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On Mass Effect 3 DRM

BioWare's Casey Hudson offers reassurances to gamers by way of Computer and Video Games that the use of Origin does not mean Mass Effect 3 will be burdened by intrusive DRM. They say the game will use a one time online activation, and will allow an unlimited number of installs. Here's more from Hudson:

We use Origin, and it's interesting because really, it's just a way to get access to the online and digital features that, you know, generally, PC games have now. I think people are going to be fine with it.

"I think that the people who try Mass Effect 3 on Origin will realise that it's not an intrusive DRM scheme," he added. "It's just a way for you to sign up for the online services that you're going to get on an ongoing basis through Mass Effect 3.

"Just like you get with any other kind of online digital distribution, or multiplayer or whatever. It's not something that requires you to always be online - you can play Mass Effect 3 offline."

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69. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 22, 2012, 01:50 Quinn
 
What a great fun I'm having with the Mass Effect 3 MP demo! To think I almost didn't bother to give it a try..!

Anyone else here playing it? If you leave your Origins name here I will be sure to add you!

It is now certain that I will buy the game.
 
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And I trembled.
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68. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 20, 2012, 09:38 nin
 
Eldaron Imotholin wrote on Feb 20, 2012, 09:09:
If it works properly, like Steam finally started to do after years of being so distasteful to me I avoided it like the plague, then I see no problem with Origin whatsoever. From what I have experienced so far, Origin is without bugs and has a slick look about it. No complaints from me.

The big brother conspiracy theorists should focus their energy elsewhere or just go away entirely.


You might want to read our very own Ray's experience before making any claims.

 
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67. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 20, 2012, 09:09 Eldaron Imotholin
 
If it works properly, like Steam finally started to do after years of being so distasteful to me I avoided it like the plague, then I see no problem with Origin whatsoever. From what I have experienced so far, Origin is without bugs and has a slick look about it. No complaints from me.

The big brother conspiracy theorists should focus their energy elsewhere or just go away entirely.
 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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66. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 17:29 Bhruic
 
My primary point was that EA prices are way above the industry average. Most games are launched at 30 and EA is launching between 35-45, despite taking a larger percentage of the profit. Meanwhile, Valve has offered much better prices with their first-party titles, as well as many third-party titles.

See, again, you are trying to apples and orange it. Quite a few publishers have moved to the $59.99 price point for their AAA games, it's not something only EA have done. But even if they did, again, the price is generally consistent with the other digital distributors - including Steam.

So no, Valve hasn't offered any better prices. In fact, if you want a fun experiment, go find a game on Steam that is less than the corresponding game on Origin that isn't on sale. I did a random search of over a dozen titles, all the prices were identical.

And you've done nothing to prove that Origin has sales that compare to Steam.

Well, that's probably because I've never claimed that they do have sales that compare to Steam. It'd be a stupid claim to make - EA doesn't have the library to do it. Again, randomly selecting a genre, Steam has 523 games under "strategy". EA has 10. And that includes DLC. EA just doesn't have enough games on Origin to be able to have as many games on sale at onces as Valve does with Steam. That doesn't mean they don't have good sales on the games they do have, but if they duplicate by percentage (the only real way they could do it), Valve could easily have 50 games on sale where EA only had 1. Is it any surprise that Valve would get all the publicity over it?

As I've said, if EA wants to win people over it has to offer better deals and larger promotions to attract attention.

Any maybe they'll get to that point. Fuck, at this point in Steam's life cycle, they weren't even close to as good as Origin is now. Steam was an absolute wreck in the first few years of its existence. Do you think that Steam had any "massive sales" at that point in its history?
 
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65. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 17:09 Jerykk
 
In other words you agree it cannot be compared to Steam because it has only two "great" sales so far, ok. The BF3 sale was regional and prematurely ended when people actually took advantage of it after just two days. Arkham City was on sale at many sites, I got it at GMG for $25 with a coupon.

Yeah, the BF3 sale ended early and was regional but I've never seen Steam offer a similar deal at all. As for Arkham City, Origin was the first to sell the game for $25, with the other distributors following suit weeks later. They were also the first to offer BF3 for $30. In the short time that Origin has been around, I've been impressed by their sales.

Too early to make conclusions based on this, its only EA back catalog and a handful of games.

Fair enough. I'm pretty sure that all upcoming EA-published games will require Origin but EA is starting to expand their third-party catalog, so that may be largely irrelevant. Arkham City definitely doesn't require Origin and I'm sure the same applies to most of the available games.
 
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64. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 16:16 Creston
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 19, 2012, 06:30:
You CAN'T play ME1 offline

Uh, I played ME1 offline just fine.

When I try to, it gives me an error message saying it can't contact some server or other, and then simply refuses to start.

Creston
 
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63. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 15:11 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 21:12:
Two things that I really like about Origin is that you can decide where you want to install games
Yeah thats something I miss as someone with an SSD. However, you can use junctions/symbolic links to have the actual install files elsewhere. If you install a little utility called "Link Shell Extension", you can do it in just a couple clicks:
http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

I recommend having steam be installed on the drive where you want most of the stuff to go, and then moving individual folders for the games you want else where and doing a junction for them.
 
