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Posted by the "Treyarch Studios Community Manager"
We're rapidly approaching the PC BETA, and as such I wanted to lay out a few key features to the PC version of CoD:WW, and what ramifications it will have on the PC BETA.
First, the entire key authentication / master server paradigm is changing for the first time in a Call of Duty PC title. In CoD:WW, you will be authenticating in-game against a more global master server. This server will keep track of and maintain unique Profile names (like a screenname) which will be tied to your CD Key. So while username / passwords will not be required to play our game, you will have globally unique profile names.
Why are we doing this? Because also for the first time ever in a Call of Duty PC title, we're bringing Friends and Invites (which are typically console staples) to the PC. So we have built-in Friends functionality. You can add friends, filter your servers by Friends (see which servers your friends are playing in), join their servers, etc. You can also invite any online friends to come join you in your current game. We didn't want the new Squad mechanics we've developed to get watered down on the PC, which is ultimately why we decided to bring you Friends & Invites, and thus globally unique profile names.
Now we understand that clan tags can change frequently, and it would be obnoxious and not very user friendly to keep changing your profile name. So we've added in clan tag prefixes, which will show up in-game. This should allow you to take full advantage of our Friends & Invites features, and still be able to make yourself more uniquely identifiable in-game.
So what does this have to do with the BETA?
You will be required to enter a CD Key for the BETA, much like you will when you get the full game this November. These PC keys will be available to all registered users of CallOfDuty.com, including any new users who sign up after the PC BETA releases. These keys aren't intended to limit the BETA to a certain number of players; they are here to allow you to create these unique profile names for our Friends and Invites features.
How will BETA servers work?
The PC BETA will pretty much be a limited MP distribution of our game. So you will be able to host your own servers, and GSP's will be able to sell BETA servers and put up as many dedicated servers as they'd like. All of this will function as if it were a regular Multiplayer game. It's important to note, that for the BETA, the dedicated server will be Windows only.
Will our XP / accounts / friends transfer over from the BETA?
No, all accounts will be deleted after the BETA, just like on the Xbox 360.
More specifics on when the BETA will be released, how it will be released, and where you'll be receiving your keys will be made available in my next update. Rest assured, we want to get you this BETA just as badly as you want to play it, so your patience is appreciated.
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