Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
, the multiplayer Western from independent developers Fatshark recently released a major update which included for the first time dedicated servers for PC. While this is something that we applaud, the dedicated server software has three key flaws that will prevent most Game Service Providers ('GSPs') from supporting it.
GSPs usually use hosts with server hardware that is 'enterprise class' that can support a large number of dedicated servers for different games on the same hardware. Unfortunately, Lead and Gold doesn't support this in three key ways. The most critical is that the dedicated server won't run at all on a host without a graphics card; usually the hardware GSPs use has no graphics card.
Lead and Gold's dedicated server also does not support selecting a port to communicate with clients; this means that GSPs can only run one dedicated server per machine. Finally, the dedicated server software uses 100% of a CPU even when empty; an empty Lead and Gold dedicated server can use more CPU than a full 32 player Bad Company 2 server.
These problems are especially frustrating for us as we went to lengths to communicate these sorts of issues to the developer well in advance of this release by sending them the Dedicated Server Guide
that we wrote - after more than ten years of experience running dedicated servers at a commercial level. The good news is that Fatshark have already announced that they are investigating an update to remove the need for a graphics card, so hopefully we'll see these issues addressed soon.