MP1st Reader Blog: Call of Duty: Ghosts Dedis and Matchmaking – Just The Facts Ma’am

Today’s Blog entry is not be from the MP1st forums, but rather from the official Call of Duty Forums, written by an acquaintance of mine, Adam “Maccabi”. He dives into the current situation regarding dedicated servers in Call of Duty: Ghosts among the various platforms it will be available on and clears up a lot of the misinformation that’s been floating around. I thought it’d be worth sharing with the MP1st crowd. Hope you enjoy!

Please feel free to check out Maccabi’s original forum post right here and be sure to give him a follow on Twitter.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Dedis, Matchmaking – Just The Facts Ma’am

Since the announcement of Dedi’s coming to Cod for the Xbox one I have seen so many comments and posts spring up all over the place which ultimately have added alot of confusion and misinformation in to the community. So here is basically a run down of everything dedi related .

Xbox one

Is getting dedi’s, These are being hosted by Microsoft using their “cloud” service Azure which has been linked into the XBL platform.. Microsoft have invested hundreds of millions into their cloud services over the last two years and have server farms located in strategically placed locations throughout the world with more coming online in the future. Azure is primarily a system that allows any company the ability to use an azure server for whatever they need, be it web hosting, distributedcomputing or in this case to host games.

To avoid going into technobabble, Azure comes with its own special operating system that can be implemented into existing applications or run as a layer over another system. This is why being able to utilize Azure for game servers on the xbox one is now possible.

At present and although Microsoft don’t readily publicize where their servers are you can find out roughly using a quick search on the net, but please bear in mind not all locations are made public so as with anything on the net take any information as a rough guide not as 100% fact. Please see further down for more information in the dedis bullet points.

Infinity Ward had alot of meetings with the engineers from Microsoft about their cloud services, it wasn’t an instant decision and honestly wasn’t one Microsoft pushed onto Infinityward/Activision. I know when IW first started talking to the engineers from MS they were asking questions the engineers didn’t even have answers to as their own systems weren’t actually finalized. The final decision wasn’t just oh there is dedis lets use them. IW really spent along time working out if it was both practical and something that wouldn’t degrade the online experience we all know and love and would ultimately improve it for most people.


The pc platform is getting RANKED dedis at launch . Again as these are pc the servers will more than likely be hosted using the Azure system The option to RENT player controlled servers from a third party will be a feature possible AFTER launch (no date has been confirmed as yet ) but these will probably not be ranked servers. As Ghosts will have the ability to transfer your Character from one platform to another security of a closed system especially for PC is paramount.

More details of the pc stuff will be coming out shortly so make sure you follow @Infinityward on twitter.


At present Nothing has been announced either way for PS4, this is what it is. You should remind yourself the announcement for dedis on Xbox One was made at a Microsoft press event so obviously there would be no mention of anything ps4 related there. There have always been huge technical hurdles in getting dedis running for the console platforms something Microsoft has made a lot easier for Xbox one. Obviously for PS4 it isn’t able to access Microsofts system so to run dedis on PS4 would involve a third party server provider or for Sony to stump up hundreds of millions of dollars to build their own server farms. I have seen recently alot of people taking about Sony’s “cloud services” coming online in 2014 and wrongly assuming this relates to providing dedis- Their “cloud service” is Gaikai it is NOT a dedicated server platform it is a system designed to STREAM games being played on a server onto your screen. Gaikai will allow you to play older ps titles and to utilize the play anywhere service Sony promoted, but you should also bear in mind this service is streamed so it will have inherent latency issues attached to it as any control action has to go to the server first. This isn’t to say Sony dont have a system in place already or that they aren’t working on a system to host games As I explained adding dedis to Xbox one was a alot easier than for PS4 as the Xbox had a ready made system already in place due to microsofts Azure service.

I’ve seen a few comments along the lines of Atvi is too cheap to add dedis for PS4 ect (a comment I’ve seen numerous times in past cods tbh) The fact is the amount of infrastructure needed to host Cod on dedis costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build and then a good few million a month in operating costs, its not something you can just run out and buy . It’s worth bearing this in mind .

So will PS4 have dedi’s? At this point we don’t know. Anything you hear that doesn’t come directly from Infinity Ward is pure speculation so should be treated as such.

