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Battlefield 4 Server "Strike" Plans

A post on the WeAreBattlefield forums outlines plans for a "strike" by Battlefield 4 server operators to protest a lack of communication with DICE and other issues they've encountered in operating servers for the first-person shooter sequel (thanks Siliconera). The plan is to take down their servers on January 3rd at 12:00 UTC (7:00 am EST), and here's word on what they are protesting and what they hope to accomplish:

Problems:

  • Admins are unhappy about changes.
  • Admins use the CTE forums to communicate issues but are being ignored
  • Dices politic regarding ranked servers
  • Hidden patches and usually without warning
  • Patchnotes arriving too late
  • No consistency in running servers
  • Too many restrictions in server presets (e.g. idle timeout, max. vehicle spawn delay, etc.)
  • Not enough control about amounts of vehicles that spawn or classes/weapons to use
  • Splitting up the community with premium
  • Official preset not administered
  • No admin-only spectator
  • The fight against cheater (why does every client get all data?)

What do we hope to achieve with this strike:

  • Better in-time communication from Dice to admins
  • To stop decieving admins with hidden patches
  • That Dice establishs a communication pipeline with admins which is being listened to

Problems that result out of the named points:

  • Players are unhappy because they die ingame because of rules
  • Admins have to put too much work into servers
  • Starting a server without big community behind it takes alot of time because of preset restrictions (=>custom)
  • Admins feel being forced to use official preset
  • Cheaters/Cheatcoders can "destroy" servers
  • many more... please discuss in forums

Do you really believe this will change anything?

Just turn the question around: what will change if nobody stands up ?

The answer is pretty diverse:
No, we dont believe this will make DICE change anything _soon_ but
on the other hand the attention already is there. Maybe Dice uses it
productively to show they are willing to work on the issues and listen
to this alliance of admins.

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68 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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68. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 5, 2015, 09:15 Verno
 
I've used the Join Now matchmaking thing in BF4 a few times, it does stupid things like dumping me into a server where I had a 130ms ping with 3 other players. You can keep your matchmaking shit, I'll keep my dedicated server browser thanks.

The server side tools for the game are quite lacking and frustrating though, I hope Dice listens to this.
 
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67. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 4, 2015, 14:45 Redmask
 
Battlefield players do not like matchmaking, its already an option in the game, by and large they do not use it. The only way your scenarios work is if its forced on the community and every rosey take on it works as advertised which is rarely the case. Attempting to force it on the community is stupid and the arguments presented about how it works in console games and other genres don't necessarily apply here. I'm not convinced it will help with balance either, I play poorly balanced games with complex matchmaking algorithms all the time. The few benefits it offers are obviously not compelling to the community as it goes largely unused in Battlefield. If Battlefield ever went matchmaking only I would stop buying them like I did with CoD awhile ago.

I have nothing else to add beyond that.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 2015, 14:53.
 
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66. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 4, 2015, 14:19 Kevin Lowe
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 4, 2015, 11:08:

Your assumption about what those players are doing is flawed. Many people play on relatively empty servers to learn the map or to fool around with a friend. A simple snapshot of server pops is too vague anyway, there are a lot of factors at play. Some maps and game type combinations are empty simply because they aren't popular and no amount of matchmaking will fix that. I'm not particularly convinced by your claims that matchmaking creates better balance either, my experience with several console FPS games with MM like Titanfall were not positive in that regard.

People use the server browser because they like it, playlists don't give you the same granular level of control over what you're looking for. They can matchmake right now and choose not to. I don't really care if you think its optimal or not according to an algorithm, people don't want to lose that sort of control. What works for Halo isn't necessarily applicable to other games like Battlefield.

That being said, Battlefield has always been about many options so I don't see any reason why they can't have a server toggle for admins to have matchmaking only players on their servers. By all means, you can rent a server and go nuts. I think you'll quickly see how popular that idea is with the player base.
So wait, are you in favor of options, or against dividing the player base (which options, by definition, do)?

