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Mass Effect for PC = Mass Security?

Last response: in Video Games
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What's your stance?

Total: 28 votes (1 blank vote)

  • I'm going to buy it, regardless
  • 12 %
  • I might buy it still, but not sure
  • 38 %
  • I won't buy it because of the security
  • 38 %
  • I wouldn't have bought it anyway
  • 8 %
  • Other
  • 8 %
May 7, 2008 1:48:00 AM

http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/05/mass-effect-pc.html
Quote:
The PC version of Mass Effect is going to include some fairly serious security measures that may prove to be more of a threat to the game's popularity than they are to piracy.

According to Derek French, Mass Effect's technical producer at BioWare, the game's security begins with the same SecuROM online activation that aggravated so many owners of BioShock for PC. The system allows the user to activate the game three times before being required to contact a customer service rep to have it reactivated.

Mass Effect's security goes one step further, however, by dialing in every five to ten days to double check that your current CD Key and computer info matches the data that was submitted when you first activated the game.

Does that mean you won't be able to play your perfectly legitimate copy of the game if you fire it up on day 11, only to find that your 'net connection is down? According to a post from French, yes, actually, it does

I know we've all got different stances on piracy, so I'd like to know what you guys think about this. Is this overkill? Has piracy become the white whale for BioWare? Futhermore, how many of you would be purchasing Mass Effect with this knowledge? Also, honestly, how many of you would pirate it because of this security, and how many of you would have just pirated it anyway?

I personally would have done my usual "try it, then buy it" method that some of you have come to detest, but at this point I don't think I'd even pirate this game with the way they plan on treating their customers, because I obviously wouldn't ever intend on being one :/ 

Futher discussion/new thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/99532-13-trouble-brew...
May 7, 2008 3:01:55 AM

not even a good game, not even worth pirating

even though it will be cracked the day of the release or a day after, it is not even worth it

the console version kinda sucked and when a console game gets ported to the PC, it gets a thousand times worst
May 7, 2008 5:05:07 AM

I didnt get the game on my 360 because I wanted to see it in all of its glory at better frames on my PC, but now I may just borrow my friends copy for the 360 who has already beatin it several times. I will not support companies products that do things like this. I understand that piracy is an issue, but this is alil to much for me. I dont intent for other people so share my opinion and not buy it, because it really is a good game from what I have seen and deserves to be bought, but I just wont be getting it now because of this.

Best,

3Ball
Related resources
May 7, 2008 6:16:43 AM

I was very happy when I heard this. If this goes well, it could be the best thing to happen to PC gaming in along time. Get used to it, or buy a console.

Oh, I do have one question though; how do you see this effecting your experience playing Mass Effect or Spore?
May 7, 2008 6:22:46 AM

Quote:
I understand that piracy is an issue, but this is alil to much for me. I dont intent for other people so share my opinion and not buy it, because it really is a good game from what I have seen and deserves to be bought, but I just wont be getting it now because of this.


What? Were you planning on stealing this game? What's your problem with this, I'm really more curious then anything as to why a PC gamer who claims that they waited, as I did, to play this game on their PC. Why this would now change your mind.

I'm sorry for asking if you are planning on stealing...that is if you don't pirate PC games. :) 
May 7, 2008 6:28:32 AM

FaceLifter said:
Quote:
I understand that piracy is an issue, but this is alil to much for me. I dont intent for other people so share my opinion and not buy it, because it really is a good game from what I have seen and deserves to be bought, but I just wont be getting it now because of this.


What? Were you planning on stealing this game? What's your problem with this, I'm really more curious then anything as to why a PC gamer who claims that they waited, as I did, to play this game on their PC. Why this would now change your mind.

I'm sorry for asking if you are planning on stealing...that is if you don't pirate PC games. :) 

I think a lot of people would find this new security measure to be insulting and intrusive, almost as if you walked into a store, bought a monitor, checked out at the exit (to make sure it wasn't stolen), and then one of the employees from the store stops by your house every 10 days to make sure the monitor still isn't stolen. Some people can be put off enough by the way a company does business that regardless of how good their product might be, they don't want anything to do with them anymore.
May 7, 2008 7:40:33 AM

My D-Link router has horrendous reliability, a lot of the time I can't be bothered to reset it.

