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Default Mass Effect - Copy Protection Details

May 6th, 2008, 19:59
All this extreme copy protection stuff certainly puts me off buying the games…
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May 6th, 2008, 20:23
It would be in BioWare's best interest to have as many people playing and enjoying their game as possible, including pirates. So instead of putting a limit on it as a deterent, they should put additional value on owning the game.

This kind of copy-protection scheme would achieve that if it offered more to legitimate players than just enabling them to use the product they purchased. If Mass Effect included availability to downloadable content that factored into the game (instead of merely adding on), that would be a lot easier to take (and would make the game more fun and intriguing).

That way pirated versions would be good while legitimate versions would be even better.

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May 6th, 2008, 20:24
Thank goodness I've already played it on xbox.

By the way, I think 10 days should be enough to finish the game for the majority of players, pure storyline is hardly more than 15 hours, and there might be up to 10 hours of sidequests - but they are so repetitive that only xbox achievements freaks can do them all. So playing a couple of hours each evening you'll beat it in a week or so and won't need to reactivate unless you start 2nd walkthrough immediately.
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May 6th, 2008, 20:30
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
This kind of copy-protection scheme would achieve that if it offered more to legitimate players than just enabling them to use the product they purchased. If Mass Effect included downloadable content that factored into — instead of layering on top of — the game, it would be a lot easier to take (and would make the game more fun and intriguing).
I think they are giving "Bring down the sky" mini-addon for free to the registered users. I don't know if it's any good though because xbox live is not oficially working in Russia and I didn't bother looking for a workaround. But I think it's just what you're talking about, right?
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May 6th, 2008, 20:39
Originally Posted by drum View Post
But I think it's just what you're talking about, right?
Not if it's just an add-on that would fit every game, because then it can be pirated too. If it's something made in a variety of iterations that are designed to fit into a game and improve it as it's being played, then yeah.

Unlike most other applications RPGs could be designed to accommodate modularity. That could provide variety, which would improve the game. If those "modules" only worked for legitimate users, that would work to circumvent piracy instead of trying to block it.

RPGs already keep track of player-made decisions, and developers already make additional content. If developers were smarter about it, they could combine those ideas and motivate more customers to buy their games.

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May 6th, 2008, 20:41
Originally Posted by drum View Post
Thank goodness I've already played it on xbox.

By the way, I think 10 days should be enough to finish the game for the majority of players, pure storyline is hardly more than 15 hours, and there might be up to 10 hours of sidequests - but they are so repetitive that only xbox achievements freaks can do them all. So playing a couple of hours each evening you'll beat it in a week or so and won't need to reactivate unless you start 2nd walkthrough immediately.
Combat should be better&more enjoyable in pc and graphics and ui too. Plus it has the miniaddon also that xbox players had to buy as downloaded content. Also the game got multiple perfect 100% reviews for xbox (it was THE reason to buy the console) so pc one must be atleast 110%!!

25-30 hours is enough for me. Also the game costs only 66% of what the xbox version cost during release so its kinda cheap too. So no I cant see any reason why I should not enjoy the pc version of this masterpiece.

The next "messiah" game from these developers is for pc only (atleast for starters) btw iirc.
Last edited by zakhal; May 6th, 2008 at 20:47.
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May 6th, 2008, 21:13
I think I just decided to not get the game at all.

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May 6th, 2008, 21:25
Yes, the game might only take 25-30 hours for some, but for other gamers, it would probably take like 50-60 hours. And yet other gamers might simply not have the time to play 2-3 hours a day (or more). I know I certainly don't have the time for this anymore, except maybe in weekends.

As I said on the Bioware forums for Mass Effect PC, I think Bioware and EA still thinks that PC gamers are either kids or at least 18-25 year old male college students that have all the time in the world to sit around playing videogames. Not so - not anymore.

I bought Jade EmpireSE (for PC) in february 2007. And I have only played a small part of it. If this system had been place at that time, my firing up Jade Empire now would probably have led me to 1) a need to re-activate the game or 2) at least a need to re-authenticate the game.

Bioware/EA is probably trying to get people away from using nocd cracks for their games (not that I support these) by using this copy protection system. Many people seem to like to be able to play without the dvd in the disk drive; not me, though.

I'm just worried that we will have the a repeating of Bioshock's incident from August/September 2008…when the 2K forums were swarmed with people that couldn't get their games to activate because the servers were down - due to the many people truing to activate all at once…

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May 6th, 2008, 22:26
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
Yes, the game might only take 25-30 hours for some, but for other gamers, it would probably take like 50-60 hours. And yet other gamers might simply not have the time to play 2-3 hours a day (or more). I know I certainly don't have the time for this anymore, except maybe in weekends.

