The problem with a forced immediate migration is that an Entity might be working on something tricky just then. Some use cases and consequences:
- Engaged in battle; delays/hitches during marshal/transmit/unmarshal during one of the most critical gameplay experiences
- Running a script; how to pack up an in-flight Lua or Python script? Turns out Stackless Python supports in-flight script pickling. Another option is to write your own language, and build pickling in your Virtual Machine. Pretty complicated, and possibly slow. What about temporary or global variables; external references. I believe Eve does this, but I'm not sure if they do in-flight migration.
- Being persisted to the DB, running a financial transaction; anything considered critical and fault sensitive should not be made even more complex by injecting a synchronous but distributed action. You are asking for deadlocks and race conditions in what is by definition the most critical aspect of the system.
- Do everything event-oriented. This means that there are never any Behaviors outstanding at the end of ticking an Entity. When the migration service runs, each Entity has become just a set of Properties. The problem with this is that content developers find event oriented programming confusing and complicated. They have to explicitly manage a logical context (what is this Entity doing over a period of several events?), or fall back to a state-machine mechanism that adds a different kind of complexity (and more tools). To make it worse, you can still have race conditions (who opened that chest first, vs. who pulled out the loot?).
- Don't migrate immediately. I think this is the silver bullet, and it is possible to realize. Even more interestingly, it is possible to *never* migrate, and that opens the door to using Entity Behavior technology that is not possible to migrate (e.g. C/C++ running on a Posix thread with pointers hanging out all over the place; computation that is only sensible to run on certain kinds of hardware). And the thought of not paying a migration performance penalty is kind of tantalizing. I'm going too far. In practice you would want to do the migration; there are tons of benefits.