Friday, November 13 2009 @ 02:43 PM UTC
PC Gamer editor fills us in on the PC version's multiplayer problems
by George Walter
Why are PC gamers so incensed? What is all this talk of dedicated servers and Steam? And why can't PC guys join in the overwhelming sense of excitement surrounding the console versions?
Much of the controversy surrounds the developer's decision to do away with dedicated servers and instead use a matchmaking system similar to that on Xbox Live. Normally PC multiplayer games run on 'dedicated' servers that can be modded and customised to suit the needs of clans who use them. They develop a sense of community as they are used regularly by the same players.
For MW2 Infinity Ward are using 'listen servers' which uses matchmaking to find a bunch of players looking to play a game and then designates the PC with the fastest connection as the host.
"The matchmaking for the PC version is much faster to find a game than on Xbox Live," Tim Edwards, Editor of PC Gamer tells us, "but the quality of the game you get put into is really variable."
This is mainly due to players not being able to control the PC hosting the game, whose owner may be clogging up his connection with simultaneous web usage. The result can be a sub-standard online experience.
"It's not just about no dedicated servers, though," Edwards continues, "The lack of mod tools is massive kick in the face for PC gamers too. A lot of incredible things have come out of the modding communities and work they do on multiplayer games.
"It will undoubtedly have a long term effect on the viability of the multiplayer game. The only advantage you had on PC was the flexibility and control that dedicated servers offered - you might as well just buy the 360 version."
And this isn't just a few moany PC gamers grumbling away on forums or swearing in our comments - a petition to reverse the decision is now at over 200,000 gamers.
"The response to the petition is fairly astounding," Edwards remarks, "We've seen it among our readers too - since it was announced interest in MW2 on PC has gone through the floor. It just doesn't feel like a PC game anymore."