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First Person Shooters (Games) Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Halo 2 Online Preservation Effort Ends 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-show dept.
A couple weeks ago, we discussed news that some dedicated Halo 2 fans were keeping the game's multiplayer alive after support for online play was dropped. Now, a few days shy of a month after support ended, the last users have been knocked off the server. "[A user named] Apache N4SIR outlasted everyone. 'May 11th @ 0158hrs I was FORCEFULLY REMOVED!!' he wrote on the forums at Bungie.net. 'I thought I'd be the one turning off the lights but that was done for me. Good night everyone, my Elite needs a rest.' His last comrade in arms, Agent Windex, was still signed on, as spotted by Kotaku at 4 p.m. US Pacific Time on May 10, but their adventure, which began on April 15, ended after Windex announced 21 minutes later that he had been removed from play and Apache N4SIR suffered a similar fate hours later, as he described in his post."
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Halo 2 Online Preservation Effort Ends

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  • by OrwellianLurker (1739950) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:09AM (#32179120)

    Counterstrike. I seriously doubt it will decommision in my lifetime

    It's the Pacman of FPS.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kitkoan (1719118) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:10AM (#32179130)
    Halo 2 was released in 2004, [wikipedia.org] its now 2010. Thats almost 6 years. Don't know of many (if any) console games that have had that much online support made for them. I don't feel thats really screwing over your loyal customers as have some of the longest online multiplayer support. And there is a time for a business to have to cut legacy support.
  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:25AM (#32179214)

    Anyone else feel it sad when people reference a whole six years as an eternity, after which a product should surely be dropped?

    Stuff used to be made to last a lifetime. I have an old double-barreled shotgun my granddad passed down to me. My mother has dresses, dolls, and other heirlooms passed down to her by her mother. Most of this stuff is 50-75 years old, and I envision it to be around a lot longer. Even in content - I've got movies and such that are as old as I am (original release Star Wars VHS for example). Yet with this type of thing, well, it's SIX years old. It's obvious that you shouldn't expect to keep using it.

  • Re:and... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:30AM (#32179244)

    or maybe these idiot console gamers should switch (back) to pc gaming where all that stuff works that way already. those things you list shouldn't be extra features that need to be hacked in. they should work that way to begin with!! fuck paywalls and gardens!

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:35AM (#32179264) Homepage

    What makes consoles so special?

    It's easier to screw owners over.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:41AM (#32179294) Journal
    First they take multiplayer away after 6 yrs, next it will be DRM disabling of single player after 6 yrs... then 5... 4.... 3.... or whenever the sequal comes out. Slippery slope, and I'm sure some kid will say "Come on that game is 2 yrs old and they have a sequal they have to stop support someday!". No, they didn't, they designed the game so multiplayer support could be shut-off and use that as an excuse.
  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:44AM (#32179308)

    Monopoly, Risk, Axis & Allies, Diplomacy (50 years old).

    Yea-- hard to believe ANYONE would want to play a game 7 years after it was published.

    Games Workshop is getting bad about this (as is Magic the Gathering).

    Sure- you can play on your own, but convention play requires the current figures and rules. Which are arbitrarily changed about every 24-36 months.

    Business wants you to RENT everything- no ownership.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kitkoan (1719118) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @01:46AM (#32179320)

    Anyone else feel it sad when people reference a whole six years as an eternity, after which a product should surely be dropped?

    Stuff used to be made to last a lifetime. I have an old double-barreled shotgun my granddad passed down to me. My mother has dresses, dolls, and other heirlooms passed down to her by her mother. Most of this stuff is 50-75 years old, and I envision it to be around a lot longer. Even in content - I've got movies and such that are as old as I am (original release Star Wars VHS for example). Yet with this type of thing, well, it's SIX years old. It's obvious that you shouldn't expect to keep using it.

    And how much of it is still supported by the manufacturer? Most items you can buy and have been able to buy for decades normally are supported by the manufacturer for 30 to 90 days after purchase. Most products you can buy are only made to have usage for a year then its dropped by the maker in favor of the next years model and most won't help you with a product thats 2+ years old since it's no long for sale.

    As for the Halo 2, while some support for the product has been dropped on what is technically something made obsolete (the XBox), the product still works, it hasn't been made non-functioning. It can still be used for multi-player games through options like system link. If people want it enough then the homebrew community will figure out a way.

  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @02:16AM (#32179456) Homepage

    It's all part of the rentification. At one time when you bought something you owned it. You could expect to pass it on to your children one day. Your wealth would tend to increase over time.

    Now, it's all essentially a multi-year rental. Even major appliances may be expected to conk out in a decade or so and become landfill (yeah, that's really green!). You may rest assured that replacement parts will not be available should you decide to try to fix it or they will only be available to the brand X authorized repair shop that will (because of the costs to become authorized) charge you nearly as much as the cost of a new unit to replace the $20 part (that cost $2 to make and $8 to ship from China). Yeah, perhaps you were thinking one of those fancy new ones would be nice anyway, but it might have been nice to sell the old one to someone who needed a good deal on a basic appliance.

  • Re:and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trawg (308495) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @02:17AM (#32179460) Homepage

    Its not that it's proving successful, its more of a lack of options

    Right, but the reason there's a lack of options (for, say, dedicated server-based multiplayer PC games) is because we're seeing less of a focus on creating dedicated server based games. There is more focus on /controlling/ the multiplayer infrastructure now - and one reason is probably so they can simply turn it off when they want you to upgrade to the latest version.

    Hardware fails and that will render all these old tech and games obsolete no matter how much you don't want to lose these games. Systems like NES, SNES, Genesis, they are mostly gone aside from a rare special-built system but then the games are going away to, as time really does kill all things material.

    Those are all examples of closed systems though. Nintendo don't want people thinking SNES or NES - they want them thinking Wii and Wii games and DS!

    Now we have game roms and emulators, programs like DosBox. These show that the games will remain playable, granted not in their original form, but they are still there and still playable

    The problem with this analogy though is that multiplayer games have the game server component - and reverse engineering that doesn't seem like something people do very often.

    It's the server component that I'm talking about in my above post. If that is released as a free download, game developers can simply forget about supporting their games online and let "the community" do it for them for free.

  • Re:and... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @02:40AM (#32179540)

    And how much of it is still supported by the manufacturer? Most items you can buy and have been able to buy for decades normally are supported by the manufacturer for 30 to 90 days after purchase. Most products you can buy are only made to have usage for a year then its dropped by the maker in favor of the next years model and most won't help you with a product thats 2+ years old since it's no long for sale.

    Bullshit.

    I have a camera that has a lifetime warranty from cannon.
    I have a sewing machine that's 85 fucking years old that i can still get new parts for.
    I have a tv with a 10 year warranty that just expired.

    10 years ago it was unusual for a product warranty to be for less than a year, now I have to spend hundreds of dollars to get more than that.

    Even then, find me a technical part or a piece electronics without at least a one year warranty.
    I can guarantee it costs less than a hundred dollars, and honestly you get what you pay for.

    Thats the main issue, people want it cheap, and the idiots want it now.

    Cheap, Fast, Good. Pick two.

  • by SheeEttin (899897) <sheeettin@gm a i l . c om> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @02:52AM (#32179614) Homepage
    The difference here is that you can still use FORTRAN if you want to.
    One of the main selling points of games like these is their multiplayer. You'd want it to go on forever--and well you should, you certainly paid for it!
    You can still compile and run FORTRAN programs--in fact, if you run Linux, you might have a FORTRAN compiler installed and not know it (I'm in Windows, so I can't see if I do right now). Hell, when you install mingw, the compilers offered are C, C++, and FORTRAN. (Probably Java too, but I don't remember. Wikipedia says there is also Pascal and Ada support.)
    The problem with Microsoft's treatment of their fanbase is "This product has reached end-of-life, we're killing it. Tough. What, you want more? No. And don't think about setting up your own master servers, etc., or we'll sue you." (Or something to that effect.)
  • Re:and... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @02:55AM (#32179632)

    the control isn't...yet, but the games are going away. the ones that do get released do not come with mod tools or dedicated servers or whatever relevant tools are needed to keep the game going post support.

  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:12AM (#32179998)

    ...the Windows XP hangers-on were annoying. Sheesh...let it go guys. Like that one wizened old-timer in the back warehouse blathering on how FORTRAN is still relevant...

    Ehmm, it works. It supports all the hardware in my gaming machine. It has been rock stable for the past few years.

    Why *would* I change to a different OS? I already paid for this one...

  • Re:and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SCPRedMage (838040) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @04:56AM (#32180196)
    Your argument is invalid because my hat is a duck.

    Wait, that's not right...

    Your argument is invalid because they didn't specifically shut down Halo 2 multiplayer, they shut down the original XBox Live servers. They did this for a legitimate reason too; the legacy system was holding back the modern Live service, applying specific limitations that couldn't be overcome without shutting it down like this. Hell, a minority of users have been constantly complaining about the 100 person limit on Live friends list, which was, surprise, caused by the legacy Live system. People complained about it time and again, and every time, Microsoft responded with "we can't do that without shutting down the original Live!"

    As much as you'd like to believe "the man" is out to get you, this wasn't done for "forced obsolescence".
  • Re:and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @06:15AM (#32180456)
    And what people seem to forget is, even though we all like to see MS as the evil overlords, they did some pretty pioneering stuff in the early landscape of commercial console online gaming with Live. Of course, as a first cut it's full of issues, and considering people can still play these older games using alternative community developed means, I don't see an issue with MS retiring that legacy service in order to improve their current offering. It's not like they've just arbritrarily set a limit on how long you can play online games, but similarly in the console world you can't expect them to support a system which was developed for a previous iteration of their platform indefinitely. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to bash MS, so I can't understand why so many people are jumping on this as a reason - should we really hold up the future development of online gaming so that 7 people can continue to play Halo 2 forever?
  • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @08:04AM (#32180840) Journal

    You are operating under the assumption that you did not put more energy and resources into the manufacture of the new equipment or that it was going to be done anyway. Now if you really needed a new computer to do something you could not do before that holds up. You should always use the newer more energy efficent model. On the otherhand if that P4 was doing everything you needed it to do the truely green thing would probably have been to never create a market for that new computer and therefore avoid its constuction in the first place.

    There is more to greeness than just carbon emmissions; people seem to have forgotten this! Losts of really awful chemicals get used to manufacture chips; computers are full plastics that don't biodegrade and are made from limited petrol resources. Oh and on the carbon front manufacture of the thing probably consumed quite a lot of engergy all told; possibly years worth of the delta between the efficencies of the two units; and released lots of carbon.

    People whine and cry about efficent this but really most of it is feel good nonsense so people can create an excuse to make and have new toys. The disposability of our society is doing more harm to our enviornment than anything else. Which is not to say that when we do make new things we should not make them as efficent as can be. Its also true that old things which can be retrofited to improve them possibly should not be. Adding more insulation to an existing house probably makes all kinds of sense. Replacing something like an old boiler where almost everything can be recycled might be good too. Retering a perfectly servicable computer or automobile probably not so much.

  • Re:and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @08:06AM (#32180850)

    And what if 3,500,000 people take their $50 elsewhere? What then?

    This is why I don't own a console, and probably never will. A console doesn't give me enough control, and is nothing but a money pit. Far more so than a PC.

    Control is what it comes down to. I insist on controlling the equipment I own. Excepting my Cable box (which I'm basically renting) I have ultimate authority over all electronics in my house. Nobody else can tell me how to use it., and nobody can remotely disable any of it's capabilities.

    Think about it: What good are those old X-boxes now? You can't play online with them, and Single player was NEVER very impressive on them. They don't have HD capabilities, so even XBMC isn't useful anymore. They are junk. Not even useful for nostalgia's sake like an old Atari, NES, or SNES. And the old games? Money down the drain. Hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars per person just gone.

    With PC games, even if my PC dies and I have to build a new one, I can still play my old games. Even if I change OSes I can still play most of them because community groups are porting them over. So even though I've changed PC's multiple times since MW4 came out, I can still bust it out and play it, any time I want. (and I do. MW4 was and is a great game.)

    Long live PC gaming.

  • Re:and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoSleepDemon (1521253) on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @08:28AM (#32180974)
    here here! Mod parent up! This is why I own a PC, heck, I even have Duke Nukem 3D on mine. I owned and still own a PC for the exact reasons that the parent listed. In fact, I grew up around making games and mods and levels for Doom all the way to Half-Life and ended up getting a degree in programming games, moving to Canada and soon with a few more portfolio pieces I'll be starting my own company. What hasn't changed through all this? The fact that I will always be a PC gamer. It is such a shame that younger generations will be introduced to 'gaming' in its current, pathetic watered down state. They will learn nothing from hacking the game's config files, nothing from building new levels, nothing from collaborating with mod projects and nothing from programming their own game or exercising their imagination. All they will learn is how to put a disc into a drive and to press the big green X button.

    Long live PC gaming indeed.
  • Sad to hear.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oceanclub (654183) <paul_moloney@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 12, 2010 @09:57AM (#32181806) Homepage

    I'm not a Halo fan myself at all, but it does seem rather sad that someone's favourite online game can be suddenly taken away like this. When you're almost 40, 6 years really isn't such a long time, and currently I'm replaying Deus Ex which is, gasp, 10 years old. And you have even more extreme versions; for example, Mercenaries 2's multiplayer being turned off after only 1.5 years. Whether it's for reasons of costs, or do force players to purchase the latest games, is open for debate.

    One of the benefits of PC gaming is that old games are readily available and indeed are revamped (either by unofficial graphical enhancement mods or by companies such as GOG.com re-released old games but compatible with modern GUIs).

    P.

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