As I said on the Bioware forums for Mass Effect PC, I think Bioware and EA still thinks that PC gamers are either kids or at least 18-25 year old male college students that have all the time in the world to sit around playing videogames. Not so - not anymore.

I bought Jade EmpireSE (for PC) in february 2007. And I have only played a small part of it. If this system had been place at that time, my firing up Jade Empire now would probably have led me to 1) a need to re-activate the game or 2) at least a need to re-authenticate the game.

Bioware/EA is probably trying to get people away from using nocd cracks for their games (not that I support these) by using this copy protection system. Many people seem to like to be able to play without the dvd in the disk drive; not me, though.

I'm just worried that we will have the a repeating of Bioshock's incident from August/September 2008…when the 2K forums were swarmed with people that couldn't get their games to activate because the servers were down - due to the many people truing to activate all at once…
Agree completely… I know plenty of people at work that plays game but goes on trips very often, and then there are those with family and to becareful with their vacation plans.
But now, if they want to play ME on PC they have to work their schedules around the game activation windows! Awesome!

I hate to say this, but looks like I am going to miss out on this game too
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May 6th, 2008, 22:42
During last late summer I went through a damn ordeal, the ones only seen in hell, just to get a legimate copy of Bioshock running. SecuRom had tried some nice fancy online checking system with BioShock and for some people it wouldn't work for the life of them. In the end, I had to contact their support just so they could enable my CD key. And I don't even want to start ranting now after all these months what means I tried before contacting their support.

After going through a mess like that, I don't anymore want to bother with these crazy new ideas computer game and copy protection software developers have in their minds. Not that I have ever been a fan of Bioware in the first place, but I just wanted to speak my piece about these so called exciting new ideas for copy protection.
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May 6th, 2008, 22:46
Why are they using no low-end stuff like codwheels anymore ???

Do they fear that they are just too easy to copy ?

No, if a game needs an internet connection in order to be played, then I won't buy it. The console buyers don't have it as well !

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 6th, 2008, 22:49
I read this thread and all I hear is Abe Simpson saying "I'm old and change frightens me!".

For once I think other people are over-reacting (instead of it being me).

I have zero problem with this. I mean really, what's the big deal here as long as they're telling you up front it needs to do this?

It checks when you first run it (just like Bioshock and pretty much ALL Valve games). Then it has to check ONE more friggin time before 10 days is up to verify.

Oh, and the big problems people had getting Bioshock to work were because the server it needed to connect to was overloaded and kept going down the first few days (they underestimated how many people would be nailing that server at the same time). Now, if there is any problem with it, you just reboot and try again and it works fine (did for me anyway).

How is that such a major deal?

You're all being paranoid, overreacting, hammerheads.
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May 6th, 2008, 22:55
Originally Posted by Majnun View Post
I read this thread and all I hear is Abe Simpson saying "I'm old and change frightens me!".

For once I think other people are over-reacting (instead of it being me).

I have zero problem with this. I mean really, what's the big deal here as long as they're telling you up front it needs to do this?

It checks when you first run it (just like Bioshock and pretty much ALL Valve games). Then it has to check ONE more friggin time before 10 days is up to verify.

Oh, and the big problems people had getting Bioshock to work were because the server it needed to connect to was overloaded and kept going down the first few days (they underestimated how many people would be nailing that server at the same time). Now, if there is any problem with it, you just reboot and try again and it works fine (did for me anyway).

How is that such a major deal?

You're all being paranoid, overreacting, hammerheads.
There's also the limit on the number of times you can install this. I don't know about you, but I've got games that I've installed/uninstalled a great number of times on a great number of machines down the years (Fallout, Torment and Wizardry 8 spring to mind), which wouldn't be allowed under this new protection scheme. Screw that. I bought the game, I should be allowed to install/uninstall it as I see fit.
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May 6th, 2008, 23:15
First of all please excuse any typos in my post…my active english is a bit rusty.

I used to check out this forum since it started, never registered. I thought to post as a guest but reconsidered. Don't know why. Maybe because I'm so
furious over the way the companies and even Bioware start treating their customers as potential criminals.

On topic:
I will not support this kind of customer-treatment by EA/Bioware in any way.

Makes me feel rather sad…I played every Bioware-RPG since Baldurs Gate and was looking forward to play this one, too.
Guess I have to wait till they put out this 'remove-the-verificaction-patch' they promised for the time the game will not be supported any more.
If it will take some years, so be it.

