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Hey everyone. I know there's some people out there that hate DRM like I do. I know there's some that don't care. So you 2nd group of folks need not worry about this thread until the DRM backfires on you ;)

 

I was up in arms with the Bioshock DRM. I was going to get the PC version until learning about the nasty DRM.

 

Here's the new one: Mass Effect and Spore (oh no!) will have the new Securom. It needs to call home to the mothership every 10 days or you can't play your game.

 

http://www.guru3d.com/news/spore-mass-effect-pc-to-require-online-validation/

 

I cought wind of this while perusing the Stardock forums (been playing Galactic Civilizations 2). Who famously are vehemently anti-DRM.

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Uuugggghhhhh I can't believe after all this time with DRM schemes in PC gaming - This is the best they can come up with ?!? Phoning home every ten days or you can't play?!. Allow me to be the one that states the obvious to these companies: The pirate copies won't have this restriction, will most likely play without the need for the DVD in the drive and are usually easier to get than the legal version.

 

I get the need for DRM o.k... but this is not the way to do it. Make the legal verison more appealing than the torrent, let me have access to buy the legal version just as easy/readily available as getting the torrent and make the copy protection a punishment for pirates - not paying customers.

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Also, from the mass effect forums:

 

"Q: How many installations will SecuROM allow from my copy of MEPC?

 

A: Since SecuROM has nothing to do with the installer, you can install and uninstall on the same machine over and over again without any problems. SecuROM also allows you to activate the game on 3 different machines.

 

 

Q: Q: What happens if I exceed 3 activations?

 

A: Your first 3 activations will still work, but any subsequent activation will not work."

 

Great :( So this is just like Bioshock, except adding a call-home every 10 days. Ridiculous.

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You know the irony to me too is that - as you've all said - we used to have to type in a specific word out of the manual to bypass the security check. It worked, it wasn't that bad and was just as thorough a deterent to piracy then as this new SecuROM is to piracy today (re: NONE). Back then of course there was a benefit to actually owning the product though - and not just if you bought the special edition...

 

Owning the manual actually meant something as they were big, thick, useful manuals (Baldur's Gate) or they included a limited edition comic in the retail box (Sam N Max) or came with a cool lapel pin (Star Trek 20th Ann.) or a rare working lightsaber keychain (Jedi Knight). Just my opinion o.k. but, this makes the retail product more attractive to me than the torrent and is Step 1 to actually beating piracy in my book.

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Yeah Space Quest IV was the first Adventure game I remember having to use the manuel to play the game. it had a dual page center with alien symbols which you needed to enter certain parts of the game as you went along

 

The part about calling in all the time is crappy, but they gotta do some type of protection. Even if it gets cracked in a week. Hell the Crysis folks said last week they will not do anymore PC exclusives because of the pirating problem

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The part about calling in all the time is crappy, but they gotta do some type of protection. Even if it gets cracked in a week.

To me, that makes zero sense. You delay piracy for one week while the "protection" goes on to bug the shit out of all of your legitimate customers for the life of the product, for some rendering it unplayable? Lame. At least stick with the standard CD check which will stop all of the non-technical-savvy folks, even though I find that annoying as well.

 

Hell the Crysis folks said last week they will not do anymore PC exclusives because of the pirating problem

Not trying to be snarky, but that sounds like an excuse on their part. They needed to focus more on making the game playable on a lower-level rig and...well...making it more fun. It was generic to me, and no, I haven't played it on some uber-rig at full resolution or whatever.

 

There are still plenty of folks out there making good money producing PC games, else they wouldn't be doing so.

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To me, that makes zero sense. You delay piracy for one week while the "protection" goes on to bug the shit out of all of your legitimate customers for the life of the product, for some rendering it unplayable? Lame.

 

Agreed.

 

I don't care about "Mass Effect", but when "Spore" hits, I won't be buying it until a viable way to circumvent the "call-home" is available (so, like, the next day)...

 

I'd skip it entirely, but I don't have the willpower... :)

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To me, that makes zero sense. You delay piracy for one week while the "protection" goes on to bug the shit out of all of your legitimate customers for the life of the product, for some rendering it unplayable? Lame. At least stick with the standard CD check which will stop all of the non-technical-savvy folks, even though I find that annoying as well.

 

 

Even that can be trouble, too. My buddy with his stock Dell PC had issues with his CD-ROM registering. He ended up downloading the pirated copy as the fix (this was a few years ago).

 

I had trouble with Civ4's CD check. It kept insisting it couldn't find the disk. After an hour of googling around and trying several fixes, I found a post at Civfanatics that led me to the answer...a visit to the official Safedisk site. I had to download and update my system's safedisc software :bh I felt dirty, but it's Civilization and I talked myself into it.

