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  #16  
Old 24-12-2008, 10:23
AstralWanderer AstralWanderer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TippeX View Post
drm exists because of piracy, there's no argument there..
Well, I really do have my doubts here. Piracy seems to be more the excuse than the reason and given that obnoxious DRM makes warez a better product, it begs the question: are games publishers chronically stupid or is there a hidden agenda?

I'd go for the second, in part due to a cynical nature but also since I find it difficult to believe that any publisher would be prepared to alienate even part of their customer base without good reason (long post follows - please position your pillows now....).

Consider the games industry currently - we have a continuous stream of products, all competing for limited marketing and shelf space. Retailers therefore savagely discount anything more than a few months old in order to make room for new releases. This means that even (or especially) AAA titles have only a couple of months to recoup their development costs. At the same time, games are initially released in an increasingly buggy state, meaning that those who buy "early" (before the first one or two patches) are likely to have serious quality issues.

On the other hand, gamers who purchase late not only benefit from greatly reduced prices (case in point, I picked up a new copy of TitanQuest - Collector's Edition for 7 = US$12 just 7 months after its release) but also a better gaming experience. Correspondingly, the publisher will see little or no profit from such transactions.

The early birds on which the industry relies are getting repeatedly burned. This is clearly unsustainable.

Now digital distribution could be the Holy Grail here. No retailer/distributor margins to worry about, no physical production/transportation/storage costs and best of all, no need for the savage discounting to clear shelves of old stock. If publishers can create their own digital distribution network, then they could even control pricing to a large degree, limiting discounts and maximising profits.

The problem though, is getting the gaming public to embrace digital distribution and, for each publisher, getting their electronic store installed on as many PCs as possible. The more installs, the better their exposure and future sales - but also the better their negotiating position in terms of acquiring exclusives on new products ("Hey developers! We've got 60 million installs of EnemaApocalypse ready to market your goodies! Our royalties may be a little less than those of HotMoistAir, but we've got three times their marketshare - sign with us!").

Building an installed software base is normally a long, hard slog. But product activation can provide a short cut.

The game plan runs as follows:
  • Include online activation with all new games - make it lightweight to start with (i.e. one check per install), just to get people used to the idea.
  • Prepare your electronic store.
  • Wait until your average customer has a few games using activation.
  • Tighten up the activation to check on game startup - ensuring that subsequent changes can be forced through quickly. Apologise to customers but explain that this change is needed "to fight piracy".
  • Make installation of your electronic store a new activation requirement. Sweeten the deal by offering a discount on the first purchase - the stick being that refuseniks lose access to any games bought from you previously.
  • Now you have a guaranteed market, pressure users into a subscription (e.g. charge an annual or monthly "maintenance fee" if no new games are purchased during that period).
  • Bask in your newly acquired, steady income stream. Flick finger at Blizzard.
The downside for gamers? Having electronic store software from multiple publishers, some or all of which may use popups to push their latest wares could make this the new adware nightmare. Having subscription fees to pay to multiple services (which you'd have to keep up or lose access to all previously bought games) would be unpleasantly pricey. And publishers, with guaranteed monthly income regardless of the quality of their products, may then focus on recruiting new customers ("Free Game! PS Online Activation and Account Creation Required.") rather than rewarding existing ones.

Now this scenario may seem a little far-fetched for some - but it's the only one I can see where online DRM actually provides a benefit for the publishers pushing it, to compensate for the lost sales. And some electronic store systems already seem close to completing the above steps - anyone think they would drop their Steam account if Valve added a maintenance charge?
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  #17  
Old 24-12-2008, 11:49
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Quote:
anyone think they would drop their Steam account if Valve added a maintenance charge?
This is a tough one lol
I wouldn't pay for mere maintenance if I didn't see any improvements worth being paid for.
And at the moment, Steam is doing little to nothing to actually enhance the user experience or provide userdefined content. Okay, friends is a nice feature and I wouldn't be using Steam as much if it wasn't for the friends feature. But it existed back in 2006 I believe, they just revamped it a little and tagged it all-new...

Steam is a great product, you might disagree but I find it very easy to use and I've had no problems so far activating, updating or playing products.
It sucks for offline playing, I admit that. But you can still use the offline mode if you're on dialup. You're not going to enable online mode more than once every few weeks.