What really worries me is that they do the same thing to Dragonage and I have to skip this one, too.
Please,, nooo!
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May 6th, 2008, 23:19
Originally Posted by Majnun View Post
It checks when you first run it (just like Bioshock and pretty much ALL Valve games). Then it has to check ONE more friggin time before 10 days is up to verify
Which I won't buy *because of that*.

(Apart from the fact that the themes of these games don't interest me at all.)

[And by the way, the Hammerhead was to me the most interesting character in the whole Star Wars movie ! ]

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 6th, 2008, 23:32
This is EA's decision, not Bioware (SPORE will have this copy protection, as well as all other future EA titles I *assume* from now on).

Even the Digital Download has this copy protection. Bleh. I do not pirate games, but I am just not too happy about this. My only concern is that say 10 - 15 years from now, and say I want to play this game, and say EA is no longer in existence… well guess what. You can no longer play it. EVER.

Mr. French did say that if something like this happened they would release a patch that removes the copy protection. So if EA goes away and or bankrupt, the first thing Bioware are going to do is rush out the patch to remove this copy protection? I really don't think so.
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May 6th, 2008, 23:38
I just don't understand how all these gaming companies can have genius minds to program all those oh so technically challenging and complicated engines all the while being so ignorant of how piracy works.
Within a week after release AT MOST, there will be a "fixed exe" available for download on most P2P platforms or directly on famous piracy websites (g…copy…) that will remove the secuROM lines of code altogether from masseffect.exe and it'll be downloaded by pirates and legitimate buyers alike who can't stand the hassle of anti-piracy checks.
All this is doing is giving more cash to incompetent companies like secuROM and annoying legitimate costumers.
The only way to stop single-player PC games piracy is doing like MMOs: storing characters and "saves" and other vital data server-side, requiring to connect to the server everytime you launch the game, and analysing/checking the client-side files to make sure they're indentical to the server-side ones.
Any time all the vital information is on the client computer, it's over, there WILL be piracy no matter what security system is used: "fixed exe" will be coded to "clean" the exe from their security crap.
In order to become secure, the game has to be programmed from as early as pre-production as a game that will require server interaction, some lines of code that you "add" once your game is finished will never become "piracy-proof". There will always be a smarter cracker than the fools from secuROM.

But who's the real fool there, secuROM or the fools they fooled into buying their products?
For years devs have been paying those incompetent security companies and for years it didn't work. For years MMOs have been in existence now and they have not been pirated. All those years and SP games developers still didn't learn the lesson? Why they still pay those security companies is beyond me.
Last edited by Hedek; May 6th, 2008 at 23:58.
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May 7th, 2008, 00:11
I just read a post over at bioware's by Derek French that all their upcoming EA PC titles will have this kind of copy-protection.
So, there goes Dragonage as well.
And oh, by the way…
If I understand it right, it's not just one check at the start of the game and one after 10 days but a constant re-check every 10 days as long as you own this game.
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May 7th, 2008, 00:34
It's more than fine with me - I'm happy to support a game that has a copy protection system designed around consumers concerns. The vast majority of complaints I personally hear about copy protection are to do with problems playing the disk or people not wanting to use the disk in the first place. Nearly all the complainants have asked for steam or another online based authentication system instead, and in MEPC it looks like they've been listened to. Kudos BW.
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May 7th, 2008, 01:02
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
It's more than fine with me - I'm happy to support a game that has a copy protection system designed around consumers concerns. The vast majority of complaints I personally hear about copy protection are to do with problems playing the disk or people not wanting to use the disk in the first place. Nearly all the complainants have asked for steam or another online based authentication system instead, and in MEPC it looks like they've been listened to. Kudos BW.
That's because the public is, by-and-large, ignorant, and hasn't thought through the implications of this. Yes, swapping discs when you want to play a game is a minor irritation. But imagine the publisher goes bust (or, less drastically, 10 years from now, no longer supports the game): They're not going to take away my disc, so I can still play the game. If, however, the software has to "call home" before it will run, I can no longer play it. To me, that possibility (which, granted, is greater for smaller companies than giants like EA) is simply not acceptable.

Either way this is ignoring the bigger issue: Neither method is going to stop piracy, so why bother at all, when the only people you're actually penalising are the legitimate owners of the game? The music industry is just starting to realise that DRM, and attempting to dictate when and where a user can use a product they've paid for, does not increase their sales (c.f. Amazon selling unprotected mp3s, which is forcing evil Apple to follow suit). Hopefully the software industry will finally come to its senses too.
Last edited by mogwins; May 7th, 2008 at 01:08.
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