Darkspore DRM Shuts Out New Players?

By Jim Rossignol on October 27th, 2011 at 10:12 am.

Oh dear.
We’re receiving reports that new Darkspore players are unable to play the game, and haven’t been able to play for over nine days, due to an error with the online authentication system. There’s an ongoing thread about the issue here, dated from October 18th. There’s currently no word on a fix.

Of course EA’s position on Darkspore was that it was an online game, and that it wasn’t DRM so much as how you played with other players, if you wanted to play with them. That means solo play is online, even though (as a Diablo clone) there was no reason for it to be. Diablo III will be using a similar system. I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.

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92 Comments »

  1. Belsameth says:

    Apparently EA thinks they’re not yet doing enough to alienate their customers.
    And to think some people still think this kind of DRM prevents piracy in stead of driving people towards it.

    • jezcentral says:

      And Activision is just as bad. I finally cancelled my Diablo 3 order with Amazon, once I saw this report, as if we do nothing, this sort of thing will spread, and to complain yet do nothng is hypocritical.

    • merc-ai says:

      It’s like a constant competition between major publishers to decide which one has alienated more players.

    • hotcod says:

      To be fair I don’t think this issue is one that is unique to the game of sysetms in play in Darkspore or in Diablo 3. I also hate the idea of games that can be played solo not having a offline mode but if you look here this is an issue that could be repeated by basic DRM that we all tend to accept.

      The issues here seem to be with authentication system in regards to new players. As such any game who’s DRM is based on an one time online activation could be having pretty much the same issues. If that authentication server goes down than new players are going to be locked out of their game until it comes back up.

      The only difference is that an offline game would likely have a crack that new players could use as a work around until the fix. Yet that not really the point is it?

  2. Chris says:

    I foresee a class action lawsuit.

    No matter what EA/Blizzard say, forcing solo players online IS DRM.

    • juandemarco says:

      Yet they say that the TOS clearly state that the service is not guaranteed to be available at all times or all places. I call bullshit, if I was a Darkspore owner and I wanted to play, I would feel more than legitimated to crack it.

    • Belsameth says:

      I don’t know how it is in other countries but in NL you can put whatever you want in the ToS, it’s still not legal if it’s against the law. Ofcourse, you’d have to start a lawsuite to prove that.

      Somehow I doubt this part of the ToS would hold up in court, at least here.

    • nofing says:

      Same here in Germany (I think it’s the same for all EU countries), but the thing is, we don’t have class action lawsuits and who would be sueing a multi-billion dollar company?

    • hotcod says:

      Blizzard have come out and said that it’s effect as DRM was one of the reasons they where making it all online… but only after spouting a load of bullcrap about not wanting a solo player to be stuck off line if they want to go online later.

      To be honest with blizzard the DRM likely wasn’t all that important. What is important to them is the cash auction house. To make it securer they need to control monster spawns and drop rates server side, everything that can produce an item is locked up tight on blizzard servers. If they let people play offline they 1) couldn’t allow those people to sell to the AH and 2) those people would likely have less of a reason to spend money on items when they could just mod or hack the games local files to get what they want.

      In other words allowing for solo offline play would mean more work (building a client that includes everything the servers currently do) to cut the audience of their cash auction house at the cost of what is effectively free DRM.

      Which when viewed like that makes perfect sense for blizzard in pure company terms but it utterly ignores what is good for their consumers.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Perhaps it’s a worrying sign of our times when we (and I include myself) have lost faith in a legal system adequate to correct this sort of thing, recognising that wallet size will too often define what is legal or not.

      Perhaps another worrying sign of the times (child of Thatcher that I am – not literally I hasten to add) that I have more faith in market forces correcting this behaviour.

      A few years back RPS was (forgive me Horace), an obscure little blog in the corner of the net. Now I dare say it’s almost approaching mainstream. And look what happens in the comments section every time any Ubisoft game gets mentioned – look at what the *almost approaching mainstream* audience will put up with (or at least say what they’ll put up with, anonymously on the intertubes). A few years back gaming was the preserve of the computer nerd; nowadays with smart phones, Wii consoles and growing Indie sectors, gaming is mainstream.

