EA has killed nearly every official 360/PS3 server

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#1 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3555 posts) -

http://venturebeat.com/2012/05/09/official-dice-servers-disappear-from-battlefield-3/

Console gamers are reporting that the official DICE servers for Battlefield 3 multiplayer have been completely withdrawn, with the game now largely playable only on private rented servers.
Publisher Electronic Arts and developer DICE recently made the bold move of introducing a server-rental scheme to console versions of Battlefield 3. At $30 for 30 days, these servers don’t come cheap, but this hasn’t stopped the Battlefield community from signing up in droves.
Initially there were plenty of official DICE and EA servers running concurrently with the new private servers. Over the past week, however, console players have noticed the official servers disappearing, to the point where DICE-managed servers are no longer visible on either PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
Running a search on the PS3 version of Battlefield 3 this morning — by looking for the prefix P24 and the letters PRGM — I managed to track down just 17 EA-run servers. I could not find a single official DICE server. Compare this to the hundreds of private servers that were up and running, with names such as “Heaven & Hell,” “Guerilla_hilbily’S SERVER” [sic], and “Just 4 Fun 24/7” — most of which were completely empty. Anything with the word DICE in the title was simply a rented server with the official name dropped in by the host.
Of the 17 EA public servers that I did find, eight were running Rush mode, while the remainder were hosting Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch, or Squad Rush games. I could not find any official servers hosting a round of Conquest, the traditional mainstay of the Battlefield franchise.

By implementing the rent-a-server scheme, then withdrawing nearly all official servers, it is looking very much like EA has handed control of Battlefield 3 over to the community. This comes at a price though, both financially and in terms of gameplay. While private servers are flexible, they are open to abuse, and reports abound of players being kicked, or banned, en masse for simply outplaying their hosts.

Some BF3 users now claim they are renting servers simply to recreate the kind of experience they were having previously on Battlefield 3, featuring regular length rounds and a balanced range of maps. With EA seemingly no longer providing such a service, the community is having to pay for this privilege from its own pocket.

More info can be found at the link.

EA is fucking slime. They pull this just AFTER they had a sale on the first DLC, and now I have no way to play the maps that I paid for. I could not find a single official server located anywhere in the world running ANY of the DLC maps, and every damn one of the rented severs was running just one of the new maps with 1000 tickets (meaning that matches take over an hour to finish).

Perhaps I was playing at a peek time, and all the servers were full? Try 3:00 AM on a weeknight.

This is complete bullshit. I already loathe EA for their multiplayer practices of shutting down entire games after a year or so, but this is a new low. Unless they fix this, I will never again buy another primarily multiplayer game from EA.

#2 Edited by KaneRobot (1416 posts) -

The EA server shutdown nonsense is why I will never buy a new EA game again, and if I buy it used I sure as hell won't be paying for an online pass. I like Battlefield but I don't NEED it. Everything else currently with an EA label on it has no appeal for me.

It actually didn't bug me until just recently, I honestly never paid attention to what was being shut down and just figured it was older sports games. Even in that case you can make a strong argument that it's bullshit they shut them down completely, but I can at least see the other side of it.

But once they shut down Burnout Revenge & Game Night last month, that sealed it for me. Now you're fucking with games my friends and I still played occasionally. While they're still mainly in the phase of shutting down games that came out before this goddamn online pass nonsense existed, it won't be long. Wait until EA starts completely killing servers for games that people bought an online pass for - hopefully then there will be some backlash against the fucking bullshit that actually cause a change. I doubt it though. Gamers just forget and move on far too quickly.

As a side note - know what's really scummy? You can STILL PURCHASE Family Game Night on the 360 dashboard. Game is useless without online play. At least have the fucking decency to take it down.

Not tryin' to dictate what qualifies as "news" around here, but I'd really hope GB and other significant sites make sure people know about this - not as a BF3 story but a story about EA's practices in general. Frankly, this should be dwarfing the news/controversy over the ME3 ending. BF3 was a highly successful game that has only been out a little over half a year and they've already done this, why should we have any confidence in EA products that don't sell half as well but contain a heavy emphasis on multiplayer?

EA obviously doesn't think this game is worth putting any more money into (unless it's for an overpriced map pack, of course), so I guess I don't think it's worth putting any more money into. They can shove those map packs up their ass.