I will admit that I wasn't really planning on buying it (or pirating it I hasten to add!), but this sort of measure really gets on my nerves!
May 7, 2008 8:02:53 AM

I hate processes that start up that are not needed/wanted. This sounds like it's going to be yet another one. ok so it might not be a resource hog and stay running all the time but still...
It's like buying a house and the previous owner coming round and using your phone once a week.
From time to time i install old games on a recent machine or one of the older ones that i have, like to do fresh installs of OF a couple of times a year. How annoying is that 3 times and you need to contact them going to get.
I wasn't going to get this game but i'd not be in a rush to buy any game that uses this meausure of security.
May 7, 2008 12:20:19 PM

At least bioshock developers have said that the final game patch will disable the protection that everybody gave off about... but then it could be 2010 by then who would be playing it lol
May 7, 2008 12:25:52 PM

Be cracked the before it hits retail anyway. Always is ;-)
May 7, 2008 12:31:35 PM

I was looking at getting Spore though. Might not bother now...
May 7, 2008 12:55:28 PM

I'm starting to question their real motivations here.

According to the Bioware forums, the securom code is all within the MassEffect.exe, how would circumventing the internet authorization check in the program be any more difficult (for the purpose of helping curb piracy) than that of circumventing a cd check?

It almost seems the true advantage of this protection system is to exercise greater control over the legitimate copies, especially via the limited activations (3). This could help close the door on casual borrowing, or buying/selling the game used, etc.

Hopefully this isn't the case, if there really is some advantage to this system that promotes a healthier market for PC gaming by reducing piracy, the vast majority of gamers (I'd think) would be willing to overlook the annoyances/burdens. I still haven't canceled my preorder.
May 7, 2008 2:30:36 PM

Won't buy due to security (possibly wouldn't by anyhow, not sure I'm interested in the game itself. Also didn't buy Bioshock for the same reason. So far as I'm concerned, when I buy a game IT IS MINE. I should be able to keep the disk for 20 years, when the company who made the game is long-gone, have a nostalgia fit, and install it on any machine I bloody well like. I should be able to install it and uninstall it at-will, without anyone's permission to do so.
May 7, 2008 2:41:34 PM

i wont buy this game strangley i was looking forward to it, but i dont want to my computer to send out information about its self to another server, and a almost weekly basis.

if its going to send out hardware stuff that means it will probably transmit mac address and i.p's, and the hardware im using, do you have any idea how easy it is for someone to get that information if its being sent out every 11 days?! and how much damage they could do.

tbh there retards, at best ill pirate this game now, but then i be bambarded because im adding to the problem, so ill not pirate the game, no matter how much i feel like sticking it to them... i might just buy it and crack it myself, but then there sales will go up and there heads will say that they made a good game and that people dont mind DRM....

if the company goes down the pan because of this then we will be told its because of pirates...

we cant win either way, its the companys fault if it goes down hill especially when using such measures described above.
May 7, 2008 2:50:45 PM

I understand how many of you feel...that it infringes on the customers privacy and these measures may be going "too far".

What I disagree with is the analogies given above. How can you compare videogames to monitors? Are monitors being pirated? Store clerks don't go to your home simply because they don't need to. People don't buy monitors to replicate it and redistribute world wide for free. Intelectual property on software is simply a different story.

I think the subject is ironic. The same people who complain about DRM and other security measures are the same who pirated older titles. If it wasn't for those "id10ts", there wouldn't be DRM in the first place. I know some people take pride in pirating games but thanks to those "id10ts", companies have to take serious measures to protect their investments. And you blame them?

If you're so irritated about security measures then perhaps you can post potential solutions instead of turning around and go download illegal torrents...because that is not the solution.

So, what would YOU recommend publishers implement to stop e-piracy?
May 7, 2008 3:07:11 PM

Is this overkill? Probably.

Will I buy the game anyway? Yeah, I love CRPGs and I heard this was a good one. Honestly, stuff like this doesn't bother me -- but I'm one of those people who didn't mind CD/DVD checks either, I have all my normal games conveniently located next to my computer so I just reach out and grab the one I want to play.

