Infinity Ward made many PC gamers happy when they announced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for the PC would have dedicated servers. Fast forward to late last week, when Infinity Ward released a FAQ in anticipation of the upcoming release.
This new information has brought to light a significant limitation not included in the original announcement:
Are Dedicated Servers Ranked or UnRanked?
Only matchmaking to public games are Ranked (meaning, you have to rank up to unlock weapons to rank on the leaderboards), choosing to play on a Dedicated Server is UnRanked. Meaning unlocks are completely controlled by the Server Admin. They can choose to unlock everything or limit class restrictions to whatever they like to fully customize the experience. You do not have to rank up in Public games to have access to weapons in Dedicated Servers, you have complete control over what is unlocked for you in a Unranked Dedicated Server.
This weekend Infinity Wards Creative Strategist Robert Bowling had this to say via Twitter:
“It’s the same on consoles. They can’t rank up in private or custom games. Public is about progression, private is about control.”
Analysis: To get this out of the way, I hate many of the Call of Duty games. This is isn’t because I think they’re inferior to other games like Battlefield. I honestly think the stories are crap, the gameplay is rehashed from one to the next, and they’re poor corridor shooters. The only one I’ve enjoyed is Black Ops in the past several years, and it still feels rehashed; a majority of it was corridor, but at least the story was interesting. I do like its multiplayer, but I will not buy a game for multiplayer enjoyment alone. I also hate having to shell out extra money for map pack after map pack; after one or two, you’re just milking it, Activision and Infinity Ward, plain and simple. This point was further emphasized when I found out the servers would get all of these map packs free, thus forcing players to buy them if they don’t want to be kicked from a server.
Now, with that out of the way, I have to say this news about unranked servers is quite disturbing. This is a bitch slap to everyone who was looking forward to this feature. This truly was the one thing that had me thinking about purchasing Modern Warfare 3. I’m not going to lie, but I had no plans to preorder or order it soon after release. I wanted to wait and see what the reviews would be and what my friends who like Call of Duty games had to say about it. This just killed any hope of my picking it up. Pile that on top of the Elite subscription, and this is now a steaming piece of shit that they want to you to continuously shell out money for.
I honestly don’t think Modern Warfare 3 would have had as many preorders on Steam if this limitation had been known when this was first announced. I honestly don’t. This isn’t to say I don’t think the game would have done well cause of the name, but I don’t think it would have been as strong on the PC, that’s for certain. This blatant bitch slap to PC gamers won’t stop the Call of Duty name dead. I foresee three things happening. One: This will not help Activision’s anticipation for strong Elite and future map pack sales on the PC. Two: Hackers will find a way to make Dedicated Servers run as if they are official ranked servers, and if it takes them more than a month, I’ll be surprised. Three: Piracy for the map packs will burn like a wild fire. I don’t condone piracy, but unfortunately, no one can return the game. When you burn gamers like this, the average joe will hurt you the best way they can, and that’s through the wallet with future content and hacked servers.
This a problem of Infinity Ward and Activision’s own making. They have no right to say haven’t been warned and blame those who push back. I’m glad I didn’t waste money on this title, and I most certainly won’t for any price.