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Author Topic: Bioware doesn't trust us (Mass Effect)  (Read 9776 times)
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Two Sheds
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« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2008, 02:25:16 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 07, 2008, 01:06:17 PM

Quote from: Two Sheds on May 06, 2008, 09:27:42 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on May 06, 2008, 09:11:02 PM

It just takes 1 day without internet access.

Let's say you've been happily playing Mass Effect.  May 1 rolls around and there's a new Team Fortress 2 patch you get distracted with.  You play TF2 for 11 days, ignoring Mass Effect.  Your cable modem burns out.  Since you can't play TF2 you decide to go back to Mass Effect.

Nope.  You haven't played it in 10 days so it hasn't dialed in for 10 days and so you cannot play without a new authentication, even if you put the CD back in the drive.

True. Not likely, but true.

Ok, you want another one?

You buy Spore, install it on your laptop, but only get to play it for a day or two before real life gets in the way of gaming time.  Ten days later you have a business trip.  Great!  You grab your laptop and get excited to have a nice long plane ride to finally dig in to the game.  Bzzt.  Nope.  Can't authenticate from the plane.

Want to replay Mass Effect or Spore in 10 years?  They say they'll patch out the protection before they take the authentication servers offline.  Whew!  Good thing we've never seen a game studio close down abruptly and unexpectedly!

Quote from: morlac on May 06, 2008, 10:19:11 PM

I hope they are smart enough to put *Requires internet to play* on the box somewhere.

They have indeed said that it'll say that on the box.

I'm not arguing with you that there aren't situations where this could become a problem. But I only play games on my home PC, and I always have an internet connection. So it doesn't bother me and it won't affect my purchasing decisions one bit. It may affect yours if you feel you're more likely to encounter these hypothetical situations, and that's perfectly all right.
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« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2008, 02:38:40 PM »

For me it's not whether or not I'll be able to play ME without any issues.

I see it more as saying 'I'm ok with whatever crazy, ass backwards protection schemes you come up with.'
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« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2008, 02:41:15 PM »

Quote from: Two Sheds on May 07, 2008, 02:25:16 PM

I'm not arguing with you that there aren't situations where this could become a problem. But I only play games on my home PC, and I always have an internet connection. So it doesn't bother me and it won't affect my purchasing decisions one bit. It may affect yours if you feel you're more likely to encounter these hypothetical situations, and that's perfectly all right.

i've decided it won't affect me either.   I'll pretty much be playing on my home PC is part of the reason, also another part is that I want them to continue supporting the PC, but mainly because I'll be grabbing the crack as soon as it's out.
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« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2008, 02:43:30 PM »

Quote from: Two Sheds on May 07, 2008, 02:25:16 PM


I'm not arguing with you that there aren't situations where this could become a problem. But I only play games on my home PC, and I always have an internet connection. So it doesn't bother me and it won't affect my purchasing decisions one bit. It may affect yours if you feel you're more likely to encounter these hypothetical situations, and that's perfectly all right.

My situation is very similar.  I only play games from my home PC, but I will say that I should always have an internet connection, although Comcast has final say in the matter.

Although some sort of protection like this isn't going to stop me from purchasing, it will piss me off if I'm locked out of a game because of the ten day rule.  Granted the situations above are specific examples, more general situations would likely affect your ability to play.

1. Comcast Internet goes out, and can't get it fixed for 2-4 days.
2. Vacation - out of town and away from PC.
3. Too busy - maybe moving or just a hectic period.

The list goes on, but there are a number of normal/general situations where having the 10 day rule would really ruin your day.
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« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2008, 02:49:31 PM »

Quote from: Two Sheds on May 07, 2008, 02:25:16 PM

I'm not arguing with you that there aren't situations where this could become a problem. But I only play games on my home PC, and I always have an internet connection. So it doesn't bother me and it won't affect my purchasing decisions one bit. It may affect yours if you feel you're more likely to encounter these hypothetical situations, and that's perfectly all right.

