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MW3: Kotaku dedicated server controversy
Written by jockyitch   
Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Brian Crescente from Kotaku has recently stated that MW3 will not have dedicated servers.

Source

"We've also learned, unfortunately, that this latest Call of Duty still won't support dedicated servers, instead relying on the hosted servers found in previous iterations of the game. Dedicated servers were removed from the Modern Warfare games starting with Modern Warfare 2. (Modern Warfare 3 appears to be using DemonWare for player authentication, just like with Call of Duty: Black Ops.)"

This has led to a great deal of (predictable) anti-MW3 hatred from the PC community. While I totally understand the sentiment, I am not sure I truly understand his comments.

Crescente says MW3 will not support dedicated servers...actually I think he means that MW3 will not be providing PUBLIC server files for the average Joe to load up on his own server.

Does he mean that MW3 will be like Black Ops? That is, it will have hosted (favored?) dedicated servers?

...or is he even talking about the PC? 

In my opinion, the whole paragraph is sloppily worded. For instance, he says "...instead of relying on the hosted servers found in previous iterations of the game". The only iteration that had hosted servers was BO...CoD2, CoD4 and CoD:WW provided public server files. MW2 did not..they had listen-server-like IW.net, not dedis; BO had (favored) hosted dedicated servers. This only makes sense if he *is* talking about console only.

Fourzerotwo's tweet today does indicate there are some misleading comments in the article,

"Lots of false #MW3 info being reported as fact. There is no Stopping Power, OMA, Commando, or Nukes. Beyond that, you’ll have to wait & see."

Irritatingly, Fourzerotwo gives no clear indication of dedis or not. Unsurprising...but still irritating.

He then followed that comment up by saying, "We have not announced whether Dedicated Servers are or are not in ."

It appears we're heading down another road of delayed information -- like we saw in MW2. 

This tactic of releasing little trickles of information is typical of the marketing campaign before every CoD game, and it only bites IW's credibility in the butt again.

UPDATE (12:23AM Thursday, 2nd June):

I have received this from Rob (Fourzerotwo) tonight, debunking the Kotaku article but also stating that MW3 is not finalized enough for an answer:

"I'd love to give you a firm answer on dedicated servers for Modern Warfare 3 but at this time we have not finalized multiplayer enough on any platform to make such confirmations. At this time, it remains undetermined but I hope to have an answer for our PC fans as soon as possible and long before our release date so that they can make an informed decision on MW3.

I will say that we have already debunked much of that article. I encourage fans not to get too focused on speculation and wait for official confirmation."
 
On a side note, the number of leaks coming out of the MW3 camp these days are significantly more than I've seen in previous CoD games and can be attributed to the game's success and the shear number of leak sources. I count four developers working on MW3, in addition, Activision and Treyarch are also potential leak sources as I'm sure some of their people know what's going on with the game -- so too are the myriad of hardware vendors that have been brought in to support the game's release. That makes for more holes than a spaghetti strainer. I actually feel bad for Rob, as he has only ten fingers and ten toes to plug them all (insert obvious Anthony Weiner joke here).
 
CoD Elite and The Legend of Karl
Written by Jock   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Here is the marketing video for Beachhead/Activision's CoD Elite service. Which I will stress has free bits (lol) amongst other bits you will be forking over your spare cash to those who will eventually be our overlords and masters: Activision. After all, they are creating a direct pipeline to your wallet with CoD Elite. 

Think about it, it's brilliant. Activision appears to have finally managed to create the two things they have always wanted through CoD Elite...or is it CoD Elit3?:

1) A digital distribution system

I remember hearing Activision/Trey and IW folks salivate over the possibility of creating a distribution highway. Right now, it's more of a horse-track than a highway...but it's still tracking towards your wallet. Perhaps this was what IW.net was supposed to be all about, but it went off the rails back in MW2. Move over Steam -- we don't need you for very long, I can certainly see Call of Duty Elite becoming much more than just a website. If we're supposed to be able to get DLC through Elite, why not the whole game? If that's the case, why do we need Steam?  

2) A meeting place

Call of Duty Elite brings all the CoD communities together. Fortunately for Activision, the non-team players that used to make up IW were forced out, or quit. With the West's and Zampellas at the head of the old IW, I personally cannot see CoDElite happening. I think that Activision needed to have a willing group of developers to allow them to meld CoD into one monolithic entity: Call of Duty. Not IW's MW, or Treyarch's WaW or BO...but Call of Duty. Call of Duty Elite is a major step in providing a community rallying point...another swipe at Steam.

Click here to continue...
 
MW3: Cod Elite and Beta news
Written by jockyitch   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Remember Bobby Kotick's quote back in February regarding the mysterious Project Beachhead?
"Beachhead will create the best-in-class online community, exclusive content, and a suite of services to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before. The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time. The platform has been in development for over a year and we're very excited about the increased value we can bring to the community. We look forward to sharing more specifics on this exciting new endeavor with you in the near future."
Well, we now know that Project Beachhead is CoD Elite. And finally, official news on CoD Elite has arrived. I don't as yet see any value added in this "experience". It seems like CoD Elite is, at its heart, what he have already heard: an augmentation of the MW2 matchmaking system. IW will save all the noobs from getting pwned by matching them with comparably skilled noobs. That's all well and good (QuakeLive has had that for years, Brink has server options that enable something similar).

Buried at the back of the press announcement from Activision is the paid-for service:

"Call of Duty Elite will offer a premium membership with a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market."   

 

Here is the full Activision official announcement:

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's most passionate online gaming community can now connect, compete and improve their Call of Duty® multiplayer experience through Activision's (Nasdaq: ATVI) innovative new online service, Call of Duty Elite.  

Developed from the ground up by Activision's new Beachhead studio, Call of Duty Elite offers cutting-edge features that significantly enhance the franchises' multiplayer experience and deliver a new level of social engagement that will unite more than 30 million players worldwide.  Additionally, the service will offer exclusive, high-production value, original entertainment programming designed exclusively for the Call of Duty community.

"The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "Whether it's allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes."

Call of Duty Elite will include several industry-first innovations, and is designed to reset the bar for what players can expect from a multiplayer experience for this year's most anticipated game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  Elite will offer two-way communication between the service and the game, so that the choices and decisions that players make in Elite through the mobile and web interfaces will affect their in-game experience.  The service will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and will launch alongside the game on November 8, 2011.

Call of Duty Elite's features and services engage the community in three key ways:  

  • Connect: Call of Duty Elite gives players unprecedented control over their multiplayer experience, transforming it into a true social network. Players can compete against friends, players of similar skill levels and players with similar interests, join groups, join clans, and play in organized tournaments. They can also track the performance, progress and activity of their entire network, both in the game itself, as well as through mobile and web interfaces.  Elite will be an "always on" way for players to connect with the Call of Duty community. 
  • Compete: Call of Duty Elite establishes the most exciting, competitive environment in a multiplayer game.  Players will have available a constant stream of events and competitions, tiered to group them with those with similar abilities.  Both in-game and real-world prizes will be rewarded to all skill levels.
  • Improve:  Call of Duty Elite is like having a personal online coach. It provides players with a dynamic strategy guide that tracks their statistics and performances down to the most minute details.  It can show gamers how they stack up against their friends or others in the community. Tools and information are provided so players can learn and up their game.

Carrying forward to future Call of Duty games, Elite will chronicle a player's gameplay history in a cohesive career record, keeping track of every kill, every game and progress.

"Call of Duty Elite has been tailored for Call of Duty's diverse base of players — hardcore gamers, casual weekend warriors and even beginners — and additional features will be revealed when we premiere Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer later this summer," added Hirshberg.  "Over 7 million gamers play Call of Duty online each day logging hundreds of hours of multiplayer per player per year.  Of course, the out of the box Call of Duty multiplayer experience that gamers have come to love and expect will continue as is.  However, for those players looking for more, Call of Duty Elite will supercharge their experience."

Many key features of Call of Duty Elite will be available to Call of Duty players free of charge.  Additionally, for players who want to up their game, Call of Duty Elite will offer a premium membership with a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market.  

The service will be accessible on a number of platforms -- via web browsers, mobile devices, through game consoles and within the game interface itself -- so that players can connect with Call of Duty Elite whenever and wherever they want.

Call of Duty Elite will launch this fall with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, to test the scale of the service, Activision will hold a public beta this summer for Elite with Call of Duty®: Black Ops.  For more information, go to www.callofduty.com


Thoughts on CoD Elite? Add them here.

 
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