From Dan Amrich's blog:
Now, after listening to players, IW and Sledgehammer will try the first method again. Modern Warfare 3 will feature free, run-it-yourself COD4-style dedicated server support because the hardcore fans have been very clear (if not terribly polite) in their feedback. As the saying goes, give the people what they want. I’m happy to see it.
In short, we are bringing back the features of Call of Duty 4's dedicated servers that the community has requested, and we hope everyone will be excited by the outcome – let us know on November 8th!
Only matchmaking to public games are Ranked (meaning, you have to rank up to unlock weapons to rank on the leaderboards), choosing to play on a Dedicated Server is UnRanked.
So what you’re saying is that nobody’s going to be playing on dedicated servers because they want to rank up and prestige.
He clarifies that all unlocks can be customized on the servers, but still. This is not what people wanted when they asked for dedicated servers. Sigh.
However, the PC gaming community is one that pays to enjoy full levels of customization and control without the sacrifice of gameplay elements. To give them dedicated servers yet take away the ability to rank up anywhere outside of public play spaces is a slight against their commitment to the platform. Balance or not, PC gamers are likely very frustrated by this news.
The console gaming side remains unaffected.
This is the same type of thing that happened last year and partially, the year before that. Personally, I didn't think Dedicated Servers would return anyway and I thought if they did, it would be the same as Black Ops so I wasn't that interested in MW3. I figured I knew what to expect already.
I'm always checking out gaming news in various places and news pops up about dedicated servers returning to MW3. I said to myself "yea, yea...whatever". Just a bit later, everyone was spreading news that there would be MW3 dedicated servers like CoD4. I went looking for true confirmation and I ended up finding the links and tweets confirming that the servers would be like CoD4. To say that there would be dedicated servers is one thing, but to say a return CoD4 styled servers is huge.
A lot of us run and rent dedicated servers and to see this, I said "After 2 years of 'wtf', we can now finally return to CoD". I was letting our site and other friend sites know the news and we were arranging for donations for the cause. People were getting back on board. There were still some questions it seemed, but I didn't think they mattered because when you say "CoD4 styled", we think the norm. We think leveling up and unlocking as well as different mods, low ping, etc.
Now, the news that was floating around was will the servers be ranked (progressive unlocks, leveling up), or unranked (no unlocks or leveling). Black Ops had left a bad, tricky feeling behind and so I was getting skeptical also. This question was one of the biggest questions and I couldn't believe it was because I see "CoD4" and I think of what it is. People still want to enjoy the game. They still want to save classes they've created, rank up, unlock things, do challenges, etc., CoD4 style, on a dedicated server.
When being led on like this with wordplay and hype for the media and no clear communication with the PC audience, the result is what you see in this forum. It also always seems to happen a few weeks before release, starting with MW2.
Maybe there's hope. It sure is hard to tell these days.
Quote from Omega via FPSadmin.com
Somehow they fail to realize the impact of dedi's for unranked only. The vast majority of players, especially casual players, like the rank-up system (I loathe it for the most part, personally). Many clans populate their public servers and recruit from this large pool of players. Even a system where you can have a persistent ranking for an individual server, like WaW did with modded servers, is too taxing for most players looking to jump on random servers. Only regulars are willing to rank up on a server they frequent, and while they do help getting players on your server, it's not quite enough without general access and support.
They could have done a separate rank-up system for ranked AND unranked, making unranked servers wholly persistent across each other instead of individually, but I would think even that scenario would be a burden for most players, asking them to rank up twice, essentially.
Once again, what you are left with is a setup where you can run your own dedicated server, however it will be very challenging to populate that server as anything else but a private / match clan server. I played Black Ops some at its peak, and the unranked servers were a virtual ghost town, so I can't see it being any different.
So, to really "enjoy" the game on a regular basis as a community (like random server-hopping), you will have to endure crap like limiting playlists, short rounds, host migration, unreliable matchmaking, erratic ping, waiting in lobbies with screaming fools that no one can kick, cheaters that can't be kicked, and other stuff I can't think of at the moment.
Unfortunately, they just don't GET IT, and probably never will. Petitions are a complete waste of time, and the only thing that would ever change their philosophies concerning PC development would be a loss of revenue. And unfortunately, again, console sales are the lion's share of their business.
First CoD I will not be purchasing day-one, or at all. Not really mentioning this as a form of protest, just a sad and sobering feeling.
I played Black Ops some at its peak, and the unranked servers were a virtual ghost town, so I can't see it being any different.
This is another post that tries to compare BO unranked servers with MW3 unranked servers and fails to spot the essential difference between them: MW3's unranked servers are the only dedicated servers in the game. With BO, there was nothing to be gained playing unranked; in MW3 there is - your ping.
Thing is dante there will be a major split in the community IWNET vs UNRANKED DEDIs
The PC community is already fractured; and now it will be even more so; that is inevitable.
when MW2 came out I was with the company [=TC=] they where a muti-gaming clan (BF COD) i actually never like that modle, (division) but none the less half our cod crew left to play MW2 as we couldn't provide servers and some members wanted to make a battle between those who bought it and those who did not (i was one that did not) (more division) our COD4servers fell by the way side (not enough participation to justify them) i tried BFBC It was ok, but it wasn't COD. black ops came out i rented a server, stared recruiting members who eventually carried me out on their shoulders to start a COD only clan (long story; lets just say the powers that be where more interested in BF then COD, and had no desire to compete out side their own little world) every thing was ok in spite of an exclusive GSP, lack of control over rcon, as well as client (no reconnect? really just to mention one) then came the paid DLC (even more division) you, and I, a lot of people might not care about leader boards, and stats.
But a lot of people do; and those would have been the people playing in our pub servers; had they been ranked.
This new party system every one speaks of, sounds more like a pack; then a clan to me.