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TrackMania Nations ESWC Released

This page on the framed French TrackMania Website now offers the release of TrackMania Nations ESWC, the freeware eSports-specific version of Nadeo's racing game. The 266 MB download also be found mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, eXtreme-Players.de, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, VGPro, and Worthplaying. Here's word:

This complete version of Trackmania Nations ESWC includes a unique gameplay and new "Stadium" environment, as well as solo and multiplayer modes featuring 100 training and competition circuits (soon to be a thousand and more) for Internet, LAN, HotSeat, not forgetting Nadéo's famous community editors, Nadéo circuit editor, Painter and Mediatracker.

Players will be able to download games and link up with other players around the world on the TrackMania servers. Trackmania Nations ESWC features in the Electronic Sports World Cup selection and qualifications will be taking place in 53 countries.

The official Trackmania Nations servers, with their real-time online standings system featuring ESWC participating nations, are open for all virtual drivers around the world who wish to fly their country's flag in the grand final to take place in Paris, France.

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27 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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27. No subject Jan 31, 2006, 08:33 Paketep
 
Wonderful game. Despicable protection. StarForce and SecuROM seem to be competing to see who can bother users more deeply.

And I have first hand experience with SF3's bugs. With the first TM would have loads of hiccups when protected (but not with a crack, so it was not my spec), and TMS would not run with my Plextor, I had to get an alternative key from SF.

Copy Protection DRM only drives customers away, but distributors will never listen and will do anything they think will give them more money.

 
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26. Re: Trackmania Jan 28, 2006, 18:20 Shadowcat
 
what's the difference between playing offline and on besides having some shadow racers and a chatroom at the bottom?
It's harder to socialise with a CPU? Actually, the biggest difference IMO is exposure to all the custom tracks that other people have made. Most of the servers I've played on are not using the default tracks, so there's always something new in my experience. The track editor is really easy to use, and the Trackmania community is huge, so there's really no end of custom tracks out there to play on.

I'd like to be able to ram the bastards and try and draft off the back of opponents
Ah, the problem is that you're thinking of it as a car racing game. It's really not. Trackmania is all about You vs The Track, and not at all about You vs Them. Sure you're trying to out-do the opposition, but you do that entirely by mastering the tracks.

It would be a *completely* different game if you could interact with the other cars.

TMS is seriously one of the most enjoyable games I've played in years. Even if you don't play it for hours every day for days on end (which I did), it will stay on your hard drive and you'll easily get your money's worth by playing it now and then over a very long time.

 
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25. Re: Trackmania Jan 28, 2006, 14:43 sponge
 
I don't know, I think it's just the netcode that turns me off-- what's the difference between playing offline and on besides having some shadow racers and a chatroom at the bottom? I'd like to be able to ram the bastards and try and draft off the back of opponents

It's an extremely fun game, I just don't see for how long I can play it for.

 
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24. Trackmania Jan 28, 2006, 05:08 Shadowcat
 
BTW, would TM Sunrise be worth it despite this release? I noticed there were other cars, and I'm half-interested right now. The only thing stopping me is that this doesn't seem to be a game I could play every day, more of a craving.
I can only highly recommend buying it (either the newer TMS Extreme, or the original which you can upgrade to TMSX for free). You not only get three radically different car types (and associated gorgeous scenery for each), but a bunch of different game types as well: Race, Platform, Puzzle, Stunt, Crazy. (TMSX adds the Stunt mode, plus extra Race tracks.)

The game is just awesome, and pretty damned addictive too... I think you might be surprised at how much time you can spend playing

 
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23. Re: Starforce Jan 28, 2006, 03:54 nin
 
Nadeo give out a game for free and people still complain...


Eh, it's Assley, what do you expect?



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22. Re: Starforce Jan 28, 2006, 03:18 Riley Pizt
 
What they ARE concerned about is letting anyone get any insight into how SF works.
That's a specious argument. If you want to see how Starforce operates, you monitor the protected version as it functions. Having a similar unprotected binary doesn't change that.

