About bloody time: For Honor getting dedicated servers

Three cosplayers, yesterday

You know what they say. “Better a late fix to bring back some fans to your waning multiplayer medieval fighting game that shouldn’t have been built this way in the first place than never.” What? That is what they say. Whatever. The vikings and samurai and knights of For Honor [official site] will finally be getting dedicated servers, says Ubisoft. It’s a big deal for stabfans because until now the firm-but-fair-ish ahistorical brawler was running on a peer-to-peer networking system, and although the 1v1 mode of play remained fairly stable this way, larger game modes have been plagued with infuriating connection problems since the time of its release. Hopefully, the dedicated servers will finally fix some of those problems.

Ubisoft made the announcement as part of an in-house interview with two of the game’s directors, Roman Campos-Oriola and Damien Kieken. When asked why the move to dedicated servers, Kieken said “many, many different reasons” but then immediately admitted that the main purpose was to stop all the terrible things.

“…the main reason for us, is that we want to improve the stability of the matches on 4v4, and we want to have an architecture that is more long-term, that could help us more in the future for the things we want to do next. And then you have some very simple examples; with dedicated servers, you don’t have session host migration anymore, so there is no game pausing when somebody leaves the session. You won’t have to manage your NATs. You don’t have to check your NAT if you want to play with a friend or things like that. So it will also help greatly the overall experience of the player, from matchmaking to the game session itself, to playing with friends, and things like that.”

That’s great! The question of why Ubi didn’t bother to do it this way in the first place remains, but it’s encouraging to see the hint has been taken (although Kieken also says work on this “already started quite some time ago”). However, there’s no details of exactly when this change will occur, it’s just pasted vaguely onto the end of this “development roadmap” which includes plenty of stuff worth looking at anyway, including promises of four new heroes, four new maps and a new 4v4 game mode, all by the end of the 4th season of shtuff in February 2018. The dedicated servers, they say, “will take time, and it will go through several steps before we can release it progressively to the players.”

Also being added in the coming months of this year will be a tournament system for duelling and a new level cap, along with the expected outfits, trinkets and execution animations. It’s good to see the brutes of this fighting life getting some support. Ubi’s efforts so far have included banning AFK farmers and adding two new classes of fighter to the game, the Shinobi and Centurion. I’m not sure if that’s enough to bring this Berseker back to the battlements, but maybe one day I’ll storm the point once more. For, like, Valhalla or something.

11 Comments

  1. Cantrip says:

    If you have developed a game where you have to show a NAT indicator then you’re not doing it right.

    Only bottom-line Ubisoft would go for P2P on an eSport wannabe title.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      Not to defend Ubisoft, but I seem to recall reading that P2P is actually better (or at least not as bad as for shooters) than dedi for fighting games.

      Also do people still play this ? It seems to have completely slipped my radar. Don’t see anything about it anywhere, either positively or not.

      Edit: The Steam charts reveal about 1200 players in the last 30 days. Heh.

      • goodgeorge says:

        The justification for P2P for fighting games is that if dedicated servers would be used then the player closer to the server would get an unfair advantage as those games are so fast. I would assume that something like Street Fighter is much faster than For Honor though and as everyone who has played the game has seen, P2P is really bad for anything else than 1vs1.

        Steam charts aren’t very good for this game as probably most players launch it from Uplay directly.

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        turkeydrumstick says:

        Weeeell, technically I can see P2P having better performance since latency would theoretically be halved with all communication going player-player instead of player-server-player.

        In practice though, and especially for anything with more than two peers, in my (admittedly limited) experience it tends to be such a pain in the neck that it is simply never worth it.

      • zind says:

        P2P can be better if it’s well implemented, but ideally there is still a real server somewhere to act as the authority. For Honor doesn’t have that. I can envision a pure p2p scheme with a mesh-style toplogy wherein every client was checking every other client, but that would probably lead to some pretty hefty performance requirements.

        This article about Destiny was pretty easy to grok: link to wccftech.com

        • goodgeorge says:

          I had understood that For Honor has exactly that kind of topology you are talking about. Without a dedicated server that acts as authority and is guaranteed not to leave during the match you are going to run into problems.

  2. DeadCanDance says:

    A bit too late for me.

  3. vahnn says:

    Yeah, he doesn’t need to tell us why he wants us to think they did it. We’ve been asking for it from day one, stating all those reasons why it would be an improvement.

    The real reason they did it is that the playerbase is leaving in droves and they’re losing revenue.

    I’m really glad they’re doing this, whatever the reason… But it’s too late. I was hardcore. I championed the hell out of this game and got several people to buy it. And I don’t mind paying for cosmetics in microtransactions. But I’m gone, UBIsoft. Too little too late. There are other games out there. You should have listened from the beginning.

  4. Imperialist says:

    I confess, the only problems i have with For Honor are the godawful matchmaking queue times. Thats it. Matches themselves rarely seem laggy…was it really bad at launch? Because it doesnt seem “game breaking” to me. Then again, i remember playing games on dial-up so i have a high tolerance for that sort of thing.

  5. Pizzzahut says:

    Ubisoft are comically bad sometimes. Yeah, sure, invest in dedicated server AFTER the game has died. That makes a heap of sense.

  6. TheDyingScotsman says:

    I feel sad when I read about all these people who have had the disconnection issues. Only because I could never connect to matches in the first place! I would often wait for 10-15 minutes, attempt after attempt would fail and after a few days of this I gave up. I believe I played 4 online matches in that time. Perhaps it’s because I live in Australia, but I really hope the dedicated servers will fix this!

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