Why Destiny 2 Doesn't Use Dedicated Servers

The game instead makes use of a "hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology."

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Following the big Destiny 2 reveal event last week, developer Bungie has now confirmed more details about the shooter in the area of servers, networking, and the PC edition. 

In Bungie's latest weekly blog post, engineering boss Matt Segur started off by talking about how the game's "networking model" works and why there are no dedicated servers. 

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"Every activity in Destiny 2 is hosted by one of our servers. That means you will never again suffer a host migration during your Raid attempt or Trials match," Segur explained. "This differs from Destiny 1, where these hosting duties were performed by player consoles and only script and mission logic ran in the data center. "

You can watch this in-depth video presentation from the Game Developers Conference to dive deep into the specifics of what's new and changed. 

Bungie said it does not use the term "dedicated servers" for Destiny 2 because the game actually uses a "hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology," just as Destiny 1 did. 

"The server is authoritative over how the game progresses, and each player is authoritative over their own movement and abilities," Segur said. "This allows us to give players the feeling of immediacy in all their moving and shooting--no matter where they live and no matter whom they choose to play with."

Is Bungie trying to save money by using a peer-to-peer model for Destiny? "Nope!" Segur said, adding that Bungie has invested "heavily" in new server tech for Destiny 2, including cloud servers for gameplay, a feature that wasn't used for Destiny 2. 

"We really believe this is the best model for all of Destiny 2's varied cooperative and competitive experiences," Segur said. "Engineering will always involve tradeoffs and cost-benefit analysis, but as a team we’ve got no regrets about the unique technology we’ve built for Destiny 2."

Destiny 2 is coming to PC, and with the peer-to-peer model, some might be concerned about cheating and other potential issues. Bungie acknowledged that PC as a platform come with "unique security challenges." But Bungie is confident that its security team is up to the task.

"Our security Ninjas have spent several years building a plan for how to engage with this new and vibrant community," Bungie said. "We have a variety of top-secret strategies to ensure that the life of a cheater in Destiny 2 PC will be nasty, brutish, and short. And, regardless of what platform you play on, all changes to your persistent character are communicated directly to our secure data center with no peer-to-peer interference."

Bungie believes that the frustrating moments where you might get shot through a wall or experience other glitches of that nature will be "reduced" for Destiny 2, but the studio can't say they will be completely eliminated, of course. 

"Fundamentally, we are trying to strike a balance between three hard problems: (1) make the game feel responsive, (2) make the game accessible to players all over the world, and (3) make the game fair for all. We’ll continue to refine that balance as players engage with the Crucible in Destiny 2."

Fans can test Destiny 2's servers for themselves later this year, when the beta begins this summer. Players can send feedback to Bungie and the studio says it will adjust the game as needed. 

The Destiny 2 beta is on track to start this summer, though a specific date has not been announced. We do know that people who preorder get in first.

The next big Destiny 2 reveal is coming up at E3 2017, so there is not much time to wait.


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