Bungie explains the “client-based meets P2P” aspect of servers.
Since its reveal on May 18th, Bungie’s Destiny 2 has received praise but also illicited concern. Many fans expressed disappointment at the lack of dedicated servers, especially given the latency problems that occurred in the first Destiny.
To address concerns, engineering lead on Destiny 2 Matt Segur provided a detailed explanation to the hybrid servers that the game will be using. Segur first addressed the lack of dedicated servers, noting that, “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.
“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. To understand the foundation on which we’re building, check out this Destiny 1 presentation from GDC. Using the terms from this talk, in Destiny 2, both the Mission Host and Physics Host will run in our data centers.”
He further revealed what kind of servers the sequel is using. “Destiny 2 uses a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology, just like Destiny 1. The server is authoritative over how the game progresses, and each player is authoritative over their own movement and abilities. 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.”
As for whether this approach was taken to save money, Segur said, “Nope! We’ve invested heavily in new server infrastructure for Destiny 2, including using cloud servers for gameplay for the first time. We really believe this is the best model for all of Destiny 2’s varied cooperative and competitive experiences. 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.”
At the very least it sounds like it will be an improvement over Destiny. However, this hybrid technology doesn’t sound all that different from what, say, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 uses. And unfortunately, that game wasn’t completely safe against lag issues either.
Regardless, we’ll have to wait till Destiny 2 releases on September 8th for Xbox One and PS4 (the PC version arrives later) to see how it fares.