Frankly, I know too many people who do a lot of computer pirating to complain about attempts to make their lives more difficult, though like everyone else I'd prefer methods that actually work.
May 7, 2008 3:12:41 PM

how about this,

you know every bought copy of a game is recorded through the barcode, why not put the cd-key info on the barcode, so when a game is scanned in the barcode gets sent to a master server which then activates that key. ok stay with me when you come to install the game it contacts the master server to see if the key has been activated, if yes the game installs, if no the game does not install. - one check everytime you reinstall the game, and before a online multiplayer match.

ok this doesnt stop you from making a copy of the disk and using the same cd-key, but then you just need to run a check to make sure the cd-key isnt being used more than say 4 times, if it is then de-activate the cd-key on the server. Stopping the person playing online, or installing the game. you could extend it to stop it playing singleplayer.

p.s

would stop a cd-key generator because the key would not work unless it generated an already bought key.
however i believe it would still be hacked, but this is as simple as protection needs to be.
May 7, 2008 3:31:10 PM

If you're so irritated about security measures then perhaps you can post potential solutions instead of turning around and go download illegal torrents...because that is not the solution.

So, what would YOU recommend publishers implement to stop e-piracy?


TBH this is most certainly not the solution as they have cost my sale will now borrow my friends 360 version (Which has been available to me for months but I decided to wait and preorder for PC grrr). I dont have constant internet on my Gaming PC so will never purchase anything that dials out as a requirement.

But surely these "analysts" etc can see that anything ever released (thats good anyway) has a torrent with a text file that reads:

1. unzip a
2. Install
3. run b.exe and xyz.reg and Enjoy

Even when loaded with DRM it has been made 123 easy! So why bother loading it with even more and more when it will be as easy as 123 for the casual user within a week or so of release.

Does DRM actually stop pirates? It only takes 1 genious to hack it and make it accessible to all.

Just because I dont have an alternative solution to offer the industry doesnt mean they should carry on with something that is clearly not working.

May 7, 2008 4:02:48 PM

I already have the game on the 360 but if I was waiting for the pc version this would really make me reconsider if I wanted the game or not. I still would not pirate the game.

This type of protection only annoys the honest customers who actually buy the game, it will not stop pirates from getting it, and it may drive away paying customers.

I don't mind typing in the cd key when I install a game, or having to put the disk in the computer to run the game, I can put up with registering a game the first time I install it (even though it is a pain in the butt) I just do not like having to sign in every time I want to play my game, Its not so bad if I'm play online or somthing but to require that I sign in on line even for single player games is stupid. Bioware has taken this whole thing too far and it will only hurt paying customers.

In my opinion
May 7, 2008 4:06:35 PM

^ i assume you wrote that post while flakes was still writing his otherwise.... (do you need me to finish?)
May 7, 2008 4:11:58 PM

Quote:
how about this,

you know every bought copy of a game is recorded through the barcode, why not put the cd-key info on the barcode, so when a game is scanned in the barcode gets sent to a master server which then activates that key. ok stay with me when you come to install the game it contacts the master server to see if the key has been activated, if yes the game installs, if no the game does not install. - one check everytime you reinstall the game, and before a online multiplayer match.


This is similar in the way they make pre-paid cell phone cards, and I think this would be a more than acceptable way of protecting from piracy.

On the game itself I have it for 360 and LOVE it great story and enjoyable exploration with tons of detail and side story. Personally I was considering buying it again for the PC for the higher quality Frames and the added content plus the mod opprotunities are endless. This security messure may make me pass but I doubt it I am one of those people who pays for all my games and media(now lol used to use limewire/bearshare for music in high school but now that I have a good job and cash I pay) none the less I think this security is a bit redonkulous but what can you do if you like a game enough you will buy if not, oh well not really that big a deal is it.
May 7, 2008 4:25:32 PM

Quote:
I personally would have done my usual "try it, then buy it" method that some of you have come to detest...


Just curious, but do you also open a box of cookies in the grocery store but only pay for them if a.) you like them and b.) you haven't already finished the box before you reach the checkout?
May 7, 2008 4:31:55 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
I think the subject is ironic. The same people who complain about DRM and other security measures are the same who pirated older titles. If it wasn't for those "id10ts", there wouldn't be DRM in the first place. I know some people take pride in pirating games but thanks to those "id10ts", companies have to take serious measures to protect their investments. And you blame them?

If you're so irritated about security measures then perhaps you can post potential solutions instead of turning around and go download illegal torrents...because that is not the solution.

So, what would YOU recommend publishers implement to stop e-piracy?


I confess I used to pirate the occasional video game back in my high school days. I'll give you a more significant example though - I was a MASS piraateer of anime back in the pre-digital days. Did a lot of heavy trading of videotapes by mail. Now that I'm out of college and most of my income is disposable, I own a HUGE collection of legit releases. We're talking 1,200+ laserdiscs and quite a few DVDs. Have I replaced most of my old pirated titles? If I liked them, you bet.

