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Behind The Curtain: The Warhawk Servers

Dylan Jobe's Avatar + Posted by Dylan Jobe on Aug 08, 2007 // President, LightBox Interactive

Warhawk Servers 1

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a “peek-behind-the-curtain,” to show you our sweet Warhawk server setup.

Those of you familiar with Warhawk already know that the game features a very unique server method that we call “Integrated Game Server” or IGS for short — the industry needs more acronyms don’t you think :-)

The Warhawk IGS method means that instead of us forcing players to be connected to the SONY “mothership” for any and all games, we instead let players host their own servers on their own PS3s. This is fairly unique and it enables a couple of really nice benefits.

First, since Warhawk is a global online game, our IGS method scatters game servers quite literally into player’s homes all over the planet — the US, China, Europe, Australia, and Japan! No matter where you live, what time you want to play, or what language you speak, you’ll always be able to get your game on.

Secondly, this helps with latency. If you haven’t heard, Warhawk is a fast game, a very fast game, so we wanted to ensure you had the best chance of finding servers with good ping times. We also wanted to make sure people could host *and* play on their own servers. After all, why should you have to connect to a server a gazillion hops away when you know that there are Warhawk servers running in your state or city? Possibly on your same ISP? Maybe even friends in your neighborhood or buddies in your dorm?

Hence our desire to develop an IGS system for Warhawk.

All that said, we still want to make sure that there are always an abundance of wicked-fast Ranked Dedicated servers available for players. The images that accompany this post were taken by our very talented IT team here at SCEA. And yes, what you’re looking at is an enormous server cluster for Warhawk…of rack-mounted PS3s!

During the public beta, many of you wanted *way more* Ranked-Dedicated servers to play on so you could level-up and earn awards, rank upgrades, etc….

Well…ask and ye shall receive!

In addition to players being able to host their own servers, 32-player “dedicated” servers for your clan practices or 24-player “player” servers, SONY has made a great commitment to all of our Warhawk players by staging Warhawk Server clusters similar to this one all over the world.

The system that our IT team engineered for Warhawk is truly killer and we couldn’t be happier with the setup — and hopefully players will be stoked too once the game launches. Just for the record…I am fairly confident that our IT team is not comprised of Autobots.

For those of you who participated in the beta, you may remember toward the end that some players started to “spoof” the official SONY server names — shame on you. I will find you all online and shank you repeatedly or snipe you in the crotch!

So…in the beta forums you all asked for a way to identify official SONY servers from player servers…Again, your wish is granted.

When Warhawk launches, all official servers are displayed with an eye-pleasing blue color in the server list. This gives players a really quick way of picking which server they want to connect to.

Alright, this post is getting pretty damn long so I gotta wrap it up.

The last thing I want to mention, and those of you who participated in the beta already know this, is that we don’t force game match-making on to our players with Warhawk. When you log-in to Warhawk, you get a server list…a *global* server list (with customizable filters of course), just like many of us have come to love from years of PC gaming. *You*, the player, get to choose the server you want to play on. If you don’t see a server out there that has exactly what you want…then launch your own.

And yes, you can play on your own server too…even in 4-way split screen.

Well…hope this gives you a bit more info on Warhawk’s server system and setup. If you have any questions please post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer as many as I can.

Rock on!

Warhawk Servers 3Warhawk Servers 2

//Add Your Own

407 Comments

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1

+ StephanKetz on August 8th, 2007 at 10:13 am said:

The power behind PLAYSTATION Network is simply awesome!


2

+ TheDevilsJoker on August 8th, 2007 at 10:15 am said:

Thats alot of PS3′s


3

+ p-s-3 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:16 am said:

Looks&sounds cool!!!;)


4

+ TheDevilsJoker on August 8th, 2007 at 10:21 am said:

I suggest giving us a super duper secret server for PS bloggers that features something cool. Hah


5

+ RicanPlaya88 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:22 am said:

PS3′s look so gorgeous. Glad I have one! :-)


6

+ PSheddy on August 8th, 2007 at 10:22 am said:

Sounds great! Can’t wait to play this game!


7

+ aaquib on August 8th, 2007 at 10:32 am said:

Thanks for answering our questions, but will we be able to share this game with 5 other activated PS3′s like the other games available through the PS Store?


8

+ luckskywalker7 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:33 am said:

sounds awesome! Looks like it is going to be a great game.


9

+ Violater on August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am said:

Wow, that looks impressive.
What’s the head count over there??


