This is not mine, I have cut and pasted from a forum post:
One of the big groovy features of BF2 will be the ‘ranking system’. This is a quasi MMORPG like feature where you have persistent ranking based on game scores over time. Your rank will have real ingame benefits like weapon unlocks and highest ranked players get access to the new ‘commander mode’ (one player gets to play the game in a RTS like view controlling artillery, sending commands, UAVs, etc)
….sounds great right?
Here is the catch…you can only earn rank on EA servers. This means anyone who wants to get access to unlocks has to play on the EA servers. Also it means that regular players on unranked servers will always lose access to commander mode from anyone who plays on EA servers (and ‘outranks’ them). Private server Admins will have no access to the ‘locked’ weapons and features.
EA’s only solution for admins is rent servers from EA (I assume at their current rate of $8/slot/month!). EA will hold a monopoly on renting ‘ranked servers’
Here is an EA comment about it from a RealityFriends interview
Q. Can you expand bit more about ranks/stats. The sound of it, reminds me a lot of the honor system in Americas Army. Here are some of my concerns: When the screen with the players on the server comes up, will you be able to see the rank of each player? Will the unlocked weapons be available only in official/rank servers? Will clans be able to lease official servers and will it only be one company’s monopoly? What effect will that have for the private servers, since all the people will be playing in official/rank servers to get their rank up?
A: That was a lot of questions:
– You will be able to see the rank of everyone on both ranked and unranked servers.
– Unlocks will only be available on the ranked servers.
– As mentioned earlier, you will be able to lease official/rank servers.
– We hope that will enjoy the game enough to play it both on ranked and non-ranked servers
EA claims that this is to protect the ‘integrity’ of the ranking system (but of course it is a little fishy that the only avenue for us admins is to rent from them)
I dislike this thought process. Having a game with “unlockables” is great, it increases replay and adds something to strive for, especially in this model where your rank is your badge of honor and you get weapons upgrades and whatnot. But, whats the point of having unlockables if you can’t use them?
“Yeah, I spent 40 hours a week playing on EA’s servers, I’m a 4 star general, but I can’t use the sniper rifle today because I’m playing on a private server.”
What the fuck is that about? If it’s not a server side variable I’m going to be super pissed. Angry enough to send my thoughts to EA directly. And don’t think I don’t have email addresses from the development team either.
I can see their side, they want to maintain a “safe” enviroment for their gamers. Saying, within these specific servers, there will be zero cheating, zero asshats and they’ll always be well maintained and admined. That’s a server I would infact enjoy playing on, and that’s their point. But to make HALF THE GAME the insentive to play there is a little fucking retarded. I probably haven’t explained, but for every class there’s ranks, higher ranks get cooler stuff, etc, just like a RPG. I’m sure as shit not going to be a private for the next 5 years and never play with any of the unlockables.
Let’s say I do decide to play on EAs servers. I get good. I’m a sergeant now. I’ve got a sweet ass shotgun that I like a lot. Now it’s match time. Matches are played on private clan servers. Private servers are unranked and have no access to unlockables. My cool shotgun that I’ve been playing with for the last month, non-existant. I have to step down to the lowest denominator and play with the basic weapons only. Everyone does, making the playing field level. Level, but incredibly boring and not fun.
Way to go Dice/EA, way to fuck your fans. Way to mess with your biggest support group, the clans, the rabid fans who would have done anything for you. And don’t get me started about the lack of CTF. One game mode. Bah. What nonsense.
I’m still looking forward to this game. The demo should be out tomorrow. I will enjoy it completely I’m sure. What I won’t enjoy is the next few months while the hate mail pours into EA headquaters about what fucking retards they are for making HALF A GAME unaccessable to even those who have infact worked hard enough to earn it.
Give it a month. They’ll be a server side patch NOT from EA to unlock everything. I also fully expect a CTF mod within a few months.