      Companies know, or will be forced to find out the hard way, that they can stomp over minorities as long as they like, their wallet and their lobbying will keep it legal, but try to stomp on the mainstream and sooner or later one of them will get burnt hard. Now sure, the execs who made those decisions will undoubtedly survive with a nice pension and golden handshake but I would hope that other companies seeing such a fall will think twice.

    • nofing says:

      @hotcod Yep, the auction house. It’s the only reason they did it like that. They could’ve easily done a similar approach like SC2, which was still acceptable and include a single player and a non-ranked multiplayer 2 (like in Diablo 2). It’s sad, but this is the first time, after almost a decade, that I’m considering downloading a crack again.

      @MiniMatt I hope you’re right, but so far it looks like the only conclusions the big publishers draw from bad sales are, that there is too much piracy and the PC is a dying platform.

    • Thomas says:

      Blizzard’s reason why it is exactly not DRM makes a lot of sense, it’s about investment, a player could play a game like Diablo for several years and still not be done with the game (In terms of hunting items, not the story of course).

      Usually singleplayer and multiplayer games are considered seperate experiences, but not in this case, and players may be discouraged from one or another gametype once they’ve invested some time into one of them, it wouldn’t be very funny to spend days on completing the game, then turning to multiplayer just to discover it’s the same damn thing, you would have to start from scratch.

      Diablo 3 solves that issue, makes the game more of an investment for the player and rewards the player for that investment.

      The security of the RMAH is completely besides the point, if Blizzard would have an offline mode it wouldn’t be an offline mode that can interact with their online portion, just like it was with D2 and Closed Battle.net.

    • MiniMatt says:

      @Thomas – a player could play a game like Diablo for several years and still not be done with the game

      They could if Blizzard were still in business in several years time. Now I’m not saying they’re primed to go under, and arguably they look in an unassailable position, but far bigger companies than them have gone down in flames and the computer games industry is not one renowned for the longevity of it’s developers. Applying the “too big to fail” argument to computer game devs seems risky.

      For a publisher to go under and all their single player games to stop working without recourse or workaround seems unacceptable to me.

      I’ve yet to see a decent argument against an offline mode that will never see the auction house or be able to use their chars online (but be playable on the train, in the middle of the Afghan desert, after Blizz goes bust) sitting alongside an online version.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “I’ve yet to see a decent argument against an offline mode that will never see the auction house or be able to use their chars online (but be playable on the train, in the middle of the Afghan desert, after Blizz goes bust) sitting alongside an online version.”

      Better hack protection (by not giving the hackers the code they’re looking for exploits in), avoids segmenting the playerbase (having to start over with a new character if you wanted to go online would discourage people).

      You might see those as minor gains, but if you look at the massive, world-wide phenomenon that is WoW, it’s not hard to see how Blizzard could consider online-only requirements just a minor drawback..

    • mmalove says:

      I dunno, if Lord British could publicly announce his departure from MMOs and then turn around and win a lawsuit against NCSoft for “making him quit”, I wouldn’t put a class action lawsuit past good lawyers. At its core, game companies have set up software very clearly to offer you a license to play the game, failing to deliver on that promise due to the game’s own DRM might be law suit material.

      Think about it this way: if you buy a car, you don’t expect it to run forever, or without issues. But if the car suddenly just locks you out for 9 days, that’s a manufacturing defect, and you bet your ass people would sue the manufacturer that couldn’t get to work. Granted the potential damages in gaming are much more trivial (zomg I couldn’t play space diablo last night!!), but they are nonetheless clearly tied back to overzealous and unmaintainable copyprotection schemes.

      Of course, the simpler and more obvious answer is to boycott EA from here on out. Their treatment of their customers is all the reason I need to leave them on the shelf.

  3. Vexing Vision says:

    This will be fun for Mass Effect 3 which I believe is using the same online authentification system to ensure their drop-in/drop-out multiplayer. FUN.

    • Nice Save says:

      Well, if this is true it looks like my time to finish ME2 isn’t running out after all.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I really hope you’re wrong, and that Bioware wouldn’t be that stupid to make a previously single player franchise online only just to support a superfluous multiplayer element.

      But who knows with Bioware these days?

  4. scatterbrainless says:

    I’ve recently been having trouble with my ISP, so seeing these decisions being made by companies, clearly not accounting for the contingent possibility of internet infrastructure being interrupted (alliteration, yay!), is incredibly frustrating. However it rarely gets mentioned that the Steam platform has a similar problem, in that you must be able to connect to the servers BEFORE switching to offline mode a.k.a. you have to be online to go offline. So, it turns out, when the zombie apocalypse hits and all our service providers have their brains eaten nobody’s going to be able to play any of their games and distract themselves from the horror by…. shooting virtual zombies….

    • nofing says:

      Actually, that’s not true anymore. When I have no internet connection and start up Steam, it asks me, if I want to start in offline mode. This only works, when I disconnected from my router alltogether, but it works (and I think you have to save your login information).

    • scatterbrainless says:

      I know that if you have already set yourself to offline before you last logged off that you don’t need to reconnect the next time and it puts up the “start in offline” option up, but I’ve found in the past if my service is disconnected it gives me this option, but on choosing offline it then responds with “cannot connect to steam servers” – I know stupid, that’s why I chose OFFLINE! But if disconnecting the router solves this I am in your debt good sir!

    • Khann says:

      It sure didn’t help me. I unplugged from the router, disabled network adapters and even uninstalled tunneling programs (Hamachi, Tunngle, etc)… nothing worked. I was completely unable to open Steam or play any of my games.

    • ShrikeMalakim says:

      I’d seen comments like these replies before on RPS, so night before last, when my ISP had its weekly “oops” and shut off the internet for our area for a few hours, I tested it. Booted up Steam, it told me it had no internet connection, gave me the option for offline mode. Started in Offline, played a bit of BFBC2 single-player with no problems at all. Next day, when I launched Steam, it mentioned I’d used Offline last, did I want to stay in Offline or connect. Reconnected, no worries. So if you’re still having problems with Offline mode not working, I’d recommend talking to Steam support.

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Woof!

    I was vaguely intrigued by Darkspore… Now totally glad I never gave in.

    • thegooseking says:

      I just removed it from my wishlist yesterday. Seems like that was good timing.

    • LintMan says:

      I was primed to preorder Darkspore until I saw the online-only situation. I could hardly believe it at the time and said to myself that I’d just wait for D3. Little did I know…

  6. Wahooney says:

    The bitter irony is that pirates have probably finished the game by now. The only thing DRM gets right is annoying legitimate customers.

  7. granny says:

    “I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.”
    Because gamers will accept it.

    You mention Diablo 3. Do you think it’s going to bomb? No, neither do I. Gamers will accept the DRM. In fact, if you look around, quite a few have already performed some interesting mental gymnastics to convince themselves that a constant internet connection isn’t a bad thing.

    I sadly suspect that most people who are bitching about this now will end up following Dan Stapleton’s advice and re-adjust their principles.

    • renadi says:

      Diablo is a hard case, I do agree that this really does add to a level of character attachment, personally, if it was probably to assume that every customer had always on internet that never faltered, that our servers were unstoppable, un DDOSable, this is how I’d release a game, but it relies on that primary principle, you don’t control the internet, not everyone has it, not everyone has it consistently, I’d easily say it’s worth it to have more people able to play the game -mostly- than only those who can play with an internet connection playing the pure game.

      problem is, games like this and Darkspore essentially make the client a hollow box.

      I can’t play darkspore anymore, moved and my internet just can’t do it.

      if I could i would return it now, it wasn’t worth it.

      But you can’t easily return or get refunded for software in this country.(US)

  8. aircool says:

    It annoys me when publishers seem to think that everyone has a nice, large bandwidth, always on net connection.

  9. MiniMatt says:

    I can’t help but think (perhaps wishfully) that as issues such as this become more and more mainstream and affect greater numbers of “regular people” (rather than just the odd computer nerds – now that this entire generation are computer nerds) we’ll start to see companies suffer significantly for this sort of short sightedness.

    Companies seem to boom and bust a lot quicker in these days of mass communication and I fear many of them won’t have the chance to correct actions before they rapidly collapse as soon as complaints hit a critical mass and mainstream perception.

