Stolen Pixels #141: After Curfew, Episode 5

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Stolen Pixels #141: After Curfew, Episode 5

Mr. Breen has a few things to say about the lack of dedicated server support for PC gamers.

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Rocket science joke is pretty hilarious,not to mention clever.

Kollega:
Rocket science joke is pretty hilarious,not to mention clever.

When 'Rocket Scientist' was said, I kinda expected Gordon Freeman for some reason... doesn't help I just watched Half-Life in 60 seconds.

Although I must admit I didn't get the joke. probably because I'm not at home, where I leave my intelligence. :|

Greyfox105:

When 'Rocket Scientist' was said, I kinda expected Gordon Freeman for some reason... doesn't help I just watched Half-Life in 60 seconds.

Although I must admit I didn't get the joke. probably because I'm not at home, where I leave my intelligence. :|

John Carmack used all the dosh he got off Doom and Quake to found his own rocket-building company,Armadillo Aerospace.

The whole Call of Duty franchise is a huge cash cow. It's always the same engine and the same features, so there are almost no development costs there. The "new" stuff is only in the levels, narration and some new graphics and models. Basically something a dedicated modding team could do. Still they up the price to 60$ and even cut support. I'd think that's an outrageous milking of the fan base.

But I guess it's all about supply and demand, and if people are willing to dish out 60$ for what is basically always the same game over and over again, they deserve what's coming to them.

Im sure they improved upon the engine.
Its not like its a game that releases every year like the Madden franchise, which would have a hard time upgrading because of that.
Also: Mario, eh? oh Gmod modders, your'e all so crazy. Im a bit curious though: what IS Breen going to talk to mario about? curious...

Awww... I was hoping the comic would stop while it searched for a new host.

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

Tiamat666:

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

Could be worse... could be a Mario game, which they've been reselling for the past...20? Years - if not, longer ;).

Still, its a sad time to be a PC gamer it seems. We might now have reached the real beginning of the end :(

Shamus Young:
The whole PR debacle was like telling a guy who just lost both of his legs that he's going to be rich because he'll never have to buy shoes again. I know public relations people are pre-programed to lie in all situations, but this is one of those cases where perhaps honesty was at least worth a shot.

I have to agree with this completely. Seems that the more gaming companies try to ice things over with some slick PR Bullshit Mumbo Jumbo to try and make a bad change sound like it's in our better interests, the more it just enrages gamers more. We aren't your average Americans, and the sooner gaming companies realize they can't lie to us like the government can lie to everyone else, the better.

Honestly though, I don't see how dedicated servers is any skin off their back. FPS titles in particular have worked just fine with fan-provided servers to play on. If anything, Infinity Ward could have used this to make a little extra profit by letting players rent servers rather than running the servers on their own bill. So I would still argue that is was less of a business decision, and more of a "we're just lazy" decision. Though I suppose the two can go hand-in-hand sometimes. ;)

Doug:

Tiamat666:

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

Could be worse... could be a Mario game, which they've been reselling for the past...20? Years - if not, longer ;).

Still, its a sad time to be a PC gamer it seems. We might now have reached the real beginning of the end :(

You can't really call every Mario game the same unless you're going to call EVERY platformer the same game, just different levels. CoD, however, is more sophisticated and can change the experience more easily than simple platformers. With Mario games you're usually confined to two buttons and movement controls, but CoD gives you the possibility to create a huge number of different scenarios. The core of something like a platformer is about keeping controls simple while changing the environment while a shooter is more about putting the player in scenarios that, presumably, require more than walking forward and shooting.

WhiteTigerShiro:

Shamus Young:
The whole PR debacle was like telling a guy who just lost both of his legs that he's going to be rich because he'll never have to buy shoes again. I know public relations people are pre-programed to lie in all situations, but this is one of those cases where perhaps honesty was at least worth a shot.

I have to agree with this completely. Seems that the more gaming companies try to ice things over with some slick PR Bullshit Mumbo Jumbo to try and make a bad change sound like it's in our better interests, the more it just enrages gamers more. We aren't your average Americans, and the sooner gaming companies realize they can't lie to us like the government can lie to everyone else, the better.