You would use the unencrypted binary as a reference point against the encrypted StarForce binary. (which is not going to be substantially different than the latest release of TM)
Unless it's the exact same binary in unencrypted form, it wouldn't be much of a reference. You can't very well derive an encryption method from unencrypted data when it doesn't exactly correspond to the encrypted data.

And SF (and the developers who shell out a rediculous amount of cash for it) don't want people poking around either.
While that is an obvious sentiment, it's also irrelevant. People with the technical skills and desire are going to poke around regardless.

It's probably possible to pull the decrypted binary from memory,
It's obviously more than possible because if you search the Internet, you can find unprotected binaries for some games which use Starforce which were created through that method. The fact that these unprotected binaries are generally only available for a single version of a game and not subsequent updates also disproves the notion that an unprotected binary would be a useful reference for removing the protection from later revisions of a game. If they were useful, such updated unprotected binaries would be available.

SF reccomend it on their website too.
I don't doubt it, but I don't put much credence into their opinions as they also think their software performs reliably and flawlessly and that all claims to the countrary are bogus.

I'm not a child that does not know how to avoid being burnt by fire. And I haven't been burnt yet. Nor do I intend to ever.
Well you are apparently a naive child nonetheless. If intention and knowledge of the consequences were the only criteria necessary to prevent being burned, then no one would ever be burned (at least not after the initial occurence). To extend the analogy to Starforce, you may intend not to have it damage your computer or data but given it's proprietary and pervasive nature, you can't control what it does when it runs or even predict with any real certainty what it will do and how it will react to your computer components and data. Given the anecdotal evidence and the questionable company behind the product, that's more risk that I will take to play a game especially when so many quality games are available which don't use Starforce.

My point is wasted on a boy who compares software copy protection to large wooden horses, fruits, and chemical reactions.
Actually it is my words which are wasted on you as you obviously have little ability to comprehend what you read. You even interpreted the analogies wrong. Copy-protection is the worm in the apple, not the apple/fruit itself. The game is the apple. And, describing free software which has Starforce hidden within it as a trojan horse is certainly apropos. Finally, Starforce, like fire, has a way of getting out of control and burning the user despite even the best intentions given its unpredictable nature.

This comment was edited on Jan 28, 03:54.
 
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21. Re: Starforce Jan 28, 2006, 00:58 sponge
 
Hump: Without taking the time to look up SF's corporate website, I'd be willing to bet a chocolate bar that there are unlimited license versions available, for use of the publisher/distributor as they please. This has been the case with SafeDisc/SecuROM for a while.

BTW, would TM Sunrise be worth it despite this release? I noticed there were other cars, and I'm half-interested right now. The only thing stopping me is that this doesn't seem to be a game I could play every day, more of a craving.

it would be relatively trivial to keep the freeware version's binaries from being useable with the commercial versions of the game without resorting to incorporating Starforce.

Wrong. That's not what they're concerned about at all, actually. Any idiot can stop one binary from being used with different game data. Then again, it's rather trivial to undo that mod if you have access to everything unencrypted. I would imagine that is the case with TM due to it's moddability.

What they ARE concerned about is letting anyone get any insight into how SF works. You would use the unencrypted binary as a reference point against the encrypted StarForce binary. (which is not going to be substantially different than the latest release of TM)

It's a rather sad attempt of security by obscurity, more or less, but it's just one layer on a rather complex system. And SF (and the developers who shell out a rediculous amount of cash for it) don't want people poking around either.

The theory is that if given access to the enencrypted binary, you're introducing a hole in the security. It's probably possible to pull the decrypted binary from memory, but this is just one more step that needs to be taken, and you won't neccecarily get a full PE from the mem either. It's not a sure thing.

SF reccomend it on their website too. I can't be bothered to look up the source at the moment as I'm about to go play the game again, actually, and frankly I have no personal interest in this discussion besides keeping my upkeep to stay on The List.

Unlike my good friend below (or above depending on view) I'm not a child that does not know how to avoid being burnt by fire. And I haven't been burnt yet. Nor do I intend to ever.

If anyone wants to have a reasonable debate about this, hit me up on IRC, I'm usually around as sponge|TWL on QuakeNet. My point is wasted on a boy who compares software copy protection to large wooden horses, fruits, and chemical reactions.

