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Post by trog @ 08:47am 25/08/11 | 54 Comments
A post to the official forums by the indefatigable Mikael Kalms at DICE offers a "first look" at some of the key details of the Battlefield 3 Ranked Server system. As with previous Battlefield titles, they'll be using a "Ranked Server Provider" process, meaning a pool of companies and organisations dedicated to running servers will be able to do so if they're approved by DICE and EA.

There are no huge surprises in the rest of the announcement, although one change from previous Battlefield titles is that there will be no publicly released unranked server software - meaning some poor lonely countries without a big game service provider on hand might be playing outside of their borders:
Since we prefer to work with larger hosting companies, and we focus on countries where we have a larger player base, there will not be game servers available in every country on the planet.
They also reveal that - from their perspective - the balance has shifted and they expect the majority of servers to actually be managed and paid for by gamers who are renting the servers from GSPs:
While the RSPs run the physical machines, most if not all will be paid for and administered by the players themselves – individuals, groups of friends, or clans.
This has historically not been the case in Australia, where the high cost of hosting has meant server rental prices are often a little bit on the high side, and the bulk of the server hosting has been handled by ISPs/GPSs like GameArena and Internode.

PunkBuster support has been confirmed, which is good news, and there's a few other interesting tidbits. Unfortunately there are no answers for some of the more pro/competitive features like spectator mode and Battlerecorder - which to me, bodes poorly for the game as a truly viable option for e-sports - but hopefully we'll see more information about this soon.



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Latest Comments
Midda
Posted 08:54am 25/8/11
PunkBuster support has been confirmed, which is good news

Punkbuster is a f*****g piece of s***, this is hardly good news.
ctd
Posted 08:58am 25/8/11
Yeah punkbuster is s***e... but with all the problems they are having with Valve they are hardly gunna start using VAC. Had no problems getting into servers in BC2 so as long as it doesn't d/c me ill be fine. Cheaters gunna cheat.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 08:58am 25/8/11
Bah
trog
Posted 09:19am 25/8/11
If you're running servers, having PB is better than not having PB. It provides a base level of administrative functionality so you instantly know the sorts of things you'll be able to do out-of-the-box - instead of having to wait for developer of the game to re-invent the wheel when it comes to basic management functionality.
Eorl
Posted 09:25am 25/8/11
Hahahahaha. Thought they would of released dedicated servers now that MW3 has 'em. Ah well, guess they don't want to "win".
maRtz
Posted 10:33am 25/8/11
I'm confused, so BF3 has dedicated servers? Before it was said that BF3 won't come with Dedicated servers.
Trauma
Posted 10:38am 25/8/11
Punkbuster is a f*****g piece of s***, this is hardly good news.

Exactly what I thought when reading that.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:49am 25/8/11
Punk-buster is fine, why the hate? You guys say it sucks yet you don't qualify it. Trog gave a good example of why he likes it, how about you guys explain your positions.

I too would have thought BF3 would have dedicated server support like in previous games and less focus on ditching the running costs onto their customers...
trog
Posted 10:50am 25/8/11
I'm confused, so BF3 has dedicated servers? Before it was said that BF3 won't come with Dedicated servers.
It has dedicated servers, but only for "ranked server providers" - ie, their pre-selected, exclusive group of companies that are allowed to provide servers.

There are several Australian entities in this group (and international ones allowed to participate in Australia, which is a bit rich considering we're not allowed to participate internationally). So it's not a completely terrible solution, as long as you live in a country that has an entity in the RSP. Otherwise, basically, you're boned.
Eorl
Posted 10:52am 25/8/11
Is there a list of RSP's Trog? I keep hearing people being charged nearly 128 euro for a 64 slot server. Insane...
Dan
Posted 11:02am 25/8/11
So it's not a completely terrible solution, as long as you live in a country that has an entity in the RSP. Otherwise, basically, you're boned.
Realistically though, any countries that don't end up with them are going to be ones that are geographically close to others that do for that to not be an issue.
Is there a list of RSP's Trog? I keep hearing people being charged nearly 128 euro for a 64 slot server. Insane...
The OP article says the list isn't finalised, so they're not releasing it yet.
Eorl
Posted 11:22am 25/8/11
Ah bummer, hopefully we can get em cheap, maybe a $1 = 1 slot.
MARLINBLADE
Posted 11:39am 25/8/11
Although it hasn't been officially said, you can take this as a "there will be no public server files and therefore no mods for BF3". We're back to the short term game life, next game already in the making, release 6 maps to keep interest in our old game till the new one is out mentallity.

Bring back mod tools, server files and custom maps!! BF2 AIX FTW... good times
DM
Posted 11:50am 25/8/11
So between being forced to use origin and not being able to host dedicated servers without being some type of specially selected group this is looking less and less like a must buy.
Khel
Posted 12:44pm 25/8/11
not being able to host dedicated servers without being some type of specially selected group this is looking less and less like a must buy.


