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Call of Duty: Ghosts

Everything we know about Dedicated Servers on Consoles and PCs; What about PS4?

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Dedicated servers have been a very hot topic this week with the announcement of them coming to Xbox One and PCs. Right now the big question being asked is “why not PS4?”. As of now, they’re not ready to talk about other platforms however CoD Community member VIP, Adam (aka xMaccabix), wrote a pretty good breakdown of what we know so far which should provide a good hint on if we’ll see dedicated servers on PS4 or current-gen for that matter.

Here’s what he had to say:

Xbox One
Is getting dedi’s, These are being hosted by Microsoft using their “cloud” service Azure which has been linked into the XBL platform.. Microsoft have invested hundreds of millions into their cloud services over the last two years and have server farms located in strategically placed locations throughout the world with more coming online in the future. Azure is primarily a system that allows any company the ability to use an azure server for whatever they need, be it web hosting, distributedcomputing or in this case to host games.

To avoid going into technobabble, Azure comes with its own special operating system that can be implemented into existing applications or run as a layer over another system. This is why being able to utilize Azure for game servers on the xbox one is now possible.

At present and although Microsoft don’t readily publicize where their servers are you can find out roughly using a quick search on the net, but please bear in mind not all locations are made public so as with anything on the net take any information as a rough guide not as 100% fact. Please see further down for more information in the dedis bullet points.

Infinity Ward had alot of meetings with the engineers from Microsoft about their cloud services, it wasn’t an instant decision and honestly wasn’t one Microsoft pushed onto Infinityward/Activision. I know when IW first started talking to the engineers from MS they were asking questions the engineers didn’t even have answers to as their own systems weren’t actually finalized. The final decision wasn’t just oh there is dedis lets use them. IW really spent along time working out if it was both practical and something that wouldn’t degrade the online experience we all know and love and would ultimately improve it for most people.

PC
The pc platform is getting RANKED dedis at launch . Again as these are pc the servers will more than likely be hosted using the Azure system The option to RENT player controlled servers from a third party will be a feature possible AFTER launch (no date has been confirmed as yet ) but these will probably not be ranked servers. As Ghosts will have the ability to transfer your Character from one platform to another security of a closed system especially for PC is paramount.

More details of the pc stuff will be coming out shortly so make sure you follow @Infinityward on twitter.

PS4
At present Nothing has been announced either way for PS4, this is what it is. You should remind yourself the announcement for dedis on Xbox One was made at a Microsoft press event so obviously there would be no mention of anything ps4 related there. There have always been huge technical hurdles in getting dedis running for the console platforms something Microsoft has made a lot easier for Xbox one. Obviously for PS4 it isn’t able to access Microsofts system so to run dedis on PS4 would involve a third party server provider or for Sony to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars to build their own server farms. I have seen recently alot of people taking about Sony’s “cloud services” coming online in 2014 and wrongly assuming this relates to providing dedis- Their “cloud service” is Gaikia it is NOT a dedicated server platform it is a system designed to STREAM games being played on a server onto your screen. Gaikia will allow you to play older ps titles and to utilize the play anywhere service Sony promoted, but you should also bear in mind this service is streamed so it will have inherent latency issues attached to it as any control action has to go to the server first. This isn’t to say Sony dont have a system in place already or that they aren’t working on a system to host games As I explained adding dedis to Xbox one was a alot easier than for PS4 as the Xbox had a ready made system already in place due to microsofts Azure service.

I’ve seen a few comments along the lines of Atvi is too cheap to add dedis for PS4 ect (a comment I’ve seen numerous times in past cods tbh) The fact is the amount of infrastructure needed to host Cod on dedis costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build and then a good few million a month in operating costs, its not something you can just run out and buy. It’s worth bearing this in mind .

So will PS4 have dedi’s? At this point we don’t know. Anything you hear that doesn’t come directly from Infinity Ward is pure speculation so should be treated as such.

Dedis – the bendy bullet points

Will dedis cure lag? – Simple answer no.

