This article on the issue of Net Neutrality takes a different perspective than most that I have seen in that it looks at what the potential impacts to online gaming. The author contends that of all the impacted aspects of internet use, online gaming will be the worst.
What will be murdered with no fallback or replacement is the nascent market of interactive entertainment – particularly online gaming. Companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, and countless others, have built a business on the fundamental assumption of relatively low latency bandwidth being available to large numbers of consumers. Furthermore, a large — even overwhelming — portion of the value of these offerings comes from their “network effects” — the tendency for the game to become more enjoyable and valuable as larger number of players joins the gaming network.
With the permanent barriers that the removal of net neutrality will erect for these uses, the worst-case scenario includes three waves of change:
One or more mainstream ISPs will introduce excessive lag that will effectively prohibit their users from participating in online games. The move will not be aimed at restricting usage per se, but rather to extract a fee from the game operator. However, as the Cablevision and YES dispute of 2002 showed us4, a fee disagreement between a cable company and content provider can effectively lock out the use of a popular service for over a year;
As online gaming guilds, clans, and partners disappear into the rifts created in the Internet fabric, players that derive value from the community of the game rather than the playing experience per se will drop off. This vicious cycle of scarcity of users will lead to diminished enjoyment for existing users which will lead to still fewer users, until more games follow Asheron’s Call to oblivion5;
Hardcore users will write strongly worded messages to their ISPs, who will classify them as unreasonable malcontents using more than their share of bandwidth.
I encourage all gamers to read this article in full and make sure you contact your congressional representatives when they meet beginning in February. Those that would favor allowing ISPs to establish different "classes" of internet users will be sure to have new legislation introduced that threatens net neutrality. Last session congress received over 800,000 signatures supporting net neutrality but that level of effort will be needed again this time as well.
EA has released the 1.05 patch for Battlefield 2142. This patch addresses a number of issues including problems with players using game exploits to boost scores:
Today we release the 1.05 update for Battlefield 2142. As previously communicated this update will among other things make the experience better when playing Titan mode. It will also solve the transport exploit that some players have taken advantage of. Overall the update includes over 25 fixes. The fix list can be found at the end of the update.
Rest assured that we will continue to take action against players using exploits to boost their scores. We will also soon begin to ban accounts completely from online play. While we would prefer to not have to take this step we recognize it is necessary to ensure that players who use exploits and hacks in Battlefield 2142 are not allowed to continue ruining the play experience for others. As always, we are carefully monitoring how the game is being played to be able to prevent any exploits that are found.
Download mirrors can be found at the EA link above.
Here's the change list:
Fixed Ground Defense kills to properly count towards the Ground Base Defense Ribbon
Fixed an exploit with using the Air Transport to gain points at an unnatural rate
Fixed a issue that caused scores and ranks to be improperly displayed in the front end
The Silver Titan Destruction Badge will now be properly awarded when the core is destroyed
The PAC Duty Ribbon will no longer be awarded randomly when a player enters a server
Single player End of Round screen will now display round stats properly
Enemy Squad Leader Spawn Beacon is now visible on the 3d-map
Crouch may now be bound to the same key for both common use and land vehicles (Battlewalkers)
Fixed an issue which allowed the Titan guns to be re-supplied for points
Players may no longer repeatedly spam a squad leader with requests to join a locked squad
Accept and Reject prompts will no longer be displayed in the debug console
Titan Survival pin will now be correctly rewarded to players who safely escape a titan after the core is destroyed
Fixed the issue that prevented players from reviving team mates in a moving Titan
Fixed an exploit that allows players to use tanks to enter building geometry
Players may now play single player offline mode when EA master servers are down
Fixed issues with Battle Recorder Playback and Camera control
Fixed the issue that caused missile silos to appear in the wrong locations on players’ HUDs.
Fixed the issue that caused the Squad Leader Spawn Beacon to not be usable after map and round rotations.
Added the proper game information to the Swedish install for when a mutiny occurs against the commander
2142 will no longer show up as Battlefield 2 in the Windows Firewall Exception List
Altered some player collision inside the Titan. This should improve many of the Player / Titan interactions
Adjusted the Deviation per bullet on the Assault Rifles. This will allow the AR weapons to be more effective in medium to short range fire fights.
Titans will stop moving once the Titan shield go down
Battlefield 2142 will now close after a player selects “OK” in the patch prompt.
Added additional support during map load to prevent EA Master Server disconnects during map load times
Client Version is now displayed at the Login Screen
There is a lot happening in the Battlefield Universe. Our work with the update has now moved into active Closed Beta testing with the Combat Studios team to verify the fixes in a live environment. We wanted to add a few more items to the listed fixes for 1.05 for everyone to review prior to release:
Assault Rifle Improvement: We have made slight adjustments to the deviation of the Assault rifles to increase the accuracy of short burst fire. Long duration full auto fire will still create significant deviation. These changes will help the assault burst-fire performance in medium range fire fights.
