Modern Warfare 2 PC lacks dedicated servers, no delay – but backlash begins


Update: Here’s the situation, one day later.

Rob Bowling of Infinity Ward has announced some game-changing facts about the way Modern Warfare 2‘s PC online experience will work. Apparently with platform equality and accessibility in mind, MW2 will have no dedicated server support, instead using a service called IW.NET for matchmaking.

Wow, right? The revelations were made on the BASHandSlash webcast (the relevant section begins at about 1 hour, 40 minutes) and were enough to shock the interviewers into silence. The PC community seems to share this surprise and disappointment, with many fans cancelling their pre-orders and petitioning for the return of the dedicated servers.

The matchmaking system is called IW.NET, and seems to be based on player skill and level. Whether or not player location will factor into the process is a big question, given the increased lag of international play.

Apparently the driving force of the move was not to combat piracy, but it helps. Another proclaimed benefit is to increase the control Infinity Ward has over the game, including “post-game support” such as DLC. The availability or distribution of paid DLC has “never been discussed”, but is almost certain to exist and be distributed through Steam.

Other news regarding the game’s PC release has come from the interview, with the confirmation of Prestige mode – missing from Call of Duty 4 – and the usage of Valve’s VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) system instead of PunkBuster. This suggests that retail purchases will be tied to Steam. (The game is confirmed to at least be released on Steam.)

The piece of GOOD news for the PC community is that at least the PC release hasn’t been delayed as previously thought. The RRP is still $60 in the United States, $10 higher than the standard price of PC games.

[via Evil Avatar]


6 comments so far

  1. Modern Warfare 2 Forums on

    Nice read! I cant wait till Modern Warfare 2 is released! Not long to go now 🙂

    Sodagod @ Modern Warfare 2 Forums

  2. […] that was fast. Since the news broke yesterday that the PC release of what was (is?) expected to be the year’s highest-selling game (given […]

  3. […] from Infinity Ward and Activision. First, the internet at large discovered that the PC version won’t have dedicated servers, and many people were less than overjoyed. (That petition has now reached almost 140,000 […]

  4. […] from Infinity Ward and Activision. First, the internet at large discovered that the PC version won’t have dedicated servers, and many people were less than overjoyed. (That petition has now reached almost 140,000 […]

  5. BoydofZINJ on

    Why are people so upset about the PC version having no dedicated servers? No viable PC MOD or MP support?

    I am not an avid RPS fan; however, I remember I was playing COD 2 when I entered some private server. My previous outings I would do a Rambo style run and gun shoot and would blindy attempt to fire at anything that moved. On other servers, if I died I would respawn a few seconds later and I would continue my Rambo style gun play. However, on this private server when I died, I did not instantly respawn. Likewise, the enemy and my allies were having unnatural good aim and were using stealth and tactics to overcome their foes.

    I quickly learned that there were some people who were actually using their minds and strategy to win and gain tactical advantages versus just mindlessly shouting out obscenities and being a Rambo player. Likewise, the private servers often had objectives – that a cunning foe could achieve without winning in a slug fest. Of course, being a good aim always helps in a FPS game.

    I started to actually like the game. I had a feeling of a military shooter and not just run and gun shooter. The server had rules to restrict cheating and unfair game play and abusive language. I had to think like a soldier to win. Aiming and keeping cover was more important that tossing a ‘nade blindly and rushing with a machine gun hoping I could get a kill or two before I died. If I got unlucky or foolish I had to watch upto to 10 minutes at other people play. Which, I did not mind initially – it was interesting to see how the better players played and to see how they reacted. It taught me where hiding spots were – when and where to rush or not to rush. How to try to hide.

    Going to the same servers – eventually I started to notice the same players. Some random players would play – and after a few hard matches most random players said F this and F that and left. The few that did stay – were more mature and there was a sense of community and companionship. Since most of us started to play on the same dedicated servers for a reason. Every once in a while, I would feel like being Rambo and I could join one of those servers. However, I noticed my aim did improve and my overall skill was much better than before.

    What I noticed is that by playing on a harder server with people who were pros and veterans and were mature about it made my experience and learning of the MP game better than mindlessly shooting and charging and being a Rambo. I was never no expert pro – but I did like the game. I picked up MW1 and found a similar server and enjoined it even more so. Made it feel like a military simulator versus a rambo action game. I enjoyed the realism and the tactics more than the sheer run and gun shootings and the foul language. If someone were abusing the system – they would be warned and eventually IP banned.

    So… is this issue about control for the sake of control or the quality of game being produced?

    The real issue to this PC version of the MW 2 is not about control for the same of control. It is about the quality of the game. If I wanted mindless Rambo style game I would play the console version of this game. However, that is not the style game I want or like. I bought a Playstation 3 a while ago. I have bought two games for it. I have completed one game and played a few times on the other game. I mostly use it to watch BluRays. I am a gamer by heart, but I hate console games. I am a MMO gamer. I enjoy community and socialization more than the mere act of playing a game. I am not and will not enjoy a RAMBO type run and gun shooting style FPS or FPS that are solo play or little communuity or interaction with other players.

    For some people, the game is not just a game… but an adventure and a way to meet individuals who like to adventure in a FPS. That is why the PC players are angry. You have destroyed our ability to organize, communicate, interact, be a team, and set higher standards on the rules of warefare than you can imagine. I am not a FPS junkie, so I will stick with the non FPS games until I find one that I like and can be a member of – not some plug in user.

    I like to add, as someone who played the PC versions of Call of Duty, I find this to be a pretty egregious omission. It’s one thing to raise the price of the game to $60, even with no platform royalty fees to be paid, but to actually refuse to include functionality that has for over a decade been an integral part of the PC multiplayer experience is just atrocious.

    This is how I view this… no dedicated servers sounds to me like trying to play MultiPlayer. The game puts you on one; but there is lag, there are people you don’t want to play with, so you quit that match and try to find another one… it puts you back in the same one… and then you quit the game – bored. That’s not to say that this is necessarily the case with Modern Warfare 2, but experience tells me this.

  6. […] the past, it seems as though the industry may continue to move in that direction. Modern Warfare 2 notoriously lacks the option, which Carmack has claimed to be a relief, as id “won’t have to be a […]

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