The only problem I see is every publisher pushing out their own Steam imitation so you end up with shit like GTA. In contrast to Steam, I dont see any point in having Rockstart Social Club installed, let alone GFWL.

Oh, and as for DRM and online activation making stuff unplayable in the future:
I dont like DRM, being a limitation to your 'experience', it just feels like you're losing control over your own property. On the other hand, I haven't had any problem so far activation any of the games I've recently purchased.
What I usually do is just copy over the crack before it asks me to activate.
I'm just afraid of some mysterious fuckup rendering all my remaining activations useless because of some bug in the online activation, that way it just feels better :">
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  #18  
Old 24-12-2008, 13:57
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Publishers live from... errr... publishing. Although they're not the persons/companies that actually create something new - that's up to the developers: you know, the crazy, talented nerds who work at night, sleep during the day, and eat pizza and drink coke -, they're the ones making by far the greater profit. Obviously, they'll do anything to keep themselves alive, with any means necessary, whether it's media-based copy protection, online activation or registering your home address at the CIA and watching you with a satellite from above. Developers love their games and their users; publishers only love money. That's how capitalism works: people with money live off people without money.
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  #19  
Old 24-12-2008, 20:14
DABhand DABhand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer View Post
This very point is covered in extensive detail in the Authorization Servers article - if a company goes bust, users have no guarantee of anything. And for a utility like Daemon Tools (which can affect a user's ability to run dozens of other games), being confident that it will continue to work 2, 5 or 10 years into the future is more important than with a single game.
Shamus Young whoever he is, is talking about what Tippex said "what if's", what if the publisher goes bust? what if the developer goes bust? what if what if what if.

And then this massive where is the coding, poor shamus does not know the difference between developer and publisher. Either way they will keep all data always and of course backups.

Quote:
And where is StarForce now? Largely dead and buried, due in no small part to the consumer boycott. Online activation may avoid the need for a media check (with some exceptions as you note) but you are then continually dependent on the developer/publisher continuing to support (ho ho) the game and not change their activation policy to disadvantage users further.
Here is what I know about SF, when it first arrived it was good nobody had problems, until some weird people possibly warez users who could not steal the game complained it ruined hardware, it did this it did that. Then the massives started to do the same complaining. Did it ever destroy hardware, did anyone win the challenge they set to show it does? nope. And im sure others have had no problems with it either. Only a select few which is understandable due to hardware combinations, the same can be said for software and games also.

Its about as old as the excuses used by warez users, the masses adopted them also to excuse their thefts.

Quote:
They changed their conditions of use when they implemented that charge. Their online activation system means this change is enforced. It restricts your ability to sell (or buy) Stardock's products second-hand (which in some countries is considered a consumer right) and it raises the possibility of users being unfairly charged if Stardock make a mistake and think their software has been resold.
When you link url's do read them, as said Software is licensed you did not buy the rights to the software, only the rights to use it. And the softman case is a one off.

Quote:
It was a volunteer moderator of long standing in their forums. Do you consider it plausible (or even possible) that he would have made such a policy statement without clearing it with EA first? Someone senior at EA would have had to OK it and their ability (and willingness) to disable products that people had paid for is what should be of concern.
Ahh you see it was a VOLUNTEER moderator, not an EA employee, I could be a moderator here and laugh my head off and say "YES WAREZ IS ALLOWED" and without admin say so, does that mean its the admins fault? no, I would get a royal kick in the nuts but that shows you how easy it is. Because that person said something doesnt mean he got the nod of approval from EA at all.

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Because their policies show contempt for their paying customers - leaving them with crippled products that are inferior to warez.
Nonsense, they are protecting their investments by making sure nobody can freely give copies of the game around for free to their friends or of course sell it.

The only crippling is the fact people are stealing games and it will force publishers and developers to look at the console market. All in all its not their faults but the warez users, and it always has.

Quote:
This isn't about stopping piracy - it's about extracting more money from legitimate purchasers (killing the second-hand market, forcing a move to digital distribution and controlled pricing, etc). The more people that accept such measures, the more effective this strategy will be (and the greater the likely costs long-term).
Of course it is about stopping piracy, once upon a time there was games that had very little or no protections and they were pirated/copied freely. Then came protections and costs due to publishers having to pay the authors of the protections to protect their stock, also costs cover potential loses due to piracy. Again blame the warez users not the companies.

