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Treyarch to charge for Black Ops dedicated servers

Treyarch to charge for Black Ops dedicated servers

Treyarch has announced that it will charge users to use dedicated servers in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Treyarch has announced that it will charge users to create dedicated servers in the upcoming Call of Duty game, Black Ops.

Previously, furore erupted when Infinity Ward said Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would not feature dedicated servers at all. That controversy was calmed somewhat when Treyarch announced that Black Ops would feature dedicated servers.

Dedicated servers for Call of Duty: Black Ops will be made available exclusively through server rental site GameServers.com, according to IGN.

Users will be charged 66p per player on unranked servers, which allow up to a maximum of 24 players, or £9.95 for a maximum of 18 players on ranked servers. Both options are currently open to preorders.

Discounts will be offered for those who pay in three, six or twelve months in advance, but extras such as Teamspeak support will incur an additional fee.

Treyarch's community manager, Josh Olin, confirmed that Treyarch-hosted dedicated servers will remain free to use.

"Nobody will have to rent a dedicated server through GameServers in order to play the game," said Olin. "But for anybody who wants to run their own server, it will be run from GameServers.com."

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

42 Comments

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Shadowed_fury 13th September 2010, 15:16 Quote
Good news really. At least it can be played team wise now.
Slavedriver 13th September 2010, 15:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowed_fury
Good news really. At least it can be played team wise now.

Good news were when they announced the game has dedicated servers. This, however, is bad news. I don't really like the idea of playing on the servers on the other hemisphere and getting bad ping because of it.
eddtox 13th September 2010, 15:30 Quote
So basically, people can run dedicated servers but only if they pay a third-party appointed by Treyarch a fee for the privilege. And that is an improvement how?

The only thing this improves is Treyarch's bottom-line by allowing them to make money from the hosting firm.
Fingers66 13th September 2010, 15:33 Quote
Not having a choice in who hosts the dedicated servers cannot be a good thing...
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 15:37 Quote
Okay basically this is the exact same thing as before, i.e. people rent servers from server hosting companies, except it's exclusive to one company now.

Which WOULD be fine and dandy but said company only has servers in the USA and a handfull of EU countries.
Fingers66 13th September 2010, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Okay basically this is the exact same thing as before, i.e. people rent servers from server hosting companies, except it's exclusive to one company now.

Which WOULD be fine and dandy but said company only has servers in the USA and a handfull of EU countries.

And what are the odds that a custom server (e.g. mods or maps) will cost more?
TWeaK 13th September 2010, 15:39 Quote
Tbh I don't see it as a huge deal - the vast majority of dedi's for other games are hosted by a 3rd party instead of someone's home purely because most home connections wouldn't be able to handle it (though FTTC might, you lucky *******s down the road who don't even know you're getting it :@). The only issue is price - most servers are cheaper now and I doubt the next CoD game will be any more taxing to host than the last 3. Also, if they don't provide servers worldwide it would be a massive slice of failcake.

Let me be the first to say it: it was probably Activision who got them to do this.

But anyway, who cares? It's not as if anyone with any sense wants to play CoD anymore.
Fingers66 13th September 2010, 15:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
Tbh I don't see it as a huge deal - the vast majority of dedi's for other games are hosted by a 3rd party instead of someone's home purely because most home connections wouldn't be able to handle it (though FTTC might, you lucky *******s down the road who don't even know you're getting it :@). The only issue is price - most servers are cheaper now and I doubt the next CoD game will be any more taxing to host than the last 3. Also, if they don't provide servers worldwide it would be a massive slice of failcake.

Let me be the first to say it: it was probably Activision who got them to do this.

But anyway, who cares? It's not as if anyone with any sense wants to play CoD anymore.

I don't have a problem with 3rd party hosting, in fact, like you said, it is better than trying to do it at home.

