Always Online DRM

Discussion in 'Politics & Ethics of Technology' started by Silent_Buddha, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Silent_Buddha

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    MODEDIT: Moved discussion from here.

    Yup, I'm watching UBI Soft's experiment with a lot of interest for a variety of things.

    1. Will it be successful in curbing piracy for at least a month or more?
    2. If [1] turns out to be true, will either title do well? You can already assume Settlers 7 will not do well in the US, so I'm only looking at AC2 here. But even with that any data will be slightly tainted with the titles coming out 4-5 months after the console version.

    Wish they would have done the rollout with a PC only or simultaneous release title, but I'm guessing using AC2 is low risk (they already made a profit on the console version, so could afford to take a loss).

    Not sure how this is going to turn out myself, but going to be interesting to see. If both [1] and [2] fail, then I'm fully expecting UBI Soft to start winding down PC operations and move more and more to console exclusivity.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    Doubt they would wind down PC operations when they got good selling franchises. Many of the games they have aren't made nor adaptable to the console platforms/crowd. Though they might go for Steam to the horror of the German gamers!
     
  3. joker454

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    Hmm. Given that you can't play without an online connection, why even bother storing the save game locally? Keeping the save game cloud only could be another piracy deterrent, since then not only would the online check have to be hacked, but the save game mechanism as well.
     
  4. TheD

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    Idiots, they sure know how to make a game not worth buying!

    PS: How long do you think before they show the real reason for this and yank the servers to stop people from playing (and force an upgrade)? 2 years?
     
  5. RenegadeRocks

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    Well, people may think otherwise, but I think these measures only trouble the genuine buyers. All the DRMs , the limits on installs, always requiring disc in drive, trouble only the person who actually spent money for it.
    When I was student, about 7 -8 years back, I don't thiink I even knew if the PC games I played were even available in my country or not, I mean legally. Every game was a pirated version, and even the money I had to give to peddlars for it used to seem huge in student days(Students in India don't work :wink:), but the point is I never had any trouble at all after I bought the game. I used to get awesome after sales ervices from the peddlars, even to the point of exchanging the game for something else, if the game turned out to be not to my interest. I used to really enjoy my game after the purchase, no other thoughts ever came to my mind.
    Then years later, i got a job, that too in animation n gaming and I started buying games legally(also, by this time India started getting legal copies in stores) and ever since my discs have got scratched due to constantly putting it in and out of the drive. i have learnt the hard way that CDs don't last that long.

    Then came DRMs and I am unable to play some of the games I bought because I installed a new Windows and my number of installs got over :( . GTA IV is lying unused cos I lost installs switching from XP to Vista to Win 7.

    Now, if Ubi wants me to be online all the time, a new method which doesn't require you to put the disc in or limit the number of installs(how are they going to do that? Can I install on all of my friends PC s too?), then I think I have come accross another curb on my freedom if I buy a legal copy . And this one hurts too, as in countries like mine, bandwidth is atill a privilige. Broadband is still new to us and very costly, on top of that our ISPs are not so stable. We run into numerous problems and an uninterrupted net connection is still something that works only in the metros.

    What do I do, Ubisoft? Spend money and get headaches free with it, or download a torrent for free and have fun ?:sad:
     
  6. nightshade

    nightshade Wookies love cookies!
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    I just don't understand DRM..its just a PITA for the buyer the one who was to pirate the game will still pirate it regardless..cause tbh the DRM doesn't prevents the games from getting cracked. Now its just a matter of how long it takes to get cracked, these days its a guess between anything from 1 day to 1 week or so.Infact it may make a person who earlier thought of buying the game,decide to pirate it instead.

    GTA4 uses the older GFW Live DRM which means you could use the key for 15 times until it expires for installing the game, they say that you just have to give a call to MS to reset your activation limit but I don't know what the case is in our country lol.

    And just so it happens you could use that key for 15 times with ANY GFW Live game using that kind of DRM & not just GTA 4 [the most recent game being Bioshock 2, which is well....pretty damn recent]..nice kind of DRM I must say, one which actually allows piracy lol
     
    #6 nightshade, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2010
  7. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    You do neither, if you want to play you buy it and if not then you dont buy it nor download it. To download from a torrent is being a thief and does no good. For pirated version to work there would have to be a crack for it. This crack would then be available as standalone on lots of sites which you could as easily install for the retail bought version so therefore there is absolutely nothing backing up piracy to get around DRM.

