From Dust DOES Need Online, Badly Ported

By John Walker on August 18th, 2011 at 11:28 am.

And back to dust it will return.

Update: Ubisoft have deleted the forum post which was saying the DRM would not require an internet connection! Just removed it from history. Fortunately, we took a screenshot.

Update again!: Now the post is mysteriously back, with a disclaimer saying the details are being checked, and a statement should be coming shortly.

It’s hard to know what to say. After their insisting that From Dust, the delayed PC version from Ubisoft, would not require an internet connection to launch after the first time, of course it does. It’s impossible to launch From Dust, even from Steam in offline mode, without being online. Launching the game fires up their new Ubisoft Game Launcher, which refuses to work unless it can find a connection. And that’s ignoring the fact that the game is in no way properly ported.

After someone alerted us to the GetGames site carrying a warning that you required a permanent internet connection to play, we got back in touch with Ubi on Monday to check. Came the reply,

“I can confirm that From Dust won’t require a constant internet connection, as before.”

This obviously leaves things ambiguous. However, Ubisoft’s forum manager, back on the 1st August, made a very clear statement on the matter, that’s pinned to the top of the From Dust forums:

“We are aware of some confusion over the inclusion of DRM in the release of From Dust on PC.

To prevent any on-going confusion we would like to clarify From Dust PC will release with DRM requiring a one-time only online activation. After which you will be able to play the game offline.

We hope this clears any outstanding confusion on the matter”

They hoped wrong, sadly.

And then, the struggle to get the game to play (there are myriad issues being reported with the game, especially the menu screen’s not loading which I experienced on one launch) isn’t rewarded by a proper port. The first thing to notice is that the game is capped at 30fps. With PCs offering four times that, being locked off at a crappy console limit is good evidence of how little effort has gone into the PC version. Worse is the lack of options. Yes, it can be run in a window (for some reason not at the largest resolutions though), but beyond that you’re on your own. Anti-aliasing? No chance. The game is made of staircases on a machine that could be making it look beautiful. So what were they doing during the eleventh hour delay?

What is this? Outright lying? Complete disarray at the company so no one knows what’s going on? One maverick employee posting nonsense on the forum? Whatever it is, customers are being deceived and buying a product that comes with inherent flaws they’ve claimed wouldn’t be there. Which is absolutely unacceptable.

Of course we have contacted Ubisoft to ask when the DRM will be removed, and whether the porting will ever be finished. In the meantime, we can only suggest that you do not buy From Dust.

Edit: It’s worth noting that commenter Sheng-ji reports below that he was able to get a refund from Steam over this.

Also, Ubisoft are now suggesting that you contact their support team to pursue refunds.

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263 Comments »

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  1. JackDandy says:

    A damned shame how a game like that suffers from some company’s dumbass policy.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I would like to report that after an exchange of only 3 emails I have been refunded for the game by steam because of this. I’m not going to post a how too, because identical requests damages the chances of people getting one.

      Ask and you just might get (Obviously, my key has been cancelled, I can’t now play the game)

      EDIT: I will say that I work in the justice system and know how to word requests properly. If you are going to do this, DO know the law, research it fully first and know exactly which law gives you the right to request a refund. Take your time writing your request and be clear, concise and professional. Then read your letter back to yourself, put yourself in a retailers shoes and work out how they would deny your request. Then seal up that opportunity. Repeat until it is airtight.

      EDIT2: Stuffed Cabbage a few posts down in this thread got a much easier refund – I’ve never had any luck that way myself, but do try it first, it’s so much quicker and easier.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      For those of us who don’t know, what exactly is the law that allows us a refund in this particular instance?

      (And is it a US law? UK? EU? USSR? Ok, maybe not USSR.

    • k37chup says:

      Or don’t rush in to buying games or pre-order

    • Premium User Badge

      Alegis says:

      “DO know the law, research it fully first”

      that’ll take a while. And if Valve has to issue a refund by law I don’t see why you should make the law in question a treasure hunt or why identical requests would remove one’s chances of Valve upholding the law.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      We are dealing with civil law so it will be different in everyone’s circumstances and there are no absolutes. For instance I used the sale of goods act (uk), but equally you could use consumer protection regulations or the consumer credit act, there are any number of eu laws which are relevant. I don’t doubt a clever enough lawyer could use something really obscue. They are not required by law to give any one any money back – civil law is all about disputes. If you feel strongly that you should be entitled to it back, make your case firmly, with no hint of stroppiness and quote the relavent law to why you feel you deserve your money back. If I wad to tell you what I did, they would get a thousand identical requests and actually use the number of identical requests against you.

      So you may feel you are entitled to your money back because the product was mis-sold. You need to check first that it was (here’s a heads up, it wasn’t, so don’t try to follow this one, you’ll get exactly nowhere). First you need to find the law which deals with this – contract law, specifically misrepresentation. You will spend as long as you need before you understand it completely.

      Write your email next, save it and read it. Work out how they would get out of it (in this case, it’s very clear in steams T&C that a third party may require this DRM, which is why you’ll get nowhere) and seal up the cracks.

      Next you need to know where to send it. There are many people who can cancel your key, I wouldn’t bother with steam, they won’t read your email for a couple of weeks and likely ignore it until you’ve sent two or three.

      So that leavesUbisoft and Ubisoft Montpellier. If you’re canny, you’ll manage to avoid customer service. I won’t be publishing anyones personal email addresses, suffice to say if you get out of your chair and use the phone, you’ll easily find the right one.

      Send, sit back and await a responce. If you’ve done everything well, enjoy that £11 refund you worked for 3 hours to get – maybe more if you have to do lots of complicated research.

      Personally I did it to make a point.

      EDIT: And for goodness sake, back up your statements with facts, don’t just write “The laws of misrepresentation say that this product was poorly described”, write:

      “According to the misrepresentation act of 1967 and backed up by the 1986 case of Gordon v Selico (link here), when an UBIsoft employee negligently posted false information on the date of xx/yy/zz at http:\whateveritwas.com, I took that to be a factual statement concerning the game and was one of the deciding factors as to my purchase of the game.”

    • Slade says:

      Did you send back the TF2 hat as well ?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      As to why a couple of thousand identical requests will have less impact than one thousand personalised requests – they will recognise a cut and pasted letter after the third or forth and just start to ignore them.

      EDIT: I’ve never played TF2 so have no idea if I had a hat and if it’s been returned or not.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      @Sheng-ji
      I live in Switzerland and bought the game via Steam. What kind of law is applicable in this case, since both Valve and Ubisoft are involved? After all I bought the game in an US online store. Is Swiss law still applicable? How come UK law was applicable in your case?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Swiss law will be your best bet. The order to go through is your particular countries law first. You will always get the best results this way – I used UK law because I live in the UK.

      Next to try if (and this will not be the case for you as swiss law is solid) your countries laws don’t offer you enough protection is your regional law – EU law in your case.

      After that try the laws of the country of the shop you purchased from.

    • The Hammer says:

      Yeah, I might pursue a refund. Thanks for the advice, Sheng-ji!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      No problem and good luck. I did it not for the money but to make a point in the best way I know how. Sorry to send you on a very time consuming treasure hunt, but please trust me – by job is for the justice system. I’ve worked in law all my life and I’m telling you, you have to do the legwork to get heard. I could post up what I did but it just wouldn’t work for nearly enough people. I don’t want to be cryptic, If I could I’d give all of you personal advise forever until we clean this industry up – however I have a screaming toddler who wants his lunch and just squeezed a mango smoothie all over my laptop power supply, so I must go!!!

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      @sheng-ji, ok thanks for the tip.
      This article states that I could sue them in a Swiss court:
      http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/291/a114.html

      And this one states that Swiss law is applicable:
      http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/291/a120.html

      Unfortunately the text is only available in German, French or Italian…

      Anyhoo, I tried to login to my Ubisoft account and it just wouldn’t work, not even after resetting the password to something I defined. Instead of spending 3 hours on getting a refund I’ll probably just play the game for a while memorising following sentence:

      “Do not buy Ubisoft games ever again. Do not buy Ubisoftgames ever again. Do not… etc”

    • StuffedCabbage says:

      I will tell you all how to get a refund from Steam. First I want to say that I was refunded 3 games. Those games being From Dust, Might and Magic(pre-order) and Call of Juarez(pre-order). Bear in mind that I also received, as did eveyone who pre-ordered CoJ the earlier game as a bonus. I even suggested that they subtract the price of the bonus game from the refund. They did not do this. They just downgraded it on my system to a demo, even though I played the game for about 4 hours.

      Now, all you have to do is tell Steam that the company you purchased the games from(Ubisoft) broke a promise made prior ro releasing the game and that this is unacceptable. That’s all there is to it. It was that easy.The idea is to be polite and straight to the point. Obviously you have to word it properly and expand a little.

      There were a total of 1 e-mail (per game) sent by me and 1 sent by Steam. There was no need for extra curricular communication between us. I have never experienced customer service a s good as Steam.(No I am not a fanboi)

      edit: I shoud also mention that the refund was issued prior to the release of the game(FromDust)

    • johnpeat says:

      For UK customers, Steam are based on London (says so on my card statement) so this would be covered by UK Law.

      UK Consumer Law (SoGA) really does not cover software well – you could try using it’s definitions of “merchantable quality” (nothing falls off) and “fit for the purpose” (works as-described) but I think you’d struggle tbh

      The Distance Selling Regulations specifically do NOT cover things like software/music/ring-tone downloads – they’re not ‘physical goods’ and so are excluded.

      Last option is to just ask for a refund based on your “not being aware” the game required an online connection (despite the Steam page telling you otherwise).. Steam appear to operate a 1-time-refund system whereby they’ll refund ONE game per account as a goodwill gesture – but that’s your goodwill used-up, so choose wisely!

      p.s. Steam are usually happy to refund pre-orders before release but it gets harder once the game has been made available…

    • Sheng-ji says:

      The only exceptions to the distance selling laws are, as far as I can remember – land sales, sales of construction services, vending machine sales, financial services and those conducted over a telephone call. The reason for these exceptions is because they all have better, more specific legislation

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/regulation/5/made

    • johnpeat says:

      From this

      http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/oft698.pdf

      Section 3.39 discusses ring tones/music (which are digital downloads) and suggests they are services rather than goods (physical products).

      The key thing with services is that once they commence, the right to cancel is removed if you’ve specified that to be the case – the wording is

      “for the provision of services, if the performance of the contract has begun with the consumer’s consent before the end of the cancellation period and the supplier has provided the written confirmation and additional information (including information that the cancellation rights will end as soon as performance of the contract begins);”

      Does Steam actually make any such assertion – something like “your right to cancel ends when you download the game?”

