Get ready to grab your great axe, long-sword or naginata and set some heads a-rolling, because Ubisoft are finally testing dedicated servers for their melee brawler For Honor. Everyone, including people who don't own that game, can download the test client now then start helping them with that from 1pm GMT on Thursday, when you'll be able to slash around in the usual multiplayer modes but on dedicated servers rather than wonky peer-to-peer ones. They'll stay up until 1am on Monday the 18th.
If you do own the game and you've been getting annoyed at unstable servers, then I can see why you might not be interested in testing out some new, differently unstable test-phase servers. Maybe just sit back and hope that Ubisoft make the server infrastructure switch early on in 2018.
Ubisoft promised dedicated servers were coming back in July.
Booting up the test client will reward you with a special symbol to slap on to your emblem, which is the crest that serves as your player icon in-game. Completing challenges will net you some Steel, the in-game currency.
Given how stingy For Honor usually is with its currency (although I should say that I haven't played since they loosened the Steel taps a little), if I still played I would be a little tempted to hop on. There's a neat Beserker emote that I never saved up enough to buy.
Brendan recently interviewed game director Damien Kieken, where he asked whether Kieken would go back and warn himself about using peer-to-peer:
"What happened after launch is something we didn’t [see] in the closed beta period. It was news to us… Right now peer-to-peer doesn’t bring any issue in Duel or in Brawl, its more in 4 v 4 matches. But Dominion [the 4v4 mode of conquering control points] right now is the most played game mode. It’s one of the favourites of the community so it is also the reason why dedicated servers make a lot of sense right now."
It's a bit of a clumsily evasive answer, as are many of his other responses, though he is right that the server problems aren't present in Duel and Brawl. I spent nearly all my time in those modes rather than Dominion, and can't remember having any issues with them.
Will dedicated servers be enough to prevent player numbers from dwindling? Only time will tell.
You can register for the dedicated server open beta test here.