Saturday, 17 October 2009

I.W. potentially ruins Modern Warfare 2's online before release. - Updated

Earlier today a webcast from that involved an interview with an IW employee, community manager Rob Bowling, revealed some rather bizarre (at very least) new information about Modern Warfare 2's online gameplay. In short, and to quote Zips, Site Director from CS Nation:

  • IW has control of the game
  • IWnet servers will host multiplayer
  • DLC will be a charged item for PC
  • No dedicated servers
  • Matchmaking system used to play with similarly ranked players
  • VAC instead of PB
  • Semi-capable password servers
  • Semi-capable ad-hoc servers
  • Competitive play is dead
  • MW2 mods would not be possible
  • Full integration into Steam

In other words, it's removing control away from players under the guise of "making it simpler".

Now, I have nothing against IW-Hosted servers as an option, and making it more accessible to new players, or people without the money for a dedicated server, seems like a pretty good idea. The gaping hole of this logic comes when they downright force us to give up dedicated servers, which is basically destroying what makes online great on the PC.

Despite what the I.W. employee claims, online gameplay on PC has always been superior due to the level of customization and control it allows. You buy your own servers, you make your own rules and you shape your own content. Your server basically becomes your "home". You ban who you want, you do what you want, and whomever doesn't like it can stay out. None of this is possible once you put it all under a company's wing. Regardless of what anyone says, being FORCED to play it on their servers means that, ultimately, it's their rules, and whatever they decide goes, because you CAN'T just leave and play on your own server. What if tomorrow Infinity Ward decides having the word "gay" in your name is not allowed? It's not like this kind of thing never happened before. Or that maybe swearing is not allowed.

Ultimately, this is not about having "LOLDICKGAYFAG!" as your user name, but over the fact that you no longer own the online portion of your game. You loan it. And you're subject to the whims and machinations of whomever at I.W..

Forced Matchmaking is yet another colossal dickmove... While it's nice to have the option to "quick join" a game, I think we all know by now how fun FORCED Matchmaking is (and how well it works).

These are all things that could potentially be great news if they were all added as options, but making them mandatory over the "tried and true" formula feels dictatorial and coercive at best, and self-destructive at worse.

Let's hope this is just a misinformed employee, and that we will get our dedicated servers and full control of our own game, at least as an option.

More on this as it develops.

Update - 20/10/09: Apparently Robert "fourzerotwo" Bowling remains resolute that this is, in fact, the best option for PC gamers and he's showing little signs of backing down on his blog.

I get the feeling this won't end here.

Source: The Escapist

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