      That would explain why pre-orders are refunded without question but once a game is released, they feel they don’t have to honour the DSR any longer?

    • johnpeat says:

      p.s. I just attempted to read Steam’s “Subscriber Policy” (available in the checkout if you choose to buy a game) and it confirms that they view all purchases as ‘services’ and not ‘goods’.

      All other sections relating to refund and cancellation are marked as “may not be applicable in the EU” which suggests they’re aware of the law here – frustratingly tho, they don’t then qualify their position.

      What I could NOT see was any wording which suggested that your right to cancel ends when you download/install/play the game – and that would be required if you follow the strictest letter of the DSR.

      Only thing is – as sheng-ji suggested originally – if everyone suddenly decides to invoke the DSR and demand a refund – you can bet those words will appear in there sharpish!!

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      wengart says:

      You could probably just tell Steam Support that the description of the DRM was false.

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      Alegis says:

      thanks sheng-ji, nice write-ups

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      Buzko says:

      Sigh. Right.

      For those in Australia, the state and Commonwealth legislation was recently standardised into the Australian Consumer Law. It’s found as a schedule to the various Fair Trading Acts and the national Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

      Section 18 of the ACL prohibits corporations from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. Section 29 prohibits specific types of false or misleading representations about goods or services, for instance regarding performance characteristics (29(g)). There’s also a specific Consumer Guarantee stating that goods* must match the description they were sold under (section 56). Consumer Guarantees cannot legally be excluded (section 64). Consumer can take legal action to enforce Consumer Guarantees (section 259) and force the supplier to give them a remedy, which can include a full refund (section 261).

      For more information, see the ACL website.

      TL;DR version: if you’re in Australia you probably have rights to a remedy, should you choose to pursue it. You probably have rights elsewhere too.

      * I don’t know whether software has been held to be a good or service in Australia. IANAL, but I work in this area.

  2. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    Between this and the Deus Ex HR debable, it’s really not a good week for PC gaming. I’m far more annoyed at the UK/EU region split than any previous DRM nonsense, since this means that an Irish buyer I’m forced to buy bricks and mortar retail (even then, we’re still unsure as most of those have UK stock).

    P.

    • Paul says:

      Hey, at least there is still awesomeness that is CDProjekt and Mojang. Their PC news this week have been great.

    • Gaytard Fondue says:

      And Tripwire Interactive, ahem

    • Gnoupi says:

      Well, PC gaming had Bastion (nice console port, aside from the keyboard control, ok), and Space Pirates and Zombies this week.
      It has Rock of Ages coming by the end of the month, and Renegade Ops by mid-september. So far the best period of the year! (well, for me at least)

    • KingMudkip says:

      Don’t forget Supergiant. (Yes, I bought Bastion yesterday. Yes, it is epic. Yes, I am biased.)

    • evilmatt says:

      Paul: CDProjekt are dead to me until they treat all customers equally regardless of which vendor’s graphics hardware they bought.

    • skocznymroczny says:

      Blame the players. If a lot of gamers didn’t join the valve worship cult, publishers wouldn’t have the technical means to reach a lot of gamers with stuff like regional locks. Now that steam is adopted pretty widely (I don’t use it), they can do nasty stuff and all gamers will say is “GREAT THX FOR STEAM”

    • Paul says:

      evilmatt – what are you talking about ? Witcher 2 runs amazingly on AMD 6950 as well as on nVidia GTX560Ti ! Tested it on both, identical experience.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Sorry but your conclusion makes no sense. If publishers chose not to be twats we wouldn’t have those problems, it’s absolutely nothing to do with Steam. Steam is simply the most popular platform so it obviously ends up suffering from it.

      And stop being such a fucking hipster. It’s apparently incredibly fashionable to hate Valve right now for no rational reason. Just as it was popular for people who had never used Vista to hate it a few years back. Ignorant morons unfortunately.

      EDIT: I have a Radeon 4850 which I play The Witcher 2 on fine as well. Sound like it could be another case of blaming a company for one’s own incompetence.

    • evilmatt says:

      Nvidia Surround works in Witcher 2, Eyefinity does not. The way that both technologies work (by tricking windows into seeing one large screen rather than multiple screens) means that coding the graphics engine to properly support any aspect ratio should allow it to work with both. Therefore it is likely that the graphics engine is coded deliberately to detect AMD hardware and fail to render properly in multiple monitor resolutions – this is alleged as Nvidia provided support and sponsorship of the game.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It’s actually far more likely it is a mistake, but you’re very angry and cynical about it I’m guessing.

    • evilmatt says:

      It’s been pointed out to them as a bug in their tech forums and the response was “we never claimed to support Eyefinity, so suck it up” basically. However their engine handles aspect ratios incredibly poorly even in single monitor resolutions so maybe they just have shit coders? See http://widescreengamingforum.com/forum/15293/witcher-2-fov for a nice debate on the topic.

    • Prime says:

      “And stop being such a fucking hipster. It’s apparently incredibly fashionable to hate Valve right now for no rational reason. Just as it was popular for people who had never used Vista to hate it a few years back. Ignorant morons unfortunately.”

      No, Dr Gonzo, we keep trying to tell you our reasons for both but people like you keep jamming your fingers in your ears, shouting “IT’S FINE, REALLY IT’S FINE” and calling us morons when we don’t suddenly march in step with your truth. But that’s okay, you delude yourself into thinking this is all just some kind of mass “hipster” brainfart. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

      Berk.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Calling out Valve for legitimate problems is fine, and should be done frequently since Steam is so ubiquitous.

