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New World “is not client authoritative” says Amazon

Amazon's New World

The ongoing spate of bugs and other issues with Amazon Game Studios’ New World doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. A series of glitches have caused an uproar among the community for the game, highlighting critical flaws within the game’s code. Not a day goes by without some new mild or major bug being found. Not only has the in-game economy been threatened by gold exploits and deflationary trends, but now, things are just getting worse. Just this day, a new bug relating to Project Quests has been found. This bug allows players to get infinite XP and a ton of free items.

The crux of these bugs? it’s the way the game was coded. This led to many of us reacting to this news to assume that the game had been running most of its calculations server-side, this is not the case.

And now, an Amazon Game Studios community manager has taken to the New World forums to clarify what’s going on. And as players flee the game, they clearly need to assuage concern.

Here’s the basic rundown of how it all works: “At a high level the model is this: clients dispatch controller inputs to the server, and the server then checks that input for limits that might invalidate it, then if accepted uses it as an input to a character (“actor” is our internal name) within server memory. Physics and game rules are then run (entirely server side), and the outcome is sent back to the original client. Clients will then draw the outcome determined by the server.”

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Going further, the devs clarify that this relationship is not 100% in one way authoritative. The server and client are supposed to work in tandem to determine if a game client is working properly. This was designed to both ease server load and to make the game more robust against cheating. As Amazon puts it in their example, “physics and game rules are then run (entirely server-side), and the outcome is sent back to the original client. Clients will then draw the outcome determined by the server,” they add.

The animations and physics modeling is done client-side, but all the gameplay-affecting background calculations are done by the server. Amazon has been working to further fix things, trying to cut down on bugs. Hopefully, things work out for them. This would also help address concerns raised over security. Some users were concerned about the potential for malicious code or other problems, that won’t be an issue, it seems.

Thanks to future bug-squashing, Amazon is confident in saying “the outcome is always based only on the server answer” and not the client. This has been further refined by fixes that addressed delays in the communication chain.

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