This time will be different!

Call of Duty Black Ops launches in roughly three hours EST.  That is, if you bought it from an actual brick and mortar store.  If you’re like me and the majority of PC players you probably bought it on STEAM.  Unfortunately, if you buy it on STEAM then you’re stuck on STEAM time which means you can’t play until tomorrow around 10am EST.  I don’t know why the store copies, which require steam anyway, can play right away but the digital copies are punished.  Oh well, I have tests tomorrow anyway and should probably sleep.

Modern Warfare 2 was/is an excellent game.  I loved the singleplayer (I know there are plenty of haters out there) and I like much of the multiplayer gameplay, but it certainly has its faults.  No dedicated servers was the biggest issue and has remained the number one reason why I haven’t played it nearly as much as I did CoD4.  Second, the cheating was horrendous and Valve’s anti-cheat doesn’t do crap.   Third, the kill streak perks adding to kill streaks made for some downright stupid gameplay.  I’m hoping this time will be different.

CoD Blops will have dedicated servers — even if they’re all from one single provider (are they still?).  Dedicated servers means communities and more importantly server admins to ban the cheaters.  Dedicated servers hopefully means we get punkbuster (crossing my fingers and hoping we’re not relying solely on Valve).  Treyarch has fixed the kill streaks compounding kills and fixed a lot of the perks from MW2 that were sketchy or worthless.

The setting of the Cold War era and the idea that you’re more of a special ops/agent sounds like it will make for a cool singleplayer.  I’m expecting it to match the standard of excellence that I always find in CoD.

Hopefully CoD Blops grabs hold of me and doesn’t let go.  There’s really something quite crucial about finding a dedicated server or two that you really like and sticking with it.  Playing with the same people every day really does make it a better experience.  I’m hoping to find a server like the one I played CoD4 on for a few years: “Hardcore Tactical Real”.  It had custom rules that you weren’t allowed to do certain things (like no air strikes or noob tubes within first few minutes) that made it more fun.  We’ll see how it goes!  I’ve gotten my hopes up.

We’ll be posting in our CoD forum about which servers we play on.  You can also find our STEAM info in there if you would like to play with us.  I’ll live stream tomorrow those who want to see what the PC version is like and I’ll post my thoughts in a follow-up.

  • There is no Punkbuster. It’s still VAC. VAC and PB do their job, but people don’t seem to understand how they work. Think of it as an antivirus. You can only block known problems. The turn around for modifying hacks is much quicker though compared to viruses.

    Both have their own issues but thanks for dedicated servers I think people will be much happier with the hacking situation.

  • The nice thing about Punkbuster is that it appears to be much less forgiving. I’ve been kicked because of the littlest Punkbuster issues. While it’s a pita, it’s also nice to know that it is really that strict.

    Regardless, I hope that the server admins are vigilant. Finding a good server is what it’s all about now.

  • Is there an official word if black ops for steam user’s is ganna be released later? cause that could be just a successful troll. Even if the steam store says unlocks in 12 hours, doesn’t mean it wont work at midnight. They did this with several other games. Also VAC and PB both do their job, VAC just bans a couple to a few weeks after your caught, so you can’t work around it as fast. With VAC and server admins, hacking WILL be better than it was in MW2. Problem is, most people who “hack” in mw2 are just good. I can almost count on both my hands how many time i WASNT called a hacker when i played. The “hacker paranoia” is what’s going to be the problem.

  • Official word from Activision is that those who purchase from stores get to play at midnight. Those who buy from STEAM play at STEAM time (which is tomorrow at 10am EST/7pm PST).

    I don’t subscribe to hacker paranoia. It’s the blatant ones that bother me. The ones who sit across the map and kill everyone because they have 100% accuracy through walls. 😉

    Admins ban those who hack on their servers = I’m happy.

  • I’ve been playing it on steam since my copy arrived at 10am this morning, our time – that was about eight hours ago now.

    Gotta love New Zealand being GMT+12 time. Plus, Black Ops unlocked on steam early as well.

    As for the VAC/Punkbuster thing, yeah – VAC is much more reliant on server admins being able to kick and ban – because of that, when it DOES catch people for hacking, it catches thousands at once, and it rarely messes up. Whereas we’ve all been kicked for punkbuster false-positives. iirc, launching CoD4 through Steam was enough for punkbuster to kick you.

    And yeah, the servers are all from one provider, which KINDA sucks (it’s not too bad, just means 60-90 ping instead of 20-50) because the provider only hosts in australia, not in new zealand. so no truly local community servers.

  • FYI, Newegg is running a special promo on Blackops for $49.99 with promo code EMCZZYX76, plus free shipping/no tax, but your going to have to wait to get it in the mail!

  • This time will be the same…

    “First Ever COD Blackops Hacks Released
    Just Released the FIRST COD Blackops Hacks to our website subscribers! Our hack was ready 4 and a half hours before the American release!”

  • Pierrre,

    There always be cheats and hacks for games. The nice thing is we can now play on servers with active admins that can ban them.

  • What piqued my interest here is that “the majority” but from Steam – big surprise for me! For the USA maybe but wonder if that’s the case globally?

    I buy virtually all of the bigger releases from online stores like Amazon and only use Steam for the smaller, indie games.

    But then here in the UK my Internet Usage is theoretically capped at 40Gig/Month so can’t fit all my purchases down the pipe even if I wanted to.

    I also want to physically own the disks / manuals etc!