I don't think I'm likely to hit any of these hypotheticals--I have an always-on internet connection and ready knowledge of a dozen gaming sites that will offer solutions to any problems I may have--but I do think it's inevitable that some paying customers will hit these hypotheticals, while zero pirates will have any problems. 

More than Mass Effect, Spore has a good chance of reaching a wide audience including the big casual market that likes The Sims.  Believe it or not a lot of people still have dial-up, or laptops without wi-fi properly set up.  Some of these people don't play more than once every 10 days in the first place, and they will have to do the online authentication every single time they boot up the game.
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Dan_Theman
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« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2008, 03:04:25 PM »

Yep - out of all the complaints (some valid, some maybe not so much), I think wonderpug hit the nail on the head when it comes to the Spore issue.  I think the extremely rare case of Mass Effect player being stuck without the ability to play would be quickly dwarfed by unhappy Spore customers.

Interestingly, Spore actually gives an added-value reason for hooking up online: downloading user created content to populate your galaxy.  That's a little different than the usual "Hey, if you feel like hopping online with your single player game and getting killed in 12 seconds by a teenager with twitch skills from god, go for it!" kind of online experience.  That may be enough to allow Spore to skate by the outlined problems, but it will be interesting to follow regardless.

PS - I was sad as heck to see Company of Heroes sell relatively poorly when juxtaposed to the critical acclaim it received.  We'll never know how much of the blame rests on the lack of copy protection or marketing mistakes, but either way it's a shame. 

PPS - I styl kant spel
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« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2008, 03:46:54 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 07, 2008, 05:33:26 AM

Quote from: baelthazar on May 07, 2008, 03:59:09 AM

I wouldn't call the Gal Civ 2 people "hardcore." Sure, I am a huge fan, and often pre-order early on, but I do so because their business model (which Kevin said get was "tired of hearing about). The lack of copy protection, the automatic entry into the Beta test with a pre-order, these are all models that companies with harsher schemes do not use.

Dude, I'm sorry but if your list of reasons for buying a game includes "lack of copy protection" then you are automatically hardcore.  Not a criticism- we're all hardcore here.  But mainstream consumers wouldn't know what Securom or Starforce were if it bit them in the ass. 

And I'm "not tired of hearing about" Stardock's business model.  I just don't think it's the magic solution to piracy that everyone seems to think. It's a model that will work for some games, sure, just as having a heavy multiplier focus that requires authentication will work for others. 

Ok... ok... granted. It was actually more of the entry into Beta that draws me in, but this is still more hardcore than most.

I guess what I am having trouble with is people's definition of "niche" versus "mainstream." I understand that CoD4 is mainstream as it is a traditional FPS that is cross-platform. However, is Mass Effect mainstream? Have Sci-Fi RPG's really left "niche" status. The Witcher too, as an RPG, is "mainstream?" RPG's used to be the "black sheep" of the gaming world, well at least after the old Akalabeth days.

I think the difference is that we are mentally drawing a conclusion between big developers and their releases, like EA and Atari and smaller independent houses like Stardock. Because Stardock is indie, it must also be niche.

This copy protection scheme is silly, but it doesn't bother me. It seems rather esoteric and somewhat cumbersome, this 10-day check idea, but typically all these ideas of theoretical problems that arise (a.k.a internet loss for days on end, wanting to play on a plane, meteor hitting you local ISP) only effect 1% of the times people use the game. Besides, you can literally connect to the internet outside on the street in most areas, due to the preponderance of unprotected wireless LANs out there. There are Starbucks all over the place, and they have broadband typically. It is almost more difficult to find areas that DON'T have some form of latent internet connection. Besides, if you are in the airport and want to play before a flight, many airports now have wireless access points.

Bael
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« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2008, 04:05:33 PM »

I am unhappy because of the principle of the thing.

However, I have no problems with a game requiring internet access to play.  These days many of my games require internet access to play, so even though a game is single-player it is becoming less and less of an issue for me.  Almost all of my games require 3D video cards as well, and I don't worry about it too much.

