Virtualization puts this fundamental service within the reach of any pocket. A few days ago we enjoyed the open beta of the promising Hell Let Loose.
Perhaps the most differentiating thing about this game is that it requires a minimum of “seriousness” to be fun. Platoons coordinated, with a lot of “team play”, well communicated, without “noobs” or “trolls” that ruin a game that can take hours … hence, it is not surprising that in the game configuration menu the first option was the of “Rent Dedicated Server”.
One of the advantages of the PC as a gaming platform is precisely the possibility of using dedicated servers. Basically it is about installing the game on a PC that is the server on which the rest of the users will play. This allows us to have full control over the game. We will be able to choose who plays and who does not, which maps, under what conditions, for how long, in addition to achieving very low latency because that server is supposed to be in our environment.
This absolute control over the game will allow us to organize competitions between clans, or “ladders”, in a very simple way, allowing us to configure and start the game when and how we want. In “shooters” having a dedicated server has allowed communities of CounterStrike, Quake, Battlefield … have squeezed the titles beyond their natural useful life as there are private servers where there were always people, generally from the same country and language where the server was. , playing the game in conditions according to their tastes, avoiding unpopular maps, configuring parameters such as friendly fire, the number of players per game, the times … and exquisite control of cheats, because a ban from a private server is final .
Outside of the “shooters” there are dozens of games that take advantage of private servers because their very nature invites to maintain a more controlled and stable community, with universes configured to their liking. Among those that come to mind, Minecraft or titles such as Day-Z, Ark or ArmA stand out.
As veteran PC gamers, the possibility of creating a private server seems essential to us in certain titles, but we have had to give up over time and accept that possibility as something increasingly exotic. The prevalence of consoles as a gaming platform for years, multiplatform ports and, in short, a majority percentage of players who have become accustomed to “matchmaking” and see it as normal not being able to decide under what conditions they will play. On the other hand, titles are becoming more volatile and it is difficult for players to remain faithful to them, so the developer prefers to have the ability to manage those players so that they can be grouped and maintained on busy servers.
But, above all, maintaining a private server has become too expensive and complex for the times. Let’s see why.
The first option to have your own server is literally that … have a PC that you use as a server in your own home. The advantage is that you are the administrator who configures each game and the latency, when playing on the same PC, is nil. On the other side of the scale, the disadvantages are many, starting with the fact that the machine that acts as a server has to have enough power to provide a decent service to all the players, enough data throughput so that the “lag” is tolerable, the Obligation to be constantly on and working properly and lifting the server every time it goes down, keeping it updated with the different versions of the game and free of cheats and hackers … All this implies commitment, money, time and advanced computer skills; something that is increasingly rare today.