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PC DRM reaches a new low - Assassins Creed 2

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I guess you can think of it like food. Some places will give you a taste test, others will require you to buy it and see. Fortunately, there's a lot more game reviews than there are food reviews.

 

In the end, you always have the choice of not buying it. You also have the opportunity to be vocal about your want for demos.

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Whilst the process includes pirating, it's going to drive DRM. If money is a concern, wait for the sales. If you want to "try it", then look at some video reviews or grab some sort of demo.

This is another problem with the games industry today. All reviews give a game at least 7/10 unless it is really god damned awful, in which case it receives no lower then four. That makes it very hard to judge how good a game is, and most games dont get demo's released.

 

Case in point, Frontlines: Fuel of war had its demo pulled at the last minute, and put on hold indefinitely.

 

Pretty much I won't consider buying a game a reputable review site has scored lower than about an 8.5/10 unless someone vocally tells me the game is fucking awesome, this usually means I don't waste money on games that are not worth what the developer charges. Edited by nesquick

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I guess you can think of it like food. Some places will give you a taste test, others will require you to buy it and see. Fortunately, there's a lot more game reviews than there are food reviews.

 

In the end, you always have the choice of not buying it. You also have the opportunity to be vocal about your want for demos.

 

yes but you can keep going back to the same dish if you like it, whereas each game you buy will be different even if they're from the same vendor. So while I trust Bioware to serve awesome RPGs every time and Creative Assembly to have the best RTS/Turn Based in town, consistent excellence is rare. Which is like going to restaurants whose food quality varies wildly from week to week.

Edited by Oracle X

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Games producers aren't beyond "coercing" high review ratings for their gamesd either via some sneaking legal paperwork. Some have been caught just doing that.

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Everyone had a chance with ubisoft to prove them wrong on the DRM issue, they released the newer Prince of Persia with no DRM and people still pirated it... not that I agree with DRM but I just wish people had of put in some effort to show UBI that we are bigger people and made a stand to not support pirated versions of that game... oh well greed (from both parties) wins again

While this is true, its just an expensive insurance policy to them I don't see how it is greed on their part considering they are offering people a product, its no different to going down to coles and taking whatever you want both are illegal.

 

Actually the 2 are completely different, Legally speaking.

 

One is copyright infringement, the other is outright theft.

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Everyone had a chance with ubisoft to prove them wrong on the DRM issue, they released the newer Prince of Persia with no DRM and people still pirated it... not that I agree with DRM but I just wish people had of put in some effort to show UBI that we are bigger people and made a stand to not support pirated versions of that game... oh well greed (from both parties) wins again

While this is true, its just an expensive insurance policy to them I don't see how it is greed on their part considering they are offering people a product, its no different to going down to coles and taking whatever you want both are illegal.

 

Actually the 2 are completely different, Legally speaking.

 

One is copyright infringement, the other is outright theft.

 

Thank you!

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So apparantly AC2 has already been cracked. Good DRM Ubisoft XD

LOL, so the do-gooders will suffer and the pirates sail off into the sunset the winners again.

Edited by Jeruselem

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Looks like it.

 

Ubisoft issued a statement earlier today, which I found to be quite funny.

 

“You have probably seen rumors on the web that Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 have been cracked. Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete.”

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I don't think pirates will care that it's incomplete... They got it for free!!

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Some of the better posts from the Slashdot article about the DRM being cracked:

 

The thing is, "requiring a constant internet connection" isn't something that you can just tack on in an unhackable way.

 

You can use the various DRMed binary obfuscation tricks to slow them down; but the hackers will eventually manage to neuter the internet checking stuff, producing a tame version that always returns what the program wants to hear, or a version of the program that doesn't even care.

 

The only way to really force the issue is to actually move large chunks of vital game code to the server, and only provide the output of that code to the client. For instance, they could hypothetically ship the game with absolutely no AI code, and have every NPC in the game controlled by AI code on their server, just as if it were a multiplayer game. The trouble with doing that sort of thing is twofold: One is latency. There are only certain parts of a game's code that can reasonably be moved 100+milliseconds away from the user. AI would be doable, if suboptimal, because of our experience with providing adequate multiplayer FPS results. It'd be worse than doing it locally; but DRM shows a willingness to hurt paying customers, so so what? Second is cost: the more code you move to your server, the more computational capacity you need to maintain for the supported lifespan of the game. The more data you need to transfer back and forth, the higher your bandwidth bills, and the more customers with marginal connections you lose out on.

 

The problem is, if the internet presence check is purely artificial, hackers will strip it out, just as they stripped out CD presence checks and offline serial key verification checks. If the internet component is vital, the hackers won't be able to simply strip the checks; because they'll be left missing whatever pieces are server side; but you run into new issues. If the vital component is static(certain textures or models or something aren't shipped; but are downloaded when needed) it'll be extracted and posted on bittorrent inside a week. If the vital component is dynamic(as in the AI example, where the client sends player location data and gets back a series of movement commands for NPCs) it cannot be usefully extracted; but you will take on substantial server load over the lifetime of the game, and whatever that dynamic component is will suffer from latency.

 

This is where another problem comes in. Since your servers cost money, you want to make the server-side dynamic component as computationally cheap as possible. The simpler it is, though, the easier it will be for hackers to simply write an equivalent version of whatever it is, and make that version, running locally, available in their cracked copies. Unless you can find something that is, simultaneously, computationally cheap to run, very hard to rewrite, and fairly insensitive to latency, you are screwed.

