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Dragon Age II DRM Explained

A forum thread on the BioWare Social Network goes into detail about plans for digital rights management in Dragon Age II, BioWare's upcoming RPG sequel (thanks Strategy Informer). The Steam versions will rely on Steam DRM, while other versions, both boxed and digital will need to authenticate themselves "after a select period of days," which is not yet specified. There will also be a Release Control system which does not install anything, but prevents the game from being played before its release date. The game will not require the disc in the drive, and it can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs, though one copy can only be played on five different PCs in a 24 hour period. In addition to current DRM plans, there is also a follow-up post outlining how there are plans in place to "sunset" their authentication system down the road. Here's word:

Recently there has been some concern over the DRM (Digital Rights Management) included with Dragon Age 2. Hopefully this post will help clarify what the DRM is for all versions of Dragon Age 2.

Steam versions use Steam DRM, no other DRM is added.

Non-Steam versions (digital or retail disc) are as follows:
- No disc check, you do not need the disc in drive to play.
- No limit on the total number of PCs you can install and play the game on.
- There is a limit to the number of unique/different PCs that can start/play the game within a time window [5 PCs in 24hrs].
- Each install requires logging in to your EA account to verify game ownership and if you are a member of these forums, you have an EA account.
- You can play offline but the game will require a login check after a select period of days.

Release Control (does not use securom)
    . It does not install anything to the PC.
    . Sole purpose is to check with a server to validate whether the game release date has passed or not.
    . It completely removes itself after the game release date has passed.
    . You will not be able to play until that date has passed.
    . Dates & times are set to the retail street date per country.

Hopefully this explains the DRM included in Dragon Age 2.

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66 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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66. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 2, 2011, 01:30 StingingVelvet
 
Sepharo wrote on Feb 2, 2011, 00:13:
I'm pretty sure you don't after 15 pages of ctrl-f "Steam" on that post there. Don't really have a better source than that and the tick for that portion is under Non-Steam.

Details are few, but I would bet if you want to use any DLC or whatnot you will need to run it through your EA account, same as the first game. They might even push the EA account for all versions, though to what extent no one knows.

A Bioware employee just said on their forum that they might not do the periodic checks, because people are upset. Same thing happened with Mass Effect.
 
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65. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 2, 2011, 00:13 Sepharo
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 23:56:
I think you need an EA account regardless of what version you buy.
I'm pretty sure you don't after 15 pages of ctrl-f "Steam" on that post there. Don't really have a better source than that and the tick for that portion is under Non-Steam.

Jerykk wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 23:56:
You basically just played the tutorial.
Yeah I know. I have a terrible habit of buying games and not playing them even if I initially like them. Keep waiting on that mythical "long session" that never arrives.

The only exception is if a game really grabs me like Amnesia or just the other day ago The Last Express (thanks GoG!).
 
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64. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 23:56 Jerykk
 
I think you need an EA account regardless of what version you buy.

Most likely I won't be getting DA2 anyway since I still haven't gotten around to playing the first past after Ostagar, I think I got the dog and then made a new character who I never got back to that point.

You basically just played the tutorial.
 
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63. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 22:39 MattyC
 
The non-Steam version sounds annoying. I don't think I even have an EA Account. However just Steam DRM is fine by me.  
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62. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 19:02 Sepharo
 
After seeing a lot of "How are people okay with this?" I'd like to clarify that my first post complacency is solely due to Steam being the sole DRM for Steam bought versions.

Most likely I won't be getting DA2 anyway since I still haven't gotten around to playing the first past after Ostagar, I think I got the dog and then made a new character who I never got back to that point.

edit: Damn looking over the early plot I started to get confused about Witchers and Gray Wardens. Both legendary orders with dwindling numbers who fight monsters that follow a boom and bust cycle. An initiation process that involves imbibing something that will either kill you or make you better than human. Though this is likely a fantasy trope appearing in other media too.
 
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61. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 16:36 StingingVelvet
 
I've said this before and will say it again: just remove the DRM a year after release, or even two years if you want to be super anal about it.

