Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Lobbies
In 2010 and 2011, I offered a 10th prestige lobby service for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Modern Warfare 2 10th prestige lobbies were a hot commodity, and anyone could host one if they had a modded Xbox 360 console. A modded console is typically referred to as a JTAG or RGH.
The party ended when Microsoft started to enforce Xbox Live security challenges. Modded consoles could no longer go online, and thus 10th prestige lobbies were no more.
Through the efforts of an extremely talented group of people, the Xbox Live security challenges were reverse engineered and successfully spoofed. The method was only shared with a handful of people (myself included). It was once again possible to host 10th prestige lobbies, and that is what I did.
I did not host lobbies in the past, so the community was understandably skeptical when a new face surfaced with seemingly impossible claims of 10th prestige lobbies being back. For a time, I was the only person hosting 10th prestige lobbies. Competitors and new lobby hosting methods eventually did surface, however.
Modern Warfare 2 was the primary game I hosted. Call of Duty 4 was usually done on request. Modern Warfare 3 lobbies were offered starting day 1 of its release. Unfortunately, 2 days later, Activision Publishing requested I immediately cease all lobby hosting services, and their request was respected. No lobbies were hosted after November 10, 2011.
How it worked
Call of Duty games are primarily comprised of files called "fast files". In a nutshell, these files have game assets and scripts inside them. Of particular interest are the GSC script files. GSC is a C-like script language used in Call of Duty games. The community would modify these scripts to do all sorts of fun things, such as unlimited ammo, reduced gravity, chrome mode, etc. Fast files are RSA-signed, but the signature check could be patched out in the game's executable. Only modded consoles can run modified game executables.
Changes the lobby hoster made to their fast files would propagate to other clients/players in the lobby, so other players did not have to have modify their fast files.
Eventually it was discovered how to set player XP, the unlock status of challenges, title/calling cards, etc. Through a modified fast file script, you were able to make permanent changes to player data. Gamers were willing to pay a lot of money for 10th prestige and all challenges unlocked. A variety of lobby "slots" were offered (see the snapshot at the bottom for an archive). Prices ranged from $15 to $100.
The fast file used in the lobby was called "K Brizzle's Final Tree Patch". He bundled all the most popular options into a "mod menu" that was accessible in-game by just pressing a button (see the videos at the bottom for a demo). It was used with his blessing.
Orders were primarily accepted through Plimus (now BlueSnap). The primary participant's gamertag was asked for during checkout, and the information was saved into an SQL database. I developed a desktop application to interact with the database, aptly named the "Game Lobby Manager". It was a C# .NET Framework WinForms application using DevExpress components.
The Game Lobby Manager app had a variety of features to keep things organized and make the actual hosting process as efficient as possible:
The service was advertised primarily on TheTechGame (TTG) forums, racking up 415 pages of discussion!
Special thanks go out to Sean and other members of TTG staff for helping make my thread successful, and also unknown v2, one of the extremely talented individuals that helped make this possible.❤
Full details were provided on a now-defunct subdomain of this website. A snapshot of the website exists on the Wayback Machine.
3 videos were produced in 2011 to promote the service. Lobbies were also sometimes livestreamed by me on Livestream.com using a Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR. Unfortunately, no stream archives exist.