CCP Games title EVE Online is run on one of the largest clustered super PCs on the planet, with five thousand star systems and one or two million unique objects in play at any particular time. Their server system is so strong that they schedule a 60 minutes down time each day to run backups, and the system can handle up to 25,000 players ( and occasionally more ) without collapsing.
Due to the gigantic size of the database that players interact with, EVE Online does not lend itself to private server play, and there are no EVE Online private servers.
In large part, the lack of EVE Online private servers is a good for the overall play of the game. Lots of the appeal of playing EVE Online is the sheer number of players working at the same time on the universe. Because EVE Online runs on a single cluster, there’s never a choice, like in World of Warcraft, or town of Heroes, to choose which server you are going to be on based on the server your friends are on. You’re either on the peace server ( if you use English interface ) or the Serenity server ( if you are using the Chinese language interface ), and there are often ten thousand or more players on concurrently to have interaction with. There is a 3rd server run by CCP, the test server, called Singularity, and they like to recommend that everybody set up an account there to check things and provide input into the following development of the game.
Against this for Worlds of Warcraft, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of private servers out there, that will let anywhere from a hundred to perhaps a thousand players log in simultaneously. For WoW, this is a chance to “grind in private” ; if you tried doing that on EVE Online, you’d have a hard time hooking up with other players at all, because of the massive size of the database to explore.
In a real sense, private servers for MMOs are a threatening thing for the corporations that produce the games. Those games are pricey to write, dear to maintain, require paid staff to keep on top of things, and require a continual development budget and promoting plan. The subscription model you pay is what keeps the game being developed ; setting up “hacked” MMO private servers simply hastens the day when the company publishing the MMO can’t sustain the operation any longer, and has to close things down.
Happily for CCP, an EVE Online private server is a really difficult thing to set up for a home user ; most of the people do not have home-run clusters of high end computers, each with sixteen gigs of RAM, to try and make it happen.