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News Bethesda: 'PC development is a headache'

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 10 Nov 2011.

  1. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer What's a Dremel?

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    WAKE UP BIT-TECH, SKYRIM USES STEAMWORKS!

    That means having to create a Steam account and the not-so-implausible situation of losing the game (and any other Steamworks or Steam-purchased content) if the account gets suspended.

    Bit-Tech's casual approach to DRM in games (i.e. not including any details) is annoying enough but flagging a release as near-DRM-free when it uses one of the tightest DRM systems (only the always-on systems like Ubisoft's impose tighter restrictions) shows that the reviewer has got drunk on Bethesda's PR Kool-Aid.

    And yes, I'll be boycotting this as I've done every other game requiring online activation (and I do own both Morrowind and Oblivion).
     
  2. Gunsmith

    Gunsmith Maximum Win

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    cant tell if sarcastic or stupid....
     
  3. Glix

    Glix Left Thumb Stick in the mud.

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    This. Hate how it is the accepted norm not to mention DRM in a review when essentially it can affect the consumer.
     
  4. Glix

    Glix Left Thumb Stick in the mud.

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    Can't tell if trolling or baiting. ;)
     
  5. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer What's a Dremel?

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    I know - don't feed. But in case this is Steamlove speaking, take a gander here...
     
  6. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger What's a Dremel?

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    The problem is that so many so called Gamers out there try to play with their outdated dual core systems and 4000 series Radeons.

    Upgrade yearly (at least) or do not cry!

    S*D

    P.S. If you are still using XP, delete it from your hard drive, smash the hard drive, melt the metal parts and make a knife, then stab it into your head many times!
     
    Juu likes this.
  7. Blazza181

    Blazza181 SVM PLACENTA CASEI

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    Heyheyhey. What's so wrong with dual core gamers and HD4000 users?

    Its those eijits who try to play crysis on a 6y.o. laptop who are the people who to be wary of. :p
     
  8. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    I think you're doing yourself a disservice in this case.

    Do you see there's a lack of logic in depriving yourself of great games just because of the minute possibility you may lose ownership of the games at some point in the future? These are £30 games, not a house.

    Unless you feel that by boycotting the games you'll help to change the industry, which is commendable, but you're fighting against something 98% of PC gamers not only don't mind but often actively promote.

    I'm not saying Steam is the perfect solution in a perfect world, but it's a half decent solution in a problematic world. And as they say, when in Rome...

    Sent from Bittech Android app
     
  9. xinaes

    xinaes What's a Dremel?

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    HA! good one...
     
  10. Anfield

    Anfield Multimodder

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    Of course you loose the Games you have on Steam if you are naughty enough to get the Account suspended, but there is a simple way around that problem, behave yourself when playing online...

    As for Steamworks, I have a 3 digit number of Games on Steam, none of them ever refused to install or run due to Steamworks, while other DRM Systems cause issues like for example telling me I've installed it too often, cd key would not be valid, disc not recognized and so on, so Steamworks is the least annoying DRM System.

    Of course no DRM at all would be even nicer, but lets face it, thats never going to happen anyway.
     
  11. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer What's a Dremel?

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    If you're having to update yearly, then there's something severely wrong with your choice of system. A well-chosen setup should be usable for at least 3-4 years (with a willingness to compromise on graphics settings at the end of its lifespan).

    There's no doubt that the hardware industry owes a lot to those prepared to dash out for the latest GPU/CPU/RAM every 3 months, but measured in terms of money/performance gain it's a very inefficient and expensive habit.
    XP is still perfectably usable (I run it on my gaming system and greatly prefer it over Win7, when properly configured) and will likely continue to be for some years yet. If you are a long-term gamer (with a collection spanning a decade or so) then XP will likely be a better choice due to its superior compatibility with older Windows games (thanks to Win7's imperfect DirectX9 emulation) and that's without considering the issues that 64-bit Windows adds to the party.
    100 £30 games may not make a house, but would come to a half-decent car so their longevity is something that should be valued.

    I have a games collection going back to the 1990's - including genre-definers like Homeworld, Thief 2 and Imperium Galactica which I still fire up occasionally. The companies (and programmers) behind such classics have mostly long gone and if these classics had required any form of online activation, odds are that I would not be able to play them now - ShamusYoung's Authorization Servers article highlights the problems inherent with such systems and you can see a sterling example in the Two Worlds Official Activation Thread for a game released just 4 years ago (though thankfully also available DRM-free on GOG).
    Companies will change if enough pressure is brought to bear - consider the backlash against Starforce as one example. Another was Atari's decision to remove Securom's disk check from Neverwinter Nights 2, influenced by this mammoth thread.

    The problem arises when people don't protest enough - EA decided against online activation for Dragon Age: Origins, but required it for the DLC. Based upon the DLC sales, they presumably decided it would be OK to require online activation for DA2.

    As for the 98% promotion by PC gamers, I'm going to suggest that most simply haven't considered the downsides because they're not in-your-face like disk checks were. However while disk checks were annoying, you didn't risk losing your software as long as you took good care of the media. With Steam and similar systems, your entire collection can be wiped in a blink of an eye - some Steam examples here, here, here, here and here.
    So your answer is to follow the herd and hope things don't get worse? Well consider this - with 35 million active accounts, Valve could boost their annual income by almost £1.7 billion by imposing a £5 monthly fee on accounts (assuming an 80% acceptance rate - since not paying would mean losing access to all purchased Steam games, this is likely a conservative estimate). Provision for such a charge has been made in section 4B of the Steam EULA (subject to 30 days notice) and the EULA is even helpfully titled a "Subscriber Agreement" just to make it clear.