I'm a collector. I don't JUST want the show itself. I want that, and the proper jacket, and as many extras as I can lay hands on. This goes for video games as well - I want the real manual, and the box, and the labelled disc itself. Look at the old Infocom games, or the Ultima series - they usually came with various bits of swag and goodies. Heck, in the case of Infocom some of the "extras" turned out to be crucial to solving puzzles in the game itself.
May 7, 2008 4:35:38 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
I personally would have done my usual "try it, then buy it" method that some of you have come to detest...


Just curious, but do you also open a box of cookies in the grocery store but only pay for them if a.) you like them and b.) you haven't already finished the box before you reach the checkout?


Do we only buy cookies that we like? Is that seriously what you're asking?

Yes, I only buy cookies that I like. Do you just randomly pitch cookies into your cart, cross your fingers, and pray?

May 7, 2008 4:39:56 PM

Hey Luke, I see what you mean...you basically summarized the whole problem in a nutshell. By saying that DRM is not working...well I'd also have to agree with you.

But here's my opinion, DRM works better than No DRM. Just like you guys, I don't agree with DRM and I also realize that it seems to punish the people who actually buy the game...but it also makes it a "little" harder for casual gamers to play them.

For instance, a friend of mine called me this week and told me he had just finished downloading the COD4 torrent. Obviously he was all excited but he had no idea how to actually make it work. After telling him how much of an idiot he was, I told him there was a install.txt file probably in there but not to call me for any such support. He called me again yesterday to tell me that he loved the single player campaign but couldn't play online. I'm making 3 points here.

1- My friends an idiot for downloading the game where you can only play the SP campaign(as online is as fun if not better), it took him 4 weeks as oppose to 20 minutes to go to the store and comeback. What a guy.

2- DRM doesn't work, it's too easy to pirate apparently.

3- Login on a server to be able to play the game works better.
May 7, 2008 5:15:31 PM

snarfies1 said:
Do we only buy cookies that we like? Is that seriously what you're asking?

Yes, I only buy cookies that I like. Do you just randomly pitch cookies into your cart, cross your fingers, and pray?

The point is that "sampling" something that is not a sample is called stealing, unless you ALWAYS pay for it in the end. But sticking with the cookie analogy - I was at the store just this weekend and saw a off-brand of cookies that looked like they might be decent. There wasn't a sample or any other means of "try before you buy". So I was left with the decision to either purchase them and take the risk that they would be awful or not purchase them and never know. I bought two boxes (two different flavors). One was pretty good and the other not so much. Now I know which I like and and which I don't and which to buy and which not to. That really doesn't seem like such a difficult concept to me, but I guess for some it is.
May 7, 2008 5:26:45 PM

GrandAdmiralThrawn said:
I already have the game on the 360 but if I was waiting for the pc version this would really make me reconsider if I wanted the game or not. I still would not pirate the game.

This type of protection only annoys the honest customers who actually buy the game, it will not stop pirates from getting it, and it may drive away paying customers.

I don't mind typing in the cd key when I install a game, or having to put the disk in the computer to run the game, I can put up with registering a game the first time I install it (even though it is a pain in the butt) I just do not like having to sign in every time I want to play my game, Its not so bad if I'm play online or somthing but to require that I sign in on line even for single player games is stupid. Bioware has taken this whole thing too far and it will only hurt paying customers.

In my opinion

I'm with you on the CD key, but to be honest I think we even need to move beyond the "required disc" protection they have. It's annoying to me that I have to create the .iso myself from a legit copy and make sure I have the latest securom/whatever else emulation to run the game without a CD. We have huge hard drives now, and a lot of us own multiple games that require the discs. Maybe I'm just nitpicking but it sucks to have to get the disc for a game to play it, and if your office is anything like mine, that alone might take 15 minutes while you look through drawers of old software discs.
May 7, 2008 5:28:28 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
I personally would have done my usual "try it, then buy it" method that some of you have come to detest...


Just curious, but do you also open a box of cookies in the grocery store but only pay for them if a.) you like them and b.) you haven't already finished the box before you reach the checkout?

Nope, because in eating cookies out of the box I've ruined/contaminated a physical product, and that specific box of cookies can no longer be sold to someone else in the store, and money will have to be spent to replace that box of cookies. Apples and oranges, my friend. A better analogy would be "do you go home to your magical cookie duplication box and duplicate various cookies that can be found and purchased in the stores, and try them before actually purchasing a box of real cookies?" And damnit, if such a thing existed, you bet your sweet ass I'd be using that magical cookie duplication box all day.

