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Default Mass Effect - Bioware on DRM: No Periodoc Re-authentification!

May 9th, 2008, 22:56
Bioware & EA explain the DRM system used for their upcoming title Mass Effect (PC) in a long forum post by Community Manager Jay Watamaniuk:
There has been a lot of discussion in the past few days on how the security requirements for Mass Effect for PC will work. BioWare, a division of EA, wants to let fans know that Mass Effect will not require 10- day periodic re-authentication. […]
Second, with online authentication consumers now connect to the Internet the first time the game is launched and are required only to reconnect if they are downloading new game content.
Good news, the game conncects to the server only at the first lauch and when new content is downloaded.
More information.
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May 9th, 2008, 22:56
Make more sense?
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SILVERSURFER REVIEWS
Last edited by Turok; February 16th, 2011 at 02:22.
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May 10th, 2008, 01:30
See?, stamping your feet and whinging works.
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May 10th, 2008, 03:51
Now we are back to the SecuROM we all hate but have learned to tolerate … well, at least the people who actually *pay* for the game are stuck with it …

— Mike
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May 10th, 2008, 05:09
The the install limit still exists though - so it's not just Securom. Still not buying like this.
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May 10th, 2008, 05:47
A nice step/PR-move, but still not quite there for me. Oh well, plenty of other content.
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May 10th, 2008, 10:46
I don't understand where all the securom hate is coming from. I have had no problems playing NWN2, NWN, Jade Empire: SE or other titles with securom.

I can live with a one time activation through a valid cdkey - I'm used to this. When I signed up for this forum, I had to do the same, I think, activate my account over the net. This is just something similar…

For some people, they are not going to buy it because it uses securom or because they think you can only install it three times. Here's the good news: You can install it as many times you want as long as it on the same machine - the game's .exe file and securom are tied to your hardware identification, not the game's installer. (which was went wrong with Bioshock's activations, I think). This also means that you can have as many user accounts you want - as long as it is on the same computer where you have installed Mass Effect.

The big question is what the same computer means or what a significant hardware change means. I doubt even Bioware or EA know at this point.

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Last edited by aries100; May 10th, 2008 at 10:48. Reason: spelling
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May 10th, 2008, 11:51
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I don't understand where all the securom hate is coming from. I have had no problems playing NWN2, NWN, Jade Empire: SE or other titles with securom.

I can live with a one time activation through a valid cdkey - I'm used to this. When I signed up for this forum, I had to do the same, I think, activate my account over the net. This is just something similar…
Not quite, the problem is that SecuROM collides with certain rights customers are simply used to. For example the right of transfer of ownership. If you have only a limited amount of activations it will of of course much harder to sell a used game to another person, because there is no way to find out how many activations are left.

Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
For some people, they are not going to buy it because it uses securom or because they think you can only install it three times. Here's the good news: You can install it as many times you want as long as it on the same machine - the game's .exe file and securom are tied to your hardware identification, not the game's installer. (which was went wrong with Bioshock's activations, I think). This also means that you can have as many user accounts you want - as long as it is on the same computer where you have installed Mass Effect.

The big question is what the same computer means or what a significant hardware change means. I doubt even Bioware or EA know at this point.
Well, you have to see that for many people nowadays three activations (on different machines) are nothing. A lot of people have a desktop, and a laptop computer… they even might want to show a game to a friend and install it on his computer, etc. Moreover, such a copy protection limits the longevity of a game. Will you still have the same computer in five years that you have nowadays? I doubt it - there are people that upgrade every year.

Convenience is an important factor nowadays, and such a copy protection is not very comfortable. I had this problem with the digital download version NWN2. When I wanted to install it on my new computer it told me that I needed a new activation key… so I had to contact the company (via e-mail) that I bought the game from, they mailed me back, that they needed some info, etc… in any case it took a bit until I got my new key.