My concern with DRM is the longevity of my software. I end up having to crack my games so I can make backup copies I know will work in 20 years. If you remove all DRM two years after release then I don't have to worry about it, I can activate and be merry and then one day I will be able to download and backup a patch that removes the DRM and back that up for safe keeping.

Resale in 2 years would be negligible, as would piracy. Why NOT do it?
 
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60. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 14:37 entr0py
 
PHJF wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 10:35:
I think the bottom line is this gem:

- Each install requires logging in to your EA account to verify game ownership and if you are a member of these forums, you have an EA account.

So now we have a single player-only game with a locked-to-account online login. Bye bye, resale.

Bingo. I think once you cut away all of the layers of bullshit that is the actually point of this move. To completely kill legal resales.

As Verno mentioned, the point is allegedly to stop causal piracy (copying the retail disk). But aside from that being a negligible problem compared to cracked releases, a simple and unobtrusive disk-check is enough to defeat casual piracy. That is what EA would still be doing if they didn't want your game to immediately lose all resale value.
 
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59. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 13:09 Verno
 
DG wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 13:05:
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 10:18:
It's a company selling you a product, not a sports team. Yes ignore all logic and reason to score points with a faceless corporation, woohoo.

One of the reasons I don't really get into sports teams is because they are just companies selling you a product/service...

You can enjoy sports without buying into the franchise was my point, something that many fanboys in the gaming industry have seemingly forgotten.
 
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58. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 13:05 DG
 
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 10:18:
It's a company selling you a product, not a sports team. Yes ignore all logic and reason to score points with a faceless corporation, woohoo.

One of the reasons I don't really get into sports teams is because they are just companies selling you a product/service...
 
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57. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 12:57 DG
 
Good for giving the detail up-front, at least.

Good for using Steam DRM, which is relatively reasonable, something of a standard and probably of all "online" DRM, the one probably least likely to go bust and most likely for some kind of fix to be provided if it does.

For the non-Steam version... Well, OK, I'm going to say good for obviously having spent some time trying to derive a solution which will do what they want yet is unlikely to restrict customers. In practice I'd think people can basically ignore it other than the initial EA login + if they lose internet for an extended period.

Bad for still being at least some hassle affecting consumers but not pirates.
 
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56. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 11:23 Verno
 
Yeah it's really disconcerting to see those kinds of posts on forums. It's like reading the Playstation boards when they removed OtherOS, a bunch of people were attacking anyone who questioned it as pirates. It didn't even occur to them that a company just removed a feature from their bought and paid for piece of property.  
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55. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 11:02 StingingVelvet
 
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 10:18:
Bioware has some truly pathetic, sycophantic fans on their forums man, its a literal cesspool. There was some guy in one of the DRM threads who said that he would support Bioware no matter what they did because he loves the company. It's a company selling you a product, not a sports team. Yes ignore all logic and reason to score points with a faceless corporation, woohoo.

The ME2 forums are downright scary in their fanboyism culture and disturbing fanart too.

Yes, and their developers foster that kind of forum by basically using "trust us... we're Bioware!" as their counter-argument to everything. I spent some time there when Dragon Age 2 looked to be terrible and it was like a Justin Bieber concert with screaming 12 year old girls everywhere.

I'm probably about to get banned from there too, since I am posting in that thread about buying the game and then cracking it to avoid having to deal with this stupid shit.
 
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54. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 10:50 eRe4s3r
 
I take it you never read "mainstream" forums then, because this sadly does not just apply to games from bioware (although the Tali Fanart IS disturbing ;p). You get sociopathic radicalized ignorant media hype influenced sheeple everywhere, be it politics, games, sports or whatever else.

Logic and reasoning are not something you should expect from even 10% of the human race and certainly not on mainstream forums. Because doing so would likely end up in the realization that Armageddon might not be a bad thing after all.
 
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53. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 10:35 PHJF
 
I think the bottom line is this gem:

- Each install requires logging in to your EA account to verify game ownership and if you are a member of these forums, you have an EA account.

So now we have a single player-only game with a locked-to-account online login. Bye bye, resale.
 
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52. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 10:18 Verno
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 10:15:
I love how if you read through the Bioware thread on the subject every other person is thanking them for removing the disc check. Fucking ignorant bastards.

