Titanfall 2 – Inside Development Series – Servers

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This week, Jon “Slothy” Shiring, Lead Engineer on Titanfall 2, gives fans insight into how Respawn are approaching Servers for the upcoming Multiplayer Technical Test as well as the games launch on October 28.

Jon “Slothy” Shiring wrote on the Titanfall 2 Blog:

“In my previous blog post, I mentioned we have a whole new system for running our massive army of servers.  I’ve seen the anxiety that some gamers have had since then.  So, let me elaborate about how we’re going to be running our servers this time.

Titanfall was hosted on a Microsoft service that ran on Azure.  We considered it a big success, and proved that cloud-hosted servers are something we should keep doing.  So Titanfall 2 will continue to run entirely on dedicated servers for AI, physics, and all of the player movement that you loved from Titanfall.

Since Titanfall 2 will have a bigger launch this time, I wanted to make sure that we have the highest possible scalability and reliability, and have low-latency, fast servers.  So this time we’re still running on Azure, but we’re also on the other clouds as well as “bare metal” servers running in datacenters.  We want fast servers running everywhere, ready for you when you want to get into a match.

Respawn partnered with a U.K. company called Multiplay, who have a ton of expertise in game server hosting.  We have been working with them as they built a brand new service for spinning up servers on a variety of hosting services in a way that both scales at the highest rates and also provides the quality of experience that we demand.  This isn’t something that EA had already built

– it’s an entirely new system that no game has used before, and Respawn felt strongly that we should work with Multiplay to build this new service to meet our needs.

They are working with Azure, Google, and Amazon to work out the best possible way to use each service.  We want the fastest server spin-up times and the best performance on the servers that they are running.  And in addition, we’re going to also be running on servers on what we call “bare metal” machines, which are just racked servers around the world.  We want to be able to keep the game running even if an entire cloud service goes offline.

Let me be clear on this: all of our servers will be running in major datacenters, and we are obsessive about our requirements for performance and user experience.  We absolutely will prioritize user experience over cost, and our goal here is to have the highest server reliability and to make sure we can handle the wall of users coming on launch.

But it is a whole new system.  And that’s one of the reasons we are doing a Multiplayer Tech Test before launch.  We probably will find some issues with this whole new system, and we’ve planned for that.  Our goal is to fix them during the Tech Test and not have to fix them on launch day.

We’ll be talking more about other netcode improvements we’ve made on Titanfall 2 – rest assured that we are obsessed with giving you the best multiplayer experience possible.  Our work on Titanfall 2 should bring you even better, even lower latency servers, and we’re excited for you to experience it during the Multiplayer Tech Test.”

On Thursday, July 28 at 2:30pm, Slothy will take to the Titanfall Twitter account to answer fans questions related to Servers as well as other general Titanfall 2 topics. Fans wanting to submit questions to Slothy should use the hashtag #TF2ServerQA for a chance to get your questions answered.

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