      But claiming that it’s Valve’s fault for creating the technological infrastructure that allows things like region locks is like saying antibiotics are bad because sometimes they lead to drug-resistant strains. That’s just one negative externality of an otherwise mostly positive technology.

    • sneetch says:

      Blame the players. If a lot of gamers didn’t join the valve worship cult, publishers wouldn’t have the technical means to reach a lot of gamers with stuff like regional locks. Now that steam is adopted pretty widely (I don’t use it), they can do nasty stuff and all gamers will say is “GREAT THX FOR STEAM”

      The idea that it’s Steam that’s enabling them to add region locking is just wrong. They obviously kept track of which sets of CD keys they sent to which region it’s a trivial matter to add region locking to any online activation system.

      You may as well blame the internet for this “GREAT THX FOR INTERNETZ”

    • Commisar says:

      Ah well, at least we have Bastion

  3. Iska says:

    Fair enough. Was only somewhat interested, due to the reviews, even though the concept grabbed me when it was originally revealed.

    I’ll just get bastion instead.

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    Crimsoneer says:

    Thank god. I was hesitating between spending my spare cash on this or Bastion, and Bastion has proved to be the FAR SUPERIOR choice. So at least no regrets on my part, and now I just need to buckle down and save up for DX:HR

    Still, it’s such a shame. People really need to stop relying on the “shit out rubbish port” button on the Xbox dev kit.

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    piphil says:

    I once emailed Blue Byte about how I would have loved to play their latest Settlers game, but couldn’t the customer-punishing DRM. I never got a reply.

    Maybe RPS, with your myriad of tendrils dug deep within the gaming world and the contacts that brings, could ask Eric Chahi, for the benefit of those interested in his game, why he chose to publish with a company that so clearly has lost the plot?

    Edit: Out of interest, is the From Dust/Bastion choice due to the ZeroPunctuation double-review…?

    • mickygor says:

      For me, it’s the price point. I’m poor at the moment.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I would love to hear Eric’s opinion on this mess.

    • malkav11 says:

      Blue Byte probably has no control over the DRM whatsoever.

    • Edawan says:

      Why Eric Chahi choose Ubisoft ? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s as simple as : Chahi is french, Ubisoft is french, easier to work with them.

      And Ubi as “lost the plot” only if you care about PC.

    • tyrsius says:

      @Edawan:

      Yea, it does only matter if you care about the PC. Oddly enough, you will notice that you posted your comment on a PC GAMING SITE, where folk tend to care about the PC.

  6. Sian says:

    I wish I hadn’t pre-ordered it. Won’t do so again with Ubi’s games.

    • James says:

      Same, Ubisoft have next to nothing to offer my tastes anyhow.

    • KingMudkip says:

      Aside from Beyond Good & Evil, yeah, I can’t think of a single Ubi game I’ve enjoyed.
      And BG&E had a worthless port as well. Hmm… I smell a trend.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Why would anybody buy, let alone pre-order, any new Ubisoft titles?

      This behaviour is not exactly new. They have been repeatedly sticking a middle finger up at their customers since introducing this hideous DRM system.

    • skinlo says:

      Speak for yourselves, I like a lot of Ubisofts IP, its just the stupid publisher getting in the way.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @KingMudkip
      Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is one of the greatest PC games of all time. And it was very awesome ‘port’. Actually the game still looks better than recent PS3 HD remake.

    • mythmanlegend says:

      The reason I pre-ordered it was I hadn’t realised it was by ubisoft until I installed and the games loader came up. Didn’t ubisoft break steam t&c with From dust because the game itself downloaded Updates not steam.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @mythmanlegend: Doubt it; Champions Online does the same thing, and was one of the opening lineup of Steam’s Free to Play games.

  7. Moni says:

    Can you at least play it with a mouse? A frame cap and no anti-aliasing aren’t the worst problems.

    • Sian says:

      You can, but the controls are a bit iffy. As soon as your cursor is just a bit off-center, the screen starts scrolling. It’s very annoying.

      Also, the options menu: As in most games, you select “options” and are presented with a selection of controls, display, what have you. You select display (for example, it happens with every submenu), adjust your resolution and press done – and get thrown back to the main menu instead of the options menu. It’s not a big deal, but annoying enough for me.

    • John Walker says:

      You’re right it’s a small thing, but you’re also right that it’s bloody annoying. It demonstrates a serious lack of care.

    • talon03 says:

      Re Sian: yeah, I noticed the exact same thing, almost as if someone had applied the constraints used for an analog stick to the mouse. Oh wait, that’s exactly what they have done.
      From start to finish the game reeks of shoddy console port. Lack of camera control, shoddy mouse control, unintuitive buttons, lack of anti-aliasing… this list goes on

    • merc-ai says:

      I can confirm that the mouse is “possessed” in this game. Try not moving it to enjoy a scene, and the cursor (and screen) will start moving on their own. Annoying, and definitely a sign of bad port.

      Which is sad, because the game is interesting and engaging (also notice I did not claim that it is “fun”).

    • ludde says:

      I won’t touch a game that’s locked at 30 fps. It’s simply not enjoyable.

      So for me, I’d be very annoyed if I had bought it not knowing.

