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On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans

A post on the Bohemia Interactive Forums asks for help with a problem causing a watery image degradation in Take On Helicopters, Bohemia's new flight simulator. As it turns out this can be the result of using a pirated edition of the game, as Bohemia explains this comes from their "unique anti-piracy countermeasures," also noting a demo for the game is in the works. Here's word:

Bohemia Interactive deploys various antipiracy countermeasures in its titles and Take On Helicopters is no exception, some users have reported morphed/watery image degradation (see http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=126991 ). The original version of Take On Helicopters does not suffer from this degradation of visual quality. Piracy is a big problem for Bohemia Interactive, as an independent PC developer, and we're trying to focus our support as much as possible towards users of legitimate copies. Counterfeit copies of our games may degrade and, moral aspects aside, we certainly recommend only playing the original version. We have a free public demo version of Take On Helicopters in the development pipeline for those that prefer to test it before buying.

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60. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 11, 2011, 15:38 Dades
 
And no, I am no DRM advocate, I hate DRM, but this DRM works and has no detrimental effects on legit customers. Its much better than having to insert a disc all the time, having some bloatware like Steam that drives other publishers to make similar, even worse stuff like that, or always on Internet DRM, or account forced bullshit.

I'm not pro-pirate and I don't hate DRM on principle if its well implemented, I'm simply not convinced that they have somehow developed the magical DRM that always functions perfectly without ever even having the potential to affect a customer, something claimed in this thread. When people ask how that's possible based on their knowledge of its inner workings they can't seem to provide a working explanation. If he had just left it at that it can function while potentially affecting a minority of users I would have never even posted because that's how most DRM functions and its usually accepted.
 
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59. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 11, 2011, 13:21 Spaced
 
Well said MB, well said.  
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58. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 11, 2011, 03:43 Muscular Beaver
 
Dades wrote on Nov 11, 2011, 00:20:
Spaced wrote on Nov 11, 2011, 00:03:
I don't have to prove myself or my expertise to you and I won't be baited into it either. You've chosen what you want to do with the facts and have decided to go down a path of speculation and assumption. It would be pointless to try and continue proving something to you that has already been proven. You're riding on speculation and arguing against problems that don't exist and haven't happened. I'm happy to sit back and watch you argue with yourself over unrelated issues and speculation? lol

Indeed, how dare I bait you to support your opinion with something other than vague assurances and a forum post. I don't need to speculate on anything because I'm not the one dealing in absolute certainty. When you make absolute assertions it's not to everyone else to prove you wrong. I'm more than happy to entertain many possibilities but there is so much precedent for DRM systems affecting legitimate owners that it cannot be ignored just to help you save face. They can't add a version increment and remove all of that risk. Obviously to you it's acceptable but to the rest of us who don't hate other human beings for downloading software it's not, particularly when many of us are customers ourselves.

Oh come on, shut it already.
Yes, Bohemia was always kind enough to say it CAN be a pirated copy if something like that occurs. Because well, who wants to make fun of his own potential customers (as unlikely as they may be)?
The facts speak a different language. There was never a post where someone said that hes a legit customer, unless he bought a game that has already been opened and the the key used (happens quite often in Germany for example, but has nothing to do with their DRM not working correctly), and that was cleared by Bohemia very fast.
Do you have 10 years of experience in their community and with their games? No? Then dont try to argue about such things that are complete bullshit to people who know their stuff. Its like you trolling into a Porsche forum saying that you know for a fact that there are some cases where Porsche customers found out that theres a 50 HP VW engine in their car.

And no, I am no DRM advocate, I hate DRM, but this DRM works and has no detrimental effects on legit customers. Its much better than having to insert a disc all the time, having some bloatware like Steam that drives other publishers to make similar, even worse stuff like that, or always on Internet DRM, or account forced bullshit.

As said before OFP sold 2 million times and even the posts where pirates claimed this game was buggy, were only a few. No difference in all the other Bohemia games since then.

Oh yeah and also, Bohemia always removed disc checks from their games via patches a few weeks after release. That trying to remove the cd check by pirates was the main cause for "Fading" to happen. Only idiot pirates who still used the no-cd cracks after that, had fading, because they used the outdated no-cd crack. If they would have just used a cd key generator they wouldnt have had fading, unless they went online with it.
So in any case, very stupid pirates.

This comment was edited on Nov 11, 2011, 03:49.
 
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57. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 11, 2011, 00:20 Dades
 
Spaced wrote on Nov 11, 2011, 00:03:
I don't have to prove myself or my expertise to you and I won't be baited into it either. You've chosen what you want to do with the facts and have decided to go down a path of speculation and assumption. It would be pointless to try and continue proving something to you that has already been proven. You're riding on speculation and arguing against problems that don't exist and haven't happened. I'm happy to sit back and watch you argue with yourself over unrelated issues and speculation? lol

Indeed, how dare I bait you to support your opinion with something other than vague assurances and a forum post. I don't need to speculate on anything because I'm not the one dealing in absolute certainty. When you make absolute assertions it's not to everyone else to prove you wrong. I'm more than happy to entertain many possibilities but there is so much precedent for DRM systems affecting legitimate owners that it cannot be ignored just to help you save face. They can't add a version increment and remove all of that risk. Obviously to you it's acceptable but to the rest of us who don't hate other human beings for downloading software it's not, particularly when many of us are customers ourselves.

This comment was edited on Nov 11, 2011, 00:41.
 
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56. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 11, 2011, 00:03 Spaced
 
I don't have to prove myself or my expertise to you and I won't be baited into it either. You've chosen what you want to do with the facts and have decided to go down a path of speculation and assumption. It would be pointless to try and continue proving something to you that has already been proven. You're riding on speculation and arguing against problems that don't exist and haven't happened. I'm happy to sit back and watch you argue with yourself over unrelated issues and speculation? lol  
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55. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 18:20 Dades
 
Oh we're all ignorant about this? You're the only one informed? I see you talking about this so called system in a roundabout way but never giving any specifics. Please give us a detailed accounting of this DRMs internal systems, how they have no need to interact with the operating environment yet can somehow ensure the content hasn't been tampered with and why it is any different from previous iterations of Fade. You know all about it and are 100% convinced of its effectiveness so you're obviously well educated on the subject and can speak about it with authority. So please, let's hear all about it and how it accomplishes these things without ever affecting a legitimate user.

Technical details on how a DRM system determines it is not a legitimate copy without interacting with its surrounding operating environment in the slightest, I am especially interested in those considering how easy it is to spoof hashes and function responses in memory. I've consulted the forums and do not see this information. Please feel free to be blindingly technical, I am not a novice user

If you lack this information, then please explain how exactly you have arrived at these conclusions without any first hand technical knowledge about the subject, armed only with a handful of forum postings and a press release.
 
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54. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 17:03 Spaced
 
You have put no thought into the potential problems that can arise through normal usage due to hardware and software platforms changing either.

Your accusing 'no thought' tone doesn't prove your point and only shows how little you are apparently understanding about the argument and how this system is working. Plus, this system (and others that would be like it) functions independently of changes in hardware and software because it's entirely internal. If the game works, so does the copy protection... there are no additional dependencies on hardware or platforms at all since it is not bound to either. You really are helping me to make my point when you attack problems that don't even exist, lol. Thank you.

DRM should never have the potential to impact the gaming experience.

That's just it though, this 'DRM' doesn't impact the gaming experience at all - FOR LEGAL USERS. And that's the great thing about it.

The rest of your post is mostly just a rehash of you swinging away at past methods and denying the actual -result- of how this specific system -did- effect piracy. So it's tough to debate against someone who just wants to deal with off-topic issues, misquote/misrepresent their opponent, and make up problems that don't even exist, then doesn't even address the topic and the results at hand. It's like you are arguing with yourself over something you don't like, but that something doesn't even apply to this DRM system. Interesting and amusing, but indeed not very productive. Considering all of this, certainly no reply required :-)
 
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53. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 15:23 Verno
 
Or, you can read this thread on blues where a user had experience with their games DRM giving them problems as legit customers. Again, just because YOUR experience is different, it doesn't invalidate all others.

