PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

May 27, 2010 -

In the inaugural edition of PC Gamer's Soapbox, Editor-in-Chief Logan Decker offers Ubisoft an alternative to Ubisoft's "always connected" DRM: steal ideas from your competitors. But before explaining all that, it is important to note PC Gamer's thoughts on Assassin’s Creed 2; last month the magazine told its readers to avoid the game like the bubonic plague. They did this not because Assassin’s Creed 2 is an awful game (in fact it is an awesome game), but because of its absolutely horrible DRM solution:

Last month, PC Gamer took the extraordinary step of recommending against the purchase of an otherwise excellent game, solely on the basis of its obnoxious digital rights management (DRM). The victim was Assassin’s Creed 2, and the perp was software that required the player to maintain a constant internet connection while playing—even though AC2 has no multiplayer component. If your internet connection is lost for more than about 30 seconds, you’re unceremoniously booted out of the game—your legally purchased game—until you reconnect.

This situation for consumers that bought the game was made worse when trouble makers decided to use a denial of service attack on Ubisoft's permission server, inevitably making it so consumers who legally purchased the game could not play it at all until Ubisoft got its server back online and working.

Oddly enough, Decker does not encourage consumers to avoid this month's PC releases of Silent Hunter 5 and The Settlers 7 and next month's Splinter Cell: Conviction - all of which feature "always connected" DRM; instead he encourages Ubisoft to steal DRM solutions from its competitors. So who are these competitors that are doing it right, according to Decker? Two EA studios: BioWare and DICE.

BioWare's solution was the Cerberus Network, which launched with Mass Effect 2. The Cerberus Network allowed BioWare to push additional downloadable content, updates, new weapons and even new missions. DICE and EA's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 gave consumers the choice between a disc-check or up to 10 online activations. While one could argue that even these solutions are not the best approach to handling content, others would argue that anything is better than what Ubisoft has decided to roll out. Of course, Ubisoft could simply use Valve's Steam; although it isn't perfect it is better than having to worry about your connection when you are playing single player.

Read the rest at PC Gamer.

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Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

DRM is pure evil; dont ever believe otherwise.

Remember boys and girls dont drink the Kool-aid!

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"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

DICE I can't support: they've severed LAN support and public dedicated servers, not to mention mapping and modding. They deserve, at the very least, half the insults that were thrown (deservedly) at Infinity Ward.

EA, on the other side, is... doing... it... correctly. Wow, that was hard to write. If EA can do it, everybody can do it. Even you, Ubi idiots. So come on, do it already!.

And now that I think about it, why does EA allow DICE to do all that?. Damn, nobody thinks of the gamers here. Bastards.

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

Yeah, it's amazing how all our hate suddenly left Electronic Arts who suddenly started doing things right and went straight towards Activision. At least we're consistent as PC gamers. If a company burns us, we scorn them. If a company does right by us, they get a reprieve.

(P.S., I did specifically say "PC Gamers".)

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

This is why I use Steam.....because it is the friendliest DRM out there. And for those who are completely against DRM...stop being republicans...(Being sarcastic there)

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

The only 'friendly' DRM is no DRM. I've had significant problems with Steam.

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

Same here - once it took 3 freakin re-installs for me to get Left for Dead 2 working right. Never really had that issue with a game, usually one re-install will do the trick.

The issue with this 'DRM' is if THEY (the host - servers, network, etc) are having problems - so are you.

But I hate most DRM with a passion - what does it stop? Not much. You can find a torrent for single player - on almost any of these titles. The main thing DRM does is HASSLE people like me who actually buy the crap.

It's probably a lot of the reason I own a lot more games than I play, there's a few I have that simply are not worth the hassles.

 

 

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

I will agree, Steam definitely has some issues, especially with regards to offline mode.

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

Anything better then Ubisoft's solution. Heck some would go as far as say Securom is better then Ubissoft's DRM.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

Why do companies even waste their time? Just put it on Steam and call it good. It's there, it works well enough, and consumers aren't rabidly against it.

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

There is one thing that keeps bugging me with Steam, (besides the fact that their prices are
about 30-50% higher than in stores). If someone at Steam has a bad hair day and disables
your account, then EVERY single game you have would be gone. To make things worse, you
would probably not be able to do anything about it, since you technically do not buy games
for steam, but you rent them for a one-time-fee. As a subscriber you don't have any rights,
but only privileges.

Steam may run fluently at the moment, but talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.
 

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

To me disc checks and CD keys are like taxes; you'd rather not have them but you can grin and bear it. Anything more than that is going too far in my opinion.

What if I don't have a constant internet connection for whatever reason, what if it goes down, what if I run out of installs and they won't let me have any more, what if the company server goes down, what if 5-10 years later they decide to no longer support it, what if the company goes out of business completely? If any one of thosethings happen then that means I may not be able to play a game I legally purchased.

One of my friends and I love to play old games on PC, games that over 10 years old by companies that no longer exist or don't support them anymore. Games that we likely wouldn't able to play at all if they had DRM like EA and Ubisoft are trying to push. We're moving closer and closer to essentially renting games we bought legally and paid full price for.

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

I actually do not have a problem with cd-keys. Honestly, I think there's truthfully only one company that has been doing this right up to their last non-mmo game (Starcraft II is not out yet so I can't go anyfurther than this), Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and that is Blizzard Entertainment. It is a great method. CD-Key validation upon install against the program, and further cd-key validation against the Battle.net servers to prevent persons using keygens from playing online. The cd used to have to be in the drive to play but subsequent updates to their titles have removed the disc check. They even offer their games as digital downloads. I have found this to be quite an acceptable method.

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

How about like steam only with a if you don't sign on(ever) you only get SP content.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

So... exactly like Steam?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

No  not exactly, steam wants you to authenticate before you can select offline mode, and offline mode dose not always work right.

 


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

I'll testify to that...

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Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

Steam really needs a seamless offline mode, games are build with on/off line in mind. Online access works with a good key and good account if applicable. The system dose not care about authentication as the system is geared to watch for key overuse(more than 100 duplicates a month, each time a key shows up as more than 1 in use its counted at 100 the key is blacklisted). If you do not put a key in or account info you can play the SP game without updates with a online account you can get updates but no DLC or extra until the key is put in.While playing a SP game and it goes offline it will notify you of the change in status but do nothing else. While playing online games are suspended until the connection comes back. The online score keeping system and achievements dose not effect single player mode when it goes offline.  

 

Why is that so hard to understand?


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

It does all of that, though.  Yes, you need to log in once to verify your account and make sure your games are updated to stable versions, but after that you can set Steam to save your credentials, switch to offline mode, unplug your box from the harsh uncertainties of the various internets, and stomp all the headcrabs you want.

Also, it should keep running through sudden service disruption.  I've started Steam up with my machine unplugged, and it let me access my games just fine even though I hadn't specifically told it to go offline.  It simply gave me the option when it couldn't find a connection.  Never had it happen during a game but I'd expect it would keep going, maybe with a brief notification like you've suggested.

I had a look at a few forum threads, and I noticed a few interesting parallels:

1. There's a direct correllation between a user's grammar and how upset they are about offline mode "not working." (Or, I should say, "NOT WRKING! REDECULUS")
2. The vast majority of complaints stem from 2006-2008, suggesting that Valve has been aware of the problem and fixing any problems with it.

So maybe I'm just superstitious, but I get the feeling most complaints about offline not working stem from an OSI layer 8 error.

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Fangamer

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Fangamer
 
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Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
 

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