Just because I hate DRM stuff though, I will probably get the crack after a couple of weeks.  I'm sure I'll be willing to play with the disk in the drive for a week or so, but after that it will be too much trouble and I'll go looking for the crack.  More of a concern in my mind is that people who are offended by the copy protection scheme are likely to turn to piracy to avoid it.
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« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2008, 04:07:18 PM »

I truly hate DRM because I think if I buy it, it should be mine.  It's a principle thing.

However, there is a bright side...it's not StarFarce.  All in all, there are worse DRM schemes than this.  I'm not happy about it and I'll probably DL the crack for it, but it won't impact my buying decision.  This is a Day 1 purchase for me.

However, had this been StarFarce or some other draconian copy protection, I would not have purchased it and I probably would have DL'd the warez version for spite.

EDIT: I think that last sentence just supported Butterknife's point above.  That wasn't planned, but it was timely.  smile
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« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2008, 04:11:44 PM »

I do think it may burn them.  Not so much because of the way it's designed to work- I think most of the exceptions that we can think of are relatively low probability (what if my internet connection is down on the 11th day since I played!  What if I'm on my laptop on a plane on the 11th day, etc).  The problem is, none of this stuff ever happens the way it should.  In the case of Bioshock, the authentication servers were overloaded for days when the game launched.  ME isn't as high profile a release so it may weather that better, but I imagine Spore's launch is going to stress the hell out of the servers.  And for most "casual" gamers, they'll just assume the game is broke and try to return it, if possible, and it will be another step along the way for motivating people to stay away from PC gaming. 
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« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2008, 04:18:16 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 07, 2008, 03:46:54 PM

This copy protection scheme is silly, but it doesn't bother me. It seems rather esoteric and somewhat cumbersome, this 10-day check idea, but typically all these ideas of theoretical problems that arise (a.k.a internet loss for days on end, wanting to play on a plane, meteor hitting you local ISP) only effect 1% of the times people use the game. Besides, you can literally connect to the internet outside on the street in most areas, due to the preponderance of unprotected wireless LANs out there. There are Starbucks all over the place, and they have broadband typically. It is almost more difficult to find areas that DON'T have some form of latent internet connection. Besides, if you are in the airport and want to play before a flight, many airports now have wireless access points.

"internet loss for days on end" - It only takes a single day without internet access if you haven't booted up the game in 10 days--or if you haven't played the game in 6 days if the last time you played happened to be right before the 5-day recheck.

"if you are in the airport and want to play before a flight, many airports now have wireless access points" - I don't think it's that uncommon for people to wait until they're on the plane to boot up their laptop.

"meteor hitting you local ISP" - IT COULD HAPPEN! slywink

As far as unprotected wireless being all over the place--I think you're greatly overestimating the technical ability of the "I like The Sims" future Spore crowd.

Arguing what percentage of the purchasing population will be affected is besides the point, though.  People will be inconvenienced by this protection scheme.  For what?  An additional 3 days before the game hits the bittorrent scene?
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« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2008, 04:20:11 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 07, 2008, 03:46:54 PM

I guess what I am having trouble with is people's definition of "niche" versus "mainstream." I understand that CoD4 is mainstream as it is a traditional FPS that is cross-platform. However, is Mass Effect mainstream? Have Sci-Fi RPG's really left "niche" status. The Witcher too, as an RPG, is "mainstream?" RPG's used to be the "black sheep" of the gaming world, well at least after the old Akalabeth days.

I think the difference is that we are mentally drawing a conclusion between big developers and their releases, like EA and Atari and smaller independent houses like Stardock. Because Stardock is indie, it must also be niche.

This copy protection scheme is silly, but it doesn't bother me. It seems rather esoteric and somewhat cumbersome, this 10-day check idea, but typically all these ideas of theoretical problems that arise (a.k.a internet loss for days on end, wanting to play on a plane, meteor hitting you local ISP) only effect 1% of the times people use the game. Besides, you can literally connect to the internet outside on the street in most areas, due to the preponderance of unprotected wireless LANs out there. There are Starbucks all over the place, and they have broadband typically. It is almost more difficult to find areas that DON'T have some form of latent internet connection. Besides, if you are in the airport and want to play before a flight, many airports now have wireless access points.

