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Regarding Ranked Server LimitationsAn Open Letter to DICE
Posted Nov 24, 2011 - 10:31 AM
Thank you for providing more information and clarifying the developers stance on these issues. However, I remain upset with this decision. Small communities, such as my own, have very few methods of ever becoming larger communities if we cannot find a way to populate our servers. Seeding is probably the only option available to us. What your company is doing is in effect killing smaller gaming communities. My server only started to populate after I turned it to 24/7 Air Maps and disabled the minimum player requirement.
With regards to stats padding, this is a problem that has been created entirely by game developers. You have created a system which provides small rewards for people to invest time in playing your game. This becomes addicting and is what keeps people playing. Aside from the issues this causes from a balance perspective, it is a cheap and simplistic way of keeping an audiences attention. I won't say that it doesn't work, as I too feel a small sense of satisfaction when I earn a new unlock. In the long run I believe this has harmed online gaming, as it has made playing on an unranked server feel artificial in many ways. I will also add that developers deliberately establish things that try to "force" ranked servers on their players. For example, the default server browser settings always favor ranked settings. This makes it harder for unranked servers to even get noticed by the vast majority of the community. I for one personally wish you would invest lest time in these artificial systems and instead provide us with more actual gameplay content.
I have heard DICE developers say that one reason they won't charge for maps is because they don't want to artificially split the community. Why then do you insist on doing it with these ranked/unranked silliness?
In the long run, all of this comes down to control. Developers such as DICE are trying to control how their game is experienced and promote a fair experience. I respect your intentions, but I believe it is continuing to take us down the wrong path. I believe these decisions should be left to consumers, particularly when you require your consumers to pay money to even have access to a server. A 64 man server costs around $80 a month from the cheapest providers. Frankly, if people wanted to pay and host a cheater only server I think they should be allowed to do so. If we weren't willing to pay to rent servers your online gaming network would need to be funded entirely by your company.
I sincerely hope DICE reconsiders the directions it has taken with ranked/unranked servers. I believe this continues to split the community and over the long term does harm to what you are trying to accomplish. Games are supposed to be about fun, and online games are most fun when you can enjoy it with your friends and the same individuals over time. Communities are the heart and soul of online gaming. They are what keep people playing the same game for years at a time long after its shelf life was supposed to expire. Stop working against that.
Posted Nov 24, 2011 - 10:59 AM
Totally agree, it's a ridiculous system.
Just give every player all the unlocks to balance the game.
How can you win a dogfight with only guns, while you component has heat seekers, stealth, beam scanning, etc.
Because of the created system with unlocks on every weapon/vehicle, half my clan is only playing for stats and shiny medals.
They don't take the time to start up their own servers or squad play is becoming rare.
Where did the fun go, like we used to have in BF2?
Posted Nov 25, 2011 - 08:41 AM
To be quite honest BF2 is what started this road to nowhere. The ranked vs unranked at least. The good part was you could still host an unranked server without a GSP, the modding community was at least still somewhat available and you could create local accounts to play offline on LAN. The problem for the unranked modded servers was they couldn't keep their players because everyone was too focused on leveling up to care about game content. Then 2142 ultimately became the final nail in the coffin that took most of that away even though essentially it was just a BF2 mod sold at full price. Lets face it, 1942 was the last fully functional Battlefield and probably mainly because it was someone elses product in the beginning. Even with 1942 you had the stat tracker websites that people became obsessed with their KDR and Win/Loss ratios but at least that was being done on the side and not in your face like the whole ranking system. Now that the console porting has been introduced it's gotten even worse from the flight controller and options aspects.
And yes, I'm a bit bitter because the Battlefield series was a huge step in the right direction for the FPS genre and as someone who watched gaming evolve from the Commodore 64 to what we have today I'm a bit irked to see game tech de-evolving into a mindless game of ranking and cool special effects with little or no real content to make that next leap forward. Where's the 128 player support the original Battlefield creators were preparing to support a decade ago? Where have the naval vehicles from Battlefield gone? Battlefield to me was about full force combat utilizing every branch of the military cramming as many players into a huge map area as possible and letting them run wild. Over the years we've accepted less just in hopes that the next Battlefield would be even bigger in scale but everything since then has been scaled down. Think about the maps like Desert Combats El Alamein or Desert Shield and now look at Project Firestorm and tell me they are even close in comparison... All the action is too centered in the middle of the map now with ceiling caps for the jets and enough lockon weapons to make them practically ineffective. Caspian Border is problem THE best map the game has to offer that feels like home.
Sorry for the long winded response but for someone that started at the beginning and came from a community of gamers that enjoyed the public teamspeaks and made a lot of great friends in doing so I'm absolutely driven insane by the "Quickmacth" community where servers can stay populated for days and when it crashes maybe 2 of the 64 players return to support the server to get it started again when EA is imposing the 4-8 players to start ruleset.
Edited by HSSRedDragon, Nov 25, 2011 - 08:42 AM.
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