As we have previously mentioned, one of the main features of VU is the ability to freely host your own servers, without having to be some kind of 'Registered Server Provider'. However, some of you have queried us about how exactly that will work.
Will you need to find and download the dedicated server files?
Will you be able to use your normal game installation?
Will the servers have some kind of authentication mechanism?Server Hosting
So, first of all, VU servers will be hosted using the regular BF3 client files.
That means that you will simply need an up-to-date BF3 client with the Venice Unleashed client installed, and you're almost good to go.
Concerning dedicated server files, we have decided to not support them, mainly due to legal issues that may arise by their use from unauthorized parties, and because even though it's more work on our side, after it's finished, it will be much easier to properly maintain and update.
Now, we do understand that using the actual client may cause some minor issues to some server providers (as a download of 30+ GB is required for a single server installation), and we will be looking into providing a solution in the future.Authentication
When it comes to server authentication, some of you may know that the way 'vanilla' dedicated servers work is by having a hard-coded username and password that is used to simply allow access to the backend. Servers also require a providerid file, which is supposedly used to identify RSPs, however it is only verified client-side, and is of absolutely no significance to the backend.
Additionally, EA has introduced a whitelist for several backend commands (like game creation), in order to restrict hosting abilities to specific authorized parties.
If you ask us, we think this system is stupid, exploitable, and extremely difficult to manage.
For that reason, we will be using a custom authentication system for VU servers.
Instead of using a pair of hardcoded credentials, each VU server will require a unique key in order to be able to properly authenticate with our backend services.
Each key will be account-tied and obtainable through a subsection of the VU website.Limitations
Even though keys will be generated for free, you will not be able to generate an infinite amount of them.
In order to be able to properly manage servers, we will be placing restrictions depending on your account's 'provider status'.
There will be 4 provider statuses: Regular, Clan, Registered, and Official.
Each status has the ability to host more servers that the previous one, with Official being able to host an infinite amount of servers.
The server limit of each provider status will be adjusted during the Closed Beta, so we can't really tell you right now exactly how many servers you will be able to host.
Finally, we should note that upgrading from one provider status to another will be completely free, given that you fulfill some criteria.
We would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to discuss this on our forums by clicking on the button below!From the Venice Unleashed Blog.