While not every issue can be resolved with server-side updates that are effectively invisible to gamers, Respawn is attempting to make seamless updates a reality forTitanfall as often as possible.
In response to a forum post inquiring about how Titanfall title updates will be handled, Respawn programmer Jon Shiring explained the developer's approach and pointed to the recent alpha test as evidence of what it's doing. "During our small Closed Alpha, we rolled out 3 new server builds and completely moved players from one build to the next without interrupting gameplay. Players never noticed a difference (other than some bugs went away)," he wrote.
"We will definitely be rolling out new server builds to fix issues that we find. Not every issue can be patched entirely on the server, and so some fixes will require a client patch. But new server builds are definitely something we will be doing."
Asked if this was due more to the technology powering Titanfall or the Azure cloud servers it's making use of, Shiring indicated both are playing a role.
"Seamless updates are due to the stuff we've written," he explained. "The fact that we can somewhat-easily deploy new builds on Azure is due to the Xbox Live Compute team's hard work. This is an area that we've been working on with them for some time now. We originally told them that no-cert, fast server updates were a requirement for us, and they made that happen."
Shiring has touted the benefits of Azure before, and, in particular, what having dedicated servers allows for. "This is a really big deal, and it can make online games better," Shiring said last year.
"This is something that we are really excited about. The Xbox Live Cloud lets us to do things in Titanfall that no player-hosted multiplayer game can do. That has allowed us to push the boundaries in online multiplayer and that's awesome. We want to try new ideas and let the player do things they’ve never been able to do before!"
A Titanfall beta is on its way soon, although registrations have yet to begin. The full game is scheduled for release on March 11 in North America, March 13 in much of Europe, and March 14 in the U.K.