Quote:
Except that there are several conditions that prevent people from being able to "reclaim" unused installations (hard disk failure, any snafu requiring a Windows re-install, network problems during the uninstall, etc).

The key thing for any "anti-piracy" measure is that paying customers should not have to worry about it. The problems with online activation, while different from media checks, have the same long-term impact of reducing the lifespan of software that should otherwise be usable for decades to come.
The only problem for people regaining their limited activations is the possibility that they did something bad, installed on various computers at one time, shared the game with others.

Just because they had to reinstall windows etc, people who followed the TOS do NOT get reprimanded, and myself have been able to get activations again for a couple of games since I like to reinstall windows every now and again to keep a fresh system.

And as said, no game is guarenteed to work for ever due to hardware in the future. And to further emphasise you do not own the data on the media only the right to use it.

Last edited by DABhand; 24-12-2008 at 20:18.
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  #20  
Old 24-12-2008, 21:15
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Please, don't show the same blindness as publishers do. (Although you're not doing it because of maliciousness.) I believe you if you say you haven't run into major problems with copy protected stuff but don't think that this also means that nobody else had any either: your environment is just too small compared to the whole world and your personal experience cannot and should not be extrapolated to the status of the whole gaming business. (If you're paranoid enough: there are things you know you don't know.)

Copy protection is getting more intrusive, abusive and tries to narrow your rights more and more, which is what DRM, DMCA, RIAA, TCP and whaddafuck else is about. Control, control, more control... oh, and a bit of control, too. (You may not even chiptune your car legally although you're free to crash your car, if you like. Uhm, you got the complete ownership for the car but not the rights for reverse-engineering, duplicating or modifying the onboard software in your own car?!)

Piracy is just a good excuse for tweaking the numbers into whatever is preferred and hiding the real reasons: greed, incompetence and major lack of quality control. (On a side note, the Budapest Transport Company is blaming "free riders" - people who ride without a valid ticket or pass - for their awful financial situation. The truth, however, is that only a third of their income is supposed to be paid by their customers - that is, the ones who do pay: the vast majority -, the other two third comes from the city of Budapest and the state of Hungary. Unfortunately, the council of Budapest refused to pay their third. Who's the real culprit then?)

No wonder people are turning over to free software. You don't own it but nobody else does either => effectively, everybody owns it (a little bit). Ahhh, communism in the working, how wonderful!

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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
no game is guarenteed to work for ever due to hardware in the future.
Oh, but they are. That's what emulators are for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
And to further emphasise you do not own the data on the media only the right to use it.
Which slows down development just like patents do. With free software, you're not left alone, without any chance for help, if the original developer has abandoned the project: feel free to continue, fix it, hack it, improve it - or pay a competent developer to do it for you, if you're unable to do it yourself.
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  #21  
Old 28-12-2008, 04:27
AstralWanderer AstralWanderer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muji-FightR View Post
I wouldn't pay for mere maintenance if I didn't see any improvements worth being paid for.
And at the moment, Steam is doing little to nothing to actually enhance the user experience or provide userdefined content.
For what it's worth, I doubt Valve are going to charge maintenance fees anytime soon (as long as they see a steady inflow of new signups) but once their user base stops growing, the only way they will be able to continue expanding is by maximising revenue from existing customers. At that point, any negative PR would be almost irrelevant since they would have their customers over a barrel.
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Originally Posted by Muji-FightR View Post
On the other hand, I haven't had any problem so far activation any of the games I've recently purchased.
What I usually do is just copy over the crack before it asks me to activate.
My single experience with online DRM was with Stardock's Galactic Civilizations 2 (initially DRM-free, later patches added online activation). I wanted to activate via email (to ensure that I could keep the keyfile for later use) and it took three weeks (and 4 attempts by Stardock support) before I could play a game I purchased (since, of course, the patch didn't provide the option of "play the old version without activation").

