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BioWare on Dragon Age II DRM

We haven't heard from EA on the story about reports of SecuROM DRM in Dragon Age II, but BioWare Live Team Technical Producer Derek "CrushBug" French made a couple of posts to our forums that discuss the matter. He says:

"Sorry, but there is some confusion on this. We use Sony Release Control which shares some functionality with other Sony products (SecuROM), but we do not use SecuROM for the DRM. Once the Sony Release Control check is passed, Release Control self-destructs, removing the Release Control wrapper and it is never used again. Game updates will not use Release Control because obviously the release date is passed. Additionally, installing the game and then any future game patch will also remove the Sony Release Control check and it will never run on your computer."

When asked about a running SecuROM process, he said: "There is no running process once it unwraps and self-destructs." In reply to a question about registry entries, he replies: "An inert registry entry that does nothing." Finally, when asked about files remaining on users' hard drives, he explains: "In a temp folder that is never referenced again. This part is sloppy and should be cleaned up, though. We will see about doing that in a patch."

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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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24. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 07:35 Paketep
 
DA2 in metacritic:

16 press reviews: 8.4
1125 (!!!) user reviews: 3.9

Nobody has problems releasing games for PC... except if your game is a POS with an offensive DRM on top.

Edit: BTW, PS3 and 360 numbers are very similar. Could be because of those evil PC gamers with a grudge, though.
 
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23. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 07:31 Ray Marden
 
I would argue it is a bit of everything.

First off, is this truly a sequel to DA, one that adds depth and richness to the story, world, and gameplay? Not really - it is a more action focused game with an expedited development proces.

Taken as a new game without the DA name, is this game utter trash? Not at all - it is a blending of RPG and hack and slash focusing on some of the best points from each genre.

Is this the sequel that honors DA? Not reallh - you know how the first game was actually a bit light on depth, but you know all that focus we spent on having your create your character in this new world? Gone. You know the tactical combat focus? Scaled back. The size of the areas? Scaled down to a corridor. Party AI? Still broken. Art/world? Recycled. Did you expand the world now that we're past the origin bit? We pulled a Witcher and dumped you in one city. Dialogue? Scroll wheel!

Looking at the reviews, is this one of the greatest games ever developed? Absolutely not; it's probably an 8/10 when viewed as a new type of game and it should be rated lower when judged as a DA sequel. You'll see the hardcore/elitist people just bash this game in rather silly, obvious ways. In contrast, you'll see the PR effect on some of the popular sites - these are reviews that take one fight and tell you an exaggerated play by play without ever actually critiquing the game or sites that don't give you much of an impression, even mentioning a few faults/inconsistencies/scaled back items, but then immediately reversing course in the final summary by telling you this is the greatest game ever!
It's the lack of any substance contrasted with the statement of greatness.
Waiting on the $20 price tag or the GotY edition,
Ray
 
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22. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 07:19 ASeven
 
I wouldn't say that the whole gaming journalists are giving glowing reviews either, there are many sites and magazines like edge giving it a 6 or a 5.  
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21. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 04:37 Jerykk
 
To be fair, the enemies in DA2 don't infinitely respawn until you hit certain triggers, unlike CoD. However, yes, assassins are ridiculously unbalanced on Nightmare. I find it hard to believe they did any kind of playtesting on that difficulty and they probably didn't even do much functional testing either. In all likelihood, they just played the tutorial level and confirmed that the core changes were indeed functional.

Given how much stuff they nerfed in the DAO patches, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see assassins toned down in a future DA2 patch.
 
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20. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 04:15 peteham
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 03:28:
In DA2, you cannot scout and initial enemy numbers and types don't really matter because new enemies will magically appear in the middle of the fight.

Gotta wonder if they were more inspired by Mass Effect or Call of Duty?

*sigh*
I don't recall either CoD or ME being so obvious and dumb about it, though. Sure, enemies might get reinforced from behind their lines (infinitely reinforced, in the case of CoD) or pop out of doors/hallways etc, but that generally made some form of sense. Unlike DA2, they:
- didn't spawn enemies behind you
- right in the middle of your party
- inside the friggin 11.5sqf storage room you just retreated to, with only one door.. Y'know, the one you're currently blocking with two fighters.

This aspect, more than any other, is totally ruining my enjoyment of DA2. You also have to save some mana/cooldowns when encountering the easy groups, making boring fights longer and more stretched out than they had to be, simply because you never know if another wave is gonna spawn in and have an assassin' in it, or a million archers in a nice spread-out configuration, all going for your caster

On that note, assassins truly do suck. I'm actually convinced they never fully tested Nightmare, instead testing hard, then going "let's bump the damage/health multiplication factors even more, and call it nightmare!"
 
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19. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 03:28 Bhruic
 
In DA2, you cannot scout and initial enemy numbers and types don't really matter because new enemies will magically appear in the middle of the fight.

Gotta wonder if they were more inspired by Mass Effect or Call of Duty?

*sigh*
 
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18. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 02:45 Jerykk
 
The Eurogamer interview with Laidlaw is hilarious. I'm not even sure why they call them interviews. It's just marketing bullshit. You'll have to wait for a proper post-mortem in 5 years before they'll admit that DA2 was both rushed and heavily inspired by Mass Effect.

