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.