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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Curse you steam/origin

    My copy of Rome 2 came today in the mail, which hooray is great. It's obviously 3 days early. But I can't play it for the next 2 and a bit days because it's locked by Steam, which to me, is by far and away the most annoying thing Steam does. The game is here and I own it, but I arbitrarily can't play it until Steam says. I do love Steam, but that as well as Splinter Cell not unlocking until 6pm on the 23rd for some stupid reason is certainly showing it's bad side. That goes for Origin as well if it follows the same rules.

    I know it's a relatively minor grumble, but please, someone pat my hat and tell me it's going to be OK : (
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  2. #2
    Obscure Node VSFluffyBunny's Avatar
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    <hug> <gentle pat> It's Steams way of building up the anticipation (which is always the best part in everything). It's their way of showing you they care.

    Or perhaps they just enjoy the sound of gnashing teeth and revel in peoples angst :)

  3. #3
    Network Hub Nahru's Avatar
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    It will be OK... or it will not.

  4. #4
    Network Hub alset85's Avatar
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    It's mostly so they can prevent 0-day piracy. If nobody has the exe, then they can't crack it.
    Steam ID ; GFWL: alset85

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus c-Row's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nahru2 View Post
    It will be OK... or it will not.
    Maybe average.
    - If the sound of Samuel Barber's "Adagio For Strings" makes you think of Kharak burning instead of the Vietnamese jungle, most of your youth happened during the 90s. -

  6. #6
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    VPN!

    spotflux works like a charm. you just go offline on steam for three days.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alset85 View Post
    It's mostly so they can prevent 0-day piracy. If nobody has the exe, then they can't crack it.
    You mean prevent day<0 piracy... I'll bet :10bux: it will be cracked in few hours after release.

  8. #8
    Network Hub alset85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    You mean prevent day<0 piracy... I'll bet :10bux: it will be cracked in few hours after release.
    If day 1 is release then day 0 is before that. (I didn't invent the terms)
    Last edited by alset85; 31-08-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I feel your pain. The same thing happened to me with XCOM.

    It's stopped me from buying physical copies now anyway, and thankfully there is pre-load on Rome II so no waiting on release day!

  10. #10
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    preloadings all done here!

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    You could fiddle - I hear that was popular in the period you're about to enjoy...

    VPN won't help here - it's not available anywhere at all yet is it?

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    A friend of mine got Gears of War 3 a couple of days before release along with a note telling him "please don't play this until release". The note didn't work.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Welcome to the new age of DRM. Then come here to Australia where sometimes we get the US release, then sometimes the EU release, then some other times another date entirely.

    I get that they don't want people to crack it but I think the more pertinent issue is timing it with official availability of boxed copies in brick-and-mortar stores, which is a joke since street dates are apparently only advisories and nobody cares about it anymore. I don't see what difference 3 days is going to make if they just release it now.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    While I agree that this is annoying (and, back before Amazon was regulated, I suffered from this more than a few times), I am actually okay with it for the initial release date (so the Tuesday it comes out in the US/the previous thursday in the EU for those rare games that hit europe first).

    Why? Elemental. Yes, it was a fucked up release and there were serious design issues to begin with, but it was even more fucked because of Best Buy. Best buy, for whatever reason, decided to release it early. Stardock, for all they fucked up, at least tried to do right by their customers (and pre-orders) by hurrying to finish a -3day patch and let us play. And trust me when I say that the pre-0day game was even more broken than the 0day version.

    So yeah, it is annoying, and it is clear that 0day patches are heavily skewed toward killing piracy. But there are also a lot of things that are actually fixed by those (don't believe me, read any review where the reviewer admits that some stuff didn't work but a 0day patch should fix it), and the devs and publishers target that release date for when the patch needs to have QA and testing completed (to the extent they do any :p).

    As for the over the seas issues: Blame your own country and your local version of Gamestop on that one.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    As for the over the seas issues: Blame your own country and your local version of Gamestop on that one.
    Eh? The publisher has the power to decide release dates. If local retail establishments want to stick to a certain date due to tradition, that's fine, but it shouldn't limit access for people who decide to purchase a digital copy. Where I live, PC games are hardly given any space at retail anyway, so there's really no point in trying to appease Gamestop and GAME.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    As for the over the seas issues: Blame your own country and your local version of Gamestop on that one.
    The major retailers here are EB Games and JB HIFI, and they regularly break street dates because they don't give a damn. The release date is still up to the publisher.

    And even then hardly anybody's buying from the local retailers (or Steam for that matter!) since it's cheaper to buy keys from Green Man Gaming or import physical media (usually around 50% cheaper!). So really, I don't know what the local retailers have to do with it when publishers screw around with release dates unnecessarily.

