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Modern Warfare 3's dedicated servers a lesson from MW2's failures

Infinity Ward's sudden reversal on the question of dedicated server support for the Call of Duty series comes down in part to Modern Warfare 2's shortcomings.

"As our first time going to Steam, it was our first time doing a lot of different things like adding in the matchmaking," Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling told Gamespy of Modern warfare 2.

"It was about trying to control the experience ourselves. We wanted to unify the experience across every platform but it was always intended to be the first step in a series in what IWNet would become."

Bowling said Modern Warfare 2's peer-to-peer only matchmaking "regretfully didn't achieve that we wanted it to achieve" in this regard, and that Modern Warfare 3's switch back to dedicated servers reflects outspoken fan distress over the botchedsystem.

"In every aspect of Modern Warfare 3 it was about looking at our player feedback, what they wanted. More importantly, in every aspect from gameplay to dedicated servers, it was about giving more options, more control to our players, to have the experience that they want to have," he said.

"Coming out of Modern Warfare 2 it was pretty clear what our PC audience was looking for and what direction they wanted us to go in. The conversation was pretty straight forward because we knew what they wanted and we wanted to execute on that."

Other changes to Modern warfare 3 were inspired directly by its precursor, too.

"Modern Warfare 2 had a lot of problems with cheating and hacking, especially on the PC, that VAC didn't fully take care of," Bowling admitted.

"As a result we've done a lot of work on Modern Warfare 3 on the back end. We are still using VAC in Steam but in addition to that we've done much more work on the backend, locking down our stuff to make it more secure, to make sure we have more flexibility on addressing things like that ourselves rather than just relying on some third party anti-cheat program.

"A lot of that stuff can be done through Elite that we can review. Then we have tools to report player stuff in game that players can use, and we'll have entire teams monitoring and taking actions on those."

Bowling said some of the monitoring tech was introduced in Black Ops, but has been expanded on by Infinity Ward.

"With Elite that is launching with Modern Warfare 3, we're taking that in an all new area, having full teams dedicated solely to that," he explained.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November.

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