 

And the copy protection never works. It's frequently cracked before the game ever hits retail shelves. If not, it's cracked a few weeks later.

 

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20061115/mcmaster_01.shtml

GS: Speaking of single player' date=' how do you feel about copy protection?

....

 

BW: There were all kind of goofy things on all kinds of software, but they grew out of that. They realized that the goal of copy protection isn't to stop people from pirating but to increase sales. That's an important distinction. I don't like people pirating my game.

 

GS: Naturally.

 

BW: I find it annoying on principle. The question is "would they have bought the game anyway?" If they wouldn't have bought the game, then why should I be concentrating on them? I should be concentrating on maximizing my overall sales. Don't inconvenience legitimate users but inconvenience illegitimate users. Some percentage of them will buy the game.

 

GS: You don't waste that time and money stopping someone who won't buy your product anyway.

 

BW: Right. Did you hear that twenty eight percent of gamers won't even buy a game? This was a study put out by one of the copy protection companies as proof of why copy protection isn't negative. This study says that ONLY twenty eight percent of gamers won't buy a game with copy protection. I was thinking "HOLY COW, that's a disaster!"

 

GS: That's a huge number of people.

 

BW: I never thought it was that high. I would have thought five or two percent. That makes it a no brainer.

 

[/quote']

 

I think that says it all. "ONLY 28% of people won't buy a game won't buy a game with copy protection". :lol Yeah, that's worth it.

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I guess you'll be glad to pick it up soon since EA and Bioware have buckled...

 

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/52618

 

In the face of increasing pressure, BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts today relented, updating the official Mass Effect PC FAQ to note that validation will now only be required when the player downloads new game content.

 

Q: If the game isn't going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?

 

A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.

 

Electronic Arts also released a statement mentioning that Spore's copy protection will be similarly changed to allow for offline play, only requiring validation on a patch or game content update.

 

The publisher also noted that neither game will require players to have the disc in their computer in order to play or validate the game.

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I know this isn't really a solution, just a comment, but honestly the best copy protection in the world is a compelling multiplayer element or product. I'm sure it's possible to still crack that and play with others that are still cracked, or you have the headaches or stolen keys and whatnot, but if you want to play online properly it pretty much forces you to purchase the game.

 

When I worked at EB, the number of copies of Counterstrike, StarCraft Battlechest and Diablo Battlechest was insane, and I'm honestly surprised they don't still show up in the top 10 from time to time. The main reason they were still selling is cause people wanted to play them online.

 

The solution that EA has come up with seems reasonable, and is similar to MS's current strategy with Windows where if you want the new free programs and some of the updates, you have to validate your copy of Windows. You can still just leave your pirated copy be, or work around it, but it's easier to just go buy the damn thing. It's much better than the Activation scheme they had (and still have, but I think they've made it better). It worked on me :o

 

With a game like Spore and it's (hopefully) far reach and online components, I don't think piracy will have a huge impact. It doesn't seem to have hurt The Sims all that much.

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That's much better. It'd be better without it entirely, but it's livable now. I don't have an issue with the software calling home for online play. Although it would be nice for them to patch this to non-existence eventually for folks that want to play this long past when the servers are offline.

 

All I can say is, I still play Baldur's Gate II, and occasionally Civ2, and I'm glad they don't need to call home. If Spore turns out as good as it's been hyped, it could be another one of those games.

 

I remember that they bent to peer pressure on Starforce in Heroes of Might and Magic 5, too. I think that's why it's important for folks to know about this stuff.

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So Spore will only validate when game content is updated.... but isn't the deal with Spore that it is constantly downloading new content to populate your universe?

Which means you should have a constantly running internet connection to have access to said content anyway. Which in turn makes it comparable to say an MMO which requires frequent updates to play (and in the case of Spore those updates may not even be a requirement).

 

So at the end of the day of the day the game validating with new content downloads seems a good compromise in my eyes as it still allows you to enjoy the "default" content and any downloaded content offline if you so choose.

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Agree this change is much better and I will be getting Mass Effect on PC now. I really liked it on 360 but, never got around to finishing it so, I'll probably trade-in the 360 version and restart the game on PC (the new interface improvements etc seem well worth it anyway). Anyway, this version of the DRM seems fine to me: I have no issue with the game requiring an online validation at install and, after validating I can play off the HDD etc - all the same benefits the free torrent would have :) IMO they should still make the retail package more appealing (pack in stuff, a great manual, something) but, at least it isn't worse than the torrent now. And to be fair, re-validating when new content is pushed out is fine IMO too... I'm already used to that from Steam and GameTap and others.

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