Dawn Of War 2 Multiplayer: Games For Windows Live

By Kieron Gillen on July 15th, 2008 at 12:25 pm.


Which may be enough to send a shiver down even a Necron’s spine, but this isn’t the traditional you-must-pay-for-full-stuff service. Basically, for Dawn of War II you’ll have full functionality for free. This includes their TrueSkill matching, voice, achievements and the cross-PC/360 friends list and all that. Which is an interesting move, and you have to wonder about how exactly the deal came about. It’s also interesting in that they’ve admitted they’re going to be using its marketplace ability to sell additional content. Blimey.

__________________

« | »

, .

45 Comments »

  1. SuperNashwan says:

    I used to have loads of problems trying to get clients to connect through Relic’s system for CoH so hopefully this will be an improvement.

  2. The Hammer says:

    I can’t log into Relic Online at all which means I can’t even play the GOTY edition or Opposing Fronts. Ridiculous.

    So this excites me, yep.

  3. Ross says:

    Additional content eh? As in new races (DoW expansion-style), or just new units (for those who pay, natch)? :O

  4. MeestaNob! says:

    I’m, to be honest, absolutely horrified by this news.

    There’s nothing to stop them changing it to a Live Gold account requirement in the future after initial purchase. Nothing.

    Awful news, just terrible.

  5. subedii says:

    I would have far preferred them going through Steamworks than through GFW Live. Live hasn’t really had the most impressive showing on the PC to date. Although admittedly a lot of my ill feeling stems from the fact that they deliberately gimped the service on Gears of War, cutting out most of the stuff that you’d ordinarily get for free and charging for it instead.

  6. AbyssUK says:

    It may be free but its still evil! Horrible news.

    The less games that support Games for Windows the better.

  7. Ketch says:

    I don’t understand the point, for the people who are too lazy to open ports on their routers to access Relic Online will just suffer when they don’t do it for Windows Live instead, and paying for additional content? Buggar that, I’ve bought a few “add ons” on Xbox Live before. They seriously are not worth the money.

    I’m all for the games for windows titles, I like being able to play Grid and Crysis with a 360 controller, but now windows is trying to take over online PC gaming. We don’t want Xbox Live on our PC’s. We have perfectly decent server browsers already built in to games and we don’t need everything dumbed down.

  8. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    I’d have much preferred Steamworks, but hey, it’s not the end of the world if we don’t have to pay anything. Already have it on my PC thanks to Gears, so at least I don’t have to go through that hassle again. This will put a lot of people off who don’t have a live account, however.

  9. King Awesome says:

    Should have gone to steam.

    Games For Windows is, in my opinion, completely discredited among PC gamers. Microsoft give the impression that they couldn’t care any less about making the experience of playing games on the PC better. Instead they give impression of trying to ‘leverage brand unity across diverse user experiences, strengthening the core product as a platform for generating quarterly revenue’.

    I’ve nothing against making money from an online service but don’t make your attempts so nakedly uncaring!

  10. Theory says:

    Ah, but would Valve have given them two hundred shovelfulls of money?

  11. Jochen Scheisse says:

    As Relic multiplayer support is traditionally bad, I don’t care either way.

  12. Robin says:

    It’s a shame that Relic have this mentality that because their games are relatively popular they can push through consumer-hostile decisions like this.

    Add Dawn of War 2 to the (mercifully short) list of games that will be left broken when MS inevitably pull the plug on GFW Live.

  13. Nilocy says:

    Yeah, this should be an improvement over the gamespy *shudders* servers. They were awful for match making on the old DoW.

  14. martin says:

    cool, they exchange one broken service against another broken one. fantastic move…

  15. muscrat says:

    Not good, not good at all. No no no no no no.
    Why why why?
    CoHs is just fine, why not copy that template *facepalm*

  16. Jeff says:

    Sounds fine to me. I don’t really get the GFW hate. I understand that it sucks to pay for things, but this isn’t even the case. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come for GFW in the future.

    The only thing I don’t really like is having two different “standards” (steam and gfw). I’d like to see a more unified PC standard, and personally, I think I would prefer GFW if it were free.

    But part of the problem, and I’m sure it was part of Relic’s decesion, is that afaik Steamworks doesn’t offer matchmaking. Lately I’ve kind of been fantasizing that Microsoft would offer a bunch of cash to Valve in order for them to rebrand Steam as GFW. Just so the PC could have a true standard. I’m sure this is heresy to some of you.

  17. MeestaNob! says:

    Yeah, CoH was fine, other than the way it handled massive patch files (was a bit brittle with those).

