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User information for Shadowcat

Real Name Shadowcat   
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Nickname None given.
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Occupation: Texas Net Operative
Interests: Everything Ecto
Homepage None given.
Signed On Feb 21, 2001, 12:57
Total Comments 1013 (Pro)
User ID 9081
User comment history
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News Comments > Massive Ad Deal
28. Re: EA's Massive Ad Deal Aug 30, 2009, 02:09 Shadowcat
It's funny... the NFS series had become so rubbish, that I had stopped paying any attention to those games. With SHIFT, they've gone to quite a lot of effort to gain the interest of people like me, and they've done so well that I had this down as a probable purchase. But now... no sale, no way.

In-games adverts are never okay. Any time a person says "ads are okay so long as they're done right" is absolutely fooling themselves. You are explicitly talking about giving marketers control over game content! SBlat points out an absolutely ideal demonstration of what that means even in a game where people are expecting to see billboards and such forth.

The "perfect world" version of in-game advertising that some people have in their heads is not the reality. The goals of marketers and the goals of game designers are not the same, and you CANNOT put them together without damaging the game.
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News Comments > Mass Effect 2 Simultaneous PC/360 Release
22. Re: Mass Effect 2 Simultaneous PC/360 Release Aug 26, 2009, 11:47 Shadowcat
Given that we all know damn well by now that the console version is going to be considered the most important, and that most software development runs behind schedule, a simultaneous release seems to increase the chances of the PC version ending up as a near-unmodified copy of the X-Box version, when there's no time left in the schedule to do a really nice port. I hope I'm wrong, but frankly, in the modern age of game development, I like it when the PC version comes later... I feel it at least has a chance that way.  
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News Comments > MW2 Beta Follow-up
4. Re: MW2 Beta Follow-up Aug 20, 2009, 06:56 Shadowcat
Stop confusing us, Blue. This site is frequented by people* who have been around long enough that MW2 can only ever mean MechWarrior 2.

* And surely you're one of them?

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 2009, 06:56.
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News Comments > Spaceships Ahoy - All Aspect Warfare & Angle of Attack
8. Re: Spaceships Ahoy - All Aspect Warfare & Angle of Attack Aug 18, 2009, 10:58 Shadowcat
I'm slightly confused by the "All Aspect War Pack". As I recall, AOA was to be the flight component of AAW, released at a lower price point, but upgradeable to AAW if the customer liked it and wanted to spend the extra money. As such, a pack consisting of AAW and a limited version of AAW seems a little pointless.  
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News Comments > Serious Sam HD Trailer
17. Re: Serious Sam HD Trailer Aug 16, 2009, 02:10 Shadowcat
The most disappointing thing to me is the final title -- The First Encounter. I was really hoping that this HD remake would be the First and Second Encounters together, but that pretty much guarantees that this isn't the case.

Oh, and on my PC, that trailer looks twice as good if you don't make it full-screen -- otherwise the scaling makes it look bad, and performance goes south.
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News Comments > Valve and Deaf Gamers
28. Re: Valve and Deaf Gamers Aug 15, 2009, 02:29 Shadowcat
Very cool indeed. And Cutter, you're an arse. From an accessibility viewpoint, you can't fault them doing this. The text above states outright that the inclusion of a deaf character is "an excuse to build the technology for signing", so you can cut the we-are-the-world bullshit as well. Clearly one or more people at Valve have a specific interest, and they're taking the opportunity to build nice technology to address it, and show other game developers what can be done. Sounds neat to me.  
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News Comments > Mac Worms 2 Planned
2. Re: Mac Worms 2 Planned Jul 8, 2009, 10:18 Shadowcat
Armageddon? Why on earth did they pick that one?

World Party was the last in the 2D series, and if they wanted to go back from that, Worms 2 is the logical choice.

I'm pretty sure that everything they changed between W2 and WA was either retained or improved in WP.

Very odd.
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News Comments > Deals
5. Re: Deals Jul 3, 2009, 07:51 Shadowcat
The Pinball deal is awesome. You can get three out of the four Pro Pinball tables (GOG don't have The Web) for less than $15! Best computer pinball tables ever.  
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News Comments > Mortal Kombat Film Lawsuit
16. Re: Mortal Kombat Film Lawsuit Jun 27, 2009, 04:32 Shadowcat
Surely all they could feasibly claim any rights to are derivative works of the characters and stories from the films which were not already present in the video games?

And if any such works subsequently appeared in later games, and were not contested, then I suspect they might even lose the ability to complain about that either? But IANAL, so damned if I know, really.

