EVE Online’s launcher is getting with the times and will soon be using the BitTorrent protocol for downloading and installing updates for the game. While BitTorrenting may be familiar to you via the world of piracy (which I know none of you do but you’ve friends who have told you about the process. At least, I got all my information about the illicit practice via Jeremy) it’s also an extremely stable download system, one which should hopefully mean fewer corrupted files and smiles all round for EVE players.
CCP have noticed that more than a fair few client downloads end in failure, with vital bits of data going astray during download. Responding to this they’ve opted to change the download protocol at the foundation of their game’s launch client to the BitTorrent protocol.
Because of the way that BitTorrent downloads work – the file is broken up into many little bitesize chunks that can be downloaded out of sequence and reassembled once the user has them all – the immediate advantage of this is the ability for bittorrent downloads to be paused part way through and, even if your computer turns off mid-download, to be able to return to exactly the same point and resume without problems.
However, one concern EVE players may have is the part of BitTorrenting that’s all about sharing. As well as CCP sending you these bitesize files other players who have downloaded the client are able to share the files, too. This means that the more people who have downloaded the client the more people are able to share and upload it to each other. This could be a drain on a player’s upload bandwidth.
CCP have addressed this concern, saying “by default the new EVE Launcher will only make you share the data required for installing the client while you are downloading; once your download is complete you will not be distributing it to others, unless you explicitly enable this in the option”. So, you will be uploading but as little as CCP are able to manage.
They’re rolling the update out onto their test server in the next few weeks so not long after that it should replace your standard game launcher.