Bad Company 2 Throws Off DRM Shackles

By Alec Meer on September 21st, 2011 at 10:15 am.

He's very happy about this news. Honestly, you should see his smile.

As part of an eyewatering 2.6Gb cumulative patch known as Client R11 due for release today, DICE have taken the bad out of Battlefield Bad Company 2. The bad in this case being the icky and pointless SecuROM DRM in non-Steam versions of the game. Hooray for small freedoms! The patch also brings some tasty-sounding performance improvements and bug-splats, as detailed more below.

Sadly, DICE claim expediency required that they didn’t also put out a smaller patch for people who’ve installed all the former updates, so you’ll need to bully your broadband connection into the full 2.6Gb for now. This seems rather cruel, to be honest. They give with one hand, and take with the other, but oh well. Both Steam and the non-Steam versions should auto-update with the new patch right about now.

Here’s what’s in the box:

Removed some memory leaks
Fixed crashes when the game attempted to render lots of content (high detail, high FOV or
multiple-monitor modes); this should particularly help multi-monitor users
Chat window no longer causes lag spikes
Chat window reworked opacity & visibility-time is controllable through settings in settings.ini
Clantag is remembered when using auto-login
Banner URLs can be up to 252 characters in length
SecuROM wrapper removed from non-Steam version
Minor performance enhancements
Reduced rubberbanding on servers with more than 24 active players
PrintScreen takes a screenshot, file stored in Documents\BFBC2\Screenshots directory

But what if I like rubberbanding?

More details and dinosaur jokes here.

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47 Comments »

  1. Dentist says:

    http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/members-helping-members/1199353-software-engineering-file-formats-build-processes-packaging.html is a good link describing why patches are so high. Rubberbanding fix is VERY important for anyone who still plays multiplayer.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Yea, I just reinstalled last night. Rubberbanding fix would be lovely :) still an awesome game.

    • Xtinction says:

      I only know rubberbanding from racing games, waht does it mean in the context of a shooter like BF?

    • marach says:

      @Xtinction: It’s where you/others appear to bounce backwards along their line of travel at random

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Rubberbanding can be a problem in any multiplayer game. MMOs is where I most frequently see it. Was sort of surprised by its presence in a shooter, but I guess it’s understandable with the amount of stuff that goes on serverside in BC2.

    • Premium User Badge

      hexapodium says:

      Xtinction: it’s not the Mario Kart kind – rubberbanding is also an artefact associated with lag prediction. The process goes something like identify ping > assume player keeps moving with current acceleration and speed vectors > move player smoothly until next (server) update comes in > snap player to new position and pray everything worked out OK. When the server doesn’t update smoothly, or the client connection wobbles, or for some reason the guess of where the player is doesn’t match up with what you actually did, you rubberband to the new position.

      Non-racing-game-players: rubberbanding is a mechanism used in infuriating racing games to ensure that the “pack” stays together: the frontrunners’ performance is slightly worsened, the trailing players’ is slightly improved. Mario Kart is particularly egregious, and speeds up the 8th place player noticeably compared to the 1st place player. The effect is every player is on a “rubber band” attached to the average of all players, since everyone is pulled to the centre.

      Aren’t matching, unrelated terms wonderful? Of course, online multiplayer arcade racers with horrible design have both kinds.

  2. Longrat says:

    Dayum, 2.5gb for such small patch notes?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Cumulative patch. It contains all previous patches, and the Vietnam DLC. They explained at some point why their patches become so huge, it has something to do with the data being baked for performance, and thus unable to be patched, and so completely new datasets need to be released when patching. Silly, yes, and they said as much, but can’t change it. Hopefully they’ll have learned for BF3 :p

      I installed and played it again last night, after I discovered I’d lost my DVD I wrote to EA support asking if it were possible to get it registered on Origin or Steam, and I got a reply back shortly saying that they had now activated BC2 on my Origin account. I like that :)

    • metalangel says:

      It also means that if you choose to buy DLC, it just unlocks immediately. They did the same trick with Burnout Paradise on the 360, neglecting to tell people they could delete all the previous patches. Most people still had a 20Gb hard drive at the time, so that space was at a premium.

    • EOT says:

      But when Vietnam came out It downloaded whether you had bought it or not. BFBC2 has always been like this with DLC. On all platforms.

    • Theodoric says:

      EA support is almost uncannily nice sometimes. They’re not that shy as you’d expect when it comes to – essentially – giving away free games.

  3. Ovno says:

    Any sign of lan support, we’ve been wanting to play this at work for ages, we’ve been stuck with bf2 since the whole DRM and no Lan trend started….

    • Dentist says:

      It’ll never happen due to the GSP model. At least we have the advantage of taking online boxes to an event to run servers for our guys.

  4. EOT says:

    Fuck’s sake.I am on a VERY limited plan at the moment and just caught it as it finished. Bollocks.

    Also @Longrat: I believe (on Steam anyway) it’s to do with how their patching system works. You can’t just replace a couple of lines of code in a folder you have to replace the entire folder. So a sub 1mb patch could end up being multiple gigabytes.

    • GenBanks says:

      Same story here, I’m thinking of just deleting it and saving my download limit for BF3.

    • Williz says:

      Valve recently fixed that via a Steam update

    • daf says:

      @Williz, Steam’s new download system is only currently active for a very small set of games.

  5. Gnoupi says:

    nvm

  6. Nemon says:

    Also, this patch is supposedly fixing the recent issues with eyefinity/multi monitor setups – stuff that worked fine at launch (in my experience) until some recent fuckups this summer.

    Edit: Why don’t I read the post before posting?

  7. Flukie says:

    I understand why its so big, I love the idea of patches that only have to be done once, however Steam kinda nailed patching by just having the latest version available to download only.

    Hope Origin actually sorts this out for BF3.

    • Unaco says:

      What? Really? Steam ‘kinda nailed patching’? By that, I assume you mean Steam nailed patching to a cross and left it to die.

      Steam completely f*cked patching up, when they decided not to allow ‘difference patching’. If a 1GB file needs 1 bit changed, you have to download the whole 1GB file, rather than (with normal patching) downloading the ‘difference’ in an .exe and modifying the 1GB file you already have. I know they’re moving to fix/change this, but I don’t think it’s rolled out yet. In fact, most of Steam downloads are pretty dire at the moment (downloads that suck up bandwidth for 1/2 hour but haven’t actually downloaded anything in that time, wildly inconsistent speeds, instability when pausing/resuming).

  8. rocketman71 says:

    Too little too late.

    Besides, they still haven’t released public server files or implemented LAN support, so I’d say the heaviest shackles are still on.

  9. Spazzo says:

    He does look happy.

  10. Fierce says:

    Just out of curiosity, why would the SecuROM DRM wrapper need to remain for the Steam version of the game? Isn’t that a little backward, with Steam itself being the DRM solution writ large and not even needing a DVD?

    It sort of defeats the purpose of removing the shackles in a patch, but only for the people singularly handcuffed, and instead leaving them on for those also ankle chained.

    Is there a reason for this, as there was for the patch size?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Securom was removed from the Steam version some 1.5 years ago.

    • Fierce says:

      Ahh, a perfectly good reason I see.

      Might want to mention that in the article Alec. Superior contextual journalism.

  11. Khemm says:

    This is the advantage of DRMs like SecuROM, even Ubisoft’s one – they can be easily patched out.
    With Steamworks releases, your game is DRM’d forever. You can’t even install it from the disc if you aren’t connected to Valve’s servers, for crying out loud. And if you can’t install it, how will you patch out the DRM from retail releases? You can’t, unless the dev/publisher creates a DRM-free version and allow people to download it, which has never ever happened with games using Steam and kind of makes you feel terrible for buying a useless DVD version with data on it you can’t copy at all.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      Oh great… have they fixed the DX10 issues yet? Didn’t think so. Call me when you’ve actually started caring about the quality of your pc ports Dice.