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62. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 13:09 Dades
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 19, 2012, 01:00:
Except Origin hasn't been around for as long as Steam so there's no way it could have had as many sales. In the short period that Origin has been around, there have been a number of great sales. The ability to get BF3 for free by pre-ordering ME3, for example. Origin was the first to offer Arkham City for $25 as well and that's the reason why I installed it.

In other words you agree it cannot be compared to Steam because it has only two "great" sales so far, ok. The BF3 sale was regional and prematurely ended when people actually took advantage of it after just two days. Arkham City was on sale at many sites, I got it at GMG for $25 with a coupon.

As I mentioned before, you don't have to be running Origin to run the games that don't require it.

Too early to make conclusions based on this, its only EA back catalog and a handful of games.
 
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61. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 12:37 theyarecomingforyou
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 19, 2012, 01:00:
Except Origin hasn't been around for as long as Steam so there's no way it could have had as many sales. In the short period that Origin has been around, there have been a number of great sales. The ability to get BF3 for free by pre-ordering ME3, for example. Origin was the first to offer Arkham City for $25 as well and that's the reason why I installed it.
Nobody expects Origin to compete in terms of sale volume but none of the sales have even come close to the sale events that Steam has offered, when EA should be going all out to win people over. And the BF3-free-with-ME3 deal wasn't offered in the UK, which just serves to piss people off.

Bhruic wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 18:18:
You're comparing apples and oranges. For example, Steam price of Kingdoms of Amalur - $59.99, Amazon - $50.99. Steam price of Crusader Kings II - $39.99, Amazon - $35.99. All you are doing is demonstrating that Amazon is generally cheaper than both Steam and Origin.
My primary point was that EA prices are way above the industry average. Most games are launched at 30 and EA is launching between 35-45, despite taking a larger percentage of the profit. Meanwhile, Valve has offered much better prices with their first-party titles, as well as many third-party titles.

Bhruic wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 18:18:
Jerykk's point was that Origin has great sales too, and you haven't done anything to disprove that.
And you've done nothing to prove that Origin has sales that compare to Steam. Where was their equivalent of Steam's Winter Sale, with huge discounts, free games and vouchers? Steam's sale was discussed everywhere, with huge forum threads and articles on every major website. EA didn't. As I've said, if EA wants to win people over it has to offer better deals and larger promotions to attract attention. Instead they're fucking over gamers by boycotting the largest digital distribution service and requiring gamers to use an inferior service. My brother bought BF3 on Origin and had huge issues, including having to download the game more than 4 times because as it approached 90% download it started from scratch - he is so fed up with it that he won't buy any more games on Origin.

As for Origin not being required... it's kinda counter-productive if they require it to be used for their high profile games, like BF3. If they were to commit to it properly then that would be a great way to one-up Valve. But that's the point I'm making - they have the capability to compete fairly and gain huge market share but they continue to be sleazy and still do everything in a half-assed manner.
 
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60. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 06:30 Bhruic
 
You CAN'T play ME1 offline

Uh, I played ME1 offline just fine.
 
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59. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 06:30 Iurand
 
merloid wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 06:39:
I still can't specify what directory I want my Origin installed games to install in. Anything but the default causes it to complain loudly and not install anything. Editing config files or making symlinks don't work.

I think you need to create that directory first, then tell Origin to install there.

CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 12:18:
Fact is EA wanted to sell some extra stuff for their games outside of Steam. Steam said "no you can't" and showed EA the door.

Well, after Origins' DLC fiasco I'm with Valve with this one.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 2012, 06:38.
 
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58. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 01:36 Creston
 
you can play Mass Effect 3 offline.

I'll believe it when I see it. You CAN'T play ME1 offline, and ME2 refuses to load any DLC if you're not online.

Creston
 
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57. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 01:00 Jerykk
 
It would be more accurate to say Origin has sales, they exist but I wouldn't call them great as there really haven't been enough to compare it to Steam which has hundreds under its belt at this point.

Except Origin hasn't been around for as long as Steam so there's no way it could have had as many sales. In the short period that Origin has been around, there have been a number of great sales. The ability to get BF3 for free by pre-ordering ME3, for example. Origin was the first to offer Arkham City for $25 as well and that's the reason why I installed it.

As I mentioned before, you don't have to be running Origin to run the games that don't require it. The interface and features don't really mean much when you don't have to use them. You log in, buy a game, download it, install it, close Origin and that's it. You never have to run it again unless you buy another game. This alone makes it better than GMG's Capsule, which must be run every time you play any game and requires regular re-authentications. It's also better than UbiDRM, which has no benefits whatsoever and must be run with every new Ubisoft game.
 
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56. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 19, 2012, 00:09 Dades
 
Jerykk's point was that Origin has great sales too, and you haven't done anything to disprove that.

It would be more accurate to say Origin has sales, they exist but I wouldn't call them great as there really haven't been enough to compare it to Steam which has hundreds under its belt at this point.

