Sad Tiger: No Dedicated Servers For Far Cry 3 Multi

By Nathan Grayson on November 20th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

You probably can't tell, but he's hiding his pain.

I wanted to make a picture of one of Far Cry 3‘s tigers crying gigantic crocodile tears (or maybe one of its crocodiles crying tiger tears – or just tigers) for this post, but I’m rubbish at Photoshop. So, um, use your imagination. Awww, isn’t that sad? That tiger – in addition to the fact that a gun-toting madman is cavorting about his island home and burning everything to the ground – now has to worry about inconsistent connection speeds and host disconnects. Truly, there is no worse fate. But perhaps there’s hope? While Ubisoft tied cinder blocks to dedicated servers’ shoes and hurled them into the ocean, it was fairly upfront about why it thinks its alternative solution will be just as good.

Admittedly, I’m pretty skeptical, but here’s what a community manager said to get a pitchfork’s tip removed from their most pierce-able of neck regions.

“The maps are hosted in ‘the cloud’. Same as in FarCry 2. They are not downloaded from the server itself… We have something called ‘Host Migration’ in place. It transfers the hosting role to another player automatically. It’s quite fast too. Usually takes no more than a few seconds.”

“PS. The decision to exclude dedicated server functionality was not taken based on concerns over PC piracy.”

However, the community manager did note that – as ever – stability will be based on the host’s connection, so you might want to brace yourself for some bouts of choppy waters. Beyond that, “anti-cheating mechanisms” were mentioned, though not in any real detail.

It’s difficult not to be disappointed about this, though. Frankly, I’m mostly interested in Far Cry 3 for its single-player, but I could see wildly inconsistent stability, lag, and even brief yet irritating host switches killing any sort of community long before they get the chance to kill each other. I mean, a lack of dedicated servers won’t render every match unplayable or anything like that, but it’s an extra barrier to entry in a world full of smoother multiplayer experiences.

What do you think, though? Is a lack of dedicated servers a deal-breaker for you? Are you currently or have you ever been a sad tiger?

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55 Comments »

  1. f1x says:

    “PS. The decision to exclude dedicated server functionality was not taken based on concerns over PC piracy.”

    Dude… we know, its taken based on reducing costs -_-

    • FeatherRuffler says:

      I don’t believe that is the typical mindset for (please don’t kill me) entitled gamers. If a company changed something from the norm, it’s obviously because they hate their fans and hope no one plays their game.

      • f1x says:

        Of course not, but since he added a stupid postdata about piracy, that was the only thing that remained in my mind

        Changing things from the norm is perfectly fine (surprise, I even like changes!), but that dosnt make it arguable or logical to change from dedicated servers to player hosted matches when we all know thats quite unreliable

      • zeroskill says:

        How is asking for dedicated servers (which have been standart for PC games for what now? 15 years?) player entitlement? If it’s anything, it’s a statement by the developer and publisher that they don’t give a damn about their PC player base.

        • The Random One says:

          Asking for dedicated servers doesn’t make you entitled, but entitled players will surely be bawing over this, and without a clear grasp of why it’s a bad thing.

          • SnakeTheFox says:

            Oh god, more people triggering my pet peeve: the “entitlement” people.

            It’s funny, “entitlement” is a word I only see thrown around in gaming circles; when you go to the movies and see something you don’t like and talk bad about it, you’re never called “entitled” for wanting the movie to have been better. Alternatively, when you go to a nice restaurant and order a meal, I’ve never heard other patrons call someone “entitled” for wanting a better cooked steak.

            And yet, here we are at these crossroads again, where a cost-cutting measure in a PC game that has objectively reduced the quality of online interactions by using frequently unreliable client-host connections has got people shouting “entitled gamer!” at people who would like a better/more reliable product.

            We pay money for things, and we can expect them to be better. Expecting these things does not make someone entitled; entitlement is a mechanism invented by the shoe shiners and assorted lackeys of game designers who are tired of having to labor through the arduous task of defending a bad product (or a good product with a few bad features), and can now conveniently sling the “entitlement” argument to silence dissent or counter-opinion in a way that confronts exactly zero of the criticisms in a positive or constructive way, and instead merely opens the way for personal flames and other assorted belligerence by taking the focus away from a games merits/flaws, and directs it at the character of the person with those opinions.

            Please, stop. You are doing the gaming community at large a great disservice, even if you don’t realize it. We’re better than this.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I can’t see how letting clients host their own multiplayer games without a need to connect to your servers would impede piracy. I don’t see how this is related to piracy at all. Sticking that comment in at the end there almost feels like he’s saying it IS due to piracy or something weird, in a “he doth protest too much” sort of way. I can’t fathom it.

      • f1x says:

        That was my thought,
        what about piracy now? even to say “its not about piracy” its infuriating because, what??

        The point is everything is silly about this dedicated servers thing, its not about innovation or anything, its just another of those “stupid ideas”,
        but I might still be proven wrong, perhaps player hosted matches are the best thing now, but I dont thing so even **if** they solve the problem of host leaving/host migration

      • limimi says:

        I thought it was more like ‘With our history everyone is going to think this is the latest step in trying to combat piracy after our stupid DRM. Let’s get that out of the way now then shall we?’

    • yurusei says:

      That last sentence snapped something in me. Causing me to be unreasonable, don a feathered hat and eyepatch and scour the jungles for a pet parrot.

      I’m a rebel with a cause. Arrrrr.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Ubisoft’s great at screwing up games because of the many myths about piracy it holds so dear.

  2. Jenga says:

    Yep, multiplayer is a complete write off now. I can’t imagine them making anything for multiplayer that would set the world on fire, even the co-op portion looks like a one time play excursion.

    I’m more interested in if they have options on the PC for other than setting your resolution and v-sync, will the FOV still be locked to 65?

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      Good question. *checks twitter* Yes they confirmed there will be a fov slider.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I can confirm there is a FOV slider.

      • Jenga says:

        Well isn’t that just the bees knees, any idea if it goes all the way to 90?

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          Or higher, for those of us who have embraced widescreen gaming?

          • pepper says:

            Its usually vertical FOV in most games nowadays(that I see). Among those are UDK based games. So if its below 90 on the slider then the horizontal FOV might still be 90 or bigger.

    • Stochastic says:

      Out of curiosity, what’s the motivation for not including a FOV slider that goes to at least 90 degrees with every game. Is there a technical reason that makes it difficult to implement? Does it relate to game balance? Is it because the weapon models are designed for consoles’ 80 FOV?

      • Salt says:

        So far as I know it’s vague thoughts of balance, but mostly fear of looking ugly. If the weapon model is drawn with matching FoV, it’s quite easy for it to end up being shrunk so much that you can see where the character’s arms end in alarming open polygons.

        There are also a number of graphic effects that become more obviously inaccurate at higher FoV. It’s fairly common to use the z position of a projected vertex as that vertex’s distance from the camera. But it isn’t actually the true distance, and the variation from the true distance is greater with greater FoV. You might have noticed it with fog effects in some games. If you stand still and slowly turn, objects that were obscured by fog when you’re facing them will be far less fogged as they reach the edges of your screen. As you’d expect, it’s more noticeable at higher FoV.

  3. mickygor says:

    So the maps are hosted on the cloud, but all the bandwidth and processor intensive stuff is shoved on the end user, probably against their ISP’s ToS… Great. Host migration “not taking long” still amounts to what is effectively a lag spike of like 5000ms, too.

  4. Mattressi says:

    If it being published by Ubisoft wasn’t a deal-breaker, lack of dedicated servers would be. I know that Ubisoft won’t support this game and won’t allow it to be moddable. Farcry 2 could have been something truly amazing if Ubisoft had just allowed it to be modified. Not even given us a construction kit for modding – just let the bloody game files be edited. That’s all that would have been needed to fix the entire game.

    • bucky says:

      I remember launching the farcry 2 map editor once. And i read farcy 3 will have one too … it wasn’t
      as mod frindly as skyrim . but at least there was somthing.

      • Kuuppa says:

        You could only create multiplayer maps with it, so it was pretty much useless as a modding tool.

        There could have been something, but in the end there wasn’t.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    Mhe.

  6. gravity_spoon says:

    I have seen host migration in MW2. If it is anything like that, then a deal breaker for many I suppose.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I can’t imagine that it’s going to perform much different from CoD’s migration technology. Which is unfortunate, but at least it’s there unlike some other games (*coughSpecOpscough*).

  7. elfbarf says:

    This is a bit disappointing though to be honest, I wasn’t even aware that the game had competitive multiplayer before reading this article. I was aware of the co-op but the multiplayer just seems to be included for the hell of it. I’m looking forward to the single player far more.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    Who cares? FarCry has never, ever been about the multiplayer. I’ll play it for the co-op, because that could be awesome, but death match in a Far Cry title is a bit pointless.

    • Berious says:

      Agreed, there are endless options for people who want multiplayer focused FPS. Few people get in a huff because Blops or Battlefield have tacked on single player. I’d rather resources were poured into the open world goodness than spent crafting the perfect MP experience #8213

    • N7Ninebreaker says:

      I had to log in just to reply to this. My roommates and I, in college, played the multiplayer for the first Far Cry almost every night. It was a stupid amount of fun. So, to say that the multiplayer has no function at all is just wrong. Maybe not for you, but there were people out there who had fun with it.

  9. secuda says:

    Well was not going to BUY it for mp anyway. untill me and my friend saw CO-OP nice extrta feuture.

  10. gibb3h says:

    I don’t like this trend of no dedicated servers at all, but people seem to be making less fuss about it now for some reason

    • elfbarf says:

      Probably because Far Cry isn’t a series that is known for its multiplayer. Not having dedicated servers in a game like Call of Duty or Battlefield would be a much bigger deal for obvious reasons.

  11. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    MW2 got away with P2P matchmaking because of the 50 billion players it had (I should know, I was one of them). And it only JUST got away with it; you could easily spend a few minutes fighting the lobby system to get into a game, only to have the game fail instantly when the host turned out to be running dialup from the Moon.

    Most other P2P games I can think of have died so quickly; Red Faction Guerrilla had a rather fun online MP mode, thanks to the destruction. And it was dead within weeks.

    That said, I’ve never bought a Far Cry game for the multiplayer. The single player seems to be the draw, here, and the MP is an exercise in box ticking. So it makes sense to keep the team focused on getting the single player right, rather than spending extra time developing the server architecture and browser for the multiplayer.

    • f1x says:

      I doubt there is a problem with time, you need the same match browser and all, you just connect to a player hosted game or to a dedicated server,

      actually, suposedly, they might have invested more in that host migration technology just for the sake of not having to mantain dedicated servers

      But yes you right Far cry is more about the singleplayer

    • TwwIX says:

      I waited 3 years to purchase MW2 on the PC. I still regret wasting the $5 on it. Matchmaking on the PC, especially without dedicated PC servers is a no go for me. These kind of games tend to be riddled with cheaters and all kinds of connection issues. Thanks but no thanks.

  12. bitbot says:

    Multiplayer? Meh, who cares… Singleplayer is the main attraction here. It looks just like CoD on a tropical island anyway so I don’t think it’s very good.

  13. Jnx says:

    “No dedicated servers.”

    Well that’s one way of making sure no one will play it on pc after the first month.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Makariel says:

    So, what? The part of Far Cry that interests most is the singleplayer anyway. There are enough multiplayer shooters out there already, one more or less on a tropical island won’t matter.

  15. hosndosn says:

    “While Ubisoft tied cinder blocks to dedicated servers’ shoes and hurled them into the ocean, it was fairly upfront about why it thinks its alternative solution will be just as good.”

    “Upfront” is very, very generous wording, there.

  16. Derezzedjack says:

    I found that out like two days ago and I canceled my pre-order. If I want to I can play the singleplayer in a year or so, I pre-ordered it for the mp as it looked like a lot of fun in the videos they showed. But no dedicated servers for competitive multiplayer? Seriously?
    Damn the consoleboxes!