Dedis – the bendy bullet points

Will dedis cure lag? – Simple answer no.

People seem to think dedis are some sort of golden magical bullet that will cure every ill you experience online, this unfortunately isn’t the case at all. What dedi’s will bring to the table for consoles are things like no host migrations, from the dedis side a smooth experience that isn’t affected by the the (as in old games) hosts own bandwidth causing issues. More security in game as the ability for the nefarious to run unsigned code as hosts on chipped xboxes is gone.

The one major issue with any online gaming experience is your ping, it doesn’t matter how much bandwidth you have, how advanced your home network is ultimately your online experience if you have a stable connection is down to ping. Ping for those who aren’t familiar with the term is the time it takes data to travel from your console/pc to a server and back.

One advantage listen servers (p2p as some call it) ie the system CoD has always used over dedis is host location, While the host may not always have been the best the chances are the host would’ve been quite close to you.

With dedi’s it comes down to locations of the servers, The golden rule for dedis has always been the closer you are the better your ping is, while this maybe slightly generalized as a statement as there are other factors like your own connection quality ect this is how dedis usually work for players. Saying that though players on dedis will find their games run better and everyone will be a lot more equal as there is now no host advantage/disadvantage depending what side of the fence you were on that one.

One of the things IW would’ve looked at before deciding to go down the dedi route is server locations, if they couldn’t provide locations that gave very good coverage they would not have gone down this route. BUT thats not to say at present all geographic locations will have great coverage. Some more outlying or low population area’s will still potentionally have dedis depending on that area being covered by Azure. but you may find those servers are further afield than you would like to connect too and I would assume (*disclaimer this is an ASSUMPTION by me). That there would still be back up systems in the game to use listen servers for down times of dedis and for low pop areas or areas that are not covered by azure.

Matchmaking changes

One of the things that alot of people mention is matchmaking, and anyone who knows me from these forums knows it’s an area I have clashed heads with IW over numerous times in the past :). There has been a lot of work done on matchmaking and Ghosts will see a few new features added to matchmaking that will improve how matchmaking works. One of the most important ones for me (as its something I repeatedly highlighted) was the fact geolocation especially for european players had an inherent flaw . due to the way Ip blocks are bought and sold by european isps it was possible to be in the middle of the UK but the game thought you were in Italy. To counter this Ghosts will match make using your actual internet distance (and hops) rather than basing any matchmaking off your actual physical location. This will ensure players are better matched and potentially will be matched more locally. Iw trawled through a ton of connection metrics during MW3 and have taken a lot of feedback and comments from the community when it came to matchmaking. I spoke to Mark Rubin during my time out in La during E3 and I was very impressed with some of the idea’s he and the team had either come up with or discussed.

Now the more astute of you here might now be wondering why if we are getting dedis on some platforms (ie the confirmed ones so far before the ps4 crowd go wait a minute..) why we still need matchmaking? – The answer is even with dedis the game still needs to place you into a session (game lobby) that gives you the best experience.

Author: Maccabi


    Looks like the Xbox 1 version is the way to go

    • zacflame

      Just for a somewhat better CoD experience? I’ll pass.


        cool Bro

      • EndangeredQuake

        I don’t understand why the first comment gets downvoted and this one doesn’t. It’s a matter of opinion. God…. Day and Night this community gets more and more biased.

      • Battlewar

        This dude is a bf douche bag who trashes every cod article on this site, it got many up votes because the bf community as a whole are a bunch of dickheads.

        • zacflame

          not really, I like COD, but COD recently doesn’t like the players.

  • Brad Barnes

    I don’t mean this at MP1st at all.. but IW IS the Xbox One version getting RANKED dedicated servers? They still refuse to come out and say those words. It says PC is yes and we’d assume Xbox One also but you know IW and activision you can’t assume anything.

    • dpg70

      Good point. Specifically said ranked for PC, but no such thing for console. Now that would be funny…

    • BadCompany3

      What a funny question, if Xbox one dedi servers are not ranked, more than half of the console COD gamers won’t have any progression. Is this silly or what?

    • paulinacio

      This is actually a good point. I read somewhere else that the Dedicated servers could be restricted to un-ranked servers most likely use for Clan matches etc. I find it strange that they haven’t cleared this up yet


        I wouldn’t be surprised If these dedicated servers are unranked only. Microsoft has been making dumb decisions for the xbone since day one.

