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Default BioShock - DRM Removed (kinda)

June 20th, 2008, 22:28
Fair enough, I guess I'm just thinking more short-term. 3 installs in more than enough for me in the short-term, but I suppose if I wanted to play again in 10 years or so, it could be a problem.

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June 20th, 2008, 23:36
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Are you really going to play it on more than 3 machines?
Who knows, but Im not willing to give up that option without compensation (i.e. a much lower price).
1 PC, 1 notebook. -> 1 activation left. When I upgrade both Im out of luck.
Write on the box "3 installations, 10 EUR" and Im fine with it. Maybe I would buy it, maybe not. But collecting 50 EUR and silently limiting me to 3 PCs during the games lifetime is simply unacceptable.
I might be wrong, but so far EA has not commited to removing the limit via patch in the future.
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June 20th, 2008, 23:42
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Im not sure about the current status. A thread on SlashDot has screenshots of an error window basically saying: "Your 3 activations are through. Buy a new copy if you want to play it again. Greetings, EA."

If thats true - and Im not saying it is - its completely unacceptable. Period.

So my position is: EA has to prove the player can activate it as often as he wants. Otherwise no sale. If EA doesnt trust the players the players have no reason to trust EA.
I'm no fan of the current "phone home" activation; especially not limited activation types of DRM. Having said that, against my better judgement I purchased the game the night of June 18. While I was aware of the Securom DRM implementation I was unaware of the 3x Activation limit. This limit is mentioned no where on the box or any of the literature contained with the game. It is simply stated, visibly, on the box that "An Internet connection is required for online authentication."

I encountered several problems attempting to install the game. With my experience and level of expertise I've never had these sorts of issues before with any game.
I harken back to the begining of PC gaming and a tad beyond

Eventually the error that directs customers to re-purchase another registration code appeared. Incensed I contacted EA at the start of buisness on the morning of the 19th. I'm not at liberty to discuss those conversations but suffice to say a few others experienced the error as well; as reported on Slashdot.

Since I've spoken by phone directly with higher level people at EA I can unequivocally state; "it is not true, you are not required to purchase another "registration code".
This should be addressed and from the announcements on the forum posted late afternoon of June 19th it appears this is true. Bureaucracies move slowly but EA seems to be on top of this as well they should be. As for the limited activations, my understanding is for now they remain in place however should more be required access to them should tend to be a bit more "hassle free".

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June 20th, 2008, 23:56
Okay, thanks for the info.
Then EA has a communication problem. Lets see if they make an official announcement to clarify everything.

And Im talking about a "Yes, every customer will get as many activations as he needs.", not a "Well decide on a case by case basis. Trust us, everybody will be happy."
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June 21st, 2008, 01:36
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Are you really going to play it on more than 3 machines?
Any change of hardware uses up an activation, as well as a reinstall of the OS.
Here's an example:
http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums…5214&forum=104
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June 21st, 2008, 02:42
Not trying to defend the system but an OS reinstall does *not* use up an activation for Mass Effect.

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June 21st, 2008, 08:43
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Not trying to defend the system but an OS reinstall does *not* use up an activation for Mass Effect.
Actually, that might be the case. However EA won't disclose what uses up an activation and they won't even tell people how many activations they have used up so it's difficult to verify.
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June 21st, 2008, 13:59
And if I want to sell the game after I played it? He will not be able to activate it if I have used all the 3 activations?
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June 21st, 2008, 17:28
Well now we are back to the thorny issue of game producers thinking that they only leased us a game while players think that they bough it. It isn't such a problem in Europe because of better customer protection here but, in the USA, you guys are stuck!
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June 21st, 2008, 17:37
Derek French ( a tech guy at Bioware) said that the activation is tied to hash of your computer specs (whatever that means?) which as, he explained it, basically is the 'your mileage may vary' sort of message.

This means a guy might remove his videocard, install another, and not burn up an activaion while another might do the same, and burn up an activation.
This is simply not acceptable, I find. Technology should be a help, not a hindrance, I find.

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June 21st, 2008, 18:43
Originally Posted by CutLunch View Post
Any change of hardware uses up an activation, as well as a reinstall of the OS.
Here's an example:
http://masseffect.bioware.com/forums…5214&forum=104
Isn't this also the case with winxp ?