Where I have the problem is the stifling of competion in the game hosting arena, why can't people (e.g. clans) have a choice when it comes to who hosts their game servers? Like DragunovHUN inferred, this will limit the local hosting choice in a number of countries.
Kiytan 13th September 2010, 15:44 Quote
I see good and bad points to this. Good side is that you won't get people hosting it on home PC's making the servers unplayable.

Downside is that theres no competition price-wise, and possible problems with maps/modding (never used that company before so impossible to say)

but providing the facility for easily adding maps/mods is there, then tbh its not all that bad.
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 15:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
And what are the odds that a custom server (e.g. mods or maps) will cost more?

Assuming you get to have those at all. Did Treyarch say anything about mod support?
loftie 13th September 2010, 15:54 Quote
Unranked 18 man server costs more than a ranked 18 man server? :S
wuyanxu 13th September 2010, 15:55 Quote
at least we have dedicated servers, no more lagging all the way around maps, no more "migrating hosts".

wish it's not single company exclusive though, from the title, i thought it's just going to be like BFBC2's "official hosts"
deanbsfx 13th September 2010, 16:00 Quote
For those asking: We use Gameservers to host our TF2 server and they're alright. You get full FTP access(so mods are okay to use and config files are simple to tweak), free website hosting, and a simple enough interface to manage it all. The pricing isn't too bad compared to others, though I will say 66p/slot is slightly higher than most others. (the Ranked black-ops servers are cheaper though)
I will agree with others that it being locked to a single supplier is a bit iffy, but as I've said in my experience they're pretty good on prices and their customer service has been great.
All in all this is miles better than the situation with MW2 n IWnet, so there's not really too much to complain about compared to the situation we could be in.
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbsfx
For those asking: We use Gameservers to host our TF2 server and they're alright.

Whereabouts are you located though? I assume not too far from where they have coverage.
deanbsfx 13th September 2010, 16:02 Quote
I meant 66p is higher than most other games. Most others on Gameservers coming in at 53p/slot, though MoH is down to pre-order at 66p/slot too.
Fingers66 13th September 2010, 16:08 Quote
There was a report that they would allow modding: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2010/08/24/cod-black-ops-to-allow-modding/1...but no details of just what would be allowed.

Why do I get the feeling that any contract/T&C's with the chosen hosting company will be written by Treyarch?

What about patches/updates? What about clans who do not run the latest patch versions due to compatibilty with their mods (if allowed)?

The T&C's will be an interesting read.
deanbsfx 13th September 2010, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbsfx
For those asking: We use Gameservers to host our TF2 server and they're alright.

Whereabouts are you located though? I assume not too far from where they have coverage.

I'm UK based, our server is in NYC though. If you're asking on ping I get 100-110ms, which is about on par with most servers I've used in the US. Most of our group are American hence the location of the server. I'm mostly the guy who deals with the 'business' side of things.
GS do have UK servers, dunno for black-ops, but we are the second biggest COD buyer so I doubt they'd skip on having servers for the UK.
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 16:21 Quote
Yeah they have UK servers, and i suppose their EU coverage is.. okay. German COD4 servers have been good to me with about 60 ping, but somehow i still miss the option for local ones. Also, Africa gets shafted.
Farfalho 13th September 2010, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Okay basically this is the exact same thing as before, i.e. people rent servers from server hosting companies, except it's exclusive to one company now.

Which WOULD be fine and dandy but said company only has servers in the USA and a handfull of EU countries.

WRONG! Check the website! I've done it myself and they have servers spread throughout U.S and EU.
r3loaded 13th September 2010, 16:32 Quote
Lol, I almost choked when I misread this as "charging players to play on dedicated servers". But yeah, this is a similar situation to BC2, except you have only one supplier (and the associated problems for non North American/European players).

Why can't we just have a TF2-style MP system in PC games?
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
WRONG! Check the website! I've done it myself and they have servers spread throughout U.S and EU.

You said the same thing as i did, so how am i wrong? Are you saying we're both wrong?