Besides, one of the complaints listed above is that it's hard to start a server with custom presets without a community to seed it. This echoes a complaint I heard when the game first launched; that players weren't seeing their servers because of the official filter being too restrictive. If that filter wasn't being used, then why would this be a complaint? And if it's all about options, then wouldn't the filter go unused?
 
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65. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 4, 2015, 11:08 Redmask
 
Kevin Lowe wrote on Jan 4, 2015, 10:53:
Finally, if your concern is splitting up the player base, then having players self-organize is a terrible idea. They'll never be as efficient at bringing players together as a centralized matchmaking service. A quick look at Battlelog shows plenty of servers occupied by 1, 2, 4 players. If a matchmaking service had put them all together, they'd be playing right now instead of seeding a server and hoping for others to show up.

Your assumption about what those players are doing is flawed. Many people play on relatively empty servers to learn the map or to fool around with a friend. A simple snapshot of server pops is too vague anyway, there are a lot of factors at play. Some maps and game type combinations are empty simply because they aren't popular and no amount of matchmaking will fix that. I'm not particularly convinced by your claims that matchmaking creates better balance either, my experience with several console FPS games with MM like Titanfall were not positive in that regard.

People use the server browser because they like it, playlists don't give you the same granular level of control over what you're looking for. They can matchmake right now and choose not to. I don't really care if you think its optimal or not according to an algorithm, people don't want to lose that sort of control. What works for Halo isn't necessarily applicable to other games like Battlefield.

That being said, Battlefield has always been about many options so I don't see any reason why they can't have a server toggle for admins to have matchmaking only players on their servers. By all means, you can rent a server and go nuts. I think you'll quickly see how popular that idea is with the player base.

This comment was edited on Jan 4, 2015, 11:18.
 
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64. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 4, 2015, 10:53 Kevin Lowe
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 4, 2015, 09:56:

Which still makes no sense, diluting and splitting up the player base to suit a personal foible. That also creates a whole raft of technical challenges from a design perspective that are just needless, MM players exist with those using server browsers just fine already in BF4.
By necessity, the player base is already divided up - into 24, 32, 48, 64-player chunks. As long as the matches are filled, what does it matter what other divisions exist?

Besides, it's not like the technical challenges are insurmountable. The Halo series has been matching players this way for a long time - ranked players go into matchmaking and are matched by Elo rating; players who wish to form their own matches go into the unranked pool. Problem solved.

Finally, if your concern is splitting up the player base, then having players self-organize is a terrible idea. They'll never be as efficient at bringing players together as a centralized matchmaking service. A quick look at Battlelog shows plenty of servers occupied by 1, 2, 4 players. If a matchmaking service had put them all together, they'd be playing right now instead of seeding a server and hoping for others to show up.
 
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63. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 4, 2015, 09:56 Redmask
 
Kevin Lowe wrote on Jan 3, 2015, 18:37:
My argument was for matchmaking onto dedicated servers, not over dedicated servers. Just not the same servers that the server browser puts people onto.

Which still makes no sense, diluting and splitting up the player base to suit a personal foible. That also creates a whole raft of technical challenges from a design perspective that are just needless, MM players exist with those using server browsers just fine already in BF4.
 
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62. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 3, 2015, 18:37 Kevin Lowe
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 3, 2015, 12:15:
Kevin Lowe wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 10:13:
I get that others value it, but personally I wouldn't miss the community aspect of dedicated servers at all. As long as the technical advantages are covered (no host advantage, no client-side access to the memory containing the authoritative copy of the game world state), I'm happy.

That's just shifting the goalposts. You made an argument for matchmaking over dedicated servers that I was debunking. Dedicated servers have a wealth of advantages over matchmaking and you still have the option of matchmaking in BF4 regardless. The problem here is not with dedicated servers but how Dice handles the rollouts and so on.
My argument was for matchmaking onto dedicated servers, not over dedicated servers. Just not the same servers that the server browser puts people onto.
 
