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EA copy protection taken to new heights

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Stoneburner

Diamond Member
May 29, 2003
3,491
0
76
Originally posted by: Jax Omen
Prediction: Spore will be the most-pirated game this year. Mass Effect would be up there except everyone who cares already played it on Xbox.



And yeah, it makes me want to pirate it. Instead, I'll probably buy the game then run a crack to circumvent the intrusive DRM. It's what I did with Bioshock >_>
How did you do this? I've been avoiding Bioshock but if there's a way to avoid the crap it installs i'd reconsider.
 

Markbnj

Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
Moderator
Sep 16, 2005
15,682
13
81
www.markbetz.net
I bought Rail Simulator last night off of EA Direct Download (EA Link, I guess it is). First, they tacked on $5.99 for "Extended download service." That's supposed to take the place of my making a personal backup, and just to reinforce what a pain it is to make your own backup they don't tell you the names of the files they're downloading, or where they are being downloaded to (beyond some general information about where the cache is located). Bad enough, but I removed the $5.99 charge and was able to make a backup of the install files.

Then I find out that every single time I start the program it wants to start the download manager and phone home to "verify my ownership." They gave me a product key during the transaction, but never asked for it. Most other software OEMs and VARs make do with key validation. I'm still hoping there is a way to unlock the program and change this behavior. As it stands if I don't happen to have Internet I can't play the single player game I bought.
 

ZappDogg

Senior member
Jul 18, 2005
761
0
0
On one hand, you want to say "I won't buy the game, that'll send a message". Then you realize that you are punishing the developers, not the publisher.

As sad as it is, I just can't care. With your abstinence, and screwing the developer over the publisher's decision, maybe you can influence the developer to move to a different publisher.

I just can't see any way around this besides a boycott.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,601
5
76
Originally posted by: l0cke
Originally posted by: jdoggg12
Originally posted by: QuantumPion
If they do this then I might pirate it out of spite, even though I can afford to buy it legally and would have otherwise.
+1
+2


Honestly, I hate EA!
+3

Crysis was the last game with the EA logo on it that i will buy, not that crysis was bad or anything i enjoyed it but i cant stand to fund EA's destruction of the PC gaming industry any more. I will aquire spore, but not through EA thats for damn sure. I would mail the maxis people my £25 if i knew their address.

Fuck EA.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,426
16
81
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Ya, I never buy from Valve or Steam either. What a lot of people who are supporting this sort of thing need to ask themselves is this, "Where is the line drawn and who is going to draw that line?" You may be ok with EA's decisions when it comes to security measures now, but what about the future? Who is regulating what they can and can't do? What laws are protecting us and are they properly defined and properly enforced?
A better question is, who's going to protect us from not having any PC games in the future?

It isn't going to be you lot.
There are many issues which need to be addressed when it comes to securing the future of PC Gaming in order to make it more profitable. Piracy is one of those issues. However, the solution to piracy should never make the experience of being a legit user less convenient and more troublesome.
That's the part that's not our decision, though attempts to persuade are obviously fine (and ongoing). The solution to irritating DRM (and for most people, this is actually LESS irritating than the stupid drive-grinding CD key system it replaced, but that's neither here nor there really) should NEVER include "Now I have a license to pirate". But the entitlement mentality -- demonstrated at length in this thread -- of those who grew up stealing music from the internet means, well, the end of AAA PC titles.

Hope y'all enjoy being bent over by Microsoft and Sony.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Ya, I never buy from Valve or Steam either. What a lot of people who are supporting this sort of thing need to ask themselves is this, "Where is the line drawn and who is going to draw that line?" You may be ok with EA's decisions when it comes to security measures now, but what about the future? Who is regulating what they can and can't do? What laws are protecting us and are they properly defined and properly enforced?
A better question is, who's going to protect us from not having any PC games in the future?

It isn't going to be you lot.
There are many issues which need to be addressed when it comes to securing the future of PC Gaming in order to make it more profitable. Piracy is one of those issues. However, the solution to piracy should never make the experience of being a legit user less convenient and more troublesome.
That's the part that's not our decision. The solution to irritating DRM (and for most people, this is actually LESS irritating than the stupid drive-grinding CD key system it replaced, but that's neither here nor there really) should NEVER be "Now I have a license to pirate". But the entitlement mentality of those who grew up stealing music from the internet means, well, the end of AAA PC titles.

Hope y'all enjoy being bent over by Microsoft and Sony.
True, but it is our decision when it comes to purchasing said products. Those who do not purchase may opt to pirate the games. If the sales figures and marketing research show that too many people are making those kinds of decisions due to DRM then that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,426
16
81
Originally posted by: Xavier434
If the sales figures and marketing research show that too many people are making those kinds of decisions due to DRM then that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
Please -- this is pure fantasy. *We've already seen* what the reaction is: move to consoles. People here like to rationalize this as an "excuse", but that can't explain away the fact that it's happening and other sorts of change aren't.

Posters looking for an excuse to pirate (and I don't mean you personally) should just admit it and stop pretending they're trying to (or succeeding in!) helping/reforming the industry.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
If the sales figures and marketing research show that too many people are making those kinds of decisions due to DRM then that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
Please -- this is pure fantasy. *We've already seen* what the reaction is: move to consoles. People here like to rationalize this as an "excuse", but that can't explain away the fact that it's happening and other sorts of change aren't.

Posters looking for an excuse to pirate (and I don't mean you personally) should just admit it and stop pretending they're trying to (or succeeding in!) helping/reforming the industry.
It's not pure fantasy. It's just difficult to prove or disprove. Lots of people pirate. Lots of people did not buy one particular game or another. No one has accurate records which display how many of those pirates and consumers that did not buy a game chose to do what they did at least partially because of DRM or other security measures which harm the legit user. You are correct about the console thing though. That seems to be the most popular solution both amongst the consumers and the devs. Although, it's more of a work around than an actual solution.

 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,426
16
81
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
If the sales figures and marketing research show that too many people are making those kinds of decisions due to DRM then that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
Please -- this is pure fantasy. *We've already seen* what the reaction is: move to consoles. People here like to rationalize this as an "excuse", but that can't explain away the fact that it's happening and other sorts of change aren't.

Posters looking for an excuse to pirate (and I don't mean you personally) should just admit it and stop pretending they're trying to (or succeeding in!) helping/reforming the industry.
It's not pure fantasy. It's just difficult prove or disprove. Lots of people pirate. Lots of people did not buy one particular game or another. No one has accurate records which display how many of those pirates and consumers that did not buy a game chose to do what they did at least partially because of DRM or other security measures which harm the legit user. You are correct about the console thing though. That seems to be the most popular solution both amongst the consumers and the devs.
I'm not saying the causation of DRM/piracy/sales is proven. But industry perception on the subject, and what they're doing and will do if sales fall, is. You seem to agree with me on this.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
5
76
Maybe I should look at investing in an old company that once did copy protection.
It was back when the only thing out was cdrom.
It worked by encoding the disc with pits that were unique to each disc and the exe was encoded for just that disc then burned on the spot.
The problem was the process was slow and cdrom drives of the time couldn't always read the disc.

But to my knowledge it was never cracked and I keep up on all copy protection methods having once been involved in cracking protection schemes.
Stopped doing it mainly because it was for fun, but then everyone wanted to get something for nothing, which was not what we were about.
Use it , Buy it.
You are not entitled to any piece of software.

 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,601
5
76
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Xavier434
Ya, I never buy from Valve or Steam either. What a lot of people who are supporting this sort of thing need to ask themselves is this, "Where is the line drawn and who is going to draw that line?" You may be ok with EA's decisions when it comes to security measures now, but what about the future? Who is regulating what they can and can't do? What laws are protecting us and are they properly defined and properly enforced?
A better question is, who's going to protect us from not having any PC games in the future?

It isn't going to be you lot.
There are many issues which need to be addressed when it comes to securing the future of PC Gaming in order to make it more profitable. Piracy is one of those issues. However, the solution to piracy should never make the experience of being a legit user less convenient and more troublesome.
That's the part that's not our decision, though attempts to persuade are obviously fine (and ongoing). The solution to irritating DRM (and for most people, this is actually LESS irritating than the stupid drive-grinding CD key system it replaced, but that's neither here nor there really) should NEVER include "Now I have a license to pirate". But the entitlement mentality -- demonstrated at length in this thread -- of those who grew up stealing music from the internet means, well, the end of AAA PC titles.

Hope y'all enjoy being bent over by Microsoft and Sony.
Im against pirating but EA really has taken things way too far, just read the wiki on EA, they are a horrible company that is only getting worse. The only sign of decency from them was a vague announcement by their new CEO that admitted they have been bastards to developers in the past and in the future would improve. Some people bought this, i didnt, and i havent seen anything good from EA since that announcement. Theres only been their attempt to get a piece of rockstars pie with GTA 4 and ruin any future rockstar release, and now this poorly thought out anti piracy measure with spore and mass effect.

EA are a terrible company and i really cannot figure out why they havent gone bankrupt or even began to lose profits yet due to their many lousy practices (not just this latest anti piracy stunt). I wont ever pirate a game from blizzard, valve, relic, stardock, rockstar, or ANY other developer that makes a decent game and dosent force me to jump through hoops for what is typically a broken half finished game anyways. But if it is from EA, or published by EA... they wont see a penny of my money, i refuse to fund that terrible corporation anymore.
 

Scooby Doo

Golden Member
Sep 1, 2006
1,038
11
81
Ehhh I can see it now.... Securom likes to break CD/DVD drivers.... I'm guessing this new version will break your network connection. LOL
 

SunnyD

Belgian Waffler
Jan 2, 2001
32,664
120
106
www.neftastic.com
I laugh at this though - people are shouting the end of PC gaming because of DRM. But what happens when PC gaming is dead and people can't get their "fix" of free gaming anymore? Then piracy of console games goes full out. Sure it's not as "easy" as it is with a PC, but installing a mod chip ain't exactly rocket science either. Hell, the notion of breaking your console over it is fairly moot anyway - SecuROM already breaks PC optical drives. Then what happens? Developers start doing the same with consoles, piling more and more crap DRM on them until people bitch and move on to the next big thing. It ain't ever going away, so everyone that isn't planning on "buying" these titles - do EVERYONE a favor and don't pirate them either. You're just going to make it worse in the long run.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
5
76
Where I see the software industry going is all server side.
If everyone had fios to the home then it could be done now.
Everything runs server side and all your home pc does is display the results.
The thing stopping that is not enough high speed internet connections.

The technology already works quite well on a home Lan.
We used each pc as a client that contained no actual game code.
A small amount of the actual program was sent to each pc to start the game and then level data was streamed to the client.
No client ever has a full copy of the game .
Problem is its good for lan, but sucks when you try it on the internet where connection speed and latency cause problems.

Something else that friends and I have done that companies could do.
Make the game cd bootable on the pc, we used a custom linux to boot up quake on just about any pc, just like a console player would.
No OS to install, no drivers to mess with.



 

Schadenfroh

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2003
38,416
4
0
Originally posted by: Scooby Doo
Ehhh I can see it now.... Securom likes to break CD/DVD drivers.... I'm guessing this new version will break your network connection. LOL
The DRM that supposedly broke CD/DVD drives was StarForce, not SecuROM. Unless, there is a problem like that with SecuROM as well that I am not prelude to....
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
I'm not going to punish Bioware for what seems like a retarded move on EA's part.. I want them to keep porting good games to the PC. Sure, lots of ports are crap because the games aren't made for PC to begin with, but if this is the way things are going i'd rather at least get the chance to play the decent ones.

Still.. i'm going to crack the copy protection as soon as a crack is available. It really is a bunch of BS.
 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
1,316
0
0
that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
In other words switch over to consoles. That's much easier for them and they can parrot to the corporate execs that piracy is not affecting them. You don't ever see devs on consoles saying their game didnt sell well due to piracy. Whether you want to admit it or not, piracy is far more difficult to do on a console than a PC. On a console it requires buying a correct modchip, opening your console and voiding your warranty, and installing it onto the motherboard. On a PC it's just a question of finding a torrent. It requires no hardware modification at all and thats what scares most people away from pirating onto a console, its that they might lose $400 worth of equipment. Especially on an Xbox 360 voiding your warranty is not something you want to do as if you get RRod you basically have an expensive brick.

I already rented Mass Effect on the 360 and I liked it a lot. I will probably still buy it for the PC and then just crack it.

Hell, the notion of breaking your console over it is fairly moot anyway - SecuROM already breaks PC optical drives.
If you pirate a game then how would it have Securom in it anyway. There is no risk of hardware failure by pirating on the PC. So no the notion is not moot.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
1,855
0
0
:confused: :( :frown: :| :thumbsdown: :brokenheart:

I care nothing for mass effect on PC, but I was REALLY looking forward to spore.

But this DRM is too much, I refuse to pay for a product that has been crippled and needs to pirated/cracked/stolen to fix it. I don't give a damn how it is justified, nothing is changed.

If the game is already checking up on you, I wounder what is holding EA back from putting in spyware to pump some more money out of you. I don't even have discount cards with stores like chapters (book store), I wouldn't mind so much if they come right out and tell you that they use it to monitor what you buy for market research but instead you get "Oh, do you know how much money you could be saving today?"

For the past few years I've been traveling a good bit, and looks like I'll be doing it a LOT in the near future because of my career. My PC is getting closer to no longer being worth the time and money to mail to myself, and no console has enough games I like to last more then 2 months tops if that is all I have to play (not to mention they are all inferior to what I like that is on the PC). Therefore I plan on getting a gaming laptop in the near future. I will have very little internet access where I take the laptop with me, so with the DRM EA proposes to put on spore makes it USELESS to me. I can live with the CD checks, CD binders don't cost that much!

I am against true pirating of games where you never pay for a game you like. This however makes me want to pirate the game, play it, go on the the games forums and state that I pirated the game (describe the game as some proof) because of its DRM and refuse to pay for it until the DRM is lessened/removed in retail/digital download versions of the game.