Oh, I forgot, their actuvations are not limited - but they are there …

One could argure therefore that "the industry" is nothing but following MS's example … Kind of erecting sort of an "industry standard" …

A "standard" erected by sheer size & power …

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June 21st, 2008, 18:54
To be able to play an offline game you must be online. It's so silly. I have two PCs in my house, and the one that i played game do not have internet. I don't need it because i only play single player RPGs on it. These kind of copy protection are punishment for legal buyers of the game. I hate this treatment to us, but, i bought aBioshock and Mass Effect already to support PC gaming. I installed exe cracks for them and play. No one can blame me for what i done i think.
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June 21st, 2008, 21:57
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Not trying to defend the system but an OS reinstall does *not* use up an activation for Mass Effect.
Actually yes, it does.

Re-installing the OS removes the activation registry key entries - the only way to get them back is to re-register which uses one of your 3 available registrations regardless of whether or not you registered on the exact same system before. This has been confirmed by several people who regularly update their OS.

Their system does not store your computer info - it relies purely on the registry key entries securom writes (which themselves are tied to your computer hardware footprint). Without those keys, you must use a new activation as the system has no way of knowing if your computer has the original hardware footprint or not.
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June 22nd, 2008, 14:49
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Isn't this also the case with winxp ?

Oh, I forgot, their actuvations are not limited - but they are there …

One could argure therefore that "the industry" is nothing but following MS's example … Kind of erecting sort of an "industry standard" …

A "standard" erected by sheer size & power …
Yes, this is also the case with win xp.

However, you have 5 activation on your win xp OS before you need to call your loacal MS guy to asks for more activations. And noone has ever been denied another OS activation - not that I'm aware off anyway.
That is the problem here, I find. EA (and Bioware) will grant activations to users on a case-by-case basis instead of just going the 2K way and grant all that asks for a more activations these activations.

If you change more than 5 or 6 hardware components in your computer, you will need to activate your OS again. However, neither Bioware nor EA will tell us what will use up an activation, simply beacuse they don''t know. It seems that even Securom is keeping these things from the devs. and the publishers. This is simply not good enough as well as it could be bordering on something illegal - at least in the EU.

Now, if you just could get confirmation that chaning 5-6 hardware components will use up an activation, we might be getting somewhere. Or a change of motherboard etc. does - that would be great.

PS: What is a hardware hash anyway?

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June 22nd, 2008, 17:34
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The problem is that the number of allowed activations is exactly 3. And its not confirmed you'll get more if you ask.

So its a no buy for me until this issue is solved.
about four posts down says the disc protection stays but the activation limit is removed.

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Our other methods of copy protection remain. You will still have to activate your copy, and you will still need to keep the disc in the drive. SecuROM has not been removed — just the activation limits on number of installs and number of computers you can install BioShock on simultaneously.

As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable. I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K.
Considering the terrible publicity this received I'd like to say this policy was a failure but sales might say otherwise. OTOH, most of those sales were on Xbox. I have to agree that I think it has more to do with simplifying the process now that sales are winding down on the game. Its going for $30 right now.

One thing we haven't mentioned is all the initial complaints about what happens when the company servers for this go down. This pre-empts that and saves the company some money - it doesn't have to try keeping track of all those legit copies out there.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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June 22nd, 2008, 17:51
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
about four posts down says the disc protection stays but the activation limit is removed.
We were talking about Mass Effect.
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June 23rd, 2008, 05:37
two previous posts to that were talking about Bioshock (initally) . But this whole thread is all over the place.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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June 23rd, 2008, 19:20
Why are we talking about mass effect in a thread about 2k's Bioshock?

Heh at least I wasn't the only one caught out by Gorath's post which didn't quote any other posts hence I assumed it related to the OP
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June 24th, 2008, 04:57
Posts without quote are sometimes a reply to the last post.
Yes, the thread is quite chaotic.
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June 26th, 2008, 18:01
We are basically talking about DRM - which is basically a means of punishing the people who buy your stuff *forever* in the hopes of deterring piracy for a short period.

What we have seen, as exemplified by these two games, is a 'stretching out' of DRM - making it more and more onerous little by little so that even if they 'cave' we still have worse DRM than we did a few years ago.

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