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61. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 3, 2015, 12:15 Redmask
 
Kevin Lowe wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 10:13:
I get that others value it, but personally I wouldn't miss the community aspect of dedicated servers at all. As long as the technical advantages are covered (no host advantage, no client-side access to the memory containing the authoritative copy of the game world state), I'm happy.

That's just shifting the goalposts. You made an argument for matchmaking over dedicated servers that I was debunking. Dedicated servers have a wealth of advantages over matchmaking and you still have the option of matchmaking in BF4 regardless. The problem here is not with dedicated servers but how Dice handles the rollouts and so on.
 
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60. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 18:46 Prez
 
Is that really the purpose of multiplayer? Or is it just to overcome the limitations of AI?

For me playing against AI overcomes the limitations of playing against real people.
 
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59. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 18:30 Kevin Lowe
 
Endo wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 15:23:
So basically, you'd be content with AI that plays as well as you do.

Matchmakers mostly defeat the purpose of multiplayer, which is to interact with other players. People don't interact much if at all with players they've never seen before and probably will never see again. Or if they do "interact", it's nothing but trolling, name-calling, etc. etc. It's bad enough in WoT that they put in the option for players to disable chat.

Honestly, AI that plays as well as a player would be better than a multiplayer matchmaker system.
Is that really the purpose of multiplayer? Or is it just to overcome the limitations of AI?
 
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58. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 16:13 Tentacular
 
Not even close to equivalent. Just because you're being matched against players of a similar skill, doesn't mean a computer program is as compelling to play against.  
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57. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 15:23 Endo
 
TheEmissary wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 14:22:
Matchmaking can be great when it works out that your placed on a server with people of comparable skill or experience.
So basically, you'd be content with AI that plays as well as you do.

Matchmakers mostly defeat the purpose of multiplayer, which is to interact with other players. People don't interact much if at all with players they've never seen before and probably will never see again. Or if they do "interact", it's nothing but trolling, name-calling, etc. etc. It's bad enough in WoT that they put in the option for players to disable chat.

Honestly, AI that plays as well as a player would be better than a multiplayer matchmaker system.
 
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56. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 14:55 BobBob
 
You do realize, it's just a video game, right?  
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55. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 14:22 TheEmissary
 
Matchmaking can be great when it works out that your placed on a server with people of comparable skill or experience. The main problems with matchmaking right now really is either its really strict which lengthens the queue time or have a lax policy just emphasizing on filling lobbies. In both cases it really comes down to the working population of the game and how they define the player skill.  
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54. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 10:13 Kevin Lowe
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 09:22:

You can't quantify many of these things in a meaningful way and you can't predict how a random group of 64 people will interact based on them. Matchmaking robs players of community servers which can breed all of those tendencies you list above and do it in a more natural manner while allowing a greater degree of socialization. Matchmaking simply isn't necessary, these things are already well served here. The problem is with Dice's handling of the server side aspects of this game.
I get that others value it, but personally I wouldn't miss the community aspect of dedicated servers at all. As long as the technical advantages are covered (no host advantage, no client-side access to the memory containing the authoritative copy of the game world state), I'm happy.

If anything, moving the servers from community control to centralized services would make me more likely to pay my share of the costs - I'm not going to chip in for a community server that I'm unlikely to play on more than once or twice, but a virtual server service that can spin up any game I want and populate it with opponents on demand? That I'd pay for.
 
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53. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 09:52 Task
 
Remember when DICE allowed modding and server freedom during the Golden Age of gaming?  
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52. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 09:44 Endo
 
Slick wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 06:17:
Endo wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 05:19:

i pointed out that CoD and titanfall can't keep 6v6 MM lobbies full, so it'd be pretty hard for any other FPS game to fill a 32v32 lobby. you then proceed to tell me that if a non-FPS game with 1.1 million concurrent players can do 15v15, then it's obvious that any other game can.

you're the one who brought up the comparison against a game from another genre, in a completely different league of popularity. Then i tried breaking down the reasons why this comparison is awful.

you apparently read "a bunch of BS" as i read "facts supporting my argument"

been fun!

