CTF WTF: Titanfall Cuts Game Modes From PC Version

By Graham Smith on May 20th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

This is what happens every time I quit the game.

When Titanfall came out back in March, I recommended it mostly on the strength of its Capture the Flag mode. I now retract that recommendation. Developers Respawn Entertainment have removed the ability to play both Capture the Flag and Pilot Hunter modes on PC, except through the Variety option (which picks your mode at random) or Private Match beta (which pretty much requires that you have eleven friends all waiting to play with you).

In other words: two months after release, they’ve removed the main thing I liked from a game which costs, via EA’s Origin, £45.

Here’s the relevant parts of Respawn’s explanation for the decision.

Yesterday we removed CTF and Pilot Hunter as separate playlists in the PC version of Titanfall […] CTF and Pilot Hunter have not been widely used modes on the PC version. Players trying to access these modes had overlong wait times to find other users and it was making for a poor experience. We want to make sure that not only is there compelling content in the playlists we offer, but that the experience of joining a match works well. We’re tracking what playlists players are choosing, and we’re going to continue to look at unpopular playlists and add new ones on both platforms.

[…] We will still rotate Pilot Hunter and CTF in for future playlists as well as adding new riffs on game types that Respawn is currently working on. Our goal is to have a wide variety of playlists that are popular and changing. That said, we will not remove modes from Private Matches, so there will always be the option to select them for competitive and personal play. Thanks for your understanding as we try to make Titanfall a better experience for everyone.

Not being able to play my favourite mode at all is not a better experience than having to wait five minutes to find a match. Even if Respawn or EA disagree, doesn’t paying for the game mean players should be able to make that decision for themselves?

The thought that CTF might one day “rotate” back into the options is cold comfort. Especially when currently, in place of CTF and Pilot Hunter, you’ll find two new modes: Expedition Variety and Expedition Attrition. What are those? Two new modes which use maps that require you to buy the newly released Expedition DLC. That’ll cost you £8 via Origin, or £20 for the season pass which also nets you whatever they’re planning to add next.

Nothing happens if I click that “GO TO STORE” button, by the way. I think it’s trying to open the Origin overlay, but that doesn’t work for me. It never has.

Titanfall was a fun game upon release. Its robots are a childish delight, its double-jumps and parkour are an adrenaline rush, and CTF was the mode that most thoughtfully utilised both. The game was also lamentably hamstrung by many of the trappings of a modern multiplayer shooter: you couldn’t select what map you wanted to play, there was no server browser, no dedicated servers, no clan infrastructure and no mod support. Two months later, Respawn have added private matches (in beta!) and taken away the only game mode I still wanted to play. It’s hugely disappointing.

I guess it could be worse. It could be Battlefield 4.

The number of games available to play on PC right now is absurd, and no matter what type of game you’re looking for there are options to choose from. So I suppose my question is, if I can’t predict that what I’m paying for will still exist even two months after release, why would I ever buy an EA or Respawn multiplayer game again? And for as long as anyone buys the game based on the modes still being advertised on the game’s own website (without any mention of those modes being essentially unplayable) can those customers have a refund if they want one?

I’ve emailed EA to ask.

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173 Comments »

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  1. Ansob says:

    Just one of the many reasons why playlists are a fucking terrible idea (thanks, console gaming!).

    Also, the Origin overlay weirdly hates every other overlay and won’t play ball with Steam’s or mumble’s or anything else, which is probably why it doesn’t work for you.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      What are playlists in this context?

      • Bull0 says:

        Grouping together maps and gamemodes into a rotation and making that how players find games. So instead of looking for a match on dust2 I have to look for a match on any DE map, for example. I agree, it’s crap, particularly when it’s this hamfisted. I quite like the game but this is a very unpleasant development and has lowered the developers in my estimation, considerably. And there’s no denying removing the modes has harmed the product. Complete moron move. They must have let a temp near their release tools or something, this is ridiculous.

        • subedii says:

          It’s sad because the issue would be mitigated a lot if there was just a server browser.

          Unfortunately a standard big publisher response to problems is “out of sight, out of mind”. If it’s possible to ignore a problem, then it’ll be ignored.

          In some twisted way, I think we’re seeing a rendition of that play out here. Long queues for a certain game mode bring complaints and some toxicity, so need to be addressed. Remove game mode, no more complaints. Most people aren’t using it anyway (hence the original problem) so outcry will be far smaller.

          That’s the only moon logic I can think of here. Less money spent on servers, fewer complaints, less toxicity. All plusses, and the negative of a player backlash is probably something they don’t expect to be as big an issue by comparison.

          • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

            Actually this time we could probably chalk it up to Respawn. May I take you back a few yearrrrrrrss…..

            biddlyboop biddlyboop *waving screen*

            The year is 2009 and IW introduce IWNet for Modern Warfare 2, the solution to the apparent problems of those horrible dedicated servers that a large mythical number of PC gamers just hated. And lo, Lampella and West are the saviours, and IWNet is a roaring success …………………………. oh hang on, it wasn’t and it was dropped like a hot rock.

            Respawn have previous form on this type of crapola i’m afraid.

          • subedii says:

            Hah, yeah I remember that. What was most irritating was that at the time, most gaming websites were console-focussed to the extent that they didn’t understand what a dedicated server is and how it’s been standard PC-side for years. So they kept leading with flame-bait article titles about how PC gamers were angsting over such a minor thing (it has to be minor since console-side nobody’s heard of or cares about it).