Needless to say, I applied a crack thereafter, but aside from the "steelbox" it came in, I consider GalCiv2 to be rather a mediocre game (Space Empires V, whose CD is DRM-free, is a better 4X game IMHO though its AI is mediocre without mods).
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Shamus Young whoever he is, is talking about what Tippex said "what if's", what if the publisher goes bust? what if the developer goes bust? what if what if what if.
The main point against online activation is that products you purchase are vulnerable to such "what ifs". With DRM-free products, the only "what-if" is your ability to preserve the original media.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
And then this massive where is the coding, poor shamus does not know the difference between developer and publisher. Either way they will keep all data always and of course backups.
Not only does he show considerable technical and legal knowledge, but also good industry experience. Even if backups are available (and few businesses will keep backups of everything - especially obsolete data or products) there is still the issue of needing the corresponding versions of development tools and third party components (e.g. Bink video, Miles sound) in order to recompile a "deactivated" copy of a game.

Yes, a hacker/cracker can patch without such aids, but developers/publishers are going to want to go the proper route to avoid bugs or quality assurance issues - mistakes can cost them dearly in having to provide more technical support.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Here is what I know about SF, when it first arrived it was good nobody had problems...
Media checks cause problems for every legitimate owner, for the reasons listed in the PC Games FAQ. Starforce (and now SecuROM) certainly did get more obnoxious over time (refusing to work on certain types of CD/DVD drives, refusing to work with certain software present, etc) which, to me, suggests that we should expect the same of online activation systems unless (and until) enough users boycott games using them.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
...did anyone win the challenge they set to show it does?
Given that Protection Technology set the terms of that challenge very precisely (you had to fly to their offices in Moscow at your own expense, you had to demonstrate and replicate the problem on one of their PCs) the lack of entrants shouldn't be a surprise, and shouldn't be taken as a vindication of their product either.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Its about as old as the excuses used by warez users, the masses adopted them also to excuse their thefts.
At this point, I have to ask you, do you actually buy games yourself? For a long-term poster, you seem surprisingly ignorant of the problems legitimate customers encounter due to DRM. Even those who don't encounter technical issues have the problem of media wear-and-tear (CD scratching, etc) causing them to lose access to the products they paid for.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
When you link url's do read them, as said Software is licensed you did not buy the rights to the software, only the rights to use it.
That is certainly what publishers want you to believe since it reduces their legal liability. That does not excuse them from blocking basic consumer rights however, and those who accept this type of treatment are simply setting themselves up for more abuse in the future.

This is why it is increasingly important for gamers to consider the implications of online activation - it allows publishers to rewrite EULAs at will ("By clicking Agree you accept these changes, by clicking Disagree you disable everything you purchased from us - enjoy the ride sucker!"). Blindly accepting whatever publishers deliver is not only naive, but harmful to gamers generally.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Ahh you see it was a VOLUNTEER moderator, not an EA employee...
You think a volunteer moderator would have access to EA's customer database, let alone the ability to change it? Implementing the policy of banning EA accounts would require the agreement of EA themselves - this should be obvious.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Nonsense, they are protecting their investments by making sure nobody can freely give copies of the game around for free to their friends or of course sell it.
Except it doesn't work and harms/inconveniences the people on whom the gaming industry relies on most - the paying customer. It is more comparable to the unskippable copyright notices on DVDs which have nothing but an annoyance factor.

Indeed it can harm publishers financially too in terms of greater support costs, typically their biggest expense, due to the number of users encountering activation problems.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
The only crippling is the fact people are stealing games and it will force publishers and developers to look at the console market. All in all its not their faults but the warez users, and it always has.
Personally, I hope that major publishers like EA, 2K and Ubisoft do sod off and go console exclusive. I don't play console games (due to cost, quality and control issues) so I won't be affected by their DRM antics there and it would allow independent publishers more room to expand into the PC market.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
Of course it is about stopping piracy, once upon a time there was games that had very little or no protections and they were pirated/copied freely.
This hasn't been the case since the late '70s/early '80s. Copy protection has been present since and has caused problems for legitimate users for as long (not least, since the 5.25" floppy disk media most commonly used then needed backing up more). In addition, DRM-light/free games have sold well like Galactic Civilizations 2 (though Stardock put online DRM in via subsequent updates) and Sins of a Solar Empire.