#3 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1731 posts) -

I'm confused as to why they would do this if they were making money off the servers. It sounds from that article that these servers were being rented at a higher-than-normal price. I followed the link to that article, but the only official answers were typical EA non-answers.

There is only so much physical space and digital space where you can have servers. The community requested an RSP programme and we delivered.

It also seems like this would kill BF3. Are there really no private servers to play on, as in, if I were to buy BF3 for the 360 and try to play a multiplayer game, the only servers I could play on are private servers? That'd be... a very odd move to make.

Crap, it really is nearly 3am here. I need to hit the hay.

#4 Posted by Harkat (1100 posts) -

I fucking love this rent-a-server stuff. Now, you have awesome server names like "SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY" and "join only if you like apple juice". Also, with a little filtering, I have no problem finding B2K maps.

#5 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

I don't see how this is a problem, if there are people playing the game there will be people renting servers. The two things are connected.

#6 Posted by KaneRobot (1416 posts) -

@Philantrophy said:

I don't see how this is a problem, if there are people playing the game there will be people renting servers. The two things are connected.

That's right - you don't see. It's not about people not playing. The problems are outlined in the first post.

#7 Posted by SadSack (9 posts) -

The problem is pretty simple. I, like a lot of people, like the classic rush experience wherein I want to play on a normal (100 tickets), rush only map rotation. The problem being that the filters have no option for tickets nor map rotation. Sure, I can search for rush but that doesn't mean the server I click on has a map rotation of only rush. This means that I have to spend 5 to 10 mins every time clicking through all the servers and manually checking the map rotation on each one. And even then, the amount of tickets are not even indicated until you're in the actual game. So if you fuck up, you have to restart the entire process all over.

To make matters worse, when you inevitably do find the right server, there is always the off chance that the admin there is a complete dickbag, who will kick you if you're too good or kill him too many times (this is not a claim on my skill so don't attack the overbearing pretentiousness of it).

#8 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3555 posts) -

@Philantrophy said:

I don't see how this is a problem, if there are people playing the game there will be people renting servers. The two things are connected.

Did you even read the post?

Of the 17 EA public servers that I did find, eight were running Rush mode, while the remainder were hosting Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch, or Squad Rush games. I could not find any official servers hosting a round of Conquest, the traditional mainstay of the Battlefield franchise.

By implementing the rent-a-server scheme, then withdrawing nearly all official servers, it is looking very much like EA has handed control of Battlefield 3 over to the community. This comes at a price though, both financially and in terms of gameplay. While private servers are flexible, they are open to abuse, and reports abound of players being kicked, or banned, en masse for simply outplaying their hosts.

Some BF3 users now claim they are renting servers simply to recreate the kind of experience they were having previously on Battlefield 3, featuring regular length rounds and a balanced range of maps. With EA seemingly no longer providing such a service, the community is having to pay for this privilege from its own pocket.

Imagine a Street Fighter update that removed your ability to host a game, or pick the character (in the case of Battlefield, a map and game type) that you wanted. You could only find games hosted by other players. In these games where you would be forced to use Ken or Ryu--because they are popular--and forced to play with 500% health meters, so the games just go on forever. At random, if the host was playing and didn't like something about the way that you're playing, you could be kicked or banned from the game.

Please also note that 17 (official servers) x 24 (players per server) = 408. Meaning if slightly over 400 people in the entire damn world happen to be playing Battlefield, everyone else is forced to wade through a sea of "Metro only, 500% tickets, don't shoot me too much or I'll ban you" type bullshit.

Bottom line is that this is not the experience we were promised when we bought the game, it's not the experience that we've been enjoying for the past six months, and it's absolutely ridiculous to change things like this and screw over everyone that just wants to keep playing the game with normal settings like they had been for half a damn year.

#9 Posted by xdaknightx69 (448 posts) -

@SpaceInsomniac said:

I will never again buy another primarily multiplayer game from EA.

how about you never buy a EA game and hurt them where it matters. After mass effect 3 i doubt I'll will be buying any EA games. Companies like EA, Activision do this kind of shit because they know they can get away with it. if you are supporting a company that has unfair or unethical practices then you are as guilty as the company itself. stop buying their games unless they improve their business practices. you don't need to per-order dead space 3, crysis3, black ops 2, medal of honor etc.

if you have a problem with a company take a stand and stop cribbing about it on a forum. i did not buy syndicate because they didn't release a demo for the PC and the same will happen with ghost recon: FS for me.

