Ubisoft Edits Forum, Keeps From Dust DRM

By John Walker on August 18th, 2011 at 8:20 pm.

The best view of this game after the PC port.

Update: Lo-Ping are claiming that Steam is offering discounts to those who apply. Edit: A claim which is increasingly proven to be false.

Astonishing. Ubisoft have yet to respond to our questions today, when we asked why From Dust was requiring an internet connection to launch despite their making it very clear it would not. They also have yet to respond to our queries as to why it hasn’t been properly ported, despite the weeks of last-minute delay for the PC version. And now, incredibly, rather than apologising to the huge numbers of people who had been deceived by the previous untrue claims about the game’s DRM, they’ve instead just deleted the post, and put up a new one. From Dust requires an internet connection to launch, and tough shit if you bought it when they were saying otherwise. (Edit: They’ve now somewhat confusingly edited in the original post to the new post.)

Click me.

This comes hot on the heels of Ubisoft’s previous struggle with sticking to their statements, after Driver: San Francisco was given a delay on PC last week, despite their having promised otherwise. I’d link to the tweet where this was promised, but would you believe it – it’s been deleted.

Now we’re told, without a hint of humility,

“Due to the recent confusion over the type of DRM used in From Dust, please find the following explanation of the type of DRM used.

‘From Dust’ requires an internet connection when you start the game.

Make sure you are connected to the internet when you attempt to start the game.

After you have signed in and the game is running, you no longer need the internet connection and can disconnect from it if you so wish.”

“Confusion.” What an incredible choice of word. The way this almost mockingly mimics the phrasing of the original post -

“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”

- just seems doubly insulting to anyone who wasted their money on a product with such a built in redundancy.

There’s no apology for misleading customers, no explanation as to why the DRM was changed – hell, there’s not even an acknowledgement that they ever told a different story.

The game was delayed without explanation on PC, and has been given a pathetically shoddy port (no GFX options, barely sound options, awful mouse controls, 30fps artificial limit), and a working crack for the idiotic DRM was released just before the game came out.

It is such a horrendous shame that a game from such a legendary creator has been treated this way. We are so deeply disappointed that such a game, in a genre we adore, has been allowed to become tangled in such a nasty mess. Again, we strongly suggest that until these many issues are resolved, you do not spend your money on From Dust.

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280 Comments »

  1. wiper says:

    It deserved better. Oh well, at least there’s always the console version :(

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      For those who have consoles.

    • Nalano says:

      But buying the console version’s exactly what they want you to do!

    • skinlo says:

      Thats what they want you to do.

    • wiper says:

      Well, considering I owned the game long before this debacle became clear (I reviewed the game for its 360 release), the only difference the shoddy port and DRM has made is stopping me from buying a second copy of the game to play on my PC. So they’ve lost money for no gain from me.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      By far the easiest way for them to abandon the PC platform is to not release games on the PC, yes? Your conspiracy posts have :) faces at the end of them, please?

    • Nalano says:

      @ AndrewC

      I’m pretty sure their board of investors is forcing them to make at least a cursory showing on the PC. Can’t just abandon a market for the sake of convenience.

    • dsi1 says:

      @AndrewC: I doubt their shareholders would be happy if they backed out of a platform for no monetary reason. But sales going down on PC and up on consoles is a monetary reason.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Nope. Unless the console version isn’t from Ubi. I mean, will you really give then your money after what they are doing to PC Gaming?

      I think I’d have to say, I will never again buy a game from Ubi. I hope they go bankrupt and their studios get a better publisher. Even EA is way better than this. I can get as cold at this as you like, but they are mistreating their customers. And I hate that, a millionaire business that make every single stupid decision they can. I’m glad I haven’t bought the game.

      Which brings me to the next conclusion: never pre-buy a game. Wait for a discount and all necessary patches.

    • Wulf says:

      I’m with Nalano & Co on this.

      Thing is… I mean, it does look like it, doesn’t it? Even not being cynical at all, they’re just trying to make themselves as unpopular as possible, and they’re doing things that they know will turn a notable quotient of customers off their games. If RPS is anything to go by then that quotient is very notable.

      And it just seems callous. I can understand–to a degree–them putting DRM on their own games, but on the works of others that they’re just publishing? It all seems a bit fishy. And to be honest, I actually feel that Mr. Chahi is getting caught up in their motivations. That’s what makes my skin crawl about all this. It just feels as though they’re using a game not of their own library to prove to their investors that the PC isn’t a saleable platform any more.

      I mean, really… putting always-online DRM in From Dust? That has to seem a little suspicious, and again, that’s without even being cynical. It’s just weird. This is the first time I’ve hard of a game by a small developer having always-online DRM. It just… smells wrong. It’s a gut feeling, i suppose. I don’t like it.

      I can’t really give you any more than a gut feeling though but this just doesn’t sit right with me. I really don’t like it.

    • Soon says:

      DRM. You know. For gamers.

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      Cinek says:

      You know what’s most funny?

      That pirates released crack to this crap in 12 hours after From Dust release – so what was it worth for Ubisoft? Exactly nothing. They lost last pieces of their reputation, they got numerous requests for the re-founds, they got dozens of people disappointed with pathetic PC port, if that can be even called porting, they prevented exactly ZERO copies of their game to be pirated, but they outraged PC community.

      Ubisoft – what for did you delayed the game release from console version in a day before release if you did exactly nothing right in a matter of differences between console and PC version? It’s most screwed PC port of 2011. But wait… we know what for you needed that time – to break a promise to your customers and implement the always-on DRM.

      BRAVO Ubisoft! Your management bears a title of most foolish people in the entire game industry.
      It’s truly unbelievable how could you come up with something like this and think that it’ll come with no consequences.

      NO MORE to buying of the Ubisoft games!
      Vote with your money – so that it’d really make them feel it.

