The GameSpy server shutdown at the end of this month continues to loom over (mostly older) PC games, but we can add another game to the safe list. The original Halo: Combat Evolved will be playable via the rival GameRanger service instead, giving players an option to keep the more than decade-old game alive.
PC Gamer reports that the Australian service began supporting Halo, the Halo demo, and Halo: Custom Edition yesterday. It has previously stepped in for GRID and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The free client isn't an official server switch, and fans are working on their own solution, but at least this means an option will be available in the meantime.
Steve Watts posted a new article, Halo solutions offered for GameSpy shutdown.
Halo online play will survive the GameSpy shutdown, as rival service GameRanger now supports it. Fans are also working on their own solution.
How exactly does this work? Does GR just intercept the games GS requests?
I don't know, but the developer posted on the Shack back in April: http://www.shacknews.com/article/83880/gamespy-online-services-shutting-down-may-31?id=31716462#item_31716462
There's a pretty big list of supported games here: http://www.gameranger.com/games/
The NSA of video games.
GameRanger doesn't seem to support dedicated servers, only P2P servers hosted from within the GameRanger app! While I appreciate the effort from GameRanger's dev, all these "Halo PC is saved" headlines are killing the momentum for the movement in trying to get the game onto Steam!
Though it may be wishful thinking, the game won't be considered "saved" unless the majority of the playerbase (who are completely unaware of the impending closure) can still open the game and see a server list after May 31st.
Hardly anyone even knows what's going on -_-
Yeah, that is one of the major downsides for GameRanger. It's a great idea but it just isn't set up to deal with dedicated servers for any game. For some games, like the Saints Row series or even Borderlands, that isn't really a problem. For others, huge problem. Unfortunately, being that the service is free there just isn't the infrastructure there to support it. To replicate the way most master servers work would take a replacement master server for each game, and I don't think GameRanger really has the budget to do that.
At least other games like Starsiege: Tribes had the option of simply changing the master/matchmaking server used, so that even when the master servers went down it was possible to replace them with others hosted elsewhere, even if it required the user to enter a few things on their end. Gamespy games look like they interact with some pre-defined servers that the user can't alter, so there's no way to just say "go look over here". At best some of these games might support looking for dedicated servers via a LAN link, but I suspect most won't. Even the ones that do are probably limited to only looking within the same Class C network, i.e. only the 255 nearest IP addresses.
It's a crappy situation, but there's not much that can be done. GameRanger/etc are the best solutions available, sadly.
Please update this article!
Bungie will be releasing patch 1.0.10 for Halo PC/CE at the end of the month!
Here are some additional fixes that will be implemented, aside from the master server redirection. The tentative patch notes (it is currently in testing, if you are interested, visit the link above) are as follows:
- permit resolutions up 4800×3600
- enable active camo on Nvidia (it will render like other cards now instead of just alpha blending)
- fixed video memory value to support 2GB cards
- fixed handling of periods in map names
- network access is enabled in devmode
- sv_ban_penalty in init.txt works to set new values
- models node limit raised to 63
- ignores checksum of strings.dll
- various overflow, validation and other code fixes
Game Ranger doesn’t support dedicated servers, only p2p matches hosted from within the app. This is an official fix. A Bungie employee is involved, as well as some notable members of the community.