Halo 5: Guardians will not support peer to peer networking

Halo 5: Guardians will not support peer to peer networking – Transcript

Hey guys, this is Pyroteq. It’s been a while but I’m back with another video for Halo 5 Guardians. I wanted to bring to your attention a major concern I have over a post I read recently regarding Halo 5’s networking that no one really seems to care about.

If you agree with what I’m about to say please share this video and get the word out because I haven’t seen anyone else making a big deal out of this and I believe if we want Halo 5 to succeed as an eSport we should be.

So, someone on Neogaf made a post wondering whether co-op would run on dedicated servers and Josh Holmes from 343 responded which I’ve linked to in the description below.

So someone says: “That being said, I really hope Campaign has Dedicated Servers”, to which Josh responds:

Yes, this is the case. Campaign coop for H5 runs on dedicated servers. We have no peer to peer networking in the game (MP or campaign).”

So some of you might be thinking, well, that’s awesome, what’s wrong with that? Well, as someone with a pretty decent understanding of networking and as a competitive gamer, I can give you plenty of reasons why this is a bad thing.

Dedicated servers are awesome. Dedicated servers also suck. Most gamers really have no idea what the hell a dedicated server actually is. If you ask most gamers they just say “It’s faster”. Well, that’s not necessarily true.

In gaming, a dedicated server is simply a computer that has been setup primarily to host a game. Usually they’re hosted on faster than average internet connection, for example, many Counter Strike servers are hosted by Internet Service Providers. This allows gamers a superior connection compared to jumping on their friends game, hosted on a toaster while they upload gigabytes of porn resulting in a shitty online experience.

Having dedicated servers is great and I definitely agree all matchmade games should be running on dedicated servers to prevent cheating and to provide a balanced playing field. However, I’m deeply concerned that 343 has no plans of supporting peer to peer capability at all.

Both casual gamers and hardcore gamers alike should be worried about this.

My biggest issue with no peer to peer networking is latency issues. If I’m playing with my brother in the same room, why the hell does data need to travel to Microsoft’s servers and back resulting in higher latency when I could be playing with a latency of almost ZERO through my home network.

I’m definitely feeling sorry for my Halo buddies in New Zealand and Western Australia who will have an extremely bad online experience due to their distance from the servers in Sydney. Kiwi’s are unlikely to get their own servers in New Zealand since they have a small population. Players in many other countries outside Europe and North America will also be negatively affected.

Tournaments will also be an issue. Halo tournaments in the past have always run on local networks with hundreds of players which was fine since a decent switch or router could accommodate that sort of traffic. However, when this traffic is no longer contained to the local network we can run into all sorts of issues.

Here in Australia many of the venues for our Halo tournaments haven’t had good internet access. Access to the internet was generally just used to authenticate accounts and then all the game data during the actual games was confined to the local network resulting in a lag free environment. Now, organisations such as the Australian Cyber League will need to spend more money on venues that can accommodate hundreds of clients online at once.

Now, someone might make the argument that 343 could make a special LAN server available for these tournaments, however it’s doubtful and even if they did only the largest esports organisations would have access to it.

Latency isn’t the only concern. What happens if the dedicated servers go down? What if they’re overwhelmed? We’ve seen plenty of recent game launches botched by servers being flooded with gamers on release date resulting in a game that was unplayable, sometimes for days at a time.

We’ve also seen important tournament games interrupted due to dedicated servers. Sending data outside a LAN greatly increases the chance that something can go wrong forcing an important game to be restarted and a tournament to be held up.

We can also expect servers to eventually go down when 343 no longer wants to maintain them. The Halo 2 servers went down so there’s no reason to expect Halo 5 servers to last forever either. At least Halo 2 allowed system link though, so you can still dust off your Dukes and play a Tour De Walsh on Midship. This won’t be possible in Halo 5 since there’s no peer to peer support.

My best Halo memories have all come from playing on LAN. Many of these LAN’s were setup in rented halls with no internet access. It’s a real shame that Halo 1 invented the console LAN party and now it seems 343 wants to destroy that legacy with Halo 5.

I hope this video has convinced you that peer to peer networking including system link should be supported in Halo 5, even if the options are hidden away. Please share this video and spread this message if you would like to see 343 reverse their decision before the game is launched.

Thank you very much for watching.