Real "warez" users either can't or won't (with few exceptions) buy games so have minimal real impact on gaming sales.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
The only problem for people regaining their limited activations is the possibility that they did something bad, installed on various computers at one time, shared the game with others.
Hard disks fail, Windows gets corrupted, networks have periodic outages. These should be obvious points to anyone with significant computing experience.
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
...and myself have been able to get activations again for a couple of games since I like to reinstall windows every now and again to keep a fresh system.
So in other words, you've fallen foul of the activation limits ("did something bad") and had to rely on the goodwill of a publisher (who just as easily could have told you to get stuffed and buy another copy) in order to keep your investment. And you still fail to see the problems with this system?
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Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
And as said, no game is guarenteed to work for ever due to hardware in the future. And to further emphasise you do not own the data on the media only the right to use it.
I have games purchased more than 10 years ago that still run under Windows. I have older games that run under DosBox. Had these used online activation, I would not be able to enjoy them and relive happy memories today.
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Originally Posted by Joe Forster/STA View Post
...they're the ones making by far the greater profit. Obviously, they'll do anything to keep themselves alive...
To be fair, some major publishers are losing money and we only see the successes - those games that get finished, or at least released. There are doubtless many others that don't make it that far (canned due to costs, politics, IP problems, etc) which mean money lost - plus a few that really shouldn't have been released (Euro Truck Simulator anyone?).

Note to mods: I'd agree that the DRM discussion should be hived off since it is now way OT from the thread title.
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  #22  
Old 28-12-2008, 08:53
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(Thread split.)

Sorry, I'm not an Amstrad CPC user; I was talking about the easter egg in the DOS version of Prehistorik 2...

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Originally Posted by AstralWanderer View Post
At this point, I have to ask you, do you actually buy games yourself? For a long-term poster, you seem surprisingly ignorant of the problems legitimate customers encounter due to DRM.
If I remember correctly, DABhand works in a shop that sells computer games. Of course, his goal is to sell more and more games, no matter what annoying "features" they have, and that attitude also shows on this forum.

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Originally Posted by AstralWanderer View Post
To be fair, some major publishers are losing money and we only see the successes - those games that get finished, or at least released.
That's capitalism: some make it, some don't; some companies ride the waves of success for a long time, some don't. Those that went under enjoyed the advantages of the system for a while but later died because of the disadvantages. Why be surprised? The advantages and disadvantages of the system are one and the same!
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  #23  
Old 28-12-2008, 09:02
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I wont even bother quoting most of the gibberish you tried to talk about in the vain attempt of looking intelligent.

1. Whatever software you buy there is always a what if scenario. Like say an example like SE4, its great fun and very moddable, but then it dies of death because nobody is making mods for it. So life expectancy is not for ever. That is one what if for non-protected games.

For protected games yes media can get scratched or damaged, just like DVD's, Dinner Plates, Washing Machines, etc etc see where this is going. What people including yourself DO NOT seem to realise is you only have the right to install said software and to use it.

I have never needed to really back up any game in a sense. My older games like Pirates! and Birth of the Federation are over 15 yr old. I can still get the original media and still install them, the discs have little minute scratches from use but they are still usable.

2. Shamus knows what he has digested by reading various sources and tried to put 2 and 2 together to make 5. Sure he seems to you like he is very knowledgeable, but he is spouting out the same excuses that I have seen over the last 12 years on the net. And his fans/followers who reply to him are mostly his loyal hand clapping seals eating up the same excuses to excuse their thefts.

3. You just semi-quoted one of the biggest warez excuse in the world. "If I didnt buy it, then im not hurting sales if I was not going to in the first place, so the company didnt lose money". Yeah and here is my usual answer, how about I come around to your house and hmmm steal your car and maybe while im there take your PC and TV and oh the microwave. I wasnt planning on buying them so its ok? Of course not its theft, your legally owned items I took, just like warez users are stealling legally owned and copyrighted software.

And its because of this seal clapping montage of people who lap up these excuses like candy that more serious protections have to be used, and every year and broadband becoming more readily available and cheaply that more and more warez kiddies surface and think its their right to have everything for free.

4. He didnt have what now? Of course he didnt have that info he was a volunteer mod, but that still doesnt mean he could not have spouted out crap like he did. He lied. I know it must be a hard concept for you to comprehend, but yeah people lie.

5. Inconvience to some yes, but who is to blame, thats right the seal clapping army. And before you go on about it, here is other examples of other ownership items that need more protection over the years. Cars, Houses, Household items, Money, Credit Cards, etc etc all these items have what in common? Thats right thiefs, petty common criminals who steal from others and force others to take more action.

