Essentially, an authoritative client game means each player relies on their own engine’s computations in an online game instead of having the game send online dispatches to the game server to respond to the player’s actions. This is why most online first-person shooter (FPS) titles mix both client and server-based architecture to allow for as slight delay in actions as possible whilst players do incredibly quick and precise movements.
Whilst this matters less in an MMO like New World, being client authoritative would mean that the entire server relies on the player’s individual client to be told what to do, which can make cheating much easier.
This is why an Amazon Game Studios community manager has taken to the New World forums to clarify that the game is, in fact, not client authoritative. They wrote that: “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,” they add.
They explain this via the example of a player swinging an axe to chop a tree, where once the player presses the button for the input, a message is sent to the server to inform it this has been requested. At the same time, the game plays an animation of the axe swinging on the client-side, apparently, this “part is strictly graphical, and has nothing to do with the simulation.”
When the input reaches the server, it checks to see if it is possible – in this case, the axe actually hitting the tree – and if it is, the server sends the result back to the player’s client. The client animation can be extended whilst it waits for the server answer of a hit or a miss, but the community manager assures that “the outcome is always based only on the server answer” and not the client.
Clarification is then put on how this system has caused certain bugs to emerge in the game, especially one that allowed for invulnerability. If the game was waiting server-side for the client, and the player had an intentional weapon effect that gave brief invulnerability, they could keep this forever as long as the client was unresponsive. But this has since been fixed, according to the post.
In other news, Nintendo has removed an unofficial Mario NFT game from YouTube after it infringed on the company’s intellectual property.