Early this morning reports were coming online from IGN that some news had been unveiled at gamescom with Activision announcing that there will in fact be dedicated servers in Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 3. This was later confirmed in a couple of Tweets as seen below from Sledgehammer Games VP Glen Schofield, Infinity Ward Community Manager 402 and just a few minutes ago this evening from the main Call of Duty Twitter account.
Free dedicated servers for #MW3 PC confirmed! We are excited to be bringing this back to Modern Warfare.
— Glen A. Schofield (@GlenSchofield) August 17, 2011
— Robert Bowling (@fourzerotwo) August 17, 2011
Announced at Gamescom, #MW3/PC will support dedicated servers. Host them where you want, control settings & standard matchmaking like MW1.
— Call of Duty ⚠️ (@CallofDuty) August 18, 2011
Unfortunately that is about all of the information we are going to get until the big Call of Duty XP event in two weeks out in California where the full multiplayer reveal is supposed to happen. For now we can at least wonder a bit about the things that were said – starting with “FREE” from Glen Schofield. Free; I am assuming meaning that the server files will be available on the disc/download and will be publicly available to game owners just as they were in past COD games before COD:Modern Warfare 2 where anyone can have the ability to create a dedicated COD server on any old system they have laying around. I just can’t really see Activision/IW/Sledgehammer just opening servers back up just as they were before after a trick like IWnet in COD:Modern Warfare 2 but from the official CallofDuty Tweet it sounds like we will have full control of where the servers will be hosted from. 402’s Tweet doesn’t really reveal too much more detail in the realm of server control but the important words to take would be “admin your own to control setup“; which once again kind of sounds like having access to your servers actual config files to control the server variables just like you want to. However; again this could also mean limited access to your servers config file through an RCON tool just like it is currently in COD:Black Ops. There isn’t much clarity here with how the actual dedicated servers will work but hopefully that information will come in the following weeks in much more detail.
This is certainly good news indeed for the PC community to at least have dedicated servers and not IWnet 2.0 and if they truly are “open” dedicated servers this could really prove to be a rejuvenation for competitive style gameplay in the COD community. Also, depending on how “open” the dedicated servers are this should also allow limited modding capabilities – even without mod tools. This however is where it starts to get a little complicated though because the other factor involved with COD:MW3 here is COD:Elite – the social network platform for COD (MW3 specifically) that is currently in BETA and being tested on the console platforms but will ultimately be available on the PC as well (or so we are told). Certain parts of COD:Elite is very heavily based around stats – and if certain individuals can figure out how to cheat the system with modified server files and gain advantages to move up in COD:Elite then they will unfortunately. This leads to more questions of how the dedicated servers will work as far as “Ranked” and “Unranked” servers. Maybe “free” servers will just be Unranked servers and “paid” servers from GSP’s like GameServers.com will be Ranked Servers – assuming that option will be offered as well. It will be very interesting to see information in the coming weeks regarding different server options and amount of server control that will ultimately be available come November 8th.
Whatever the case I love Call of Duty gameplay and even though the latest Battlefield 3 trailer looked awesomely fun I have no doubts now that I will be purchasing and playing COD:MW3. Also, today’s announcement adds a little comfort to my mind about my purchasing decision I made last week. Last week with a nice Newegg.com promo code I actually pre-ordered COD:MW3 and didn’t think twice about it. Very strange because I never pre-order games (COD or any others) and when I think about it now it didn’t even cross my mind at the time of ordering about the game having or not having dedicated servers. Why? I don’t know. I refused to purchase and support COD:MW2 because of the rash decisions that were made with the PC version of the game but I guess I just figured that if I pre-order COD:MW3 with a nice discount and pay less than the $60 price tag; why not. When it comes down to it being good or bad at least I didn’t pay the full price of $60.