Well, if your plan was to buy BF3 and host your own clan servers and play amongst friends, then I guess this does throw a spanner in your plans. But the majority of people, I would imagine, would just be playing on Gamearena or Internode or some other ISP's servers, and I'd imagine most of those big game server running places will be on the list of RSPs. So yeah, I can see it sucking for the small people who want to run their own dedicated servers at lans and stuff, but its not going to affect me in the slightest, cos I'd only be playing it online on Internode's servers anyway.

I spose the other negative side effect could be servers could end up really crowded if all the people who usually go off and play on their own private servers are now playing on the same servers as everyone else, but hopefully the RSPs put up enough servers to cater for the demand.
Eorl
Posted 12:47pm 25/8/11
That and it will detract a lot of that niche crowd who like dedi's, when they compare MW3 and BF3.
Trauma
Posted 12:55pm 25/8/11
Punk-buster is fine, why the hate? You guys say it sucks yet you don't qualify it. Trog gave a good example of why he likes it, how about you guys explain your positions.

Because in my experience it does not do a good job of stopping cheats. If it's a good server management tool maybe a name change is in order?

I've never used PB to operate a server, but I don't operate servers often so meh.
Enska
Posted 01:00pm 25/8/11
That and it will detract a lot of that niche crowd who like dedi's, when they compare MW3 and BF3.


How so? they still are dedi servers, just not running off uncle bob's server tower in mums laundry.
BladeRunner
Posted 01:01pm 25/8/11
As long as I can get on any servers located in Sydney or Brisbane I'll be happy.
Eorl
Posted 01:10pm 25/8/11
How so? they still are dedi servers, just not running off uncle bob's server tower in mums laundry.

I said the niche crowd who like dedi's. As in the ones you can run yourself. They will umm and aaa.
step
Posted 01:24pm 25/8/11
This is the same s*** as bad company 2 I believe, not sure what the fuss is about.
trog
Posted 01:27pm 25/8/11
Because in my experience it does not do a good job of stopping cheats.
You would be amazed at the number of people that we used to catch with PunkBuster just running simple hacks just with the screenshot thing. Amazed. I haven't looked at it for a while but I can state unequivocally that it has been really useful in the past at just getting those casual hackers off servers and that is a good thing.
eXemplar
Posted 01:35pm 25/8/11
Should probably stop using the term dedicated server and start calling them managed servers, really.
Trauma
Posted 01:43pm 25/8/11
You would be amazed at the number of people that we used to catch with PunkBuster just running simple hacks just with the screenshot thing. Amazed. I haven't looked at it for a while but I can state unequivocally that it has been really useful in the past at just getting those casual hackers off servers and that is a good thing.

Yea I used to browse the screens from PB from my clans AA server years back, still got plenty who were confirmed through other means that showed nothing on the screens, PB is good for grabbing the clueless script kiddies I guess.
Twisted
Posted 01:46pm 25/8/11
This sounds almost like America's Army with ranked servers and crap...
greazy
Posted 01:57pm 25/8/11
The cost of the servers is being passed onto the players?

Why aren't people annoyed at this? This is bulls***
Tollaz0r!
Posted 02:12pm 25/8/11
Greazy, the cost of specialty (clan) servers are being passed on to the players, like it has always been.
greazy
Posted 02:28pm 25/8/11
Oh right. Misread oops.
Eorl
Posted 03:05pm 25/8/11
Yeah, we will still have the usual GameArena and Internode servers, but sadly if you wanna boot your own up, your gonna have to go to MW3 for that.
DK
Posted 03:11pm 25/8/11
This is not actually that bad. Does anyone here actually play bfbc2? Doesn’t seem any different. S*** thing is this prob means no mods which = no competitive mods = boo
trog
Posted 03:40pm 25/8/11
This is not actually that bad. Does anyone here actually play bfbc2? Doesn’t seem any different. S*** thing is this prob means no mods which = no competitive mods = boo
You lose mods, which reduces replayability and I reckon the chances it will get used for serious competitive play. It basically reduces the lifespan of the game, but that is pretty much the goal of most of these sorts of titles these days unfortunately.

We need to update our graphs for online gaming in these titles again!
ravn0s
Posted 03:49pm 25/8/11
We need to update our graphs for online gaming in these titles again!


tf2 probably doubled when it went free.
Midda
Posted 04:04pm 25/8/11
Punk-buster is fine, why the hate? You guys say it sucks yet you don't qualify it. Trog gave a good example of why he likes it, how about you guys explain your positions.

Because for one thing, I've still seen people cheat in games occasionally, and secondly, I've been kicked from games countless times because something on my computer has offended Punkbuster, though it's rarely clear exactly what. I've never, ever cheated, but I've had no shortage of seemingly random kicks from servers due to their s***** software.

And the updating procedure is archaic. The user shouldn't even have to see Punkbuster, yet I've had to go out of my way to download updates from their site (which looks like it was made on GeoCities) and update manually, just so I, a legitimate player, don't get kicked from servers.

I've never had any of these issues with VAC, and I've seen fewer people cheating online in VAC secured games.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 04:21pm 25/8/11
O, I don't get those problems Punkbuster just works for me.
Crakaveli
Posted 05:12pm 25/8/11
lol, pc gamer mentality is getting worse. the level of butt hurt in here is hilarious.

