Infinity Ward on MW2 Servers

Infinity Ward Responds To PC Fanboys' Dedicated Server Woes on GameInformer.com has more follow-up to complaints that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will not include a dedicated server (thanks Bob Bob). Here's a bit of what they learned from Infinity Ward's Jason West and Vince Zampella:
"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.

IW says that gameplay concerns for the majority of MW2 players are the overriding reasons for the decision. Zampella downplays the obvious piracy prevention angle (IW has cited numbers of people online playing illegal copies of Modern Warfare up to 60 percent). "The Steam stuff helps with the piracy. I don't know that the matchmaking stuff does," he notes. West takes a shot at the motives behind some of the outrage, noting that there's money to made by selling dedicated servers and adspace on them: "It's a little dubious. Some of the people complaining are complaining with their pocketbook."
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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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61.
 
Re: IW on MW2 Servers
Oct 22, 2009, 10:53
61.
Re: IW on MW2 Servers Oct 22, 2009, 10:53
Oct 22, 2009, 10:53
 
Beamer you've whittled down your definition of "mod" to something to fit your argument... Not a good sign for the validity of your points.

No, I see mods in two buckets:
1) Those necessarily tied to a game. These tend to make minor (and not-so-minor) changes to gameplay. See: anything that alters gameplay without fundamentally changing it and/or anything that has no assets of its own.
2) Those that are tied to an engine, not a game. These tend to use assets from a game as genericized content and rely mostly on their own work. See: Rocket Arena, Team Fortress, CounterStrike, Action Quake, Science v. Industry, etc.
60.
 
Re: IW on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 21:55
60.
Re: IW on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 21:55
Oct 21, 2009, 21:55
 
Beamer you've whittled down your definition of "mod" to something to fit your argument... Not a good sign for the validity of your points.

As long as developers continue to support mods, the community will continue to make them. And even after they stop supporting mods the community will still make an effort to make mods.

I'm no longer sure what your argument is anymore.

If it is: "mods are dead". You couldn't be more incorrect.
If it is: "mods will be dead". You are most likely incorrect (unlike you, I can't see the future).
If it is: "total conversion mods for AAA FPS titles are dead". You'll only be right if developers like IW continue to drop support. And as they drop support, so will PC gamers, like myself, drop support from that company.

I can't imagine a future where Valve drops support for mods from their games. Considering the vast fortune they've amassed just from mods alone.
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59.
 
Re: IW on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 16:14
59.
Re: IW on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 16:14
Oct 21, 2009, 16:14
 
Not really "mods" per se but there is definitely interest in user-created content in developers and publishers on the console side. LittleBigPlanet was successful overall and the DLC sales are probably racking them up the bucks. There's been some XBLA arcade games with the same premise that have done pretty well too. What company wouldn't like it? You get to charge for stuff that other people basically do the work for or you put a minimal staff into doing it yourself. It's win-win.
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58.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 15:32
58.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 15:32
Oct 21, 2009, 15:32
 
http://www.ut3mod.com/

Those are PC mods ported to PS3 and as far as I know, UT3 is the only game to allow that. How you see this as a growing trend of console game modding is beyond me.

And more restrictive and more limited. And it's not that much cheaper.

Creating your own engine from scratch offers the most flexibility. But again, modders typically don't have the resources to do this. This is why they mod.

Why does it require more time and resources? Is this something the engine companies can counter? Yes.

It takes more time and resources because you have to do more coding, whereas most mods are just scripting and assets. Can the engine companies provide the same or better functionality? Sure, but licensing an engine is more expensive than buying and modding a game.

But beign freely distributable, and being a newer version of an engine, is something you'll see people gravitating to.

Maybe but I haven't seen any indications of that happening yet.

Until the bar of required resources is near that for modding.

Creating a standalone game from scratch will always require more resources than creating a mod.
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57.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 12:38
57.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 12:38
Oct 21, 2009, 12:38
 
Sure, everyone wants that. But charging $50 for your game isn't going to make that happen. Most modders can't afford advertising campaigns so they have a better chance of reaching a wider audience by spreading word of mouth about their free mod on sites like moddb.

Pull the cotton out of your ears. Never once did I say that modders want to charge. Never once did I say that, when moving to engines instead of retail games, they'll have to charge.
Some will, don't doubt that.
Not all. Many, probably well into most, will still provide it for free.
I don't see why you think I'm saying mods will cost any money, let alone $50. I was clear about that in my last post when you made that misconception.

"Minor" mods are some of the most popular.

And they're not going anywhere, so they're not relevant to this discussion.

what examples of console game modding do you have?
http://www.ut3mod.com/

That's a flawed argument. It costs IW more money to create and maintain IW.net than it does for them to offer a dedicated server app and SDK.