For example the car alarm system, sure it protects the car, but what about the pesky cats that set it off at 4am in the morning while you sleep, making you wake up stumble about look for the keys to turn it off while at the same time pissing off your neighbours. Sound familiar to something else?

6. Yes hard disk problems, etc etc, but these are good reasons for a publisher to allow you to regain reactivations. Not give them to people who have seemed to be able to play the game mostly at the same time from different parts of the planet, and different hardware configurations in a short time.

Again nothing wrong with the system, just the people who abuse it.

7. Yes I buy my games, do you? Im starting to doubt that when the olde excuses start rolling in and you used one of those said excuses. Propaganda la la la PROPAGANDA!

8. There was one great game, which yes I legally purchased, Psychonauts. Fantastic game, didnt sell well, but yet thousands and thousands of people were saying how great the game was but yet, if it did not sell well how did these people enjoy it. And ultimately some even complained about how boring the game was on the developers forums. So it begs the question. If sales were so bad why did many people have it? Thats right the seal clapping brigade strikes again!

And back OT, gamejackal is pish IMHO :P
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  #24  
Old 28-12-2008, 09:25
AstralWanderer AstralWanderer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Forster/STA View Post
If I remember correctly, DABhand works in a shop that sells computer games.
That could explain a lot. I can see the BestBuy ethos and dedication to customer service shine through. More seriously though, computer games shops are going to be big losers from digital distribution (and online activation will both cost sales and increase returns) so you'd think he'd wise up a little.
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Originally Posted by Joe Forster/STA View Post
That's capitalism: some make it, some don't; some companies ride the waves of success for a long time, some don't.
Agreed - I just wanted to point out that we, as customers, only see part of the picture with regard to what publishers do and what expenses they incur.

Last edited by AstralWanderer; 28-12-2008 at 09:40.
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  #25  
Old 28-12-2008, 11:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
For protected games yes media can get scratched or damaged, just like DVD's, Dinner Plates, Washing Machines, etc etc see where this is going. What people including yourself DO NOT seem to realise is you only have the right to install said software and to use it.

I have never needed to really back up any game in a sense. My older games like Pirates! and Birth of the Federation are over 15 yr old. I can still get the original media and still install them, the discs have little minute scratches from use but they are still usable.
In a few decades, there will be no (working) devices (at end users) that can read today's CD's (or DVD's), whether copy protected or not. (Read the emulator note in a previous post of mine.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
You just semi-quoted one of the biggest warez excuse in the world. "If I didnt buy it, then im not hurting sales if I was not going to in the first place, so the company didnt lose money". Yeah and here is my usual answer, how about I come around to your house and hmmm steal your car and maybe while im there take your PC and TV and oh the microwave.
You just full-quoted the most ridiculous anti-warez excuse. Physical objects can only be stolen - no copy remains at the previous owner -, while digital information can also be (legally or illegaly) duplicated - the original copy remains at the original owner. (Until Star Trek's replicators - duplicator machines for physical objects, using pure energy as source - are invented, that is.) Smearing the two together is questioning the very reason why digital information was invented and then became so popular so fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
There was one great game, which yes I legally purchased, Psychonauts. Fantastic game, didnt sell well, but yet thousands and thousands of people were saying how great the game was but yet, if it did not sell well how did these people enjoy it. And ultimately some even complained about how boring the game was on the developers forums. So it begs the question. If sales were so bad why did many people have it?
Exactly how many thousand actual people have you seen praising or critisizing the game? Compare this with: Exactly how many thousand sales would this game have needed for the project to become profitable or, at least, null saldo? I feel this argumentation proved nothing at all. (No wonder, your not working at that company makes you an outsider, too, without much knowledge about what happens inside. See the last sentence in the previous post.)
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  #26  
Old 28-12-2008, 20:59
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Joe Forster/STA Joe Forster/STA is offline
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You're not escaping my communistic lesson this time either...

