PS3 Sony signals end to SOCOM, MAG online support

Martok

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Sony has signalled the end to online support for tactical shooters SOCOM and MAG.

On 28th January 2014, Sony will turn off the servers powering the online service for PlayStation 3 exclusives MAG, SOCOM: Confrontation and SOCOM: Special Forces.

MAG and SOCOM: Special Forces were developed by Zipper Interactive, which Sony closed down in March 2012.

"The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS," Sony said in a statement issued at the time.

SOCOM: Special Forces released in 2011 to middling review scores. MAG released in 2010 and caught attention for its huge, 256-player online battles. SOCOM: Confrontation, developed by Slant Six Games, released a year earlier, but failed to win over critics.

Source: Eurogamer


Oh dear, I can think of a few people who won't be happy at the demise of SOCOM.

SOCOM was a good game in it's day, particularly SOCOM 2. However, it all went downhill from there and IMO it's a game that is long past its best (though I know some who would disagree with this).

It'll be interesting to see how H-Hour: World's Elite, a kickstarter project and the supposed spiritual successor to SOCOM/SOCOM 2 fairs and whether it will succeed or just go the same way of the later SOCOM games.
 

Spruijt

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That's the end of an era. I liked Socom Confrontation and I have fond memories playing it.
 

yinkin

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I am more upset about MAG, although thats not very upset. MAG was a great game marred by by heavily unbalanced games a lot of the time. But those games that were well balanced created an experience unlike any other, I hope there is a spiritual successor to MAG, hopefully it will be Planetside 2 on the PS4. MAG was one of those lofty experiments thats Sony did from time to time often to see what would happen, they almost pulled it off with MAG and they deserve some credit for that.

Socom was only good in its time because on the PS2 it was the only hardcore military shooter, when put up against similar offerings on the PS3 it was found lacking, it had weird controls and pretty average graphics and a rabidly nostalgic cult of followers for whom this was the only game ever, back on the PS2 thats was probably true, if you are still believing that on the PS3 then you are a nut job.
 

zoob

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I enjoyed SOCOM on the PS2, thought it was fair - middling on PS3.
Thoroughly enjoyed the few games of MAG I played with a decent team & good banter,
but they were very few & far apart.
 

ColSonders

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I really enjoyed the Socom games right up until the final one, which they shouldn't have called Socom as it bared almost no resemblance to the other Socom games.

As has been said there was very little choice in good tactical shooters on the PS2 so it did very well and was supported by a lot of players, myself included. I felt that Confrontation was a huge improvement in all aspects, the graphics were top notch, the gameplay was solid and the balancing was great (until they introduced rank based perks), certainly the pinnacle of the Socom franchise and well worth some of the admoration it received from the fans of the series once all the issues were patched.

I'm not sorry to see the servers shut down though, there's only so long you can play the same game before you need to move on and there's been no DLC for it for years and those other games mentioned basically both failed, although they were both decent enough games in their own right.

Fond memories though and it does make me chuckle a little at the thought of some of the people I know of that still play it week in and week out having a hissy fit over the server shut down.
 

Slaine

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Always a shame that servers close, but admittedly I haven't played any of these games for ages. This is why I don't like online only shooters. When the servers close your left with memories and a frisby.
 

zoob

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I understand the need for servers & shutting them down but I'm really hoping with the power of the PS4 they'll make more locally hosted with perhaps only optional game searching facilities hosted server side. If you have a specific IP address, connecting direct would be excellent.
 

Martok

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I understand the need for servers & shutting them down but I'm really hoping with the power of the PS4 they'll make more locally hosted with perhaps only optional game searching facilities hosted server side. If you have a specific IP address, connecting direct would be excellent.
Noooooooo! Peer-hosted games can be problematic, especially when the host is a laggy git. It's irrelevant how good the console is, if a user's broadband connection is crap/router isn't set up properly/they are uploading & downloading a load of stuff whilst playing, then the multiplayer game they are hosting will be crap too. I mean, just imagine having @Acegadgets as a host, that'd be lag city for sure! ;)
 
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zoob

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Really depends on the host though, no?
If you have an established group of players, ie us, then you go with whomever has the best connection?
 

