DICE producer, Alexander “Striterax” Hassoon has made a forum post explaining why Battlefield 1 uses the game server rental system started on consoles, Rent-a-Server instead of allowing PC players to use Ranked Server Providers.
Ranked Server Providers (RSP’s) were third party server hosting companies that were contracted to host Battlefield servers that could send player stats to the servers meaning you could rank up in-game. With Battlefield 3, consoles started being offered server rentals through EA and DICE’s Rent-a-Server program.
One of the main factors in the decision to move PC to Rent-a-Server appears to have been player experience. With RSP’s, server admins were asked to follow the Rules of Engagement which highlights that limiting weapons, classes and vehicles (in non-vehicle free modes) was against the rules of running a server. The Rules of Engagement were non-binding and didn’t require admins to accept them. This lead to some Battlefield servers running unusual rules which some players would run foul of and find themselves kicked/banned from the server.
Rent-a-Server was handled in-game on console by EA while PC was handled outside the game client by third-party providers. This setup gave PC server admins a large amount of control on the game server but often at the cost of the overall player experience. The console server admins had very little control, but the player experience was very similar to playing on official servers. We all remember how as a player you would end up on a server that did not allow certainly gameplay elements and you would be kicked or banned immediately by accidentally using one of the restricted items!
Now, it seems DICE have relaxed the rules and allow limiting of weapons and classes by adding the option to enable and disable them when renting a server. This prevents players from accidentally using an item and being on the receiving end of a kick.
We added a lot of customization options that were not natively available in the game client before, features such as Class Restrictions, Weapon Class Restriction and Explosives Restrictions. Server admins in Battlefield 1 can now control all these options while the players won’t be punished for using them by mistake.
More established players from the PC have felt that the move to Rent-a-Server gives them less choice on who and where their servers are hosted as well as limiting their options they could apply to their servers.
Hassoon mentions that the Rent-a-Server program in Battlefield 1 is “very much as a live service that will evolve over time based on your feedback, so keep it coming as we hear you loud and clear.” So in time, it is possible the PC players used to managing their servers will get more options they feel are currently missing.
Battlefield 1 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Rent-a-Server was added to the game with the Fall Update that was deployed on the 15th November.