You think? There are ways to take care of that. And there are added benefits. They'll certainly be doing extremely heavy stat tracking, as well as hardware tracking. I still believe they could have done this regardless, but IW.net will make it easier and more palatable.

It's cheaper to just buy a game and then mod it.

And more restrictive and more limited. And it's not that much cheaper. These companies are interested in the modding community. They'll figure it out.

Being stand-alone requires more time and resources.

Not necessarily. Think bigger. Why does it require more time and resources? Is this something the engine companies can counter? Yes.

Charging for your small, obscure, indie game greatly reduces the likelihood that anyone will actually play it.

Again with the charging. Alright, fine, last post I said "profit," but I meant revenues. Some want to charge for their games. I'd assume the vast majority won't, only the most polished. But beign freely distributable, and being a newer version of an engine, is something you'll see people gravitating to.

Being stand-alone is great but most modders don't have the resources to do that

Until the bar of required resources is near that for modding.
56.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 10:13
56.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 10:13
Oct 21, 2009, 10:13
 
Heck, far fewer mods are even being made these days.

No, fewer mods are made for fps. Look at how many mods are made for games like Oblivion and Fallout 3. Which is a bit of a trick statement, because even if you had a month, you couldn't go through all of the mods for them.

Mods for fps used to be more common/popular because (a) there were less fps style games being pushed out, and (b) it was easy to get one out in a reasonable amount of time. That's not true anymore. But that's only one genre. If you have a look at other genres, you'll see that modding is alive and well.
55.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 04:06
55.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 04:06
Oct 21, 2009, 04:06
 
But it wasn't the only one to become a name brand of sorts.
What has since? Anything?

No mod has ever become as well known as CS. There is simply nothing that rivals it. There have been of plenty of mods that have been popular, to be sure. None have been popular enough to qualify as a "brand" except for CS.

Yet none of those mods make any real impact anymore. They're largely ignored.

No, they're not. Mods like Project Reality, Rocket Arena, Team Fortress, etc, have always been niche. That doesn't stop people from playing them.

Interestingly they have only 11 CoD4 mods, only 3 or 4 of which are downloadable, and only one of which has more than 1000 downloads.

Moddb doesn't list all mods. You have to actually submit your mod to be listed there. From what I understand, the most popular CoD4 mods offer balance changes rather than new content.

I'm just talking about reaching a wider audience. Everyone wants that.

Sure, everyone wants that. But charging $50 for your game isn't going to make that happen. Most modders can't afford advertising campaigns so they have a better chance of reaching a wider audience by spreading word of mouth about their free mod on sites like moddb.

I'm ignoring minor mods. In large part because these will be on consoles in the next generation. Hell, they're already on the PS3, just not widely supported.

"Minor" mods are some of the most popular. You don't have to completely remake a game in order to significantly change its gameplay. And what examples of console game modding do you have?

How many dollars and developer hours do you want to commit to something half a percent of your users will use?

That's a flawed argument. It costs IW more money to create and maintain IW.net than it does for them to offer a dedicated server app and SDK.

Emergent is already moving in this direction. Unity is all about this. GarageGames is interested.

What do those guys have to do with modding? They make engines and development tools. It's cheaper to just buy a game and then mod it.

Being tied to an existing and likely fading game or being entirely stand-alone?

Being stand-alone requires more time and resources. Charging for your small, obscure, indie game greatly reduces the likelihood that anyone will actually play it. Being stand-alone is great but most modders don't have the resources to do that, which is why the majority of mods rely on existing engines and assets.
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54.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 03:37
54.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 03:37
Oct 21, 2009, 03:37
 
CS is the pinnacle of mod success

Yes. But it wasn't the only one to become a name brand of sorts.
What has since? Anything?

Games with big communities typically have lots of mods.
Yet none of those mods make any real impact anymore. They're largely ignored.

Check out www.moddb.com.
Good dudes. Backed hard.
Interestingly they have only 11 CoD4 mods, only 3 or 4 of which are downloadable, and only one of which has more than 1000 downloads. So we're fighting to have dedicated servers on the primary argument that people can mod servers but moddb shows only one mod that has any kind of traction, and even then it's only 2000 downloads?

For one, working with a free, established engine with physics, AI, etc, is easier than starting for scratch
Thank you for being obvious yet saying nothing.
Like I said, there are options out there that involve all these things. Yes, these options are lagging behind major engines, but the gap is closing (albeit slowly), and as I said there's a huge hole here for a major player to enter. Emergent has dabbled.

Secondly, modmakers typically aren't interested in profit. They aren't modding because they want to make money off it, they are modding because they have a passion for it.

Who said anything about profit? I'm just talking about reaching a wider audience. Everyone wants that. Well, maybe not Daitro, but that's neither here nor there.