  2. outoffeelinsobad says:

    I want to quote a certain headless antagonist here.

    • jokomul says:

      If you’re referring to the antagonist I think you are, I do too.

      I’m almost glad they’re doing this though. People are going to be outraged and asking for refunds (I know I am). It’s going to be a mass of customers emailing Ubisoft demanding compensation. They have to deal with all that shit and see first-hand how much money they’re losing on the game because of it. I hope someone at Ubisoft loses sleep over this…

  3. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    Damn, this looks like the kind of game that’s right up my sleeve. Now I’ll wait a bit before buying it though.

    Can we expect a Wot I think?

    • John Walker says:

      Currently Wot We Think is: don’t buy it.

    • syntax says:

      There already is one, for the Console version. I expect the PC version will be exactly the same.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      Don’t buy it because of the DRM and all that, or because it’s a bad game?

    • Dozer says:

      Can you separate those? It’s from a callous publisher with horrible DRM. Is it relevant if the game itself is any good? By buying it, you’re supporting cultural terrorists. TERRORISTS (cultural)!!!

    • jokomul says:

      @Stijin It has great potential and it’s a fantastic concept. For me though, the DRM, clunky controls, FPS limit, lack of graphics settings, and limited save functionality completely negate any fun value it might have.

      If you really want to try it, either get it on Xbox or wait for a sale. Or wait to see if they fix some of this shit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      @jokomul: thanks!

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      It’s a shame, the Xbox version got some good reviews.

    • MrKay says:

      Just tried it for a few hours last night and when it wasn’t acting weird, it really shined. This could have been one of the more interesting titles this year, had they made a proper port and left the DRM at home. Sadly, things being as they are, I’ll ask for a refund and invest in Bastion instead.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      jokomul is pretty on the money. It’s fun (to me), looks good, and it really is a neat puzzle game. While the puzzles may be fun and all, they’re not very devious. They can be difficult, but it’s unlikely they’ll really ever stump anyone. The Story Mode is rather short, and the Story itself is kinda “meh”, but there is a rather large list of Challenges to keep you occupied.

      The problem lies in that it’s just not ported well and the controls suck. I get better performance in Brink than in From Dust. Interestingly, there are options to turn off mouse scrolling, but it doesn’t actually do anything. There’s still mouse scrolling. *sigh* Other than that, the controls are fairly normal and work rather well with the mouse.

      If Ubi can patch up the performance and give us an option to truly turn off mouse scrolling, I’d recommend this title (providing you can stand the DRM). Hopefully, the DRM will be changed to how it was originally stated. I, personally, do not appreciate that I was hoodwinked into supporting a DRM scheme that I vehemently stand against.

    • Avenger says:

      John said,
      do not spend your money on From Dust.

      He didn’t say don’t play it, now did he? ;)

    • dazman76 says:

      I bought my copy from D2D UK, so I’m unsure of where I stand with regards to refunds. I’m also “stuck in the middle” here, because I really quite like the game. The DRM situation is bullshit for sure, and it definitely does need some PC-specific fixes and tweaks – but I find myself wanting to keep the game and play it, rather than try for a refund.

      I know I really should be going the refund route, but meh… Deus Ex isn’t out for a whole week! My willpower is non-existent. If, however, anyone is organising a full assault on Ubi HQ with large weapons and explosions and everything… I’m in! Let’s squish those filthy lying buggers once and for all. I just need to be back here before Deus Ex arrives in the post.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      @Kadayi Haha, is he talking to a *literal* strawman? That’s amazing, but it really confuses exactly what point they’re trying to make there. Is it that pirates typically make self-fulfilling arguments, or that anti-piracy proponents only choose to argue with strawmen?

  4. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    Strongly considering returning this via Steam if I still can when I get home from work. The online connection at start isn’t a huge deal itself (I have a fairly consistent connection and I doubt my laptop can run this anyways), but the bait n’ switch and poor porting is grounds enough.

    • Shivoa says:

      I’m glad I got wind of this before clicking buy. Steam have been good to me the few times I’ve had to request a refund on a title (in one case it was an accidental purchase and, because I hadn’t run the game and they could check that, they could refund the purchase without issue – which I think is more than they’re obliged to do) but it does take a bit of time to process and is hassle I’m glad to avoid.

      I wonder if this will actually generate a significant number of refunds. After the generally positive reception to the console edition (with the main request being for better controls that a mouse would fix), I was very hopeful for a nice HD (1080p/120fps/sub-pixel rendering) release to play with better controls but it seems both of those features have been disabled because they couldn’t find a coder to work on anything beyond squashing CTD bugs in their PC compile of their console code.

      Messing about with some fluid physics seems like something nVidia would probably help push some expertise or cash behind to do higher quality tessellation/physX on their hardware platform (providing programmer aid is one of the more significant things nVidia does for PC gaming, having more software than hardware engineers on staff seems like a good sign of intent to continue to do that). Considering the sub-£50k annual salary of a passable coder (especially in the lower than industry standard paying games coder area) and the expected revenue on the PC, it seems crazy to me that there was no realisation that a shoddy job would be a financial negative on the product (let alone the longer term sales dip from lack of consumer confidence in the brand).

      Of course the DRM / internet requirement for a game that might be played as sandbox fun on a train or other times away from an unfiltered (does this connection check only use port 80? There are many internet connections you can use but when away from home not all of them allow arbitrary ports to be accessed) internet connection make it a no go, even looking beyond the quality of the product compared to what it could have been given a tiny bit of extra development funding.

  5. Nighthood says:

    What a shame.

    That reminds me, WHERE IS THE HUMAN REVOLUTION WOT I THINK?!

  6. ResonanceCascade says:

    Oh for the herp of all that is derpy, I can’t believe these guys are serious!

  7. simonh says:

    Game pirated, so no DRM-issues for me.

    • frewster says:

      Yes, because pirating games encourages better PC ports. *rolls eyes*

    • Nalano says:

      I doubt there’s anything we as consumers can do with our wallets that would convince Ubisoft to make better PC ports.

    • yhalothar says:

      Foolproof copy protection at work.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I see there’s already a (non-scene) crack available, which makes the DRM doubly stupid.

      At least with AC2, it worked for about a month. Requiring activation on every startup rather than once on install seems to do absolutely nothing to deter pirates; it’s purely an anti-legitimate-customer move.

    • Gar says:

      Edit: Nevermind :P

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      Thanks for encouraging them to keep using their always on DRM scheme or to concoct something worse for the rest of us.

    • dorkus1218 says:

      As far as I’m concerned, if you want to play the game, slapping ubi in the face by pirating it instead of endorsing their obnoxious DRM with your money is a perfectly acceptable response.

    • Prime says:

      Neatly explaining why you’re called Dorkus, Dorkus.

      The ONLY thing big companies like Ubi look at is that piracy happens. They don’t care when, they don’t care why, they just know it happens and want it stopped. Pirating a game, for any reason, only gives them fuel for the fire they keep trying to build. When will you fools get it through your thick heads that it just makes things worse?

    • Tyshalle says:

      Frankly, if you’re actually buying into the “Pirating Games encourages UbiSoft to create worse DRM!” then you are a sheep. Don’t believe the lies Ubisoft is trying to spoon feed you. As has been pointed out by RPS numerous times with fairly sensible logic, DRM *only* hurts customers, and only drives *more* people to pirate their games. What Ubisoft is doing is not to be commended, or defended, or paid any respect at all.

      I have never pirated a videogame in my life, and I don’t anticipate ever doing so. But Ubisoft utterly deserves to have what would otherwise be paying customers start pirating the shit out of their games.

      DRM does not work. This is a proven fact. It’s never stood in anyone’s way. Pirates will have their games for free. That’s all there is to it. Pissing in the faces of your actual customers does not do anything at all to people who were never your customers at all. All it does is make your customers either stop playing your games, or stop paying for them. And considering the treatment, I have a hard time snubbing my nose at anyone who would take either option.

    • Fumarole says:

      If Ubi’s DRM is not intended as an anti-piracy measure, then what pray tell is its intended purpose?

    • Dozer says:

      Fumarole: I would also like to know. Perhaps DRM reduces ‘casual’ piracy of the lend-the-game-disk-to-a-friend kind, for people who can’t be bothered to find and install a cracked version, or take the risk the cracked version is actually full of viruses. That said, there’s no difference between horrible DRM and simple DRM in that regard.

    • Pinkables says:

      To kill the second hand market?

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Not going to pirate the game, because there are a ton of games that treat me decently that are already fighting for my time. Anyway, not going to beat this dead horse more.

      > “I doubt there’s anything we as consumers can do with our wallets that would convince Ubisoft to
      > make better PC ports.”

      Maybe not. But maybe if Ubi execs look in a month and see Bastion and Rock of Ages sell like hotcakes on PC while From Dust languishes, they’ll start to get the idea. But realistically they’ll just go “guess no one wants god games, huh?”

      It really is a shame, the game looked lovely and like a nice bit of fun.

    • Kent says:

      Indeed. It’s funny to think that they’re doing all this effort, have the game backfiring at their customers, then having the pirates walk off with a free copy, the same people this DRM was supposed to hinder before their customers could enjoy the game. Oh the irony.

      It’s in these cases I support piracy.

    • Xercies says:

      Pirating the game in this form is good, your playing the game the developer wanted you to play without all that Publisher nonsense on top of it. If you just send a check directly to him I’m sure he won’t mind if you do that :)

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      To kill the second hand market?
      Ding x3. People like to crow about piracy, but the biggest reason for DRM (even if most publishers won’t say it) is to kill the used game market. There’s nothing anyone can do about piracy (in terms of turning into sales), but there is something to be done about people who are willing to spend money on a used game,.

    • Catalept says:

      @Fumarole I’m sure UBISoft’s DRM is *intended* as an anti-piracy measure, but only in the same way that sacrificing grain to the sun-god is *intended* to bring an end to winter.

    • Fumarole says:

      Surely the console second-hand market is a greater concern for publishers than the PC second-hand market by quite a wide margin. Why then do we not see such measures there?

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      Funny enough, I had pre-ordered the game. However, I had notice it come online before it’s official release, so I pirated it because I didn’t want to wait for the real release. Because of the DRM nonsense, I won’t even be installing my purchased copy.

    • Kyrall says:

      Wouldn’t it be awesome to arrange a “piracy demonstration”?

      Just to prove that DRM does not reduce piracy, but encourages it, let’s make From Dust the most pirated game ever!

    • D3xter says:

      Being a Steam-only game AND requiring a Cd-Key would accomplish that task largely though.
      I don’t exactly get why they are trying to pull this, I mean I get their “Ubisoft Launcher” thing… they want to make a platform like GFWL, EADM, Battle.Net for themselves: http://uplay.uk.ubi.com/

      But I really don’t get what the “Always-Online DRM”, “Connect every time you start the game” and all that other crap is supposed to do other than pissing off customers? If they want people to use their platform to collect data and all that wouldn’t it be better to *entice* them to do so by like offering extra content and whatnot instead?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @Fumarole:
      If Ubi’s DRM is not intended as an anti-piracy measure, then what pray tell is its intended purpose?

      Nobody knows, but it can very well be established that they’re not being rational about this in the least bit. If they were, they would realize that it being on Steam is enough DRM to prevent casual piracy, and they should be smart enough to know that “hardcore” piracy isn’t going to be stopped. Ever.

      But they’re not realizing either. Frankly, I think the reason why we have this kind of DRM is simply Ubisoft’s incompetence. They have no fucking idea how to approach the PC market, and just based out of hearsay and superstition they think releasing a PC game without this kind of DRM will result in such a colossal rate of piracy that it will single-handedly destroy their entire business unit. That’s about as logical as they are being with their DRM anyway, so simply saying “they do this because they want to combat piracy” is clearly oversimplifying this scenario. Anyone who wants to combat piracy can do many, MANY other things that don’t involve clawing DRM on the back of gamers’ necks.

    • The Greatness says:

      I agree with Tyshalle. I’ve never supported piracy before and I would never support it with any other publisher but the way Ubisoft have treated consumers, some of whom have already payed for the game and were lied to, is appalling, and I don’t really care what you do with the game. As long as you don’t buy it, of course.

    • roryok says:

      I doubt there’s anything we as consumers can do with our wallets that would convince Ubisoft to make better PC ports.

      I completely agree. Although I also think there’s nothing we can do without our wallets.

      maybe if Ubi execs look in a month and see Bastion and Rock of Ages sell like hotcakes on PC while From Dust languishes, they’ll start to get the idea. But realistically they’ll just go “guess no one wants god games, huh?”

      They’ll never get the idea. These people are just incompetent moneygrabbers, fighting for a dwindling market in an recession. The people who make the decision to implement this DRM are most likely not gamers at all, let alone PC gamers. In a month they’ll look at the amount of money this game pulled in and decide to cut funding on a bunch of other PC games.

      No boycott, no online petition, no mailing campaign is ever going to force the hand of Ubisoft. As Nalano said, nothing we can do with our wallets will convince them

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      Question: if pirating these kinds of PC games were to *actually* drive publishers out of the PC market, how long would it take before PC gamers created their own porting Scene for cracked console games?

  8. runbmp says:

    yeah I made the mistake of buying this, the only part i’m thankful for is that I only paid 15$, however I should of just fired up my old copy of Black and white 2…

  9. Bishop says:

    The funny part is, it being a shoddy port takes this from a buy game straight into a don’t bother, completely bypassing the steal option. Poor quality is good at anti piracy.

    • Nalano says:

      What’s better for security: That the turd’s stored in Fort Knox, or that it’s a turd stored in Fort Knox?

  10. Cunzy1 1 says:

    So, Xenoblade Chronicles hey?

  11. Premium User Badge

    abhishek says:

    I don’t usually go apeshit over flawed ports but this one has to be one of the worst in recent times. It’s disgraceful. Very annoyed that I spent my money on this instead of Bastion.

    I’ve noticed a sentiment around the internet which absolves Eric Chahi of this mess and puts the blame squarely on Ubisoft and I don’t think that is at all right. It’s his game, and it’s as much his fault if not more that it was ported and released like this.

    • skinlo says:

      No, I disagree.

      If the publisher says you have to publish it by a certain time, you have to publish it, whether its ready or not.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      It’s a tough call. But when he started working on it however many years ago, it was his responsibility to plan development such that the PC and console versions were being progressed appropriately.

      I mean, was some Ubi exec looking over his shoulder going “no, put this other tsunami level in before making sure the PC code can do more than 30FPS.” I just don’t see them meddling on that level.

      It is plausible that they gave him some intern to do the PC code, I suppose, or he was sharing one overworked PC programmer’s time with other projects? I dunno how things work exactly, but it seems like the responsibility for delegating whether people are working on making more content or making the PC version work would rest with him, not some producer looking at spreadsheets somewhere in another building.

      Eh, this is all just guesswork. I don’t hold it against him, but neither can I absolve him of blame without knowing more.

    • Premium User Badge

      abhishek says:

      If the publisher says you have to publish it by a certain time, you have to publish it, whether its ready or not.

      Almost every game has this restriction. And almost none of them fuck up the PC version as badly as this game has done. It’s shoddy, irresponsible work and I don’t see why Eric Chahi should not take the blame for any of it.

    • Pinkables says:

      Do we know that this port was done inhouse? They often outsource the PC porting to another dev team.

  12. psyk says:

    “The game was delayed without explanation on PC, and has been given a pathetically shoddy port (no GFX options, barely sound options, awful mouse controls, 30fps artificial limit)”

    Ahhh missed your chance to dig at the 360.

  13. dorkus1218 says:

    One-time only activation, every time you play. I certainly think this is willfully misleading wording, but I guess that’s what they meant.

    • John Walker says:

      No – there’s no room for that explanation. “One-time only” cannot be mistaken to mean “every time you play”, as if there are games that require multiple activations during play. It was unambiguous.

    • LintMan says:

      ‘”“One-time only” cannot be mistaken to mean “every time you play”, as if there are games that require multiple activations during play.’

      John, in their minds, I think the alternative to “one-time only per startup” is “continuous online enforcement”, which probably boils down internally to “multiple checks online during play”, ie: you get kicked off if you lose your connection, ie: AssCreed2 DRM.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @LintMan
      Another example of tweaking of DRM makes things complicated. Assassin’s Creed 2 now has the same DRM as ‘From Dust’ has: It requires an internet connection when you start the game.
      http://www.shacknews.com/article/67015/ubisofts-drm-no-longer-requires

    • Zyrxil says:

      @KenTWOu

      That is not entirely true, and is in fact, extremely misleading on Ubisoft’s part. The revised DRM on AssCreed 2 will not immediately kick you out of the game if you get disconnected from the Internet at any time, however you do need to be on the Internet to play. This is because the game actually downloads some small files at certain points from Ubisoft DRM servers, as you are playing. Without these files, the game simply can’t go on. It’ll wait to be able to connect to the Ubisoft server forever.

    • dorkus1218 says:

      John, I agree completely that there wasn’t anything ambiguous about their wording to anyone who’s been following this issue, and they should’ve known that, but I’m guessing this would be the defense they would take in a “neener neener neener” kind of way.

    • James says:

      @dorkus1218

      Stop apologizing for assholes. Please.

      Edit: Sorry, maybe you meant no harm. Still though, a spade is a spade.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      Maybe they played the PC port and didn’t expect anyone to want to fire it up a second time?

    • dorkus1218 says:

      I’m not apologizing for anyone–I’m stating my sense of the thinking behind this huge douche move on Ubisoft’s part. I don’t think I made that clear in my first comment, but I thought I did in my second.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Zyrxil says:
      …the game actually downloads some small files at certain points from Ubisoft DRM servers, as you are playing. Without these files, the game simply can’t go on.

      Did you check my link? You are completely wrong! I have both games Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, they didn’t download anything since January 2011. They check legitimacy only after every launch of the game (like From Dust). Then you can play both games offline! I tested this few times during several hours. If you turn on savegame synchronisation, they synchronize every checkpoint but only when you are online!

      Also after DRM update ‘these small files’ (as you named them) now stored in folders of Ubisoft Game Launcher. For example, this is the folder for Assassin’s Creed 2 ex-’online’ files
      c: Program Files (x86) – Ubisoft – Ubisoft Game Launcher – data – 4

      It contains 50 megabytes of data, so now the game loads these files from that folder not from Ubi servers.

  14. Drac40k says:

    the only problem I have is the lack of vsync. mouse controls are precise and smooth – don’t know what you are talking about, rps. however, I agree 100% on the whole DRM thing.

    • John Walker says:

      I’d like to be able to move the cursor around the screen without the camera hurtling off into the distance.

    • Cunzy1 1 says:

      @Walker

      How fussy can you get? You’ll want the moon on a stick next!

    • psyk says:

      Slowly very slowly sliding towards destructoid levels.

    • Cunzy1 1 says:

      Is that better or worse than Joystiq levels? I thought it had gone beyond destructoid levels very many moons ago.

    • Premium User Badge

      Napalm Sushi says:

      Turn off “mouse scroll” in control options. It doesn’t completely eliminate it, but it’s still much better.

    • rayne117 says:

      THE RPS IS DEAD

      LONG LIVE THE RPS

    • mueti says:

      Precise and smooth? You gotta be shitting me.

    • Stochastic says:

      As a game reviewer, it is part of John’s job to be fussy. Especially when something like this could have been fixed so easily. Perfectly valid criticism.

    • by.a.teammate says:

      I’m so glad everyone else is moaning about the controls, i’m not alone!

      It just seems mad you have to move the snake around, why not just have normal RTS controls? I understand it on a xbox but moving north and south with a mouse just feels wrong, hopefully a patch will fix this?

  15. nootron says:

    I bought it right when it came out.

    I feel dirty. *cries while sitting on floor of shower while scrubbing body with coarse-bristle brush*

  16. Persus-9 says:

    People who pre-ordered should report these guys to the Office of Fair Trading or their country’s equivalent. There is no way they should be allowed to get away with making such flagrant false claims about their products.

  17. darthmajor says:

    Now i just wish they cleared up the confusion over why i’m getting 13 FPS with a PC far exceeding the game’s requirements, and ran the witcher 2 fine >_>

    • terry says:

      This is what irks me the most. If they knew it ran like a pile of shit due to their horrible decision to lock the FPS, giving users even less options to finetune the performance is an act of appalling audacity.

      Incidentally, I found performance was *slightly* improved by offloading PhysX onto the graphics card in Control Panel, but its still unsatisfyingly floaty to control and still judders crazily in cutscenes.

  18. Laneford says:

    For once, I shall buy the 360 version and HOLD THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Hmm, I’m still not sure that’s possible. You’re just at the bottom of a moral cliff either way

    • skinlo says:

      Nope, buying the console version is certainly not the morale high ground.

    • Pinkables says:

      Unless they release a boxed copy and you buy it used.

  19. RaytraceRat says:

    Just spent my money on Bastion with soundtrack. Go play it and listen to the music, its way better way to spend your time than reading Ubi bull…

    • Prime says:

      I just spent my ‘From Dust’ money on S.P.A.Z instead. It’s brilliant, and only needs a – waitforit – one time activation. I’ve done that and now the game is mine to play as I see fit.

      So something positive has come out of all this negativity. Thanks, Ubisoft. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      SpakAttack says:

      Bastion is a much better way to spend some money.

  20. KenTWOu says:

    Just curious, Is it possible to remove 30fps limit via config.ini files?

    • terry says:

      There are registry keys for MSAA (1 or 0), resolution and refresh rate. No config files :(

    • KenTWOu says:

      That sucks. Now I begin to think that even $15 for this game is too much.

  21. WMain00 says:

    Think I might boycott Ubisoft games for a while.

    EDIT: I know people sort of go “fnar fnar” when people say “boycott” and a publisher, but in this scenario it seems rather worthwhile to consider doing so.

    • Thule says:

      I’m with you. And I’m actually someone with willpower so I’ll stick to my word. I’m not buying any Ubisoft titles unless they drop their horrible DRM policies.

    • Prime says:

      It’s a sensible choice. I had a set-to with someone here at the weekend just past for suggesting a collective form of the same thing. It’s only half the story, though. We still need to explain why we’re doing this to those we’re doing it to, just to be absolutely, unequivocally clear that conducting business this way is simply not acceptable:

      http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/index.php?p=69

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      I’m with you…. after Heroes VI.

      Although I admit there’s still plenty of time for them to tart it up with more DRM.

    • Kaira- says:

      I’m not going to go as far as boycotting, but simply not buying games unless they are all of the following:
      a) interesting enough for me
      b) price is right
      c) DRM is non-intrusive

      Or you can call it boycotting, whatever.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s really not boycotting until you make the putative target of your boycott aware of why you are doing it and what would cause you to end the boycott. It’s a tool for change. Simply avoiding purchasing Ubisoft products, while advisable, is not in itself a boycott because you are not giving them the information they would need to a) know that you are avoiding their products at all (it’s not like they can reasonably expect every single person on the planet to buy everything they make and there are myriad other possible reasons you might not buy them), and b) change things.

    • Hematite says:

      @Kaira:

      That sounds an awful lot like being an informed and discerning consumer.

      Get out of here you moderate freak!

  22. westyfield says:

    In future, can you guys make sure you clearly label every Ubisoft game, so I don’t get excited and then realise it’s DRMed up the arse, out the mouth and back again?
    Thanks.

  23. LintMan says:

    My guess is that for UBI, “one-time only online activation” clearly meant “one-time only online activation PER GAME STARTUP”. The last bit being left unsaid because it was unnecessary – obviously that’s the only interpretation because there was no way UBI was willing to NOT enforce its DRM each and every time you start the game.

    So UBI wasn’t lying to us, we’re just on a different planet than them.

  24. merc-ai says:

    I hope Ubi doesn’t get away with this easily.
    I would also love to know the level of responsibility of the dev team and the reasons behind the shitty port we got (as opposed to making a proper one).

  25. Eukatheude says:

    Looks like they also changed the system requirements.

    • Bilbo1981 says:

      I’ve applied for a refund on steam but not heard owt back yet. I”ll gladly spend the money on Bastion which seems like a good bet. Well played John Walker for pursuing this, this is the reason RPS is the only gaming website I read, theres very little BS on it and proper games journalism. Some annoying fanboy has replied to my post on the Ubisoft forums but I’m holding back giving him some sh*t :)

    • Kadayi says:

      No Steam are not offering refunds. That headline is misleading. The guy is just fishing for hits. Valve haven’t offered anything. He just implied they are and linked to their support page. There is no statement to that effect by Valve anywhere.

  26. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Ubi$oft, am I right?

    On a more serious note, I don’t care much about from dust, or the arbitrary and ultimately ineffective DRM it has, but screwing with your customers in that way (not documenting your edits to official statements) is just piss poor business practice.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    Just remember, saying ubisoft out loud sounds like “you be soft”.

    This is all about erectile disfunction

  28. Eclipse says:

    so fucking sad to see this game is #1 on Steam….

    • jokomul says:

      I bet it’s #1 in terms of refund requests too… too bad we can’t see those stats…

  29. DarkFarmer says:

    Combination of very linear, non-sandboxy gameplay with Ubi’s major hemming and hawing over the PC version of this has led to me deciding not to purchase it and continue to play SupCom Comp Stomps and maybe get Bastion instead.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      On that note, if you have Supreme Commander – Forged Alliance:

      1) download sorian AI mod:
      http://code.google.com/p/sorian-ai-mod/

      2) collect friends

      3) patch up to 1.5.3596, 1.5.3598, or 1.5.3599

      4) host IP/LAN game, and coop versus comps (1 for 1 is a good ratio, be sure to use NORMAL speed, the AI will crush you at Fast)

      5) profit

  30. Premium User Badge

    lorddon says:

    Time for an Amazon-style review bomb?

  31. StingingVelvet says:

    I really think this finally crosses a line where I can say I will not support Ubisoft products in the future unless they rectify this matter (and mean it).

    • Premium User Badge

      Rikard Peterson says:

      Let’s hope they get their act together – a few of my favourite game came from Ubi, and one of them is said to have a sequel more or less in the works. (BG&E) I’d be sad if something like this came between me and such a game.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Remember that you like games… even if you miss out on one or two because you have to boycott a specific company, there are plenty of others you won’t have to boycott at all.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Ubi is already dead to me, after what they did to Silent Hunter V, and IL-2 Cliffs of Dover.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Yeah, don’t expect anything to happen there unless you get a very large amount of people together.

      Ubisoft sees no difference between a person who just doesn’t want the game and a person who loudly and defiantly proclaims a “boycott” of their game.

  32. TLGAthena says:

    Already put in a request for a refund in light of the DRM. To hell with UBI. They can kiss goodbye to my cash for now.

  33. voidburn says:

    Y’all join me! Proudly not buying anything Ubisoft or EA. Blizzard is pending review but looks like it’s next if they continue with diluting game design with marketing features. As of today there’s only one AAA company I’m blindly buying games from: idSoftware, and I’m terribly worried about their integrity as well, since Bethesda acquired them.

    Bright side: there are so many indie games around these days that I hardly need anything AAA to actually have fun and get surprised by. I never felt this excited about discovering new games since the late ’90ies. Long live indie developers!

    • Thants says:

      I’m a long time Blizzard defender, but if Diablo 3 really does have always-online DRM then they’re dead to me.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Ubisoft and Blizzard I get, but I don’t know why I am supposed to boycott EA. They make pretty good PC versions and Origin is more relaxed DRM-wise than Steam.

    • Allegos says:

      @thants:

      I don’t want to derail the post, but Diablo III is guaranteed to have always-on DRM. They cite the real money auction house as a reason, as if they won’t drop purples into the market themselves to drum up cash, but the real reason is that Blizzard is dead set on getting what they think is their fair share of the LAN center business in the Pacific. They’re not going back to letting someone else make a cottage industry out of a Blizzard product, like what happened with Starcraft, without wetting their beaks.

  34. jay35 says:

    wish Ubisoft was a person so we could drag them out into the street and beat some sense into them.

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      Ubisoft would still have some nonsense in them. You have to beat the nonsense out, then beat some sense into Ubisoft.

    • jokomul says:

      I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I would probably do worse.