In today's society, the higher powers create artificial (unnatural, unrealistic) needs for the plebs so that their otherwise meaningless life - being born, growing up, working for decades, raising children and then dying - is given a meaning. Intelligent people have a true meaning for their life anyway, without anyone else needed to tell them thankyouverymuch, but the majority of mankind is not intelligent enough. With more and more people on the planet, this is especially true: born, genetic intelligence has to be nurtured to become real, effective intelligence, which means good food, good education, both of which several billion people don't get today. With the homeland/home continent having become saturated with their goods, multinational companies are now moving into the third world, seeking market, fooling uneducated people with their advertising and generating profit from selling products to people who actually don't need them. This is, however, also true in developed countries: it is called consumerism.

Property, rights and stealing are just a matter of definition, a social consensus. There's no need for property when there's an abundance of all the material that people need. If everyone can have a house, a car, lots of food, good health, good education and whatever else is considered to be useful in life - at least, at this moment - then there is no need to take away something from your neighbor when you also have it all already. Thus, stealing inherently loses its meaning. And, for that matter, so does money. But, as most people cannot imagine a world like this, science fiction writers had to do it for them.

Adam Wiśniewski-Snerg's novel "Robot" (1973) is a very good hard science fiction with philosophical overtones. (It, along with its author, is almost completely unknown so don't be surpised if you haven't heard about it.) At its end, [SPOILERS AHEAD!] it solves the mystery by describing that the city, in/under which the story unfolds, was ripped away from the surface of Earth and sealed into the hangar of an interstellar spaceship. The citizens are taken care of by automized factories which create an abundance of goods: cars, TV's etc., of course, all for free as the abductors neither know nor care about money and their technology is much more advanced than ours. The interesting part is that the citizens are unsatisfied exactly because of the abundance and have no idea how to make sensible use of it: they 1) throw away everything after little use and 2) are (fortunately, not literally) killing each other over small batches of non-standard products. [END OF SPOILERS] This is a sad parody of consumerism where success and good life are symbolised by individuals having as their own property physical objects that others don't have. However, the higher powers here also had their calculations correct: as long as people are busy with their daily routines and are satisfied with their life at some level, they won't notice/bother with the discrepancies, problems on higher levels.

Making pirates the culprits warps the facts to your own ideal of the truth at least as much as pirates do when they say they wouldn't have bought that software anyway. It's interesting what I read the other day on some forum: people report that their "warez collector" friends have tons of software that they have no use for. (Well, having productivity software around is never useless, as you or your friends may some time need it, but that's out of scope here.) Now, compare this to the hero of capitalism, the person that the plebs deifies: the successful businessman who makes money from either money (banker, broker) or by selling goods that someone else created (vendor, reseller), and has several houses on the beach, huge gardens with fountains and swimming pools, limousines with a chauffeur, busty babes around and everything that money can get. (See a few American-made movies and you'll see what I mean.) E.g. this businessman could go to work by bicycle, and also tick off the daily exercise by that, but 1) that's so plebs-like and 2) he has enough time and money to go to a fitness club anyway.

All this above proves my point: in today's society, most people want to have, at any cost, without morals or sense. It is primarily the system, governed by the higher powers, that is corrupt and the need for survival, to counteract the consequences of how the system "works", makes small people corrupt, too, on many levels. Software piracy is just one symptom of this so be more broad-minded about it.

[...] In case someone didn't get it, a very simple example: creating illegal copies of a software is immoral - at least, some people in this era think so - but it is magnitudes more immoral to lie about non-existing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - when it's actually about oil -, which cost estimatedly hundreds of thousands of lives - and the value of human life was supposed to be saint in all eras.
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Last edited by Joe Forster/STA; 29-12-2008 at 08:48.
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Old 29-12-2008, 17:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer View Post
That could explain a lot. I can see the BestBuy ethos and dedication to customer service shine through. More seriously though, computer games shops are going to be big losers from digital distribution (and online activation will both cost sales and increase returns) so you'd think he'd wise up a little.Agreed - I just wanted to point out that we, as customers, only see part of the picture with regard to what publishers do and what expenses they incur.
I own a shop, that sells games and hardware, and I repair also.
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Old 29-12-2008, 18:00
DABhand DABhand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Forster/STA View Post
In a few decades, there will be no (working) devices (at end users) that can read today's CD's (or DVD's), whether copy protected or not. (Read the emulator note in a previous post of mine.)
Perhaps and Perhaps not.