    • Magnetude says:

      “I won’t touch a game that’s locked at 30 fps. It’s simply not enjoyable.”

      Oh, come on now, you’d live.

      No AA is pretty inexcusable though, the only reason I didn’t pick this up on Xbox was so I could play with a mouse, and AA is pretty important when you’re 3ft away from the screen. Well, because of that and the ridiculously exploitative Xbox system of selling MS dollars in quantities slightly less than the price of a decent game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Y-you guys are joking about not playing a game because of a perfectly normal framerate and no AA, right? This is a parody. You’re mocking that kind of shallow idiocy. Your real objection is the iffy controls and DRM that means you can’t play at all, right? Right? Got to be, right? Agh.

      IT DOESN’T SUPPORT THE DIRECTX 9000, WHY U HATE PC

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Ugh, don’t get me started. I’ve had a leftover 80 points on my Live account since 2008! It’s a dollar. WTF am I going to get with a dollar? No, I am not buying s friggin’ hat for my stupid avatar. The only time I care at all about clothes for that thing is when I earn it in a game, and then not very much.

      I think I could get something from the indie games section for a dollar, if I knew where they hid the indie games section, or if there were any way at all to judge what’s good, if there’s anything good at all. What a shame. It was a cool idea to try and get some of PC’s indie love on a console, but MS just left it chained up in the basement to starve to death.

    • Sian says:

      @stupid_mcgee: This is actually worse than edge scrolling. Just being slightly off-center is enough for the view to shift. This makes it hard to dump stuff precisely where you want it to go – heck, it makes it annoying to just stop and look at the (quite neat) landscapes, because you can’t hide your cursor somewhere out of the way.

    • Eclipse says:

      “A frame cap and no anti-aliasing aren’t the worst problems.”
      What? O_o
      30 fps means the game is almost unplayable, and no antialias means it also looks fugly.
      Also a 30fps cap means it would probably run without a proper vsynk, and that leads to visible tearing when you move the camera around

      @LionsPhil: sorry but perfectly normal framerate my ass, 30fps is the MINIMUM playable framerate, a perfectly normal fps value is 60.

    • Kaira- says:

      “30 fps means the game is almost unplayable”

      Wait what? For me, 12 FPS means almost unplayable (as in barely playable), 30 FPS is smooth enough for me. Don’t know about you guys, though.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Perception/tolerance of framerate varies wildly between individuals, and is highly subjective.

    • enshak says:

      You can uncheck mouse scroll in the options menu, for some reason it does not work for everyone, and crank up mouse accelaration to go from my opinion an unplayable control scheme to a tolerable one.

    • LionsPhil says:

      60 is pretty much a maximum—physically so, in the world of flatscreens, 75 at a push. The display simply isn’t capable of updating more often than that.

      Sure, for twitchy old UT99/Quake 3, I want a rock-steady 60. This is a strategy game. It doesn’t demand that kind of framerate, and a above-cinematic 30 is entirely sufficient.

      This is pure “I AM A PC GAMER SO I NEED BIG NUMBERS” wankery.

    • johnpeat says:

      “Perception/tolerance of framerate varies wildly between individuals, and is highly subjective.”

      That may be true but it has nothing to do with the sort of people who rage on the internet about how a game not doing 100s of fpsssss which makes their PC’s rumble and glow, so hard are they working, is “crap” :)

      Anyone who struggles to play a game running at 30fps has a serious physical defect – and clearly didn’t play any games before about 2000 ;)

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      Aninhumer says:

      It’s not that 30fps and no AA makes it unplayable, it just makes it much less enjoyable for me. It just means I will be slightly annoyed by the graphics throughout the game, most likely preventing me from getting any kind of immersion. And as I have plenty of other games which do support these features, I’d much rather play them than subject myself to those minor irritations.

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    Sunjumper says:

    And another game by Ubi-Soft that I was very much looking forward to that I will now not buy. (It must be around five now) The incompetence evidenced by them time and again is quite impressive.

  9. vanilla bear says:

    There are three fairly clear strands of DRM –

    (1) Activation – one-time only online registration.
    (2) Launch verification – online log-in every time the game is launched.
    (3) Always-on – permanent internet connection required whilst playing.

    Ubisoft really need to stop exploiting the ambiguity of saying “one-time only online activation. After which you will be able to play the game offline” when they mean that’s what happens each time you play – it shouldn’t be hard to explain what they mean more precisely.

    • Shadowcat says:

      The term “DRM” may have been coined since the internet became popular, but the concept and implementations thereof pre-date that time quite considerably. It’s not all “online”.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      To be fair, it does look as though they were being quite clear – “one-time only online activation” means option 1. The only problem here is that the person giving this info was either lying, mistaken or badly informed by someone else within Ubisoft, because From Dust obviously uses option 2.

    • vanilla bear says:

      Sorry, I meant DRM of the sort that companies like Ubisoft seem to want – obviously there are lots of other possibilities both online and off.

      I think that what they said is capable of being interpreted as launch verification – but the natural interpretation is as “one-time only, ever”. I suspect that whoever wrote that was seeking to be misleading.

  10. deanb says:

    I’d already put off a pre-order because whispers from the console release had suggested it’s not very long and rather restricted with what you can do. A tech demo for some fancy water physics. But to hear about this I’m rather glad I had put off the pre-order now.

    It’s a shame, the game looked really pretty and I thought it could have been really interesting. I’d rather Ubisoft just didn’t release games on PC at all than attempt to catch out a few stragglers with their shoddily made PC games.

  11. edwardoka says:

    Important consumer advice; thank you.

    I was wavering about buying this last night, despite my deep disdain for Ubisoft’s behaviour, which has just become more pronounced.

    • Serekh says:

      That’s the only way this will ever change. It’s going to be tough passing up the next Assassin’s Creed, but f**k that noise.

    • wonderpookie says:

      “It’s going to be tough passing up the next Assassin’s Creed, but f**k that noise.”

      Preach it brother! The last AssCreed game was a pretty shoddy port in this humble gamer’s opinion. Worse than that was the lack of support in helping to correct various issues.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was an excellent port.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      And on time, too!

  12. Keilnoth says:

    Just don’t buy that game. No need to complain. That is the best lesson for Ubi anyway. Nobody buying their game anymore. Consumers are us and we have the final word on their politics.

    What already makes me LOL is that within one year they will start complaining : “We are being pirated a lot. See how much less we sell games. Boo boo…”.

  13. Delixe says:

    I’m sorry but Ubisoft outright lying to customers, surely that is illegal it has to be? They were asked repeatedly about the DRM and repeatedly lied about it. It really doesn’t matter who’s fault the misinformation is, the end result is customers are being deceived and there has to be a case here?

    • Theory says:

      The way things are going with the major publishers, government/EU intervention is inevitable. The question is how soon.

  14. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Ubisoft are doing a really good job of teaching me not to bother buying their games, that’s what they’re trying to do right?

    • evilmatt says:

      No what they’re trying to do is make you buy the console version.

  15. Ondrej says:

    Meh, Ubisoft. Not interested in any of their games anymore. I just read the news for the kicks.

    EDIT: also, props to RPS for saying the most needed words out loud (DO NOT BUY)

  16. Maxheadroom says:

    First and last time i spontaneously pre order anything. Stoopid TF2 hat taking advantage of me being drunk with access to a credit card

    • Sian says:

      I wanted to save money and bought when the exchange rates were at their best (accessing Steam from Switzerland sends you to the European store page). Ended up throwing money out of the window…

  17. Hides-His-Eyes says:

    How about ubisoft just cut the bullshit and stop these awful PC ports altogether?

  18. Skorp says:

    Not to mention the Kb/m controls which are horrible. I was really looking forward to the PC Version of this because of the complaints i heard about the controls on the console but now I wish i hadn’t bought it :/

    Well, at least i got Bastion which is amazing

    • mythmanlegend says:

      I gave up with the keyboard and mouse after minutes and swithched to gamepad.
      I did it to for bastion but that was only so I could move diagonally, but with from dust it was almost unplayable without the gamepad. I was very disapointed.

  19. Paul says:

    30 fps cap is even worse than DRM for me. SO GLAD I read this before buying.

    FUCK YOU, UBIFOCK.

  20. Bilbo says:

    Much more likely someone ballsed up, either between the forum poster or the (most likely individual) developer who’s handling the online component, than that they’re deliberately lying to consumers to purposefully destroy their credibility and confidence in their company. Lets’ forget for five seconds that everything happens instantly on the internet and give the poor buggers a chance to explain themselves, eh?

    • Magnetude says:

      The fury in these comments might be a bit overblown, but it serves a purpose. If we don’t get angry about it they’re not going to come out and explain themselves or fix it out of the kindness of their hearts.

      Angry Internet Men can be a force for good, sometimes.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Maybe if this was a one time only problem, sure, but Ubisoft have been getting progressively worse and worse over the past few years. Maybe it was a mistake, presonally i doubt that, but it was still a major mistake to make, that resulted in a lot of people buying a game they wouldn’t have otherwise. And let’s not forget the horrible porting, which I thought was something that might have finally been changing now that PCs aren’t the pariahs they were a few years ago.

    • Bilbo says:

      I’m not disputing that the outcry isn’t justified – Ubisoft take the piss and are pretty much indefensible – it’s really just the timing and the logic I’m questioning. They’ve not had much of an opportunity to answer for this mistake yet and yet people are leaping to the conclusion that they’re deliberately lying to their customer base for the sake of a couple of sales, which is a heck of a jump to make in no time at all in my opinion and too kneejerk to really credit as coming from the mouths of the well-versed paragons of the games industry and monuments to responsible consumption that rock paper shotgun commenters all are

  21. Antsy says:

    Ubi! You IIIIIIDIOT!

  22. Jumwa says:

    I’d love to see some (preferably all, but let’s be realistic) game sites refuse to cover Ubisoft releases until they give up this nonsense. The way they are attacking consumers? They don’t deserve our sales, they don’t deserve your promotion for anything other than their blatant mistakes.

    • Xercies says:

      I really feel sorry for the developers at Ubisoft to be honest, they don’t really have a say in this and so aren’t getting any money from us for there interesting ideas because they are with such a horrible company. It kind of makes me sad :(

  23. willfarb says:

    Goddamn it, just bought From Dust an hour ago, been playing it since then. Didn’t realise it had the pain drm :-(

    Wonderful game, awful controls, no good graphics options – which is a shame as on some computers this could look truly amazing. Didn’t know I had to use some stupid Ubisoft login thing as well. Very sad now.

    Edit to say: Not blaming RPS for “not telling me” or any such nonsense :) Also, the controls really *are* awful. Should have bought Bastion instead – I almost had to flip a coin.

