BF3: The EA Server Conspiracy
In a recent Battlefield Diary article I stated that I felt the addition of rented servers was a good thing even if it did come with a few minor inconveniences. This weekend that minor inconvenience has developed into a major one.
There are more important things in life to be upset about. Right now my dog, Gina, is old, sick and deteriorating in front of my eyes. This is wearing on me. Playing a great game like BF3 with the great folk I’ve met through it has been blowing away the stormy clouds around me a few times a week. People are becoming frustrated with BF3. When a game becomes frustrating people stop playing. My friends haven’t been playing BF3 much. I haven’t been playing BF3 much. Stormy weather.
I’m not talking about suppression or M26 DART exploits. DICE will fix all of this in time. So what’s got my knickers all knotted up?
When a corporation remains tight lipped and goes into Winston working at Ministry of Truth mode it’s never a good thing for the customer.
I log onto XBOX Live, notice all my friends playing the Ghost Recon demo (3rd person perspective gives me headaches) and so I look for a game in BF3. I go to server browser, select my favorites and lo and behold, all the official DICE servers that I painstakingly looked for in previous sessions are gone. Okay, hick-ups happen. I do a search for ‘dice‘ and all I get back is a bunch of rented servers claiming to be official DICE servers. ALL THE OFFICIAL DICE SERVERS HAVE DISAPPEARED.
Why don’t you just play on the rented servers you ask. For many reasons.
- The tedious search process - Exactly how long am I supposed to spend searching for a server? How much time does EA think I have? During this search you’re sifting through…
- Incredulous ticket counts – I don’t have time to play a 2000 ticket server. Or…
- Misleading server descriptions – Yeah, those ‘DICE LIKE‘ servers are anything but. And then there are…
- Douchebag Nazi Administrators – Every server admin is reserving the right to auto-balance the teams (amongst other ludicrous demands.) Who wants to get switched to a losing team at the end of a game because a bunch of kids rage quit early? How about getting kicked for cheating simply because you were doing good. Who wants to be separated from their squad of real life friends? Of course the main issue here is…
- What did I pay for? – It was my understanding when I purchased Battlefield 3 that Electronic Arts would be providing servers as part of the cost of the game. It was never implied that in the future people would also have to purchase servers in order to be able to play the multiplayer aspect of the game.
In my previous article I mentioned that none of this was game breaking. It wasn’t so long as the official DICE servers existed and you were not in a squad of friends. Before the official DICE servers disappeared, you could find them after an exercise in tedium but the problem is the official servers you found would either be full, empty or only have one or two spots open. If you’re solo it’s not a big deal. You could at least jump into one of the servers with one or two spots open. If you’re in a squad of four, you had no choice but to start perusing the rented servers. Another exercise in tedium ensues. At some point your squad gets a wee bit impatient and you all end up jumping into any server, often to your squad’s detriment.
I was wrong in my assessment that the server issue was not game breaking. At that point it was game damaging.
LACK OF COMMUNICATION
Have the servers disappeared because EA and DICE are doing maintenance? Could they be implementing code that will not allow rented servers to be named in a similar fashion? Something that should have been considered before they introduced rented servers. Who knows. I logged onto the official EA forums to post my grievances and they appeared to have been locked down. I couldn’t create a forum post nor could I reply to any of the numerous posts that have been made on the server topic.
None of this is a good sign. When a corporation remains tight lipped and goes into Winston working at Ministry of Truth mode it’s never a good thing for the customer.
SO WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?
I’ll keep this succinct. I’ll even bullet it so the most dense corporate tools out there can follow.
- They implemented rented servers which sold like hotcakes.
- Most of the rented servers are empty most of the time.
- Satan’s Little Helpers, that is, marketing sees this and realizes that as soon as people catch on that it is a complete waste of money to buy a server that spends most of its time empty they will no longer buy servers.
- Satan’s Little Helpers then decide that in order to prevent this economic disaster the best thing to do is get those servers filled.
- Their plan, systematically eliminate official servers altogether, phasing them out gradually by making them so hard to find you end up on rented servers out of shear desperation for a game.
Satan’s Little Helpers will take the laissez-faire approach. They have the misguided faith that the free market will sort itself out. Problem is this isn’t the free market. This is a bunch of dumb spoiled fucking kids and ego driven “adults” renting servers in which the average consumer will be at their mercy. Okay, it’s a lot like Wall $t. but Wall $t. isn’t exactly a free market these days (free markets don’t get bailouts.)
AREN’T YOU TIRED OF BEING MARKETED TO ALL THE TIME?
Am I being a bit melodramatic? Possibly. But consider that greed is a staple of our society now, cheered on with cries of “it’s only business” by the unscrupulous whose only concern in life is the bottom line. They have no soul, they have no passion. Their (Electronic Arts) goal is simple. Take your money and offer you the bare minimum in return.
Could I be wrong? I hope so. DICE was recently quoted as saying “we don’t care about individuals.” Are they referring to me and people like me? Satan’s Little Helpers have begun to push too far this time. This particular mindless individual consumer has had enough. There would have to be a miracle for me to even consider purchasing the upcoming DLC. I’m sure they won’t miss my money any. Not like the community will miss those official servers.
I HOPE I’M WRONG ABOUT ALL THIS
BF3 is still one of the greatest games I have ever played. I will continue to play it when I have a spare 2 hours in my schedule to look for a server. The developers did a fantastic job on it. Too bad Electronic Arts’ marketing department fucked it all up. And I sincerely do hope I am wrong.
Posted on May 5, 2012, in Battlefield, Gaming, Shooters, Xbox 360 and tagged Battlefield, Battlefield 3, BF#, DICE, Electronic Arts, Official DICE servers, rented servers, servers. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.