It is pure BS to say this is needed. The DRM will encourage a great deal of effort to crack this game as soon as possible, leaving legit owners of the game with this piece of crap. The business model is f***ed, companies like Stardock/Ironclad proved that you do NOT need any sort of DRM to succeed, you don't even need to sell a crap load of copies of your game to make money. So I hope all present and future game companies that pull **** like this go belly up, the market is still there and better companies will lean from their predecessors mistakes.

-edit- spelling as usual -edit-

-edit- Oh and I missed "Mass Effect will also have a 3 time activation limit for installation on different systems to boot according to French." This would also make any game useless to me as I format my computer every few months. -edit-
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: EvilComputer92
that will hopefully encourage the industry to spend more time and money researching more suitable solutions to piracy which do not harm the legit user. That's the goal.
In other words switch over to consoles. That's much easier for them and they can parrot to the corporate execs that piracy is not affecting them. You don't ever see devs on consoles saying their game didnt sell well due to piracy. Whether you want to admit it or not, piracy is far more difficult to do on a console than a PC. On a console it requires buying a correct modchip, opening your console and voiding your warranty, and installing it onto the motherboard. On a PC it's just a question of finding a torrent. It requires no hardware modification at all and thats what scares most people away from pirating onto a console, its that they might lose $400 worth of equipment. Especially on an Xbox 360 voiding your warranty is not something you want to do as if you get RRod you basically have an expensive brick.

I already rented Mass Effect on the 360 and I liked it a lot. I will probably still buy it for the PC and then just crack it.
Easier does not always equate to more profit. The problem with choosing to not port a popular game to PC is that it often lowers your profits. Sure, it almost completely eliminates the piracy issues but a business is still a business and both devs and publishers are in the business to make money in addition to video games. The most profitable solution would be to find a way to greatly reduce piracy without harming the legit user so that games can be ported to PC without fearing great losses due to piracy.

Hell, if I were the CEO of a successful game development company I would seriously consider starting a side business whose purpose is to develop a security solution that does exactly that and sells it to everyone else. If successful, that company could potentially become more profitable than the game development company.
 

Coalfax

Senior member
Nov 22, 2002
367
31
91
If it has to ET Phone home every 10 days or so to validate...
...what happens in 3-5 years from now when you go and install it for some unknown reason, and the validation servers don't exist anymore?

User=screwed.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: Coalfax
If it has to ET Phone home every 10 days or so to validate...
...what happens in 3-5 years from now when you go and install it for some unknown reason, and the validation servers don't exist anymore?

User=screwed.
This was touched upon and the solution is that having the dvd in the dvd-rom also serves as the validation check. This also resolves the lacking internet connectivity concern. It doesn't resolve all of the problems associated with it though.
 

Scrimmy

Member
Oct 19, 2007
144
0
0
First, I don't approve of piracy and I have no problem with DRMs in principle. Games cost developers a great deal of money, sweat, and blood, and they're entitled to be paid for their effort. Likewise, the big publishers spend a great deal of money marketing and distributing these games, and they're also entitled to profit from their ventures.

The issue is that the burden of proof has shifted entirely to the consumer and simple hardware issues can flag a paying customer as a pirate so they're unable to play their game (Bioshock, for example). On top of this, if the 3-time install is true, it's absolutely absurd for a company to dictate how many different computers a paying customer can install their game onto, provided everything is legit.

This kind of draconian DRM will only make a good chunk of the PC gaming market crash. Case in point: I've been looking forward to Spore for a very long time, but I will not buy it for the sole reason that the DRM is such a gigantic pain in the ass. I rebuild and reformat my computers frequently, and if a game I buy is only good for 3 OS installations, it's no good to me. Even more, the idea that the .exe file has to phone home every 10 days or it locks down is beyond stupid.

If companies make their games a pain in the ass to install and play, and consumers won't buy them. Then companies like EA will continue to scream that piracy's to blame, and make more and more onerous DRMs that kill the sales of their games even faster so they can keep blaming piracy.

As far as what works, Steam is by the far best thing going now, as it actually offers a benefit to the consumer instead of just being a pain. Sure, you have to validate your games online and you can't pay offline, but you no longer need to worry about losing you damn CD-Keys in that big mess in your closet. So the game companies selling through Steam can be sure that they're being paid for their games, and the customer doesn't have to worry about what condition their CD is in or whether or not they lost their CD Keys when they moved last year. Everybody wins.
 

BladeVenom

Lifer
Jun 2, 2005
13,540
16
0
Originally posted by: s44
Originally posted by: Modelworks
Even worse.
What happens if in the future they remove the authentication servers ?
Your purchase becomes a coaster.
Wrong -- this is Bioware we're talking about. A no-check patch is certain at some point long before servers go down.
Wrong this is EA we're talking about. Bioware is owned by EA now. These kind of decisions are made by EA. The authentication servers are run by EA.

And I can't think of a software company I have less faith in than EA.
 

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