          • Bull0 says:

            It’s like the AAA developers are parodying themselves, displaying such mind-boggling hubris as to REMOVE a game mode because the queues are “too long” (and like Graham says, ~5 minutes isn’t so bad. Particularly when they insist on having stupid 90-second pregames in all the other modes anyway).

          • Jenks says:

            What about the Scooby Doo ending?

          • Groove says:

            Good call Garth

        • battles_atlas says:

          This sounds a lot like my gripe with Company of Heroes 2, and their failure to include the Annihilation mode that was hugely popular in the first game. Admittedly they didnt remove it after release, but they did remove it in the sense that it was in the original. That was enough for me at least to assume it would be in the sequel. But no. And the reason its not there seems to stem ultimately from Relic not being arsed to create a multiplayer browser.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rikard Peterson says:

          So it’s like some sort of tournament? And the game has no option of just playing one quick game? Am I understanding it right?

          • The Random One says:

            You do have the option of playing one quick game, but you can’t choose what level you’ll play on.

            To use an analogy, imagine you can’t pick a song, only a playlist. So you can choose whether you’ll listen to the Rock playlist or the Modern Jazz playlist, but you can’t pick a particular modern jazz song to listen to.

            I think. I haven’t actually played the game but this seems to be what the other people are saying.

          • Premium User Badge

            Rikard Peterson says:

            Ah. Thanks, then I understand.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Everybody I’ve heard talk about Titanfall says it’s great for about 2 weeks, then gets boring. I can’t help but think this is an attempt to massage an ailing playerbase into fewer game modes so it seems more populated, as well as pushing their DLC.

          Really don’t get the amateurish dig at Battlefield in there though, especially given the problems Titanfall has, namely that it gets fucking tedious after a short while. It would seem Battlefield 4 holds peoples interest a significant amount longer than this thing. Which seems to be dying a fairly rapid death, all things considered.

          • L3TUC3 says:

            If I get bored with a game I would just install a mod.

            When EA made Dice drop mod support for Battlefield the series was dead to me. Also why I didn’t buy Titanfall with it’s wishywashy interview on RPS.

            Why anyone’s surprised is beyond me.

          • Premium User Badge

            Tom De Roeck says:

            no, BF4 was broken from the beginning and its only now started to work again. meaning that people wasted a lot of money on BF4 “since theyve already paid it” theyre starting to come back.

            Not speaking from experience, but it seems I had the right idea to wait for BF3 to hit cheap premium sales before ever playing it. then I rode the second wave of returning players, eagerly awaiting the disappointment that was BF4 :D

          • Bull0 says:

            I played the hell out of titanfall for around 2 weeks and haven’t touched it since, so yeah, that’s congruent with my experience. Battlefield 4 I played some campaign and tried a handful of multiplayer matches, stopped after that. The bf4 server browser and stuff is too shitty. The number of times I’ve sat there staring at battlelog while it pretends it’s connecting, to watch it proudly bring up the full game and declare there was some sort of unexplainable connection error… it’s a broken game.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Dunno, World of Tanks is a PC game and it follows the model “everybody in the same queue”. You don’t get to pick which map or gamemode you play on (they do allow you to exclude some unpopular ones), but finding a match is instant which is one of the key reasons I like the game. And it doesn’t prevent the game from being hugely successful.

      • ShEsHy says:

        It’s only instant (not for me, I’ve waited 2+ minutes for a match quite a few times) because of the tier disparity. If they set it to only same tiers (which IMO it should be set to), queueing would last quite a bit longer.

        In my 5k battles I’ve spent over 41 hours just waiting for that fucking 30 second countdown at the start of every match to reach zero. Not related to the queueing, just a bit fat annoyance I have with WoT.

    • Mike_in_Ohio says:

      Eh it’s pretty flipping boring anyway…. too bad it had potential

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    If you start Titanfall, the game no longer starts, you just get a short animated gif of someone laughing and rolling in money.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Six months from now, a nice banner with PRE-ORDER TITANFALL 2 DELUXE SUPERDORITODEW EDITION NOW!!! appears next to it.

      • rexx.sabotage says:

        and yet people are still lobbing their wads of money at these schlock fests hand over fist expecting something different.

  3. ran93r says:

    The hatred for this is strong and all up in the intorwobs.
    I hope they revert the change, I have said on the forum here that removing the mode without seeing if the patch would see players return (my guess: it would) was just plain stupid.

    One particular Reddit user sums it all up quite nicely:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/titanfall/comments/25ys0h/pc_open_letter_to_respawn/

  4. gothaggis says:

    Yes, this really pisses me off. I paid $60 + $25 for the season pass. And now I have lost all desire to play the game, because all I enjoyed playing was CTF. Yes, it sucked that you had to wait quite a long time very often (one saturday morning I waited for over an hour with no matches) – this is largely due to the way they implemented matchmaking…..no server browser, splitting server locations into too many regions, no way to switch teams if one team is full and no one has joined the other team…those sorts of things. I feel like EA/Respawn have basically stolen my money.

    That is one issue that happens when everything is publisher hosted in the cloud…they can do whatever they want….players don’t have control.

    It was also strange they made a HUGE change to CTF in that they made it so Titans could no longer carry flags (or return them by running over them) – without putting anything in the patch notes. Some people thought this would help with the CTF population (i don’t think it would have….i actually think it was a bad change) – just thought it was quite odd they didn’t mention it anywhere. And only waited a few days (if that?) to see if it made any difference in CTF.