Plus, typically you'd only purchase a game once. Like you said, the same company made two different flavors of cookies, and you bought both. One was good, the other wasn't. You'd probably go back and buy the good cookies again and again, and wouldn't ever buy the bad ones, but you're still supporting the company that makes the bad ones. If you buy every game you want to try, you've already completely supported the company with only 1 purchase. And if a company makes a bad game, and you hate it, there's no guarantee that the next one they make is bad as well (they could be different flavored cookies!) Just not a good analogy unless you bring in a magical cookie duplication box imo.
Anonymous
a b 8 Security
May 7, 2008 5:34:32 PM

last time i checked i didnt have to worry about my cookies contacting a home server to make sure i paid for them...
May 7, 2008 6:11:08 PM

My cookies gave me a virus. :( 
May 7, 2008 6:21:39 PM

I'd buy the game since I oppose piracy... at the same time, I do not like / approve / etc. the type of security counter-measures they're trying to deploy. I would purchase the game and then crack it to disable the security measures. I'm not looking to redistribute it or share with anyone else, but I'm also not going to put up with having a game installed on my pc and not being able to play it because it's copy protection is retarded.

I've stated this before, and I will state it again, this type of copy protection does not inhibit / prevent any hacker or pirate. It only causes inconvenience towards LEGITIMATE users and buyers.

It takes what... 1 week after a game is released to be fully cracked and available for download? (Sometimes the crack is available pre-release) Then your average computer user comes along to install the game but DRM stops em... oops, now this user is pissed at computers and buys a console to avoid the hassle.

The industry is killing it self with it's counter-measures. The only acceptable one so far is the Steam / Valve system. Not this proprietary bullsh it (as someone else said, I don't want more background processes taking up system resources)... join together under one system and **** live it.
May 7, 2008 6:26:58 PM

Well, I almost bought this.

Seriously, I have the 360 version and I almost bought the PC version for all of it's improvements.

Now, I won't.

Also I was intending fully to purchase Spore.

Now, I won't.

Also I was intending to get Dragon Age when it came out.

If it is using this DRM, I won't.

How many lost sales does it take for them to see that they are hurting themselves far more than they are hurting the pirates?
May 7, 2008 6:30:14 PM

Oh Snap said:
I think a lot of people would find this new security measure to be insulting and intrusive, almost as if you walked into a store, bought a monitor, checked out at the exit (to make sure it wasn't stolen), and then one of the employees from the store stops by your house every 10 days to make sure the monitor still isn't stolen. Some people can be put off enough by the way a company does business that regardless of how good their product might be, they don't want anything to do with them anymore.


Nailed it! Oh and no I was not planning on pirating it FaceLifter.

Best,

3Ball
May 7, 2008 7:11:36 PM

infornography42 said:
Well, I almost bought this.

Seriously, I have the 360 version and I almost bought the PC version for all of it's improvements.

Now, I won't.

Also I was intending fully to purchase Spore.

Now, I won't.

Also I was intending to get Dragon Age when it came out.

If it is using this DRM, I won't.

How many lost sales does it take for them to see that they are hurting themselves far more than they are hurting the pirates?


As I just wrote on another piracy-related thread, I'm currently working on an article about this issue. I hope to have a response from BioWare; the SecuROM thing is obviously something that came from EA (hence, Spore) and not BioWare, but I'm curious to see if BioWare had any say in the matter.

In the meantime, for further reading about BioWare and piracy: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/03/11/bioware_interview/page2.html

Lastly, regarding the cookie analogy: I never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Oh Snap. It's a bad analogy. But then again, so is the magic cookie box counter-argument. If I'm going to criticize the use of hypothetical, fairy tale analogies about ray guns and magically duplicated cars in support of piracy, then I feel it's only sane and rational to criticize the same faulty logic when they're used to argue against piracy. So let's please stop with all of these hypothetical analogies regarding piracy. On Both sides. Please.

May 7, 2008 7:17:31 PM

Quote:

Nope, because in eating cookies out of the box I've ruined/contaminated a physical product, and that specific box of cookies can no longer be sold to someone else in the store, and money will have to be spent to replace that box of cookies. Apples and oranges, my friend. A better analogy would be "do you go home to your magical cookie duplication box and duplicate various cookies that can be found and purchased in the stores, and try them before actually purchasing a box of real cookies?" And damnit, if such a thing existed, you bet your sweet ass I'd be using that magical cookie duplication box all day.


