Microsoft’s decision to drop its troubled Games For Windows Live service continues to have ramifications on titles that implemented the technology and must now un-implement it, lest they become unplayable relics of another, more infuriating time. The latest victim is Relic’s Dawn of War II, which expunged itself of GFWL a few days ago. Unfortunately, the cons associated with the change are somewhat non-trivial.
There’s a post on the game’s community hub on Steam that outlines the significant alterations that arrived with Dawn of War II‘s newest update. It seems the game was so integrated with Games for Windows Live, removing it not only killed some multiplayer features, including LAN play and referee functions, but affect saved games as well:
Saved games and replays will not load in the Steam-only version
Experience and player levels will not transfer from the “Games for Windows Live” version to the Steam-only version; these players will see their levels reset to zero
It does counter with the following benefits, thanks to moving from GFWL to Relic’s own servers:
A more stable multi-player experience for our community
Lag from one player will not affect others
No more connection problems between peers caused by firewalls/NAT’s [sic] being mis-configured
Prevents certain types of cheats/hacks
Helps to address those that continually attempt to disconnect before losing a match
Greater control over de-bugging and technical issues if and when they arise
It’s hard to say how many people are affected by the update, though one disgruntled player reports they’ve lost “four hundred hours of gameplay”. That would certainly be upsetting… to put it mildly.