Modern Warfare 2 Won't Have Dedicated PC Servers, New Footage Emerges

By Chris Faylor, Oct 20, 2009 10:19am PDT Though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 maker Infinity Ward recently told us that "PC [multiplayer] will be the same as it always was," the company has now revealed that the war-torn shooter will not make use of community-run dedicated servers.

"We've been building up this system on the backend called IW Net, to allow matchmaking for our PC users just like you have on the console," Infinity Ward community manager Robert 'fourzerotwo' Bowling explained on podcast BASH 123.

"You're completely reliant on IW Net and there's no dedicated servers or server list. You rely on IW Net for your matchmaking and finding games, but then you also have the private match, much like the other platforms, where you can go in and...customize the game rules, all via private match, and invite people to the server that way."

Bowling added: "The mentality is making it much more accessible to the PC community as a whole and making it where it's a lot less cost burden for our community members."

He also noted that the PC version will make use of some integrated Steam functionality, such as Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) technology, but offered few specifics beyond clarification that "our matchmaking is not through Steam."

While Bowling says Infinity Ward is trying "looking at ways we can improve the multiplayer game on PC and make it easier for everybody," the community is not happy.

"The silence that you hear is because we've got a community right now that is structured in such a way that relied on having dedicated servers," said one of the podcast hosts. Others expressed concern regarding latency, as games will now be hosted on home internet connections and machines instead, as well as the fate of mod support.

An online petition demanding dedicated servers popped up shortly thereafter, and currently has over 100,000 signatures. Bowling later told Appetite2Kill admin Peeter that "the response will not be ignored. I'll ensure everyone at IW sees the petitions."

"Hardcore PC players lose very little to this change relative to the returns that casual to moderate fans will see," wrote Game Informer after speaking to Infinity Ward.

Citing a conversation with studio head Jason West, Game Informer explained:

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.

[...]Clans can set up private matches to do their training or what have you; all they lose is the ability to customize the game on a deeper level with mods and such. Infinity Ward sees the addition of solid matchmaking and community support like IW-run tournaments to the PC as a huge win, and not something that could be done under the old system.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 hits PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 10. Expect to hear more on the game and its integrated Steam functionality before then.

In related news, a new commercial for the game has emerged via retailer GameStop:

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

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124 Threads* | 706 Comments*

  • The Cons:

    * 5min Matchs! "The match making gets rid of the idea that I can stay on a server for a few hours. With the new system in place Ill have to 1: find a match, 2: wait for it to fill, 3: wait for everyone to vote on a map, 4: wait for everyone to ready up, 5: wait for the 30 seconds before the match starts. Is it me, or is that WAY to much effort and time to play for a 5min match!"

    * Ping! "Get ready for a world of hurt when they replace the ping Integer with red/yellow/green bar, green meaning you'll get about 150ping at most. I wouldnt be surprised at all if they removed it all together and just said you where getting a good connection like in Gears of War 2, and yes I love console games, but heaven help us if they think that the matchmaking is smoother gameplay! With this system, the host will always have an advantage. Look at every other game that uses the matchmaking! L4D, Far Cry 2, Operation Flashpoint 2, Gears of War, Gears of War 2, GTA IV, etc... all of these game are impossible to get a good connection with their p2p connection, you will never get around 40ping, which in my opinion, is SMOOTH gameplay!"

    * No dedicated server! "Dont tell me that a private match is the same thing! Lets say I treat it like one, Im not about to start a private match and wait for 20 of my friends to get online every time I want to play a custom Hardcore match! And Im pretty sure I wont be able to browse private matches hence the word PRIVATE, not to mention Im pretty sure you wont be about to rank on a private match."

    * Charged Map Packs! "For us PC gamers we had to wait a month or two after the release of the map pack on the xbox 360. And Infinity awards response was "were working around technical issues…" In other words they were trying to find a way to charge pc gamers. Finally when the map packs came out for PC the only reason they did was because of support of other companies for their advertising, such as you see in the cornnor of the screen when you load up a map from the map pack on PC. Well thanks to the new system they found a way to charge us, which is ridiculous considering pc gamers have to pay extra up front for a beta of a system that hasnt been tested yet. And coming from a 5 year software engineer, this is NOT a way to test a new system thats going to hold millions of clients over p2p connections!


  • They're getting reamed on Slashdot as well right now:

    I had a completely awesome post here, but the Shacknews page ate it when I somehow went backward on the page. Fuck.

    Best example out of all I wrote though is this:

    I would write a bunch of reasons about how dedicated servers give pc gamers what they want, if it wasn't going to fall on deaf ears. People want a place to go with people they like and form bonds, camaraderie, companionship, make rivalries, and have a forum to go to that isn't full of asshats where they can be a part of a community.

    For those devs that get out. How would you like if your favorite bar or restaurant was randomly changed into something different each time you went there? Devs would reply that this place still serves mexican food or this place still serves cold beer. IT'S NOT THE FUCKING SAME.

    Even though we're all anonymous online, people want a place to belong and a place that can feel like a home away from home. YOU'RE TAKING THAT AWAY FROM US.

    It's not like I don't have friends IRL or play games with them. I do and even if there are dedicated servers we still hop onto a select few because we know they're worth our time. Even if I didn't play games with friends IRL which 99% of the time I don't because we have different wants and different schedules, I want a place where I can be a part of something and not feel like another nobody.

    ModW2 was actually one of the games I was looking forward to buying in the last year, but that isn't really saying a lot. The PC gaming market is full of shitty ports or craptastic reiterations of the same game. I've actually been looking forward to more mods in the past three years (BF2, HL2, CoD4) then I have actual games. Hell I actually bought Crysis for Living Legends. I don't even care about Crysis or wanted to play it! Even after owning a copy I still haven't opened it up and played it cause it just doesn't interest me. It's just a bunch of shiny graphics with nothing good behind it.

    I'm not going to say I wont buy another game from Acti-Blizz, because thats likely not true. I would say I'm not going to buy ModW2, but I probably will anyway. However, I can tell you that this is making a trend in the gaming industry and leading to burn out. It's why gamers are quiting and the industry is slowly dieing. We aren't going to magically pick up a console and start playing when we leave either. We will more then likely go watch some TV or go hang with some friends and reminisce about good games and dig SC out of a box and play it for a day before realizing how old and antiquated it is by todays standards.

    PC gamers are not console gamers. We're nothing like console gamers and we have completely different standards and likes/dislikes. DO NOT TREAT US THE SAME. We can't be generalized as the bunch that joins a random server when our friends come over and sit around on the couch scratching our balls not really caring about what we're doing before TKing the entire team as a joke and then going out to find some bitches to fuck. We're a upstanding bunch that expect more from games and in doing so also live for them. PC gaming is a actual lifestyle and no matter how much developers flaunt consoles as the most awesomest thing, they aren't.

    PC gamers have played consoles before and we choose not to play them because they're simply inferior by our standards and don't give us what we're looking for.

    If devs are actually reading this post and are going to release some PR BS statement to help calm us down - SHAME ON YOU! Much like releasing a campaign or another new shiny patch before obsoleting a game. If things keep going the same way they are the PC gaming industry will eventually die out and it will be your denile of a problem and lackluster commitment to development that will be the root of it all. Of course before bailing out you will blame it all on piracy, because piracy is the reason people don't buy games, right?

    Fuck. I remember when games were ported from the PC to the console and they were actually good. Thats not just being reminiscent either.