Ah, the good old "if it aint tangible, then you can't steal it" argument. I'm not sure if this comes more from immaturity or an inability to think critically/abstractly. Here's why it's wrong though:
When any company decides to make a product they do so expecting that there is a market for it. Based on the size of the expected market the product will be made accordingly. Since it's unrealistic to expect with any given product that everybody who purchases it will be satisfied there is also an expectation that some profit will come from people who are not happy about their purchase. All consumers of course have the option of not buying the product, thus removing themselves from the market. This has both an adverse affect on the market for that product (and in turn the company selling) while also denying the consumer any benefits (real or perceived) of having used the product. However when you pirate these game you are adversely affecting the market (by removing yourself) while at the same time benefiting from being able to play the game (even if you don't like it. This is more or less the definition of stealing. Also by the logic of this statement:

Quote:
Nope, because in eating cookies out of the box I've ruined/contaminated a physical product, and that specific box of cookies can no longer be sold to someone else in the store, and money will have to be spent to replace that box of cookies.


You should only be responsible for paying the cost (the store's cost, not the retail price) to replace the product you contaminated so that it can be resold. Since you didn't like them you should not have to pay any additional charges that would normally be the stores profit. This of course is the same type of logic petty thieves use every day. They'll go into a store where they've previously made a purchase that they were not happy with and since they can't get a refund they steal something else reasoning that the store has already profited off them more then they deserve so they are entitled to something free. (While working in a convenient store a while back I had a shop lifter arrested and that was his exact claim).

May 7, 2008 7:26:06 PM

robwright said:
Lastly, regarding the cookie analogy: I never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Oh Snap. It's a bad analogy. But then again, so is the magic cookie box counter-argument. If I'm going to criticize the use of hypothetical, fairy tale analogies about ray guns and magically duplicated cars in support of piracy, then I feel it's only sane and rational to criticize the same faulty logic when they're used to argue against piracy. So let's please stop with all of these hypothetical analogies regarding piracy. On Both sides. Please.

The point of the magical cookie box, other than just being an awesome potential invention, is to show how ridiculous the cookie argument is, because that's the only way his analog would "work". To be honest I'm not even trying to defend piracy in this thread. Anyone who's read a piracy thread on here in the last 2 weeks knows my stance, so I think that's enough for now. :p 
May 7, 2008 7:28:14 PM

Quote:
You should only be responsible for paying the cost (the store's cost, not the retail price) to replace the product you contaminated so that it can be resold.

Negative. Someone else could have walked into the store, with the intent on purchasing cookies for full retail price, but they weren't there because you stole them.

Quote:
This is more or less the definition of stealing.

Then by all means, feel free to "steal" anything in my house so long as the original is untouched.

purplerat said:
words....

Zzzz... There's a clear difference between the two, whether or not you agree with piracy or shoplifting. It was a bad analogy, just let it go.
May 7, 2008 7:33:40 PM

The real cost of "security" like this:
Quote:
I love Bioware games, so the news of this new copy protection scheme is very disappointing. I despise piracy, because it hurts the companies that create the wonderful games that we all love. But...

I will not be buying Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Mysteries of Westgate, or Spore (That's approximately $160) or any other game with this type of protection scheme, because the method is frustrating, insulting, possibly illegal, and just plain wrong! I very much wanted to play these games, so it is with deep regret that I must stand firm with my decision to decline these investments. If anything goes wrong, through no fault of my own, I would be denied the ability to play a game that I paid for and that is unacceptable. Infuriating!

I'll stick with games from companies like Stardock / IronClad such as Sins of a Solar Empire. Your executives need to take a look at this game's sales figures (No Copy Protection) and read a more enlightened opinion with regard to piracy which IronClad subscribes to (Recently, they wrote an article about piracy: Click Here

I wish Bioware the best.

Sincerely,

Hamarabi2006
May 7, 2008 7:45:17 PM

Quote:
I never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Oh Snap. It's a bad analogy

I'll acknowledge that it's a bad analogy only from the standpoint that a consumable like cookies would rely on it's customer buying them over and over again to be successful, where as a game is a one time purchase. However in the larger scheme of theft of intellectual property it is the same thing as if a company were to produce intellectual property on a daily basis, expecting it's customers to continually purchase it, and somebody were to duplicate and use it without paying simply because they hadn't physically taken anything. It would still be theft.
May 7, 2008 8:17:14 PM

Oh Snap,

The point wasn't to say the actual act of pirating a game is the same as eating a cookie without paying for it. The point is that the logic used to rationalize doing either is pretty much the same. Most people who steal do so with some sort of rationalization that makes it ok in their minds.
May 7, 2008 8:29:21 PM

Analogies and pirating aside I really dislike the idea of this style of DRM.

