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Default Shocking truth about copy protection?

October 20th, 2006, 05:49
Dhruin
"Six days is enough for them to #1 in Germany and #4 in the UK…that's a damn good lead over some games that are cracked before they even ship."

I don't disagree with anything you said and I did want to add; I personally see no reason why G3 wouldn't be at those positions with or without copy protections.
Actually my thought is the reason JoWood has damaged sales more than a cracked Nocd, is they constantly ship buggy titles.
Now I don't believe JoWood is the only one, but part of the reason they are in/were in the little trouble they are in, they refuse to allow 3 more months to actually complete the game.
This would have gotten them nothing but "well deserved rave reviews" more than paying for the extra 3 months, plus boosted sales even further.
A perfect example is Oblivion which sold tons more and got tons more good reviews than it deserved.
It's a good game than due to Mods is a behemoth and not only is G3 a better game [from what I have played] it is a AAA title waiting for JoWood to stop tripping allover themselves, seemly and constantly making bad decisions.
PB and G3 deserve better treatment and even if this means staying with JoWood, JoWood needs to get there shit strait.
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October 20th, 2006, 08:36
I don't follow JoWood as closely as others, so Gorath can come after and correct me. I believe JoWood has some rights/ownership of the Gothic IP. If so, they will always be there unless they sell.

While I agree the Gothic series deserves better, JoWood has been close to bankruptcy a number of times and Piranha Bytes had around a year's extension (or thereabouts). It might be easy to say "just wait 3 months", but if they are completely out of cash - they're going to ship. I don't know that's the case, but it's a genuine possibility.

Polish takes cash, time and/or some luck. I agree buggy products cause more damage than piracy, but polish might take an undetermined amount of time and money to fix while a copy-protection license is a known cost. I'm not a supporter of intrusive CP but there really is a reason every publisher uses something.

Someone mentioned being treated like a criminal…every DVD and every console game has protection - few people complain about that.
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October 20th, 2006, 13:49
OK, back with the numbers . I rebooted the machine between the two tests with the original game and the DVD in the drive and the cracked game with no DVD in the drive.

System specs:
- AMD Athlon XP 3200+
- 2048MB RAM PC-3200
- nVidia GeForce 7800GS (91.47 ForceWare)
- WD 80GB HD (8MB cache)
- Plextor PA-130 DVD drive

Game settings:
- 1280x1024 @ 60Hz (TFT)
- All sliders + details including shadows on max with the exception of disabled depth of field blur (only using bloom) and anisotropic filtering reduced to 2x.

Results with no-DVD crack installed (cracked EXE, game.dll and engine.dll) are on the left and colored green while results with the regular game are colored in blue.

- From starting the game to the menu: 29s vs 44s (no big surprise because of the initial DVD check)

- Loading up the game for the 1st time: 1:47m vs 1:57m (no big surprise because this is the 2nd time the DVD is checked)

- Quick save: 10s vs 10s (note that the very first quick save with the uncracked game took 19s… not sure if this was because of loading activity in the background or what caused this… every time after that it took between 9s and 10s so it's all the same with crack or without)

- Quick load: 43s vs 44s (note that the first quick load took 47s so there might be a similar behavior as with the 1st save or it might have just been a random anomaly… who knows)

- Performance (min/max/average FPS with FRAPS taken by running from Kap Dun to Ardea without sprinting - the benchmark was in both cases only activated after I ran the distance once prior to activating benchmark mode to make sure that everything was resource cached):
- Min FPS: 10 FPS vs 2 FPS
- Max FPS: 39 FPS vs 47 FPS
- Average FPS: 23.907 FPS vs 22.729 FPS
- Duration of benchmark: 202029ms vs 207441ms (OMG… TAGES causes you to run slower!!!!1111 ) - for the maths impaired that's 3:22m vs 3:27m.