Martok

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Really depends on the host though, no?
If you have an established group of players, ie us, then you go with whomever has the best connection?
Not necessarily. For a closed room it's whoever is hosting, so that would need all of us to know who has the best connection and get them to invite others to join them. For open rooms, it can be anyone who is the host and that's the issue.
 

Acegadgets

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Wonder what the OAPS are gonna play now?
 

ColSonders

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As a follow up on Martoks comments about server-peer structure.

The reason why I wanted to go Xbox for the next generation was to avoid problems on PS3 caused by peer oriented network play.

The biggest difference between PS3 and Xbox360 for online play is that PS3 uses Peer-Peer networking for comms (and only for comms) with peer-server-peer networking for the actual gameplay.
Xbox360 uses peer-server-peer network for comms as well as gameplay.

What this means is that if I want to talk to the other 15 players on my team (32 player team based games) then my voice comms have to be sent to 15 players on PS3 but only once to a server on Xbox360, so the PS3 requires 15 times the bandwidth to communicate online (slightly simplified, but you get the point). The server that your comms have gone to on Xbox360 then passes those comms on to the other players.

If games were fully peer-peer it would be horrific to say the least. Not only would that host need to send ALL voice data for both teams (which is actually the majority of your bandwidth usage when gaming) but would also need to communicate all game data to all players, which may not be as bandwidth hungry but it is VERY time sensitive.

So not only would the user require an immensely good connection and very good/reliable router (actually a handful of us have lines capable of this here), but regardless of this the host would ALWAYS have an advantage over every other player in the game as their system has all of the game data before any other system.



In short - peer-peer bad, peer-peer naughty, peer-peer should be buried and never talked about again....EVER! :D
 

OAPboba

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Wonder what the OAPS are gonna play now?

The general consensus so far is The Last of Us, but since the servers are still up until January then who knows? OAPs surprisingly calm about this announcement so far - I think most of them are thankful to get some notice 'cos, let's face it, it was always gonna happen at some point
 

Wilks

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As Boba said, it was half expected especially as the European servers disappeared some time ago. I personally don't play it anymore but like some of you, it holds some great memories. There are not many tactical shooters around anymore but Takedown: Red Sabre will be released this year, a successful Kickstarter game which was backed by many Socom communities. This will have 3rd person view for PS3 and game modes similar to Socom but with many people looking towards getting a PS4, it questions whether many will be playing it.

I'm a backer of David Sear's H-Hour so I'll be watching the progress of that project for PS4.
 

zoob

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I didn't think it would be that hard to work out connection speed via ping but I stand corrected! :)
 

Jkrohn1

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MAG wasn't 256 players it was 8 games of 16 v 16 and a total mess. I loved the last Socom much better then Confrontation but that's probably due to me joining confrontation late on and being utterly useless at it. The Friday night sessions I used to play were more like a 10 second waste of time with a 30 minute wait in between. The funny thing was the amount of people saying just keep playing it gets better, about 6 months down the line I just gave up, I was no better and there was much better games out there.
 

ColSonders

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Socom was always a ruthlessly unforgiving game. Although at least with that community you'd generally find people switching to handguns to give the losing team a chance if there was a complete spanking going on. That dropped off in the latter years unfortunately which meant that those trying to learn had a hard time picking up the gun play before really getting a chance to get into the game.

I always found it similar to Ghost Recon, no respawning and relatively easy to drop an opponent, particularly with the one headshot always meaning a kill. Difficult to get into and certainly difficult to master, but much more rewarding that most other shooters, the only one that has come close for me is battlefield, things like CoD, Uncharted and all the other generic shooters, whilst good just aren't all that rewarding.

I think the fact that it was so rewarding to really get to grips with that game is what kept people in it for the long run, the fact that there was so little choice on PS2 of tactical shooters assured it's initial success, so come PS3 it was a bit of a strange situation with loads of other great games, but none as rewarding...without the established userbase from the PS2 it would have totally failed though.
 

Spruijt

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Ah yes, Socom was unforgiving indeed. You'd be dead before you realise it. But that made it even more satisfying when I eventually did manage to shoot @ColSonders in the face and have a baggin' :D
 
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ColSonders

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shoot ColSonders in the face and have a baggin' :D
And that's why I tried to make sure @Spruijt was on my team for quads tournaments!


Well....that and the fookin' claymores.
 
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