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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

Call of Duty

Video shows off drastic evolution of Call of Duty Zombies from World at War to Cold War

This one is for the dedicated Zombies fans who have been around since Nacht der Untoten, as this video celebrates the evolution of Call of Duty Zombies.

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Call of duty zombies evolution

For those Zombies fans who have been there from the start, here’s a great way to reminisce and relive the Call of Duty Zombies experience we all hold so dearly.

Call of Duty Zombies is still around in today’s Call of Duty, surviving ever since the 2008 classic World at War that started that fan-favorite game mode.

Although a lot has changed since then, players still love the mode, and what better way to bring back good old memories than this video showing the evolution of Zombies.

Call of Duty Zombies Evoltuion List

The video is by Evolution List on YouTube, a channel dedicated to showing the evolution of various games that have stood the test of time.

In the video, fans are given a walkthrough of Zombies from 2008 all the way to 2021, with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War being the latest entry in the high-profile Call of Duty franchise to feature a Zombies game mode that recently saw its newest map, Mauer der Toten, added in the Season 4 Reloaded update.

Although the video is fairly short, spanning only 5 minutes, viewers are given one classic Zombies map from each Call of Duty game that possessed Zombies.

Evolution of Zombies video

Call of Duty Zombies

Although the mode was mostly in Treyarch-developed Call of Duty games, there have been many variations of the mode, with the video also including WWII’s Zombies, Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies, CoD Mobile’s Zombies, and Infinite Warfare’s Zombies.

Some of the classic maps showcased include:

  • World at War’s Nacht der Untoten
  • Black Ops’ Five
  • Black Ops 3’s Shadows of Evil
  • Black Ops 4’s IX

Of course, there are many other maps shown in the video, but we don’t want to spoil it all!

If you’re a fan of Zombies, this is a great watch so make sure to check out the video below.

For more on Zombies, especially the latest Black Ops Cold War map, Mauer der Toten, be sure to stay tuned on Charlie INTEL.

Image Credits: Treyarch / Activision / Evolution List

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Battlefield

Call of Duty players want a Battlefield Portal inspired mode in the future

After FPS fans were blown away by Battlefield Portal’s reveal, Call of Duty fans want to see a similar mode in the future.

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Battlefield Portal and Modern Warfare 2

Battlefield 2042’s REDACTED mode was finally announced at EA Play: Battlefield Portal. This is a hub for content from previous Battlefield games, and Call of Duty players want to see a similar mode in the future.

Like Battlefield, Call of Duty has depicted various theatres of war over the years, both real and fictional. Although Battlefield 2042 is set in the near future, as a throwback for long-time fans of the franchise, they’ve included Battlefield Portal.

This brings weapons, maps, vehicles, and more from Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 into one, ultimate sandbox experience. Impressed with the new mode, Call of Duty fans have been asking for a similar experience.

Battlefield Portal vehicles

Call of Duty fans have been desperate for remasters of their favorite games from the franchise, with Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer being the most prominent. Black Ops Cold War is chock-full of maps from Black Ops 2, but players still want to see more content from the games they grew up with.

Battlefield 2042 found the solution to this with their new Portal mode. With access to a ton of content from previous Battlefield games, players can create almost any custom game mode they can dream up.

“And that’s how you incorporate remastered content into your game,” said renowned industry insider Tom Henderson after seeing the reveal. He followed this by theorizing that Call of Duty will create something similar in the “next 5 years.”

His theory was met with resounding excitement, with many Call of Duty players wanting to see their favorite multiplayer and Zombies experiences return in the same way.

Battlefield Portal “truly could be the next BIG THING for creators,” said popular YouTuber Chaosxsilencer. “Imagine a Call of Duty Portal with BO2, BO3, WaW, MW2, MW3 assets all usable and customizable.”

“The custom game options available with #BATTLEFIELD2042 and the Battlefield Portal are amazing. So many options and ways to be creative and have fun,” said Call of Duty news account ModernWarzone. “@RavenSoftware we need things like this in Warzone, especially with Battlefield announcing this today.”

With how extensive of a backlog Call of Duty has, it’s very likely that Activision will take inspiration from Battlefield’s exciting new mode – and the demand for it is certainly there.

If you can’t wait to play Battlefield 2042, you can check out how to get access to the Open Beta in September.

Image Credit: Activision / EA

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Call of Duty

Zombies World Record beaten after nearly 300 hours of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

It took one Twitch streamer nearly 300 hours of gameplay to beat the World Record for Black Ops 3’s Nacht Der Untoten Zombies.

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black ops 3 nacht der untoten

One player has done the unthinkable and beaten the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Nacht Der Untoten Zombies World Record by reaching round 255.

Zombies has a storied history dating all the way back to 2008 when Call of Duty: World at War came bundled with a bonus mini-game called ‘Nacht der Untoten.’ The legendary Nazi Zombies mode would go on to reach ridiculous levels of popularity to the point that Treyarch had to make extra Zombies maps.

Since then, virtually every single CoD title has included new versions and variations of the Zombies formula. Black Ops Cold War is currently enjoying the launch of Mauer Der Toten, the freshest Zombies experience.

However, one Twitch streamer has overlooked modern Zombies in favor of a previous game – Black Ops 3. After 20 days of playing the same game of Nacht Der Untoten on and off, a new World Record was set.

The feat was accomplished by CoD Zombies Twitch streamer TomPhantasy as he smashed the previous record by a staggering 40 rounds to reach Round 255.

Beginning his run on July 2, he spent the next 20 days clocking up nearly 300 hours of game time to obliterate the previous Nacht Der Untoten record.

Remarkably, he was only downed twice, and they both came once he’d surpassed the record figure anyway.

The final seconds of the footage are of the streamer clearing up the last few dregs of Zombies until the round icon in the bottom-left changes to 255.

This absolutely smashes the previous record of 216 rounds set by user Chihiro-516, and may never be beaten.

Dexerto was even able to secure an exclusive word with the streamer to get more reaction to his feat: “The Zombies community has been supporting me for months when I have been attempting this record through the highs and lows,” he said.

He continued: “I knew I had to keep going, because after 24.8 days the game freezes, This meant I had to play 13+ hours per day for those 25 days.”

Massive congratulations need to go to the player who was able to gut his way through an arduous three weeks of Zombies. With Mauer Der Toten very much the new Zombies craze, we wonder if he will one day attempt to set the record for it.

Also, for some more incredible accomplishments, check out the Cold War player who reached 10th Prestige without killing a single player.

Image Credit: Activision / TomPhantasy

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