Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Aug 30, 2017, 12:27:
El Pit wrote on Aug 30, 2017, 11:30:Depends on how they implement it. It can mean more CPU uptime if they use exe encoding. Which means the exe is in a wraper, then run in a virtual environment by the DRM to be executed. There's active crc checks against various assets used by the game(disk thrashing). Randomized movement of the exe in memory(more cpu cycles eaten), and so on. As for offline gameplay? Depends, it can but not always. Look at the implementation of Total War: Warhammer which used it. Everything about it was broken, from multiplayer to the game itself along with all the DLC which was encrypted too.
I don't know much about Denuvo - what is the problem with it? Does it forbid offline gameplay?
Thank you Mashiki for actually offering a well-researched explanation.
Denuvo is anti-tamper rather than true DRM. It doesn't actually contain the enforcement mechanism to prevent copies, it only protects it from being stripped out. There are a few games that do the whole asset encryption thing, but most simply encrypt the EXE.
The actual resource hit can vary based on the developer. Rime's developers managed to screw it up recently, for example. But when it's done right, Denuvo only puts tamper checks into non-perf-critical functions. Slowing down a game with DRM is obviously not a very sound strategy.
As for online activation it's a one-time online access to to fetch the necessary functions. Even basic Steam DRM requires online activation anyhow, so that bit is unavoidable. My understanding is that Denuvo doesn't have an actual always-online mode, rather that's being invoked in some games by their real DRM, but I'd have to double-check that (which is harder than it appears).
At least as far as anti-tamper solutions go, it's easily the best designed system since devs started protecting against such a thing. Which is not to say that it's very pleasant, but it's probably a reasonable compromise given market realities versus consumer rights. That said, it gets a bad reputation due to a mix of the fact that a lot of people hate any kind of security on principle, even more people don't understand the difference between anti-tamper and DRM, and of course, the pirates like to stoke the flames. Plus we've been hating DRM vendors for 20 years now, so why stop now?
Side note: especially for Sonic Mania, some kind of DRM was sadly going to be a necessity. It's a simple game that has no online functionality nor in need of patching, so it's a prime piracy candidate (there aren't any gameplay "incentives" not to pirate it). I imagine Sega wants to avoid the problems Ubisoft encountered with Rayman Origins: they released the game DRM free, and it was ridiculous how heavily it was pirated. Rayman Legends did have DRM, and reportedly saw a lot less piracy since it was no longer trivial.
Though I'm slightly confused on whether Denuvo was even intended for Sonic Mania. Given that it allowed a single bit to be twiddled to turn off the mistakenly-enabled "always online" mode of the game's actual DRM, that implies that it's not actually enforcing anti-tamper.