Peer-To-Peer DDoS Attacks Threaten For Honor’s Future Success

Despite what appeared to be shaping up as a disaster, For Honor is largely a success, with innovative combat and a steep difficulty curve that is as rewarding as it is frustrating. But (a but that will always follow any sentence when talking about For Honor's success), it's peer-to-peer.

As I said in my review, its peer-to-peer nature is not the disaster everyone predicted – substantial reports of such a catastrophe make up a very small percentage of posts on places such as the forums or r/ForHonor – but that doesn't mean it's great. Wait times are much longer than you'd like them to be, and staying in a game from start to finish without interruption is hardly a guarantee.

But there are extreme examples, and no more extreme are the lengths to which some users are going to exploit For Honor's peer-to-peer connectivity. A well-known exploit that's been in peer-to-peer games since the dawn of time (and represents one entry on a laundry list of reasons that most reputable developers use dedicated servers, but I digress) is where one player can DDoS attack another player connected to the same game. This drops them from the game immediately, giving them this message:

As was pointed out in a popular reddit post, some people do this out of spite and general douchebaggery or to maintain a high winrate and the bragging rights that come along with it. Regardless of the motivation, this is a serious issue that Ubisoft needs to address.

Of course, in the state of For Honor today, that sort of thing is little more than a minor annoyance. You can report them and move on, expecting them to be banned with relative expediency. But, as I noted in my review, these kinds of exploits don't bode well for For Honor's future.

As the number of players go down, which is inevitable with any competitive multiplayer game, I imagine so too will the resources devoted to the game. This means that people who take advantage of these malicious exploits will get have an easier time doing so and an easier time getting away with it.

You can definitely see the effects in older peer-to-peer games that just become wastelands of cheaters and griefers. This should come as a series message to Ubisoft, a message that, if history has taught us anything, will never be received: it's not too late to get dedicated servers, and they would save For Honor.

I want to stress that, as of right now, For Honor is a great game with these issues not occurring with any regularity. In fact, I have dozens of hours in the game already, and I haven't experienced any extreme example of peer-to-peer's darker side. But I know that these bad seeds will only grow and flourish as For Honor ages. So, while I recommend playing For Honor, I also recommend doing so as soon as possible.