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Old 26-01-2010, 20:12   #1
Wendelius
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Ubisoft announces new PC DRM. Say what?

This... beggars belief.

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/62098

Quote:
Developer and publisher Ubisoft's new PC DRM solution will feature no CD checks or installation limits and pack support for 'cloud' online saved game storage but will require players be online to authenticate before playing, GameSpy reveals.

Players will be required to login to their Ubi.com account to authenticate each and every time they wish to play--and there will be no support at all for offline play.
Will players have a problem with that?

Quote:
"We think most people are going to be fine with it. Most people are always connected to an Internet connection," said Ubisoft director of customer support Brent Wilkinson.

The DRM platform will debut with the closed beta test of Blue Byte city-building strategy The Settlers 7. "Most upcoming Ubisoft PC games" will make use of the platform, though GameSpy says not all will support cloud saves.


And if you thought Steam was bad:

Quote:
What will happen if I lose my Internet connection when I play the game?
If you lose your Internet connection the game will pause while it tries to reconnect. If the Internet Connection is unable to resume you can continue the game from where you left off or from the last saved game.

Will I need to be online the whole time when I play the game? Including for single player?
Yes. You will need to have an active Internet connection to play the game, for all game modes.
Also info here: http://uk.pc.gamespy.com/pc/the-sett...1063391p1.html

Of course Ubi tries to sell the upside of this:

Quote:
One very interesting benefit of this new account management system is how it handles save games. Your saves will be stored remotely on Ubi servers, allowing access to your game saves on any machine. Steam offers a similar service for select games, but this will be available for the majority of Ubisoft's PC titles.

So what's the downside? Since authentication is now handled through your Ubi.com account, you'll always need to connect to your Ubi.com account to authenticate before playing. While it's hard to conceive of PC gamers being stranded without an Internet connection, those situations do come up, particularly when traveling.
Personally, I hate hate hate this idea. I often take a laptop with me on the move and I don't always have broadband.

If a game comes with no DRM whatsoever (like GoodOldGames does) and I want to play it, I buy it. But now, most of my purchases come with with activation counts, rootkits, having to be connected to play DA:O and now, possibly, cloud savegames? Thanks but no thanks!

What about you?

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Old 26-01-2010, 20:17   #2
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I can't see what they're trying to achieve with this.

I'd never buy a game that had that on it.

It's just going to temp more people to obtain the games by other means, which they probably wouldn't have otherwise done so.
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:17   #3
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Bonkers.

It'll be cracked though so not too worried. And, I am never likely to want to play Settlers 7.
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:20   #4
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how long before someone creates a hacked activation server you can run on your own pc and gets you to change your hosts file to put in your own ip for ubisoft's hostname to get around this? I give it a week, tops.

Publishers waste so much time trying to stop piracy but all they do is give the hackers a new challenge, and no one likes a challenge as much as a hacker!

If things were a price people would accept to begin with, piracy would go away. Not completely, never completely, but there's a price point everyone has and if it's met then they'll buy. I bet Windows sales have hit an all time high since they reduced the RRP of 7 to under 100
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:25   #5
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My guess is they want everyone to get so fed up with the DRM they just buy the console version so ubi can stop wasting funds developing a PC version
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Old 26-01-2010, 20:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ono View Post
It'll be cracked though so not too worried. And, I am never likely to want to play Settlers 7.
"We apologize for the long wait times affecting users of Assassin's Creed 3 / Silent Hunter 5 / CSI / (insert name of game you would play on PC here). We were not prepared for the overwhelming interest in the game and our servers could not keep up with demand. We will be bringing new servers online within the week and expect queues to be gone by the end of the month. We thank you for your patience."

I think I play most Ubi games on my 360 anyway. But the idea is just so ill conveived.

As has been said, it will be cracked too. Which, once again, leaves it being an issue only for honest people who purchased the game, not the people who got a pirated version.

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Old 26-01-2010, 20:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShakeyJake View Post
My guess is they want everyone to get so fed up with the DRM they just buy the console version so ubi can stop wasting funds developing a PC version
this

Also publisher's servers tend to be crap, EA servers are a joke. While nearly everyone has broadband, you shouldn't need a constant net connection as only the honest customer loses out

Some want this for console gaming, **** that
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Old 26-01-2010, 21:05   #8
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I love the way these companies come up with really $hitty ideas like this but still attempt to dress them up as "benefits".

It'd be great to be in the board room when the effect of this dumb plan hits their P&L. Try spinning your way outa that one guys

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Old 26-01-2010, 21:54   #9
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Doesn't seem too bad to me. The only time i game is on my PC here which always has a net connection.

Piracy is slowing strangling PC gaming so i understand the need to do something about it.

