During the gameplay reveal, Bungie revealed that Destiny 2 won’t have dedicated servers, saying it’s “just not an investment that we made.” In the latest blog post from the developer, Engineering Lead Matt Segur explained the unique networking model Destiny features:
We’ve seen a lot of people asking about how the networking model works for Destiny 2. Many are concerned by our announcement last week that Destiny 2 doesn’t have dedicated servers. While that’s useful shorthand, the full answer is more complex because Destiny has a unique networking model. Rest assured that we’re doing a lot of testing right now with players all around the world, and working hard to make sure that your experience is going to be smooth on launch day.
In Destiny 2, every activity is hosted by one of Bungie’s servers, meaning “you will never again suffer a host migration during your Raid attempt or Trials match.” In Destiny 1, hosting duties were “performed by player consoles and only script and mission logic ran in the data center.” After pointing to this Destiny 1 presentation from GDC, Segur added that, in Destiny 2, the Mission Host and Physics Host will run in Bungie’s data centers.
If all that sounds like Destiny 2 has dedicated servers, Segur cleared things up by saying Bungie doesn’t use that term, because the game features a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology:
We don’t use that term, because in the gaming community, “dedicated servers” refers to pure client-server networking models. Destiny 2 uses a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology, just like Destiny 1. The server is authoritative over how the game progresses, and each player is authoritative over their own movement and abilities. This allows us to give players the feeling of immediacy in all their moving and shooting – no matter where they live and no matter whom they choose to play with.
After saying they’ve invested heavily in new server infrastructure, including using cloud servers for gameplay, Segur said Bungie has “no regrets about the unique technology we’ve built for Destiny 2.” While Segur can’t promise lag-induced moments will be completely eliminated, he did say they should be reduced.
You’ll be able to test out Destiny 2’s servers this summer when the Beta goes live.
Bungie also confirmed that they’ll be at E3 2017 next month to show off Destiny 2.
Destiny 2 releases on September 8 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.