I see Origin like I see other crappy client front ends like Impulse, Capsule and so on. The DRM crap is a nonissue when its not really worth using. It needs to be worth installing for some reason other than EA Games before I'm going to do it again.
 
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55. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 21:12 Jerykk
 
Two things that I really like about Origin is that you can decide where you want to install games and if the game doesn't require Origin, then you never need to open Origin again after installing the game. These are two features that I wish Steam had.

As Bhruic mentioned, Steam still offers a better set of features right now and that makes it a better overall service. However, Origin isn't nearly as horrible as everyone seems to think. It's certainly not EA's equivalent to UbiDRM.
 
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54. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 18:18 Bhruic
 
I don't know about elsewhere but in the UK the prices are ridiculous

You're comparing apples and oranges. For example, Steam price of Kingdoms of Amalur - $59.99, Amazon - $50.99. Steam price of Crusader Kings II - $39.99, Amazon - $35.99. All you are doing is demonstrating that Amazon is generally cheaper than both Steam and Origin. But that doesn't make any comparison between the two. For the record, the Origin price of both games is identical to the Steam price.

Steam prices are pretty hit-and-miss (dependant upon the publisher) but their sales are exceptional, so it represents dramatically better value overall.

Jerykk's point was that Origin has great sales too, and you haven't done anything to disprove that.

Steam is certainly the better system right now, but Origin is in a position to have to play catch up - it doesn't have the library that Steam has. But compared to the early days of Steam, it's quite decent.
 
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53. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 18:11 Dades
 
It was Valve who kicked EA from Steam and not EA leaving

Prove it. Other games have similar models where they can control their own patching and offer DLC outside of the service, EA wasn't singled out by Valve.
 
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52. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 17:06 theyarecomingforyou
 
Jerykk wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 14:42:
That's not entirely accurate. Origin has had a lot of great sales. It was the first to offer Arkham City for $25, for example. If you look only at the regular prices, then it really isn't any worse than Steam. Both distributors have lousy regular prices. It's the sales that make them appealing.
I don't know about elsewhere but in the UK the prices are ridiculous. For example, SWTOR costs 45/$71 on Steam and 35 on Amazon. And Syndicate and Mass Effect 3 both cost 35 on Origin, despite being under 30 on Amazon (30 being the typical launch price of PC games in the UK).

Steam prices are pretty hit-and-miss (dependant upon the publisher) but their sales are exceptional, so it represents dramatically better value overall. Origin is the underdog and should be aiming to win people over - not offering an inferior service for a higher price.
 
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51. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 14:42 Jerykk
 
If EA wants to compete then they need to offer better value and/or better features, yet currently it offers neither - all their games are overpriced and the functionality of the Origin client is woefully lacking.

That's not entirely accurate. Origin has had a lot of great sales. It was the first to offer Arkham City for $25, for example. If you look only at the regular prices, then it really isn't any worse than Steam. Both distributors have lousy regular prices. It's the sales that make them appealing.
 
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50. Re: On Mass Effect 3 DRM Feb 18, 2012, 13:49 theyarecomingforyou
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 12:18:
Factually wrong on all kinds of levels, Mr. Valve Fanboi No. 1 . It was Valve who kicked EA from Steam and not EA leaving or let alone "boycotting" Steam. "Boycotting"... -> LULZ. What a bunch of bullshit!
Fact is EA wanted to sell some extra stuff for their games outside of Steam. Steam said "no you can't" and showed EA the door. If Valve wouldn't be such tight assholes with control freak mania who want to control what exactly happens with any and every game they are offering on Steam then EA would still be on Steam.
Valve simply stipulated that DLC also had to be sold on Steam, which was necessary to a) allow free-2-play games, and b) to prevent publishers using Steam to distribute content without any financial compensation. Every publisher agreed to that, except for EA which released its own digital distribution client. However, EA stills releases games on Steam when it suits them - take Shank 2.

CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 12:18:
It's also beyond schizophrenic that you don't want anyone to compete with Steam but yet seem to be of the opinion that more competition is good.
My point was very clear - EA should compete fairly, not simply pull their games from the most popular digital distribution service. If EA wants to compete then they need to offer better value and/or better features, yet currently it offers neither - all their games are overpriced and the functionality of the Origin client is woefully lacking. I've already stated that I don't believe retail games should require Steam; instead you should be able to buy them wherever you want and if that's on Steam or Origin then they should be fully integrated (achievements, friends scoreboards, etc). If EA truly wanted to compete then they'd offer cheaper games, no DRM / no online requirement, better features (video chat, etc) and offer better community support - they don't give a shit about anything but money, which is why they're trying to bully their way into the marketplace.

Bhruic wrote on Feb 18, 2012, 12:06:
So you'd buy it on Steam if you still had to use Origin to activate it?
It's not unreasonable. GFWL already coexists with Steam. The advantage is that all games are maintained in one familiar client, so I can search for games, maintain the Steam-overlay for talking for friends, I don't need to maintain bank card details on multiple systems, etc. I'd prefer it if all games were platform neutral but even Valve doesn't allow you to buy its games on other services without Steam, so we're not there yet.
 
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