    Of course, as more people sign up and amass greater Steam collections, the possible income from such a fee increases geometrically (a higher charge could be levied with larger collections and more money at stake). So I would suggest that playing the role of a "digital doormat" is unlikely to be the best policy long-term.

    Your proposition that there is a "minute possibility you may lose ownership" of Steam games is correct, but only because you never owned anything purchased from Steam in the first place (Steam EULA section 2A: "The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software."). The risk is in losing access to the games you've (effectively) rented and that, I would argue, is inevitable.
    Check the examples linked to above - none of them were linked to online misconduct. Paypal is a major cause, but the fact that Valve choose to disable entire accounts (rather than just the purchases in dispute) without warning (Paypal is notorious for reversing transactions on a whim, so Valve should be cutting customers some slack here, with a weeks' warning or so) should indicate how little regard they have for consumer rights.
    Now consider how much that 3-digit collection would cost to replace (at non-sale prices) and how much of a monthly fee you would be prepared to endure to maintain access to it. No need to provide details - just consider it...
    GOG have been offering DRM-free downloads for 3-4 years now. Smaller distributors like GamersFront and most (but not all) of the indies highlighted in ShowMeTheGames also do DRM-free products as do collections like the HumbleBundle and (mostly) IndieRoyale (when I contacted IndieRoyale to request a DRM-free alternative to their first bundle, which had the Steam-compulsory Sanctum, they responded saying they had received similar requests - the 2nd bundle had DRM-free options on all items).

    Retail games from smaller publishers tend to be DRM-free also, so hassle-free risk-free content is available for those prepared to search for it.
     
  12. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    The Shamus Young article eloquently states an argument I've been pushing for some time. He's right, and it's going to be a crippling shame in ten or fifteen years time when no current games can be played anymore. I still play Total Annihilation, I still play Oni.

    I completely agree with more or less everything he says. You'll put up a patch removing the DRM? While you're going messily out of business? Oh yes, of course. I'm sure the receivers are going to authorise you to spend time doing that, just to be nice. Lawyers are lovely that way.
     
  13. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    The way I see it is platforms like Steam are here to stay, simply because they are so popular. They might be popular because most gamers haven't thought through the risks, but that doesn't mean it isn't here to stay in all likelihood.

    Yes Valve could turn evil and blackmail you for all the games, and yes purchasing games through Steam is the most pitiful version of "buying" ever concieved. It's true, if there's a non DRM alternative, it's always perferable.

    But what of the games that aren't available elsewhere? Life is too short to miss out on some amazing titles because you might lose them in the future. It'd be a shame if you couldn't play them in five years time, but does that mean you also shouldn't play them now?

    As a hypothethical situation, would I have (for example) spent £30 on Left 4 Dead knowing that Valve would disable the game a year later? Absolutely. I'd pay £30 if they disabled it after six months, because those six months would have been more than worth £30. I'd rather they didn't obviously, but not to the extent I'd refuse to ever buy what has become one of my top five games.

    I wholeheartedly agree we should always buy the non-DRM version when it's available, that way you send a message to the publishers without putting yourself out. But sacrifice ever playing dozens of amazing games because one day they might take them away? Doesn't sit right with me personally.
     
  14. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer What's a Dremel?

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    If games are not available elsewhere (e.g. using Steamworks) then that makes it a monopoly. If you buy, you help that monopoly to expand - Valve are no fools here, they've made Steamworks available free for sound business reasons. They could doubtless go as far as paying developers for producing "Steam exclusives" and if they bring in a compulsory subscription fee, it would be a smart move for them to use at least part of the extra income to buy in more such exclusives ("Look, we're saving PC gaming by spending only half of this extra phat lewt on blow, hookers and Veyrons!").

    A similar situation can be seen with UK television - Sky charge high subscription fees for their satellite service (typically double what European satellite broadcasters charge) and use that income to outbid the terrestrial services on popular shows. So if you subscribe to Sky, you're helping them knock down the free-to-view alternatives.

    There are good and great games elsewhere without the DRM shackles as I noted in my last post. If you really enjoy a game, wouldn't you rather be able to revisit it as you please rather than having to look over your shoulder worrying about triggering some arbitrary ban?
     
  15. Juu

    Juu Haters Gonna Hate [✓]

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    +rep agree so much! Not only gamers it does my head in businesses I support who refuse to upgrade from SBS 2003 and XP!

    You're gaming system must be awful if you're limiting yourself to DX9. XP is over 10 years old, it is more clunky than win7 and there really is no reason to stay with XP.

    Dx9 emulation? Run virtual PC, so your beloved XP is only a double click away.
     
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  16. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    It could be worse, because they chose to use Steam, I simply can't have Skyrim now. Steam does not mix with 10GB a month caps and sub-1MB connection speeds (which is as good as it gets here.)

    Thanks, asses.
     
  17. Blazza181

    Blazza181 SVM PLACENTA CASEI

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    I'm in the exact same position. Can't you install from disk? Or find a friend who already has it and copy his common game content? Because that's what I usually do.
     
  18. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    and the software LICENSE you bought for your precious Windows XP works exactly the same way.... Get used to it, you haven't owned probably 90+% of the software on your computer for years.
     
  19. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    I can crack it if I want to install it from disc, but if I have to do that, I may as well find an open connection and torrent it. It's the same amount of effort, one will not cause me to have to figure out offline modes and all the other junk (and I had a steam account when I had decent internet, and it wasn't too bad) and will just let me play.

    Funny, wasn't that why they put the DRM there in the first place?
     
  20. Blazza181

    Blazza181 SVM PLACENTA CASEI

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    Usually, If you purchase a disk which uses steamworks (like Skyrim), you can legally install from disk. Also, if you've purchased the game, and a friend has the game, they can back it up to a USB stick, and then activate the backup process to your PC. I've done it before - works like a dream.
     
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