You're really not making any sense.
Bazz 13th September 2010, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK

But anyway, who cares? It's not as if anyone with any sense wants to play CoD anymore.


Love that answer, and the best I have seen.
Another answer would be........


FAIL!
Sgt.Bilko 13th September 2010, 16:58 Quote
Well I for one won't be playing Black Ops. I refuse to support a company determined to kill PC gaming.
I'm with Bazz on this one..
Sloth 13th September 2010, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Yeah they have UK servers, and i suppose their EU coverage is.. okay. German COD4 servers have been good to me with about 60 ping, but somehow i still miss the option for local ones. Also, Africa gets shafted.
And Asia and Australia. Unless something's changed since I last used Gameservers, they don't cover those areas at all.
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
And Asia and Australia. Unless something's changed since I last used Gameservers, they don't cover those areas at all.

They have Japan and Australia now.
cgthomas 13th September 2010, 18:11 Quote
At least they ensure that CoD online runs the same all across the globe (ping wise and server quality).
Hoever Dice was a only bit flexible - by allowing yuo to rent a server from pre-selected partners instead of only one partner.

Good move non the less, at least you don't get those dodgy resellers that rip you off and pretend that they're running a quad core server while it's their virus-infected home pc
Sloth 13th September 2010, 18:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
They have Japan and Australia now.
Oh good! Well, Japan's not really much help for more southwest Asia, there it must come down to a choice of EU or Japan for whoever's offering lowest ping.

It is things like these, however, where I count my blessings. Though this isn't a game which I am interested in playing, it's a nice, selfish feeling knowing that I'll always be covered here in the US
Toploaded 13th September 2010, 20:29 Quote
This is a deal breaker for me, as I would rather use my current preferred server company for quite a few reasons. Ah well, guess that does spell the end of my CoD days for good unless they strike up a deal with Art of War.

I've dealt with gameservers before, and although it was a good few years ago admittedly, they were a terrible company to use back then.
Bakes 13th September 2010, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Okay basically this is the exact same thing as before, i.e. people rent servers from server hosting companies, except it's exclusive to one company now.

Which WOULD be fine and dandy but said company only has servers in the USA and a handfull of EU countries.

Well, EU countries are closer together. There are 5 EU datacentres - considering that the distance between an NL server and an eastern european player is about 50ms - it's not a big deal.

There's also servers in Australia and Japan. Sure, it's not perfect, but you can suggest new locations, and apart from some parts of Australia (which is bad), most of the CoD playing world is well covered.

Especially since there are currently only around 50 CoD servers combined in Asia. There are more in Australia, that's where the problem is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
So basically, people can run dedicated servers but only if they pay a third-party appointed by Treyarch a fee for the privilege. And that is an improvement how?

The only thing this improves is Treyarch's bottom-line by allowing them to make money from the hosting firm.

It's the same as it's always been (with regard to dedicated servers) except you can only get them from one place (rather like BC2 servers, but more restricted).
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
Unranked 18 man server costs more than a ranked 18 man server? :S

Yes, unranked means you can run mods, custom maps, and basically have more control over your server.
Fingers66 13th September 2010, 23:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes

Yes, unranked means you can run mods, custom maps, and basically have more control over your server.

Has there been any confirmation yet as to exactly what you will be allowed to do?

This article was a bit vague: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2010/08/24/cod-black-ops-to-allow-modding/1

"We plan to open the game up for modding sometime post-launch. We do not know yet to what extent you will be able to mod the game," said the Treyarch dev.

"There are some purely technical issues related to engine and internal tool enhancements that do not easily fit the modtools paradigm. We have looked at it close enough to see that it is non-trivial and we will have to pick it up again post-launch. Right now we are completely focused on finishing the game."
Rogan 14th September 2010, 01:53 Quote
Oh God. It's BF2 all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
The only thing this improves is Treyarch's bottom-line by allowing them to make money from the hosting firm.