Bioware has some truly pathetic, sycophantic fans on their forums man, its a literal cesspool. There was some guy in one of the DRM threads who said that he would support Bioware no matter what they did because he loves the company. It's a company selling you a product, not a sports team. Yes ignore all logic and reason to score points with a faceless corporation, woohoo.

The ME2 forums are downright scary in their fanboyism culture and disturbing fanart too.
 
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51. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 10:15 StingingVelvet
 
I love how if you read through the Bioware thread on the subject every other person is thanking them for removing the disc check. Fucking ignorant bastards.  
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50. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 09:57 Verno
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 09:49:
So if you want an answer to your question, I'd like to see your answer on why its ok to cause problems for your customers when you aren't even dealing with the problem.

Because it actually does work to an extent (making it more difficult does stop the most casual pirates, who tend to be the ones they care most about as they're the ones that can be actual customers) and it sends the message that pirating is wrong and publishers aren't ok with it (which stops more pirates that would be actual customers.)

Incorrect, piracy is easier than ever and so are peoples options for it. You don't even need optical media anymore removing yet another piece of the equation for casual users and most are already educated on flash drives to pass things around. Things have become consistently easier over time, not more difficult. The process for piracy remains the same or easier in just about every case I can think. In fact the only exception would be AC2, out of hundreds of titles.

BitTorrent, cheap hard drives, flash storage and so on made pretty much all piracy casual nowadays. The only form of "protection" that's ever proven to be an effective deterrent to piracy is multiplayer functionality.

I'm not even addressing the "pirating is wrong" message stuff as it's absurd, other industries tried the guilt card and it does not work. Simply put there is no reason for DRM anymore, especially if we're to believe that the PC is such a small platform according to it's detractors and several posters from this board.
 
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49. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 09:49 Beamer
 
So if you want an answer to your question, I'd like to see your answer on why its ok to cause problems for your customers when you aren't even dealing with the problem.

Because it actually does work to an extent (making it more difficult does stop the most casual pirates, who tend to be the ones they care most about as they're the ones that can be actual customers) and it sends the message that pirating is wrong and publishers aren't ok with it (which stops more pirates that would be actual customers.)

Making it impossible would be awesome, and might be the goal, but the more hardcore pirates aren't looking to buy much, anyway.
 
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48. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 09:32 Verno
 
When I worked for a used car lot, at night they would put one simple chain across the main drive entrance and lock it with a masterlock. I mentioned to the manager how that didnt seem to be enough as any of the cars could just drive thru and break it. "Locks and chains only keep out honest people" he said.

That sits true here.

Except that it doesn't keep people out according to the industry themselves and that's yet another terrible internet car analogy. DRM isn't even a working lock and casual piracy is now just piracy in general. It also doesn't address anything I said.
 
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47. Re: Dragon Age II DRM Explained Feb 1, 2011, 09:27 timesten
 
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 07:49:
Beamer wrote on Feb 1, 2011, 07:41:
Is there any particular reason why this board loves to champion those without the internet?

Your internet goes out from time to time, sure, though this seems to accomodate that. And yeah, sometimes I'm gaming on a plane or train but in those cases I'm on a netbook/laptop way too underpowered to run this game, anyway. And even if you've got some $4000 Alienware laptop (which Icewind apparently does) it still accomodates that.

I'm not saying it's not weird or overbearing, I'm just saying I never understand the "oh my god I need to be near the internet from time to time!" or the "what about all those people without the internet?!" comments that we see in DRM threads.

You can't account for every usage scenario in the world and that's part of the problem with DRM. This would be fine if it was at least effective but it has been shown time and time again to be completely ineffective at both fighting piracy and doing it's job without negative impact to legitimate customers. It is totally without purpose at this point, especially in the face of the growing 0 day console scene who doesn't have to worry about cracking their titles, just obtaining a disc. So if you want an answer to your question, I'd like to see your answer on why its ok to cause problems for your customers when you aren't even dealing with the problem.

When I worked for a used car lot, at night they would put one simple chain across the main drive entrance and lock it with a masterlock. I mentioned to the manager how that didnt seem to be enough as any of the cars could just drive thru and break it. "Locks and chains only keep out honest people" he said.

That sits true here.
 
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