#10 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

@KaneRobot: @SpaceInsomniac: It's the same situation as the PC version, no official Dice servers. Again, I don't see the problem, you are throwing a fit because you were on some servers with douchebag host/admins.

#11 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@SpaceInsomniac said:

At $30 for 30 days, these servers don’t come cheap, but this hasn’t stopped the Battlefield community from signing up in droves.

Well there's your fucking problem. Really dick move EA.

#12 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3555 posts) -

@Philantrophy said:

@KaneRobot: @SpaceInsomniac: It's the same situation as the PC version, no official Dice servers. Again, I don't see the problem, you are throwing a fit because you were on some servers with douchebag host/admins.

Did I buy the PC version of the game? Does EA charge PC users 24.99 to rent an unranked server for 30 days? Did EA suddenly remove all user servers from the PC version, forcing you to play on official servers with their rules, and changing your experience with the game that you've been playing for six months?

And for the record, I never was kicked by an admin. I'm just pointing it out as a possibility. My main issue is that I just paid for a map pack, I can't find anyone playing the maps, and I can't host my own game on the maps unless I pay five dollars less than I spent on the entire damn game. Also, over half the time I do enter a game, the host has it setup to where the match can go on for well over an hour, and there's no way to tell this before you start playing.

Once again:

Bottom line is that this is not the experience we were promised when we bought the game, it's not the experience that we've been enjoying for the past six months, and it's absolutely ridiculous to change things like this and screw over everyone that just wants to keep playing the game with normal settings like they had been for half a damn year.
#13 Posted by Brodehouse (9576 posts) -

So it's like the way it used to be.

#14 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

@SpaceInsomniac: I do see where you are coming from, but the fact is that if you can't find servers with the Strike at Karkand map pack in the rotation is because not many play those maps. With the hour long games, that is a problem with the server browser not with private servers.

And it not free to rent servers on the PC side either.

#15 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

And this is why EA sucks ass...

#16 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

User-run servers seems like a very interesting avenue to explore, and I think if it's done right could be a positive to a game on consoles. It works well on PC after all, and gives players a better sense of ownership of the game. I know I've had some good fun helping run GB's PC BF3 server. But in this case, it's really shitty of them to pull this bait and switch. Especially if it's as you say and the filtering tools are a joke. It seems like they've done everything wrong here. It's easy to find a nice vanilla game on PC, or at least know what type of game you're getting into before you do.

Anyway, I bet if they see their numbers drop like crazy on consoles, they'll quickly re-instate the official servers. But unfortunately, there's probably a decent amount of people out there who don't even notice the change.

#17 Posted by Village_Guy (2491 posts) -

This wouldn't happen on the 360 at least, if EA didn't insist on using their own servers instead of the service Microsoft offers for 360 games.

But yeah, EA is doing what EA always does, shutting down servers, and yes it does suck and is a bullshit move on their part.

#18 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

This is my pain.

I play on pc, but we had a ton of user-owned servers that ran mostly default settings for a long time. Now? Now most servers run 1000+ tickets with instant vehicles spawns. It basically really started for us around January (not for any real reason), and I really miss default settings.

#19 Posted by believer258 (11628 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

So it's like the way it used to be.

Yep. Any game where you can search through and join your own matches was like this. Try searching through Counter Strike Sources's server browser for what you want. As someone who has been playing BF3 on the 360 a whole lot, I've had little trouble finding well-paced, good matches that don't kick me. I think the OP is having an overreaction.

#20 Edited by WildFloyd (127 posts) -

This is pretty unsurprising considering the way that EA have been going about their online services.

@Akrid said:

Anyway, I bet if they see their numbers drop like crazy on consoles, they'll quickly re-instate the official servers. But unfortunately, there's probably a decent amount of people out there who don't even notice the change.

I wouldn't even expect anything like this as they already have everyone's money - it's not as if EA are known for making decisions to keep the faith of their customers.

But yeah hopefully the rent a server stuff will be around enough for me to continue playing a bit of 360 BF3 every now and again. Or I just play TF2... probably that one.

#21 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

@WildFloyd said:

This is pretty unsurprising considering the way that EA have been going about their online services.

