Warframe

Reasons they favor P2P and what you can do

Warframe12 - Reasons they favor P2P and what you can do
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Once in a while someone asks why the hell they use P2P-Networking and not dedicated servers.

First and foremost, I'm not sure if it's actually P2P. From what i know, players acting as clients are connected to the player acting as host, but not with each other. But someone might shed some light on that in case I'm wrong. From that point it's a classic Client/Server structure, but playerhosted with additional recovery when the host Exits(Host Migration).

So why are they probably using this structure instead of dedicated servers?

Servercosts. To provide reliable dedicated servers for all players around the globe, you'll not just need a huge Datacenter. You'll need multiple around the world to keep latency as low as possible. This generates quite some huge costs. By avoiding this and using player hosted games, they can scale the game properly. Both in terms of player numbers and finances. Keep in mind we're talking about millions of players the architecture needs to serve.

Otherwise we'd have a premium pass to use dedicates or higher microtransactions. Anything else would drain their money.

What can you do to improve Hostmigration experience?

Check if your router properly supports UPNP or forward the ports yourself (Listed in options) and check your firewall.

During a Hostmigration one of the remaining clients is selected as host. During this negotiation, at least one client needs properly setup ports to allow inbound traffic/connections. If no clients supports it, migration is not possible, as no one can act as a host. There might be other reasons for failing migrations but this one is crucial.

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About Upnp and ports and why you should check
Upnp is a protocol which defines a standard way of communication between 2 devices. The protocol specifies how the communication works. The endpoint (the device you communicate with, like a router) specifies what it offers/can do.

Read:  I finally figured out who the main big bad villain of the game is.

The game can usually tell if upnp is supported. However things go down the pan when software hits cheap people. In this case the manufacturer of the router. Some just don't care or use very old upnp-servers. My router had an outdated miniupnp-server a while back(got updated some month ago!). If this scenario happens, there is no simple way to check if things work. I noticed this when i added upnp functionality to a game i work on in my sparetime. The router would report OK after requesting to open a specific port. Sometimes it simply had not acted upon it and at other times the internal upnp-service had crashed and required a router reboot.

The only way to reliably check ports is to have an external server which tries to connect to the game and reports if it succeeded. Not sure if DE has this or if they trust whatever the UPNP-Device tells them. I wouldn't blame them. There is only so much you can do at times as a developer.

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