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EA copy protection taken to new heights

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mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: BladeVenom
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.
Yeah, they really do suck anymore. I remember years ago when seeing EA on the box was comforting. Now it's cause for concern due to stuff like this.
 

EarthwormJim

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 2003
3,239
0
76
I certainly won't be buying those games now.

I had every intention of buying Spore the day it launched too.

Looks like I"ll be getting it a few days before launch, if you know what i mean...
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
7
0
Uh, just so everyone is clear, the Powers That Be don't exactly let advocating piracy go unchecked here.
 

Piuc2020

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2005
1,716
0
0
Well after reading through some posts on the Bioware forums the scheme doesn't seem that bad but it still poses a big problem for people without internet connections (or people wanting to play in places without internet connections, highly likely considering the single player nature of the game).

It activates silently once, then after 5 days, each time you open MassEffect.exe (and at no other time whatsoever) the game silently *tries* to activate, if it succeeds, you get another 10 days for the cycle to repeat itself. If by the 10th day, the game didn't get a chance to or couldn't authorize, it will not allow you to play until you do, at which point you'll get another 10 days hassle-free and there's no penalty for not playing the game for any amount of time. This is all done silently and you shouldn't see a difference (granted that the authorization goes well, which most likely many times will just go wrong) whether it's 1 or 30 days since you last played.

I'm not approving of it, I still think it's draconian, pointless and just offending and nuisance for customers but I thought people might like to know how it works before giving judgment since it's not as bad as people thought but still ridiculous.
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
23,512
2,856
136
So absurd. This, like many of the current copy protection schemes will only end up frustrating the legit users. These games will be cracked, it's not even a question of anything but a small amount of time.
 

silpherx

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2007
6
0
66
First iron lore, than Crytek, now stricter DRMs, i say in 2-3 years PC titles will all be console ports with exception of WOW (or its sequals), other MMOs, and strategy games. We'll be lucky to see 5 good PC-only titles a year.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,082
104
106
Originally posted by: silpherx
First iron lore, than Crytek, now stricter DRMs, i say in 2-3 years PC titles will all be console ports with exception of WOW (or its sequals), other MMOs, and strategy games. We'll be lucky to see 5 good PC-only titles a year.
PC-only titles are already much rarer than they were only five years ago, so not only you're right about the future, what you're saying is already going on since a few years.
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: TheVrolok
So absurd. This, like many of the current copy protection schemes will only end up frustrating the legit users. These games will be cracked, it's not even a question of anything but a small amount of time.
Exactly. These big publishers need to start listening to their customers instead of treating them like criminals. Just look at the this thread over at the bioware forums. http://masseffect.bioware.com/...topic=628375&forum=125

The answer is screaming at them and yet they still pull crap like this.

I fully think that gamers (the ones who would actually buy games) would be much more willing to do so if their was no copy protection at all. I know I would. I mean just look at the amount of people on this tread alone that won't be buying either Mass Effect or Spore now because of this idiotic move by EA..

It quite literally amazes me how backwards big corporations are on this subject. Let's treat our paying customers like criminal's, then we're guaranteed to make more money and stop piracy at the same time! Meanwhile the pirates benefit from no hassles at all. Genius..
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
44
91
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
44
91
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
i'm not saying it's right, i'm justr saying some people are taking it way too far.
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,900
14
81
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
Based on PC game sales, there are probably more pirates than paying customers. With all this anger at EA, who is directing their anger at the pirates?
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: pontifex
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
i'm not saying it's right, i'm justr saying some people are taking it way too far.
Yeah, some are I agree. I've already pre-ordered the game. I like the $10 pre-order deal they are doing. More publishers need to start doing things like that. Give us incentive to buy games again. It's almost overshadowed by this fiasco though, since I don't see a thread as long as this one on here about the $10 off deal..
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: mugs
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
Based on PC game sales, there are probably more pirates than paying customers. With all this anger at EA, who is directing their anger at the pirates?
Just about every publisher out there.
 

Edge1

Senior member
Feb 17, 2007
439
0
0
Originally posted by:
Based on PC game sales, there are probably more pirates than paying customers. With all this anger at EA, who is directing their anger at the pirates?
Pissing into the wind. Pirates will continue to pirate. I think anti-DRM minded folks in this thread know that EA and other publishers are all about sales in the end and are suggesting that they (publishers) should listen to real, paying gamers. I think the logic here is: less DRM = more sales/happy loyal customers. Seriously, are there any stats on how much a DRM-laden game is pirated vs a non-DRM game? I really have to wonder if all this DRM is doing ANYTHING to stop the amount of piracy going on. Somehow I doubt it. Again, I refer to Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire. Its just annoying, offensive, unnecessary, and nonproductive.
 

biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
15,475
789
126
To me copyprotection is only annoying if it alters my gaming or computing experience.
If I have to have my DVD/CD in my drive it annoys me mildly. If the game uses 10 secs every 5th day to check my serial number I have no problem with it.
 