I'd say Mass Effect isn't niche just based on it's performance on consoles where it sold a couple of million copies. 

On some level it has to do with developer, certainly.  A Sci-Fi RPG from Bioware is a lot more mainstream than a Sci-Fi RPG from a relatively unknown Eastern European developer.  Same thing for an Elder Scrolls game from Bethesda versus, say, Two Worlds.  Though I wouldn't necessarilly classify Stardock as a niche developer but it's more the genre- non RTS space strategy games are pretty much straight up the domain of hardcore gamers these days.  15 years ago with mainstream successes like Master of Orion that wasn't necessarilly the case. 
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« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2008, 04:22:31 PM »

I'm all for being able to play without the DVD in the drive.  And I don't mind initial product activation, as long as there is a robust phone support alternative should your internet connection or their authentication servers be down or unavailable, etc.  The "every 10 days" seems like overkill but would be mitigated if they had a robust phone support option (i.e. 24/7 toll-free support).

However, the bottom line is -- will this really do anything to the torrent/crack kiddies or other pirate ops?  If not, then is the cost of the DRM tech (in dollars, support, and potential customer frustration) worth whatever benefit it may have?

I hate, hate piracy.  But I also hate being inconvenienced as a paying customer.  Someone please post a solution that fixes both of these.
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« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2008, 04:28:16 PM »

Quote from: Freezer-TPF- on May 07, 2008, 04:22:31 PM

I hate, hate piracy.  But I also hate being inconvenienced as a paying customer.  Someone please post a solution that fixes both of these.

Chuck. Norris.
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« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2008, 04:32:18 PM »

The real scary thing here isn't this DRM scheme. It's that Bioware is already being subjected to the rule of EA.
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« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2008, 04:44:10 PM »

I will just play XBOX360 version and call it a day.

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« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2008, 05:26:30 PM »

Well, I guess this rules out me buying this game for my Father-in-Law.  :/  He has dial up and goes LONG stretches without connecting to the 'net.
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« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2008, 05:41:14 PM »

Overall this is a shitty idea. I would put this on the same level as Starforce. Granted it doesn't destroy your computer but just how they have designed this insane system to work is overall ridiculous. I understand that in some cases piracy can be a problem, yet it's been proven that these schemes don't work. I'm sure that this will be cracked and thrown on the net either before or shortly after it's been released. I mean the uncrackable BD+ and other security for the new Hi-Def formats have been cracked. Overall it is just alienating the people that want to buy the game. Anyway, lots of people have been down this road. Just the whole "well I have internet all the time anyway" thought process is fine. But I'm sure when you want to play the single player game Mass Effect and your internet goes down suddenly and you are on that 11th day. Doubt you will be saying that.

Basically we live in a digital age now, and since in a lot of cases it is easier for people to just download something than go out and buy it. For some reason the publishers believe that locking down the games and all that actually accomplishes something. Did Bioshocks insane 5 activation copy protection really do anything? Overall Bioware is spending more time putting out fires from these stupid copy protection schemes then saying how good a game is.
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« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2008, 06:25:01 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on May 07, 2008, 05:41:14 PM

Did Bioshocks insane 5 activation copy protection really do anything?

that, and the disc media shipping without the executable... prevented me from getting it.
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« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2008, 06:39:32 PM »

Quote from: hitbyambulance on May 07, 2008, 06:25:01 PM

that, and the disc media shipping without the executable... prevented me from getting it.

Erm...what?  (I haven't played Bioshock yet)
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« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2008, 07:14:15 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on May 07, 2008, 06:39:32 PM

Quote from: hitbyambulance on May 07, 2008, 06:25:01 PM

that, and the disc media shipping without the executable... prevented me from getting it.

Erm...what?  (I haven't played Bioshock yet)

When you installed the game it'd connect to the tube/trucks and hand-deliver a small file to your PC which allowed you to play the game.  It was fraught with problems, as is all copy protection on launch.
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« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2008, 07:55:52 PM »

Jesus.  That's one of the sillier schemes I've heard about.  Ah well, I'll buy it eventually now I have a PC capable of running it.  Apparently it's quite good!
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« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2008, 08:20:07 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on May 07, 2008, 07:55:52 PM

Jesus.  That's one of the sillier schemes I've heard about.  Ah well, I'll buy it eventually now I have a PC capable of running it.  Apparently it's quite good!

Indeed.  I recommend it highly, silly activation nonsense or no.
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« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2008, 08:31:06 PM »

Well, I just did my part - instead of purchasing ME for the PC, I went out and bought Sins of a Solar Empire. Odds are I'll be picking up the uber Gal Civ combo soon, too.

Huzzah for a company that doesn't treat you like criminals from the get-go.
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« Reply #64 on: May 07, 2008, 08:45:12 PM »

You are SO not gonna regret that.
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« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2008, 08:56:20 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 07, 2008, 08:31:06 PM

Well, I just did my part - instead of purchasing ME for the PC, I went out and bought Sins of a Solar Empire. Odds are I'll be picking up the uber Gal Civ combo soon, too.

Huzzah for a company that doesn't treat you like criminals from the get-go.

You can't lose there.

Wait, unless I misread, if you go without playing for 10 days, all the game has to do is redo the activation before you can play again, right? So what I am saying is, it is highly unlikely that, on that 10th day, you are going to have some problem so catastrophic that you can't get the game back online within a few hours. I agree with the above poster that said, "if my internet went out for a long period of time, I think I would be more concerned with that than getting 1 game to work." So really, the chances are that most people will not even notice this new scheme once.

That being said, I am very much against piracy, very much against invasive copy protection (even though I never had Starforce problems). I am, however, very pro-Chuck Norris.

Bael
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« Reply #66 on: May 07, 2008, 09:18:25 PM »

Pure idiocy - doesnt do a single thing to stop piracy, and only inconviniences people...

oh,and I dont think it will inconvenience me, but I do know a lot of people whom it probably would, if they bought the game... this may be the digital age, for US, but for a lot of other people, forums, copy protections and whatnot is something they simply dont understand, and they will become very confused after they 2 weeks vacation when they want to play the game again, and cant...
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« Reply #67 on: May 07, 2008, 10:12:32 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on May 07, 2008, 09:18:25 PM

Pure idiocy - doesnt do a single thing to stop piracy, and only inconviniences people...

oh,and I dont think it will inconvenience me, but I do know a lot of people whom it probably would, if they bought the game... this may be the digital age, for US, but for a lot of other people, forums, copy protections and whatnot is something they simply dont understand, and they will become very confused after they 2 weeks vacation when they want to play the game again, and cant...

Why couldn't they?  Presumably the activation will occur in the background and 99% of users wouldn't even notice.  That two week vacation only becomes an issue if their PC doesn't have access to the internet at that point.  Possible but I doubt it's really that common.

* FWIW, I am not advocating for this kind of copy protection and I think it's the type of thing chasing people away from PC gaming precisely because it almost never works as intended.  However, should it work as intended, the vast majority of users won't even know that it's doing these periodic activation checks. 
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« Reply #68 on: May 07, 2008, 10:39:37 PM »

and here i was thinking this was about bioware/ea taking out the sex scene for fear of a 'hot alien coffee' mod.

personally, i won't play it until i can have a naked combat mod.

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« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2008, 01:20:28 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 07, 2008, 04:32:18 PM

The real scary thing here isn't this DRM scheme. It's that Bioware is already being subjected to the rule of EA.

Scary? I say sad.
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« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2008, 02:04:14 AM »

Crapp like this is what will eventually kill PC Gaming.

If the constant 10 day check is true, then I won't be buying Mass Effect or Spore.

This the most stupid protection scheme yet.  Where do they get these ideas from?

The suits: Hmmmm. Lets make a great game and make people pay full price. Once they OWN it we will make them
register online, then make them re-register every 10 days. If they miss we won't let them play. Sound good?

Ya, sounds really good. finger
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« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2008, 03:42:25 AM »

Could have been like the Starforce meeting:

Suits: "So code monkeys, what have you got?"

Code Monkeys: "We have a nice, in unobtrusive driver that, on 80% of users' systems checks the CD before running the game."

Suits: "80%, what about the other 20%?"

CM: "In 10% it completely destroys the CD player, in the other 10% the computer explodes, killing all who witness it."

Suits: "Sounds reasonable, SHIP IT!"

But lets not get over the top. People keep saying "hrrm hrrm, after ten days I can't play it, hrrm hrrm." But, ostensibly, after being gone from the game 11 days you would load it up, it would do it's background activation check, and you would never know. Unless, for some reason, you only have internet access for 10 days a month.

I don't see how this is much different from Steam, which requires that the freakin' client boot up EVERY TIME you want to load a game. I hear there is some way to get offline play, but heck if I can figure it out.

Bael
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« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2008, 03:56:42 AM »

Steam offline mode -- I've not tried to use it in ages, but there you go.
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« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2008, 12:43:10 PM »

I use steam in offline mode a couple of times a week in places with no internet access. Works like a charm. I play Civ IV, Lumines, Half-Life 2, and any number of other Steam games, all without an internet connection. You can not connect for months at a time and steam will still work just fine in offline mode.

I was never high on Mass Effect really, but the idea of playing it on the PC was a draw for me. I was considering it. Now I'll happily skip it.
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Octavious230
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« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2008, 03:07:09 PM »

Wow I was going to buy this and now I'm probably going to skip it. I agree that most likely nothing will happen but the whole idea just pisses me off. What happens if the damn server goes down or something? I swear EA is one of the most customer hating companies I've ever seen.  finger
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Razgon
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« Reply #75 on: May 08, 2008, 03:18:28 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 07, 2008, 10:12:32 PM

Quote from: Razgon on May 07, 2008, 09:18:25 PM

Pure idiocy - doesnt do a single thing to stop piracy, and only inconviniences people...

oh,and I dont think it will inconvenience me, but I do know a lot of people whom it probably would, if they bought the game... this may be the digital age, for US, but for a lot of other people, forums, copy protections and whatnot is something they simply dont understand, and they will become very confused after they 2 weeks vacation when they want to play the game again, and cant...

Why couldn't they?  Presumably the activation will occur in the background and 99% of users wouldn't even notice.  That two week vacation only becomes an issue if their PC doesn't have access to the internet at that point.  Possible but I doubt it's really that common.

* FWIW, I am not advocating for this kind of copy protection and I think it's the type of thing chasing people away from PC gaming precisely because it almost never works as intended.  However, should it work as intended, the vast majority of users won't even know that it's doing these periodic activation checks. 

eh, do you leave your computer on with its internet acces for hackers to deligt in, while on vacation? I dont

I may not understand this correctly, but in denmark everyone goes on vacations once in a while, and that would kill the game, once you startet it, right?
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Two Sheds
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« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2008, 03:30:47 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on May 08, 2008, 03:18:28 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 07, 2008, 10:12:32 PM

Quote from: Razgon on May 07, 2008, 09:18:25 PM

Pure idiocy - doesnt do a single thing to stop piracy, and only inconviniences people...

oh,and I dont think it will inconvenience me, but I do know a lot of people whom it probably would, if they bought the game... this may be the digital age, for US, but for a lot of other people, forums, copy protections and whatnot is something they simply dont understand, and they will become very confused after they 2 weeks vacation when they want to play the game again, and cant...

Why couldn't they?  Presumably the activation will occur in the background and 99% of users wouldn't even notice.  That two week vacation only becomes an issue if their PC doesn't have access to the internet at that point.  Possible but I doubt it's really that common.

* FWIW, I am not advocating for this kind of copy protection and I think it's the type of thing chasing people away from PC gaming precisely because it almost never works as intended.  However, should it work as intended, the vast majority of users won't even know that it's doing these periodic activation checks. 

eh, do you leave your computer on with its internet acces for hackers to deligt in, while on vacation? I dont

I may not understand this correctly, but in denmark everyone goes on vacations once in a while, and that would kill the game, once you startet it, right?

Not right. Well, not necessarily. Basically, if you have internet access when you try to play the game, you should never have a problem.