    From Steam's perspective maybe they do a staggered release to avoid bringing down the auth servers during decryption/unlock... not that it apparently makes any difference because it seems to be a common theme anyway.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strazz View Post
    Eh? The publisher has the power to decide release dates. If local retail establishments want to stick to a certain date due to tradition, that's fine, but it shouldn't limit access for people who decide to purchase a digital copy. Where I live, PC games are hardly given any space at retail anyway, so there's really no point in trying to appease Gamestop and GAME.
    The publisher has the power to release the game whenever the hell they want. But they still need slots on the shelves and they still need to get games to the stores. EA could release Battlefield 4 on Sunday at 1:32 pm and the people who bought digital would be happy, bu the retail copies wouldn't hit shelves for at least 3 days or so. That pisses off gamers who feel they are getting screwed for not buying from a specific source and that pisses off retailers who don't want to have to compete to provide a better service in the light of how nice digital distribution has become.

    That is why games are almost always released on Tuesday in the US, and new comics always come out on Wednesday in the US. Because that is when the stores accept them/when the trucks are available. And I suggest reading up on the hilarious failure that was Elemental as Wardell did shine some light on the problem of release slots (Stardock knew the game wasn't ready, but it was either release then or release a few months later).

    But you are right, for PC games, those slots are already few and far between. And most stores barely care. That is why so many games are digital only these days. But if you ARE one of the publishers who has contracts and can get slots, they can be VERY helpful. I may hate gamestop with a passion and refuse to give them any business, but I know I've walked past their shop at the mall, saw an entire corner full of Civ 5 and said "ooh, I could go for some Civ 4." And normal people might even buy the game being advertised :p. Hell, one might even argue that one reason WoW and Starcraft 2 sell so well is that they are basically the only PC games you can buy in those retail chains.

    And even if you don't care about that advertising: The companies that still tend to do retail releases are also the ones who do multiple platforms. And if you piss of Gamestop/game with your PC title, who is to say they won't torpedo your PS3 game you are releasing next month? Gamestop and the other retailers have a long history of throwing their weight around to get preferential treatment and try to keep digital down (because they saw how they became meaningless in the face of Steam). So maybe nobody buys retail copies of Total War, but what about the latest Sonic game (or whatever else Sega makes these days :p)?
    Last edited by gundato; 01-09-2013 at 03:06 AM.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    That is why games are almost always released on Tuesday in the US, and new comics always come out on Wednesday in the US. Because that is when the stores accept them/when the trucks are available.
    Wait, stores take delivery on the day of release only?

    Really? I can't speak for the US obviously but over here they can often be at the store a day or so before official release, hence why they can break so many goddamn dates. After all they've got to be physically shipped over here and then distributed out to the stores, that's not a single-day operation...
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Wait, stores take delivery on the day of release only?

    Really? I can't speak for the US obviously but over here they can often be at the store a day or so before official release, hence why they can break so many goddamn dates. After all they've got to be physically shipped over here and then distributed out to the stores, that's not a single-day operation...
    I mostly know from talking with the owner of my local comic book shop, so it is possible that things vary with video games, but usually the regional distributor has it some time the week before (for video games, that is where those leaked pre-release copies come from), and the store is "guaranteed" to have it by the release date. Because of how the distributors and trucks used are set up, that theoretically means they get it Tuesday/Tuesday night so they can put it on shelves Wednesday morning. But that also depends on which company and what store. At least for my LCBS, they tend to get Marvel on Monday, DC on Tuesday, and usually have stuff by Dark Horse and the like at random times as they are smaller publishers. With the really high profile stuff (like The Death of Captain America) arriving the night before it is meant to be released (but still a day or so after the news media has spoiled it, because comics :p).

    But by having that set date, it avoids problems like Best Buy in Burbank being able to sell the latest manshoot a week before Circuit City in Encino (is Circuit City even still in business?). Obviously a lot of those stores just say "Fuck it, we want fast sales", but that can also theoretically lead to penalties (it just doesn't very often as those retail chains still throw their weight around and the like) and screws over the customer anyway (and is a good way to hurt customer loyalty if you aren't able to consistently break the release date).

    In my personal experience, back when I used to buy retail games at Best Buy, they usually had it arrive the night before (so Monday for video games, if memory serves) and I would have to explicitly ask them (and wait for the person to finish talking to his friends) to check the back to get me a copy in the afternoon.
    Last edited by gundato; 01-09-2013 at 04:19 AM.
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  20. #20
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    In my personal experience, back when I used to buy retail games at Best Buy, they usually had it arrive the night before (so Monday for video games, if memory serves) and I would have to explicitly ask them (and wait for the person to finish talking to his friends) to check the back to get me a copy in the afternoon.
    Ah, the joys of Best Buy. My father and I were once sent there to get a first-generation iPod for my cousin. The iPods were in a locked display case near the front of the store. We waited near the case for a while and tried the usual ways of getting helped in a store, to no avail, and then decided to make a show of ourselves. It was only when we were several verses into a long, whiny song that someone finally came up to serve us.

    I do have some happy memories of browsing the racks of games and even playing demos of console games back when they used to have such things, though.

    Attempting to be on-topic, I don't mind something having a release date and not being available until then, because then we all get to experience something for the first time together (if we're interested and can afford the price at release, etc.). However, region-specific and platform-specific release dates work against this, so should be avoided as much as possible.
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