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On Mass Effect & Spore Copy Protection

There's a massive thread on the Mass Effect Community Forums about the SecuROM copy-protection scheme planned for Mass Effect, BioWare's upcoming RPG (thanks Wolfox). The game will not need the disk in the drive to play, but will require an internet connection for installation to validate the CD (DVD) key and will need to go online once every ten days in perpetuity for revalidation. BioWare attempts to address all the questions this raises, at one point replying that this will be the same system used in Spore when the evolutionary game is released: "Yes, EA is ready for us and getting ready for Spore, which will use the same system." This thread continues the discussion after the first one was locked for length. Here's the deal:

Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

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306 Replies. 16 pages. Viewing page 1.
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306. Re: ... May 13, 2008, 04:29 Kosumo
 
I'd imagine it would be like an unfriendly rectum exam!

(LucasArt/LucasFilms seem to know alot about arse, make crap all the time, so they must do some exams!)

 
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305. Re: ... May 12, 2008, 21:52 Tumbler
 
You guys should really stop asking for a new Tie Fighter game unless you want them to produce some tub of crap console shooter like rogue squadron and call it tie fighter.

LucasArts hasn't produce anything even close to the caliber of stuff you're talking about for years. Can you imagine how awful a tie fighter game from these guys would be right now?


Picture that BSG shooter game that was put up on Xbox Live and then offered free to PC folks. Or Wing Commander?! Do these ring a bell? Do you want them to rape tie fighter the same way?
This comment was edited on May 12, 21:54.
 
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304. Re: ... May 12, 2008, 20:13 Kedyn
 
I'd go in for another urethral swab for a new TIE Fighter game.

I really would, too. You have no idea.

 
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303. Re: ... May 12, 2008, 09:07 Overon
 
If someone made a real follow-up to Fallout, X-COM, Wing Commander, or Tie Fighter I might even agree to a rectal exam to play them.
That's how they examine your prostate...

 
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302. Re: Ominous May 11, 2008, 21:11 Tumbler
 
Oh yes, and if you think EA's DRM is harsh wait until you see the new DRM that Blizzard is working on for S2 and D3....

D3 hasn't even been announced yet, hard to believe they've given that much thought to copy protection.

Just because they have not announced it doesn't mean they haven't been working on it.

Blizzard shits gold bricks. Why would you think a publisher is going to be able to push any type of DRM bullshit on them? They are easily setup to do the whole dang sale of those games online.

Since S2 and D3 will both have enormous online components to the game I don't think they have much to worry about. The best defense against piracy seems to be spending more time making the online game enjoyable so people will want to play on your official servers.

 
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301. Re: Ominous May 11, 2008, 18:45 Dalumberjack
 
Oh yes, and if you think EA's DRM is harsh wait until you see the new DRM that Blizzard is working on for S2 and D3....

D3 hasn't even been announced yet, hard to believe they've given that much thought to copy protection.

Just because they have not announced it doesn't mean they haven't been working on it.

 
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300. Re: Ominous May 11, 2008, 12:58 Prez
 
Diablo 3 would probably be worth a rectal exam AND a colonoscopy...

Woohoo! 300!!!
 
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299. Re: Ominous May 11, 2008, 08:57 Bhruic
 
Oh yes, and if you think EA's DRM is harsh wait until you see the new DRM that Blizzard is working on for S2 and D3....

D3 hasn't even been announced yet, hard to believe they've given that much thought to copy protection.

 
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298. Re: ... May 11, 2008, 04:39 Kosumo
 
Or ..... like in Flight of the Concords Ep. 6 "Bowie" where David Bowie (Jemaine) said it is not gay IF they " pretend that your are a woman" that it is NOT gay and totally fine!

 
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297. Re: ... May 11, 2008, 04:00 Prez
 
I think you guys are making this thread a bit ghey/gay (in a I would take a rectal exam for ....)
I just want see it go to 300 post! (I'll take a rectal exam for 300 post!)*
* on behalf of myself, ONLY with a doctor as part of a general check up (and a copy of this new "Tie Fighter - The Empires Rear Guard" game)



Well, the 'DRM changes' thread kinda stole this threads thunder - I had to do SOMETHING to keep it alive!

And there's nothing gay about a rectal exam, unless you really enjoy getting them. Or giving them. Or... never mind.
 
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296. Ominous May 11, 2008, 02:54 ibm
 
So I just looked on GamingSteve website and as he has been supporting Spore since it was first announced at GDC a few years ago he has received a personal note from some guy working on Spore about the DRM issue.

But that's not the interesting part, Steve has buds at Blizzard and he finishes the short post with

Oh yes, and if you think EA's DRM is harsh wait until you see the new DRM that Blizzard is working on for S2 and D3....

It will be interesting to see what the backlash (if any) will be like for Blizzard compared to EA/Bioware on a similar (or worse) DRM issue. No doubt the thread on that when the news breaks will make this one seem pathetically small

 
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295. Re: ... May 11, 2008, 02:22 Kosumo
 
I think you guys are making this thread a bit ghey/gay (in a I would take a rectal exam for ....)

I just want see it go to 300 post! (I'll take a rectal exam for 300 post!)*

* on behalf of myself, ONLY with a doctor as part of a general check up (and a copy of this new "Tie Fighter - The Empires Rear Guard" game)


 
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294. ... May 10, 2008, 10:13 theyarecomingforyou
 
If someone made a real follow-up to Fallout, X-COM, Wing Commander, or Tie Fighter I might even agree to a rectal exam to play them.
If it was Tie Fighter I'd join you.

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293. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 14:57 Tigger
 
And this is why you see so many "certified used cars" on major dealership lots. They realize that resale of vehicles is big business and they want to take part in that. If they tried to claim that reselling your car violated the terms of service and refused to service cars (support) cars that the original owner wasn't driving people would revolt.

Which is what PC gamers are doing now. We're being treated like unless we're the original owner of the software that we don't have any right to use the software.

I agree with you on this point, but we need to change copyright law so that its application is universal and standardized in the US. Because the problem is that the EULA says we DO NOT have to right to resell it. The EULA says that we have purchased a license to run the software, NOT ownership.

So, before someone wikipedia's me to death, I already know that these 2 points have been challanged before. The problem is that the letter of the law and the case law don't agree and thus, are rendered useless. Companies are free to put whatever they want in a EULA and make decisions based on that EULA.

I've said before that good copy protection is enough to make it hard to steal software casually, but not intrusive enough to be noticed by the end user.

So, before someone uses this statement against me:
If I had my way, the project I mentioned earlier would do that and kill all but the most current installation

I didn't say my opinion was right - I just said it was my opinion at the time we were specing the license system.


This comment was edited on May 9, 14:58.
 
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292. Re: Penny-Arcade May 9, 2008, 14:35 Prez
 
If someone made a real follow-up to Fallout, X-COM, Wing Commander, or Tie Fighter I might even agree to a rectal exam to play them.  
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291. Penny-Arcade May 9, 2008, 13:21 Tumbler
 
And apparently penny arcade is upset with this crap too.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/

Pretty good chuckle, seems rare these days.

 
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290. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 12:08 Tumbler
 
Furthermore, you seem to agree with my point about copy protection being a measure used, first and foremost, as a step to make money as well as a step to prevent people from stealing:

Reselling or sharing a legit game is not stealing. Companies sell a copy of their software, it should work for whoever wants to use it. That is my feeling on the matter anyhow.

If I buy a car from Toyota and then later want to sell it to another person that is all my business and the person I'm reselling to. Toyota has no business in the matter.

And this is why you see so many "certified used cars" on major dealership lots. They realize that resale of vehicles is big business and they want to take part in that. If they tried to claim that reselling your car violated the terms of service and refused to service cars (support) cars that the original owner wasn't driving people would revolt.

Which is what PC gamers are doing now. We're being treated like unless we're the original owner of the software that we don't have any right to use the software.

As the original owner of a lot of software I don't find meddling in my personal affairs to be ok. If I want to sell my game I do not expect companies to put up barriers to stop me.

I'm going to keep hammering this point home until people get it. These copy protection schemes are not aimed at stopping piracy. They don't even affect pirates unless you consider the delay before a game can be cracked to be an effect. I think pirates just assume there will be some time before a new game will be able to be downloaded and played for free.

They do not hope that certain copy protections are not used because that will mean they never get to play the game. There is no such protection possible. We all know this so realize that putting on a copy protection and saying it's so that pirates can't play it nonsense. Pirates can play your game if you put the protection there or not.

The people who want to buy games are the ones the copy protections are trying to affect.

I consider myself one of these people, I want to buy games and get the full support of whatever services they offer.

1. I can buy it new from the store.
2. I can buy it used / new from ebay.
3. I can borrow it from a friend.
4. I can wait and buy it on clearance.
5. I can buy it online but that can't be resold so I don't typically even consider this.

That's it. Piracy is not an option for me. And this group of people is where companies make there money. This is the group of people that companies plan and execute business around.

So ask yourself how does putting in copy protection benefit the company with this group of people? And the answers should be obvious. They aren't doing this because it will make more money from pirates, they are doing this because it will make more money off you and me. (Assuming you aren't a pirate)

This comment was edited on May 9, 12:17.
 
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289. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 11:12 Tigger
 
This is just plain false. There has never been a game impossible to pirate, correct? There is no prevention from piracy or prevention of stealing in these schemes because the pirates software is not affected by this. There is a delay at best.

I'm sorry you don't know how to read:

Last, at the end, fighting piracy is not a winnable battle. Even when a company owns the platform (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo), there are always loopholes to be exploited. I had a good teacher in college a number of years ago who said something to the effect of "If it was designed by a human, a human will eventually figure out how to crack it."

Furthermore, you seem to agree with my point about copy protection being a measure used, first and foremost, as a step to make money as well as a step to prevent people from stealing:

These systems will prevent people from reselling or sharing games with others. The end result will be end users forced to always buy new copies of software if they want to play instead of using ebay or craigslist to find a used copy and buy that one. Retail stores will still offer bargain bin games from time to time but this will become much less likely since there is no secondary market to compete with.

It's very similar to how Valve operates now. It's not likely you'll buy a used copy of valve software because someone has to pay valve $10 to unregister that unique ID. Which is crap and why I refuse to spend any more money on steam games.

That is what these companies want. They want everyone to have to purchase the software from them without any resale possible on the secondary market.


This comment was edited on May 9, 11:15.
 
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288. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 10:07 Tumbler
 
What you are seeing here with EA's decision to force activation in this way is a company first and foremost,to make money and secondly, try to prevent the dishonest people from stealing from them.

This is just plain false. There has never been a game impossible to pirate, correct? There is no prevention from piracy or prevention of stealing in these schemes because the pirates software is not affected by this. There is a delay at best.

These systems will prevent people from reselling or sharing games with others. The end result will be end users forced to always buy new copies of software if they want to play instead of using ebay or craigslist to find a used copy and buy that one. Retail stores will still offer bargain bin games from time to time but this will become much less likely since there is no secondary market to compete with.

It's very similar to how Valve operates now. It's not likely you'll buy a used copy of valve software because someone has to pay valve $10 to unregister that unique ID. Which is crap and why I refuse to spend any more money on steam games.

That is what these companies want. They want everyone to have to purchase the software from them without any resale possible on the secondary market.

This comment was edited on May 9, 10:26.
 
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287. Re: No subject May 9, 2008, 08:43 InBlack
 
I wonder if any of the "big three" is ever going to release a mouse + keyboard combo controller for the console.

Nintendo is famous for its innovation in this regard, but since they are strictly about casual games i highly doubt they will do it.

Microsoft seems at first glance the most likely do make a controller like that but then what would be the difference between an XBOX and a Windows PC??

Sony I think would have the most to gain with this control scheme, a lot of gamers (myself included) could be persuaded to get a console if it supported a mouse and keyboard combo.

 
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