Mods encompass everything from new sounds, textures, levels, models, items, animations, scripts, balancing changes, etc. People are still making mods for games that came out over a decade ago. Why would this change now?
I'm ignoring minor mods. In large part because these will be on consoles in the next generation. Hell, they're already on the PS3, just not widely supported. You don't have to worry about something disappearing when it'll be on consoles.

Regardless, gaming companies will not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for something likely to please 5,000. Or 50,000. If 50,000 people would be involved in modding MW2, and it sells the predicted 10 million, then half a percent are involved in modding. How many dollars and developer hours do you want to commit to something half a percent of your users will use?

If it makes you feel better, we can bookmark this page and link you to it in ten years when you're still wrong.

Two years, tops. As mentioned, Emergent is already moving in this direction. Unity is all about this. GarageGames is interested.
And you arguing is kind of dumb. If mod makers can spend $50 for a game, make a mod, and release it to other people that also spent $50, or spend $200 for a similar engine with similar assets and more flexibility and release their game to the entire PC community, which do you think most people would prefer? Being tied to an existing and likely fading game or being entirely stand-alone?

53.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 02:53
53.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 02:53
Oct 21, 2009, 02:53
 
Oh good, you named 3 plus "tons."
Oh, so you want to be a douche about it? Fine, replace tons with Oblivion Lost, Priboi story and soon Lost Alpha. But there are indeed tons of mods for Stalker.

Then we have modules for NWN 1/2 which is an entirely different and no doubt still fully breathing beast. Do those count for you? Or is that unfair to your erroneous statement? How about the implications of the Starcraft 2 editor and the Battle.net market? How about the fan-made Witcher adventures that were even included in an official patch?

This comment was edited on Oct 21, 2009, 03:26.
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52.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 02:27
52.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 02:27
Oct 21, 2009, 02:27
 
Again, what major mods are out there now?

Define "major." I didn't realize that mods had to be as successful as CS in order to qualify as existing. CS is the pinnacle of mod success. There are no rivals. Saying that every mod needs to be as popular as CS is like saying that every game needs to be as popular as CoD or WoW.

Your market is literally limited to purchasers of that game.

Market? I didn't realize that mods cost money. Oh wait, they don't. People make mods because they have a passion for it, not because they want to appeal to a mass audience or become rich.

The most moddable game right now is UT3, and it's damn near given away, but the mod community is nowhere near what it was for UT.

1) UT > UT3.
2) The UT3 community is nowhere near as big as the UT community for the reason mentioned above.

Games with big communities typically have lots of mods. Games with small communities (like UT3) typically don't. It's not rocket science. Check out www.moddb.com. You might become enlightened.

Why be a mod maker when you can be a game author?

For one, working with a free, established engine with physics, AI, etc, is easier than starting for scratch. Secondly, modmakers typically aren't interested in profit. They aren't modding because they want to make money off it, they are modding because they have a passion for it.

Secondly, you act like all mods have to be total conversions. No. Mods encompass everything from new sounds, textures, levels, models, items, animations, scripts, balancing changes, etc. People are still making mods for games that came out over a decade ago. Why would this change now?

Mod makers are going to soon make the transition from mod makers to indie devs. Mark my words.

If it makes you feel better, we can bookmark this page and link you to it in ten years when you're still wrong.

This comment was edited on Oct 21, 2009, 02:43.
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51.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 21, 2009, 00:52
51.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 21, 2009, 00:52
Oct 21, 2009, 00:52
 
But mods haven't died, nor will they ever.

Sure they will. And fine, they're not dead, but they're certainly on life support. Again, what major mods are out there now?
And they will die. Think about it, why would you want to create a mod? It's tied to an existing game. Your market is literally limited to purchasers of that game. The most moddable game right now is UT3, and it's damn near given away, but the mod community is nowhere near what it was for UT.
Why would mod makers stick to this formula? Other options are popping up regularly. There are open source engines and cheap commercial engines everywhere. They're only growing in quality. Why be a mod maker when you can be a game author? This opens up far more ability, too. Your game is easier to advertise. It's less restrictive as far as IP and as far as distribution.

I've said here a thousand times that the future of PC gaming is indie devs. Mod makers are going to soon make the transition from mod makers to indie devs. Mark my words. Someone will properly lead this charge.
50.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 23:45
50.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 23:45
Oct 20, 2009, 23:45
 
I don't understand their logic. Joining a server is not difficult. Why couldn't they just assign a general rank to players on their K:D ratio, average score, etc, and then show these rankings when you look at the server properties? This would be a very easy way to figure out which servers to play on. There could even be an automated function that recommends servers to you based on the average ranking of its players.
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49.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 22:50
49.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 22:50
Oct 20, 2009, 22:50
 
And that's why the console versions do not have dedicated servers.

We are talking about the PC gamers here, those that do wish to still have that flexibility with mods, clans matches, prefer mouse and keyboard control, etc.

