Main menu


“The New World is not authoritative for the customer,” says Amazon

“The New World is not authoritative for the customer,” says Amazon

 In Amazon's massively multiplayer colonization simulator New World, an invulnerability hack was recently uncovered. The simple method rendered players unkillable when they changed the window New World was running in, albeit bug has since been rectified. This sparked a debate about whether the hack succeeded because New World was "client authoritative," in the sense that it trusted the game client's interpretation of reality over the server's, which would be a major issue. This was the source of New World's problems, according to Reddit discussions and viral Twitter threads (one popular thread posted last week has since been deleted).

In Friday, Amazon reacted to the allegations, claiming that "New World is not client authoritative" on the New World forums. The New World simulation is "completely server driven," according to community manager Luxendra. Client inputs are completely animated on the server, and the information is only transmitted back once the animation is complete.

"We don't short cut or roughly compute this," Luxendra writes, "we do full physics detail for all such actions. Upon receiving the outcome, either hit or miss, the client will adjust its visual display to match what the server has determined. There are some client side tricks we use here to 'stretch' the animation while the client is waiting for the server answer, but the outcome is always based only on the server answer."

Rubberbanding, as experienced by sluggish players, indicates that the server is in charge. But why didn't this stop the invulnerability exploit from happening? According to Amazon, this was due to an issue that has now been addressed.

"We did have a problem," the post adds, "in which we were waiting server side for input from a client before processing through to outcomes in some cases.This, along with a deliberate weapon effect that allowed for temporary invulnerability, produced a situation where players might attain invulnerability and prolong it by making the client unresponsive, despite the fact that the client had no influence in damage (both damage the player creates and damage taken by the player are computed server side based on the results of physics simulation plus game rules). Given our server-based simulation, this was a very terrible problem, and we apologize. We fixed the problem in code the same day we discovered it, tested it to make sure nothing unexpected happened as a result of the modifications, and then released the patch right away."

New World has having a difficult time recently. Amazon recently had to implement a patch to prevent players from being able to post links and photos in chat, which might lead to crashes, and it also has bots hoarding crafting resources. It's still one of Steam's top three games in terms of daily concurrent player counts. At the time of writing, around 8% of New World players had attained max level.