Wait a second, your general public believe what the government tell them?! What a strange land - over here, the majority of people know that the words of a politicians mouth are usually worth their weigh (and given its hot air, thats even less than normal air).

randommaster:

Doug:

Tiamat666:

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

Could be worse... could be a Mario game, which they've been reselling for the past...20? Years - if not, longer ;).

Still, its a sad time to be a PC gamer it seems. We might now have reached the real beginning of the end :(

You can't really call every Mario game the same unless you're going to call EVERY platformer the same game, just different levels. CoD, however, is more sophisticated and can change the experience more easily than simple platformers. With Mario games you're usually confined to two buttons and movement controls, but CoD gives you the possibility to create a huge number of different scenarios. The core of something like a platformer is about keeping controls simple while changing the environment while a shooter is more about putting the player in scenarios that, presumably, require more than walking forward and shooting.

I was more teasing him - although Mario does whore himself out abit too much, but what I meant was he was complaining about MW2 being the same as CoD4: MW1, which is abit silly. Even Mario 3 was a very different from Mario 1 (lets skip the bizzaire Mario 2).

Tiamat666:
The whole Call of Duty franchise is a huge cash cow. It's always the same engine and the same features, so there are almost no development costs there. The "new" stuff is only in the levels, narration and some new graphics and models. Basically something a dedicated modding team could do. Still they up the price to 60$ and even cut support. I'd think that's an outrageous milking of the fan base.

You forgot a rather critical portion; the plot. The Modern Warfare games have been pretty good about that, since their updated setting allows them to get a lot more complex than "KILL DEM NAZEES".

But I guess it's all about supply and demand, and if people are willing to dish out 60$ for what is basically always the same game over and over again, they deserve what's coming to them.

From all accounts, excellent games? Why dontcha just use the word "overrated" already?

Doug:

WhiteTigerShiro:

Shamus Young:
The whole PR debacle was like telling a guy who just lost both of his legs that he's going to be rich because he'll never have to buy shoes again. I know public relations people are pre-programed to lie in all situations, but this is one of those cases where perhaps honesty was at least worth a shot.

I have to agree with this completely. Seems that the more gaming companies try to ice things over with some slick PR Bullshit Mumbo Jumbo to try and make a bad change sound like it's in our better interests, the more it just enrages gamers more. We aren't your average Americans, and the sooner gaming companies realize they can't lie to us like the government can lie to everyone else, the better.

Wait a second, your general public believe what the government tell them?! What a strange land - over here, the majority of people know that the words of a politicians mouth are usually worth their weigh (and given its hot air, thats even less than normal air).

The whole "War on Terrorism" bullshit is all the proof I need that people believe what the government tells them. But let's not get this derailed too far by going into that.

Smooth move, Metro, you friggin' idiot. You better schedule two pistol-whippings for that act of stupidity.

yeh damn them for lying! although its not like that is new. XD

every thing that was said here i whole heartily agree! ^-^

Frames 1, 2 and 3 = Win.

The rest are just meh.

Shamus Young:
I know public relations people are pre-programed to lie in all situations, but this is one of those cases where perhaps honesty was at least worth a shot.

We're not pre-programmed to lie, we're pre-programmed to exaggerate and pick and choose information ...and to self destruct upon hearing the words "product recall."

The Great JT:
Smooth move, Metro, you friggin' idiot. You better schedule two pistol-whippings for that act of stupidity.

Only two? How generous of you
OT: Seriously? Am I the only one whos curious about mario being in the next comic?
How odd...

WhiteTigerShiro:

Shamus Young:
The whole PR debacle was like telling a guy who just lost both of his legs that he's going to be rich because he'll never have to buy shoes again. I know public relations people are pre-programed to lie in all situations, but this is one of those cases where perhaps honesty was at least worth a shot.