        • paulinacio

          Yep, they said that PC will have all Dedicated Servers, all of it but only stated that Xbox One would have Dedicated servers but they didn’t say to what extent.

    • DanDustEmOff

      Its kinda pointless them not being ranked.

  • Chad Eugene Rash

    Honestly if you look at the player counts for CoD on the playstation they are very low. If his info stays this way it is. BF4 sales will increase dramatically on the PS4 & PS3 anlong with Shadodwfall..

    • James Mulhall

      I already replied to you about the player counts on PS3 before. They’re the same as Xbox. They go up and down all the time and one day PS3 has more players on and the next Xbox does. Its all a matter of timing. I’ve got a friend who plays Black Ops 2 sometimes on PC, and the player count on that is lower then the CoD4 population on PS3.

    • Warlon

      Missinformed much? The numbers are the same PS3/ 360. PC sits at 15-30k Euro Time and 4-8k NA times, those are very low.

  • “People seem to think dedis are some sort of golden magical bullet that will cure every ill you experience online, this unfortunately isn’t the case at all.”
    This is so true :'(

    • PuddingAuxRais1ns

      But dedis are so much better than p2p. I guess the fact that shooters that are not as popular as CoD actually helps them. CoD’s popularity is actually holding it back, while games like BF3/BF4, next gen Halo, Counter strike, and plenty of other shooters move on to better network infrastructure because since they’re not as popular as CoD, running dedis is more financially feasible.

    • DanDustEmOff

      That depends on your own connection though. If you can, get fibre optic internet. You get much lower pings.

      • This is my speeds:
        (From a while back bc I’m away from home)
        I don’t have any major issues on any online game really. Obviously, as you say, pings are very important, but it will be similar between P2P and dedis because you can be the same distance from the host as you are from the server.

        • DanDustEmOff

          You would need to see what your ping is like to Amsterdam and Dublin, to see what your ping will roughly be to the nearest Azure data centres. What your saying isn’t quite right on p2p the data has to travel both ways. From you to the host and back again. The host has to deal with a range of different connections and will attempt to even out (lag comp).

          If the host has enough bandwidth to deal with everyone and everyone has a low ping connection to him then the game will run fine for most players. However if there are bad connections then the host console starts compensating for the bad connection. With a dedicated server your connection to that server will only affect your own games quality and no one elses.

          The lag comp will usually be scaled back on a game running on servers and put the responsibility on you to maintain a good connection. Although this is not always the case and some games still do have agressive lag comp. p2p was always a failed attempt to get around the cost of setting up and maintaining a network of dedicated servers.

          The other flaw on p2p is that because the host console has other tasks to do it can result as a frame rate drop when things get hectic. On a game like BO2 the console is already working hard to run the game at 60fps. If you give it other tasks to do it then struggles to maintain this frame rate giving the host a disavantage.

          The other thing that can go wrong is matchmaking when it works right it groups people together that have low pings to each other, however in BO2 this is not really the case the matchmaking is bad. It will throw high ping connections in to the lobby without a seconds hesitation and it won’t take them out if a better connection becomes available.

          In most p2p games it is this that breaks the system more so than the lag comp. With the Azure cloud matching you and knowing what your ping is to that server you can have some control or better understanding of your connection rather that the sparatic randomness of a p2p.

  • Derek

    I always support Dedicated servers since I come from PC gaming, but the one thing COD seems to lack that makes a big difference in the ability to choose what server you join. While the idea of a “Play” button that joins you automatically is neat and takes a lot of the work out of it…it also has the tenancy to weigh different factors above ping for joining to servers. I personally love the ability to choose the server I join (ala BF3) so I can choose the server with the lowest ping. But that’s just how I grew up playing FPS’s im a bit spoiled in that regard coming from PC.

    Personally bad Dedicated servers is still better than P2P in all but a few circumstances.

    • BadCompany3

      You don’t need this anymore coz of the improvements to matchmaking, connecting you by default to the server you have the best ping (internet distance).

      • Derek

        Pretty sure thats not the case, otherwise you would be joining half empty games nearly all the time. Part of the formula has to be how many spots left in a game, skill level, etc etc.