      Edit: Wasn’t meant to be a reply. My bad.

  12. TheFlyingWooly says:

    I didn’t even remember BC2 having drm, I think when I installed it I did some online activation thing so I never had to bother with the disc.

    • lunarplasma says:

      Yeah, so did I. One day, I was screwed because I couldn’t load it up due to my internet connection being down.

      But then I was going to play online anyway, so being unable to load it up was immaterial.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The retail BC2 installer gave you the option of using either a disk check or a one-time activation. After the first time you launched the game you never had to go online again except for multiplayer (if you chose the online auth route).

  13. westyfield says:

    “Clantag is remembered when using auto-login”
    I know this is one of the less-significant changes, but thank goodness. The tag disappearing each time I played was one of the more annoying issues I’ve had with BC2.

  14. Kaira- says:

    Now if only Gamer’s Gate would have Bad Company 2 for sale, instead of just the guide book. [speaking of gamersgate.com, for some reason co.uk has BF3, Bad Company 2 complete pack and some other Battlefield-games]

  15. deadly.by.design says:

    Did they fix the in-game voice chat yet?

  16. EOT says:

    People actually use that? I have only ever heard someone on the chat ONCE since the game came out.

    I have it on the 360 too and you were much more likely to be able to meaningfully communicate with your squad in that version. Though Xbox’s inbuilt chat thing is very good. I can see why we are all forced to use Mumble and other such VOIP services because the quality of voice chat on PC is shite.

    EDIT: Reply fail. I somehow clicked ‘Block’ instead of ‘Reply’. I don’t know how.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Wait, the Xbox has decent chat? I’ve watched my cousin play on Live and listened to the chat, and it always sounded like horribly filtered telephone calls from the ’80s. Or did you mean how it’s integrated into everything, or something else?

    • shaydeeadi says:

      The supplied earpiece sounds like a late 90′s mobile phone but with an average headset everyone sounds fine, my irl friends sound like their actual selves. Only problem is when whoever has the two-cans-with-string connection gets party host and then it’s just a sea of artefact.
      It is also really well integrated. L4D in-game on PC is better than live parties mind.

  17. xtechnica says:

    still no FOV fix for singleplayer campaign (stuck on terrible default fov)
    still no FOV fix for mp veichles (first person stuck on default fov)
    still no fix for aim unzooming while looking down sights

    what the fuck man, how hard is it to fix this shit thats been here since day one. i still havent been able to play the single player case of that god awful default fov

    • Solid Snake on a Plane says:

      But you can change the FOV in the settings.ini file. (C:\Users\Username\Documents\BFBC2\settings.ini

      It’s at the very bottom of the [Graphics] section (or you have to add the FOV= line, I don’t remember.) It uses vertical FOV so you’d have to calculate your desired horizontal with this: http://rjdown.co.uk/projects/bfbc2/fovcalculator.php

  18. RiptoR says:

    Those “mem leak” fixes sound really nice. I hope these fix the frequent lock-ups I experience when playing online. The lock-ups might also be Securom-related though, so good hopes on that front too.

  19. Hardtarget says:

    hm steam version of the patch seems to be only 2.02 gigs. I guess it’s a bit smaller due to lack of securom or something

  20. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    Aaargh, 17 minutes where I can’t play BF2 because it’s updating.

  21. Shooop says:

    DICE once again amazes everyone with their ability to slag off any and all well-deserved criticism for releasing this broken pile of shit code and then taking their good old time turning it into a working game.

  22. buzzmong says:

    What’s surprising me most about this patch is the fact it’s fixing memory leaks, fixing lag spikes caused by chat, and putting a fix in for rubber banding on 24 player+ servers, over a full year after the last patch (last one according to Steam’s Product Update feed was Jun 2010).

    The reason why it surprises me is because mem leaks are the type of thing to normally get fixed within the first few months of release. Not a few weeks before the sequel is about to hit.

  23. Iain says:

    I surprised they didn’t fix the shotgun pump action cancel bug.