As we approach the busy fall gaming season a lot is being said of the AAA releases. One issue that pops up on occasion is that of dedicated servers.
This is most prominently heard right now in the CoD vs. BF3 debate. EA provides dedicated servers for it's games where as most (am I wrong in saying all?) other developers with games on Xbox leave it to peer to peer setups. I can understand the desire to have the best online experience possible in regards to lag and playability but at what cost?
I was a big Battlefield and Burnout fan for years but have recently had problems connecting to EA's servers. I've run the gamut of help suggestions whether it be my firewall, the fact that EA has changed their EA account structure or the fact that they've simply shut servers down but in the end I'm left unable to play games I've paid for.
So I guess my question is, why would any gamer in their right mind ask a developer to institute dedicated servers if it means at some point they may be unable to play the title online? Microsoft has structured an accessible and intuitive online environment and gamers are put at a disservice when a developer decides to circumvent this system for their own gain. Make no mistake about it, it is their own gain that spurns this investment. Whatever the cost to EA to maintain and run their server bank they more than make it back in advertising to the email address you must provide to even log on to their games and in the ability to shut down a server should they want to usher you on to the newest version of whatever game you are playing.
I fear this has become more of an attack than I wanted it to but I'd like to hear from other gamers on this as I think it'll become a bigger issue as we head into a era where online and offline becomes a more homogeneous state.
In the end we are gamers who have paid for a product (and more recently an online pass to play said product) and are entitled to use it in it's intended manner. EA's default response is that servers are only shut down when less than 1% of the population are still playing but why should a community's size dictate whether or not it's even allowed to exist? If I enjoy Wartech: Senko No Ronde (and I do... add me if you play) why not leave a P2P environment so that me and the three other people who still enjoy it can continue to do so at no cost to you? Often as a community grows smaller it also becomes more enjoyable as it's those that are passionate about the title that are left; fire up Blur tonight and tell me the game isn't better off with the community it has now.
Yikes, cliff notes:
Dedicated servers provide more stable gaming but mean you may one day be unable to play the game in question online.
To you, is the improvement in gaming on a dedicated server over a P2P environment worth the trade-off?