Last night, EA Sports announced a big change for NHL 19 Hockey Ultimate Team and their players. Starting today, all HUT games will now be played using dedicated servers for the game. This is something that has not been previously done for the game mode. This change should improve the game quality for HUT players. However, there are some things to be wary of.
Starting Tuesday, January 8th at 5 AM EST, #NHL19 will be switching to dedicated servers for all HUT games.
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) January 8, 2019
What existed previously before dedicated servers?
Although other game modes in NHL 19 such as World of CHEL and EASHL have dedicated servers, Hockey Ultimate Team relied on a peer-to-peer connection system for its online gameplay outside of co-op games. This meant, if one player’s connection was poor, it would usually mean a laggy and poor gaming experience for both players since the quality of the game depended on the connection of all players.
Why is EA doing this?
In a note to gamers on the EA forums, the NHL 19 development team wrote that the switch is happening because dedicated servers are a “proven technology that provide an increased level of consistency” to HUT players’ gameplay.
With the addition of dedicated servers, it means that instead of peer-to-peer, HUT players would be playing off the connection of the EA servers. This means that even if one player’s connection is poor, it would not affect the gameplay of the other player. So now, the only connection a player has to worry about is his or her own.
This change is also geared towards targeting cheaters in NHL 19, as it means players will not have to worry about IP booting, or the recent “pause glitch” that has kicked players off of HUT games.
Are there any down sides to this?
The positives in this far outweigh the negatives, but something that will be interesting to watch is what servers they will use for HUT games. If EA has moved to use some of the same servers that they already have in place for EASHL or World of CHEL for Hockey Ultimate Team, it could mean increased PING rates for players during peak hours and possibly more headaches for HUT players.
Having said that, this change should be welcome for HUT players, but what do you think? Let us know in our comments section or on our social media channels.
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