Quote:
You just full-quoted the most ridiculous anti-warez excuse. Physical objects can only be stolen - no copy remains at the previous owner -, while digital information can also be (legally or illegaly) duplicated - the original copy remains at the original owner. (Until Star Trek's replicators - duplicator machines for physical objects, using pure energy as source - are invented, that is.) Smearing the two together is questioning the very reason why digital information was invented and then became so popular so fast.
I didn't quote the most used anti-warez excuse, but I quoted the most used warez excuse. You see it used all the time.

Not to mention the classic - "I am going to install it and play it to see if I like it, then remove from my PC" - yes of course they are...not, but thats what demo's are for, but then again not all games have demo's but a huge percentage do.

And the blatantly in your face one - "Why should I pay extortionate prices for a game, im not paying that much to play one game". Yeah and I wish I couldn't pay big prices on tobacco or petrol or food or clothes. But hey hum that is life, things cost money.

And it doesn't stop there as you know, they even complain when people make trainers and ask people to pay a small subscription to get the latest one before others. Where this "It should be free" malarky came from I have no idea, in the past you could get them for free as many groups enjoyed making them and giving them out. But things have changed, if someone wants to charge people for hours of debugging and disassembling and finding pointers etc etc, then they have every right to charge people also. Its nice if its free yes, but like all things even workmanship for example mechanics, electricians and engineers they all require money for their time and effort.


Quote:
Exactly how many thousand actual people have you seen praising or critisizing the game? Compare this with: Exactly how many thousand sales would this game have needed for the project to become profitable or, at least, null saldo? I feel this argumentation proved nothing at all. (No wonder, your not working at that company makes you an outsider, too, without much knowledge about what happens inside. See the last sentence in the previous post.)
Was quite well known, they produced x amount of media and only a fraction sold world wide. They made a very very small profit from sales. And they told others about it, and the fact that it won awards for game design etc and even then the awards peeps recognised that it did not sell well when it should have. And I remember the official forum of countless daily complains and moans when patches arrived - "My game wont recognise my cd, it worked before" excuse, but yet the rest of the legally bought people had no problems what so ever.

Why do I know this? The protection used was the same as retail, no changes, just cosmetic changes to the patch, so only people who had problems was the warez users.
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Old 29-12-2008, 18:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DABhand View Post
"how about I come around to your house and hmmm steal your car and maybe while im there take your PC and TV and oh the microwave."

[...] I didn't quote the most used anti-warez excuse, but I quoted the most used warez excuse. You see it used all the time.
Again, that above is exactly the most ridiculous anti-warez argument possible. Yes, you see it used on DVD's all the time, unless you activate AnyDVD...
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Old 14-11-2009, 22:55
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I know I am stepping into a old discussion here but I stumbled on this because I was looking for a place to vent. And since there is no forum I am aware of for the gaming community to send messages to developers/publishers... it is here I will vent:

Let me start by saying that DABhand actually proved Joe Forster's point with the argument of:
Quote:
Was quite well known, they produced x amount of media and only a fraction sold world wide
If it is so well known you would think he could have come up with a number instead of the universal symbol for an unknown amount.

A long time ago I learned that if you want your computer to remain stable the only way is to keep it off of the internet. Any version of windows actually works quite well if you can keep every Tom, Dick, and adware company from installing their crap on it. Also for quite a while I didn't have internet because of the cost. So with online activation I have to be very careful about what games I buy (not always easy because they like to put this info in the fine print). It was bad enough when I had to come to terms with companies causing undue wear and tear on my CD/DVD drive so they could be sure I bought their product but requiring a connection to play offline content is intolerable for me. My one experience with Steam was a nightmare. I bought SIN (on a disk in a store) only to find that the disk merely gave me permission to download the game. Fine, I thought, until two weeks of dropped connections only to find I didn't like the game. Waste of time and money - never again. I just bought FUEL (whoops) what kind of moron writes (or ports) a vehicle game for PC's without joystick or wheel support. Sure wish I had downloaded a cracked version to try so I didn't waste my money (yes I know there's a demo but these are generally missing all sorts of game features so missing support wouldn't necessarily mean it would be missing in the full game).

My point here is that I am very quickly getting turned off of the whole gaming experience and it is the fault of the software companies not the pirates. And it is companies like your's, DABhand, that will suffer when I will no longer be playing games. Don't worry about the software companies though since future generations will be born with an IP address and billed for their installation into this world.

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