    If Splinter Cell: Conviction has this system and it bothers me despite me liking the game then I buy it and then download a 'no DRM patch'. No online gameplay troubles yet I bought the legal version. Thats how it is you either buy legal version or you dont play the game, no excuses.
     
  8. nightshade

    nightshade Wookies love cookies!
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    Well come to think of it I do use a No DVD crack for my Crysis copy, no such facility for Crysis Wars though [just 2 installs remaining lol]
     
  9. function

    function None functional
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    I quite agree that if you intend to play it you should buy it (even if you intend to use a hack of some kind to get around the DRM). Thing is, all it's tempting me to do is buy it for the 360 instead.

    Ever since my experience of Steam locking me out because their servers were unreachable (preventing subsequent attempts to run in offline mode) I've taken an increasingly hostile view of "permission to use" games.

    Steam I can still live with though, because the perks balance out the limitations and because I'm trying to be realistic about the need to defend against piracy. This is a different scale of awfulness though.

    It makes something like Onlive look good. For the cost of AC2 you could have two or three months of playing any PC game you want, on any device that has an internet connection, and you have no driver or upgrade issues.*

    *But probably some big lag issues. :(
     
  10. function

    function None functional
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    Isn't there a deactivation tool for Crysis Wars? Or is that just for Warhead?
     
  11. RenegadeRocks

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    Whatever happened to the consumer being the king? What if u buy your food and are asked to report to the waiter every time u take a bite? Will u stop eating or consider buying that burger from somewhere else?

    I, for one, have been buying stuff ever since I got a job, but others don't really care.

    And Nebula, if you are downloading "No DRM " cracks for playing a legit copy then isn't the system flawed in the first place? Otherwise why would a legit guy need a crack to play a game he bought by paying real money?
    I personally, did not know that "no DRMs" cracks are used by legit buyers too. I have never tried it with my games.

    I am ready to pay them the money, but the ridiculous restrictions of being online all the time can't work where I am. If this does not encourage piracy then what does? If I want to play it, the only option left would be a torrent(Don't worry, I am not doing it, as I don't care about AC2 anymore, otherwise I would have got the ps3 version anyways). Add to me all the people who were anyways on the fence about whether to buy it or not. Which way would they go, especially when the other option is cheaper,easier and lets you play the game.(Look at the world outside US, drenched in Piracy. We have Game peddlers at every corner of the street. Little children sit there with latest game CDs)

    @nightshade: I didn't know about 15 installs limit, but My GTA won't install on my other home PC when I moved from Mumbai to home. I have installed it only 3 times, twice just to chk out which OS performs better, XP or VIsta, and once on Win 7. It says I can't install anymore, I don't know the exact message it spewed out. If the limit is 15, then I need to contact customer care I guess, but, does it even exist for India:roll:? (you r in india too, right?)
     
  12. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    I would go to another restaurant, order a meal, pay and enjoy the meal. Or just pay and then take the burger with me without reporting my eating status.


    A crack is not needed to play the game.

    Some dont like Tages nor StarForce DRM software installed.

    I agree the DRM they have choosen is ridicolous. Would have been better to use Steam + activation method. However this gives no reason to pirate the game.

    No becouse as I said the torrent will have a pirated copy that also has a crack. A crack you can get as standalone on several different sites and apply to legal copy. If people dont want to bend over to Ubisofts methods then dont buy the game at release but wait until it hits bargain bin. Buy it legal when you find the price adequate for what you get. :)

    Thats what I will do, I will buy AC2 when it hits 15-20$ price range. Until then I just dont mind not being able to play game.

    Game has a revoke tool to revoke license. Might help.
     
    #12 Neb, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2010
  13. RenegadeRocks

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    That equivalent to cheating as far s Ubisoft or other DRMs are concerned.

    But then you are using it to play the game. You are using it to get past the DRm, which is, you are using it to play the game in an iilegit manner even if you have bought the game. Again, to somebody checking on you, its the same as playing an illegit copy cos you have bypassed the DRM. Not complied with it.

    Activation on install and goodbye forever would surely be better.

    You r playing the game using a crack to bypass the DRM leaves in the same position as playing an illegit copy. The only difference between the two is the DRM, which you are still bypassing. When a company decides to chk up on who has bought a legit and who has pirated the game, sadly, you'll be singled out as someone who is playing it illegally.
     
  14. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    I really don't see any problem with this, I think this is a far better solution than the more intrusive DRM like Tages or StarForce. The only people this would really frustrate would be laptop gamers who are on the road. I hope they do well with this online protection and hope it's not cracked immediately. I'd much prefer Steam and activation though, as mentioned.