A lot of people play games on the PC and they have varying reasons to do so. Mods, dedicated servers and clans might be the thing for some, but far from all...

Also, clans are very popular on console... not sure how they work, I don't use them, but I see posts about it all the time. The whole "how are we supposed to have clans now" thing kind of tells me this really is more about fear of change than actual problems in some cases.
Avatar 54622
48.
 
Re: IW on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 22:40
48.
Re: IW on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 22:40
Oct 20, 2009, 22:40
 
I think the worst part of all this is that they kept this hidden for so long and sprung it two weeks before release. I will not be buying this and I will make sure that my opinion on this bullshit is widely heard amongst any potential buyers I know. Maybe it won't affect this title but this will have a long term effect.
47.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 22:00
PHJF
 
47.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 22:00
Oct 20, 2009, 22:00
 PHJF
 
Heck, far fewer mods are even being made these days.

... only because a) advances in technology have made it more difficult/time consuming to create quality mods and b) mod tools are often neglected or ignored. But mods haven't died, nor will they ever. Until god himself descends from the heavens and delivers unto us The Perfect Game, crafted meticulously to each and every player's preferred designs, modders will be there to pick up the slack.

Part of the reason is that multiplayer gaming moves quicker than mod development - by the time mods come out for Game X the community is playing Game Y

How exactly does that explain why more people play CS than CSS? Newer does not mean better. Never has.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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46.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 21:35
46.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 21:35
Oct 20, 2009, 21:35
 
Mods died with Counter-Strike? So for example Desert Combat, DotA, Project Reality and TONS of Stalker mods don't count at all in your world? Go back to console land dude. You don't know what you're talking about.

Oh good, you named 3 plus "tons."
Desert Combat did well, no denying it. And, fittingly, the team that made it is no longer a mod team but a major studio.
DotA did pretty well, too.
Project Reality? Not sure.

These aren't indicators that it isn't dead. As I mentioned, the mod scene used to thrive. Everyone had mods. That's not true any more. People don't want to bother with them. Heck, far fewer mods are even being made these days.

I know exactly what I'm talking about, and the simple fact that you can only name 3 mods in an attempt to defend them is proof. Nothing out there has the impact of Rocket Arena, Action Quake 2 or CounterStrike. Nothing out there even has the impact of Science and Industry. That's all long since gone.

Like I said, it's a hole the industry will find a way to fill. You still have people that want to create content. You still have people that want to get noticed. But you don't have much incentive to mod. Part of the reason is that multiplayer gaming moves quicker than mod development - by the time mods come out for Game X the community is playing Game Y.
You'll see this change. A better way will undoubtedly emerge.
45.
 
Re: IW on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 21:01
45.
Re: IW on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 21:01
Oct 20, 2009, 21:01
 
Can someone explain to me how you are supposed to run a competitive clan or community without dedicated servers?

In the countless FPS I've played, I've never failed to join a community and stick with their server. When I get burned out on the people/gameplay/rules I find a new community.

Matchmaking is horseshit. I want to gradually gain a group of gamer friends the way I've done for decades by playing on the same server.

Fucking clowns over there at IW.
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44.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 19:02
44.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 19:02
Oct 20, 2009, 19:02
 
Eh, didn't plan on spending 59 bucks on a game anyways. I got plenty of other games to choose from that do exactly what I want them to do. ARMA2, DCS:Black Shark etc. are a just a few of them.

No big loss.
43.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 18:38
43.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 18:38
Oct 20, 2009, 18:38
 
It is so embarrassingly obvious the intentions here:

1. Move everyone toward a platform that will insure all new content is DLC.

2. Further increase the disparity in sales to further perpetuate the idea that PC gaming is dying and consoles are the gaming platform.
42.
 
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers
Oct 20, 2009, 18:09
PHJF
 
42.
Re: Infinity War on MW2 Servers Oct 20, 2009, 18:09
Oct 20, 2009, 18:09
 PHJF
 
There's no such thing as a "casual PC gamer", the type of person who might somehow benefit from an asinine matchmaking system. Casual people don't possess either the sense or desire to keep their PC updated, upgraded, clean and ready for modern games. They play on consoles, or at the worst they play Bejeweled or WoW. I don't think Call of Duty is going to change that.

I haven't had a serious problem with cheaters in a shooter since CS. Well, strike that, Crysis was overrun by them. And what did Crysis use to "prevent cheating"? PunkBuster. Which for years hasn't been worth the megs of memory it hogs. The same PunkBuster CoD4 uses. But cheating was never, for me, a big issue in CoD4 because, guess what, that's what server admins are there for.

Man alive, this game really cannonballed. The $60 fiasco was already enough to ensure I wouldn't be playing it... now I just don't know what they're thinking. They're absolutely mad.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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