I've always been a fan of more practical DRM. The kind that turns your pirated release effectively into a demo and potentially into some sales is probably a better idea than goading users onto a forum where you can mock them and ensure they will never become a customer. Many indies upload their own games to torrent trackers, they're effectively demo builds designed to get eyeballs. That's a very smart way of handling it, the game will be cracked no matter what and you might as well get the potential to make money out of it.
 
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52. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 15:10 Dades
 
I have no idea why you are so invested in this but you've lost all perspective. Like others here, I'm just going to give up after this post because you will just keep posting with no end in sight.

Again, with others and 'the past'. Have you reviewed their forum beyond the one thread? Notice anything?

You act like the past is some far away event in human history and not a software revision. I haven't reviewed every forum thread ever made and I doubt you have either, your sample size is far too small to make conclusions and seems based totally in emotion about how you dislike pirates. You have put no thought into the potential problems that can arise through normal usage due to hardware and software platforms changing either.

As 'offended' by it as you seem to be, it sure seems to be an effective approach. It addresses the problem directly and offers several solutions for legal users that I've already stated.

No it does not as explained to you several times by people here. Other DRM systems being worse does not make this one good either. DRM should never have the potential to impact the gaming experience.

This approach may be one of the best methods to come about on the PC in a very long time (implemented the way it has been in this game). And as a gamer, I'm happy to use it since it means no problems or hoops to jump through for me as a legal user.

Yet again you act like this is a new method of DRM that no one has ever thought of or implemented before when the reality is the complete opposite and the results have never made a meaningful impact on piracy. If you as a gamer are fine then wonderful but stop telling the rest of us how we should treat it.
 
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51. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 14:45 Spaced
 
Dades wrote on Nov 10, 2011, 13:01:
That's not accurate, your assumption is based on a single forum thread and a press bite from the developers. Bohemia knows its Fade system has affected its customers in the past

Again, with others and 'the past'. Have you reviewed their forum beyond the one thread? Notice anything? :-)

There are many examples of similar systems exhibiting similar problems or causing issues down the road when new versions of things like operating systems and platforms change. That's why people bring it up, this isn't high school debate club. It's a legit concern based on experience. I have no idea why are so ardently defending this, there are far better ways to deal with piracy and getting a little gotcha on the pirates is just an immature way that doesn't really address the problem nor offer a solution.

As 'offended' by it as you seem to be, it sure seems to be an effective approach. It addresses the problem directly and offers several solutions for legal users that I've already stated. And the reason I defend it is because I am all for this approach as opposed to other DRM systems as I have repeatedly stated in my earlier posts, which you seem to not read because you say you have no idea why.

It's an updated version of the same system they have been using for a long time now.

So such things never change and improve? You sound like your stuck in the past and then want to use that against a viable DRM alternative like this.

This approach may be one of the best methods to come about on the PC in a very long time (implemented the way it has been in this game). And as a gamer, I'm happy to use it since it means no problems or hoops to jump through for me as a legal user.
 
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50. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 13:01 Dades
 
Spaced wrote on Nov 10, 2011, 12:26:
Lol again. I don't have to assume anything. I'm basing my comments on exactly -what happened- to that pirate and available reports on their forum from legal users (who never encountered the problem). There's no assuming involved. If that's extreme to you, so be it.

That's not accurate, your assumption is based on a single forum thread and a press bite from the developers. Bohemia knows its Fade system has affected its customers in the past, OFP had documented cases of it. If you want to assume it just works with no exceptions based on a pitifully small sample size then that's your choice but it's pretty Lol as you would say.

