Rant: Modern Warfare 2
Sorry for deviating from the normal MMO stuff for an entry, but there is something bothering me that I can't help myself from touching on. During our time in between MMOs, Inquisition likes to dabble in a variety of other games to help pass the time. One of the most popular games in my vent has consistently been the various incarnations of Call of Duty, be it Modern Warfare or World At War. First person shooters are a genre near and dear to our hearts coming in a close second under MMOs, so naturally when we heard Modern Warfare 2 was coming, there was a lot of excitement.
Then it happened. The most blatant display of a developer literally taking a hot steaming deuce on its playerbase. Infinity Ward breaks the news to the gaming community that the PC version of the game will not have dedicated servers, but instead will feature a peer-to-peer match making system akin to what is commonly found on console systems. The heads of Infinity Ward tried to justify this decision...
"We're just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners," says West. He points toward the mounting feedback IW has received from PC fans of Modern Warfare who couldn't find a decent server to play on between all of the cheaters, the insular communities, and huge skill level disparities that the original game's community fractured into. "We thought maybe it would be cool if the fans could play the game," he laughs.
Does he really think PC gamers are too stupid to figure out how to find a good server to play on? I've been playing Call of Duty 4 and 5 for the last year and it has never been a real issue for us. Chances are if you are smart enough to know how to operate a computer, you are smart enough to look at a server list and pick a game that best suits your needs.
So what does a loss of dedicated servers really mean to PC players? First of all, it means that a player with a residential internet connection will be hosting the game giving him a perfect ping advantage while the other players are at the mercy of his connection. This also means the days of large epic battles on server with upwards of 64 people will be traded for servers with about 18 people max. No more tweaking the servers to turn off cheap noob tubes, martyrdom, last stand, and other common unskilled cheeseball tactics that destroy the balance of the game. Clans can also kiss their private servers goodbye used for competitive play.
Worst of all, no dedicated servers means there will be no mods and custom maps. One of our favorite aspects of Call of Duty is the "Zombie X" mod which we still play regularly on CoD 5. This game mode features one randomly selected zombie who has to infect all the hunters until the entire map gets turned into zombie or the hunters hold out for a set amount of time. Often times this gets combined with some amazing custom maps for an extremely fun and heart pounding experience. Nothing gets you going like having 40 people trying to break into a house your held up in with the last remaining players. Alas, these days will be gone in MW2.
In response to all of this, a petition was put online demanding the addition of dedicated servers to the PC version of the game. As of me writing this, the petition has been signed by over 190,000 people. Yet they continue to stick their thumb in the eye of the PC community, who is greatly responsible for their company's success.
Did I mention they are charging $10 more for this game than previous installments on the PC, and every other PC game in general? That's right, for $10 more you too can buy a sequel with half of the online multiplayer functionality. In fact, when you compare it to MW1 in terms of features, it makes no sense.
The old cliche is true that people should speak with their wallet. Modern Warfare 2 is not an MMO, so you only vote once when you buy it instead of every month. If you buy the game and get burned on it, it's a win on their bottom line since they already have your money. If they decide to reconsider their stance and stop trying to roll back a decade of progress in the genre, then I would definitely reconsider. I can only hope that in the meantime that the PC community holds them accountable for trying this sort of nonsense.
Co-Leader of Inquisition