      I’ve never tarred and feathered anyone before…

  35. bluebogle says:

    I just requested a refund from Steam for the game. Shame as I was really looking forward to this one, and feel bad for the developer losing out on sales. Simply put though, I don’t appreciate being lied to, and I don’t appreciate being treated like a thief. I suggest anyone who feels the same about this also ask for a refund.

  36. CommanderZx2 says:

    I think it’s time… it’s time we start an official boycott of all Ubisoft PC games.

    It is clear to me and hopefully everyone else that they will just continue to lie and do poor ports, there’s no reason to buy any PC games published by Ubisof hence forth.

    • Azradesh says:

      It’s taken you this long to think that? I haven’t purchased a single Ubisoft game on any system since they introduced their DRM.

    • Tasloi says:

      ^ Same, can’t say i regret it either.

  37. PanzerVaughn says:

    They originally said it didnt require a CONSTANT internet connection.
    This merely requires a burst of internets. Not misleading, merely ambiguous. This is the kind of thing you should just be mad at yourself at for falling for. like entering a prize draw of UP TO $500, get getting 4cents.

    • PanzerVaughn says:

      Heck, i even called this in the previous article comments.

    • Magnetude says:

      The proof is right there, in the picture. There have been several articles about this in the last few weeks dude.

  38. Ernesto says:

    One could argue, that their previous statement (one-time only online activation) is correct in the sense of that you have to activate it once (or one-time only) every time the game starts. Nobody i know would interpret it in such a way, but maybe in the twisted mind of some marketing guy or lawyer this makes perfect sense. The term ‘one-time only activation’ isn’t some kind of trademark, is it? So the previous statement could say exactly the same, if interpreted in Ubisofts way. Just kidding :)

  39. Hardtarget says:

    So I bought From Dust and think it’s great. since I play lots of games, and ubisoft makes lots of good ones!, I already have a uplay account, i was even already signed into it! Uplay launched, updated itself, then relaunched, updated the game, then relaunched, asked for my cd key since it auto signed me in, and then i hit play. The whole process took maybe 2 – 4 minutes and will never happen again. Game is quite fun btw but it’s a bit of a shoddy PC port, locked at 30 fps, no advanced graphics controls, etc. But i like it so far.

    Now for the uplay stuff, every. single. online. retailer. has been advertising the fact in big bold capital letters that From Dust used the Ubi DRM scheme. This is not news or a shock to anyone, if you bought the game and you didn’t realize this then you didn’t read the description of the game. It was said that it used Ubi DRM on D2D, Steam, GetGamesGo, GreenManGaming, and others (i hunted around for the best deal earlier so I saw it in multiple places). Now with all that said it’s freaking dumb that they changed the way they decided the DRM was going to work but honestly i haven’t been not online in a decade.

    • terry says:

      Actually, I believe the upset is precisely because Ubi indicated many times- even on their own forums- that the DRM was a one-off activation.

    • Hardtarget says:

      right, and that totally makes sense.

      BUT

      if you can separate yourself from the DRM issue the game, for me, has still be extremely fun and I’m not going to cheat myself out of the experience that I’ve been looking forward to for months because my computer one day might not be online for a few minutes.

    • Bilbo says:

      It does sound as though lots of users are having terrible trouble getting it to run at all, though, DRM aside.

      I agree though, if Half-Life 3 is announced tomorrow and requires a persistent internet connection I’m really going to enjoy watching the people who’ve nailed their colours to the mast squirm their way back out of it. You have to wonder how many out of these hundreds of people actually ever had any intent to play the game at all. Not a ton, I’m guessing.

    • terry says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I had the game on preorder since it was first put on Steam, and despite all the pre-release speculation about it, it remained so (I’ve been previously stung by a product with the UbiDRM in Settlers 7, which PC Gamer insisted was free of it, mea culpa). I’ve pretty much exhausted any outrage I had about the UbiDRM in the form of being careful about buying games which don’t have it. I’m enjoying From Dust very much aside from the lack of configuration options- which frankly smacks of a rush job port- and Ubi’s disingenuous attitude about the protection method.

  40. magnus says:

    This is one carcrash I can’t look away from. (Deja vu! did I say that already?)

  41. Premium User Badge

    egg says:

    Pre-ordered it from Steam.

    Now I’m trying to get my money back. I feel betrayed.

  42. slick_101 says:

    The way I’ve found that I know its probably illegal in some form or another is that I tend to buy the games and then just use the DRM cracks from “the certain bay” and you are still technically supporting the publishers.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yes. You are. And why would you want to support a publisher that uses DRM that you have reason to crack as a legitimate customer?

  43. Silver says:

    Talking about the “choice of words” by Ubisoft, it is not the first time for them. If you understand French here is what I spotted on July 20 on the canadian Ubi Shop : my post to see the date and the game requirements at the bottom of the page before I talked about it and after (third post on my first link).

    To traduce a little they changed the sentence “Permanent internet connection (…) is required to play this video game (…) at any time” by… “An internet connection (…) is required to access this video game”. See the difference? And now they are talking about confusion? Sure there is one, because they made it!

    So today we have an interesting game, made by a great guy (French btw :p) but with a shitty editing policy on PC coupled with a bad port.. I guess I won’t buy a Ubisoft game this year.

  44. Matrix101 says:

    Well well, I’ve checked my games… a lot, no one pirated!
    When younger, I did pirated a few (really, not much), like Q2 but later on bough Q3, and still later on I put myself straight (bough Q4SpecEd including Q2, then bought Q1 original disc on ebay, and then Quake pack on Steam!!! Plus bough same pack for my son. :D I’m clean :).

    Anyway, so UBI lied to us (again!!!), this game will likely be in my torrent with share ratio > 10.0. Yeap. Just waiting for a clean patched torrent release.
    Sorry for Eric Chahi who definitely deserves better.