Saying that i really don't see the need for a constant connection. Steam seems to work well and not have many issues with piracy. I dont see why they cant just tie all games into that or something...
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Old 26-01-2010, 22:13   #10
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Won't last - Half Life 2 "needed" a net connection to log into Steam to authenticate. I was at uni at the time and the firewall bocked Steam, but within a few weeks I had acquired a cracked version that didn't need Steam at all (and I did buy it legitimately via The Orange Box later).
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Old 27-01-2010, 00:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingo Bongo View Post
I love the way these companies come up with really $hitty ideas like this but still attempt to dress them up as "benefits".

It'd be great to be in the board room when the effect of this dumb plan hits their P&L. Try spinning your way outa that one guys
Don't be crazy, this will kill piracy for Settlers 7 entirely. So all those pirated copies will get converted in to sales, it'll sell 10x what Settlers 6 sold and be one of the best selling PC games ever. Obviously.
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Old 27-01-2010, 07:12   #12
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I won't be buying any more Ubisoft games then. Oh well, the only one I was planning to get was Assassin's creed 2 anyway.

My internet connection has been dire the last two months due to oversubscription, making online gaming impossible and causing connection drops and packet loss. Even GFWL wouldn't log in, so I think Ubisoft's assumption that we all have perfect 24/7 broadband connections is completely flawed.

Even Steam has an offline mode, plus I put up with Steam's requirements for an online connection because it gives back a huge amount in return - automatic patching, no limits to how many times you can download or install your games, community features, excellent special offers etc. All the Ubi system seems to offer is saving games to the cloud, but that's never 100% reliable. For example a friend of mine lost all his achievements in L4D2 due to a Steam cloud sync bug.

Oh and they'd better make the online all the time requirement very, very obvious in the advertisements and on the box. Ah but they won't will they - it'll be in tiny print in the tech specs where the average user will miss it entirely.

The thing that most companies don't get is that pirates are not your customers. Most of them never will be your customers. Take a tip from valve and make being a customer have more benefits than being a pirate, with regular patching, free DLC and by treating your customers well.

All these custom DRM systems and login clients are just making your actual paying customers angry and turning them into non-customers.

I'm certainly getting fed up with all the different systems I have to deal with, with some games having three or four authentication systems, e.g. Batman on Steam has Securom , GFWL and Steam - that's three different authentication servers your game relies on. Any one of which could be taken offline and prevent you playing your game.

Last edited by Ravenger; 27-01-2010 at 07:20.
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Old 02-02-2012, 13:50   #13
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Bit of a bump this, but the service is going down on the 7th for an undetermined amount of time whilst they move servers so you won't be able to play your games!
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ttlers-offline

I have 3 games using it (Settlers, Splinter Cell and Might and Magic) and I have to say it's not been a problem in reality (up until the 7th anyway ). It's not much different from having to login to EA's servers to play any of their games DLC. I know it is in reality, but it doesn't feel it to the end user.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:09   #14
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They moved their forums to different servers just over Christmas, I think they were down for a couple of weeks. They were supposed to come back online on the 9th, which then slipped to the 10th and finally came back on the 11th or 12th of January. Doesn't really bode well

Glad I stopped buying Ubisoft pc games when they originally announced this form of DRM.

I have no problem with one-off online activations, but a constant online connection to play an offline single player game, no thanks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:14   #15
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Yeah but like I say, you have to login to EA's servers everytime you load up a save game that had been played at any point with any DLC active. So you need a connection with their games too. The only difference is they aren't interrupted by a dropped connection as it's only needed at the beginning of play. And their login is automatic after the first time so you might not even know it's happening - but it is. It probably most applies to the Bioware games which include day 1 DLC with purchase

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Old 02-02-2012, 14:24   #16
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Still makes me laugh that the best way to avoid all this crap is to effectively become a pirate!!! Arrrr!!
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:04   #17
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Not really. DRM is a poor excuse for piracy considering if it bothers you that much you can avoid it just as easily, the same way, with a paid for copy.

Last edited by target; 02-02-2012 at 16:05.
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:07   #18
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Maybe so but this sort of thing doesn't stop the pirates who'll just hack the game, it just annoys the legitimate consumers.
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:54   #19
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Actually it stopped them for a very long while on the first game it was applied to (AC2 IIRC). It has been useless on every subsequent game though!
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Old 02-02-2012, 17:04   #20
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All the more reason to stop doing it then, you would think

Isn't it in their best interests to make playing their games as painless as possible for the average punter?

You start giving someone who knows nothing about cracks and pirate software a reason to go looking for it, doesn't it just introduce them to just how easy it all is and make them less likely to pay for a game the next time, knowing they may have to jump through the same hoops again.
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