There is good news on the horizon for Battlefield 3 fans around the world…well console players that is. At launch Battlefield 3 offered a plethora of game modes and options but there was one feature that everyone was looking for and alas it was nowhere to be found. Private matches.
Prior to launch I had been telling myself that there was no way EA and Dice would screw up again after the Medal of Honor fiasco. For those of you who don’t know what that is; basically MOH launched without the ability to form up a private lobby of any kind. The gameplay was squarely targeting Call of duty players and everyone was anticipating the ability to host private clan matches and even to some extent play competitively on Game Battles ( MLG site). MLG even went so far as to list an official ladder for the game in advance of the games release not thinking that any developer would be stupid enough to launch a high-profile shooter without the ability to organize matches.
Well we all know ho that turned out and here I was in October ; confident in DICE to implement that feature in Battlefield 3. Boy was I stupid. Dice had been on a road show hyping up the fact that the game was going to be catering to E sport players and even hosting its own Virgin mobile tournament and then they flat-out deny anyones ability to host a private match!?
Battlefield 3 uses a couple different systems on its console version and one of which is actually not common to us console players. You can form up a 4 man squad and either hit ” Quick Match” or go into your ” server browser”
Server Browser was basically a portal into the dedicated servers that EA runs for Battlefield 3. Browsing the list you will see a large amount of servers all listed with a unique name and map/game mode assigned to it. The server population is also listed and on a given day you will find servers that are near full to empty ( there are a large amount of 0 populated servers to this day)
This gave the creative and savvy players a work around solution to host our own private matches. Basically all you had to do was ” dog pile” an empty server and make sure all your friends did it at the same time and voila…you had a private server . The catch with this was you needed to fill it completely if you didn’t want random players popping in and in light of Battlefields game modes this could be problematic depending on what you where playing ( ie. Conquest would require you to find 23 other players to swarm the empty server all at once.)
Well I am happy to announce that this tactic is a thing of the past or rather soon will be.
DICE has announced that console players will soon have access to a ” rent a server” program.Basically this means that players will be able to fork over some hard-earned money and purchase a private server of their own that can remain open and running whenever they want. This is a much more robust option to bring clan battle to the forefront of competitive gaming once again.
While not having much in the way of details I can assume that you will be able to set all sorts of parameters in the server such as player capacity, game modes played, restrictions and of course map play lists.
The concept is quite normal for PC players as they have had these kind of options available to them for a majority of the FPS’s on the market and many players host their own servers if the game allows it.
For console players however it is a little alien; after all Call of Duty simply gives you the option to host private matches right out of the box ( Boosting lobbies are a direct result of this type of thing)
I’m sure more information will trickle in as the weeks go by and we still don’t have a solid launch date for this feature but suffice to say it will finally allow Battlefield 3 to be considered for competitive play
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash