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Author Topic: Bioware doesn't trust us (Mass Effect)  (Read 9682 times)
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wonderpug
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« Reply #80 on: May 08, 2008, 05:09:10 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on May 08, 2008, 04:55:54 PM

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.

Right, but they have to actually dial-up.  They're not going to hold up the phone line while they play, and the game will only authenticate if you're running the game.  So I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that a modem using casual user's process will be:

Run Spore
See a message pop-up saying they need to connect to the internet to play
Close Spore
Dial up
Run Spore and have the phone line tied up or:
Close Spore
Hang up
Run Spore
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« Reply #81 on: May 09, 2008, 02:53:31 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 08, 2008, 05:09:10 PM

Run Spore
See a message pop-up saying they need to connect to the internet to play
Close Spore
Dial up
Run Spore and have the phone line tied up or:
Close Spore
Hang up
Run Spore

Why not...

Tell the person you were talking to on the phone that you'll call back in 30 seconds
Dial up
Run Spore, message says "sucessfully authenticated"
Alt-tab out of Spore, hang up
Alt-tab back in, play while calling the person back to tell him/her how great a game it is

Maybe not the message, but the rest seems like a pretty simple procedure to me. And I would do it literally like that each time, if I was still on dial-up. Fortunately for my friends, I have broadband now.   icon_lol
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« Reply #82 on: May 09, 2008, 03:18:52 AM »

Let's not forget that its not just online authentication. SecuROM still limits your reinstalls (a la Bioshock) and installs as a service (UAService7).
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« Reply #83 on: May 09, 2008, 12:42:48 PM »

Quote from: da Toad on May 09, 2008, 03:18:52 AM

Let's not forget that its not just online authentication. SecuROM still limits your reinstalls (a la Bioshock) and installs as a service (UAService7).

The limiting of reinstalls spooks me.  I have games that are mighty mighty old that I'd like to be able to play when I want.  EA is notorious for saying "Hmm, it isn't making as much money anymore - server is being shut down." without any regard to the folks who already have the game.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm paying for a 60 dollar rental that can, at EAs whim, expire.  For instance, if I don't periodically reinstall Battlefield 2142 I'll eventually lose it thanks to the EA Downloader service.  For that very reason I'd say this is quite a bit different than Steam.
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« Reply #84 on: May 09, 2008, 12:56:51 PM »

Quote from: Skylark on May 09, 2008, 02:53:31 AM

Why not...

Tell the person you were talking to on the phone that you'll call back in 30 seconds
Dial up
Run Spore, message says "sucessfully authenticated"
Alt-tab out of Spore, hang up
Alt-tab back in, play while calling the person back to tell him/her how great a game it is

Maybe not the message, but the rest seems like a pretty simple procedure to me. And I would do it literally like that each time, if I was still on dial-up. Fortunately for my friends, I have broadband now.   icon_lol

Because the people we're talking about have never heard of alt-tabbing.  They buy games on a whim when they're grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.  They read every word of every installation prompt that pops up because they don't have the familiarity we do to just click through quickly.  They use Internet Explorer and have installed so many toolbars and other goofy things that have come with other programs that they see webpages on a tiny fraction of their 15" monitor's real estate.  They take their Compaq into Best Buy for repairs when the DVD tray stops working.  And they buy Maxis games.
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« Reply #85 on: May 09, 2008, 02:38:35 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 09, 2008, 12:56:51 PM

Quote from: Skylark on May 09, 2008, 02:53:31 AM

Why not...

Tell the person you were talking to on the phone that you'll call back in 30 seconds
Dial up
Run Spore, message says "sucessfully authenticated"
Alt-tab out of Spore, hang up
Alt-tab back in, play while calling the person back to tell him/her how great a game it is

Maybe not the message, but the rest seems like a pretty simple procedure to me. And I would do it literally like that each time, if I was still on dial-up. Fortunately for my friends, I have broadband now.   icon_lol

Because the people we're talking about have never heard of alt-tabbing.  They buy games on a whim when they're grocery shopping at Wal-Mart.  They read every word of every installation prompt that pops up because they don't have the familiarity we do to just click through quickly.  They use Internet Explorer and have installed so many toolbars and other goofy things that have come with other programs that they see webpages on a tiny fraction of their 15" monitor's real estate.  They take their Compaq into Best Buy for repairs when the DVD tray stops working.  And they buy Maxis games.

I thought the subject had been done to death in the past 1 1/2 pages, so I tried to lighten the mood. I failed miserably. <hangs head in shame>
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« Reply #86 on: May 09, 2008, 02:47:27 PM »

Quote from: Skylark on May 09, 2008, 02:38:35 PM

I thought the subject had been done to death in the past 1 1/2 pages, so I tried to lighten the mood. I failed miserably. <hangs head in shame>

Ah, no problem.  I just know it's so easy for our type to forget what the mainstream gaming market is like.

Look, ponies!
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baelthazar
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« Reply #87 on: May 09, 2008, 03:21:08 PM »

Oh my... what the heck are those... pony... beasts...

THEY need copy protection!

Bael
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« Reply #88 on: May 09, 2008, 04:40:12 PM »

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« Reply #89 on: May 09, 2008, 06:27:19 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 06, 2008, 08:51:44 PM

Company of Heroes which also shipped without copy protection.  Despite rave reviews, THQ was incredibly disappointed with the sales performance and have gone back to more stringent copy protection measures. 

I despise COH's new copy protection. You have to long into your acct online before you can play the single player game and if an update is available, you can't even play until you've downloaded the patch. WHen I first installed it I had to download an 100MB patch. I'll think twice (or do a lot of googling) before purchasing a game from Relic again.

So I wonder what happens if these companies go out of business or the servers are shut down. Think they'll release a patch to disable the protection.
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« Reply #90 on: May 09, 2008, 06:32:36 PM »

Quote from: Lassr on May 09, 2008, 06:27:19 PM

So I wonder what happens if these companies go out of business or the servers are shut down. Think they'll release a patch to disable the protection.

Hint: they don't need to...
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« Reply #91 on: May 09, 2008, 06:37:53 PM »

Quote from: Skylark on May 09, 2008, 06:32:36 PM

Quote from: Lassr on May 09, 2008, 06:27:19 PM

So I wonder what happens if these companies go out of business or the servers are shut down. Think they'll release a patch to disable the protection.

Hint: they don't need to...

true, if you download the crack.

I avoid those sights now after I downloaded a virus with a crack once.
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« Reply #92 on: May 09, 2008, 06:38:13 PM »

Quote from: Lassr on May 09, 2008, 06:27:19 PM

I despise COH's new copy protection. You have to long into your acct online before you can play the single player game and if an update is available, you can't even play until you've downloaded the patch.

WTF?  THQ just lost a customer...  finger
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« Reply #93 on: May 09, 2008, 07:13:15 PM »

Update from the horses mouth.

http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=629059&forum=125&sp=0#5774350
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wonderpug
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« Reply #94 on: May 09, 2008, 07:24:31 PM »

One time online authentication, no CD required in drive after install.

Holy shit it's a DRM scheme that actually makes life better for the legitimate customers.*

*compared to the standard CD-check method, I should say
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« Reply #95 on: May 09, 2008, 08:12:10 PM »

Wow!

I hope this kind of copy protection scheme catches on.  The revised scheme (ie -- doing away with the 10-day check, but keeping the rest) really sits pretty well with me.  I'd prefer no copy protection at all, but this is definitely something I can live with.  No need to even visit the pirate websites!  Color me pleased.
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« Reply #96 on: May 09, 2008, 08:21:59 PM »

Solid.
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« Reply #97 on: May 09, 2008, 08:36:07 PM »

Not that I'm complaining about how it turned out, but from EA's perspective it's too bad they didn't initially propose the scheme as an initial check with one followup check at day 10.  It would've had the exact same effect on piracy as the recurring 10 day checks (however big or small) and it would've been much easier for the public to swallow.
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« Reply #98 on: May 09, 2008, 08:56:24 PM »

This is just as shitty as the first one. Same issue that Bioshock users ran into. The 3 activations are based on your hardware signature, IE. swap out a video card, add a new harddrive, update your BIOS and you burn an activation without knowing it. What's wrong with just the one time online activation?
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« Reply #99 on: May 09, 2008, 10:10:01 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on May 09, 2008, 06:38:13 PM

Quote from: Lassr on May 09, 2008, 06:27:19 PM

I despise COH's new copy protection. You have to long into your acct online before you can play the single player game and if an update is available, you can't even play until you've downloaded the patch.

WTF?  THQ just lost a customer...  finger

This is only true if the CD is not in the drive, AFAIK. I think its a nice compromise. If the servers are down, the game will prompt you for a disk, otherwise it simply authenticates your copy via key through the server, no disk required.
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« Reply #100 on: May 09, 2008, 10:18:11 PM »

So the armed forces thing set them over the edge... nice!

Seems better, I think this one will be far less intrusive.

Might I add though, they are kinda brilliant. They leak news about a crazy "every 10 day scheme" that people go crazy about. Then suddenly they "change their mind" and put forward this 3 authentication scheme and people are all "whoopee" and "three cheers for EA." Huh, what a way to make ANY copy protection look good, come up with a worse alternative then "roll it back" in response to complaints.

Makes it look like it was our idea all along...  icon_wink

SoM
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« Reply #101 on: May 09, 2008, 10:43:40 PM »

The three-machine limit is still kind of a deal-breaker for me, especially since I'm planning to upgrade my hardware within six months.

Remember the good old days when games didn't force paying customers to put up with this nonsense? 

- Alan
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« Reply #102 on: May 09, 2008, 10:59:12 PM »

Exactly.  As long as the pirates get a better deal than paying customers, pirates will continue to pirate.  I doubt I'll ever get into the pirate "market," but this kind of shit is really making me sympathise with them.  I buy a game, I should be able to play it without restriction until the end of time.
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« Reply #103 on: May 10, 2008, 12:27:24 AM »

Quote from: SkyLander on May 09, 2008, 08:56:24 PM

This is just as shitty as the first one. Same issue that Bioshock users ran into. The 3 activations are based on your hardware signature, IE. swap out a video card, add a new harddrive, update your BIOS and you burn an activation without knowing it. What's wrong with just the one time online activation?

at least with Bioshock it was only so many copies activated at one time, not a limited number of activations period.  I'll still be on the lookout for the crack.
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« Reply #104 on: May 10, 2008, 08:02:33 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on May 10, 2008, 12:27:24 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on May 09, 2008, 08:56:24 PM

This is just as shitty as the first one. Same issue that Bioshock users ran into. The 3 activations are based on your hardware signature, IE. swap out a video card, add a new harddrive, update your BIOS and you burn an activation without knowing it. What's wrong with just the one time online activation?

at least with Bioshock it was only so many copies activated at one time, not a limited number of activations period.  I'll still be on the lookout for the crack.

But wasn't the issue that the activation was tied to that hardware signature or whatever? I could be wrong.
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« Reply #105 on: May 10, 2008, 12:43:37 PM »

Quote from: Itsatrap on May 09, 2008, 10:43:40 PM

Remember the good old days when games didn't force paying customers to put up with this nonsense? 
- Alan

No... no, I don't. It used to be that you would have to search for some obscure word in the manual on page 45, or use a red piece of cellophane to "decode" a number off of a giant sheet. My personal favorite was Starflight, that used a huge "wheel of copy protection" or a map you had to count the yellow stars or blue stars in a sector. The problem was, when you lost those things - in the pre-internet days - you had no way of getting the answers.

That was somewhat worse than this DRM scheme, TBH.

Bael
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« Reply #106 on: May 10, 2008, 02:04:54 PM »

+1 on the "Requires Internet Access to play" should be on the box, on the front of it would be even better.
Yeah we're in 2008, but there are still a lot of people out there who don't have internet, and Mass Effect is a SINGLEPLAYER game.

Say what you will about Starforce, but even starforce games can be played offline WITHOUT needing to access the internet to your heart's desires. You can go from computer to computer anytime you upgrade, the game is yours.
I'm in no way defending starforce but this "requires internet access" is BS to me and it'll probably lose one extra sale from me. I went 4 months without internet once and remember how much of a pain Half-Life 2/CSSource was, all I wanted to do was play the CS bots to keep practicing until I got internet access again but Steam ruined that.

What we buy we should own, period. I always tend to think about the future and lets face it, BioWare isn't going to be around forever. What happens in 5, 10 (or whatever) years when they close up shop and their online "activiation servers" are no longer active? You want to load up an old classic, Mass Effect, only to find some BS like "Unable to contact registration server, please try again" Well hell, they went out of business, so you and your $50 are SOL!

I've bought my fair share of games, music, and movies with DRM and can honestly say I'm done with DRM. The biggest issue has always been upgrading or moving to a new computer. It's just too hard to future-proof DRM protected stuff. (Look at Microsoft's music store incident where people will no longer own the music they PAID for if they decide to upgrade to a new computer. They can't bring their songs with them.)
If a game ships with DRM, it won't see a dime from me.
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« Reply #107 on: May 10, 2008, 02:44:02 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on May 10, 2008, 02:04:54 PM

+1 on the "Requires Internet Access to play" should be on the box, on the front of it would be even better.
Yeah we're in 2008, but there are still a lot of people out there who don't have internet, and Mass Effect is a SINGLEPLAYER game.

I feel relatively comfortable saying that the vast, vast majority of people with system specs suitable to play Mass Effect have at least dial up access. 
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« Reply #108 on: May 10, 2008, 05:04:48 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on May 10, 2008, 08:02:33 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 10, 2008, 12:27:24 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on May 09, 2008, 08:56:24 PM

This is just as shitty as the first one. Same issue that Bioshock users ran into. The 3 activations are based on your hardware signature, IE. swap out a video card, add a new harddrive, update your BIOS and you burn an activation without knowing it. What's wrong with just the one time online activation?

at least with Bioshock it was only so many copies activated at one time, not a limited number of activations period.  I'll still be on the lookout for the crack.

But wasn't the issue that the activation was tied to that hardware signature or whatever? I could be wrong.

I imagine there's got to be a line(s) of code in the .exe that tells it what to do for the check, so there's probably a way to modify it and remove it.
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« Reply #109 on: May 11, 2008, 03:53:47 AM »

Bioshock's incarnation of SecuROM is tied to hardware somehow. I upgraded a video card without setting it off (I think). I was even able to copy the hidden config file during a reinstall without reactivating (same WinXP key). I've reclocked my CPU several different ways and not had a problem. Haven't tried a motherboard swap yet. Tom's Hardware indicates that this will be a problem:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/98264-13-toms-hardware-bioshock-coverage
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« Reply #110 on: May 13, 2008, 12:46:46 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on May 10, 2008, 02:04:54 PM

+1 on the "Requires Internet Access to play" should be on the box, on the front of it would be even better.

I'm almost certain that it does say this, and that it is located on the front of the box.
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« Reply #111 on: May 13, 2008, 04:24:22 PM »

If you have no working internet connection, can you not activate by telephone?
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« Reply #112 on: May 21, 2008, 02:26:30 PM »

Don't know if this DRM issue is causing this, but I just noticed that Gamestop shows a price drop for Mass Effect from $50 to $40.
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« Reply #113 on: May 21, 2008, 02:30:47 PM »

Quote from: Roscoe on May 21, 2008, 02:26:30 PM

Don't know if this DRM issue is causing this, but I just noticed that Gamestop shows a price drop for Mass Effect from $50 to $40.

it's a special they're running where if you pre-order you get 10 bucks off.

Quote
$10 off! Pre-order Mass Effect for PC now and receive $10 off the regular price of $49.99 when your order is processed for shipping. 
 
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« Reply #114 on: May 21, 2008, 05:01:11 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on May 21, 2008, 02:30:47 PM

Quote from: Roscoe on May 21, 2008, 02:26:30 PM

Don't know if this DRM issue is causing this, but I just noticed that Gamestop shows a price drop for Mass Effect from $50 to $40.

it's a special they're running where if you pre-order you get 10 bucks off.

Quote
$10 off! Pre-order Mass Effect for PC now and receive $10 off the regular price of $49.99 when your order is processed for shipping. 
 

Online only?
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« Reply #115 on: May 21, 2008, 05:44:59 PM »

You can just preorder from GoGamer for $37.90 instead  Tongue
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« Reply #116 on: May 21, 2008, 08:50:38 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on May 21, 2008, 05:01:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 21, 2008, 02:30:47 PM

Quote from: Roscoe on May 21, 2008, 02:26:30 PM

Don't know if this DRM issue is causing this, but I just noticed that Gamestop shows a price drop for Mass Effect from $50 to $40.

it's a special they're running where if you pre-order you get 10 bucks off.

Quote
$10 off! Pre-order Mass Effect for PC now and receive $10 off the regular price of $49.99 when your order is processed for shipping. 
 

Online only?

I preordered mine at the store for that price.
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« Reply #117 on: May 21, 2008, 09:51:09 PM »

The $10 off is for pre-ordering at certain places.

http://masseffect.bioware.com/pc/pre-order.html

I'll pick this up eventually, but I just last night got back to NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer after a few month hiatus, so I'm in no rush.  My PC is just slightly over the min. requirements but I think/hope that will be good enough for this sort of game.  The biggest problem might be the 12 GB HD space.
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« Reply #118 on: May 23, 2008, 04:25:26 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 06, 2008, 08:57:21 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 06, 2008, 08:51:44 PM

As a counter to the oft cited Stardock example I'll offer up Company of Heroes which also shipped without copy protection.  Despite rave reviews, THQ was incredibly disappointed with the sales performance and have gone back to more stringent copy protection measures.

You make it sound like you think piracy had something to do with Company of Heroes lackluster sales.  It got ignored because it was yet another WWII game in the last wagon of a caravan of bandwagons, and was also yet another RTS game because their marketing did a horrible job at advertising the fresh take the game had on tactical combat.  It's now one of my favorite games but I wouldn't have even bothered trying a demo when it came out if it hadn't been for forumer word-of-mouth.

Exactly the way I felt as well.
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« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2008, 02:25:22 PM »

It's already cracked.
Great job, EA!
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