Xavier434

Lifer
Oct 14, 2002
10,377
1
0
Originally posted by: pontifex
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
i'm not saying it's right, i'm justr saying some people are taking it way too far.
The check really isn't the big deal. The big deal is that I will not be permitted to play this game after my third computer upgrade. I upgrade a lot and I love being able to go back and play older games that I bought back in the day. This DRM will not let me do that even though I paid for it. I am not doing anything wrong by upgrading my computer yet EA is telling me that if I do that too much then I cannot play the game that I paid for despite being a 100% legit customer. Fuck that.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
1,855
0
0
Originally posted by: pontifex
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Originally posted by: pontifex
you do know that if the check isn't done it doesn't mean that your disc explodes or becomes unusable, right? you just have to re-do the check.
It's still unnecessary and treats paying customers like criminals.
i'm not saying it's right, i'm justr saying some people are taking it way too far.
I can go for a month without internet access, if I get a gaming laptop to take with me to these places then the 10 day check makes the game useless to me. In the case of spore, it is a single player game that bases the NPC's from the creatures that other players make. I can go online to update the NPC's with player made ones so a constant internet connection is not required. I also format my computer every few months and uninstall games I'm done with but hang on to them and play them a few months or years down the road so the 3 install limit makes any game with this useless to me.

The retail product is inferior to the pirated version which people can get for free. I know I probably say this too much but Stardock has the right idea. The ONLY DRM that they have is a serial number that you register with their program manager StardockCentral which will check the number of installs on different OS's (formatting will show a new OS to SC iirc) but with a rather high limit on the number of installs (also something about allowing for lan parties but I forget) before it no longer allows you to download updates. No one has voiced any complaints on this that I am aware of, and SD have stated that should you ever hit the limit you can just call customer support to reset the limit (i'm sure some has found the limit by now).

That is the active protection, now here is the passive protection.
StardockCentral program manager is NOT required for you to play the game unless you buy the digital (no hard copy) version in which case it is required for downloading the program at whatever your internet connection can suffer (~1G). The CD has no copy protection what-so-ever. Here is a example, my friend wanted the game but had a 2kb/s internet connection and no store around him carried it (retailers only bought 1 to 3 copies for each store on average for the release) so he bought the digital download and I copied the game CD and mailed it to him, he registered it and updated it and it worked just fine on and off line. StardockCentral also allows you to download the game as many times as you like AND has the option to back the game up on a CD. For updates you run StardockCentral (once again it is not required to be running for any game it supports to work), right click the game under the games tab and select "check for updates" and that is it, you go surf the net while it downloads and installs the updates automatically. The developers release patches to add content and fix bugs/unbalances as fast as they can, there is no limit on how long the game will be supported and if there is interest there will be expansion packs. Stardock ignores pirates and focuses ONLY on those who buy the game, giving them what they want rather then what the largest number of people want. They aim to provide a better experience for those who buy their game then what they can get from pirating one of their games. Sins of a solar empire was sold for $39 Canadian on release (COD4 being $49/$59 on release), cheap by todays standards.

Their latest game SD published and was created by IronClad (Sins of a solar empire) sold 100,000 copies in the first 2 weeks, this doesn't include walmart and digital download sales. 9 people made the game and was fairly low budget, aiming at a niche market rather then appealing to the largest number of people and failing. IIRC Stardocks business plan for games is to be making money after the first 100k copies are sold and IronClad followed their lead. Despite the low budget those who the game was made for love it, some even bought 2 or more copies just to show support for SD/IC.

This is a little long winded, but I just wanted to show that there are better approaches to over hyped, DRM crippled, unsupported, high budget games that have to sell a huge number of copies to turn a profit thus being jack of all trades and master of none. Some games will be worth the high budget but more will fail then succeed, and DRM never does anything good for the customer.

I have begun boycotting any and all games which I fell treat me poorly as a paying customer and everyone else should do the same.
 

BladeVenom

Lifer
Jun 2, 2005
13,540
16
0
Originally posted by: biostud
To me copyprotection is only annoying if it alters my gaming or computing experience.
Go look at the Bioshock forums and see how many problems there were with SecuROM. It will certainly cause you problems if you want to install the game more than three times. It will cause you problems when the servers are down, or when they get shut down permanently.

