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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

Stand up for yourselves for Christ sake. Loyal customers deserve better treatment than this.

About Aj b33m3R

Writer, reader, observer, rabid and raging liberal/progressive, Democratic Socialist (just like Orwell) and social anxiety ridden freak. Also loves dogs, and his wife; not necessarily in that order. I play games too. Video games, not mind games. Everything I needed to know about being a decent human being I learned from my mother and Gene Roddenberry. Bill Hicks and Roger Waters taught me whatever was left.

Posted on May 5, 2012, in Battlefield, BF3 Spiel, Gaming, Shooters, Xbox 360 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Ive been saying this since the update. perhaps i have more understanding of these things as i work in sales so can see what EA were up to, but it saddens me when a company destroy art through marketing.
    i wont be buying an EA game again for fear they will break the game at some point.

  2. “It was my understanding when I purchased Battlefield 3 that Electronic Arts would be providing servers as part of the cost of the game.”

    That is interesting because I have never played any BF game that had official servers (or any other PC shooters for that matter). PC players knew exactly what we were buying. I see you play on Xbox, perhaps the problem is you were expecting a console experience from what is essentially a game designed for PC?

    • Your argument is asinine and just more fanboy drivel. I play on the Xbox (at least you were savvy enough to notice that). The fact that the game was developed for PC is irrelevant in my case. PC and console are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEDIUMS. I don’t play on PC, I used to, back when the PC gaming crowd was more… lets just say mature and capable of critical thinking. I don’t follow PC gaming, I have no desire to, I have no reason to. When I’m interested in purchasing a game for my 360 I don’t look up information on the PC versions of the game because that information is irrelevant to me. When DICE and EA started its rental server marketing campaign for the console versions of the game their main selling point was “THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS BEEN OFFERED ON CONSOLE.” That alone pretty much nullifies your whole “that’s interesting because I have never played any BF game that had official servers (or any other PC shooters for that matter)” argument. It doesn’t fucking matter if the game was designed for PC to me, unless I’m buying it for the PC which I am not.

      I already pay an Xbox Live subscription to play games on line. That entitles me to official servers. Official servers that were there at the start of game. Official servers that were part of my initial $60 investment in the game PLUS my subscription fee to Xbox Live.

      You PC gamers these days are a pretty arrogant bunch. Assuming that a console player should be a guru of PC gaming as well is silly. I’m an adult with an adult schedule, gaming is just a hobby. I write about it here because I like to write and it gives me something to write about. I’m not married to gaming. I don’t sleep with it. Consoles are designed for gamers like me, gamers who have… well… you know, LIVES. What EA and DICE did with the servers on Xbox was shady. Marketing shady, remember what the late great Bill Hicks said about marketing.

      Lets follow your idiotic logic loop here, I was (according to you) expecting a console game experience from a game that was designed on PC that the distributor released for the console, the medium for which I purchased. You also conveniently forget to mention that it has been a while since there has been a PC exclusive iteration of the franchise, so the game is hardly “designed” for the PC anymore.

      Saying PC and console games are the same thing is like me trying to sell a customer a granite blade when he only deals with marble. Both are stone blades but they are two distinctly different approaches to cutting stone and are marketed as such. You’re a PC gamer. It’s hard for you to understand this because you think the entire gaming world evolves around you. It doesn’t.

  3. Thank you for posting this.

    • Your welcome & thank you for taking a moment to comment. Remember this is just my opinion, it’s still a great game (if you can deal with the jackasses playing it). For me, implementing rental servers in lieu of official servers ruined the fun I was having. My friends quit playing and I traded the game in. I was all ready to purchase all the DLC as well, had money set aside for it and everything. Bought Arkham City GOTY instead.

      FPS games can’t get any better because the community can’t get any better. The official servers were balanced and fair. The rules set in stone. Rental servers place you at the mercy of unscrupulous gamers. And I’m not into that whole “join a clan” scene, I don’t play reindeer games. I just want to hop on when I find time to play and enjoy myself for an hour or two without hassles and aggravations. BF3 will probably be the last FPS MP I will ever buy or try.


    A) when the PC gaming crowd was more… lets just say mature and capable of critical thinking.

    B) You PC gamers these days are a pretty arrogant bunch
    C) you’re a PC gamer. It’s hard for you to understand this because you think the entire gaming world evolves around you. It doesn’t.

    D) it’s still a great game (if you can deal with the jackasses playing it).

    E) Lets follow your idiotic logic loop here

    F) Your argument is asinine and just more fanboy drivel.

    G) I’m an adult with an adult schedule,

    Wake up you clown go vent somewhere else with your childish tragic rubbish no wonder you cant find your friends did you try looking in their IGGY LIST DICKHEAD.

    • Nice. Is that one pubic hair you got growing on the testicle that dropped got you in a grumpy mood today Scotty boy?

      Wake up and go vent somewhere else? You dumb little shit, this is my blog, you came here. Are your parents brother and sister?

      Lets look at the current and most recent facts about your precious game you pretentious little shit.

      EA & DICE came up with the premium membership plan about 6 months ago. This month they release a GOTY “Premium” edition of the game that includes BF3 and all the expansions for $60. I bet you idiot fan boys paid over $100 for the same plus whatever you’re spending to rent servers you already paid for when you bought the game. Here’s the thing, they haven’t finished releasing all the DLC they offered with the Premium service. The only reason they would offer the premium edition so early on is THEY ARE BLEEDING CUSTOMERS. Mostly because of dickheads like you.

      Folks, I leave these comments up because gamers like this are the reason MPFPS games will never get any better. The sad part is little Scotty is far too fucking stupid to even remotely realize his pathetic trolling attempt here only proved my assertions about him, his game and his ilk.

      Congratulations Scotty boy, you’re a walking poster child for abortion. Your parents should be proud.

      Parents, let your children play BF3 and this is what they will be subjected to.

  5. I’m with u man. At the mercy of the machine. I get kicked b/ c of a punk kid wants a jet or other vehicle. Get kicked or banned b/c u killed the adm. or one of his cronies. Total b.s. It would be nice if the servers were seperated in their own category. Choose official or user. Your not wrong. Its all about the $$$. But like you said, people get tired of it and quit playing. Weather it be on pc or console, you should get what you pay for.

  6. I hear you. I do play on pc, but the servers here are for the most part playground for selfcentered todlers. No one follows rules, and alot of admins seem to be the same type of me me me 6 year olds. I wont go in to detail, because satans little helpers as call them know this, and they wont miss me ( theres millions of uncritical little boy who will throw their parents money at ea) but i have bought my last ea and origin game. And scott, go read a paper or something, you seem unintelligent! (I’ll be expecting your comment on poor english skill(my 3rd langued))

    • I actually considered picking up the GOTY edition of Battlefield 3 last July when I thought I saw it on sale for $30. I might have even done it but the price went back up to $40 the next day. I bought a used copy of MW3 instead because I really wanted to play the campaign. I played MP a few times in it. I don’t know. MPFPS games are frustrating at times. MW3 is good for a quick laugh but then you get some guy throwing C4 at you from halfway across the map and you’re like WTF? It happens once or twice and it’s not much of a big deal, but when it happens every minute after you spawn…

      I don’t know. I just don’t have the overtly competitive ego-driven attitude/nature to play these games I guess. I just want to have fun when I turn on my 360 and forgot about the assholes in this world. MP shooters aren’t particularly conducive to that state of relaxation.

      They are fun games. But most people should play them without a mic, for their own sanity.

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