    • renadi says:

      If anything this will encourage people to complain to their ISPs to get better, more reliable service, and if it works then I say net gain, I think modern gaming and an internet connection go pretty well hand in hand, and if everyone has access to the same high quality internet then there’s no problem.
      Alas it is not so…

      But, honestly, I’d prefer having all games online and having decent internet widespread throughout the country over games that can be played offline.

    • malkav11 says:

      There’s still a problem. It doesn’t matter how reliable the consumer’s end of the connection is if the company’s end is having issues or isn’t there at all.

  10. Silk Degrees says:

    I don’t even think DarkSpore has any working cracks etc as it requires emulation like Diablo 3 will (Serverside commands and generations)

    So all they are really doing is fucking over legitimate customers. Glad I didn’t buy into the hype. But you know, after the fiasco that was SPORE DRM, I learnt my lesson.

  11. Zeronine says:

    It’s all part of a publisher conspiracy to soften consumers for further abuse!

  12. pkt-zer0 says:

    “I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.”

    Better security against hackers, and better legal protection against pirates (not the “dude torrenting shit” type, but the “corporations making millions off your IP” type)? Such reasons tend to go ignored, for some reason.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Not ignored, just not necessarily relevant. Yours is “the end justifys the means” argument; now that’s a perfectly legitimate viewpoint to take but it doesn’t mean that those arguing that the means are not justifed are in support of the *end*. Being against heavy handed DRM does not mean one is in favour of piracy just as being against a war in Iraq does not make one in favour of brutal dictators.

      The “if you’re not with us you’re against us” argument was absurd when George Bush used it.

      edit: first draft wandered a little too close to personal attacks

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      My point wasn’t that the ends justify the means, but that the actual justifications tend to get ignored. Or implicitly dismissed out of hand as irrelevant, if that’s what you’re saying the case is here. I’d be fine with people weighing the arguments for and against such DRM, and finding the “pro” side lacking, but I’ve rarely seen that happen.

  13. Iskariot says:

    DRM creates piracy creates DRM creates piracy creates DRM.

    A vicious circle.

    • AndrewC says:

      Broken only by the publishers realising top-down control can’t work in an open system, and by players not being selfish pricks.

    • Terr says:

      Actually DarkSpore has not been cracked yet and likely won’t be cracked. Ubisoft did a terrible job at making the Assassins Creed 2 DRM and it still took people more than a month to crack it.

      So yeah, always online DRM is very effective and likely the best DRM out there.

    • markgreyam says:

      If the piracy/DRM merry-go-round is a vicious circle, it’s certainly not the one you’ve defined; both the entry point and the verb are wrong. The piracy was first, and DRM does not create piracy; although it most certainly is used to justify it.

    • alundra says:

      “So yeah, always online DRM is very effective and likely the best DRM out there.”

      That must be why the MP portion of this game is basically dead already. It’s so damn effective it actually that it locks *everyone* out.

    • hotcod says:

      Darkspore likely has parts of the game running of servers somewhere over at EA… publishers and devs are learning that the only way to make a game uncrackable is to keep key parts of the game on a server. At the moment they are use “muiltplayer” as an excuse for this, be it that the game is meant to be played that way and that they want to stop people from cheating. But it works for these games and gamers start to accept this is just part of the course we’ll likely start to see single player games heading down the same road.

      Now MMO’s can and are pirated but it requires huge work and and emulated server. For smaller games I’m sure the server side stuff could be emulated at the client side but with out a leak of the stuff that exists on the server what can you really do? it’s a mammoth task.

      All that we can really hope is that it becomes too costly to maintain servers for ever game ever and that general consumers wake the hell up…. this kind of tacit may very well stop most easy piracy but it does so at both a cash cost and the cost of good will of the consumer. I’d be willing to bet that games that do do this do not see markedly better sales than the same kind of product that can be pirated. It’s easily provable using states for jail broken Iphones vs the number of priated aps to prove that the vast majority of piracy is committed by a very small minority.

    • Nick says:

      eh, it starts with piracy not drm =P

  14. alundra says:

    They dare to put whatever they want in the TOS because they know unless a big class action lawsuit is brought forward, no one is going to dare to take them to court, how can anyone (that cares) compete with the really deep pockets of corporations and their squads of carrion birds?…I mean…lawyers.

    As much as some weak minded people manage to convince themselves that this is not bad, do not underestimate the power that voting with our wallets has, the people that do not like this kind of stuff are more than those who’d rather take it in the rear and yell thank you kind sir!!

    If it wasn’t true UBI wouldn’t be slowly back pedaling their stupid drm schemes and it would be still always online single player for all their recent games.

    Keep voting with your wallets people, keep voting with your wallets.

  15. lechiffre55 says:

    In the UK goods sold to consumers have to be “fit for purpose”
    A company selling a video game which doesn’t work is selling goods that are not “fit for purpose”.
    It doesn’t matter what terms and conditions or any other legal shenanigans they invent they CAN’T take away your statutory consumer legal rights.

    Here’s one guide to your statutory legal consumer rights in the UK. Google will give you access to many more. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange

    Ask the company for you money back – do it in some way that your correspondence and their reply is recorded – e.g. email. When they throw that “our terms say it doesn’t have to work” record that too.
    Take screen shots of the company’s forums where employee of the company say “it’s ok if the game doesn’t work, that’s covered by our terms and conditions, we don’t have to refund you for the game not working”
    Complain to UK trading standards. Write a clear lucid letter or email. Provide proof of purchase. Provide any emails or letters you wrote to them and their replies. Provide any additional proof of the company’s attitude they they believe their legal nonsense overrides your STATUTORY consumer rights.
    Copy everything you are sending to UK trading standards to the original company concerned.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Your agreement isn’t with ‘the company’ though when it comes to the Sales of Goods Act. It’s with the shop you bought it from. The right route is just to return it to them under the fit-for-purpose law. That’s all we need really. For a major release to have significant downtime in the first month, and people organise to return them to the shops en-masse (perhaps even having already finished the game).

  16. unlimitedgiants says:

    Fortunately 0 people are affected by this, because no one is buying Darkspore.

    Did they ever patch in a way to trade? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  17. lechiffre55 says:

    Also do some googling on the UK distance selling act.
    http://www.out-law.com/page-430

    • lechiffre55 says:

      frightlever can you cite or link a source that says it doesn’t apply to software please?
      In the link I posted it does state that the right to cancel within 7 days doesn’t cover software IF the box has been open which implies to me that software IS covered ( based on my link ) given that they list specific exclusions to software.
      If you have a source that proves otherwise I’d be keen to see it please.

  18. faelnor says:

    Let F be a game, and U be the set of people who are interested in playing F;
    Let K be the subset of U who would only buy F if it wasn’t available pirated;
    Let C be the subset of U who would only buy F if it didn’t require a permanent internet connection;

    Now, if game marketers would only see that ∀F, U | |C| > |K| themselves, maybe we could finally be sure that our future will be quietly and comfortably wasted playing single player games offline.

  19. MadTinkerer says:

    “I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.”

    It’s simple. MMOs are unpiratable. Therefore all games should be MMOs, even the ones that are not. In other words: madness is the reason why.

  20. Deano2099 says:

    “I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.”

    Out of interest, did you speak up in the same way when Guild Wars was released?

    Sure, it self-identified as an MMO, but it was barely more an MMO than Diablo 3 is.

    • Jerusahat says:

      You’d find it very hard, if not impossible, to solo Guild Wars. The 3 ascension missions near the end of prophecies are particularly difficult on your own. Some missions are much easier if the party splits up and completes tasks simultaneously.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “it was barely more an MMO than Diablo 3 is”

      It’s a lot more of an MMO than Diablo 3 is, not least because the PvP stuff was so key to its success at the time.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      You could see it as a singleplayer game, once you used the AIs which were specifically added to replace the other players, and then ignored the trade system, the PvP, the GvG, the FactionvFaction, the party system, the city/lobby hubs, etc.

      but hey, maybe having an actual story/plot makes it a different genre.

    • Chalky says:

      You could see it as a single player game if you consider something that is completely impossible to complete with only AI henchmen as a viable single player game. The introduction of heros (which requires the purchase of expansion pack(s)) helped with this to some degree, but you can’t complete GW1 vanilla without other people and all of the main missions were designed to be completed co-operatively.

      It’s not an MMO, but it’s not a single player RPG either. There are other things than just those two possibilities.