Is it thaaaat bad - I personally would say "no", but many customers out there see that differently. Nonetheless it is something that somehow narrows your customer rights, and that's not a good thing. A customer has the right to know what he buys, but statements like "a significant hardware change" are so blurry that the customer does not know what he gets for his cash.

And a last point, and for me that's the most important one, is that limited activation has absolutely nothing to do with an anti-piracy measure. That's what the unique cd-key and the online authentication are good for. Limited activation is directed against customers, but NOT against pirates - and that's the problem.

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May 10th, 2008, 15:01
Here´s a blogger who is quite critical of EA/Bio´s solution. I can see where he´s coming from.

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/
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May 10th, 2008, 17:06
Metamarketing scam, the nasty copy protection is in the game, they knew everyone would bitch (rightly so) giving them a ton of free press. They caved quickly with such crappy substitute floating the PR and so many have both it hook, line and sinker.

Copy protection in, check.
Free marketing campaign, take a few hits and save millions of dollars, check.

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May 10th, 2008, 20:43
As people above (esp Ionstormsucks) point out this is not really an adequate solution (done "for our boys uniform?" what a load of bollocks!) . I should be entitled to install a game (that I purchased) on any of the machines I own or work with - more than 3 sadly. That choice has been removed. I also replay old games, just finished Baldur's Gate - still works like a charm. Will I be able to do the same with Mass Effect N years down the line? Any game that relies on authentication servers is a problem waiting to happen. And if you upgrade/swap hardware frequently, a hardware-based key is a lousy idea - as a multitude of people have pointed out. Not that SecureRom, EA or anyone else gives a damn. Has anyone challenged the legaility of this type of "copy-protection" and how it infringes on our rights as consumers?
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May 10th, 2008, 21:04
I have been forced to rebuy games in the past. For instance I have 4 copies of ultima underworld, three copies of betrayal at krondor and three copies of baldur's gate. In all these cases the reason was that disk/discdrive had broken or became so scratched that i simply couldnt play it anymore.

The old 3,5 got bad sectors real easy and som of the old games like krondor had 10+ disks. If just one goes the whole game is gone. I had two disk drives and but both of those just ceased to work so I cant even try if any of my old disk games work.

As for CDs som of those simply got scratches eventually no matter what you did. Perhaps it was the cddrives. I had like four different models and all broke down too. Allthough it didnt help that you had to keep the pile of cds next to your computer incase you wanted to play another game.

With this new online thing i can keep my disks safe (no need to swap) in the gamebox on the shelf where they belong and freely call for more activations or use patch to remove the protection (official or unofficial).
Last edited by zakhal; May 11th, 2008 at 14:58.
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May 11th, 2008, 02:55
Perhaps you should of taken more care with your disks zakhal.

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May 11th, 2008, 03:19
Originally Posted by Guest View Post
Perhaps you should of taken more care with your disks zakhal.
Why, thank you for sharing that piece of wisdom with us, mr Guest.
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May 11th, 2008, 05:56
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
(done "for our boys uniform?" what a load of bollocks!)
There were several threads on our ME-PC forum from servicemen who were in or tranferring to Iraq, and wanted to play ME on laptops. I reposted those to one of our internal mailing lists, which may be why it was specifically cited in the press release.

Personally, I feel that when someone runs the risk of being killed or maimed every day, punishing them for having unreliable net access is contemptible. That's just my opinion, of course.
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May 11th, 2008, 09:40
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Why, thank you for sharing that piece of wisdom with us, mr Guest.
Just doing my duty, sharing my knowledge to the clueless.

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May 11th, 2008, 09:49
I wouldn't say Bioware and EA caved quickly.

Here is the original thread:

http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums…8375&forum=125

As you can see, it is started at May 3rd where olegdr asks what kind of copy protection/activation scheme would be used in Mass Effect for PC.

