Galactic Civilizations II versus the Space Pirates

An update to the Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Website clarifies to Digg the illogic of their inference that Stardock wants Galactic Civilizations II pirated based on the decision to not include copy protection. They also bring to light a rather startling bit of tit-for-tat over all this on the GalCiv2 forums:
For example, we were quite disturbed to discover that the company that makes Starforce provided a working URL to a list of pirated GalCiv II torrents. I'm not sure whether what they did was illegal or not, but it's troubling nevertheless and was totally unnecessary.

All software is pirated, there's no way around it. We've been making software for over 10 years. We don't like our software being pirated. Like I said, every lost sales has an impact on us. But there are other ways to reduce it than through draconian copy protection systems.

Incidentally, the site that Starforce's forum admin linked to "prove" how much our software was being pirated we visited, followed the instructions on the site to get our game removed and the links were removed within a couple of hours. We'll continue to follow-up with them.
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84 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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84.
 
Re: thats not nice
Jul 23, 2006, 18:27
84.
Re: thats not nice Jul 23, 2006, 18:27
Jul 23, 2006, 18:27
 
CDs instead of one DVD, Encrypted disks that install s-l-o-w-l-y, SecureRom with virtual disk emulation protection, StarForce drivers competing for BSOD with real hardware, Digital Downloads that cost as much as the brick and mortar retail version then countdown installs and expire, Sketchy Online Activation servers that fail 2 times in ten after long waits for confirmation codes. Buy two disks so you can play with your family then use one disk with the second online screen name and be black listed for ALL connected play. finally get connected and see the game filled with cheats and leader boards blasted with bogus scores. Pay $50 bucks for a game in December and see it for $29 bucks in February. play another one online for 2,000+ hours and find out it has a rootkit warding over you and still rife with cheats and purchased shortcuts even after frequent patches that sometimes take an hour to get and apply.

The next generation of games phoning home to advertisers so developers are paid for in game ads. "Trusted Computing" and data mining in the core2duo making you pay for a computer that more easily obeys someone else.

It's just overly complicated, frustrating and time consuming. I'd rather do something else.

83.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 14, 2006, 20:23
83.
Re: No subject Mar 14, 2006, 20:23
Mar 14, 2006, 20:23
 
nin - I got the Springsteen reference. I'm sure others did as well, subtle thought it was...

82.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 14, 2006, 11:08
82.
Re: No subject Mar 14, 2006, 11:08
Mar 14, 2006, 11:08
 
They are a small company, and the exception to the rule.
Midway is not small and did the same thing with Area 51 after complaints.

with a small German company that most people haven't heard of
Aspyr is NOT a small German company. It is a midsized American publisher, and it is the one which decided not to use Starforce in Spellforce 2.

I was thinking about the big boys, like EA,
EA doesn't use Starforce in its games, and maybe negative public reaction is why. And large publishers like Activision and Atari have removed copy-protection from some of their games when their respective developers, i.e. id and Epic have. If Sony would bow to public pressure, so would the likes of EA.

You are simply wrong on all counts.

This comment was edited on Mar 14, 11:13.
81.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 14, 2006, 06:29
81.
Re: No subject Mar 14, 2006, 06:29
Mar 14, 2006, 06:29
 
While mainstream notice and opposition to Starforce would certainly help, it is not necessary to effect change in the PC market. You said it yourself, the market is relatively small and in such a market, even a little noise can make a difference and has. Spellforce 2 won't use Starforce for example (and is on the same page as this news item).
They are a small company, and the exception to the rule. They actually care about their fans. I was thinking about the big boys, like EA, when I wrote my post (after all, I was comparing them to Sony, which doesn't have much in common with a small German company that most people haven't heard of).

Of course, even if enough people DO stay away from the product because of SF to make the developer and or publisher notice, there is no guarantee that the thick-headed dev's and publishers would actually get the message. More likely, it would be interpreted as just another sign that PC gaming is dead, and future releases will suffer as a result.
Isn't that exactly what I said in my post?

80.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 14, 2006, 01:00
80.
Re: No subject Mar 14, 2006, 01:00
Mar 14, 2006, 01:00
 
But those looking for a solution like what happened with Sony's Audio CD DRM are in for a sore suprise - the PC games market doesn't have nearly the visibility to get anyone to change anything.
While mainstream notice and opposition to Starforce would certainly help, it is not necessary to effect change in the PC market. You said it yourself, the market is relatively small and in such a market, even a little noise can make a difference and has. Spellforce 2 won't use Starforce for example (and is on the same page as this news item).


79.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 13, 2006, 13:59
79.
Re: No subject Mar 13, 2006, 13:59
Mar 13, 2006, 13:59
 
...why the hell should I give a damn about Starforce?

If you have had no problems, then of course you would have no reason to. I can't say for sure, but I have noticed that after every gaming session with a SF-protected game, if I don't run the SF driver removal tool, I experience lock-ups, crashes and stutters. Now, I have absolutely no way of knowing that these are indeed SF-related. But the problems seem to go away with driver removal and reboot.

The point is, people aren't going to like something that is cryptic, mysterious, and installed secretly, capable of doing God-knows-what without your knowing it. Maybe the drivers won't do anything... but how would you know?

Ultimately, like it or not, the SF people do not care about gamers' opinions -they don't have to. Their customers are developers, not gamers. Being mad at the SF people makes little sense. It is the developers' decision to foist this crapware on the consumer.

Of course, even if enough people DO stay away from the product because of SF to make the developer and or publisher notice, there is no guarantee that the thick-headed dev's and publishers would actually get the message. More likely, it would be interpreted as just another sign that PC gaming is dead, and future releases will suffer as a result.

Anyway you slice it, SF is terrible for gaming and gamers.


“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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78.
 
No subject
Mar 13, 2006, 13:16
78.
No subject Mar 13, 2006, 13:16
Mar 13, 2006, 13:16
 
War does have a point. Starforce hasn't gone away, and isn't like to anytime soon. This boycott that some people suggest is a futile gesture (like 99% of all boycotts) and won't produce the expected results at all. I'm not sure of the exact percentage of games that use Starforce, but it's certainly growing. If people don't buy those games, you know what will happen? The VP of sales for Joe Game Company will see that his game didn't sell, and convince his company to switch to console games. They don't need much convincing with the PC market in the state it's in.

Does it pay to be careful about Starforce, and read up about what it's doing to your computer? Absolutely. But those looking for a solution like what happened with Sony's Audio CD DRM are in for a sore suprise - the PC games market doesn't have nearly the visibility to get anyone to change anything. How many Newsweek articles have you seen about Starforce?

I won't pretend Starforce hasn't caused problems, but I've never had a problem with it. Since it hasn't impeded my ability to play games and I don't mind having my system "compromised," why the hell should I give a damn about Starforce?

77.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 12:08
77.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 12:08
Mar 13, 2006, 12:08
 
War...what's he good for?
Judging from the content of his post he's good for a lot more than you are, nin.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 12:10.
76.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 11:54
76.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 11:54
Mar 13, 2006, 11:54
 
I have been watching the Blues Nazis' Nin, Parallalax etc for years. Blue backs up all of his board. Go look. Go see how many times Nin and Parallalax and others start bitching and crying about how people are talking about things they don't like. The evidence is right their that they are crybabies who think they are hall monitors or Nazi guards. Or mabye Abu Ghraib guards now that this is 2006.

Whatever you say buddy.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
www.pxa.ca
Parallax Abstraction
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75.
 
No subject
Mar 13, 2006, 11:24
75.
No subject Mar 13, 2006, 11:24
Mar 13, 2006, 11:24
 
I've actually never heard of GalCiv 2 until a glowing review posted couple weeks ago on FiringSquad. I'm a big Civ and Alpha Centauri fan, so I was definitely intrigued. I've been waiting for some more reviews and user impressions before I go pick up the game, but this seals the deal. I'm most impressed with this company's attitude towards combating piracy:

Our primary weapon to fight piracy is through rewarding customers through convenient, frequent, free updates. If you make it easy for users to buy and make full use of your product or service legitimately then we believe that you'll gain more users from that convenience than you'll lose from piracy.
...But there are other ways to reduce it than through draconian copy protection systems.

Like I said, it sounds like a fun game, sci fi and strategy, and its sorta "anti-Starforce". I'm sold.

74.
 