 

There may, in fact, at least for some games, be an aspect of the game that fulfills these criteria. In that case, anybody who wants to crack the game will, indeed, have to spend weeks or months doing real software engineering to re-implement whatever it was that you left off the disk and on your server(assuming a copy of that doesn't leak on day two, which would be embarassing) in addition to doing the basic cracking work required to defeat the artificial checks and any SSL style verification of the server the game binary is talking to.

The only thing that I'm surprised about is that companies remain so obstinately stupid in trying to implement Digital Rights Restrictions.

 

Anyone who has ever been involved in software development knows that even when it comes to relatively simple systems, all it takes is one minor SNAFU, one little bug, for the whole thing to be laid bare before skilled hackers. And it doesn't even have to be a problem with your code; it can be in anything from firmware to the operating system to libraries you've linked to to the compiler you used. Add to this the fact that Digital Rights Restriction systems are hardly anything but relatively simple; they typically encompass very complex encryption, heavy duty mathematics, picky dependencies on very specialized hardware and/or software and/or connectivity requirements, etc.

 

Also, how many people did it take to write your Digital Rights Restrictions system, and how smart were they? Let me tell you, it's not like there's just one guy holed up in a basement somewhere working on cracking the Digital Rights Restrictions of a popular game. There are thousands, maybe tens of thousands. And they all want that reputation boost (or sometimes even financial gain) of being The One Who Cracked [insert game title here]. Oh, and maybe your people are smart, but these people are frickin' brilliant.

 

Yet still, these companies are under the delusion that after decades of abject failure after abject failure by companies much bigger and more motivated than they are to stop software theft, they're going to be the ones that come up with the magic bullet, that special recipe that will keep their software locked. So sure of it, in fact, that they're continually willing to invest a lot of time, money, and effort into their futile pursuit. The reality of the situation is that all it takes is one. One hacker, one flaw, and every cent you poured into your Digital Rights Restrictions system is *poof!* gone.

 

I'd like them to hire me to create the Digital Rights Restrictions system they use for their next game. I'll charge them a few thousand dollars and put a text file on the root of the installation media that says, "It would really mean a lot to us if you would not copy this game illegally, so please don't. Thanks!" Now, I know you're probably thinking, "But Skippus, people would be able to copy the game from day one!" My contention is that I've saved them tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars and my Digital Rights Restrictions system lasted just one day less than the one they would have otherwise spent so much money on.

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I am not a PC gamer but even I think the way Ubi have implemented DRM on AC2 is absolute f'ing BS. That's why this made me smile and I can't wait to hear the response.

 

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/...Servers-Go-Down

Well, it was only a matter of time really. So, the result of the server going down is:

 

-Paying customers: can't play the game

-Pirates: no problems at all

 

Perfect example of DRM only hurting actual customers.

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Silent Hunter 5 apparently is incomplete as ubi claimed. The way they disabled the DRM removed the need to contact servers, however, the servers are needed because Silent Hunter downloads the campaign as you progress.

 

I assume AC2 doesnt have this problem or the DRM-crack thing would have spurred many more complaints on launch.

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Silent Hunter 5 apparently is incomplete as ubi claimed. The way they disabled the DRM removed the need to contact servers, however, the servers are needed because Silent Hunter downloads the campaign as you progress.

 

I assume AC2 doesnt have this problem or the DRM-crack thing would have spurred many more complaints on launch.

It won't matter in the long run. The cracking groups will simply redo the crack once they have access to all of the downloadable campaigns, problem solved.

 

The cat was out of the bag as soon as Ubisoft mentioned that if ever the servers went down for good, a patch could be released that would remove the need to talk to the servers. If Ubisoft can do it, so can the scene groups.

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The drm in BF BC2 is much better and very flexible giving you options, go online once then no disk required, or put in the disk each time you play but no need to be online.

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god this drm sucks i have trouble maintaining a stable internet connection, and i want to buy settlers 7 which includes this ridiculous law. fair enough they are trying to stop piracy but hey why so extravagantly? i bought another game six months ago which had simalr drm to this, but you only had to log on using your username and password and then you didn't need to be connected to the internet. this was slightly intrusive but it is better than this horrible drm.

 

as for downloading part of the game from a server the concept is good, but there is a reason people buy single player games, i have never played an mmo or online multiplayer game before because my isp plan has not got enough data for me to participate in such activities, therefore downloading part of the game could make some consumers not buy the product.

Edited by keza

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...

 

as for downloading part of the game from a server the concept is good, but there is a reason people buy single player games, i have never played an mmo or online multiplayer game before because my isp plan has not got enough data for me to participate in such activities, therefore downloading part of the game could make some consumers not buy the product.

This is where Australian consumers (because we still have metered internet and pay for bytes downloaded) are in a different situation to many other countries.

 

Whether this makes a difference where the product is concerned I don't know?

 

The box clearly says that 'a permanent internet connection is required to play the game' (my paraphrasing) but it doesn't go into more detail than that. Should it? Should it state (for example) how many Mb of data are being downloaded per hour of play?

 

Certainly Ubisoft should know the local market conditions - but does the fact that consumers may be on very restricted metered internet plans concern them? Should they make it clear that these users may not get full use of the product as a result?

 

 

I don't know. But, I would suggest for the price of a phone call to your local office of Business and Consumer Affairs and / or ACCC it could be worth finding out.

 

**Oh and before all the "OMFG the TPA doesn't cover THAT!!!!1111!!!!!1!1!" fanbois come out of the woodwork on this - I am suggesting that someone ASK - that's all. People are perfectly within their rights to do that.**

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