To support all those players, MMOGs need large-scale game worlds, and servers to connect players to those worlds. Some games have all of their servers connected so all players are connected in a shared universe. Others have copies of their starting game world put on different servers, called "shards", for a sharded universe. Shards got their name from Ultima Online, where in the story, the shards of Mondain's gem created the duplicate worlds.
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