10

+ Draicus on August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am said:

THAT is an awesome display of PS3 prowess. I seriously can’t wait to get back into Warhawk. I was one of those poor guys that was trying to log in to the game even after you’d locked us all out.


11

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am said:

Holy crap that is a lot of PS3……

Some pretty funny links there too… wrap it up is hilarious.

correct me if I am wrong, but being able to host your own servers also means that the servers can’t get shut down right? thats another benefit I think.

I was so pissed when they stopped the the MGS3 servers, or all of those games from EA.

Did I mentioned that those are a lot of PS3 :-o


12

+ perroza on August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am said:

I was part of the BETA, and my heart was crushed when the BETA ended. Thank goog the game is almost out so I can put my Warhawk skills up and running again. This game rocks and cant wait to get it.

PS: Just wondering if those server rooms are hot as hell with all that PS3 power running?


13

+ eclipsed4utoo on August 8th, 2007 at 10:37 am said:

hows the ventilation in those rack-mounts? doesn’t look like much room to ventilate out of the back.


14

+ Slick on August 8th, 2007 at 10:38 am said:

What a sight!!! All of those glorious PS3′s lined up like that is seriously impressive.


15

+ reson8er on August 8th, 2007 at 10:38 am said:

I cannot wait.

Kudos to Incognito for being serious about the PS3 online.

I wish I could have got in on some Beta Lovin’ but with only 20 more days till release, I’ll live ;)


16

+ Razrsharp on August 8th, 2007 at 10:39 am said:

This is awesome, I can’t wait to get my hands on this game. Hopefully no delays!


17

+ xjoshbx on August 8th, 2007 at 10:39 am said:

Hmm… I work for an ISP. We use to host some of the fastest CS(couter strike) servers in the world.

I wonder if i could mention this to management…


18

+ chacal81 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:42 am said:

what’s up bloggers? When you see Chacal ya’ll better run.


19

+ Nathan Hale on August 8th, 2007 at 10:44 am said:

wow


20

+ DarkKnight on August 8th, 2007 at 10:44 am said:

Amaaaazing!

It would appear that they have just solved the only two complaints that I could come up with during the Beta. Exxxxxcellent!

Cheers,
DarkKnight


21

+ eclipsed4utoo on August 8th, 2007 at 10:46 am said:

I have a question. Does Warhawk use the XMB’s friends list or it’s own friends list?


22

+ MaskerIII on August 8th, 2007 at 10:48 am said:

Oh my [DELETED] God! That looks amazing! PS3 looks awesome! I can’t wait to download this game.

How much is Warhawk going to be off the UK PS Store?


23

+ MaskerIII on August 8th, 2007 at 10:49 am said:

I’m pretty confident Warhawk uses the XMB friend’s list, with voice chat, dedicated servers all for free (excluding the price of the game).


24

+ darkiewonder on August 8th, 2007 at 10:49 am said:

WOW. Stacks of ps3s there. That’s pretty awesome.


25

+ WoodyWood09 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:51 am said:

Wow that is really great!


26

+ redDragon on August 8th, 2007 at 10:51 am said:

Sounds very cool, I just hope my internet connection is good enough.

Does a 32-player server filled up require a very strong connection, or is a mediocre connection good enough?


27

+ AwRy108 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:54 am said:

…all this info. and we STILL don’t know if the game will give players access to their PSN Friends List. Well, will it SONY? Please tell us!


28

+ djtortilla on August 8th, 2007 at 10:54 am said:

wow cool use of ps3′s.

this hosting setup for warhawk is great. Im glad is doing some innovative and is being open with regards to multiplayer and networking.

Sony deserves this console race on principal alone. Keep up the good work.

I definitely will be checking this game out

im not trolling, but is that what sony is doing with their unsold ps3′s?


29

+ 40cal on August 8th, 2007 at 10:54 am said:

@ Dylan

Great job on keeping us informed. I have to say if it was not for this blog by SCEA I would not be getting Warhawk on day one.

And yes the stacks of PS3 looks very nice. That is alot of Cell BE’s in one place. I hope that room has AC.


30

+ sequoia on August 8th, 2007 at 10:56 am said:

Thanks for letting us in on the server setup, it’s looking very sick! This game can’t come out fast enough! Always enjoy your posts Dylan, looking forward to kicking your butt online! :)


31

+ Stoffinator on August 8th, 2007 at 10:56 am said:

I really enjoyed the beta and can’t wait for the game to be released. It looks so odd seeing all the PS3 to be stacked like that and them being used for a server. But very cool!


32

+ 9158 on August 8th, 2007 at 10:56 am said:

Wasn’t the Warhawk FAQ supposed to be up YESTERDAY?