It checks every 10 days. If it's been more than 10 days since you last played, the game will not start only if it cannot validate. Meaning, if you don't have internet access. If you buy the game, it doesn't matter how long you go without playing it if you are connected to the internet when you do.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2008, 03:47:51 PM »

Crosspost from Qt3 of some more of my "a meteor might hit the ISP" examples:

An aunt of mine dabbles in games. She plays things like Peggle, bought a Wii, and likes Maxis games like The Sims and Sim City. She will probably be interested in Spore, especially since it's from Maxis and Will Wright.

How does she get online with her home computer? She rolls the tower out of a compartment in her desk, grabs the coiled up ethernet cord and strings it across the room to plug in. Bizarre, but such is the way of the casual gamer. How often does she play computer games? Not too often, maybe once every couple weeks. So if she buys Spore, she will have to do her internet ritual every single time she plays the game.

Some hypothetical examples of people who would be affected:

Someone in the armed services who is allowed to have a personal computer but can be without internet access for 3-12 months at a time.

A frequent business traveller who likes to have some games on his laptop for flights. If he doesn't remember to boot up the game before he goes airborne he cannot play.

Dial-up users. Yes, they still exist, and yes, they buy games.

People who only get internet through internet cafes. I actually have a non-hypothetical example for this one. A friend of mine doesn't have internet access at home and isn't in range of any free or unprotected networks. He goes to a wi-fi enabled coffee shop to do his email but rarely play games there.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2008, 04:55:54 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 08, 2008, 03:47:51 PM

Someone in the armed services who is allowed to have a personal computer but can be without internet access for 3-12 months at a time.

This is troubling to me, and I will grant you that this is one of the most problematic of the "meteor hit" scenarios I have read. While the numbers of those in the service are proportionally low, as far as those buying games, they will be completely out of luck. Time will tell how this will work.

Quote from: wonderpug on May 08, 2008, 03:47:51 PM

Dial-up users. Yes, they still exist, and yes, they buy games.

I am going to assume, probably wrongly, that the copy protection authentication will be no more rigorous than the sending of an email. So no matter what DL or connection speed, this will not be a huge problem.

But, it is not too late to change this type of thing. I suggest that all of you who are really upset about this send a politely worded, respectful, yet disappointed email to both Bioware and EA's customer support. I remember that Ubisoft caved in to customer demands that Starforce be removed from their programs, so why might EA not do the same?

I would accentuate the most rational arguments against the protection scheme. Highlight the armed service example (it is hard to argue with "people fighting for you will not be able to use your product"), the example of the casual gamer (such as the Aunt) who will not understand why the game will not run, will think it is an error and be frustrated, and perhaps the dial-up or lack of ISP argument. I always, when writing one of these letters, say things like "I have been a huge fan of your products from the very beginning of your company. I own the Sims 2, Baldur's Gate, Command & Conquer 3... etc... and have always been happy with the quality of your products and customer service. However, a recent decision you have made surprises and disappoints me, especially given your commitment to customer care in the past." You catch more flies with honey than vinegar (i.e. "hrr... I hate you EA, you wanna kill my games! I never buy from you, I go pirate your games now")/

As I said before, I am not bothered. I have Mass Effect pre-ordered (the system specs look like they will run on my midrange system and I do not have an XBOX-360 - speaking of bizarre customer support and esoteric online connection rituals). Nothing short of that rhetorical meteor will stop me from buying Spore. I would probably buy it even if it required that it be the only game installed on my system!  icon_biggrin
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mb737
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« Reply #79 on: May 08, 2008, 05:01:27 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on May 08, 2008, 03:07:09 PM

Wow I was going to buy this and now I'm probably going to skip it. I agree that most likely nothing will happen but the whole idea just pisses me off. What happens if the damn server goes down or something? I swear EA is one of the most customer hating companies I've ever seen.  finger

  Ya, I was all geeked to play ME on my PC especially after I read that they were de-consolizing it a bit.  But now I won't be buying it.  Or Spore for that matter.  Boo EA.   tear
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