    • MrMud says:

      I made a well thought out comment about how the client server architecture of d3 will prevent hacking and so on. But the forum monster ate my post.

    • Deano2099 says:

      “You could see it as a singleplayer game, once you used the AIs which were specifically added to replace the other players, and then ignored the trade system, the PvP, the GvG, the FactionvFaction, the party system, the city/lobby hubs, etc.”

      Yes, and Diablo 3 is a single-player game if you ignore the auction house, the PvP, the co-op, the party system, the lobby, etc.

      The crazy thing is what I’m reading in to this is that if Blizzard just made Diablo 3 harder so it was impossible to solo, people would prefer that.

    • malkav11 says:

      “Yes, and Diablo 3 is a single-player game if you ignore the auction house, the PvP, the co-op, the party system, the lobby, etc.”

      Right. Which, as far as I can tell, you can do and still complete the game. At least, I’ve seen Blizzard say as much repeatedly. Ergo, single-player game.

      “The crazy thing is what I’m reading in to this is that if Blizzard just made Diablo 3 harder so it was impossible to solo, people would prefer that.”

      Prefer? No. We’d be bitching about making a sequel to a singleplayer-friendly game into an exclusively multiplayer game, and plenty more people would be bitching about being unable to solo if they want to (forced grouping has become increasingly antithetical to MMO players). But it would justify referring to it as a multiplayer game, and conceivably lend some support to their decision to force the whole thing to run on their servers. (Though, since Diablo and Diablo II were perfectly capable of playing multiplayer across LAN or VPNs or whatnot, it’d still be unwarranted.)

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      The crazy thing is what I’m reading in to this is that if Blizzard just made Diablo 3 harder so it was impossible to solo, people would prefer that.

      Personally, I would not prefer that at all. I would merely completely ignore that, the same way I completely ignored Guild Wars.

  21. diebroken says:

    DLC DRM is a messed up business…”

  22. InternetBatman says:

    The annoying thing is that people will accept crap like this if a game is good. The market isn’t quite large enough for people to ignore the major publishers yet, and it feels like almost every one of them wants to go this way.

  23. Arkanos says:

    Please, please please, RPS, please bring up their terms of service, as they did:

    Also stated in the Darkspore Terms of Service:

    5. EA Services, Content and Entitlement Availability

    We do not guarantee that any Content or Entitlement will be available at all times, in all countries and/or geographic locations, or at any given time or that we will continue to offer particular Content or Entitlements for any particular length of time.

    The ToS clearly state that while you purchase the RIGHT to access of the content, it can’t always be available for a variety of reasons…this is one of those reasons…technical difficulties.

    <– See that? That means they could shut Darkspore down and everyone would be out of luck. Please bring up their frankly draconian, terrible, vaguely illegal, Terms of Service.

    And bring up that it is a moderator who is calling the purchase of Darkspore just the purchase of the right to play it. Whatever happened to the right to property?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You don’t even need to dig down that far. It’s right at the bottom of the Steam page, for example, and quite explicit:

      PERSISTENT INTERNET CONNECTION, EA ACCOUNT, AND ACCEPTANCE OF END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY THE DEMO. YOU MUST BE 13+ TO REGISTER FOR AN EA ACCOUNT. EULA, EA ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF SERVICE CAN BE FOUND AT http://WWW.EA.COM EA MAY RETIRE ONLINE FEATURES AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON http://WWW.EA.COM/2/SERVICE-UPDATES

      http://store.steampowered.com/app/99890/

      30 days notice (posted on a website nobody checks) is all they promise, and then your game is permanently unplayable.

  24. hemmingjay says:

    The real crime is how uninspired the game is. It has half the gameplay of Torchlight, half the story of Diablo. It baffles me that there are people buying it at this point at all.

  25. Potunka says:

    Guess what other EA game is unplayable when EA’s internet services go down? Battlefield 3! As I discovered last night when Battlelog updates were taking place. Not even the single-player campaign can be accessed as it is entered through the Battlelog website. Such a terrible, terrible system. I mean really: a single-player FPS unplayable without internet connections? Surely, there must be some other method I’m missing to get into the campaign.