  24. Ultimanecat says:

    By the by, it is not a stretch to say that this opens Ubisoft to legal action in any country with robust consumer protection law.

    Obviously this will vary by where you live and the ease of access you have to complaint apparati. For instance, in Australia this is very likely grounds for standing for a complaint under s 18 of Australian Consumer Law (specifically, for misleading or deceptive conduct).

    Not like I actually expect anybody to hit the courts over this. Just letting you know that it’s pretty much illegal in many parts of the world.

  25. Jnx says:

    I agree and disdain the Ubi DRM, but still this a bit harsh.

    The game really is a lacking port though, I can stand the lack of AA but not having vertical sync is pretty bad. Screen tearing is disturbing. Controls feel a bit off too, might be more enjoyable on a pad. Still the tech is impressive so if you’re into that sort of stuff it’s not a bad investment for its low price. I haven’t run into any problems other than it being not as good as it could.

    Also note that this isn’t a godgame in the style of populous and such. More like a terraformer puzzle game.

    (Long time lurker joining in too btw..)

  26. Preyer says:

    The game seems to have some issues, but I’m still loving it.

    Ubi-DRM hasn’t bothered me.

    The controls are a little weird, but I just plugged in my PS3 controller.

    And even if the framerate has been locked etc., in my opinion it’s still beautiful and plays nicely.

    I actually enjoy it so much that I just spend time in each level changing where the rivers flow and building walls and playing with the world.

  27. theloz says:

    Glad to see Ubi is persisting in using their cutting edge DRM technology – horrible PC ports that nobody would want to illegally download. That’ll show those filthy pirates!

    • evilmatt says:

      A cracked version is available in the usual places already. No idea if anyone’s actually bothering with it though. Amusingly I found the cracked version whilst googling “from dust pc demo”. Of course there isn’t an official demo available, as then people would find out how shit the port is before spending their cash.

  28. manveruppd says:

    Good on you for making a stand on this, RPS! It’s time publishers learned that consumers are not sheep that can be made to buy anything and swallow any indignity if they just throw enough marketing dollars at us! We have plenty of options for our entertainment and we don’t need to give money to companies that treat us like crap, like a confused Stockholm Syndrome sufferer.

  29. JackShandy says:

    Ashes to ashes…

    • Arglebargle says:

      Dust to dust
      If the Camels don’t get you
      The Fatimas must…

  30. Ice-Fyre says:

    I like this post, seems to have abit more bite to it than normal

  31. Jams O'Donnell says:

    What happens if you disconnect your internet while playing? Does it boot you out or let you carry on?

  32. sneetch says:

    Oh Emmm Gee.

    No wait, that’s not enough: Oh My Tap-Dancing God! I think they’ve just deleted the post from ms-kleaneasy where she said:

    “We are aware of some confusion over the inclusion of DRM in the release of From Dust on PC.

    To prevent any on-going confusion we would like to clarify From Dust PC will release with DRM requiring a one-time only online activation. After which you will be able to play the game offline.

    We hope this clears any outstanding confusion on the matter”

    Edit: ah, John Walker spotted that before I did. Good work that man, glad to see your action-man eagle-eyes are fully functioning!

    Edit: And it’s back. Wow, amazing how the computer temporarily “ate” the post them recreated it, computers huh, who knows?

  33. Voight-kampff says:

    The port is laughable and the controls are terrible. I’m in a bit of a fix as I will always suport Eric Chahi and I will always support BlueByte, but i HATE giving money to the shitheads over at UBI.

  34. SirKicksalot says:

    I bet the framerate is locked because that’s the framerate the physics engine works at.

  35. Lemming says:

    See it’s stuff like that this that makes me buy a game on my PS3 instead. From Dust, Deus Ex and Diablo 3 will all probably get bought on my PS3, not because it’s my preferred medium but because I feel like it’s the only way I can play a game without all this insidious bullshit.

    It was only a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of playing these games on anything but my beloved PC.

    • Ultimanecat says:

      I’m pretty sure this is what Ubisoft would prefer you did anyway.

    • Sian says:

      I wouldn’t touch Diablo 3 with a ten-foot pole, even on the PS3, because I really can’t support Blizzard’s decisions anymore. And Deus Ex… I just can’t stand shooters on consoles. I’ll still play it on the PC, though, because I don’t see the problem with the region locking thing right now.

    • cmi says:

      “I’m pretty sure this is what Ubisoft would prefer you did anyway.”

      this. and it works. you don’t care about pc anymore, you buy console games.

  36. Kefren says:

    Yay for screenshot evidence!

  37. Kaira- says:

    What a shame, I was kinda looking forwards to this.

    Also, I found this a bit ironic/funny coincidence.

    E: wait, what do you mean it wasn’t a video, but a picture?

  38. somnolentsurfer says:

    Disappointing. Had been quite looking forward to this.

  39. arienette says:

    Careful John, next they’ll be disappearing you.

  40. Bilbo1981 says:

    I want to know about the legality of selling something and not informing about the DRM. There was no mention you need a UPLAY account to play. I’m going to ask for my money back, the games a broken POS, I suggest others to do this also.

  41. cmi says:

    Don’t buy anything from Ubisoft until it’s on sale. One day, they might shutdown the pc at all because of bad sale numbers (“pc = pirated to hell!!!!”), but seriously, I don’t care.