    Eric Chahy should note this one for the future:
    “Nothing is so dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is worth more.”
    Original text from Jean De La Fontaine:
    “Rien n’est si dangereux qu’un ignorant ami; Mieux vaudrait un sage ennemi.”

    I’ll bough his next game, if UBIShittyDRM free (steam ok), or indie.

    PS: I bough yesterday TM² (UBI, but nadeo clean community spirit), so I’m not against ‘UBI’, but against so stupid DRM schemes. Let’s pirate those stupid DRM, and buy clever (and good) games.

    Only thing sad for me: people are “blind”, From Dust is n°1 in Steam selling list!?!?!?!? This will not help!

  45. Premium User Badge

    shoptroll says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, I am wondering if this DRM snafu was a translation error or miscommunication internally.

    It’s not like they’re inserting the always-on requirement like Driver or AssCreed, but it’s definitely a huge difference from what they originally said. I don’t blame people for being upset since this makes the difference between being able to play this on a laptop on the go or not. Originally announced plan would allow this with the caveat that you activate the game online prior. Now you need a connection to start it. One system allows for truly mobile gaming, another does not. So I think people are totally in the right to get a refund and I’m glad to hear Steam is doing that.

    I don’t think this was a fully malicious move, but it certainly was negligent and seems about on par for the course with Ubi. The fact that no one corrected the original reports in the interim weeks before announcement is just disappointing.

    • Kadayi says:

      Probably tbh given they are a French company. Still clearly it’s now all about people declaring how they’ll never buy an Ubisoft game again, or how they feel justified in pirating it, or glad they pirated it in the first place, etc, etc. I like this site for a lot of things, but comment threads like this are just an embarrassment really when it comes to the absurd levels of righteous indignation being expressed. I’m not an advocate for always on DRM, however at the same time I can’t say I’ve ever been impacted by it at any time in practice. I find it terribly sad that people feel likely non issues like this are grounds for justification to deny developers payment for their work. Eric chahi and his team didn’t put the DRM in there, that was done by the publishing team. If you played and enjoyed it let them have the money.

  46. Riotpoll says:

    Ubisoft have made it blatantly clear that they do not wish legitimate customers to purchase and play their games, on PC at any rate. All this extraneous crap they shovel into the game(s) must surely cost more than any lost sales due to the big old P word? Especially on a game that costs less than a round of drinks for you and three mates.

  47. Buttless Boy says:

    This whole thing is a shame for us console owners, because Ubisoft actually publishes some pretty great games for the toyboxes. The No More Heroes games for Wii and the not-a-sequel sequel to Rez come to mind. It’s a dilemma – do I support interesting games, or do I boycott an awful publisher?

    Dunno why they’re happy to publish money-losing art games on consoles, but won’t support the PC, where there’s actually an audience for that stuff.

  48. ChromeBallz says:

    Can someone please explain what is going on at Ubisoft?

    Which complete morons are managing that company?

  49. Oryon says:

    I am so goddamn mad right now. Mad for Chahi if he isn’t, which he should be. His games shaped me growing up.

    I’ll be damned if i spend another dime on Ubisoft or EA products.
    I, the consumer, have had it up to here with publisher lies, bullshit excuses and general attempts to insult my intelligence.
    D’YOU HEAR THAT?
    UP TO HERE!
    Take your games and shove’em. I’d rather pirate and mail devs the money.

    • Hardtarget says:

      *eyeroll*
      how about you stay on your morale high ground and just not pirate the game since you obviously want to play it.

      I’M GOING TO STEAL THE GAME INSTEAD OF PAYING FOR IT, THAT’S GONNA SHOW THEM WHO’S BOSS!!

      except they’ll never know you pirated it and instead it just makes you out to look like a ponce with no morale fibre. Either boycott the game or buy it.

    • Oryon says:

      No, you know what, screw that. I am tired. I’ve always bought games. I don’t pirate them as a sort of non-conformist, fight-the-system bullshit. I pay for them. I find games i enjoy and i buy them, fair and square. But i am TIRED of this bullshit. Of course i want to play it, it’s a Chahi game. And i would happily pay for it if i felt for one second that the people receiving my money deserve it. And since this is not the humble bundle where i can liberally assign who gets what, i don’t.

      Tell me what exactly have Ubisoft done in the time they took to ‘port’ From Dust that deserves a dime? Absolutely fuck all. Video game consumers tend to forget that they are still a customer and that the customer should still dictate the terms, otherwise the bullshit never ever stops. So i won’t buy the game.

      And you know, i will have no regrets if in the meantime i decide to pirate the thing, however unlikely that is considering the quality of the finished product. Why should i? It’s available. If it wasn’t i STILL wouldn’t buy it until it got magically fixed, which it likely won’t. No profits lost there, Ubisoft.

    • Bilbo says:

      “Of course I want to play it, it’s a Chahi game”

      –Somehow that statement says more about you & annoys me more than your foaming ramblings

    • Oryon says:

      Kay, i guess. Sue me for having an opinion and liking the man’s games.

    • Thants says:

      Giving your money to another company who doesn’t do things like this is the best option. But, as far as I’m concerned, the important thing is that Ubisoft doesn’t get our money. I don’t care if they know why people are pirating it. It’s not our job to teach them not to be dicks, it’s just our job not to reward them for it.

    • Hardtarget says:

      That’s terrible Oryon
      All that is is you saying I WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME BUT I DON’T WANT TO PAY TO DO IT!!

      Ubi paid him to make the game. That’s what Ubi did. If you want to play it pay for it or stay on your morale high-ground and don’t pay for it. Pirating it just makes you look bad.

    • Oryon says:

      To be quite honest i don’t feel like playing it and probably won’t. Was just making a point. I really do buy the games i want to play. When crap like this happens i stop wanting to play it. But again, i wouldn’t see any issue with pirating it if i suddenly had the urge to give it a shot.