Thought I would repost this here so that as many people as possible would see this. originally posted in News but thought this forum was more appropriate. Begin:
New to the forums, sorry if this post is in the wrong place. Saw this Halo 2 PC announcement and wanted to mention one possible reason why the servers are getting dry. Since the Xbox Gold Family pack came out, those people who switch to a Family Account are unable to play Halo 2 PC online. The servers will not show up in the server list. After dozens of hours with the folks at Live, Microsoft Games and Xbox (all different groups I learned), we figured out that this was due to one simple and small fact, Halo 2 PC does not have a “game rating” issued for it in the Live “games database”. All Family Accounts have a game ratings system that absolutely requires a game to have a rating before it can be played. Before the Family accounts came out, any Xbox Live account could be given “unrestricted” access to games independent of rating, but the new database requires you to specify somewhere between the Child rating and the Mature rating, and does not support “No Rating”.
I tried my best to get this fixed with all of those groups, they all completely understand the issue, agree with it, we discovered it together!.. but it was a bit sad to hear them all on one conference call, claiming that it was all the other groups responsibility. None of them could get to any execs that might want to take this on, and since then the forums started to fill up with people having the same issue, a blank server list.
You can simply test this at anytime by creating a normal Live Account, and then a Family Live Account, and use both to sign in to your Halo 2 PC. You can even swap between the two accounts on the same PC, without exiting Halo 2. With the Family account the servers will not be visible, with the regular non-family account, fully visible an playable. You cannot circumvent this by doing a “manual” connection, nor can you even Host your own game and invite friends, the invite fails in a timeout. There is no message explaining what is happening, just a failure.
For years people have been complaining about their server screen going dark, even people who bought the game in the past year, and it is likely that 90%+ of those accounts are on the Family Plan.
I would really like to finish off my achievements, but if I cancel my Family plan and revert back to a regular plan, I lose all of the gold priveleges for my three family members, and have been told by Xbox support that my gold account revert back to a year one account instead of its current seven year status (thanks for the free ten year avatar exclusive MS!). with all the effort that I have put into this, and that of the various staff at these groups, it seems a shame for the folks at Live to not get their game database updated. Since I didn’t know this forum existed perhaps one of the admins here has some authority or contact that could help this. As in most situations like this, it might take several hours to get to the point where a two minute fix can be made!
Couldn’t we get a fix for that before you shut the servers down? I assure you that the “20” number you mention would be higher if this issue were resolved. There is no way to know how high until it is resolved. With the push to the Live Family account it may be a surprisingly higher number, and I know people are still psting and checking the forums for fixes for this, even as recent as post Christmas 2012! There are certainly frustrated players out there, who are all just trying to get this game done, and since it was still on store shelves last year, seems like one minor postponement to try to resolve this issue, would be the appropriate, if not ethical thing to do.
Here is a link to the post on Bungie: