Long story short, they won’t be used — but things aren’t mirroring the setup of the original Destiny either.
“Every activity in Destiny 2 is hosted by one of our servers,” said Matt Segur, Engineering Lead. “That means you will never again suffer a host migration during your Raid attempt or Trials match.
“This differs from Destiny 1, where these hosting duties were performed by player consoles and only script and mission logic ran in the data center. To understand the foundation on which we’re building, check out this Destiny 1 presentation from GDC. Using the terms from this talk, in Destiny 2, both the Mission Host and Physics Host will run in our data centers.”
Segur continues to say the peer-to-peer setup isn’t an effort to save cash on Bungie’s part.
“We’ve invested heavily in new server infrastructure for Destiny 2, including using cloud servers for gameplay for the first time,” he continued. “We really believe this is the best model for all of Destiny 2’s varied cooperative and competitive experiences. Engineering will always involve tradeoffs and cost-benefit analysis, but as a team we’ve got no regrets about the unique technology we’ve built for Destiny 2.”
The “tradeoffs” mentioned don’t constitute dedicated servers, according to Segur.
“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,” he wrote.
Finally, Segur addressed security on PC due to the peer-to-peer networking involved in the game.
“The PC platform poses unique security challenges for Destiny 2, but our security Ninjas have spent several years building a plan for how to engage with this new and vibrant community,” Segur said. “We have a variety of top-secret strategies to ensure that the life of a cheater in Destiny 2 PC will be nasty, brutish, and short. And, regardless of what platform you play on, all changes to your persistent character are communicated directly to our secure data center with no peer-to-peer interference.”
Destiny 2 heads to Xbox One and PS4 in September, with a PC release to follow.