    On a positive note I would have wearied of the single-player monotony so quickly that I would have gone to another game anyway, but I’d hate for a good single-player campaign from the future to require an internet connection.

  26. DarkMinister says:

    I am quoting here because it is simpler than reading the full article at :

    http://www.the-ghetto.org/content/the-creation-of-battle-net-2-0-part-six

    But do not fool yourselves here is what the big players are trying to do:

    With this power in tow, the goal of the major retail video game publishers is to transform their product into something similar to cable television. They want to transform their industry from a good into a service. Nobody will “buy” video games. Players will subscribe to a library of games that will change at the whim of a company or distributor’s demands. Right now, you’re seeing the baby steps for that movement. Their next goals are to cut third-party retail distribution out of the equation, saving money on packaging and pocketing the money that would normally go to GameStop or Steam. Electronic Arts has already begun this with their aggressive marketing of their Origin digital distribution service. Bobby Kotick has publicly expressed interest in packing his games with the hardware, creating a version of Guitar Hero that can be played by connecting the guitar into the television.* He would do this to circumvent the licensing fees associated with creating games for video game consoles.

    And with the distribution of their products on lockdown, they’ll charge the highest prices that they possibly can. There will be no modmaking tools that aren’t explicitly authorized by the developer and creator of the game. And as time passes, and these games become less popular, companies will have complete and full control over the distribution rights to those games. Once people stop playing it, they’ll pull it. It’ll be like the movie theaters: Once people stop playing the games, they’ll disappear. Battle.net 2.0 is consistent with the vision held by every major publisher in the video game industry. As Blizzard Entertainment said on the preview site for Battle.net 2.0, “[t]he final metamorphosis has only just begun…”*

    And we should all welcome our new overlords…

    • DarkMinister says:

      OH and let me add this is being done by companies who aren’t exactly known to offer great “service”.

    • Potunka says:

      Do not want!

    • tstapp1026 says:

      DarkMinister is right on the money with this one. However, we can hope that products (specifically) like Origin will continue tio be as shoddy as said product and people realize that this is NOT the way we want to go.

      As far as paying for the service, then that service needs to be available. Of course this day and age there’s always a C.Y.A. on service outages.

      “We are not responsible for time lost trying to connect to our crap if our crap is not working. By installing this product, you agree that we can have sex with your parents (yes, both of them) molest your pets (yes the goldfish too) and kick you in the yarbles as often and as hard as we deem appropriate. Otherwise, don’t use this thing of which you just paid $59.99 U.S.”

  27. DarkMinister says:

    please delete this comment, repost

  28. TonganJedi says:

    This makes me glad I (partially) migrated back to board and card games this past summer. It’s hard to lay obnoxious DRM on Settlers of Catan or Star Trek: Fleet Captains!

    • InternetBatman says:

      I started playing D&D for the first time a year ago. It’s awesome, we use maptools so we don’t have to roll dice or stop gameflow with math, and so far I couldn’t be happier.

  29. Pantsman says:

    They think it’s acceptable because it IS acceptable to a lot of people, who will demonstrate their acceptance by buying and playing the game.

  30. magnus says:

    Well I only bought it because it was cheap and I am now qualified to say that the game itself feels cheap too and that 50% of the time I have to restart the game because if the server can’t conect , I can’t play the campaign mode which is a cheap move on their part.

  31. radioactivez0r says:

    I picked it up for $8 over the weekend thanks to a promo code, and have thus far been unable to get in. Now I can’t even see the login screen; it’s just black. So, I’m really happy about how I spent my money so far.

  32. Shooop says:

    Forget it Jim, it’s EA.

  33. Jacquali1313 says:

    that lung nam
    Mags the point here is that the game is still running, people who where already signed up can still play the game. The problem is in the authentication system so it’s a problem that could hit any game with DRM that required a one time activation. If you buy a game on steam you have to be online to download and start it first time… if the steam servers are down you wouldn’t be able to play the game you paid for. This is what’s happening here and it’s note worthy because it’s not a new game and because it’s gone on for 9 days.

    There is nothing there that has anything to do with D3 other than the fact both it and the game (which is still actually working for old players) work in a given way. I’ve ranted long and hard about what is happening with D3 and I think it’s awful but I do not think RPS where right to use this story as a platform to attack it.

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