Conclusion: No difference with the DVD crack except for the initial loading when the DVD is checked. There. I want my cookie now .
Last edited by Moriendor; October 20th, 2006 at 13:52.
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October 20th, 2006, 13:52
Fastfood is still bad and so is copy protection.

Oh, but you get an A for effort.
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October 20th, 2006, 14:29
Hurray! Finally someone with sensible arguments and views on copy protection schemes! (Moriendor if anyone should be in doubt). I'm also personally sick and tired of all these kiddies that throw rumors around regarding this and that system. Especially StarForce has been treated quite unfairly with regards to how "damaging" it is to the users systems! It's been said so many times now that many users has accepted it as facts (and even certain media)!

So here are some facts from a professional game programmer (although I'm sure many will refuse to believe me):

Some copy protection systems actually makes changes to the compiled code in addition to doing disc checks. They can go in and obfuscate/encrypt a certain part of the compiled code to make it depend on the original disc being in the drive. They do this because otherwise it is too easy for the crackers to crack the game

It is true that the obfuscated code will run slower because of the copy protection!

However, those systems I've seen will allow the programmers to choose which parts of the code that should be encrypted by the copy protection system. So typically they will select a piece of code that is 1) Critical for the game to run (so the crackers can't just change the exe to skip that code) and 2) won't be run very often in a game frame (so that it will *not* affect overall performance of the game!).

So in theory a copy protection system can slow down the game - but only if it is implemented badly by the game programmers

EDIT: Just wanted to add the disclaimer that TAGES is not a system I've been using myself, so of course I cannot say for sure that the above applies to that particular system. My points are intended to be more general, and I would *assume* that they apply to TAGES aswell..
Last edited by KasperFauerby; October 20th, 2006 at 14:35.
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October 21st, 2006, 01:09
Moriendor are you using German version maybe it could be different version from the English?
I believe you when you say on your system it doesnt have any effect, thats fine but you can't posssibly be suggesting other person's systems are Not being effected.
You can test your system all day long and inside out you will never get any info on how other's machines are effected.

KasperFauerby
"I'm also personally sick and tired of all these kiddies that throw rumors around regarding this and that system"
If this is directed at me, due to the 5x times and super sonic joke, with emote I might add, well maybe your days as a programmer have left you without a sence of humor(?).

"Especially StarForce has been treated quite unfairly with regards to how "damaging" it is to the users systems! It's been said so many times now that many users has accepted it as facts (and even certain media)!"
Your joking right? Yet I see no emote, maybe your a plant or insane?
You must be a plant from starforce that is still sore about being found out to be proven malware.
Hell, even on the starforce offiicial forums they admit to lying about the independent company review was really storforce front company.
Media, hell it was starforce that was trying to use the media against gamers to lie about its malware and the truth was discovered over about two years(3?) worth of complaints of problems and damge to systems which you seem to have no remorse or compassion about.

During this years it was the pubs and devs (probably lied to by starforce hacks) were ofuscating the truth about harmful effects and then on about year 3, some cracker breaks your code proving the damge potiential.

This spread like wild fire due to gamers speaking up and all the while starforce getting their lawyer to threaten and lie about websites and game journalist that ever questioned starforce.

This is like some abusive relationship where you read about some guy beating up his girlfriend for years then she finally gets enough support and courage to report him, he blames her, very sick.

Viking_Berserker
You are proabably correct about the payoffs or at least Ofuscated payoffs like nice lunches, invites or trips since the sites you mentioned are owned by scaife (scourge? ).

"Oh and Oblivion is worse then Gothic"
Well in some respects G3 has serious problems, especially the forced Bloom and some shader issues which casue crashing also.
Including many unfinished areas and the very erratic AI, the most glaring is the gobblin cave on the east shore line near the first town, just before the barrier and opposite direction of the big cave under Cape Dun with the surprise(S!) at the bottom.
The only thing in Oblivion I am envious of for Gothic is the editor.
What could be added with one of those, Damn a person can only dream.
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