They caved in this thread:

http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums…9059&forum=125

on May 9th (in the morning Edmonton time, in the afternoon European time)

I won't say 6-7 days are a cave in too quickly. It would have been quickly, imo, if they caved Monday the 5th of May which they didn't. Before EA (and Bioware) caved there were about 100 pages with let's say about 12 post on average.
90% of these posts stated that the wouldn't buy the game because of the 10 day re-authentication. Now, EA can count, can't they. This means that about 1000 people (or more) wouldn't buy the game. However, several posters said that they had mentioned this to 3-4 (or even 5-6) of their friends and when these friends tell it to their friends, etc. EA know full well that this doesn't equal lost sales to the original thousand people, but more like is going equal lost sales in the area around
25,000 copies or more. And that's when they started to cave, I think.

I also strongly suspect that the military had something to with them changing their minds on the whole 10 day re-authentication thing. I have seen at least 10 (if not 20 posts or more) from guys in the military who are either going to Iraq, have been in Iraq and are going back to Iraq. I have also seen at least 5 single threads (if not 10 or more single threads) about this issue. It would be kind or ironic in a sad
way I think if a soldier couldn't play a game in which a soldier were a main character. Oh, and btw, I agree with Stromwaltz. We may be against the war, but we certainly shouldn't be against the soldiers - they just do what they're told. And if it can brighten up their day playing Mass Effect, I'm all for it.

And of course, it is good PR to show that EA and Bioware support the troops.
Even I can see this…

People have every right to decide that they don't want to buy the game, MEPC, based on the DRM scheme it uses or the 3 activations I get. Personally, I agree that 3 activations are too few in this day and age where most people have several desk top computers and a laptop or two. Hence, I would like to see the activations get upped to at least 5-6 or better yet, nine.

/aries100

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May 11th, 2008, 13:24
Originally Posted by Stormwaltz View Post
There were several threads on our ME-PC forum from servicemen who were in or tranferring to Iraq, and wanted to play ME on laptops. I reposted those to one of our internal mailing lists, which may be why it was specifically cited in the press release.

Personally, I feel that when someone runs the risk of being killed or maimed every day, punishing them for having unreliable net access is contemptible. That's just my opinion, of course.

Call me a cynic, but I'm sure the "men in uniform" have been screwed over by other web-based aunthentication in the past - why would this be any different? I'll tell you why: because there was a huge outcry from *everyone*. That's why they buckled. The above post-hoc justification smacks of a oppunistic PR. The fact remains, though, that they have not gone far enough. All I want is the ability to install a game that I purchased whenever and wherever I choose. I do not think that is unreasonable. I suppose I'll have to resort to cracking the game, as friends have already suggested. Oh ho!, it's a pirate's life for me. (since, no doubt, software companies view cracking a purchased game as illegal and "piratical" too)
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May 11th, 2008, 13:43
With all due respect, but the "our guys in the armed forces" statement is some of the worst bs I've ever heard. Soldier's whose computers don't meet the minimum requirements to play the game will get a brand new desktop computer from Bioware, I take it?

There will always be people, who will not be able to play a certain game… for very different reasons. I think Bioware gave in, because they saw their rather good image being severly damaged - and that's all. Maybe they even just wanted to try out if they could get away with such a copy protection system.

What's almost idiotic is how easy Bioware could actually calm down the community. The only thing they really changed was the recurring online authentication… apart from that the copy protection is still more or less the same. But I promise you, that the limited activation will turn out to be much more of a nuisance than the online authentication.

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May 11th, 2008, 14:00
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Metamarketing scam, the nasty copy protection is in the game, they knew everyone would bitch (rightly so) giving them a ton of free press. They caved quickly with such crappy substitute floating the PR and so many have both it hook, line and sinker.

Copy protection in, check.
Free marketing campaign, take a few hits and save millions of dollars, check.
I agree with you - all clever marketing spin to get the copy protection scheme they wanted in the first place while still looking like the good guys. One of the oldest tricks in the book…. I doubt they ever wanted the 10 day re-activation, it's all about the limited installs - destroy resales of second hand games and you increase sales of brand new software. Software companies have wanted that for ages.

Still no sale here - anything with limited installs is an instant no.
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