Put the games on Steam or something similar and require me to login to play them. That at least gives me the benefit of having them available to reinstall from their service. I can deal with not being able to play a game when my cable is down if I at least get some benefit back. Steam offers the ability reinstall as well as an easy to use online game search and a list of games to run from one screen.

This just seems like a mess. What happens if I have an HDD crash, buy a new rig, buy a new component, or have to format for some reason? I'm screwed until I get in contact with their customer support which I'm sure is abysmal. What if their authentication server fails, I seem to recall Microsoft having this problem, will my game be gone for 10 days until it runs again?

What information is being set free out into the incredibly safe world wide web? I don't mind telling a company what components I'm using if they ask, but I'd rather not have them shooting my MAC address, computer name, my real name etc. out into cyberspace for just anyone to grab in one tidy little packet.

It seems like they are asking an awful lot and not giving anything back in return. Hindering pirates is one thing, but it seems like so many parts of that system are just built to hinder everyone except for pirates. I don't have a problem with copy protection or even authenticating with someone else's server, but at least give me something back for it. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
May 7, 2008 8:31:57 PM

clay12340 said:
Analogies and pirating aside I really dislike the idea of this style of DRM.

Put the games on Steam or something similar and require me to login to play them. That at least gives me the benefit of having them available to reinstall from their service. I can deal with not being able to play a game when my cable is down if I at least get some benefit back. Steam offers the ability reinstall as well as an easy to use online game search and a list of games to run from one screen.

This just seems like a mess. What happens if I have an HDD crash, buy a new rig, buy a new component, or have to format for some reason? I'm screwed until I get in contact with their customer support which I'm sure is abysmal. What if their authentication server fails, I seem to recall Microsoft having this problem, will my game be gone for 10 days until it runs again?

What information is being set free out into the incredibly safe world wide web? I don't mind telling a company what components I'm using if they ask, but I'd rather not have them shooting my MAC address, computer name, my real name etc. out into cyberspace for just anyone to grab in one tidy little packet.

It seems like they are asking an awful lot and not giving anything back in return. Hindering pirates is one thing, but it seems like so many parts of that system are just built to hinder everyone except for pirates. I don't have a problem with copy protection or even authenticating with someone else's server, but at least give me something back for it. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

I completely agree.
May 7, 2008 9:34:45 PM

clay12340 said:
Analogies and pirating aside I really dislike the idea of this style of DRM.

Put the games on Steam or something similar and require me to login to play them. That at least gives me the benefit of having them available to reinstall from their service. I can deal with not being able to play a game when my cable is down if I at least get some benefit back. Steam offers the ability reinstall as well as an easy to use online game search and a list of games to run from one screen.

This just seems like a mess. What happens if I have an HDD crash, buy a new rig, buy a new component, or have to format for some reason? I'm screwed until I get in contact with their customer support which I'm sure is abysmal. What if their authentication server fails, I seem to recall Microsoft having this problem, will my game be gone for 10 days until it runs again?

What information is being set free out into the incredibly safe world wide web? I don't mind telling a company what components I'm using if they ask, but I'd rather not have them shooting my MAC address, computer name, my real name etc. out into cyberspace for just anyone to grab in one tidy little packet.

It seems like they are asking an awful lot and not giving anything back in return. Hindering pirates is one thing, but it seems like so many parts of that system are just built to hinder everyone except for pirates. I don't have a problem with copy protection or even authenticating with someone else's server, but at least give me something back for it. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.


The best solutions to dealing with the piracy problem are Stardock and Steam.

They have a lot of similarities and differences.

They are both online distribution systems that allow you to install it wherever you want and require registration.