This comment was edited on Jan 28, 01:15.
 
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20. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 23:23 Riley Pizt
 
It's funny how lots of people talk about other people's problems with Starforce and never their own
That's because those people learned from others' misfortunes. Not everyone has to be personally burned to know that fire is dangerous.

Nadeo give out a game for free and people still complain...
Nadeo gave out a free apple with a worm in it, so of course people complain about it.

This comment was edited on Jan 27, 23:25.
 
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19. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 23:17 Riley Pizt
 
Keeping that in mind i find it difficult to understand why the publisher would use Starforce since it costs 6 figures to liscense
I doubt it costs that much. That's why you see mostly smaller developers and publishers use it. Sony's SecuROM and Macrovision's Safedisc no doubt are fairly costly since they are market leaders from long established, public companies. Starforce on the other hand is from a small Russian company rumored to be founded by former hackers. I think if most consumers knew more about Starforce's history and the "company" behind it, they would be far less receptive to having it installed on their PC's.

I've seen many posts like yours but people like yourself never go into specifics, they just pontificate endlessly on the evils of the program.
While I am no fan of any copy-protection, the main reason I oppose Starforce more than others is because of the company behind it (or lack thereof), because of consumer-hostile comments from some of its developers and companies which use it, and because of its horrible reputation. I personally have never installed a game which uses Starforce, so I don't have any horror stories of my own. However, given its short history, using it to play a game is simply too much of a risk and a hassle than I am willing to take. If even one of the stories of data loss or equipment damage is true, that is one too many for me to risk my PC equipment and valuable data to it. No game is worth that type of risk especially those games which have been released with Starforce in them to date.

This comment was edited on Jan 27, 23:21.
 
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18. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 22:25 Hump
 
some of the most advanced tracks are brutally hard.

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17. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 22:14 Elf Shot The Food
 
I've played a bit of it. TrackMania fans shouldn't be disappointed with Nations at all. It's more of the same, but with Formula One-style cars. The graphics seem to have gotten an upgrade since Sunrise came out.

 
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16. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 21:46 L0cky
 
It's funny how lots of people talk about other people's problems with Starforce and never their own

Nadeo give out a game for free and people still complain...

This comment was edited on Jan 27, 21:47.
 
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15. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 21:20 Hump
 
Nadeo may be contractually obligated by the Russian bastards who make StarForce to put it into this freeware release since it is already used in its commercial products, but that doesn't make it a necessity from a technical standpoint or the right thing to do for the customer.

you know Riley, I have no programming experience so I won't pretend to know what I'm talking about (unlike others). Keeping that in mind i find it difficult to understand why the publisher would use Starforce since it costs 6 figures to liscense and not use a solution similar to what you have stated. I've seen many posts like yours but people like yourself never go into specifics, they just pontificate endlessly on the evils of the program.

granted, given a choice I wouldn't want it on my system but it's hardly going to stop me from enjoying a good game....especially when I've never had an issue with it (SF) to begin with.

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14. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 20:25 Riley Pizt
 
If you don't like Starforce, fine, but GET YOUR FUCKING SHIT STRAIGHT.

NOT USING STARFORCE TO PROTECT A DEMO, FREEWARE RELEASE, OR ANYTHING WILL RESULT IN YOUR PRODUCT GETTING CRACKED FROM THAT UNPROTECTED RELEASE
It is you who are an idiot and obviously have no valid programming knowledge or experience. This free Trackmania game is not the same as any of the commercial versions, and it would be relatively trivial to keep the freeware version's binaries from being useable with the commercial versions of the game without resorting to incorporating Starforce. In addition many implementations of Starforce encrypt/protect files of the game other than the binaries so unprotected binaries from even the same version of the game wouldn't work with the protected game. Finally, the notion that unprotected binaries from a different version of the game like this freeware release would be substantially useful in removing the protection on the commercial versions of the game is also ludicrous given that the unprotected binaries from the various versions of the game are not identical or need not be.