There are many examples of similar systems exhibiting similar problems or causing issues down the road when new versions of things like operating systems and platforms change. That's why people bring it up, this isn't high school debate club. It's a legit concern based on experience. I have no idea why are so ardently defending this, there are far better ways to deal with piracy and getting a little gotcha on the pirates is just an immature way that doesn't really address the problem nor offer a solution.

And again, you keep bringing up other DRM systems instead of addressing -the results- of this one. lol

It's an updated version of the same system they have been using for a long time now.
 
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49. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 12:26 Spaced
 
Dades wrote on Nov 10, 2011, 07:16:
You are just assuming it does everything the developer says it does and that anyone who says otherwise is a filthy pirate. The truth rarely lies at the edges of extremes. You want to believe it works and never affects anyone because you've typed 8000 words arguing about it and can't admit that systems like this can and have in the past affected people who paid for their games.

Lol again. I don't have to assume anything. I'm basing my comments on exactly -what happened- to that pirate and available reports on their forum from legal users (who never encountered the problem). There's no assuming involved. If that's extreme to you, so be it. And again, you keep bringing up other DRM systems instead of addressing -the results- of this one. lol
 
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48. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 07:16 Dades
 
Spaced wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 23:11:
Yup, you're not paying attention either, lol. Comments like this are actually pretty amusing. You bring up -other- DRM systems again, just like the others, refusing to even address the topic of -this- DRM system, boast about how they are all cracked, then proclaim DRM as worthless. Re-read the news blurb and the comments if you must.

You are just assuming it does everything the developer says it does and that anyone who says otherwise is a filthy pirate. The truth rarely lies at the edges of extremes. You want to believe it works and never affects anyone because you've typed 8000 words arguing about it and can't admit that systems like this can and have in the past affected people who paid for their games.
 
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47. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 05:27 Muscular Beaver
 
OR, he is just lying.
As I said, Ive been playing their games for 10 years, am a very active poster and reader in their forums and have never seen something like that. However, Ive seen some trolls spamming in other forums that their games suck, because you cant even aim properly. However even those shut up once someone told them what that actually means.
Hmmm... interesting...
 
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46. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 04:20 Dev
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Nov 10, 2011, 03:08:
Dev wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 19:42:
bfg9000 wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 19:22:
I have been playing Arma2 since release and have never had problems with FADE. You don't even need to have the CD inserted.
A DRM that has no negative effect on legit users? In this day and age?
Nothing short of a miracle.

Just because YOU didn't have problems, doesn't mean every other user has the same experience. I see that a lot in online forums, people assuming their life experience must be the same as everyone elses, and if something did or didn't happen to them it must be the same for all.
There are a lot of problems with Bohemia games, but this is not one of them. After I saw all those forum posts with people having this "problem", and when they got told that they are most likely using a pirated copy, they never answered again, nor ever posted again.
If someone really had this problem with a legit copy, they would have insisted that it is a bug, but no one ever did.
Also I have been playing Bohemia games with that copy protection for over 10 years now on about 20 different systems, and never have come across a bug that could even remotely resemble their copy protection - and Ive seen a LOT of bugs.
Or, you can read this thread on blues where a user had experience with their games DRM giving them problems as legit customers. Again, just because YOUR experience is different, it doesn't invalidate all others.
 
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45. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 03:08 Muscular Beaver
 
Dev wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 19:42:
bfg9000 wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 19:22:
I have been playing Arma2 since release and have never had problems with FADE. You don't even need to have the CD inserted.
A DRM that has no negative effect on legit users? In this day and age?
Nothing short of a miracle.

Just because YOU didn't have problems, doesn't mean every other user has the same experience. I see that a lot in online forums, people assuming their life experience must be the same as everyone elses, and if something did or didn't happen to them it must be the same for all.
There are a lot of problems with Bohemia games, but this is not one of them. After I saw all those forum posts with people having this "problem", and when they got told that they are most likely using a pirated copy, they never answered again, nor ever posted again.
If someone really had this problem with a legit copy, they would have insisted that it is a bug, but no one ever did.
Also I have been playing Bohemia games with that copy protection for over 10 years now on about 20 different systems, and never have come across a bug that could even remotely resemble their copy protection - and Ive seen a LOT of bugs.
 
