The feature that Eagle Dynamics was teasing earlier in the week was in-fact the Dedicated Server release as some of you had guessed. It was not the F-14, nor cows, but this release may be a bigger deal than some may assume. Let’s tackle the questions on what a ‘dedicated server’ is, how it affects you, and what this means going forward.
What is a ‘dedicated server’?
To date, Eagle Dynamics has supported multiplayer through a fairly basic server hosting system that let someone setup a computer as a multiplayer server from within DCS World.
This is a simple way for many players to start a server, get some people flying a mission, and enjoying a multiplayer experience. So far as I know, this model isn’t changing any time soon but what we’re now getting is a new experience and it has some big ramifications.
While conventional server setup for DCS World happens within the game engine and has plenty of the features of DCS World running within it, a dedicated server strips away things like graphics, sounds, physics, and other aspects of the simulation and instead focuses purely on passing data between the clients (that’s you and me) logged in to that server.
What this dedicated server release will hopefully do is open the door to more stable DCS World servers with improved performance and fewer issues. Lag spikes, dancing aircraft, aircraft lagging through each other, and all manners of glitches and gremlins should hopefully be reduced as the server software proliferates.
The Burning Skies WWII server has already started testing this platform and I’ve heard only positive comments. With other servers like the 104th, Blue Skies, Georgia-at-War, and various others surely switching to this software to host their setups – we should hopefully find out sooner than later if this is doing the trick to improve experiences there.
In many ways, if this works, we “won’t notice” as a lot of glitches will be far rarer occurrences than they are now.
I’m looking forward to seeing what this can do now and in the future. Remember, Eagle Dynamics is also talking about building the features of systems like SRS radio into the server package and that should mean that the dedicated server will open the door to other features too.