They are different in that Stardock does not have any sort of activation or authentication system to play or install the game unless you are installing it through their online system. They only check when you want to patch, which is a great system. Both however work wonderfully to restrict piracy without causing massive headaches for the consumer. Why in the blazes does anyone use anything more draconian than Steam? Steam works. It is the only DRM I've seen that actively works. And Stardock works in other ways.
May 7, 2008 9:39:38 PM

Steam used to be a royal pain in the ass, but to be honest it's really quite amazing at this point. It's honestly easier than buying a game and installing it. Just buy it in their steam store, hit finish, it automatically downloads and installs it for you, and you just hit play game. Good for the customer, bad for pirates.
May 7, 2008 9:49:55 PM

the best way to stop piracy, is to make the legit copy more convenient

when someone is pirating a game, they go through a lot of work, 99% or more of the games will most likely be infected with a trojan that virus scans will not be updated to detect for some time


it is a lot of risk for someone to pirate. but even with that, it is easier to pirate than to buy a game, jump through a million hoops then jump through 1 more every 10 days

but if they were to remove the drm it will be more convenient to buy the game.

people pay money for convenience.

a few weeks ago i did a job for a local business, they had about 50 computers that they needed updated, and a few things set up.

the owner knows programming and is a electronics engineer
he could do the simple task him self but he chooses to pay me and a few other people to do it quickly so it will not cut into business hours.

he could have done it him self but it would have been less convenient. so he paid us instead, and the job was done for him, with no problems.


it is more frustrating to install a legit game, than it is to do a pirated game because it takes more work to do the legit one, where as with the pirate one, the only hassle is deciding if it is infected or not
May 7, 2008 10:04:46 PM

Quote:
I was wondering about Steam, if you only play one game does the setup process get annoying or something?


Well you have to register for Steam, then connect online to the service in order to get the program. Otherwise you could register on steam and provide a serial code you already have for the game which it cross references and then unlocks the game for your future use.

Once the game is installed it will check back every once in a while. If the internet is down it will try again later. I think it is roughly once a month but I could be remembering wrong.

What makes Steam less annoying is the fact that you never have to worry about it once it is installed if you have even intermittent internet access and the fact that it is a huge source of software. If even a couple of companies still use it, it will stay up and running. It would take something pretty bad for steam to go down. A lot of companies depend on it.

Steam will still prove annoying if you have no internet access but it is a trusted and reliable service now which is a lot more than anyone can say for Securom.
May 7, 2008 10:10:13 PM

Quote:
I was wondering about Steam, if you only play one game does the setup process get annoying or something?

Not really. Once you have a steam account setup with even one game registered to it it's easy. If you reformat, just download the steam installer which is only a few megs, install it, and it does the rest. It automatically re-downloads all games you have registered to your steam account, and auto installs them. You just double click the game in your steam list, or just create a shortcut on your desktop or something, and you're off.

I recently reinstalled Windows Vista 64, and all I had to do to copy my installed games from Windows XP was just drag over the SteamApps/ folder into my newly installed Steam/ directory in Vista, run steam, and it took care of the rest (and retained my configs for CoD and CS:S because they were already in that SteamApps folder). Didn't have to mess with discs, re-enter CD keys, or go through separate individual installs and because I already had the bulk of the programs moved over, it only took about 5 minutes for it to download what it needed and have all the games ready to go. Razor512 is dead on, convenience is really the route companies should be going with their games. I'd argue that companies should still lower their prices as well (even $20-30 for a new game instead of $50 seems reasonable to me), but go with a convenient system like steam that does it all for you, and you might just havea winner. I'd certainly buy games more frequently, as I'm sure a lot of other people would too.

Most importantly, even though steam sends packets every once in a while, that's only when it's running. Unlike securom and all this seedy "behind the scenes" packet-sending nonsense, if you close steam, it's not contacting the game developers just to let them know you're still not a thief.
May 8, 2008 2:03:09 AM

I didn't like Mass Effect when it was on the 360, and this draconian DRM certainly doesn't help their case.
May 8, 2008 7:32:25 AM

purplerat said:
The point is that "sampling" something that is not a sample is called stealing, unless you ALWAYS pay for it in the end. But sticking with the cookie analogy - I was at the store just this weekend and saw a off-brand of cookies that looked like they might be decent. There wasn't a sample or any other means of "try before you buy". So I was left with the decision to either purchase them and take the risk that they would be awful or not purchase them and never know. I bought two boxes (two different flavors). One was pretty good and the other not so much. Now I know which I like and and which I don't and which to buy and which not to. That really doesn't seem like such a difficult concept to me, but I guess for some it is.


My ex used to take 4hrs to get round the supermarket. By the time we'd finished I'd ALWAYS end up paying for an empty bottle of drink! Crazy!
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