Server Stability Improvements: We have made some improvements to the server stability. These improvements are currently being Beta tested by our ranked server partners in an effort to have a solid final release. We will continue our effort to provide increased stability with each new BF2142 Update
Fixed an issue with the Silver Titan Destruction Badge not being awarded when core is destroyed
Fixed an issue with the ground defense kills not being properly counted towards the Ground Defense Ribbon
We would also like to thank the entire crew at Combat Studios and Multiplay.co.uk for their tremendous efforts in helping with our Beta Testing of 2142. If you would like to help out with future Beta Testing of 2142 Update releases please sign up here.
For our European Clan Players the Battlefield 2142 Cup is beginning. Your clan can sign up until November 18th at the Clan Base website for your chance to win great prizes. We look forward to watching the competition and cheering you along.
There have been some questions regarding stats sites for Battlefield 2142. We will be allowing these stat sites to provide the services many of you have enjoyed with BF2. However we are currently taking steps to ensure that the activity of these sites, specifically the additional traffic they create for the Stats Database Servers, does not negatively impact players in game. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be finalizing the steps needed to ensure a quality experience for all players.
We will also be finalizing patch 1.41 for Battlefield 2. More information regarding the content and final release date for this patch will be released next week.
To wrap this up we also wanted to note that the next round of the Battlefield:2 ModLight is coming up with its review of the BattleRacer mod. Please join us in appreciation of another great BF2 mod!
Be sure to keep your eyes on this space for all your official Battlefield Updates!
The Project Reality Mod team announced today that they are releasing the 0.4 version of their mod for Battlefield 2 on Saturday, November 11, 2006. Here's their release:
We've been toiling away on v0.4. We're putting together the "release candidate" build in the next day or so, then running that through some final testing before releasing on Saturday, November 11th.
As posted on our discussion forums, this will be our "biggyest" release to date. By that I mean there's more content and game play changes in this release than in any prior release. But there's a few things that are a little sloppy that we'll get to with a v0.41 update.
Here's a few screenshots from "Operation Ghost Train" showing off the British Troops in Woodland camo.
And here's a little game play tip: On Operation Ghost Train in the tunnel there is a flag in a service room. The flag is behind some doors that can be breached with C4. That's not the tip!
After you secure the flag you will want to repair the doors so the enemy also has to get some C4 into the area to breach the doors and cap the flag. That's not the tip either!
The tip is… don't lock yourself into the room by repairing the doors from the inside
They have some great looking screenshots on their site showing British Troops in woodland camo which can be found here: Project Reality Mod
If you are a band looking for exposure or a fan of a band who wants to get the word out, then submit links to their music on our new Digg inspired Battle of the Bands Website.
In turn, we will take the top bands as voted by you and look at adding them to our rotation on GR1 Heavy Metal and GR2 Punk Rock. But, just because we may not play your style of music, we have added different music genres for everyone's taste.
Because we love indie music, we are going to let all of the radio stations we network with about this site and the great resource of quality independent music available for airplay on their station. Between forums and mailing lists, we have access to thousands of stations.
Don't just stop there. This is a website for bands and fans alike. Tell your friends about this website. Tell all the bands you know about this website. We want to find the best music out there and with your help, we can make it happen.
What digg.com is to technology, we want the Battle of the Bands to be to Independent Artists and Music Fans!
EA posted an update in their community forums yesterday describing the upcoming patch, and more importantly, their approach to supporting the game. It certainly sounds like progress from the mess that was BF2 support.
We would like to explain here how committed we are to increasing everyone’s experience with Battlefield, especially regarding the updates for Battlefield 2142. We acknowledge that the patching process could have been smoother for Battlefield 2; we have listened to the feedback and learnt from it.
To accomplish this goal Dice has recently formed a Live Team with the purpose of making sure your playing experience on the Battlefield is as solid as possible after the game is launched. Among other things, the team works closely with the community and handles the patching process, together with the Ranked Server Providers.
Your Dice Live Team is located at the Dice Studio in Stockholm and is made up of key people from the game project teams. This means that the same people who actually built Battlefield 2142 will be responsible for updating it. It has the clear advantage of involving people who are fully knowledgeable about the code and design of the game. The patches will also be thoroughly tested in closed beta tests before being released.
The patches will also be entirely dedicated to correcting bugs and making fixes instead of introducing new gameplay mechanics, thus significantly reducing the risk of introducing new bugs with the patches.
With all this said, we would like to announce patch 1.05 for Battlefield 2142. The patch includes more than 25 fixes which will improve every player’s experience on the Battlefield.
The following fixes will be included, along with many others:
* Titan will no longer be able to move once its shields are down, so that lag within the titan should be significantly reduced and revive inside the titan shouldn’t be a problem any more
* Changes in EA master server communication to greatly reduce disconnects
* Players are now able to receive the Titan Survival Pin
* All players will see the same missile silo location numbers in Titan Mode
Patch 1.05 is scheduled for release later in November so keep watching this space for detailed release information. Also, stay tuned for more information on an upcoming competition allowing you to make your mark in 2142.