DICE has confirmed upcoming multiplayer shooter Star Wars Battlefront does not feature a server browser.
Instead, it uses a new "skill-based" matchmaking system.
Confirmation came from EA community manager Sledgehammer70, who took to the Star Wars Battlefront subreddit to say:
The reaction to the news has been overwhelmingly negative, with many criticising the decision particularly in relation to the PC version of the game. Server browsers are popular among many players of multiplayer-focused titles because they offer choice, letting players search for games using filters such as ping, map, number of players, game modes and, perhaps most importantly, presence of friends.
Much of the anger has to do with an expectation that Star Wars Battlefront would work similarly to DICE's Battlefield series, which has featured a server browser for a number of years.
Battlefield 4, for example, runs a Rent-A-Server program that lets players pay to set up their private and public Battlefield 4 servers, tweaking everything from player count to map rotation. You can see a list of active Battlefield 4 servers on Battlelog.
DICE and EA may be going for a more user-friendly system this time around as it's dealing with a Star Wars game and a potentially broader audience than it's used to with the Battlefield series. And it's important to note that DICE is yet to explain how its new skill-based matchmaking system works, or confirm whether there will be a way to set up custom matches.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by the lack of a server browser. Star Wars Battlefront already deviates from the Battlefield formula in a number of important ways. For example, Battlefront players will be able to freely pick their weapons and gear, whereas soldier classes are staples of the Battlefield series.
Instead of squads, another Battlefield staple, Battlefront uses its Partners feature that lets two players play together. Here, the two players can see each other on their heads-up display and spawn on each other.
Star Wars Battlefront does not feature a campaign, either. Rather, it features "crafted missions" that are played solo, with a friend via split-screen offline or cooperatively online. The game has a maximum player count of 40, and during battles players can switch from a first-person perspective to a third-person perspective at will.
And DICE has confirmed that unlike Battlefield, Star Wars Battlefront does not feature aim-down-ironsights.
"We're not taking into account what we've done before, because I think that would be disrespectful to the fans, and to what we're trying to achieve here," executive producer Patrick Bach has said.
"A lot of the things you saw in the game have nothing to do with anything we've done before. Some features of course resemble [our other shooters], because we want to make the best possible shooter, but in general we've tried to do something completely unique."