Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IW Official Response To No Dedicated Servers In MW2

*Updated w/ Robert Bowling's statement to the PC community*

 It looks like the crew over at Infinity Ward has quite a strong stance on their decision to reshape PC gaming as we know it, by removing dedicated server support and opting for their newly formed IWNet to handle matchmaking.

This has obviously ruffled the collective feathers of the CoD PC community, akin to nothing we've seen before.  If you don't believe us, check out this online petition for dedicated servers which has 103,334 signatures at the time of this post (LINK).

With statements like, ""We're just prioritizing the player experience above the modders and the tuners," said by Jason West, Project Lead over at IW, we're led to believe that this has been a decision which has been mulled over for quite some time.  Vince Zampella, IW CEO, mentions that they are in fact improving the game for the vast majority of CoD players on the PC.

We're not sure of the percentage of players who will be effected by this decision, but we are sure that whatever the percentage may be, that slice of the pie won't be taking it laying down.


We've also just received word from Robert Bowling who intends to lay the rumors to rest, delving into what IWNet really is on his personal blog (LINK).

Matchmaking & Smoother Gameplay: When you want to player a multiplayer game on PC, in the past. You’d have to scroll through a Server Browser which listed every available server which was hosted by individual server admins. Each had their own private rules, mods, or ways of playing the game. Most players would also use the server browser to find just the best quality game (based on PING). With IWNET matchmaking, it takes all that into account for you. All you have to do is select the playlist (pre-set gametypes with custom rules) that fits the style of play you are in the mood for. When you do, it will automatically find you a game with the best performance, ping, and preferences based on your location and individual connection as well as matching you with players of your same SKILL. So you’re always guaranteed the best game performance for where you are and what connection you’re playing on as well as an equal game with other players of your same skill level, not rank, but skill level. It doesn’t mean you’ll just be thrown into a random game! It will put you in the game that will give you the smoothest gameplay possible without you having to manually find a server with the best ping.

Playlists and Private Matches: As I described above, Playlists are pre-set game modes and gametypes for public games. If you just want to jump into a public game of Search and Destroy or Hardcore Search and Destroy and you don’t care about fully customizing it, then you can utilize playlists to do that quickly for you. However, say you’re in a clan and you want to play a Clan match with another team, or you want to practice for an upcoming tournament that has specific rules in a private game. Then you can start a Private Match (which is essentially like running your own private server) where you have complete control over the rules, who can join, boot players you don’t want, and essentially control the entire game or tweak it to your liking. Once the rules are set, you can invite the other team in or just start it up with your clan to practice with the custom rules before the match. This now allows you to play custom games out of the box without the need to install mods, find a modded server with the rules you like, or worry about not being in control of the match.

Party System and Friendslist: Modern Warfare 2 on PC also makes it much easier if you want to party up with your friends, or again, with your clan for a match. You can utilize the friendslist to see when your friends are online, and invite them to your Party. A Party allows you to move from game to game as a group. It’s great for clan matches, because you can party of with your clan and move from public game to public game together. Or if you’re doing a scrim, party up and invite the other clan (who is in a party) and they’ll all join at once. Set up a private match together and play. It makes setting up scrims or games with friends easier and hassle free.

Cheat / Hack Free Games: The biggest benefit of using IWnet by far is the fact that you don’t have to worry about joining a server full of aim-bots, wallhacks, or cheaters. Or relying on the server admin of the server to constantly be monitoring, banning, and policing it. Modern Warfare 2 on PC allows us to control the quality of the game much more than ever before as well as utilizing the VAC (Valve-Anti-Cheat) system to keep games clean of hackers and cheaters.
All in all, IWNET adds a load of new features that the PC version of our games have never had before and allows us an infrastructure to continue to update and improve on the game post-launch.

While many of us have been coddled by our consoles for a lifetime, those of you who have been behind a keyboard and mouse may find this change a bit shocking.  Once again, stay strong and keep your heads up.  We need you, you who have been with our beloved franchise from Day 1!

Let us know how you feel on Twitter (@WePlayCoD) or on our newly updated official forums (LINK).

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