    Yes there will be situations where people cannot buy this due to the online requirement, but I believe that it would only impact a very small percentage of possible buyers.
     
  15. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    Better a "cheater" than a thief...

    Atleast I know the developer got money for the copy. That they got money for their work and time spent on developing game. After all it is not the developer that should get punished when it is the publisher UBI that decides what DRM to use. Sadly waiting for game to hit bargain bin spills over onto developer a bit.

    No the difference is I will pay for the game the pirates will not. I support the devs but I do not fully support the publishers DRM method for my reasons concerning my ISP relayability. Devs get money from me to cover costs for development. Pirates dont give anything they just take, they are thieves.

    The thing is you wont have any contact with servers. Wasn't that the point of using no DRM patch for legal copy? :wink:
     
    #15 Neb, Feb 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2010
  16. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    I really dont have that much problem with the DRM system. It is just that my ISP has quite often random downtimes or slowdowns in bandwidth (lately ridicolous amount). It is irritating considering I pay quite high price for their service, they are a big name company and Sweden supposed to be cutting edge IT country. The thing is with limited time to play games the last thing I want is to get a connection timeout warning during playing session.

    However I can sleep good knowing I pay for all the games/software I play no mather what. The devs get their share for their work. :)
     
  17. RenegadeRocks

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    Ok ! You win ! I might end up not buying the game at all, if it gets enforced completely. Which is not right.
    Looking at it as a consumer, I don't want it. If I pay $60, which is a lot of money, I will like to own it and not be at the mercy of them still to play it. I have never tried the crack with a legit copy thing. Won't I be losing out on all the online features then. That again means not being able to play the game completely the way I should be.
    My point is that these DRMs re troubling me n u. U find a way out by playing with a crack, sacrificing some features to go with that decision. I go through the pains of scratched discs and locked games lying in my closet, ...............

    But the guys who are pirating the games are still pirating it with full freedom and enjoying the games. My view is , these DRMs are deterring people from legit copies instead of deterring people from using pirated copies. Especially with people who don't give a damn about money reaching thedevs, but just want to play the game.

    These DRMs are supposed to stop people who are in the habit of playing pirated games and make them get a legit copy. Which I don't think they are doing. Do you think that people who are waitng for a torrent of AC2 to hit the internet are going to buy a legit copy after reading this.? I think they will wait, even if it takes a month to crack it.

    People like you n me are anyways buying legit ones.
     
  18. Davros

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    Oh yes, there is no way i can put 300 dvds on my desk
     
  19. Davros

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    a little food for thought, for those that think ubi will pay server costs for games after theyve stopped making money

    list of games ea have shutdown online servers for this year (hint its a big list)
    http://www.ea.com/2/service-updates
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    Not surprised for some of those. Anything for original Xbox they have no choice but to shutdown as MS is ending Live service for Xbox titles in order to upgrade Live services across the board (to support expanded live services to crossplatform integration).

    And in the big list, it's mostly continuing series that have yearly updates.

    But there's a big different between supporting multiplayer and matchmaking, than simple ownership validation.

    The pluses for this system are obviously...

    1. Install as many copies as you want without install limits.
    2. Install on whatever machines you want.
    3. No rootkits or other intrusive DRM "device" drivers.
    4. Play anywhere, load saves anywhere...

    The obvious drawback...

    1. Requires an always on internet connection.

    I can already see many Comcast customers in my area and in a friends area in Colorado where they suffer sometimes frequent interruptions in service lasting anywhere from a few seconds to hours being annoyed with this. Thankfully I'm on DSL and I almost never get any outages.

    Personally I like this form of DRM as I have a solid always on internet connection. If I was still living out at the family ranch however that becomes more problematic as the only always on internet is through a wireless service provider (Verizon) with VERY small monthly download limits. This shouldn't be a huge bandwidth generator but might still be a concern in those situations.

    Even with the main drawback, I think this is the DRM of the future. What remains to be seen is how quickly hackers can get around it and then see how it evolves.

    It'd be nice if saves HAD to be saved on servers but I understand why they don't. While online ownership validation requires no significant resources, having a lot of saves would. And while ownership validation will never be disabled without patching the game (UBI Soft have already said they would released a patched executable that doesn't require online validation if they ever retire the servers), the ability to save online may be removed after say 2 years or whatever. In that case you can easily transition your saves to the local HD.

    Hopefully it works well, as that may give publishers confidence in the PC market again as a potentially large revenue generator.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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