Except as I just pointed out, it's not 1.1 mil concurrent players. It's 5-15K. It doesn't matter how many players they have on different servers if they don't play together. Thus, any game that has at least 10K concurrent players has plenty. Genre means nothing for this discussion. Ergo, your argument was nothing but BS.
 
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51. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 09:22 Redmask
 
Kevin Lowe wrote on Jan 1, 2015, 22:50:
Besides, skill matching isn't the only potential advantage. I listed of a couple of others, but it comes down to the fact that by collecting data during play, we can figure our just what kind of player everyone is and use those metrics to match them with like-minded individuals. I'm thinking of talkativeness, tendency to stick together, tendency to focus on objectives, etc..

I spend all day writing software that crunches data to help others make better decisions - why aren't we taking advantage of data to make better matches?

You can't quantify many of these things in a meaningful way and you can't predict how a random group of 64 people will interact based on them. Matchmaking robs players of community servers which can breed all of those tendencies you list above and do it in a more natural manner while allowing a greater degree of socialization. Matchmaking simply isn't necessary, these things are already well served here. The problem is with Dice's handling of the server side aspects of this game.

This comment was edited on Jan 2, 2015, 09:27.
 
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50. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 08:57 Xero
 
Man, I just bought BF4 and loving the multiplayer so far. I hope this doesn't happen. I'm just getting my feet wet in this game! GRrrrr!!!  
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49. Re: Battlefield 4 Server Jan 2, 2015, 06:17 Slick
 
Endo wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 05:19:
Slick wrote on Jan 2, 2015, 01:41:
Endo wrote on Jan 1, 2015, 21:32:
Slick wrote on Jan 1, 2015, 21:02:

maybe using world of tanks isn't the best example to help your argument. last i checked they've reached 1.1 million concurrent users
Maybe you don't realize that the 1.1 million concurrent users means nothing in this context, because WoT is split amongst various servers, all of which have their own pool of players and matchmaker. US West, for example, is completely separate from every other server. And as I posted previously, even when it has only 7-10K users, which are additionally split into 10 tiers, depending on which tanks players are using, it still has no trouble with a 15 vs 15 battle. As of right now, there are exactly 10,910 players on US West, and average wait time for a 15 vs 15 is still probably around 10-15 seconds.

BF is divided into geographic areas too, also game modes, expansion packs/premium, ranked/unranked. infact there's a whole lot of options if you've never played the game before. so many infact that i'd wager it's potential server list is way more fractured than worldoftanks.

classic mode, infantry only, unranked, 3rd expansion pack, US West, obliteration game mode. wanna know how many live servers are playing that right now? none. not to mention that i qualified my statement comparing BF against FPS games. not one of the biggest games in the world. did you know that world of tanks made more $ (through microtransactions) than WoW did in 2013?

MM can be done, but as i'll repeat once more, It will only work in BF if there's ONE option, and it just auto fills lobbies and auto picks game modes. the game is already so fractured (which you'll never change), that it's the only feasible way to get MM to work, and possibly not even then. gotta wait until BF is putting up WoT numbers in total users, then maybe it'd have half a chance.
So why didn't you just stick with that, instead of making your primary point a bunch of BS about there not being enough players, when there clearly is? Your problem is wanting to play game modes and expansions that no one else does, apparently, and that's going to be a problem regardless of matchmaker, servers, etc.

And yes, matchmakers only work when you greatly restrict the number of options players can select, which, again, is one of the reasons matchmakers suck and are inferior to dedicated servers in every way.

i pointed out that CoD and titanfall can't keep 6v6 MM lobbies full, so it'd be pretty hard for any other FPS game to fill a 32v32 lobby. you then proceed to tell me that if a non-FPS game with 1.1 million concurrent players can do 15v15, then it's obvious that any other game can.

you're the one who brought up the comparison against a game from another genre, in a completely different league of popularity. Then i tried breaking down the reasons why this comparison is awful.

you apparently read "a bunch of BS" as i read "facts supporting my argument"

been fun!

This comment was edited on Jan 2, 2015, 07:03.
 
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