Chivalry 2‘s latest update is called “Duel of the Fêtes”, which makes me wish I could drop the chef’s kiss emoji into RPS posts. It gets even better, though. Aside from adding new maps, “skill based team balancing”, and quality-of-life improvements, the update also adds unofficial server support, for players who want to tweak game rules and party like it’s 1999.

Chivalry 2 – Duel of the Fêtes Trailer

Chivalry 2 – Duel of the Fêtes trailer.

There are three new maps in the update, all of which are shown in the trailer above. They’ve got fairly descriptive names. “Frozen Wreck” can be played in either free-for-all or team deathmatch, while Bazaar and Duelyard can only be played in free-for-all.

The skill based team balancing will use “an algorithm derived from global rank” in order to balance teams before a match. In other words, it’ll try to make sure both teams are even in terms of skill level, rather than all the best players being on one side. Once balanced, players can’t switch sides unless players leave and the teams become unbalanced again, or they’re switched automatically by the algo.

You can read more about how this works in the patch notes. This kind of change seems destined to be controversial – people don’t always love rankings – but hey, that’s part of why it’s a good thing that the update also introduces unofficial server support.

Within the server browser, players will now find a “Rent A Server” button that allows them to pay for an unofficial server from a company called Nitrado. These unofficial servers will let players change class limits, match timers, turn certain features such as horses on or off, and to play that one map they actually like with their friends over and over again.

Dedicated servers rented from a third-party used to be a default part of online multiplayer games, and they allow for communities to flourish, mods to spread, and games to live on even when their servers are no longer financial viable for the developers. They ought to be an essential part of every online multiplayer game now, in my eyes, but alas they are not. I’m thrilled Chivalry 2 now supports them, anyway.

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