The quote is simply ludicrous when taken at face value, at any rate.
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News Comments > StarForce Revival Q&A
24. Re: StarForce Revival Q&A Jun 18, 2009, 06:54 Shadowcat
DRM dead? Hardly. And as the market shifts more and more to online digital distribution, it's only getting worse.  
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News Comments > Strategy Games Sale
22. Re: Strategy Games Sale Jun 17, 2009, 10:25 Shadowcat
The effect is also nullified for the retail release of the games because the discs can be easily copied or imaged and used the same way. Ergo, it's no copy-protection or DRM because it doesn't restrict or prevent working copies.
I think you're ignoring the context. If our cheap optical drives and writeable discs could make exact working copies of Starforce-protected discs, that wouldn't stop Starforce from being DRM. It just stops it being particularly effective.

I presume that like myself (and most other gamers who remember the older games), your first CD-ROM drive was literally that: ROM. For years, until CD writers became sufficiently prevalent to force more complex measures, an otherwise-unnecessary disc check was absolutely (and purposefully) a copy-protection technique. Ineffective DRM with today's technology, but DRM nevertheless.

However (in)convenience is also a huge part of the issue for most of us, and the ability to make a working copy of a CD doesn't diminish the irritation of needing (for no good reason) to put that CD into the drive to play the game.

Personally I'll argue that asking for a word from the game manual was a form of DRM, and that technique never prevented anyone from making a working copy of the floppy discs; but it was a measure introduced explicitly to hinder people who would share such copies from doing so, whilst causing irritation to legitimate users.

Again, you're quite right that in that by my own definitions, any GOG games containing a CD check for a CD image mounted in DOSBox do still contain that DRM. The important things about GOG's stance, however, are (a) that no such legacy DRM is in any way effectual when it comes to copying or playing the game in the modern environment, and (b) no new DRM has been added. For the older games, it is probably the latter point that makes the biggest difference, and is what distinguishes GOG from the likes of Steam who add their own DRM to everything in their catalogue, old or new.

Now I understand that you don't like Steam selling old games either, but that last fact is definitely a reason why some GOG customers are willing to accept a higher price for a game than other retailers offer. I do agree that it would be nice if we didn't have to pay extra for that, but in the modern market it truly is an added feature in most cases. For now, while they are still trying to establish a foothold with many publishers, I would not expect things to change much if at all on the pricing front. Further down the track, I think there is a chance that they may introduce some lower prices and better deals.
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News Comments > Strategy Games Sale
20. Re: Strategy Games Sale Jun 14, 2009, 09:53 Shadowcat
A simple disc check IS part of the game itself, you dumbass.
A difference in definitions. If the disc check is removed and the game still runs correctly, then to my mind it is not a part of the game (even if it is a part of the code), but something extra. (Obviously you'll disagree, but this is just to explain my meaning.)

In some cases it is even necessary
Meaning that in all those other cases, it was not necessary.

By your foolish definition of DRM, the DOS games on GOG which are mounted as disc images in DOSBOX still contain DRM because they contain the same damn disc check as the release of the game on physical disc.
Fair comment, but I can't say I mind if the effect is utterly nullified.

That is why this check is so easily bypassed [...] As someone who has developed cracks for more games than you have probably even played
If the check is a part of the code, then it is not easily bypassed by the average gamer.

The nice thing about GOG is that you don't need to crack their games. Perhaps the fact that you are so adept at doing so means that you value this aspect of their business less than the rest of us (but it also suggests that, like us, you do in fact place value upon games not containing any such code).

Your complaints about sales and bundles and such just indicate that you shouldn't shop there. As it happens, I also think that lots of their games are priced too high, so I don't buy those ones.

Second, GOG was originally touted as a way to update and provide support for old, abandoned games.
They do provide support, and I don't remember anyone talking about updates. Just compatibility with XP and Vista.

And, the DOS-based games aren't ported to Windows.
(1) No one ever claimed they would be. (2) At GOG's prices, no one should imagine otherwise! (3) They have no way of doing so, in any case. GOG don't have the source code.

And, in the case of the one game which is updated, Arx Fatalis, that update isn't being provided to past purchasers of the game for free despite the fact that they paid significantly more for the game when they purchased it. That's a spit in the face to the game's long-time customers and fans.
Oh god, you've been hanging out with uk_paranoid_conspiracy_theorist, haven't you? (a) The lack of a patch for other versions is nothing to do with GOG, *whatsoever*. (b) Arkane have said there will be a patch. I agree that it's taken too long, but as one of Arkane's projects has been maybe-cancelled (The Crossing), I suspect that they are currently putting all their efforts into work that will provide actual income. (But even if it never happens, that's still only a complaint against Arkane.)

All GOG is really doing is providing a means for a money grab by defunct or dying publishers like Interplay and Microids to squeeze some chump change from their abandoned games
In some cases, yes. But selling games for money IS the whole business model of game publishers, regardless of the age of the game.

Again, if you think something is over-priced, don't buy it.

Just because a relatively few people are willing to pay $10 for an ancient game isn't going to entice anyone to gamble multiple millions of dollars on a full-priced AAA sequel
That may be the single weirdest thing you've said. Perhaps some overly-excitable fans may have imagined this happening, but I strongly doubt anyone from GOG would have made such a suggestion. This is about making old games available again; it has nothing to do with making new ones.

