, from a pure technical aspect here while I’d appreciate a better solution, if there is any at all. I’m just quoting the Wikipedia article of “MMORPG” to adress the general problem and - why I think - we have different realms/islands atm:

“One of the biggest problems with modern engines has been handling the vast number of players. Since a typical server can handle around 10,000–12,000 players, 4000–5000 active simultaneously, dividing the game into several servers has up until now been the solution. This approach has also helped with technical issues, such as lag, that many players experience. Another difficulty, especially relevant to real-time simulation games, is time synchronization across hundreds or thousands of players.”

I remember my time with the online Game “Elite Dangerous” which had the same problem. And they’ve used a lot of servers to bypass it, running unstable for a long time. It is not as trivial as it seems.

Maybe just increasing the number of players per Island could be a better solution, if the backbone can handle this.

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You can hide other users on a scene level, or even just disable passport AFAIK.

I have a big problem with centralizing a core feature of Decentraland into the Foundation hands which will then use a third-party service to serve that feature.

We need more technical info on how it will actually be implemented and if users will still be able to use a different “centralized comms” than the Foundation one.

Concerning costs for Catalyst owners, in most cases the free tier of livekit is enough for most catalysts. I’m self-hosting mine and it costs me a whole 10 USD per month.

If Catalysts are solely used for content storage, we might as well migrate that to IPFS and get rid of catalysts altogether, hosting IPFS instances to keep the DCL content pinned.