Guess what, these guys dont owe you s***. Quit acting like spoiled little f****.
Eorl
Posted 06:19pm 25/8/11
Oh Crak you silly console peasant! You'll eat up any s*** that they push at you hey?
Crakaveli
Posted 06:25pm 25/8/11
I'm not a console gamer but nice try.
oddjob
Posted 07:36pm 25/8/11
Is origin like steam where only I can own the game and i cant give to anyone else,since the game isnt mine even tho I bought it?
maRtz
Posted 08:29pm 25/8/11
I can't say I've had any issues with punkbuster, but I've seen people with wall hacks etc get banned by it so I can't fault it.

You lose mods, which reduces replayability and I reckon the chances it will get used for serious competitive play. It basically reduces the lifespan of the game, but that is pretty much the goal of most of these sorts of titles these days unfortunately.


Depends how good the game is. I played BF2 solid for 2 years and that is vanilla BF2. we also participated in clan wars on the gamearena ladder which worked fine.
Dan
Posted 08:43pm 25/8/11
Is origin like steam where only I can own the game and i cant give to anyone else,since the game isnt mine even tho I bought it?
yeeepppp. Way of the future and all that :/
Depends how good the game is. I played BF2 solid for 2 years and that is vanilla BF2. we also participated in clan wars on the gamearena ladder which worked fine.
We also played it at LANs and didn't have to worry about the logistics of keeping a stable Internet connection running for everyone.
koopz
Posted 11:02pm 25/8/11
just buy stuff guys... we need the stats.

on another note - stop being just another number and join a gaming community that... oh wait - no that's no good.

when's the Valve Battlefield killer coming out again ?

(said Valve - not iD - shame on you Carmack... erm maybe... you look pretty far ahead)

Khel - why didn't you do this ?

last edited by koopz at 23:02:47 25/Aug/11
ctd
Posted 11:25pm 25/8/11
^wtf
maRtz
Posted 11:04am 26/8/11
We also played it at LANs and didn't have to worry about the logistics of keeping a stable Internet connection running for everyone.


why would you need to worry about a stable internet connection these days... my internet has been stable since adsl/cable was introduced.
Sc00bs
Posted 11:09am 26/8/11
yeah hurry the f*** up and bring HL3 out valve, you dog c****, so TF3 and a new CS (that isnt that gay sounding GO version) can come out
maRtz
Posted 01:48pm 26/8/11
I read somewhere there won't be a HL3???
Tollaz0r!
Posted 02:16pm 26/8/11
why would you need to worry about a stable internet connection these days... my internet has been stable since adsl/cable was introduced.


I think he means battling your upload and download bandwidth sharing between 10 or more people on a LAN trying to play BF2 and stuff.
Dan
Posted 02:21pm 26/8/11
why would you need to worry about a stable internet connection these days... my internet has been stable since adsl/cable was introduced.
Would it still be stable with > a dozen people all trying to play Battlefield 3 online on it?
Sc00bs
Posted 02:48pm 26/8/11
^if u had 100mb optus it probably would
BladeRunner
Posted 03:59pm 26/8/11
I don't feel Half-Life is relevant any more, Its been too long to get Ep3 and I just don't care about it or CS:GS.
maRtz
Posted 04:55pm 26/8/11
Would it still be stable with > a dozen people all trying to play Battlefield 3 online on it?


I had a lan back in 2008, TF2 days? 20+ people f*****g rocked up.. most of us were spamming TF2 online hardcore, no issues. That's with ADSL2+.

doesn't matter though, didn't come here to fight, just saying how it was/is.
FraktuRe
Posted 05:02pm 26/8/11
tf2 is pretty light on internet traffic though, at least it used to be, pre hats.
skythra
Posted 05:17pm 26/8/11
I don't feel Half-Life is relevant any more, Its been too long to get Ep3 and I just don't care about it or CS:GS.

I don't think you speak for even a majority of people, the graphs linked in this very thread tell me that CS and CS:S are still widely played and that would suggest that those players would be interested in both HL and CSGS or whatever.


In other words, for three consecutive months both CS and CS:S outstripped all other modern day FPS and there's no sign that it's changing.
Dan
Posted 05:17pm 26/8/11
Yep, it's somewhat manageable under perfect circumstances, until one person's Steam decides to auto-update a game or the myriad other reasons that your bandwidth can get sapped when you have a dozen people on your LAN.

Also, it's all well and good when they're trusted friends that you can respectfully ask not to leech while a game is happening, but what about when you're talking about hosting an event for the general public (which I'm still hoping we can get back in to at some point).

Can you imagine trying to run the QGLs of old if everyone had to play all those games on Internet servers. There's some serious network admin work that needs to be done to maintain QoS for gamers over downloaders.

Used to be that you could just hire out a scout-hall or similar and have a bash for a weekend, but now you can't really have a BYOC without net access because barely any modern games support offline LAN play.
FraktuRe
Posted 05:26pm 26/8/11
Since tf2 went f2p it has consistently outranked cs and css too now.

http://store.steampowered.com/stats/
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