Unfortunately, I don't see Dragon Age 3 being a return to form. It'll likely be released in early 2013 and be just as half-assed as DA2, only more "streamlined" to supposedly improve upon DA2. Expect the dialogue wheel, predefined protagonist, recycled environments, etc, to all make a return.

And fuck, that Ancient Rock Wraith needs some balancing on hard and nightmare.

Pretty much everything needs more balancing. Enemies should not spawn out of thin air during combat. Assassins shouldn't be so ridiculously overpowered on Nightmare difficulty. Enemies should only be able to detect you by line of sight, not arbitrary triggers that the player is forced to set off. in DAO, scouting ahead was essential, as it allowed you to disable traps and establish enemy numbers and types so that you could create a battle plan. In DA2, you cannot scout and initial enemy numbers and types don't really matter because new enemies will magically appear in the middle of the fight.
 
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17. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 02:38 entr0py
 
killer_roach wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 02:12:
D4rkKnight wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 01:46:
Eurogamer: Is Dragon Age II better on PC?

Mike Laidlaw: I wouldn't say so. We actually did extensive work to make sure the experiences were much closer aligned.

They did extensive work to make the PC version worse.

From what one could gather from these forums, the "extensive work" was releasing the game in the first place.

And people wonder why nobody wants to release games on the PC anymore...

I guess the advantage of having the versions "aligned" is that they won't screw up the PC game when they release the first balance patch. And fuck, that Ancient Rock Wraith needs some balancing on hard and nightmare.

But at least we've got the High Quality Texture pack and dx11 enhancements. Plus mice. There are still a few things we can lord over the console underclass.
 
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16. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 02:12 killer_roach
 
D4rkKnight wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 01:46:
Eurogamer: Is Dragon Age II better on PC?

Mike Laidlaw: I wouldn't say so. We actually did extensive work to make sure the experiences were much closer aligned.

They did extensive work to make the PC version worse.

From what one could gather from these forums, the "extensive work" was releasing the game in the first place.

And people wonder why nobody wants to release games on the PC anymore...
 
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15. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 01:50 Prez
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 12, 2011, 00:31:
I don't really care about SecuRom. I do care about the fact that DA2 is a fairly underwhelming sequel that takes a lot of shortcuts in its design.

There's a major disconnect between the absolutely glowing reviews DA2 is getting from multiple online and print sources and the overall sentiment among PC gamers here and elsewhere whose opinions I've read about the game.

I'm trying to decide if it's due to classic gamer jadedness, classic gaming "journalism" selling out for ad revenue-generating AAA games, or something else entirely.
 
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14. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 01:46 D4rkKnight
 
Eurogamer: Is Dragon Age II better on PC?

Mike Laidlaw: I wouldn't say so. We actually did extensive work to make sure the experiences were much closer aligned.

They did extensive work to make the PC version worse.
 
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13. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 00:31 Jerykk
 
I don't really care about SecuRom. I do care about the fact that DA2 is a fairly underwhelming sequel that takes a lot of shortcuts in its design.  
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12. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 12, 2011, 00:16 LittleMe
 
mt2e wrote on Mar 11, 2011, 23:43:
I have been reading blue's for years and until recently, finishing school, getting a secure job in the IT field, I had never felt the urge to participate in talking in forums/blogs/journals/aggregates. I had to start somewhere like all of you and unfortunately DA2 was my first topic to talk about. I am a person of great depth and hope to contribute (less nerdrage and trolling hopefully) to blues in the future.

Very cool. Welcome to the BN threads!

 
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11. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 23:43 Tim Collins
 
I have been reading blue's for years and until recently, finishing school, getting a secure job in the IT field, I had never felt the urge to participate in talking in forums/blogs/journals/aggregates. I had to start somewhere like all of you and unfortunately DA2 was my first topic to talk about. I am a person of great depth and hope to contribute (less nerdrage and trolling hopefully) to blues in the future.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2011, 23:55.
 
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10. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 23:08 Creston
 
I trust Derek well enough, however people have monitored the dragon age 2 executable writing to the SecuROM registry entries every time they start (or close, I forgot which). So the "inert" registry entry thing seems... questionable. Then again, they may have just been full of shit.

There are several users on their own forum who are unable to play because the "Release Control" is preventing the game from being started, even though the date has long since passed. So it's again a shitty ass system that's preventing legitimate users from playing the game they BOUGHT, all for the sake of something retarded as preventing game stores from breaking the street date. Because God forbid that people would get to play a single player game THEY BOUGHT a few days earlier! The world would come to an end!

Anyways, eh. Like I'd said earlier, it was a fun way to pass a boring afternoon at work.

What's the next DA crisis? My guess is that EA will announce DA2K12, slated for release on March 1st, 2012.

Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2011, 23:28.
 
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9. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 22:56 ASeven
 
I have a feeling this won't be the last we'll hear on this DRM. Either RYG will apologize or they'll offer proof.  
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8. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 22:52 Overon
 
These are not the droids you are looking for.  
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7. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 22:49 The Half Elf
 
mt2e I have to ask, did you create a account on Bluesnews just to troll Dragon Age 2?  
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6. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 22:04 ShamAbram
 
I'm certain there's a conspiracy here somewhere.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2011, 22:13.
 
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5. Re: BioWare on Dragon Age 2 DRM Mar 11, 2011, 22:00 Sho
 
Kudos for a solid response with hard info and without any marketing BS. Behavior like that definitely makes my trust meter go up as a customer.  
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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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