People seem to think dedis are some sort of golden magical bullet that will cure every ill you experience online, this unfortunately isn’t the case at all. What dedi’s will bring to the table for consoles are things like no host migrations, from the dedis side a smooth experience that isn’t affected by the the (as in old games) hosts own bandwidth causing issues. More security in game as the ability for the nefarious to run unsigned code as hosts on chipped xboxes is gone.
The one major issue with any online gaming experience is your ping, it doesn’t matter how much bandwidth you have, how advanced your home network is ultimately your online experience if you have a stable connection is down to ping. Ping for those who aren’t familiar with the term is the time it takes data to travel from your console/pc to a server and back.
One advantage listen servers (p2p as some call it) ie the system CoD has always used over dedis is host location, While the host may not always have been the best the chances are the host would’ve been quite close to you.

With dedi’s it comes down to locations of the servers, The golden rule for dedis has always been the closer you are the better your ping is, while this maybe slightly generalized as a statement as there are other factors like your own connection quality ect this is how dedis usually work for players. Saying that though players on dedis will find their games run better and everyone will be a lot more equal as there is now no host advantage/disadvantage depending what side of the fence you were on that one.

One of the things IW would’ve looked at before deciding to go down the dedi route is server locations, if they couldn’t provide locations that gave very good coverage they would not have gone down this route. BUT thats not to say at present all geographic locations will have great coverage. Some more outlying or low population area’s will still potentionally have dedis depending on that area being covered by Azure. but you may find those servers are further afield than you would like to connect too and I would assume (*disclaimer this is an ASSUMPTION by me). That there would still be back up systems in the game to use listen servers for down times of dedis and for low pop areas or areas that are not covered by azure.

Matchmaking changes

One of the things that alot of people mention is matchmaking, and anyone who knows me from these forums knows it’s an area I have clashed heads with IW over numerous times in the past . There has been a lot of work done on matchmaking and Ghosts will see a few new features added to matchmaking that will improve how matchmaking works. One of the most important ones for me (as its something I repeatedly highlighted) was the fact geolocation especially for european players had an inherent flaw . due to the way Ip blocks are bought and sold by european isps it was possible to be in the middle of the UK but the game thought you were in Italy. To counter this Ghosts will match make using your actual internet distance (and hops) rather than basing any matchmaking off your actual physical location. This will ensure players are better matched and potentially will be matched more locally. Iw trawled through a ton of connection metrics during MW3 and have taken a lot of feedback and comments from the community when it came to matchmaking. I spoke to Mark Rubin during my time out in La during E3 and I was very impressed with some of the idea’s he and the team had either come up with or discussed.

Now the more astute of you here might now be wondering why if we are getting dedis on some platforms (ie the confirmed ones so far before the ps4 crowd go wait a minute..) why we still need matchmaking? – The answer is even with dedis the game still needs to place you into a session (game lobby) that gives you the best experience.

SOURCE: @xMaccabix from CODHQ

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Activision

Estimated total number of players on PlayStation 4 for each Call of Duty title since 2013

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Last week, Sony launched the PS4 My Life campaign which allows PlayStation 4 players to see some of their stats. Statistics include overall play-time, top 3 most-played games, rarest trophy, and more.

The rarest trophy statistic provides the exact number of players who earned said trophy. Using this data, Redditor /u/Kalinine has created a report on /r/CallofDuty estimating the total number of players each Call of Duty title since 2013 received on PlayStation 4.

It’s important to note that these are simply rough estimations – Activision has not confirmed these numbers.

Black Ops 4’s numbers will appear significantly low due to releasing only 2 months ago. The influx of players from Christmas also have yet to arrive.

via /u/Kalinine | /r/CallofDuty

In order of highest player count to lowest…

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III – 54.7M
  2. Call of Duty: WWII – 25.5M
  3. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 21.3M
  4. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – 18.4M
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts – 13.2M
  6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered – 10.6M
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – 9.8M

Black Ops III’s player count is incredibly high, likely to it being available for free to all PlayStation Plus members from June 12th to July 11th, 2018.

