Ubisoft has announced For Honor will finally get dedicated servers.
The melee combat game has suffered online issues ever since it came out, with most players blaming the situation on For Honor's lack of dedicated servers.
For Honor uses a networking system that connects all players to each other. It means whenever someone quits, the game pauses as the host migrates.
Now, Ubisoft has announced two seasons launching in 2017, with dedicated servers "further down the road".
"The main reason for us is that we want to improve the stability of the matches on 4v4, and we want to have an architecture that is more long-term, that could help us more in the future for the things we want to do next," said game director Damien Kieken in a post on the Ubisoft blog.
"And then you have some very simple examples; with dedicated servers, you don't have session host migration anymore, so there is no game pausing when somebody leaves the session. You won't have to manage your NATs. You don't have to check your NAT if you want to play with a friend or things like that. So it will also help greatly the overall experience of the player, from matchmaking to the game session itself, to playing with friends, and things like that."
While the announcement of dedicated servers has gone down well with players, it comes as some surprise given comments from the developers in interviews.
Indeed, in an interview with Eurogamer, game director Roman Campos Oriola said even with dedicated servers, For Honor would have online problems.
"So even with dedicated servers, as soon as you start to lag because you are far from the server, you would start to have the same type of problems," he said.
"Would dedicated servers help us in some situations? Yes. But in other situations, our current architecture is actually better than dedicated servers. Really, it's a balance of pros and cons. We decided to go with a peer-to-peer version of our system. We still think the pros of that architecture outweigh the cons. But we are monitoring it and making sure it stays more in terms of pros than in terms of cons. We are ready to reevaluate that as soon as it changes."
Ubisoft said the development team at Ubisoft Montreal is currently working on a dedicated server infrastructure, but stressed while it does so it will work to improve the current peer-to-peer stability and matchmaking.
As for the new seasons, set for August and November, expect new heroes, maps and gear. There's a duel tournament feature and ranked 4v4 matches in the works, as well as a brand new 4v4 PvP mode. Ubisoft plans to add a better training mode designed for new and veteran players.
Players who have stuck with the game despite its problems will be particularly interested in Ubisoft's gameplay balance plans. At a high level, the plan is to make attacking more advantageous while putting more pressure on defence. For Honor has since release favoured a defensive playstyle, with high-level players trying to bait their opponents into making a high risk attack they can parry and punish. Roman Campos Oriola goes into a lot more detail on this over at the Ubisoft blog.