PC gamers have had to put with quite a lot this generation, and many probably haven’t forgiven Activision for the decision to remove dedicated servers from Modern Warfare 2. Though the PC version of the original Black Ops ran on dedicated servers, Treyarch still isn’t sure whether the the recently revealed Call of Duty: Black Ops II will make use of them.
Make no mistake, Treyarch’s Mark Lamia is a fan of the flexibility that comes from dedicated servers. However, he also wants gamers to play Call of Duty: Black Ops II “the way we spent the last couple of years making it.” The studio is trying to find a balance between the two ideals, which is partly the reason why no decision has been announced on going dedicated or P2P.
Some might accuse Activision of being greedy, and believe that abandoning dedicated servers is a move designed to make the publisher more money. Lamia says the decision isn’t business related, as dedicated servers open up greater options for cheating.
“It’s one of the considerations. Once you let those server files out, there’s a problem. That was actually one of the primary reasons why you could rent a server… I can tell you that that wasn’t a business decision on our part. That’s not our business. But it’s an important security consideration.”
Taking Lamia’s points into account, it sounds probable that the studio might go the Modern Warfare 3 route, allowing dedicated servers but only for private matches. A player who wants to earn XP would have to a join a ranked game, which isn’t hosted on a player-made server. For those concerned about how the possible lack of dedicated servers would affect eSports, Lamia believes there’s nothing to worry about, as private matches already give players plenty of options to fiddle around with the game’s settings. At least Black Ops 2 will support a LAN mode, which should come in handy for those who feel P2P may cause too much latency.
Unsurprisingly, it’s been confirmed that Black Ops II won’t have a beta. With the game launching this year, a beta just wouldn’t be feasible; especially when “most consumers don’t have a technical problem.”
“So there’s a ton of stats that we have already built into our engine. Our engine’s really well-integrated with all that stuff. We’re already doing quite a bit of that. It’s going to be really… It takes advantage of Elite pretty nicely”
How will Call of Duty: ELITE change? Maybe players will be rewarded for their performance in previous games. I’ve always hoped that Black Ops II would add some form of character customization, so players can tailor character models to look however they want. If Treyarch was to go this route, it would be awesome to see players rewarded with new customization options based on their acheivments in Black Ops or Modern Warfare 3. Activision thinks ELITE still needs to prove itself, and this may be one way to do so.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II will release on November 13, 2012, for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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Source: PC Gamer