Nadeo may be contractually obligated by the Russian bastards who make StarForce to put it into this freeware release since it is already used in its commercial products, but that doesn't make it a necessity from a technical standpoint or the right thing to do for the customer.

"this contains starforce, btw"
That disclosure should come from the developer and/or publisher before the product is installed with a plain and thorough description of the implications of the installation and use of that copy-protection.

This comment was edited on Jan 27, 20:39.
 
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13. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 19:33 Loose Cannon
 
I think TrackMania is a great game, regardless of the copy protection used.

You need to use a third-party tool to get rid of the drivers.
The removal tool comes from the people that make StarForce, so I suppose the tool would more properly be referred to as first-party.

Or possibly it's because of reports that StarForce acts like spyware.
How does something act like spyware? It either is or isn't. Are you saying it collects information about you and sends it somewhere without your knowledge/consent? It sounds like you're just throwing around the evil spyware word. You're not a terrorist, are you?

Just my two cents

 
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12. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 19:19 sponge
 
If you don't like Starforce, fine, but GET YOUR FUCKING SHIT STRAIGHT.

NOT USING STARFORCE TO PROTECT A DEMO, FREEWARE RELEASE, OR ANYTHING WILL RESULT IN YOUR PRODUCT GETTING CRACKED FROM THAT UNPROTECTED RELEASE

It's not a complicated process, folks. "this contains starforce, btw" should've been enough, but now this will probably be a 90 page thread filled with dicks trying to pretend they know what they're talking about.

[edit] Whoops, the original post stating "it's freeware" was Assley, not that he knows what he's talking about. However, my yelling and cursing applies to anyone else who tries to call conspiracy, as you aren't a pegged idiot, yet


This comment was edited on Jan 27, 19:22.
 
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11. No subject Jan 27, 2006, 18:52 Hump
 
Don't blame the Starforce implementation on Nadeo, the developer. As with all copy protection it is the decision of the publisher to use it or not. Nadeo has been nothing short of a model developer who has been extremely supportive of the TM/TMS community while giving away all it's expansions (so far). This is all despite rather slow sales.

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10. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 18:26 Squirmer
 
Starforce with retail games is one thing, but it's ridiculous to protect a freeware game with it. It's probably a business agreement between Starforce and Nadeo rather than a purposeful thing.

 
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9. Re: Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 18:25 dubfanatic
 
what's the big deal, people? "oh nos it's teh starforce! it's pewp!"

uh, maybe because it installs secret drivers on your computer that aren't removed even after uninstallation of the game. You need to use a third-party tool to get rid of the drivers. Or possibly it's because of reports that StarForce acts like spyware. Or maybe due to reports of CD/DVD drives breaking after using a StarForce-protected disc. The way you make it sound, it sounds like we just hate it from some knee-jerk reaction. That may be the case for some people, but I personally have reasons for boycotting StarForce, and I'm sure it's the case for many others here.

 
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8. Starforce Jan 27, 2006, 18:15 HoSpanky
 
I have both Trackmania games and so far, so good. what's the big deal, people? "oh nos it's teh starforce! it's pewp!"

Works fine. no change in system performance or stability. Yeah, I hate copy protection as much as the next guy but I've been to piles of big lans....and the "smaller" titles get handed out like candy. the bigger ones, well...people think those are "worth the money", but the smaller games "aren't worth it". But yet people still play the hell out of em.

Trackmania sold me at a bigger lan. the game would start up with the disc, and not need it to play multi. That's a pretty fair way to allow people to check out the "full version" without them walking off with a free copy. I dunno if the sequel allows for that, never checked. I quit going to the big lans because people STILL just spend the whole time playing counter-strike (the original version, no less). What's the point of building monstrously powerful machines if you're just gonna play thru DE-Dust for the 10,000,000,000th time?

edit: well, I got way off subject there at the end, like a PA strip. point is, everyone seems to be crying about starforce, yet I've never seen one problem with it, across at least 4 drastically different systems. So aside from saying "oh no!", what IS the problem? Or is this another "one guy had a problem, nevermind he has shitty bottom-barrel hardware, so now it's an eipdemic!" thing?
This comment was edited on Jan 27, 18:19.
 
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