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EA on C&C4 DRM

A tweet by EA's Jeff Green relates his own experience with problems with the DRM in EA's own Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight which were severe enough that he thinks something needs to change (this was posted a few days ago, noticed by Ars Technica). He starts by tweeting: "Booted twice--and progress lost--on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions," and: "Welp. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky--and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable." He added: "Yeah, Steam's ability to have off-line play is the clear, better model when talking about SP games," and then added a couple of comments to temper his reaction, saying "However, C&C4 experiments w/what a 'single-player game' is--given it's constantly uploading progress/stats for unlocks. It's complicated," and: "I think if we think of C&C4 as an 'online-only' game--which it basically is--then maybe we'd adjust our expectations accordingly."

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58 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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58. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 10:32 StratX
 
EAJeffGreen wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 12:59:
@SpectralMeat: Haha, no. I actually signed up for Blues YEARS ago when you guys were probably mostly in diapers. But that account is linked to my old Ziff-Davis address. So I created a new one today for this bit of fun.

..mostly in diapers?
No. But just old enough to know it's time sell my ERTS stock....
 
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57. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 08:04 SpectralMeat
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 22:38:
EAJeffGreen wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 12:59:
@SpectralMeat: Haha, no. I actually signed up for Blues YEARS ago when you guys were probably mostly in diapers. But that account is linked to my old Ziff-Davis address. So I created a new one today for this bit of fun.
You'll by and far want to rethink that, I'd hazard the majority are in their mid 30's to late 40's. But I digress, most of us were old back 10 years ago. Except for Ant. Ant's been here since before it's creation. That means we're older and crankier; rather then being naive and gullible.

Yep that pretty much it. Maybe Jeff forgot that this is not the Xbox forum he is posting on or something.
 
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56. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 05:55 BobBob
 
Double, post, sorry.  
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55. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 05:55 BobBob
 
If you put on the special sunglasses you will see that his blog is full of subliminal messages.  
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54. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 03:02 Prez
 
Of course, 90% of EA would likely have been fired for making these comments. People get fired for saying crap like this on facebook or twitter all the time.

Which is precisely why I don't buy this is just him speaking his mind. If this wasn't signed onto by EA, they'd be firing his ass.

And I remember Jeff Green well.
 
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ďThe greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.Ē
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53. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 02:11 I've Got The News Blues
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 14:37:
We've seen how well other online-only games have done in the past. Shadowrun, I'm looking at you.
Shadowrun has bot and LAN play for offline.
 
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52. So what's youre next gig? Mar 25, 2010, 02:08 I've Got The News Blues
 
EAJeffGreen wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 12:24:
It wasn't an "official" statement, nor sanctioned by anyone, believe me.
Jeff, good luck with your job search.
 
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51. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 25, 2010, 00:29 Beamer
 
I try not to be cynical and jaded, but I can't make myself view this "tweet" (God that's such a stupid fucking name...) as anything other than a calculated attempt at damage control and not just some guy trying to be honest and open

Jeff's the former editor of CGW now working on the Sims. EA is a very large company - not everyone is involved in C&C or DRM or feels the need for damage control.

Of course, 90% of EA would likely have been fired for making these comments. People get fired for saying crap like this on facebook or twitter all the time.
 
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50. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 23:50 Prez
 
I was in diapers in 1970. I don't think Bluesnews was around then.

I try not to be cynical and jaded, but I can't make myself view this "tweet" (God that's such a stupid fucking name...) as anything other than a calculated attempt at damage control and not just some guy trying to be honest and open. I just can't buy that all these smart designers never stopped to think of the consequences of requiring a constant, uninterrupted net connection to play a single player game.

What really upsets me (at least as upset as I allow myself to get over gaming) is that I know in my gut that the whole design direction of C&C4, which is a drastic, dubious change from the tried and true C&C formula, was built around this DRM. Persistent stats? Unlocks and level grinds? Those have nothing to do with C&C. The game was haphazardly re-designed in a ham-fisted attempt to give the constant online requirement DRM some sort of alternate function. I guess we're all supposed to buy that BS that this game has no DRM - "it's only there because we turned C&C into a half-assed MMO, dontcha know?"

I find that pretty insulting.
 
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ďThe greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.Ē
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49. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 22:38 Mashiki Amiketo
 
EAJeffGreen wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 12:59:
@SpectralMeat: Haha, no. I actually signed up for Blues YEARS ago when you guys were probably mostly in diapers. But that account is linked to my old Ziff-Davis address. So I created a new one today for this bit of fun.
You'll by and far want to rethink that, I'd hazard the majority are in their mid 30's to late 40's. But I digress, most of us were old back 10 years ago. Except for Ant. Ant's been here since before it's creation. That means we're older and crankier; rather then being naive and gullible.

So Jeff, you know the whole departure from the standard base building/etc format for CnC games is really disappointing. It means it's not a real CnC game rather a polished turd, but still a turd. That would be my main reason for not buying this. My other would be that horrendous DRM. I mean it works really well at ensuring I can't play when I'm on the road/air/travelling. And am in the middle of assnowhere Uzbekistan where I'm off to next month to fix a bunch of machines with screwed up code our company sold out there.
 
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and it is always wrong."
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48. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 21:55 StingingVelvet
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 14:50:
I don't care how one thinks of C&C, or any other game for the matter, I for one will not "adjust" my thinking accordingly. Drop this asinine DRM and deal with the fact that there is always going to be some theft and an after-market. Every other industry in the world has long gotten used to those plain and simple facts. Learn to cope.