  42. Premium User Badge

    Nero says:

    Ubisoft is such a joke.

  43. Inigo says:

    Our game has always had online DRM.
    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

  44. ZephyrSB says:

    This is getting shameful. EA, 2k, THQ, Squeenix, Ubisoft….I think I’m running out of triple-A publishers that haven’t done SOMETHING to make me re-consider buying games from them at some point. No wonder I’ve been buying nothing but indie games the last few years…

    Well, at non-bargin bin prices, anyway.

  45. ru_disa says:

    It is simply impossible that the people in charge at Ubi don’t see this kind of treatment of PC customers as abusive, just as we do. Thinking that would imply a level of ingenuity and naivety on Ubi’s part that pretty much puts them out of touch with reality.
    This lying their way around the issue they do every time seems to prove this point…
    It seems to me much more plausible that these “measures” are taken in response of investors’ request. Some asinine, ignorant man with a giant cigar and a cowboy hat threatens to stop showering Ubi with the money he derives from his 1000 oil wells, unless Ubi (and I quote the conversarion exactly as I imagine it happened) “Stops this piracy thing now, with this new method my son, who’s a goddamned EXPERT of videogames, came up with!”
    After all, we are talking about a huge corporation, not some kind of uncompromising lovers of art and fair-play…
    Am I being absurd?

    • cmi says:

      Either too many people “decide” stuff at Ubisoft without talking to eachother. Would consider this an serious option, even though it’s not a healthy one.

      Or all this shit is intentionally to dry out their pc branch and cut it off one day because it’s no longer worth the “effort”.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Or all this shit is intentionally to dry out their pc branch and cut it off one day because it’s no longer worth the “effort”.

      I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such an analysis. If the directors of Ubisoft don’t think producing games for PC provides an adequate return on investment, or if they decide it’s not going to be part of the company focus, or for any other reason, they can just shut it down. There’s no need for an elaborate conspiracy of shoddy PC ports to make a case for it.

  46. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I am glad that I stopped buying full price Ubi games a long long long time ago, my last one was, Chaos Theory, I think. I got conviction on the summer sale for like 9$ or something, but that was just more because I fell in love with the first two so much (never really played pandora’s box or rogue agent – heard RA was shit anyway.)

    But yeah, boo hiss!
    Thank you for eliminating all your inventory of games/future games/ips from my list of “must have games”
    Guess I’ll just have to put up with DX, Skyrim, BF3, SSBFE3, D3 and all the other great games coming out.

    E:@ updates, lol, but seriously Ubi, get your head right, and then come back with something absolutely mind-blowing, and maybe, just maybe I might buy it, but, judging from these latest moves by ubi, that might be too optimistic.

  47. Mitchk says:

    There are simply not enough faces and palms in this world to illustrate how silly all of this is getting

  48. deadstoned says:

    Advice heeded thanks RPS! Will not even think of buying this during a sale til they get their DRM out of this.

  49. Deadpool46 says:

    Deleting forum posts to cover up for their mistakes is just poor, poor form. What is Ubisoft playing at?

    Could you imagine the uproar if this treatment was experienced by Xbox or PS3 owners?

    • diamondmx says:

      The uproar would be simple but effective, mass returns of the game for full price refunds without argument.

      Only PC has to take it up the ass like this. Carpe Diem, PC gamer.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fitzmogwai says:

      Carpe Diem, or Caveat Emptor?

  50. NaFola says:

    I was really looking forward to this game when I first saw it. Then came the reports of the launch delay followed by the somewhat disappointing console reviews. I was still thinking about persevering with it, but decided to wait until it launched for PC and get the initial impressions. Now i’m glad I waited, and shall continue to wait until a demo is released. My expectations are now quite low, so maybe i’ll end up finding it somewhat enjoyable regardless.

    The thing that bothers me though, is that this kind of situation can put developers/publishers off of putting titles out for PC full stop. If they feel it’s “too much hassle/cost” to “cater” for the PC, then they won’t do it. It’s much simpler for them to shoehorn everything into a workable pipeline, where they wont have angry internetters banging on their doorstep. I know the PC seems to be slowly making a resurgence, but what happens come the next generation of consoles? This is far too big a topic to be discussed in the comments section of a news site, but it does make me wonder what the future holds for PC gaming, and gaming in general.

    • mihor_fego says:

      Worry about PC gaming? Sorry, but PC gaming is doing perfectly fine. If some publishers decide they won’t make the effort or just not release games on our platform, no problem. There’s a lot of console games I’d wished I played over the years but I can live without them. If a few more add up to the list, that doesn’t mean PC gaming suffers as a whole.

    • NaFola says:

      Yeah I know it’s doing well at the moment, and I didn’t say it was “worrying” as such, although the tone of my post was pessimistic due to initial reason for posting. I agree with you that it doesn’t mean PC gaming suffers as a whole, but it may still change what PC gaming has to offer (for good or bad). That’s why I said it is too big a topic to be discussed here. There is far too broad a scope for the long term potential outcomes. Also I can’t claim to have enough knowledge of the influencing factors or having analysed history enough to make a decent judgement on what may come though. Hence my “wonder”, rather than opinion.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Who cares if Ubi stops supporting the PC. Their games, even Assassin’s Creed, are uniformly mediocre now. Their ports are always sloppy and indie/ other AAA developers can pick up the slack. I’ve spent more time playing indies this year than AAA games.