  17. requisite0 says:

    Meh. So mod tools is just a wet dream as well?

    Damn you, Ubisoft.

  18. Beernut says:

    Since I’m not interested in playing the MP anyway, this doesn’t bother me personally. However, their reasoning for this step is peculiar. “TEH CLOOOOUD!!” isn’t some magic thing, where you can pull out maps at will. It’s most likely nothing more than some kind of decentralized cluster with redundancy and load-balancing mixed into it. Why they shouldn’t be able to build a dedicated server for the game, which deactivates the “host-migration”-feature and provides the maps directly to the connected clients, is beyond me.

  19. Ergates_Antius says:

    Given how dreadful the FC2 multiplayer was, I struggle to care.

  20. KaMy says:

    Having no dedicated servers is usually a deal breaker for me because you can’t expect a good multiplayer experience, even on a COD like game. LET PEOPLE BUY OR HOST THEIR OWN SERVERS DAMNIT §

    They have no excuses over that and more often than not if i like an FPS i will gather friends and we’ll make or rent a server. If there isn’t i don’t buy it.

    The only other reasons that come to mind is cutting costs for them, that they don’t want to deal with server updates and not make console player feel like crap because they don’t usually have dedicated servers so everyone else doesn’t either.

    Indie games like NS2 have it, or clever games like BF3 have it and it is one of the reasons that they are popular shooter on PC. Problem is their netcode sucks and you end up with the phenomenon of dying once you pass a wall and should be safe (and BF3 is a glithcy mess).

    Lately FPS experiences really are clunky so no wonder so many people stick to CS and TF2 they seems to be the only FPS to offer a good multiplayer polish. And hats.

    But hey they found something to limit problems, every year the games features less and less player. Soon you’ll only be allowed to play 1V1 but there will be no lag !

  21. sabasNL says:

    I’ve seen games where dedicated servers weren’t really missing, and I’ve seen games dying because there were no dedicated servers.. All I hope for with FC3 is that you can still join friends in multiplayer matches. If the connections will be fine, then I’ll have no problems with this.

  22. Symbul says:

    No dedicated servers, no buy. That simple.

    I went through that nonsense in Space Marine, never again. If I’d known beforehand that SM didn’t have dedicated I wouldn’t have bought that either.

  23. malkav11 says:

    It makes zero difference to me because I have zero intention of playing the multiplayer.

  24. Cryo says:

    Kitty!

  25. Ideas says:

    It really baffles my mind that people would be upset about this. Are people really excited about Far Cry 3′s multiplayer AT ALL?

  26. enderwiggum says:

    I played Far Cry 2 for about five minutes, then set my computer on fire in violent revolt. It was a _terrible_ game. Apparently Splinter Cell ain’t a good background for a first person shooter… I typically love Ubi-Montreal’s work.

    In any case, I’m disappointed that ’2′ _exists_, much less ’3′.

    Far Cry 2/3, who spawned you, and WHY!?

    Yick.

    • Ideas says:

      Far Cry 2 was decent but had some really bad design decisions.

      1) Respawning outposts NPCs were SO ANNOYING to fight after like the 1st hour of the game. Which contributed to
      2) The game-world was really tedious to move through most of the time. You spend like 1/3 to 1/2 of the game driving along really narrow roads. You drive a lot in GTA but this was more fun because of how much stuff was going on in the road (other traffic, pedestrians, cops, etc), and also you have a RADIO. Oh man the boring times I had driving a car in far cry 2 for 10-15 straight with nothing happening on the road and no sounds but my cars engine.
      3) The malaria stuff was dumb.
      4) The gun inventory/wearing down stuff could have been a lot better.
      5) Not much variety in missions: The objective is always “go to x and kill everyone”, and all the enemies are basically the same.

  27. Citrus says:

    OH GOD NO! I have been waiting to play this bestest MP experience of our lifetime and now it has been roooined..r.. ruined.

    Oh well, I’ll stick to not playing Battlefield 3. I bought BF3 for best SP experience and I was not disappointed by BLOPS 2.