Pretty much.

I support the buying of games new and at higher prices to support PC development, but from the publisher side of it I do not agree with forcing that on people.

It's funny how games now are built for ease of use, accessibility and all that jazz, but when it comes to running the games, PC and even consoles now, they have no problem tacking on endless hassle.
 
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47. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 21:45 SpectralMeat
 
Thanks for the list, will check those out.  
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46. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 20:51 nutshell42
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 15:19:
Overon wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 15:18:
There are so many better PC games that don't have these always online DRM requirements. Buy and play those, not these.
Can you list a few. I am really into strategy games lately, would love to see some suggestions.

Apart from the suggestions you'll find everywhere, here's 5 suggestions that are mostly dirt cheap and worth every minute of your time:
1. Nexus: The Jupiter Incident.
Can be found on Steam. It's a tactical ship simulator. You get a handful of ships, choose their loadout, manoeuver them into position, select targets and tell Scotty to give you all she's got. I love the story and presentation.
Can be tough as nails as your customization options are limited later on. Have a look at a general ship development guide on gamefaqs before you start the campaign (which is first rate)

2. Joint Task Force.
Has a similar feel to Commandos (anybody still remembering that one?). Just selecting all your units and sending them somewhere will get everyone killed because tanks die like flies to guys with rpgs and your infantry die like flies to anything. That's where the tactical Commandos feel comes into play: You gotta scout ahead and then take out every threat with the appropriate counter-measures.
You'd think the fact that the pause function's bound to Space would be a pretty obvious hint that this's not Starcraft. Apparently the American gaming press were too stupid to figure that out which is why it got ridiculous ratings.

3. Starcraft.
Speaking of which. If you want to play competitively this is it. Easy to learn, good campaign, incredibly deep. Watch this game, it will blow your mind.

4. Ground Control.
Old, you can download it from Massive Entertainment's page for free iirc. Fast paced tactical RTS. The only strategy game a friend of mine's ever played through till the end. If you need modern day graphics try World in Conflict but Massive really screwed it up compared to Ground Control.

5. Europa Universalis III.
Great game. I probably spent more time with it than with any other game. Very deep. There's a lot of great After Action Reports on the Paradox forums that double as equally great tutorials for the game. Which is good because you're gonna need one. Huge timesink.

Honorable Mention: Empire: Total War.
More conventional than the other recommendations but it's sexy on bluesnews to hate it. The AI's better than in earlier TWs (still crap), sea battles are fun, micromanagement's been reduced without reducing depth and there's nothing quite like two armies shoving muskets down each other's throats and then pulling the trigger.
 
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45. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 19:02 Prez
 
Maybe Jeff Green should have figured out that EA's DRM scheme for C&C4 sucked ass before he shipped it with his new game. Online only game my fat ass.  
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ďThe greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.Ē
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44. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 18:22 JohnnyRotten
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 14:37:
Jeff's entirely right that it should be thought about as an online-only game.

The 18 month countdown until EA yanks the servers that make the game playable starts now...

This comment was edited on Mar 25, 2010, 13:42.
 
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43. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 17:56 gilly775
 
kxmode wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 13:01:
Any single-player game that requires a constant online connection needs to have a sticker with this message on the front of the box: Online Connection Required for Play

Silent Hunter V did. I've got the box here. And it's not a sticker; it's a part of the insert.

And you minds well wait. DRM tends to get removed after a couple of years and the price will go down. Ubisoft did that with a bunch of their games.
 
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42. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 16:47 DanL
 
Same, I've loved the C&C franchise since the beginning, but really EA has been a plague on the series. Like many of you, I've also bought practically every C&C and RA game out. But C&C3 was marginal and RA3 was terrible. Couple that with this asinine DRM and the franchise is now dead to me.  
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41. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 15:50 Creston
 
EAJeffGreen wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 12:59:
@SpectralMeat: Haha, no. I actually signed up for Blues YEARS ago when you guys were probably mostly in diapers. But that account is linked to my old Ziff-Davis address. So I created a new one today for this bit of fun.

Hehe, you might wanna rethink that part a bit.

Creston
 
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40. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 15:45 Darks
 
Same here, Iíve also bought every CnC games that come out. But I refuse to purchase this game because of their DRM. I loved the series so much that I spent 4 months converting all of the SP maps from Tiberium 3. But EA just refuses to except the fact that they screwed up with this drm crap and still expect people to buy into it. Sorry EA I donít jump so quickly.

After the removal of certain servers that I own games to and now canít even play online Coop. Iím not about to waste money on a game that they will end up removing that server after a yearís time. Iím still pissed about that and will be seeking a refund since they have now invalidated my game.
 
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39. Re: EA on C&C4 DRM Mar 24, 2010, 15:35 MattyC
 
StratX wrote on Mar 24, 2010, 14:07:
Just wanted to say that the DRM on C&C 4 dissuaded me from purchasing the game. Not a pirate, never will be, just will find another way to spend my free time (and money).


Same here. I got every C&C game other than Sole Survivor since the original. That even includes Renegade :p I would have loved to get this just to see how the story wraps up. I wasn't too crazy about the DoW style cap and hold over harvesting and base building, but I would have been able to overlook that. However, being unable to play a single player game when I don't have internet? That is just a no sale right there.


I mean this kind of DRM really makes it seem like companies WANT people to pirate games. I do work in software, so I won't be a pirate, but I mean c'mon... how many ways can developers think of to make the pirated version the SUPERIOR product?
 
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