Incorrect, it means they can stop people making booster servers. It also means they can dictate and protect content. In theory it stops all the serverside hacking that was a serious problem in MW2 and W@W. Most importantly it allows DLC, needed to build Bobby Kotick his own Scrooge McDuck mansion.

Nonetheless, there's no reason they couldn't open up to a wider variety of trusted hosts. This is exactly what DICE did with BF2 ranked servers, and eventually they had to back down and allow more GSPs to join the program. Unfortunately that couldn't happen until the standing contract with companies had timed out.

It's a win in some ways, but small GSPs will lose out, and people who rent dedicated servers for clans and communities are going to be stuffed as well. It kinda sucks, and means it's unlikely CPC will have a black ops server, which is pretty lame.

But I guess it's still better than the America's Army approach.
Fingers66 14th September 2010, 02:31 Quote
Okay, have a read here: http://callofduty.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=270441

Whilst game customisation has been confirmed, it looks like no custom maps as Treyarch control all server content (or have I read it wrong?)...

<snip from above source>

No “Public Server Files”: Confirmed
Many of these game features are predicated on having a trusted host or server. Otherwise these features would be wide-open to easy exploits and rampant cheating. Also, anti-cheat solutions can be significantly more effective on games that rely on trusted servers. We chose against “public server files” in favor of providing full feature support and protecting the integrity of this title. This doesn't mean you won't have customization or admin capabilities with your servers - because you will. This simply means we've partnered with an exclusive server provider.

GameServers.com Exclusive: Confirmed
We have partnered with GameServers.com as the exclusive provider of dedicated servers for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Every dedicated server for this title will be running on top quality hardware and infrastructure with excellent bandwidth. There will be a ton of official servers at launch for everyone to play on for free. If you want to run your own server you will be able to rent one at a great price (which will never go higher than $0.99/slot). They are actively adding new server locations and staffing up to meet global demand. If you don’t see your location you can suggest it here: http://www.gameservers.com/blackops/
DarkLord7854 14th September 2010, 03:08 Quote
I hate GameServers.
ZERO <ibis> 14th September 2010, 03:22 Quote
I wonder if we should need to pay money in order to host a game of monopoly...
Saivert 14th September 2010, 07:08 Quote
well as said. this is all more to protect the server side of the game. not for our benefit at all.
I'm perfectly capable of hosting my own server and keeping cheaters out. And if I installed any hacks on the server that would just lead to players not wanting to play on my server. Pretty simple.
I'm still playing Counter-Strike and there is no issue with that. If I spot a cheater I just bail and find another server to play on or host a server of my own.

Having licensed game server providers is all about control and money grab. Nothing more.

That being said, CoD Black Ops is really not a game that I care for anyways. Just more of the same + some game modes taken from Counter-Strike. YAY!! Assuming we are talking about the multiplayer only here that is.
Centy-face 14th September 2010, 07:43 Quote
Websites need to stop it with this stupid misleading headline. It implies that everyone who buys it will be charged to play when it's only people who want to run servers. Since I'm lazy I will copy paste my comment from RPS.

There’s hardly need for all this fuss though we are getting dedicated servers and we are getting them in a much better way than with Bad Company 2 which I seem to recall everyone gushing over. We get as much access to the server as we did with a rented CoD4 server.

I dislike the fact they have chosen to go with only 1 GSP since I would have much rather rented from Multiplay personally but I can see why they did. To ensure every single server gets updated at the same time it makes sense and from what I hear Gameservers are pretty good they have a lot of back end tools and support for mods and are very competitively priced. Sure you can’t host your own server on a box if you have one but so what the price you pay to run that and the net to make sure it works far outstrips the price of renting one. I’m getting together with 3 mates which makes our own Black ops server a mere £10 for 3 months each.