Anyway…

Will Warhawk support clans?
How will clan support be implemented?
Will clan leaders need to “invite” people in their clan like in Resistance?
Will there be a Friends list different from the XMB friends list?
Or will the game use the XMB friends list?
Will the game support more than one BT headset per console (for online split-screen multiplayer)?


33

+ HOdiddy on August 8th, 2007 at 10:56 am said:

DAM I wish I had that many PS3′s………….


34

+ XcoM on August 8th, 2007 at 10:57 am said:

Wow. This is a must have game! Great job!

Any word on EU release date and price?


35

+ eclipsed4utoo on August 8th, 2007 at 10:57 am said:

@redDragon

I would also like to know this. One thing I hate most about online matches is when somebody with a horrible connection tries to play a match with the maximum number of players…..then everybody lags and the match gets dropped.

Incognito,

Is there a feature that recommends a match limit depending on the connection? I know that UbiSoft did a patch for GRAW that did this, so I was hoping there was a similar feature to combat the issue I stated above.


36

+ Totao on August 8th, 2007 at 11:00 am said:

oh wow its all ps3s I was thinking we were going to have ibm blade servers or something like that, wow just wow. hey dylan what happened with the Q/A you guys were going to post yesterday


37

+ Andronix on August 8th, 2007 at 11:02 am said:

I seriously cant wait to get my hands on Warhawk. Playing with friends against the world is gonna be pretty cool.


38

+ wildblue on August 8th, 2007 at 11:02 am said:

Awesome. Have any leftovers that wouldn’t fit in the rack? I’d be happy to find some space for them ;P

Tell Gerg I’m coming for him… he can camp the TOW all he wants.

@9158

The beta did support clans, and you have to be invited to join one (or you could create your own)


39

+ TwinsDad on August 8th, 2007 at 11:04 am said:

Thanks for the very detailed information. It’s nice to read on how a game or design is put together and it all comes together.

How about larger pics, I’d love to make the bottom left picture my background for the PS3.


40

+ joel on August 8th, 2007 at 11:05 am said:

Cool


Dylan Jobe's Avatar

41

+ Dylan Jobe on August 8th, 2007 at 11:05 am said:

Hi Everyone,

We are trying to collect all your questions so we can make a more comprehensive FAQ post.

Just wanted to let you all know that we’ll be trying hit your questions “in-bulk” rather than giga-tons of little comments.

If you have a question, please post it and the SCEA team and I will do our very best to get you the info you need :-)


42

+ aaquib on August 8th, 2007 at 11:05 am said:

I know you can pull up your PS3 friend’s list(the XMB one), and see who’s in Warhawk, in what match, but are there going to be invites? For example if Jim is in the XMB will I be able to send him a message inviting him to play in my match, similar to Mortal Kombat 2.


43

+ Evazan on August 8th, 2007 at 11:07 am said:

WoWzerbeams!

You guys rock Jobe!


44

+ theShah on August 8th, 2007 at 11:09 am said:

That is an awesome site!

I was part of the warhawk beta and i wanted to know how much cleaned up the game is now in terms of performance, and if you have improved anything else.

Also, how large is the warhawk file going to be if i choose to download it instead of buying it off retail?


45

+ 40cal on August 8th, 2007 at 11:09 am said:

@ SCEA

Will Warhawk be able to support more than one headset for split screen online play? It would be great if two or more people can talk online through the same PS3.


46

+ killgtx on August 8th, 2007 at 11:11 am said:

@ SCEA how about talk, its pressing a button? please, say me yes!!!

And, what about clans?


47

+ StormLord on August 8th, 2007 at 11:11 am said:

nice to see all those dedicated PS3 servers :) most of the time with the peer servers there would be problems during the beta, but the dedicated one ran so much better.


48

+ lostboy85 on August 8th, 2007 at 11:14 am said:

wow thats really cool!
ive always wanted to see an online server.


49

+ bhu11 on August 8th, 2007 at 11:15 am said:

Hi Dylan what happened with the warhawk Q and A?
I was REALLY looking forward to it!


50

+ GamerMan76 on August 8th, 2007 at 11:15 am said:

perroza | August 8th, 2007 at 10:36 am
PS: Just wondering if those server rooms are hot as hell with all that PS3 power running?

Those “servers” are in a server room with a raised floor you can tell by the tile floor with the holes. The tiles with the holes allo the dedicated AC units that blow the air through the floor up around the servers. I guarantee you that room is about “walkin fridgerator” temperature


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