Give me back my server browser!

What is it with PC games these days? It seems they have caught a disease from the consoles called matchmaking. A lobby system to start your online games. Supposedly this makes it easier to find a server to play on but, if you want a public game, what the fuck was wrong with sorting by ping and then selecting a non passworded server with some players on? And what if you don’t want to play on public servers? What happened to being able to join a dedicated server that you run with some friends?

Left 4 Dead is a brilliant game but if there is one thing that puts me off it is the lobby system. It has on numerous times given me a server where the other players have kicked me because they didn’t know me, on other occasions it gave me a server with a ping so high I think it might have been in New Zealand.
Fortunately in Left 4 Dead you can just open the console and type “openserverbrowser” and can then join your favourite server without playing lucky dip.

But now Valve are saying

The Steamworks matchmaking now includes the “robust lobby system” shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.[1].

Brilliant, now more developers have an easier way to ditch the server browser and replace it with this console lobby nonsense.

Internet Angry Man – Out.


[1] link



5 Responses to “Give me back my server browser!”

  1. March 24, 2009 at 22:17

    It does seem as the Left4Dead was trying to reinvent the wheel and came up with a square. Sure it looks nice, but it doesn’t actually do what’s needed.

  2. 2 The G
    March 25, 2009 at 13:25

    You’re quite right Jon. In fact by accident I joined a L4D game you were in which turned out to be you playing with your brother on a LAN. Me joining from an outside connection to your own PC meant epic pings and unplayable conditions. I had no idea I was joining your local address rather than a dedicated server.
    For console gamers who have no idea about online gaming it’s fine. It’s relatively easy and gets people in games when it works. For us PC gamers though that know better, it’s a deviation from the norm that has only annoyed us. We’re not children and know how a server browser works. It shows us what we need and makes us happy. This lobby system was a nice idea but not one needed for competent PC gamers.

  3. March 25, 2009 at 13:38

    Indeed. Since then I have had my brother host the game as he has fewer people with Left 4 Dead in his friends list.

  4. 4 AJ
    March 25, 2009 at 15:05

    I agree with this all completely. Alas developers think this system will make our lives easier and more streamlined when entering the game. Little do they realise that the same streamlined system which works for consoles does not work for PC Gamers or the majority of as well because of a varying number of reasons.

    I do wonder though if they will be shipping this out for TF2 at some point in the future… I do hope not I would rather they left that as it was. Do not want to have to go into the console every time I want to play on a server.

    I think this might be more widely accepted were they to have two options available. You click one for a quick game and this brings up the lobby system then you click search for a game for the server browser. The lobby system can work sometimes but it would just be nice to have that extra option there without having to jump into the console every time.

  5. March 25, 2009 at 16:30

    They had better not add this for TF2 or Internet Angry Man will get very angry indeed!

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