While this is a rough idea of total player counts, there’s still many variables which contribute to its inaccuracy.

  • It’s assumed that the numbers are global, however this cannot be confirmed.
  • It’s not known whether these numbers are players who launched the titles or simply had them installed.
  • According to Redditors, the numbers span only from November 20th to December 4th, 2018.
  • The author of the report did not include Trophies with a percentage lower than 0.5% to reduce inaccuracy.

What are your thoughts on these numbers? While it may seem worrying to see Black Ops 4’s numbers low, it’s important to take into account all of the aforementioned points.

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Activision

All Call of Duty titles on sale for Steam Winter and Xbox Countdown sales

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The holidays are here! Steam and Xbox have launched their Winter and Countdown sales respectively. From the original Call of Duty up to Black Ops 4, plenty of Call of Duty titles are on sale on both platforms.

Steam (PC)

Steam’s Winter Sale began December 20th, 2018 and ends January 3rd, 2019 at 10AM PT. All prices are in US Dollar.

It’s important to note that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, is available exclusively on Battle.net for PC and thus is not included.

Xbox One / Xbox 360

Xbox’s Countdown Sale began December 20th, 2018 and ends January 3rd, 2019. All prices are in US Dollar. Xbox Live Gold members also receive up to an additional 10% off.

All of the following Xbox 360 titles are Backwards Compatible on Xbox One.

Do you plan to pick up any of the titles while they’re on-sale?

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Activision

Call of Duty Black Friday Deals 2018

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Black Friday 2018 is here! In this post, we are sharing all of the Call of Duty related deals that are available at retailers across the US.

Here’s a breakdown of deals by retailers and digital stores:

PlayStation Store:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $47.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Season Pass — $24.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles — $19.49
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles Deluxe Edition – $49.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles Edition — $29.99
  • Call of Duty: WWII Gold Edition — $29.99
  • Call of Duty: WWII Season Pass — $24.99
  • Call of Duty: WWII Digital Deluxe Edition — $49.99
  • PlayStation Plus 12 Months Membership — $39.99

Xbox Store: 

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $47.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Digital Deluxe Edition — $89.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Digital Deluxe Enhanced — $116.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered — $20.00
  • Call of Duty: WWII Digital Deluxe Edition — $50.00
  • Call of Duty: WWII Gold Edition — $30.00
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Backwards Compatible on Xbox One) — $16.49
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 (Backwards Compatible on Xbox One) — $14.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Backwards Compatible on Xbox One) — $14.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Backwards Compatible on Xbox One) — $14.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Backwards Compatible on Xbox One) — $14.99

GameStop:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $38
  • Call of Duty: WWII Gold Edition — $29.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles Edition — $24.99
  • PlayStation Plus 1 Year — $39.99
  • PlayStation 4 Slim with Spider Man — $199.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Pre-Owned) — $11.99
  • Xbox One X with Fallout 76 — $429.99
  • Xbox One S with NBA2K — $229.99

Best Buy

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $44.99
  • Call of Duty: WWII Gold Edition — $24.99
  • PlayStation Plus 12 Month — $39.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered — $14.99
  • PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB with Spider Man — $199.99
  • Xbox One S 1TB – $199

Walmart

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with Double XP — $39.99
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered — $17
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare — $12
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Xbox One / Xbox 360) — $12
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 (Xbox One / Xbox 360) — $12
  • Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox One / Xbox 360) — $12
  • PlayStation 4 1TB Slim with Spider Man — $199.99
  • Xbox One X 1TB Console — $399
  • Xbox One S 1TB with Minecraft — $199

Target:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $44.99
  • Call of Duty: WWII — $25

If you’re looking to get a new console this Black Friday, PlayStation has stated that PS4 Slims with Spider Man will be available at retailers for $199. Xbox has announced that they’re reducing the price of all Xbox One consoles, so be sure to check each retailer for the deal.

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