I ask you if you are still bitching about this and everything Treyarch have done to make the PC version the best one then really maybe you should build a time machine and go back to 2001 because the rest of us would like to move on and take the good offer we are being given. Yes it’s not what we expected and monopolies are bad but the fine print shows the price will NEVER go above the current price for server slots and support is always forthcoming.

I totally agree it’s a money grab and I am entirely sympathetic to people who don’t want to rent from just 1 provider but to everyone else who’s just moaning for the sake of it or because they can’t host their own well you know calm down.

You can’t expect other companies to act like Valve since Valve don’t answer to shareholders they have free reign to do as they see fit which in most (not L4D2) cases they do for the benefit of the general player. I think Treyarch and, dare I say it, Actiblizz have done the best they can to help slow down the pirates and help give the customer what they want.

Lets face it they could have just thrown the game out the door with listen servers and no support as Infinity Ward did and still have sold a bundle with little loss. Yet they have done what seems to be the best they could for both parties and instead of getting all ‘Internet angry man’ on them I applaud that they have chosen this path. It might not be perfect and suit everyone but it certainly is a hell of a lot better than most companies manage these days on PC.

Really compared to Bad Company and Modern Warfare 2 it’s a nice step forward unless the modding tools fail to arrive then Treyarch can go **** themselves.
DragunovHUN 14th September 2010, 10:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan
serverside hacking that was a serious problem in MW2
Oh the sweet irony of this. GG Activision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centy-face
Websites need to stop it with this stupid misleading headline.

Seriously. Bit-tech has been increasingly guilty of this lately, including blog posts.
Saivert 14th September 2010, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centy-face

Really compared to Bad Company and Modern Warfare 2 it’s a nice step forward unless the modding tools fail to arrive then Treyarch can go **** themselves.

You keep one upping Treyarch for supposedly allowing mods, but somehow I doubt this will happen much when servers are locked up at licensed GSPs.
Mod makers need local test servers and what about single player mods? what will the support of that be?
Also remember that the mod makers need to care to even consider making mods for this game too.
Mods may not even come out at all because people generally think the game isn't worth modding for.

Would be nice with a poll here. To see what the general feel of the crowd is.
Nix 14th September 2010, 17:43 Quote
Welcome to the world of Corporate Games Development.

Where we used to have small mod teams and groups of people that landed up becoming developers, we land up with corporations buying all the good art houses. What does this mean? There will be a large influx of cash into games, but they expect large returns, and dont care about how they get it.

This completely baffles me to why they would want to limit the dedi servers to 1 provider. Sure they can rake in a bit of money like this, but would it better (for gamers) to offering dedi hosting up to all, with a small fee for those companies that provided professional hosting? This way users get choice, and the devs still get money.

This stinks.... sure it stinks less than no dedi support, but thats not exactly setting the bar very high.

The PC industry appears to be dying due to the fact that its tougher to find a decent game, and the games that do look decent get nerfed due to company greed, land up being console ports, or toned down for 'casual' gamers.

Developers (and their parent companies) dont seem to care about what their gamers think, as long as they pony up the cash.
Add in the mix that gamers no longer trust developers and you have a very bad outlook for the PC games industry as a whole.
kornedbeefy 14th September 2010, 17:48 Quote
So I guess this means no LAN play, similar to Bad Company 2? I skipped MW2 because it left out LAN play and I bought BC2 but became bored within a couple games. I'm tired of FPS games based on the modern age.
Bakes 14th September 2010, 18:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kornedbeefy
So I guess this means no LAN play, similar to Bad Company 2? I skipped MW2 because it left out LAN play and I bought BC2 but became bored within a couple games. I'm tired of FPS games based on the modern age.

It's possible for them to just restrict dedi code and allow listen servers, thus allowing lan play.
Connorcpu 16th November 2010, 14:53 Quote
Why couldn't they let unranked servers be hosted anywhere? :( If you ask me, ONLY ranked servers should requirre a preselected host. I hope I don't need a host to play zombies with my friends :(
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