Published on September 6th, 2013 | by Ghost1
Are Dedicated Servers Really That Important for CoD Ghosts?
It’s been confirmed that Call of Duty Ghosts will have dedicated servers after Mark Ruben spoke during the Microsoft Media briefing.
While this may sound like a trivial piece of engineering jargon, it’s implications are far more relevant than people think. It’s worth noting at this time that the dedicated servers have only been established for Xbox One and PC at the moment, hopefully we will hear news on the PS4 sooner rather than later.
If you’re looking for dedicated servers on the Wii U however, well let’s just say that the odds are not in your favour.
But Will Dedicated Servers Actually Make Call of Duty Better?
Dedicated servers are becoming far more mainstream with the growing popularity of the Cloud and the vastly improved network infrastructure around the world. Their costs are still prohibitive, at least for providers hoping to achieve global levels of distribution but this is the first generation of consoles that will have these resources available from launch.
Is P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Really That Bad?
The benefit of having dedicated servers is not to be underestimated. Without dedicated servers, the connection over multiplayer is usually handled with a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.
This removes the need for a central node and allows the players to connect to each other with less lag, less lag leads to more seamless gameplay and less “ghosting” (Oh the irony!) where players jump from one spot to another.
Sounds like the optimal approach until you consider the architecture itself.
No more host advantage!
P2P networks set one player as the server host and everyone that connects to the game sends updates to every other person on the network and will receive updates from them also. This set-up is rife with potential failure as every connection has the potential to go down and a single dropped connection can halt the game from proceeding.
With dedicated servers, there is a central node that everyone connects to and is used as the host server. The benefit of this is that there is a single machine focused on only running server software, unlike P2P networks where a players machine is required to run the server side code as well as the game and any other software the player has running on their machine.
While this does add an additional point of contact for the network, with today’s technology these dedicated servers can process network traffic at phenomenal speeds.
This should manifest itself for games in a much smoother experience with far less of the issues associated with poor connections.
Dedicated Servers should mean less chance of hacked lobbies
Dedicated Servers would also eliminate one of the more controversial aspects of previous online multiplayer experiences within the CoD franchise.
It will remove the ability of those with hacked consoles to host games and run unsigned code which could give them advantages over their fellow gamers.
By hosting the servers themselves, Microsoft have ensured that the server software will run as it was intended.
Microsoft Azure Platform
Finally, one of the more critical pieces of information was the confirmation of use of Microsoft’s Azure platform. This global infrastructure itself brings with it a host of benefits available to Infinity Ward to utilise.
The Azure platform is an extremely adaptable environment, one that Infinity Ward can roll out patches and updates to with minimal downtime and with total consistency throughout the world. Its flexible enough to grow dynamically, adjusting to meet demand, ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, you can still log in and go on a kill streak.
Combine this with Mark Ruben’s earlier announcements where he and his team have dedicated a lot of time to refine their geo-location matchmaking system, the online experience for Call of Duty Ghosts is shaping up to be one that will set the standard in online gaming.
You may also like: