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Networking Games

No Dedicated Servers For CoD: Modern Warfare 2 313

An anonymous reader writes "Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling (aka fourzerotwo), in an interview with BashandSlash.com on October 17th, announced that one of the mainstays of PC multiplayer gaming, dedicated servers, won't be in IW's upcoming sequel to Call of Duty 4. Instead, players will use the unknown 'IW Net' for matchmaking purposes. No dedicated servers means no player mods, no player maps, no organized competitive play, no clan servers, etc., and strips away what makes PC gaming different from console gaming. Many vocal gamers have canceled their pre-orders, and a petition to reverse this decision is already past 86,000 signatures."
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No Dedicated Servers For CoD: Modern Warfare 2

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  • No fun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 4D6963 ( 933028 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @04:48AM (#29805187)

    It appears that there will be no community mods or maps for MW2.


    Mods/custom maps were half the fun of CoD4 on PC. Paintball mod on the Simpsons map (mp_simpsons) was awesome, and most custom maps I've played were pretty awesome, several of them could even have been official maps.

  • by thatbloke83 ( 1529851 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @05:49AM (#29805463)
    I read this over the weekend and went mental. This seriously upset me. I'm off to a massive LAN in the UK in 3 weeks and there's talk of Activision being there to sponsor/promote an MW2 tournament to be held there. (the LAN runs from 13th-16th November, just a few days after the game launches). If they are, they are getting 1500 gamers in their faces telling then to take their shitty console game and FUCK OFF. I'm seriously tempted to run around with people spotting people playing it and removing it from their PCs. We'll stick with CoD4. This also affects the Gamer Server Providers too... alot of them have had preorders for MW2 servers up for a while and now they will have to cancel and refund every single preorder, all becuase some stupid asshat wants to turn my PC into a games console.
  • Suits me just fine. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by bitrex ( 859228 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:48AM (#29805693)
    As a casual gamer who has never gotten involved with the "clan" scene, it has always irked me that after buying a game like something from the Battlefield series - which is marketed as an online game - it turns out that to actually play the game online one has to use servers rented or owned by independent parties. One's access to the multiplayer content is then restricted to the whims of the server admins and whomever they deem fit to exercise admin powers. Why should this be so? I agreed to an EULA with Electronic Arts; I didn't agree to anything with the administrators of the InsanE KillaZs 64-player Conquest server. If EA is going to sell something as an online game they should provide a network for that game to be played on, and the terms of play should be clearly stated in the EULA and enforced if necessary by the company. Not subject to the moods of the hardcore gamers whose server rules change on a day-to-day basis.
  • by icsx ( 1107185 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:08AM (#29805773)
    L4D's lobby system fails in so many ways, even today after multiple updates.

    1. You get assigned to a lobby where someone (lobby host) is from Australia and you from Finland. ERR, thats a 370ms latency right there

    2. You join into a game that is already going. ERR, that's a 150ms latency there between you and the server which hardly is playable as you cannot predict the zombies hits properly.

    3. Lobby assigns you to a modded server where there are some shitty mods going on, the option "back to lobby vote" is disabled. Shit outta luck there. Too bad that the modded servers and 3rd party servers are in same pile (which SUCKS).

    4. You cannot select a server where to go, unless you revert to console commands and are a lobby host or use direct connect to particular server through console.

    5. Custom maps are a joke. You have to pre-download them and it takes too long time due to maps (campaigns) being over 100 megs, even 300. Once you download them, imagine 30 KB's a second. Thats 1 hour right there. At the point where you get it downloaded, no one is even playint it anymore. Next time you play, same thing but you get to download whole new campaign. At the moment i have 5 Gigs of custom campaigns downloaded from which i have played 3 out of over 20 campaigns.

    On the good old CSS/TF2 system, you could just connect to a server and download the campaign from there directly and fast, if the server used a fastdownload host. I guess there was a reason for this, so the slow downloaders would not reserve a spot but Valve should have had the custom maps available over Steam.

    6. You end up on a gameserver that is running within a server that is overcrowded aka overloaded aka running too many goddamn gameservers. Even Valve does this with L4D. The official L4D servers were running only 10-20 ticks per second while the optimal is 30. This is caused by the overhead CPU usage in panic events, such as finales and small fight scenes. At that point the CPU usage peaks up 100-300% compared to regular usage. Imagine 30 servers running fine and then all having panic event at the same time. Sheesh!

    7. There is no community in L4D. I have one server in top 150 played L4D servers in the world (valve rank, which you see when entering the gameserver). It has served over 26531 players at that time from which 99,99% are people who see:
    - Good server running
    - Wonder how they could go there through lobby again

    Valve builds a system where players keep in touch through Steam so they get together through random system and them meet up on some server ,add eachothers to friendslist and so on. This is perfectly fine but what Valve now forgets is the communities that actually run the servers. There should be a way to pick a server from the list and if its free, lobby assign to it. How hard can it be?

    8. No one is actually looking after the players at the servers. There are stats about ragequits, teamkills, and such but not for the server owners. All they can do is look at the logs if someone killed the whole group in some random game and left the server. That sucks, really. And who reads those logs, there are tons of text for crying out loud!

    9. The lobby search fails with filtering. If i put difficulty level to Any, i get multiple servers. If i go back, select filter to Expert, i see none or only 1, 2 campaigns with expert on, even though previously with setting any, i saw over 10. If i go back and set it to any again, i see them again, all of them.

    10. A lot more stuff that i just can't now remember.

    Lobby works to a certain point, perhaps for games like this but needs work - a lot.
  • by Spazztastic ( 814296 ) <spazztastic@gmai ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:41AM (#29805969)

    Imagine the lost sales if Valve had blocked mods on half-life and we never received counter-strike, I know that is an extreme example of mods driving sales, but they do to a point anywhere.

    Well I think the big thing is that Half Life was made incredibly popular by the mods that were made for it. I played Counter Strike before I even knew what Half Life was. Once I played it, it was definitely an amazing game, but it still is what got me indoctrinated into the series.

    I can honestly say for a fact that I was planning on buying this game (Fuck preorders, I'm not that hellbent on getting it), and now I won't because of this. I'd run a dedicated server on my spare computer in my house and my friends would play. Now we're gonna move onto a different game because of this. There's $50 gone for them.

  • by LongNosePete ( 837934 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:48AM (#29806009)
    This isn't a problem with the console vs. pc gamer market. As much as I hate to say it, this is a misguided response to piracy.

    The Call of Duty Devs know exactly how many stolen / cracked copies are around for COD:MW, http://kotaku.com/344848/piracy-makes-call-of-duty-4-devs-sad [kotaku.com]. So their thinking (behind closed doors) is if you lock down the servers so people can't pirate / mod / customize servers you make more money.

    Reality piracy != sale. All of those people who crack / share cd keys are not going to go ahead a buy a copy of the game. Especially if it is crippled so only pirates can mod / play on outside servers.

    So Lather, Rinse, Repeat 6-13.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:27AM (#29806865)

    ""They could provide their own server as a value add, and I'm sure the service would be popular.""

    This is an area the game developers have dreamed of for years, but it goes way beyond that simple comment. Online play with private dedicated servers up until now has been a money loser in the support Dept. for game developers and distributors that do aspects of general support for the PC platform.

    Removing dedicated servers and starting up IWNet is a prime to exploit the customer. IWNet is really nothing more than a disguised delivery and billing system and latr a billing system that also delivers content. This is the beginning of moving away from the player owning the game to a delivered content model that they can charge a fee. You buy the game and it can be played fine in a limited way, but if you want the expanded content then you pay a monthly subscription fee. FPS games are prime for this now that consoles have almost caught up to the PC platform, so merging them under one delivery system makes sense to the game company.

    Once you have IWNet deployed and debugged you simply go through a period to allow the customers (suckers) accept it as the way to play. This will never site well with the hardcore but they aren't the target. The target is the average players as IW often quotes. Now that players are comfortable you introduce the 'added content' part of the model. This costs extra. Similar to addon paks companies have tried to make money on for years. But now there is both a delivery method and the impulse buyer, because they simply add it to their steam account and are billed directly.

    Now for phase 3 if you wish to put a name to it.. The company now introduces enhanced online play with many more control and modding options, along with a much improved match system. A monthly fee is all that is required to play. This of course is the real payoff. PAY TO PLAY is now here and everyone accepts it as the norm. If you want to go beyond the causal player level, then you are going to pay for it.

    Don't take my word for it. It's been discussed for years but the technology simply wasn't there. Now it is and in 3-5 years what we all have known will be gone if IWNet is a success. Think of it like cable tv. You get the privilege of paying for whatever tier you want. May not be what you like but to bad. It's not about the customer it's about money and control. the two always go together.

  • Re:Won't it ... ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scuba_steve_1 ( 849912 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @05:16PM (#29814723)

    Dead on. I am in a COD Clan, which I will not mention here. We were in existence as far back as MOH Spearhead...and later hosted servers for COD UO, COD2, COD4, and now, WaW. We typically support (modded) servers long after others have left the game...and are currently still running servers for COD2 and COD4 in addition to WaW.

    We buy our games on release day. Actually, we pick them up on release day...we buy them well in advance. We have about 150 clan members and another 100 or so associated regular players...in addition to our guests. We don't pirate...and we run PB...so they are free to check what they want for our members, regulars, and guests.

    We pay over $400 a month for a dedicated physical server (on which we host multiple game servers). We also pay for a separate host for forums, map redirects, and a Vent server.

    In the past, we have also run BF2, BF2142, MOH Airborne and other titles, but CoD is our primary game...and we were really looking forward to MW2. No longer.

    We run only games that allow us to host our own server. We finally were able to swing that with BF and that's why we ran it. For us, the community is *at least* as important as the game. We want a single place (or set of servers actually) where our members, regulars, and guests can join us. We also want control over the maps, mods, and admin. We run a mature server and do not tolerate immature players, cheaters, or folks who lack sportsmanship.

    Frankly, I have limited expectations for this petition...or any type of boycott. That said, my clan is out. There is no way that we support a game that doesn't allows us to host it. i.e., a game that ignores the importance of our community. We have had a fairly sizable number of members cancel pre-orders...and now have switched our attention to BF3. It's a big leap for us (sad, but true), but as the dude says, this will not stand.

    The clan abides,.

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