I have to agree with this completely. Seems that the more gaming companies try to ice things over with some slick PR Bullshit Mumbo Jumbo to try and make a bad change sound like it's in our better interests, the more it just enrages gamers more. We aren't your average Americans, and the sooner gaming companies realize they can't lie to us like the government can lie to everyone else, the better.

Honestly though, I don't see how dedicated servers is any skin off their back. FPS titles in particular have worked just fine with fan-provided servers to play on. If anything, Infinity Ward could have used this to make a little extra profit by letting players rent servers rather than running the servers on their own bill. So I would still argue that is was less of a business decision, and more of a "we're just lazy" decision. Though I suppose the two can go hand-in-hand sometimes. ;)

How exactly do you know that gamers are smarter than most Americans? The government lying to its people with greater ease than game companies lying to their customers probably has something to do with how you can stop buying a specific company's games, but you usually can't choose to never be involved with the government again.

One thing to remember, is its a different development team alternating for the yearly COD games. Only 2, 4 and MW2 were made by infinity ward (much like the star trek films there's an 'accepted wisdom' that only the even ones are good as a search for Spock fan, I say stuff that). Treyarch did 3 and world at war. I would guess no 1 was done by Treyarch too.

EDIT: after stopping being lazy and actually looking things up, it seems infinity ward did the original COD. I guess Treyarch was drafted in for 3 and WAW to fill the gaps in yearly updates a two-year development cycle leaves

Mario? As in Mario Mario? Didn't even know G-Mod had him. I simultaneously dread and anticipate the next installment.

WhiteTigerShiro:
Honestly though, I don't see how dedicated servers is any skin off their back.

Dedicated servers are independent pieces of software that require their own unique network code (or are a fake client with the graphics turned off, and are just running peer to peer), which comes with various security measures to help tone down cheating. There's also many little things like writing software meant to run indefinitely at low resources, and providing administrative commands and interface. It also has to host the entire game in a way that may seem similar to normal multiplayer, but will still be different enough to require a non trivial amount of development work to even provide. In addition to the Peer to Peer code that they have to write anyway for the platforms that don't support servers (or people on a LAN).

Providing an API for modders to be able to do custom whatever is also a good amount of work, if not a full time project. In the end, a dedicated server can be quite a huge undertaking depending on how secure and feature rich they make it. They could have several reasons for not doing it, the primary one would likely be the development team that would have to maintain the server indefinitely, along with not wanting to release a half-assed product that would detract from the product as a whole. The short version being that outside of the core game physics, it's likely that a large chunk of the game engine and netcode would have to be modified/re-written/bug tested to work as a server.

The other side of this would be that they will be making enough hats of money from how popular this thing is, and could likely afford a team to write and maintain a dedicated server offering. With the way the marketing has been spun, it's a bit insulting for them not to give a reason beyond "the peer to peer is great, you'll like it more!"

vivaldiscool:
http://www.theonion.com/content/video/ultra_realistic_modern_warfare

That is all.

/thread

I cant wait to stand around all day talking with people in 100+ degree weather, going to be awesome.

The lack of dedicated server support is the cherry atop the turd cake.
Some people still seem unclear about what exactly it means, so just to clarify, lack of dedicated server support means that players cannot create servers which are separate from the player. ie every game is hosted by one of the players playing, rather than being run on another, stand alone pc. This means that servers are not persistent, and that the game has to pause and migrate if the host drops out. It also means the host has 0 latency and yours is dependent on their connection.

Added to that, it seems you cannot choose which server you would like to join, the game decides that for you. Since you can't set up your own server, you can't choose options, use the console, play on modded servers.. I'm not even sure you can choose maps to play on. Oh, and you're limited to 9v9, maximum. There is no way to increase that. None. Basically you have to play the game the developers want you to play, not the game you would prefer to play. Because they know best. Obviously.

