Over the past several Call of Duty releases, PC gamers have been left feeling disappointed by the lack of dedicated servers. Modern Warfare 3 had dedicated servers, sure, but they were limited to unranked games only, which doesn’t quite cut it for some.
For some reason or another, Activision has been a bit off-and-on when it comes to dedicated server support for Call of Duty games on the PC platform. The original Black Ops supported dedicated servers, but only from one provider. Modern Warfare 2, arguably the best title to date, shipped with no dedicated server support at all.
With Modern Warfare 2, Activision and Infinity Ward wanted to push its so-called “IWNet” multiplayer system on the PC, rather than going the dedicated server route. Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling had this to say in IWNet’s defense at the time:
“The biggest benefit of using IWnet by far is the fact that you don’t have to worry about joining a server full of aim-bots, wallhacks, or cheaters,” Bowling writes. “Or relying on the server admin of the server to constantly be monitoring, banning, and policing it.”
Treyarch director of technology Cesar Stastny has confirmed on Twitter that the latest Call of Duty will feature dedicated ranked multiplayer servers on PC.
It’s good news, and more than a little overdue. Dedicated servers made a return with Modern Warfare 3, but were unranked and therefore didn’t contribute to your overall progress. It seems like reliable, full-featured servers have crawled back bit by bit since they originally vanished from the series. Last week brought the news that Neversoft, the studio behind the Tony Hawk and latter Guitar Hero games, are at work on Call of Duty. Check out the E3 trailer for the first extended look at the game, in which terrorists steal the keys to the robots of the future. I’m not sure why robots would have keys, unless the robot owned something that needed to be locked like a house or a car. A robust moral compass would probably be a better way of preventing a drone army from laying waste to Los Angeles, ultimately.