For competitive online console gaming, this is a huge step in the right direction. If the Call of Duty franchise ever had a knock on it’s multiplayer, it was for it’s lack of dedicated servers.
Finally with CoD: Ghosts players will be able to play on equal ground thanks to the addition of dedicated servers. This means that all players will have the same connection to the server, instead of one player having a better connection because they are the host.
In the past, CoD had always relied on listen servers for its online match hosting, which is famous for it’s “host with the most” nickname. Listen servers pick the player with the best connection speed to host the game and then the rest of the players piggyback off of that connection. This creates a lag advantage for the host who basically has no lag what so ever. Basically meaning that if you and the host shoot each other at the exact same time on your screen, the host will have already shot you first because they will have no lag.
As you can tell, that is a pretty large advantage for that one person. Now that doesn’t mean that every host in every game is the best player, but it does mean that they do have the best connection and in the past Call of Duty’s your only as good as your connection.
Now everyone has the same connection with dedicated servers, meaning that the playing field is relatively even. This means that player skill will finally be the focus of CoD multiplayer. It’s no longer about the players connection, but rather about how fast they can aim a gun at the opposing player and kill them. This is the one thing that I have always been critical of CoD for and I’m so happy to see it finally come to fruition. Sure there’s still luck that goes along with the skill, but at least that is now accounted for and not some product of the system.
Connecting and migrating host issues should also be gone, but instead will presumedly be replaced by server issues. No one likes their games to be interrupted when someone rage quits, but no one likes not being able to actually play the game like its intended (ex. GTA Online). To me that’s a fair trade and it should be limited since Ghost’s will still use listen servers when necessary according to Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin.
To some this may be a minor change for the franchise, but to me this is Call of Duty finally taking the safety off the gun and letting it’s players pull the trigger.