There's no lean, which is a minor thing, but in the context of everything else, significant.
My suspicion is that the PC version is a near direct port of the Xbox version, which by nature uses p2p hosting and denies mods and custom options. The game was rushed for the pc, without having all of the pc specific options added. Now, if Infinity Ward want to develop for the consoles that's their business, I fully agree that it makes far more business sense than developing for the ultra elite pc market where numbers are small and piracy rampant. It would be nice if they simply admitted it though. These changes are not good for a pc fan of CoD, it's stupid to try to pretend they are.

People need to stop comparing Rage to MW2 I think, as far as I can recall, Rage is a small scale, story driven thing more aligned with Borderlands than Modern Warfare. When you have a small number of cooperating players, there's no real need for a dedicated server, but when you're looking for a serious pvp battlefield, MW1 delivered 16v16 and presumably could be persuaded to handle more. Some games in the past have managed hundreds of players on one server and that is when a dedicated box becomes invaluable.

Finally, I will be very interested to see how long it takes for someone to hack decent multiplayer into MW2. It's unreal technology, so in theory innately capable of all the things players are up in arms over losing. If and when that happens we will be in the possibly unique position of having a pirate version of a big name game which is in several serious ways superior to the initial, legitimate release. Way to fight piracy...

Doug:

randommaster:

Doug:

Tiamat666:

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

Could be worse... could be a Mario game, which they've been reselling for the past...20? Years - if not, longer ;).

Still, its a sad time to be a PC gamer it seems. We might now have reached the real beginning of the end :(

You can't really call every Mario game the same unless you're going to call EVERY platformer the same game, just different levels. CoD, however, is more sophisticated and can change the experience more easily than simple platformers. With Mario games you're usually confined to two buttons and movement controls, but CoD gives you the possibility to create a huge number of different scenarios. The core of something like a platformer is about keeping controls simple while changing the environment while a shooter is more about putting the player in scenarios that, presumably, require more than walking forward and shooting.

I was more teasing him - although Mario does whore himself out abit too much, but what I meant was he was complaining about MW2 being the same as CoD4: MW1, which is abit silly. Even Mario 3 was a very different from Mario 1 (lets skip the bizzaire Mario 2).

If we're talking modern FPS's, then yeah, they get really same-y. When was the las time you could duel-wield rocket launchers or booby trap guns?

That Metro is SUCH a dunce! He just ruined the act.

"They just made a single key to activate gunfight."

Priceless :P
Even better that they bound it to every key, then made it optional, haha xD

Ohhh, Metro. Truly are you becoming the Ed McMahon of your day. Then again, I'm sure Johnny Carson might've wanted to pistol-whip Ed a time or two as well.

IW might as well go whole-hog and just make the single-player campaign an "I WIN" button followed by credits over a rock song.

Ori Disciple:
Also: Mario, eh? oh Gmod modders, your'e all so crazy. Im a bit curious though: what IS Breen going to talk to mario about? curious...

I think "Do you ever get concussions, brain damage or headaches from hitting all those blocks?" is a good start. "Why are you such a tard?" would be a nice follow-up.

Tiamat666:

Ori Disciple:
Im sure they improved upon the engine.

There will perhaps be small improvements and changes (even though I don't see any real difference in the engine of Call of Duty 4, 5 and 6) but it's minimal compared to what id Software does, for instance. Every time a new id game comes out you clearly see the new graphical features and enhancements in gameplay.

graphics, yes
gameplay...yeah maybe this next go round
(unless Doom 3 is banned from existence in the minds of PC gamers lol =) jk)

Chirez:
Finally, I will be very interested to see how long it takes for someone to hack decent multiplayer into MW2. It's unreal technology, so in theory innately capable of all the things players are up in arms over losing. If and when that happens we will be in the possibly unique position of having a pirate version of a big name game which is in several serious ways superior to the initial, legitimate release. Way to fight piracy...

I don't see how this would be possible though, granted I'm not very familiar with the specifics of server management beyond, "Dedicated servers are awesome, P2P sucks." I recall hearing from somewhere that all of the mod tools would also be unavailable on the PC. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this means that if you want to mod the game, you're basically going to have to develop your own modding tools.

Good Strip... Couldn't agree more about you have said.

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