    Steamworks would have been wonderful. GOGOGO POINTLESS INTERNET PETITION!

    Jeff: One of Steamworks main features is multiplayer matchmaking.

  18. Fire_Storm says:

    CoH’s new system is an utter sham. Its user unfriendliness is unmatched in the world of online gaming. Yeah, the quick play is good but finding specific matches is horrible.

    I’ve not used GFWL so I’ll hold off, but I hope against hope that it can’t be worse than the multiplayer options in every other Relic game.

  19. cyrenic says:

    Man, this kills a lot of the enthusiasm I had for the game. Maybe if the GFWL support actually works and they don’t charge for any of the additional content I’ll still consider playing it, but otherwise I’ll stick with RA3 and then SC2.

  20. Alex Taldren says:

    Great, just what PC gamers need. The second they start charging us to pay fees to play our PC games online is the end of PC gaming.

    Sadly, this is the news that has officially crossed DoWII of my list. I will NEVER support any “Live!” service from Microsoft because eventually, it just leads to paying money for something you shouldn’t have to, like mods, custom maps, and the ability to play online.

  21. Simes says:

    GFWL is free for online PC-PC multiplayer for any game, not just this one. Whether the gold service is worthwhile for what it brings on top of that is another matter entirely, but nonetheless, if you want online multiplayer all you need is silver.

    I have no comment on how good or otherwise it is, but I think the stream of “why should we pay for what other services give us for nothing” comments ought to be addressed.

    Edit: Ha, just read the forum post again properly. Er. Dunno, then. Sorry about that.

  22. RichPowers says:

    The only RTS games I play online are WarCraft III and StarCraft, so this news really shouldn’t effect me. But the last thing I want is Microsoft’s tendrils in more games or to give it even a *slight* possibility of monetizing stuff us spoiled PC gamers have traditionally got for free. Now I have a good reason to buy this game only when it hits the bargain bin :p

  23. Jochen Scheisse says:

    It’s not that bad, as I decided not to play Relic games on the net anymore. Their patching policy is just awful. The first hotfix for Soulstorm hasn’t even come out to correct game breaking mistakes. More than half a year for a sevice that should have been provided in the first month after release. Yeah, maybe from the bargain bin. It’ll also be hotfixed then.

  24. iainl says:

    As someone who has a Gold Live account for my 360 anyway, I’m not a big fan of GfW Live. If any of my Friends list had Windows Halo 2 (the only game I’ve tried with it) things might be different, but it took me an hour to get working correctly, and then all I gain is my mates trying to get me to go join in their Halo 3 match every 5 minutes, and having to pause to reply “Sorry; I’m on the PC instead, so your game invite doesn’t work”.

    Live on the 360 is worth every penny for the cross-game features. Crossing platforms breaks most of the value in it. That it turned out my crappy old PC wasn’t up to playing H2, at settings which don’t look any better than Halo on the original XBox, didn’t exactly help.

  25. Simes says:

    The only crossplatform game I tried was Universe At War, which didn’t work because they hadn’t patched in the crossplatform bit yet.

    I think they have now, but I’ve long since lost interest.

  26. Hexx says:

    I have Halo 2 and Shadowrun for the PC. Live isn’t bad. Then again I have a Live account for 360, so the service is “free” to me.

  27. spd from Russia says:

    bad news! Relic has its own service which works fine for CoH (and yes, its been fixed since expansion)
    win live on the other hand is crap, had negative exp with it

  28. Taxman says:

    Yeah I don’t get the GFW hate either the whole pay issue meant paying to play against Xbox owners which barely anyone wants to in the first place. PC to PC multi-player is free.

    People bitch at MS for not supporting PC gaming but then people bitch at them for when they do with GFW they cant win either way no matter what MS does.

  29. Theory says:

    Their patching policy is just awful. The first hotfix for Soulstorm hasn’t even come out to correct game breaking mistakes.

    The company who made Soulstorm are out of business now. Presumably there’s some kind of hold-up with Relic getting hold of / understanding the source code.

  30. cyrenic says:

    @Taxman

    GFWL is a prime example of how MS doesn’t support PC gaming. It’s an afterthought, like so many of the things they do for PC. It’s not as functional as steam, and you have to pay for features Steam has for free. Paying off developers to use GFWL doesn’t add to their credibility, either.

  31. SwiftRanger says:

    Well, it’s good it’s free (will older games and newer GfWL games be made free as well? They better be) but hopefully Relic won’t have their hands tied in terms of patching now. If it uses GfWL everything has to go through MS’s slow hands as well. :(

  32. Duoae says:

    Is this all XP compatible? Certain other GFW LIVE games (i.e. requiring the GFW Live account to be able to play) such as Halo 2 weren’t…

    Really, this is something of a negative for the game and i wonder if you’ll require an account just to be able to play the single player portion of the game (as i have no interest in playing online anyway). I’ll wait and see how this pans out but:

    -The same three armies
    -GFW Live

    It’s not looking like there’s enough there for me to buy it. Where’s the hook?

  33. Noc says:

    Duoae: For one, it’s a different game. It’s not “DoW with prettier graphics,” it’s entirely different.

    And I suspect that the “Additional content” will be bits you can buy to stick on your soldiers, in true model-making fashion. Skins for different Marine chapters, skulls and whatnot to stick all over your Orks, et cetera. Which I wouldn’t mind, even if I wouldn’t pay for it.

    But the XP bit is a very good question.

  34. cyrenic says:

    It probably wasn’t hard for Relic to take the money to use GFWL, but they’d be sacrificing way too many sales to go Vista only, so I think it’s pretty likely we’ll see it on XP as well.

  35. Anthony Damiani says:

    Well, OK, so they’re not charging for anything. The optimistic interpretation of this is that Microsoft has wised up that PC gamers are not a receptive audience to the model they used on the Xbox, due to the history and the numerous alternatives available. If this marks the new direction for GfWL, it could go a long way towards rescuing an already damaged brand.

    I’m certainly paranoid enough to entertain the pessimistic interpretation– that this is some kind of nefarious bait-and-switch tactic– but I don’t really think it’s plausible.

    It would seem like a serious liability for Relic to do something like that (or allow Microsoft to do it), since they’ve been slowly building some considerable brand equity. Given that THQ has publicly stated that they are rethinking their strategy of more numerous, lower quality games I don’t think they’d be eager to tarnish one of their studios that has been earning a reputation for quality.

    Plus, the ongoing attempt to monitize everything– I can see management being convinced that selling little model bitz is a good idea. That alone could be enough to explain why they went with this architecture rather than a proprietary one.

  36. Jonathan L says:

    You know to register to GFW you have to go through the XBOX LIVE website.. I remember having to go through this process for playing Gears of War online on the PC.. The horror.

  37. Darkieus says:

    I’m against this in every way. I’ve already signed numerous petitions against Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live.

    I hope this doesn’t happen in the future, I already plan to stop being a legit customer to anything with the ‘Games for Windows Live’ brand on it if this continues. I -will- turn to piracy.

  38. Keith says:

    @Darkieus

    Sheesh. Good response. “I don’t like this, so I’ll *steal* it”. Way to go. Why not, y’know, just *don’t buy it*.

  39. El_MUERkO says:

    as long as it has a ‘create lan game’ button i dont give a rats ass

    /hugs Hamachi

  40. Zzgashi says:

    I have Gears of War for PC and I really really don’t like the way Live worked there. I had to jump through far to many hoops just to get an account. The updater was crap. And it could never remember my login information. The Achievements were grindtastic and added nothing to the game.

  41. samuel says:

    I have dawn of war dark crusade and dawn of war these games a awesome everyone should play it has deomens in choas and there on computer too.

  42. Tristan says:

    GfWL was actually an agreement THQ made with Microsoft. I think its a shit sandwich Relic is forced to eat in this case. Playing the beta at the moment, and boy does GfWL lack so much of what we take for granted with Steam. Theres no game lobby for one… and no push-to-talk…. and no list of game lobbys containing friends. I can’t believe there are times I am wishing for Gamespy…. Game is really fun tho, no more stupid macro.

  43. Burrito says:

    i have a 360 live account so i have gfw as well and i dont see why ppl bitch about you get premium service for a cheap yearly feel what the big stigma is?

  44. jalf says:

    @Burrito: The problem with GfWL is that it sucks technically. The interface is horribly slow and complex to manouver (really, try inviting a friend to your game with Steam and then with GfWL, or try joining a friends game. Heck, just try friending someone), it is bound to a fairly useful key (home – useful as a hotkey in a lot of games, and has a pretty well-defined function in chat windows as well. And it just became unusable because Microsoft wanted to take it over)
    Matchmaking in DoW2 takes an eternity, and matches you up against people from all over the world with no regard for skill level. The problem is that it’s a badly designed attempt to do what Steam did 3 years ago. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and even the “old” features it brings to the table are sub-par.