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44. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 00:43 Spaced
 
Prez wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 23:54:
I think the point is it will be cracked eventually.

Oh it probably will. But that's the fantastic approach to this system. The advantage is with the developer rather than the pirate with this method. If they eventually discover one hole in the system, there can still be hundreds or even thousands more waiting that aren't found and can't be until whatever trigger has brought it to the surface. It could potentially take years for everything to be found for even just a few hundred of these protection threads, by then the game may be freeware anyway and the effort of any pirating will be moot. It's a fantastic approach and one I as a gamer welcome as an alternative to other restrictive (and less effective) forms of DRM.

But as right as the devs are for wanting to be paid for their work, schemes like this run the risk of doing more harm than good in the long run.

Maybe, but it will become less and less so as the practice of protecting games like this becomes more common. After all, you now know about this and so does everyone else reading it. The more common it becomes, the more the userbase will understand that what they did broke the game and not the game itself. The method and result used by these developers proved effective and informative, just what was needed to determine what the cause was and let everyone else know about it.

This comment was edited on Nov 10, 2011, 00:51.
 
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43. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 10, 2011, 00:14 JSP
 
Good on them, if not altogether ingenious. A bit of sense of humour and very matter of fact. If anyone wants to 'test out' the game, they can download a demo, which in this case they will provide. No need to defend piracy at the expense of developers who on good faith provides a sampler that gives a good idea of how it plays in the first place.  
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42. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 9, 2011, 23:54 Prez
 
I think the point is it will be cracked eventually. In the meantime, what you view as pirates (while I view them as potential customers) may or may not understand that the glitches are intentional. If they don't, and I suspect many don't and won't, what may have otherwise been a possible sale - "Hmmm... this is pretty good. Think I'll pay for a copy," - down the road instead becomes "Wow, what a buggy piece of crap. Glad I didn't pay for it".

Don't get me wrong - I admire the creativity and low impact on legitimate users of this DRM. But as right as the devs are for wanting to be paid for their work, schemes like this run the risk of doing more harm than good in the long run.

This comment was edited on Nov 10, 2011, 00:26.
 
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41. Re: On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans Nov 9, 2011, 23:11 Spaced
 
Dades wrote on Nov 9, 2011, 19:55:
Maybe you aren't paying attention because pretty much every DRM system ever conceived has been cracked, even the vaunted Ubisoft DRM with thousands of online checks and database code inserts. Once the game has shipped you can't go back and insert better DRM. This DRM doesn't work because it's not preventing piracy and only causes confusion, its that simple. DRM inconveniences people who spend money more than people who don't and the rest of the time it is mostly a worthless effort. The best DRM is a great multiplayer side, spend the time and money on that which will also make a better game for your customers.

Yup, you're not paying attention either, lol. Comments like this are actually pretty amusing. You bring up -other- DRM systems again, just like the others, refusing to even address the topic of -this- DRM system, boast about how they are all cracked, then proclaim DRM as worthless. Re-read the news blurb and the comments if you must. This DRM system worked in this instance, the pirate(s) could not play the game while the legal users could and the reduced functionality of the illegal version did not impact legal users at all. No inconvenience for the legal users who spent the money. This round went to the developer as a win. No hoops to jump through for the legal users and blocked access for the thieves. The only confusion it caused was for the pirates! lol

I suspect this will catch on based on the effectiveness, user friendliness for legal users, and just how mad and irrational it is making the pirates, lol. This method goes to show that while you can't go back and insert better DRM once a game has shipped, you can certainly come up with all kinds of time bombs and random triggers threaded throughout the game's code that can't possibly all be found or removed. It blocks pirating while giving the paying customer no hassles at all. It will likely just get bigger and better from here on out.
 
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