        However the nerd in me would love to see a breakdown of that system. Ping = X%, Party size =X%, skill = X% = Y game match. Heck I have no idea how its done. But point is if Ping was the only thing being taken into account for matching you wouldn’t be that last player/s joining to make the game perfectly full.

  • MikePembo951

    wtf?? The comment about PS4 is kinda stupid – Why don’t activision just rent services from another provider (instead of building their own which is stupid to even suggest in the post) then give individual players/clans/organisations the ability to rent them and pay for them.

    This has worked on PC for YEARS and worked fine in BF3.

    Maybe I don’t see the problem here but how I see it is that if Activision/IW really wanted dedicated servers on PS4 then they could certainly get them.

    • DanDustEmOff

      Cost is the only reason Azure is much cheaper than Amazon. Renting your own servers would be a nice option but with that you get admins, server rules and people being kicked and banned at the admins whim.

      • AL

        That and the matchmaking for BF3 is atrocious. 4 man parties on console, having to join and pray you are on the same side as your friends… I wish BF would take a slice from COD in this regard. Not only is it easier to play with your friends it also creates a more social component which often is lost in BF.

        • DanDustEmOff

          I play on PC so I use Team Speak. Four man squads was a good concept because of the team mentality built in to BF from the role based classes. However you should be able to speak with your entire team. This is a PS3 problem mainly as the Xbox has party chat.

          • AL

            But even so I have BF3 for PC as well and the chat client works fine but it’s the lack of party system as in lobby system that really makes it difficult to connect with one another. I run an online gaming community on COD 360 and we thrive in that there are always opportunities for social interaction, even private matches allow for more in depth community building through custom games etc.

            • DanDustEmOff

              I presume that you don’t have a server to run private games on? But yes I agree CoD on the 360 is a much more social affair. The Xbox got it right with party chat and putting a no frills wired mic in the box. It created a community that communicates well, even if you wish they would shut up at times.


      The reason why activision never invested in server farms until now is because on xbox360/ps3 call of duty is the most popular game ever with the biggest player count. Millions of dollars would have to be taken out of their profit margins and the stockholders would not like losing money. Renting them for xbones small install base is not too much of a hit to the bottom line.

  • swipe_06

    MS and Sony are both in the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, and Microsoft licences the Bluray from Sony, so these companies just go along fine. I think Activision still can use Azure for hosting PS4 servers if the price is right, and if they want to do it.

    • DanDustEmOff

      MS would probably throttle the connections to make the Xbox version more appealing. If I was Sony I would not trust them enough to let it happen and pay more to use Amazon or Rackspace.

  • Mark Lenz

    Activision can easily solve this by renting virtual dedicated servers from Amazon, Google, etc…


    -Activision made a ton lot more money from the CoD series than EA did with BattleField and Medal of Honor.

    -EA spent the cash and provided dedicated servers for BF3 & BF4.

    So why can’t Activision pay for dedicated servers for PS4 players but EA is more than willing to provide it for their games?

    Maybe it’s time potential PS4 owners let their wallets do the talking and hit Activision where it hurts and that’s sales. Take to social media and vent your frustration with Activision.

    Tell Activision you’ll cancel CoD: Ghosts preorders if they don’t promise to offer dedicated servers for your PS4.

    People can make companies like Activision bend over backwards when it comes to money. Heck we’ve seen Micro$oft bend over several times!


    Pretty simple for me. No dedicated servers for PS4 = No buy for COD Ghosts….

  • Jarmen

    I know nothing so please enlighten me someone 🙂 I’ve read somewhere that BF3 has dedicated servers on all platforms, without using MS’ cloud/azure thing. EA/DICE is able to provided ’em, without next gen cloud stuff, and acti does not. All it tells me is that Acti is cheap? please tell if otherwise.

    • James Mulhall

      EA has had their own dedicated servers for years. They still have their dedicated servers up for the first BF game 1942. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took down the servers in about a year for most of the old games and switch to Microsoft’s servers after that, and Sony’s assuming they’re eventually going to get the tech to do the same.

  • B_Boss

    Don’t forget people…Sony is certainly up to something with Rackspace. Sony has been known to be quiet concerning their plans…painfully quiet lol.


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    Since COD4 they magically forgotten how to make dedis for PC… this method sucks. At least they could provide to rent RANKED servers like Black Ops 1.