Re: thats not nice
Mar 13, 2006, 09:59
74.
Re: thats not nice Mar 13, 2006, 09:59
Mar 13, 2006, 09:59
 
Where does it say they were hackers?
Of course it doesn't say that on the company website, but google around and you will learn about the developers. I have also read that the company has ties to the Russian mafia which would not be surprising given the bullying tactics it uses on its critics.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 12:11.
73.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
73.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
 
a bunch of people, myself included, have reported the starforce posting to the ESA. Hopefully a ton of legal compensation shit will land on their desks soon.
BTW Galciv2 is a GREAT game. buy it because its good, dont just buy it BECAUSE it has no DRM. There are plenty of non DRM games, including mine. This is just a big budget one.
72.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
72.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
Mar 13, 2006, 09:21
 
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all



This comment was edited on Mar 13, 09:22.
Eye 4N Eye

Opinions are like A**holes, everybody has one and they usually stink
(all except mine of course)
71.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 09:05
nin
71.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 09:05
Mar 13, 2006, 09:05
nin
 
No offense WAR, but I found your post far more pointless than any of the supposed bickering that has occurred due to Starforce(the names's still brain-suckingly stupid). Pretty ironic to me.


War...what's he good for?





--------------------------------------------------------------
GW: Nilaar Madalla, lvl 20 R/Mo / Tolyl Nor, lvl 20 E/Mo / Xylos Gath, lvl 16 W/Mo

http://www.placeboworld.co.uk
70.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 08:36
70.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 08:36
Mar 13, 2006, 08:36
 
No offense WAR, but I found your post far more pointless than any of the supposed bickering that has occurred due to Starforce(the names's still brain-suckingly stupid). Pretty ironic to me.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
69.
 
No subject
Mar 13, 2006, 08:33
69.
No subject Mar 13, 2006, 08:33
Mar 13, 2006, 08:33
 
I do hope Starforce will go down hard for their stupidity and audacity.

I hate to say this, but I also hope that each developer that uses them will get smacked down with some sort of fine/lawsuit eventually so that game developers will learn that you cannot resort to rootkit like programs. It'll be the only way they'll learn.

This comment was edited on Mar 13, 08:34.
68.
 
No subject
Mar 13, 2006, 08:27
68.
No subject Mar 13, 2006, 08:27
Mar 13, 2006, 08:27
 
Good grief: Companies run by thugs like those heading Starforce deserve whatever ruin is brought upon by themselves and their immature actions.

67.
 
Re: Well Well!
Mar 13, 2006, 08:08
War
67.
Re: Well Well! Mar 13, 2006, 08:08
Mar 13, 2006, 08:08
War
 
>I don't like Starforce, I doubt anybody does, but the fucking broken record around here is getting out of hand.

Once again: IS STARFORCE GONE? Has the company shut down? Is each and every person involved in that company shamed and out of work? Is every developer who uses Starforce an ex-user of Starforce?

No, no, no, and no.

Then the ruckus MUST continue. When SF is dead, buried & gone, you'll be spared. Until then, sorry if a more than righteous outrage offends any delicate sensibilities, but also take note that you're helping the situation none.

66.
 
Re: thats not nice
Mar 13, 2006, 07:49
66.
Re: thats not nice Mar 13, 2006, 07:49
Mar 13, 2006, 07:49
 
Where does it say they were hackers?

He didn't say "they were" hackers, he says "they are" hackers because everyone who exploits undocumented fonctions and vulnerabilities, install device drivers without permission and rootkits on a kernel level, sacrifying security and stability to get your questionable work done, are by definition hackers... and hackers should not tolerated.

Having said that, I don't have any doubt that most of the SF team are real ex-hackers and used their hack-knowledge to create SF. Of course, for obvious reasons, they won't promote that fact on their SF website.

65.
 
Re: thats not nice
Mar 13, 2006, 07:20
65.
Re: thats not nice Mar 13, 2006, 07:20
Mar 13, 2006, 07:20
 
Going to go buy this game tomorrow as soon as I recheck my bank account. I hadn't really looked at the game until just reading this update tonight. Purchase 100% motivated by this StarForce BS and the game reviews I just finished reading. I already know I won't regret the purchase in the slightest.

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