This is just a money grab by game publishers, and it is hindering the release of these old games for free or free with advertising support.
Just how long do you think the publishers were planning to wait before freeing all these games to the masses? Yes, a handful of games have been released for free, but for most of them, it simply wasn't going to happen. GOG may well have prevented a few free releases, but it would only have been a few.

I think what it boils down to is you just not remotely being in the target audience for GOG. You don't care about the DRM aspect, because you obviously enjoy cracking games yourself. As such, you view the prices as inflated because you think that either you could buy the games cheaper elsewhere and crack them, or that the publishers would have released them as freeware at some stage. And I can only presume that your willingness to put up with advertising in games is related to your skills at circumventing the features of the code that you don't like.

For people like you, maybe GOG is a bad thing. For the rest of us, it's a big bundle of goodness.
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News Comments > Legal Briefs
5. Re: Are downloads really killing... Jun 13, 2009, 04:18 Shadowcat
DG: I do agree with everything you said there; it just irks me when it's phrased in this way, because the majority of pirates are well and truly over-served.  
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News Comments > Strategy Games Sale
16. Re: Strategy Games Sale Jun 13, 2009, 04:08 Shadowcat
And you would be wrong. Most of GOG's catalog had no DRM unless you consider a simple disc-check as DRM which I do not
In which case you would be wrong. Copy-protection. DRM. Call it what you will, it's all technology which is not a part of the game itself, which has the sole purpose of restricting what you can do with the game in some way. Using the internet to manage installations is only one form of DRM.

GOG has done harm to gamers by eliminating or at least curtailing the incentive for developers and publishers to release old games for free
I don't know what to say to that, other than that in all the forums I've read, you are the only person I know of who has an issue with the GOG concept. You're entitled to your opinion of course, but personally I think you're a lunatic.
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Strike Fighters 2 Europe
7. Re: Ships Ahoy - Strike Fighters 2 Europe Jun 12, 2009, 21:38 Shadowcat
This might not be much help (I haven't played IL-2 or SF much at all), but I do know that the Third Wire sims were always intended to be relatively friendly in terms of avionics, so that players could focus on flying and shooting.  
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News Comments > Strategy Games Sale
11. Re: Strategy Games Sale Jun 12, 2009, 06:36 Shadowcat
Consumers also shouldn't have to pay more just so publishers will do the right thing and leave out the DRM.
I'm sure no one here disagrees with that, but it's a completely bogus argument. The publishers weren't doing the right thing, and the folks at GOG have been working their butts off to get them to change their tune. GOG now has a catalogue well in excess of 100 games and it continues to grow steadily, and I believe the majority of those games were not previously available without DRM (no matter how much we all wish it were otherwise).

So by all means, shop elsewhere. But don't try to say that GOG hasn't achieved something good for gamers. They've certainly earned my custom.

This comment was edited on Jun 12, 2009, 06:40.
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News Comments > All Aspect Warfare Demo
21. Re: All Aspect Warfare Demo Jun 12, 2009, 05:18 Shadowcat
I'm giving far far more of my business to DRM-free operations these days, but I do comprehend why most developers use some form of it, and I have to give some credit for the up-front approach taken on the AoA page I've just looked at. I appreciate that.

The one AAW video I saw (mostly of ground troops) didn't inspire me, but I'm potentially interested in the aerial combat, and I like the idea of having the option to 'upgrade' from AoA to AAW.
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News Comments > Legal Briefs
2. Re: Legal Briefs Jun 12, 2009, 04:24 Shadowcat
Most pirates aren't under-served customers. They're just people who realise they can get commercial stuff for free, and who don't feel remotely bad about doing so.

Which isn't to say it's not in a company's interests to do what they can to encourage those other few to spend the money (with the sort of figures I've seen recently, if you could convince even 10% of them you'd probably double your profits), but when you phrase it like that it sounds as if these people are wilfully stealing your game, and somehow you're still giving them the short end of the stick.
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News Comments > F.E.A.R. 2 Patch & DLC
10. Re: F.E.A.R. 2 Patch & DLC Jun 12, 2009, 03:59 Shadowcat
Holy crap. A 900MB patch?!

(Is most of that this "Armored Front" content?)
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
4. David Eddings Jun 8, 2009, 06:19 Shadowcat
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Belgariad when I was a kid. It was my introduction to the rather indulgent world of the Fantasy Trilogy, and I ate it up. I admit that I also enjoyed the sequel trilogy The Malloreon, but it didn't escape my notice that it was, in fact, the same story as its predecessor. When I picked up the first book of his next series, and found myself reading that same story for a third time, I gave up in disgust and never looked at an Eddings novel again.

I liked his writing. I just wish he could have thought up a second plot line (soon enough for me to care, at least).

This comment was edited on Jun 8, 2009, 06:25.
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1013 Comments. 51 pages. Viewing page 10.
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