[bf1942] Anyone have a popular non-ranked server?

Anton Jansen gradius at fmf.nl
Wed Aug 17 05:11:30 EDT 2005

Hi all,

Just before the launch of bf2 I made a post in which I asked what we 
expected the consequences would be for the game of the whole 
ranked/unranked server idea. Now that we are a couple of months furhter 
down the road, we can say it's a mixed success/failure. In general terms 
all the unranked servers are pretty much empty and all the ranked 
servers are full. We were running one of Europe's best/most popular 
bf1942 servers for the last 2 years. The expectations for BF2 in our 
gaming community were pretty high and we hoped to continue our succes 
with bf2. We had a public (unranked) server for 1.5 months and actively 
tried to make it popular. However, this soon turned out to be near to 
impossible, as even our own members preferred playing on a ranked server 
instead of a unranked one.

The shortage on good public ranked servers didn't help either, as it 
became very difficult to get all our players on the same server. The 
game really becomes better if people play well together, but in 
anonymous public games the stats do not always help in stimulating this. 
Furthermore, joining a specific server is a pain in the butt and very 
slow due to the intro's and logging in procedure.  In our gaming 
community around 60% has bf1942 and 30% has bf2. One thing I noticed is 
that the number of people actively playing this game is not growing 
anymore and starting to fall down.

With their ranked server program, EA effectively created a monopoly. 
With all the good and bad that comes from it. Never before I have seen a 
publisher actively removing servers from a serverlist and trying to 
police the way in which people use the options provided by the server. 
Back when BF2 still was in development I asked Andreas F. what he would 
do to address security in their servers, as everyone could write their 
own server side mod and change things. I never received an answer :-( 
Since quake we are used to more or less "free" gaming servers for FPS. 
I'm still not sure where the new direction of EA will lead to and if it 
will be followed for more games we will have to wait and see.

As it is not possible for our community to host a ranked server on our 
own machines,  one of you will receive a new customer in the near future ;-)

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