    • killias2 says:

      I’m not the kind of person who usually advocates things like this.. But you should seriously ask for your money back.

      You bought a game and a season pass under false pretenses. Companies like EA only learn from bloody noses. Ask for your money back.

      • zerosociety says:

        I just tried to get a refund (I didn’t have high hopes, mind) but what Origin offered was 15% off on your next Origin title.

        You know, I was one of the few people I know not heaping hate on EA/Origin at all opportunities, but I’m reconsidering that stance upon having major features removed from the game. (I only play CTF and Hardpoint, mostly CTF.)

    • kuangmk11 says:

      The change to CTF was absolutely needed. CTF was completely broken with flag carrying Titans. It should never have gone live that way. I actually stopped playing because of it and was waiting for it to get fixed ( I read the patch notes but as you said… so this is the first I heard it was fixed). Maybe this was part of why CTF wasn’t very popular. Two people working together capping in titans could absolutely dominate.

      I also bought the season pass. Now I am not sure whether to try and get my money back or just drop from the game when I get something other than CTF.

    • Premium User Badge

      DeVadder says:

      It is worth to mention that their neither were any pathnotes or news items that mentioned the removal of CTF as well. For more than 24 hours the only way to find it out was trying to play it and a single ambigous Twitter post. It took a lot of backlash before they even bothered to post the odd “improving your experience by removing it” bullshit.
      Also, know that a lot of people already got a refund on the season pass due to you never having been able to play it the way you wanted and could expect to play it. People demanding refund on the main game seem to be a lot less lucky though. Addmittably though, from what i have read, those people played the game for dozens if not hundreds of hours.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      So success from EA? They have the money, they scarpered. People keep giving them money. I can understand if you’d never heard of this company called EA and voted “Worse in America”, like what, twice now? Or is it just people crying on the internet over nothing? I remember coldly how others (not me thankfully) were told how much they were being overly “entitled” for wanting either a working product or their money back.

      Strange to see it repeated.

      • Premium User Badge

        DeVadder says:

        The odd thing is, i can not even see in what way they would profit from this in the short term. They still have two DLCs to sell, so even if their intent was to get people to stop caring for the game so they can close the costly servers as fast as possible, it would still be 6 months too early…

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Server costs. The “loss” of players means nothing, those players already paid.
          Any existing costs must now be put into getting more payments/income. Via DLC or new games. Really, I’m surprised the servers are left on for more than a month now, as all sales are generally made in that term…

          … while they get sales trickle in after, the first month sees massive profits versus the server costs. Thus releasing a new game every month must equal massive first day sales constantly… right? The stats man at EA thinks so it seems…

          • Premium User Badge

            DeVadder says:

            Sorry, but that is highly unlikely. Servers are not that expensive. If i buy the next two DLC and in exchange strain their servers for another 100 hours, that still is a huge profit for them. I would agree if this happened after they have been released. But they lost a lot of sales of even the first DLC and EA even refunds season passes. They loose money about this if server cost really is all there is to this, no doubt.

  5. Batolemaeus says:

    EA confirmed to still be EA. Shocking.

    • Calculon says:

      +1 for most succinct and truthful response.

    • Reapy says:

      Beat me to the same post. The whorish way they distribute maps and charged for the game has steered me well clear of even thinking about playing the game even if I might have had a glimmer of fun doing so.

    • sinister agent says:

      Pay £5 now to not be punched in the face*!

      *There is a £6 charge for this service

    • newguy2012 says:

      Given the arrogance these guys have shown in the past this is not shocking. I remember MW2, it had pc exclusive features like mouse and keyboard!

      And of course this being EA, you will be shafted as is their rule.

      EA personal boycott still in effect.

      • Slazia says:

        Seriously PC gamers, just stop buying EA products. They are a horrible, horrible company. If you like the look of a game, and notice EA has any connections, you can save yourself a headache and wasted money by buying anything else.

      • secuda says:

        eh? Modern warfare 2? that game was released by activision.

        • newguy2012 says:

          Activision was the publisher, Infinity Ward was the studio run by the guys that are now Respawn Entertainment under EA.

    • Keyrock says:

      Mass Effect 2 was the last EA game I bought. I’ve been EA-free ever since and have no plans to change that, even if it means I miss out on some great games.

      • Richard Burton says:

        I am with you completely; been boycotting EA for several years now.. Oh, how I long for the day to read on RPS that EA have finally gone bankrupt… just the thought of it raises a smile! I mean, at least if that ever happens, there might then be some hope left for some intelligence in the human race. As it is, we have a world full of gullible fools actually happy to give them money…

      • Premium User Badge

        Don Reba says:

        Same here, Mass Effect 2 — I love it, but it was the last game I bought from EA.

    • Moraven says:

      If only EA ran Respawn…

      Respawn is making this decision, not EA. Do you really thing some EA executive is up on his top floor office closely watching CTF numbers and time to get a match on Titanfall PC?

      • rcguitarist says:

        EA is the publisher, Respawn is the developer. The developer is just a hired gun to develop the game. EA owns the game rights, the source code, everything. Respawn cannot alter any aspect of the property without EA’s permission.

  6. DissidentDan says:

    This is really disappointing. Titanfall looked so great. It’s so bizarre to me that PC gamers are getting shafted by FPS games, of all genres! And you need Origin to play? EA, give up. Origin is never going to be Steam.

    • JFS says:

      It’s not even going to be Steam’s zombified little stepbrother…

      • subedii says:

        In general I don’t have a problem with Origin in itself, though I’ve never tried multiplayer on it. Is it noticeably more difficult?

        That said, I also have a sneaking suspicion that if there had been a Steam release as well, well, there would have been more people playing and the issue might not have even come up in the first place.

        Guess we’ll never know.

        • somnolentsurfer says:

          Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have absolutely ignored it if it was on Steam.

          Sadly the lessons they’ll probably take from it are ‘PC games don’t sell’ and ‘PC gamers only want free-to-play’, rather than ‘PC gamers want service that’s not shit.’

    • Lemming says:

      I don’t have a problem with Origin existing, I think having your own digital storefront as a publisher with a lot of titles is a good thing – however, I wouldn’t ever use because it’s EA.

      In this specific case, I have a problem with Respawn signing up with EA/Origin when this could’ve been a very good thing indeed on Steam, with workshop and the built in community. I mean it’s a Source game for goodness’ sake!

    • secuda says:

      Atleast it does not sell unfinished games… for a fiver.

  7. Calculon says:

    And there it is. We now officially have OriginFall I was waiting for it to surface, the dirty little mole that is EA/Origin. I knew it was hiding some where and would come up for air eventually to literally f*ck up this game in some fashion, which is why I chose not to buy it. EA/Origin screws up everything they touch, and OriginFall is no different.

    *Deep Breath* ahhh the sweet smell of vindication.

    EA Ban continues!

  8. Frank says:

    You can predict this. It’s an EA product, developed and published.

    Oh sure, Respawn aren’t actually an EA studio, but they’re a bunch of tools. It’s in their blood.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      Yup, like I said above, IW and now Respawn have previous form on screwing over the PC faithful and I particularly dislike Lampella (I believe the term ‘raging douchebag’ is appropriate, but that’s just my opinion), and purely based on the epic screwjob they gave the PC fans of the CoD series with MW2 I didn’t buy Titanfall. Really glad I stuck to my guns.

      Now if only I had done the same with BF4 dammit!

  9. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    That is some fairly grade A bullshit right there.

  10. Premium User Badge

    LegendaryTeeth says:

    Just picked this up on the Origin sale, too. I was looking forward to some CTF, as that’s basically non-existent nowadays. Guess I may as well grab a refund.

    • DanMan says:

      I wonder if it’s legal (in the whole world) to cut a feature from software after you’ve bought it.

      • Axyl says:

        This is exactly why I’m getting a refund.

        Fuck EA’s bullshit. I paid for that feature. How fucking DARE they decide to remove it as-and-when they goddamn feel like it.

    • Lemming says:

      The most fun CTF these days is in Tribes: Ascend, I believe. It was also doing the bouncy jetpack thing long before Titanfall was, as well. It’s previous F2P model is left twisting in the wind now, you can just buy the game ‘full’ on Steam. Still very active as far as I can tell.

      • nandio says:

        Sadly Tribes: Ascend doesn’t get updated anymore because Hi-Rez wants to focus more on Smite.

        • Lemming says:

          that’s true, but i’d argue it doesn’t need any updates. its just fun to play and not missing anything.

          • nandio says:

            I would agree but the game isn’t working for me for over a year now. It always freezes while loading the map.

            I tried to fix it every few weeks/months when I had the urge to play but it seemed unfixable (tried EVERYTHING you could try). I always thought it would maybe work again one day when they patch the game but that’s impossible now.

          • Lemming says:

            That’s a real shame mate, are you using the stand-alone client or did you re-download it from Steam? I haven’t used the stand alone for months, but the Steam version was working for me a couple of months ago.

    • Moraven says:

      Which you can! Since Origin has a lot better return policy than Steam.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        If it continues like this, it won’t need a returns policy… no one will buy anything to return! (Best principle is get it right first time, then sorting it as a second)

  11. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Avoided this. Once bitten, twice shy. I’ll never touch anything on Origin or associated with EA again after they borked B4 with an update when I only had the last mission to play. Cads of the first order.

  12. geldonyetich says:

    Players trying to access these modes had overlong wait times to find other users and it was making for a poor experience.

    Just code AI bot placeholders and allow dropping in mid-match, you slackers. You’re going to have to do it eventually anyway, when hype has completely moved on, to even push the box.

    • Premium User Badge

      DeVadder says:

      You could allways drop in midgame. And it basically never took longer than a minute or so to find a game. The only issue was unfair teams every now and then. But that appears to be due to the shitty matchmaking agorithm, it happens in a ll the modes all the time.

    • Slazia says:

      A simple message would be enough. This game mode has few users playing, expect to wait between 10-20 minutes to find a match. In big letters and simple words so the people who buy EA games can read it.

  13. Christo4 says:

    Quick, someone make Mechfall with similar gameplay to titanfall and put it on steam to make people buy it only to spite EA!

    • The Random One says:

      I said it before: Titanfall is the first AAA game I wish had been made by a small indie dev, and this is one reason why.

  14. Horg says:

    I make it a point of principle to not buy games from companies who think they have a better idea of what I find fun than I do.

  15. Germaximus says:

    This basically also killed it for me. I used to recommend the game left and right even with its shit as hell matchmaking. Now since they moved a few of the game modes into a completely useless Variety Pack I can’t recommend it either. I also regret ever recommending it as much as I have.

    As far as the Origin overlay, it works perfectly fine for me. =p

  16. Drake Sigar says:

    I’ve said it on the forums and I’ll say it here – 2 months. Ya know, I guess sometimes when a game has been released for a long time it becomes necessary to consolidate servers, save some pennies, and remove the dead weight of modes which are populated solely by tumbleweeds. That long time is not 2 MONTHS.

    I don’t understand why there isn’t as big a rage over this as say Dungeon Keeper Mobile. This is unheard of. And yes they’re still advertising these modes on the website with no mention that playing them on the PC intentionally is impossible without the aid of two football teams of friends.

    Apparently it wasn’t bad enough that we had to worry about multi-player games being shut down a couple of years down the line. Now we’ve got to worry about them gutting the experience in its infancy.

  17. Radiant says:

    Was this game developed in isolation?
    Do they not know what fps players want to do?

    • Moraven says:

      Apparently not play CTF since that is why they dropped it. Matchmaking queues are to long.

      I think PC gamers would have been fine allowing public lobbies and people play CTF rounds outside matchmaking. People playing older Counter Strike and Quake with no matchmaking built in to try to pair up players by skill level.

  18. CookPassBabtridge says:

    BURN THEM WITH BURNING THINGS

  19. SnowCrash says:

    Well played EA well played
    I guess not its the gamers turn, how about fuck you for the future

  20. P.Funk says:

    I notice this a lot in modern design, not just with games. The notion that the user should not be obliged to make choices or be required to search. Everything is supposed to be hyper streamlined to the point that the user is fed that which he seeks.

    Unfortunately that means that I keep getting fed some generalized, made for the majority stuff. Its like when you see mobile interface stuff seeping into PC desktop stuff, where the design principles are basically opposite (tiny screen space use versus having 3 monitors the size of a small TV).

    Its so funny. You go into some Economics 101 class and you might hear something about “consumers making rational choices” and then you look at everything thats going on and you can’t help but think apparently the goal is the exact opposite.

    People don’t really hate choice that much, but apparently the companies that create products do.

    • Nenjin says:

      “Choice” is an expensive proposition in software. I’m not defending their move at all, but from a business standpoint supporting as much choice as possible does come with increasing costs, maintenance and can introduce design conflicts. I work in business software, not gaming, so I’m not saying it’s a 1:1 relationship. But we’re often in the position of asking ourselves “Do we support customer choice, and agree to develop a ton of crap to satisfy the variety of choices users might make…..or do we develop something where it tries to accommodate as many users as possible with introducing tons of pop up dialogs, special settings and one-off exceptions?”

      • Premium User Badge

        DeVadder says:

        But they still have to maintain CTF. They will have to keep adding flag points in future maps and keep making sure they are fun to play. Because CTF is only gone on PC and 360. It still exists on XBOne. And apparently it will continue to. No idea how they would possibly save money from this. It appears that the only thing they get from this is publicity of the very worst kind.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      People can’t be trusted with decision-making, because they might not make the choices that the companies prefer.

    • Tams80 says:

      So basically Windows 8, or rather the ‘Modern UI’. If you complain about you just get snide remarks back as well.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        Oh God, this.

        The whole “who uses start, anyway?” argument makes me violently angry. Try talking to people about the workflow benefits of pre-8 windows and they’ll just give you Steve Jobs-esque Applespiel about smoothness and looks, and that most most ridiculously nebulous of interface concepts, “modernity”.

        Then again, maybe my kind is just dying. I’d much prefer the Morrowind interface (1 click -> everything accessible) to the clusterfuck of tabbed bollocks that is the Skyrim UI, for example.

  21. aDFP says:

    It’s concerning how much ‘play’ now equates to middle-aged men in suits taking money from teenagers.

    Edit: Teenagers is the wrong word. Please pretend I used whatever the culturally-accepted term is for anyone with free time and a disposable income.

  22. db1331 says:

    People play modes other than Variety Pack? I love the constant mix that it offers.

  23. killias2 says:

    Well, there goes any chance of me buying Titanfall 2 or any DLC. Seriously, this is absurd. I can’t believe I bought two EA games in the last year. No more.

  24. Dodj33 says:

    if you have the Titanfall Has Stopped Working Error Message (as shown in screenshot) when you exit the game (not that it really matters since you just exited the game) disabling Origin In-Game fixed it for me.

  25. BrightCandle says:

    This change does bring up an interesting discussion on UK law. If a feature was advertised as part of the initial sale of the product and that feature stops working for whatever reason, and that feature is something you used then you are entitled to a refund or a replacement within the expected lifetime of that product. I don’t know you really class it as a latent fault, because the company basically reached in remotely and disabled it right under your nose, there is no reason for it now to be broken other than the fact the company chose to break it remotely.

    If we draw a parallel with a washing machine its like Program number 40 for 40 degrees automated wash stopping working. If that happened within the usual 12 months of release then you could get it repaired/replaced or refunded. What EA has done is they have said “Well so few people use the 40 degree wash that we have disabled it remotely for your convience”. I don’t think that flies under the consumer protection laws of the UK. Its Sony and the Playstation 3 and Unix Operating system removal all over again, and there Sony paid out a lot of compensation.

    Give that argument to EA support and see what they do, if you don’t get a remedy then ask where to send legal papers. Might get the ball rolling.

    • Nenjin says:

      This is somewhat covered by the disclaimer that online experiences are subject to change. Not that it will matter much to European or UK courts. They tend to see those for what they are: arbitrary and legally non-binding clauses.

      • MartinWisse says:

        The Norwegian courts are currently considering a ruling against Apple’s cloud services for this sort of shenanigans: pdf.

  26. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Supporting any game EA make which is MP only & no SP campaign is very stupid as EA have a long history of pulling the server plug even when they do not have to do that just to save pennies so fuck them & this game.

    I would have supported if it came with an SP campaign the server plug being pulled would have made no difference so those who did buy this rented a few years MP only action until it gets abandoned & lost to the DRM hell curse of the modern PC!

    EA could have made so much more money if they tacked on a lengthy COD style SP campaign!!

  27. Ramshackle Thoughts says:

    “Do not remove content after it has been paid for, and do not then keep the asking-price the same.”

    It doesn’t seem like a super-complicated concept, EA.

  28. Darth Gangrel says:

    That’s one reason why I only play singleplayer games, they can’t remove it even if they wanted to, because it’s playable offline (muahahaa!). Mostly, though, it’s because I don’t want to play with other people and that I’m not competitively inclined. The reason for dropping these modes sounds like clear cases of abuse of power and popularity fascism. Why must everyone play the same that everyone else are playing? Can’t we allow a minority of gamers to enjoy what they like or does it cost so much to maintain these sparsely populated modes?

  29. Rian Snuff says:

    “When Titanfall came out back in March, I recommended it”

    LOL, you write gaming reviews and recommended an EA title in 2014 not expecting it to backfire.
    Or did you expect it and just recommended it anyways?

    It’s not cool to kick a friend out of a match and trying to force them to buy more content when they already paid 60+ dollars for a fucking game. It’s criminal and uncool.

    Don’t support that shit if you’re an actual PC gamer who cares about being respected and appreciated as a customer.

    Derp.

  30. Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

    I think this shows the general trend by many of the bigger devs (notice I said Devs rather than Publishers) like Respawn/IW and DICE. They seem to be labouring under the belief that because they created the game, they can then dictate to the gamer exactly how it should be played and exactly how the gamer should enjoy it. In my very long and broad experience, the better games are ones that strike the balance between limited hand holding and letting the gamer go and do whatever the hell they want within the bounds of the programming.

    They have a particularly nasty habit of quoting gamers themselves as asking for these types of restrictions, but of course always fail to come up with numbers of correspondents in these think tanks. It doesn’t help that the Publishers are hellbent of cramming as much monetization into these games as they can.

  31. Beelzebud says:

    Over two months since release, and 3 months since beta and SLI still doesn’t work either. These guys don’t give a damn about PC players. First and last game of theirs I’ll buy.

  32. Lemming says:

    I’m sorry but is there precedent for this? How can any company get away with excising a part of the game you paid for? What fucking dimension have a I blundered into?!

    Note: Off-rails rant to follow:

    I see this sort of thing as systemic of something I’ve long suspected of Respawn nee infinity Ward (and Bungee), which is to be so totally ideologically opposed to PC gaming in general that, even when they do it begrudgingly, it’s a clusterfuck so they can say “see,? PC gaming is shit/dead/not as good as Xbox”.

    Removing a game mode as classic as CTF is just the cherry on the cake. You’ve got a game that’s exclusive to Origin – but made in Source (WTF?).

    I don’t use the term ‘ideology’ lightly, as that can only be what drives a company into the arms of EA exclusivity and closed-system business models when you’ve made the game in Source (seriously, WTF?!), and didn’t think “Gee, maybe the obvious thing to do would be follow the CS:GO/Tf2 model and get on Steam, with Steam workshop for mods and competitions? “

    It must have come up, but I guess some said “yeah, but all that money would be PC money, and I’d just feel dirty..let’s go with the ‘fuck everyone including ourselves in the ass’ model instead and sign over our IP and make sure we regularly show our customers who’s boss by yanking things away from them when they least expect it.”

    I bet they are sick that Xb1 isn’t shifting as many units as hoped and now they have to rely more on the PC market for sales. I doubt it’ll change their habits though. I’m sure they’d rather go down in flames than soar high with a decent PC business model.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      I know of no precedent for cutting content on an AAA title after release.

      I know of no precedent for cutting content on an AAA title for a single platform after release.

      I know of no precedent for cutting content on an AAA title for a single platform 2 months after release.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I can only think of one example – Obsidian slowly patching out a hundred+ NPC’s from all versions of New Vegas because the console versions had issues with performance. Some places turned to ghost towns compared to playing it on release.

        • Drake Sigar says:

          The PC version had issues with performance too. That game was about as stable as a car held up on matchsticks.

    • EvaUnit02 says:

      In fact there is precedent for this:- in maybe March/April 2014 (perhaps even earlier) IW also banished a whole slew of match types from the PC version of CoD Ghosts to a variety playlist and private matches:- Kill Confirmed, Blitz, Search & Rescue, Hunted and Cranked.
      Some time in late 2012 IIRC Treyarch removed a pre-order bonus map completely from all playlist rotations in CoD Black Ops 2 – Nuketown 2020. After fan furore and negative press articles, Treyarch created a brand new playlist that Nuketown in the map rotation.

      Your shock over Titanfall being on Origin but not on Steam because it’s a Source engine game is silly. It’s absolutely not in the Source licensee agreement that games have to use Steamworks or even have to be for sale on the Steam storefront.

      • Lemming says:

        It’s not silly, and no its not in the license agreement. It’s simply using 2+2 to make 4, instead of saying 2+2=shit the bed.

  33. rocketman71 says:

    Buy a game for which you can’t set up your own server however the hell you want, and that’s what happens.

    What is more, it’s what will keep happening, because you are validating their control with your money.

    Thanks.

  34. MkMax says:

    why would i put more money into a game with a dead player base that is taking away modes ? they screwed up

    too little content, too little variation between matches and nothing to show for generations other than a badge greatly impaired durability

    and then they took waaaaay too long with the first dlc, now the game is dead, DEAD

    ive acepted it, i got a few very fun weekends out of the game and got up to gen5(surprisingly fast for someone playing only on weekends), but thats it, game over man, game over!, what are we going to do !?

  35. Walsh says:

    CTF was horribly broken and not fun. Who cares?

    • Nenjin says:

      Lots of people, apparently.

      • Walsh says:

        Lots of people who didn’t actually care enough to play CTF, you mean.

        • Nenjin says:

          Lots of people posting in these very comments, you mean? It helps if you read comments before you declare that you know what they’re saying, doing or thinking.

          • Walsh says:

            Uh dudes posting comments means fuck all. Respawn has the data that says no one played CTF.

          • Nenjin says:

            They’ve got data to say not enough people played it to satisfy them. There is a difference.

          • Premium User Badge

            shaydeeadi says:

            CTF had low numbers because it had serious balancing issues, they worked them out and took the mode out in the same patch, I got the game a few weeks ago and it has been great for me, though sitting through variety pack is a chore when you get CTF every 8 matches. I was pretty much exclusively playing Hardpoint and CTF and now it’s basically Hardpoint. I didn’t even notice that long a wait to get into a game, no longer than hardpoint when I played.

    • derbefrier says:

      yeah theres a reason hardly anyone played it. IT was bad and not suited for a game like this. Pilot hunter on the other hand I rather enjoyed.

      The new maps were rather good too. Its weird they would just take away these modes from the playlist though(I am assuming they still show up in the variety mode?)

      Maybe there were enough people complaining about wait times they just decided to get rid of them? Its hard to believe they just removed these on thier own. I mean if people had no issue with waiting why would they do it?

      I dunno I play this on my xbone so this doesn’t affect me. the game is still pretty popular on the console box and getting matches is still very quick.

    • MkMax says:

      i liked CTF, main problems with that mode were that :

      1- getting a match kept getting harder and harder each week
      2-when you did get a match half the players were playing “attrition” in a ctf mode completely ignoring the flag unless it went by right in front of them (i dont really think they did that because they were idiots but rather because they were trying to reach the generation requirements)

      and i stopped playing it because of those 2 reasons (which made 1 worse)

    • Lemming says:

      CTF was fixed, so more people would’ve played it, then they axed it anyway a week after the patch.

  36. Shodex says:

    Titanfall is and always has been such a joke to me. It’s such clear manufactured hype. People are frothing at the mouth like it’s the most monumental game ever created. All I see is an, albeit good looking, online only shooter retailing for way too much money.

    I just never saw the hype. So seeing stupid shit like this happens is pretty expected. Why was anybody thinking ex-Call of Duty creators working for E-fucking-A was ever going to be more than a massive attempt to squeeze pennies from the customer?

    • MkMax says:

      the game does FEEL great,, the netcode is pretty good, the servers work, its very easy to pick up (which ironically made the hardcore leave and brought a lot of players that got bored after a few weeks)

      i point that out because beside its huge shortcomings it did do some things right, they made a extremely good cake base but they thought they could make it last without any filling or toppings selling that as DLC

      the hype was like all hype, they always hype AAA to hell

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I’m glad Titanfall is in a downward spiral. I’m glad that it’s hemorrhaging players. Maybe now people will start waking up to the reality of what the AAA video game industry has become.

      It really sucks that people unlucky enough to have paid $60 or more for it are facing the prospects of having yet another failed MP game take up space on their hard drives, but maybe some constructive consumer lessons can finally be learned from this whole debacle: stop falling for the hype, and stop enabling poor development practices by continuing to buy these products. Just. Fucking. Stop. It.

  37. Keyrock says:

    EA fucking their customers over? Well, I never!

  38. X-san_D says:

    To those of you who are shocked by this, might I remind you of the OtherOS feature of the PlayStation 3, and the hatred, hacking, and general chaos following it’s removal. A precedent was set by that event; features advertised are not always guaranteed.

  39. doodler says:

    I was able to get a refund on my season pass, I had purchased it on the 14th basically in anticipation for the DLC and knowing a patch would be coming. I had to go through a CSR text chat to do it since it is DLC and isn’t covered by the Great Game Guarantee but they were helpful and it took about 15 minutes while I did other things)

    I had pretty much exclusively played pilot hunter and CTF. Don’t get me wrong, the wait times were bad, so I had actually just started playing variety pack because of the wait for CTF if I was in a hurry and I would be the jerk that left and rejoined to get the game mode I wanted(SSD makes the load times insignificant). No reason for me to keep playing this game until they fix the modes and I’m sure I can pick the season pass up on another sale(only paid $20) if they do a turnabout.

    Still feel terrible for recommending this game to so many, I love the gameplay but the lack of support on the matchmaking side(not the actual matchmaking per say but the lack of a scoreboard after the game was done, couldn’t even see your deaths until this patch if the game was over, the lack of clan tags, no way to vote for next map, etc…)

  40. secuda says:

    So they are fixing the “problem” with a DLC? i dread to see what the future holds.

  41. Premium User Badge

    shaydeeadi says:

    They need to work out how to fix this issue pretty desperately. Merging data-centers (as suggested in other places) might be a viable option as there are far too many to choose from when lots have such middling ping difference between them. The game is fantastic but they are shooting themselves in the foot currently, Origin exclusivity is also hurting them thanks to the tribalist nature of people.

    I also bought the season pass in anticipation of this (for £11 mind) but I won’t ask for a refund, I’m hoping they realize how stupid this is and find an optimum solution asap. The new maps are also really good and I would like to keep playing them.

  42. Moraven says:

    To those that forget, Respawn is in partnership with EA under the (now disbanded) EA Partners label.

    Between interviews and everything they said, they have control in the IP and development. Why would they go back to a system like they had with Activision?

    I think a lot of problems is stemming from them being out of touch with the current multiplayer world and not having their usual CoD from 4 years ago.

  43. Bobtree says:

    Titanfall CTF never got updated matchmaking like the other modes, so often it was very poorly balanced. That’s the main reason I wasn’t playing CTF over the others. It’s a shame they did this instead of fully addressing the MM-related issues. Really it should let you select and prioritize multiple modes to search at once, so the less popular ones are playable once in a while, rather than splitting everything up into separate pools. The way it builds parties first and then matches them seems too restrictive in general.

  44. Distec says:

    Hahaha… oh wow.

    I remember the IWNet fiasco around Modern Warfare 2. I was willing to grant some leniency/understanding to the guys who had to go out and trumpet that shit alongside “We will support keyboard and mouse on PC”. I figured it was an unfortunate situation where a greedy publisher (Activision) was putting the devs in a straightjacket, telling them what to do and what to say. I thought getting a fresh start as Respawn could “redeem” them, despite EA overlords and whatnot.

    This seems less the case now. EA is a damn stain, don’t get me wrong. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the developers’ idea as well. I typically reserve my blackballing for publishers I despise, but now I know to avoid Respawn’s games, and also anything made by ex-Infinity Ward leads.

    Nobody should have been surprised by this. NOBODY. Okay, maybe just a little bit because this seems more bonkers than the usual. But all the signs were there. No server browsers. No mods. Slaved to Origin. West, Zapella, and EA. I know some people have no problem throwing $50-$60 on a piece of blockbuster gaming like this and just “put up” with its bullshit. But I would hope some fraction of those people will think twice in the future. Because some Titanfall players just got robbed. You bought a chunk of game that you can no longer access (at least not easily). This should be a shitstorm, but I know it won’t be.

    Buyer beware and all that.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “Buyer beware and all that.”

      To be fair, EA clearly put warnings on the product, shooing away players with the clear message that the product was designed for only the most ignorant, oblivious, and/or youngest EA zombies. It’s pronounced “If you enjoyed games published by our company back in the 90s or earlier, you can go fuck yourself” but it’s spelled “Origin exclusive”.

      It’s like a rattlesnake’s rattle. Don’t complain when you’re bitten if you don’t back off when you hear the rattle.

  45. faelnor says:

    As much as I find this turn of events disheartening, that’s what you get for putting money into a multiplayer PC FPS that doesn’t include a server browser or dedicated servers.

  46. MadTinkerer says:

    “So I suppose my question is, if I can’t predict that what I’m paying for will still exist even two months after release, why would I ever buy an EA or Respawn multiplayer game again?”

    This is why I stopped buying MMOs, and why I gave Maple Story a chance (back before F2P was a thing) and haven’t bothered with any “free” MMOs since. The only non-Valve online-only games I tolerate are ones like Guild Wars, of which there are very few. (I haven’t gotten GW2 yet, but plan to eventually, when I have more time.)

    Other than that, I’ve been having a delightful time with new content in the Elder Scrolls universe. No… what? An Elder Scrolls MMO? No, no, I’m talking about Skyrim mods. Why the heck would anyone want to play an Elder Scrolls MMO? You’re only The Dragonborn if you’re the only player. Duh!

  47. MadTinkerer says:

    On a more serious note, have there been any games that EA hasn’t fucked up in tragically unnecessary ways since they implemented Origin? When they removed Dragon Age 2 from Steam and never put Mass Effect 3 on Steam, I was happy to be spared the suffering. As far as I’m concerned, Mass Effect has one flawed but fun sequel and there never was a second Dragon Age game. Also there was no Dead Space 3.

    It’s not like EA never screwed up a franchise with awful decisions before Origin, but has there been even one good or flawed-but-great game released as an Origin exclusive so far? Am I missing out on anything of value?

  48. steviebops says:

    In order to unlock mechs, you need to play campaign, I haven’t been able to do this as (a) campaign is a fucking multiplayer mode for some reason, and (b) there are few people left who haven’t already cleared it.

    I know it;s the sort of thing that’s said a lot, but this game really is way overrated. Several steps back in several design departments.

  49. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    This reminds me of the horror of MW2.

    After months of playing CoD4’s hardcore headquarters almost exclusively my friends convince me to buy MW2 despite my misgivings about IWNet.

    We all buy it, we all install, we’re getting hyped up to play some hardcore headquarters on new maps with new guns.

    The list of playlists comes up and… there’s no hardcore headquarters. There’s headquarters, there’s hardcore S&D and TDM, but no. fucking. hardcore. headquarters.

    The game mode me and my friends spent months getting enjoyment out of and it’s just not an option in anything but custom matches.

    My rage was supreme. To this day if I wanted to play CoD, I’d boot up 4.