@Akrid said:

Anyway, I bet if they see their numbers drop like crazy on consoles, they'll quickly re-instate the official servers. But unfortunately, there's probably a decent amount of people out there who don't even notice the change.

I wouldn't even expect anything like this as they already have everyone's money - it's not as if EA are known for making decisions to keep the faith of their customers.

But yeah hopefully the rent a server stuff will be around enough for me to continue playing a bit of 360 BF3 every now and again. Or I just play TF2... probably that one.

I don't think EA wants one of their biggest releases completely barren less than a year after release. They still gotta sell that DLC!

#22 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

As much as they don't work, due to people never adhering to their claims that they will stick to their guns, a mass boycott of companies like EA is really the only thing that would stop this kind of behaviour.

Who knows, maybe EA are just embracing their "Worst company in America" title now that they've officially won it.

Fucking scumbags.

#23 Posted by FonkyMucker (146 posts) -

@believer258: Exactly.

To anyone who has been playing this game on the consoles, do they allow you to favorite particular servers?

#24 Posted by Three0neFive (2286 posts) -

lol, consoles.

#25 Posted by Brother_PipPop (252 posts) -

Honestly with most pc shooters I play being hosted by "private" servers I don't see te big deal. You find a server you like and that's it. Or host your own server if your that invested in the game, I Dunn how it is on the consol side but fr pc duders usually stick to a few servers they really like and communities start to form and it makes te games that are older much more enjoyable.

#26 Posted by GS_Dan (1402 posts) -

At least there are servers and it's not just P2P.

#27 Posted by WMWA (1160 posts) -

Right when I was about to jump in and start playing seriously again. I am disappoint

#28 Posted by mikey87144 (1663 posts) -

Is this true?

#29 Posted by Deathmachine117 (377 posts) -

@FonkyMucker: Yeah you can favorite the server and if not it will be in your history.

As a console player I dont even bother looking for the official servers anymore, the player rented ones are longer matches and tend to be more populated with people that actually are team based. Once I was kicked out by an admin but that could happen just as well on the PC suppose it goes hand in hand with using player servers.

#30 Posted by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

Welcome to the world of dedicated servers.

#31 Posted by KaneRobot (1416 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I've had little trouble finding well-paced, good matches that don't kick me. I think the OP is having an overreaction.

A sample size of one who claims they aren't having any problem does not negate all of the issues outlined in the first post that are a concern among an increasingly large number of people.

If you think everything is fine and dandy, good for you. When EA's server bullshit does have an effect on a game you're playing, don't start complaining then - odds are, it'll impact everyone who plays any moderate variety of games at some point.

#32 Posted by Akyho (1585 posts) -

I jumped on Bf3 three days ago to play multi. I haven't done so in 100 days. So I felt guilty since the game is great. What I found after downloading Rent a server updated.......was thousands of stupid servers.

Servers that the list of things you are not allowed is actually shorter if you list what you can do. No shotguns! No C4! No Darts! No behind the lines attacks, No little birds!, Dont roadkill! Dont use Rockets!

Then about ten diffrent wepons you are not allowed to use...on top of saying not shotguns and no rockets?!

I hate it. I am going to trade in my Bf3 and thus begins my second EA boycott. I

#33 Edited by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

@believer258 said:

I've had little trouble finding well-paced, good matches that don't kick me. I think the OP is having an overreaction.

A sample size of one who claims they aren't having any problem does not negate all of the issues outlined in the first post that are a concern among an increasingly large number of people.

If you think everything is fine and dandy, good for you. When EA's server bullshit does have an effect on a game you're playing, don't start complaining then - odds are, it'll impact everyone who plays any moderate variety of games at some point.

Nope, not anyone who plays on a PC because it has always been like that. Official servers are awful. Never an admin on to ban hackers. Clearly handing over dedicated servers to the community gives that community more control over their game and their multiplayer experience. Join a clan. Or pay up and host your own server

What issues are you talking about? The one in the OP only highlights community issues, none that have to do with EA or DICE

#34 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

There is only so much physical space and digital space where you can have servers. The community requested an RSP programme and we delivered.

EA gold, man. Their PR stuff is the best.   
 Thanks for rocking out with us!!
#35 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

There is only so much physical space and digital space where you can have servers. The community requested an RSP programme and we delivered.

EA gold, man. Their PR stuff is the best. Thanks for rocking out with us!!

There's only so much internet tubes to go around until they all get blocked. Which is why I propose everyone add a roll of smarties to the internets to increase the tubes.

#36 Posted by shootfast (16 posts) -

So consoles finally caught up to the pc, it only took them more then a decade. The problem is that console playerbase is not use to freedom nor are they use to having power.

#37 Posted by Demoskinos (14559 posts) -

Technically, they haven't done anything wrong. They give themselves this out in the EULA that you sign. On a customer service level though... its kinda dumb to bite the hand that feeds you.

#38 Posted by Anupsis (283 posts) -

The problem I have is that on my pc the game won't start at all. Waste of 60 bucks. oh and I bought Dead Space 2 on steam for 5 bucks and it won't start either. I am really angry at EA right now.

#39 Posted by Spitznock (481 posts) -

This whole rent-a-server fiasco has put the last nail in the coffin for the 360 version of this game for me I believe. The game was merely serviceable before, what with how much of an expensive video game adaptation of the childhood game of hide and seek the console versions are thanks to the mediocre (by comparison) player cap; but now that there are no official servers, it isn't a rare occurrence that I spend 15 or so minutes trying to find a default settings server in the myriad of "ALL AIRCRAFTZ/ALL DAY" and "500% Tickets!" servers, and come the time I somehow manage to find one, I oddly no longer feel like playing the game.

It's pretty much a flashy set of menu screens I payed 60 bucks for at this point. It was okay while it lasted though I guess. Hopefully soon I'll get rid of this old clunker of a pc and get one that can run the desirable version of the game.

Of course, then I'll feel more-so like an ass for paying EA twice for the same game..

#40 Posted by believer258 (11628 posts) -

@FonkyMucker said:

@believer258: Exactly.

To anyone who has been playing this game on the consoles, do they allow you to favorite particular servers?

Yes.

@KaneRobot said:

@believer258 said:

I've had little trouble finding well-paced, good matches that don't kick me. I think the OP is having an overreaction.

A sample size of one who claims they aren't having any problem does not negate all of the issues outlined in the first post that are a concern among an increasingly large number of people.

If you think everything is fine and dandy, good for you. When EA's server bullshit does have an effect on a game you're playing, don't start complaining then - odds are, it'll impact everyone who plays any moderate variety of games at some point.

I wasn't claiming that I had everybody's story. I was only giving my story, and my story is that I'm having almost no issues. One or two bad servers for every 15 or 20 good ones.

#41 Posted by Spoonman671 (4554 posts) -

If they are requiring an online pass, then they should be required to host servers for the game.  I hope they get nailed to the wall for this.

#42 Posted by AlexW00d (6180 posts) -

Man console servers are cheaper than PC ones. Bastards.

#43 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -

Sounds to me like the problem is the server browser, and your ability to filter for the options you want...rather than anything remotely relating to the availability of servers (which should have increased quite a lot due to the ability for anyone to rent a server).

#44 Posted by Chtasm (445 posts) -

Are these "your server, your rules" servers ranked? I sorta recall EA saying that any server that didn't allow default weapon & equipment loadouts loses ranked privileges.

@AlexW00d I thought $30 for a 24-man ranked is about the same cost?

#45 Posted by AjayRaz (12418 posts) -

@Harkat said:

"join only if you like apple juice".

this would be the best server name ever. i'm going to make this my server name if i ever set one up

#46 Posted by BaneFireLord (2909 posts) -

Holy fuck, that sounds awful.

#48 Posted by Harkat (1100 posts) -

@AjayRaz said:

@Harkat said:

"join only if you like apple juice".

this would be the best server name ever. i'm going to make this my server name if i ever set one up

That's the thing. I didn't make it up. That's an actual server.

#49 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

Really? That's a shit move. I haven't played it in a while, but still. It should be fairly popular to justify keeping the EA servers running.

#50 Posted by AjayRaz (12418 posts) -

@Harkat said:

@AjayRaz said:

@Harkat said:

"join only if you like apple juice".

this would be the best server name ever. i'm going to make this my server name if i ever set one up

That's the thing. I didn't make it up. That's an actual server.

what? really?

man. i don't know if i should be happy or bummed out that it's an actual server. that's like something i'd find on Dead or Alive 4 because all the room names in that game are along the lines of "join if ur not gay"

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