Do you have Microsoft's Process Explorer? SecuROM will won't let you play the game.
Virtual drives? Expect problems.
SCSI? More problems.
etc.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,906
251
126
This doesn't really matter to me. Anything with Securom on my machines gets a crack installed first thing anyway.
 

mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,901
0
76
Originally posted by: ZzZGuy

I can go for a month without internet access, if I get a gaming laptop to take with me to these places then the 10 day check makes the game useless to me. In the case of spore, it is a single player game that bases the NPC's from the creatures that other players make. I can go online to update the NPC's with player made ones so a constant internet connection is not required. I also format my computer every few months and uninstall games I'm done with but hang on to them and play them a few months or years down the road so the 3 install limit makes any game with this useless to me.

The retail product is inferior to the pirated version which people can get for free. I know I probably say this too much but Stardock has the right idea. The ONLY DRM that they have is a serial number that you register with their program manager StardockCentral which will check the number of installs on different OS's (formatting will show a new OS to SC iirc) but with a rather high limit on the number of installs (also something about allowing for lan parties but I forget) before it no longer allows you to download updates. No one has voiced any complaints on this that I am aware of, and SD have stated that should you ever hit the limit you can just call customer support to reset the limit (i'm sure some has found the limit by now).

That is the active protection, now here is the passive protection.
StardockCentral program manager is NOT required for you to play the game unless you buy the digital (no hard copy) version in which case it is required for downloading the program at whatever your internet connection can suffer (~1G). The CD has no copy protection what-so-ever. Here is a example, my friend wanted the game but had a 2kb/s internet connection and no store around him carried it (retailers only bought 1 to 3 copies for each store on average for the release) so he bought the digital download and I copied the game CD and mailed it to him, he registered it and updated it and it worked just fine on and off line. StardockCentral also allows you to download the game as many times as you like AND has the option to back the game up on a CD. For updates you run StardockCentral (once again it is not required to be running for any game it supports to work), right click the game under the games tab and select "check for updates" and that is it, you go surf the net while it downloads and installs the updates automatically. The developers release patches to add content and fix bugs/unbalances as fast as they can, there is no limit on how long the game will be supported and if there is interest there will be expansion packs. Stardock ignores pirates and focuses ONLY on those who buy the game, giving them what they want rather then what the largest number of people want. They aim to provide a better experience for those who buy their game then what they can get from pirating one of their games. Sins of a solar empire was sold for $39 Canadian on release (COD4 being $49/$59 on release), cheap by todays standards.

Their latest game SD published and was created by IronClad (Sins of a solar empire) sold 100,000 copies in the first 2 weeks, this doesn't include walmart and digital download sales. 9 people made the game and was fairly low budget, aiming at a niche market rather then appealing to the largest number of people and failing. IIRC Stardocks business plan for games is to be making money after the first 100k copies are sold and IronClad followed their lead. Despite the low budget those who the game was made for love it, some even bought 2 or more copies just to show support for SD/IC.

This is a little long winded, but I just wanted to show that there are better approaches to over hyped, DRM crippled, unsupported, high budget games that have to sell a huge number of copies to turn a profit thus being jack of all trades and master of none. Some games will be worth the high budget but more will fail then succeed, and DRM never does anything good for the customer.

I have begun boycotting any and all games which I fell treat me poorly as a paying customer and everyone else should do the same.
I agree 100% with the SD model. Thanks for going into a bit more detail about all of that, really interesting to read. They have the right idea. Focus on the people who are going to buy your game, not the pirates. So simple yet so brilliant.
 

AlgaeEater

Senior member
May 9, 2006
960
0
0
I'll still be buying both games, but this is really tiring. I think this subject has been beaten to death already, but I don't know who they're fooling when they think this will ultimately stop pirates. It just encourages them to go out of their way to crack it.

Every game in existence on the PC has been pretty much defeated within a year. Typically these new protections halt the initial wave of pirates (which is a good thing, cause the industry always seems to care about the burst sale, not the overall sale. EA and Sims is a prime example of a title that keeps on giving)

The day I have to call in and activate a PC game over the phone AND call in to uninstall it to get credit for an installation, is the day I finally sell my gaming computer and join the console bandwagon.
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
7
0
Originally posted by: AlgaeEater


The day I have to call in and activate a PC game over the phone AND call in to uninstall it to get credit for an installation, is the day I finally sell my gaming computer and join the console bandwagon.
That'd be the day I start picketing the publisher's corporate headquarters.
 

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