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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    The trend of not checking the facts when you hear a rumour (DRM related)

    Under today's Ubisoft DRM article some folks say they're not buying various games due to UbiDRM, including Driver: San Francisco.
    I left a comment saying Driver has no stupid DRM. Someone replied with a link to an August article. That article quotes Ubisoft's PR, who says you only need to sign in at launch.
    That left me a bit puzzled. I played the game just fine when uPlay was down two weeks ago.
    So I unplugged my Internet cable... and I started the game. It works. I even started to play, just to make sure it won't get stuck in the menu.

    Now, I admit that Ubisoft's DRM policy is confusing. Searching for some articles related to Driver I found some that interpreted the above statement as having to sign in only once, not every time you start the game. A bit more googling revealed forum posts which confirm that Driver and many other Ubisoft games work offline.

    This got me thinking.
    How come people are so anchored to the first thing they hear about something? In the case of UbiDRM, we see folks filling the comments section with angry messages about having to be online constantly (for unreleased games too). Ruse was released in September 2010, is a Steamworks game yet I've seen people that ignore it because of UbiDRM! In the case of Origin, some dumbass on the Escapist forums started unfounded rumours that people still believe now, 6 months later.
    Or the SOPA thing. I've seen many people yesterday that criticised Wikipedia for shutting down because SOPA was shelved. But SOPA will be discussed again next month, it's just a delay. Why do I know this and others don't? Yeah, the first link when I search "SOPA shelved" thinks SOPA is dead, but the ones below know what's up.

    I don't get it. I usually search for a bit more info before I post something. It's not like it takes more than 10-20 seconds to see if there are any updates on a certain matter.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    I think the constant back-peddaling, lies and unpredictable acts of benevolence have created a real mess, especially for Ubisoft.

    There's no clear policy, you've got no idea what you're getting with the game any more unless you go out of your way to find out. Even then who's to say it won't change in a week or two, or that you get the whole story off the bat (e.g. hardware changes now require reactivation). It's safer to just ignore their games and get your kicks elsewhere - it ain't exactly a sparse market.

    So the confusion is definately there, and for some people it's enough to prevent a purchase. Or delay a purchase until the game is seemingly old-hat and not really worth bothering with.

    People refusing to buy Ubisoft games because of an ideological stance of a more generalised nature I think we've covered elsewhere on this forum...

  3. #3
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    Dunno about Driver, but here's my history with Assassin's Creed 2, which I got on Steam; I start that up, and Uplay tells me it couldn't connect. Again and again for a week. I checked every single thingie on my PC to be sure it was not my fault - cable, firewall settings, every damn thing - to no avail. Checked forums online and found out lots of people complaining having the same problem - and not a single word from Ubisoft, not even the "whoops sorry we're in maintenance". So I told myself, why put up with this crap? and got a cracked .dll, installed it and bypassed completely the useless Uplay.
    Long story short: I checked to be sure it wasn't a problem on MY side before coming to the conclusion that Ubi DRM is a steaming mound of manure. And yes, I won't be buying any Ubisoft stuff in the future, unless I find from reliable sources they somehow got their common sense working again.

  4. #4
    When there's outrage to be had, there's no time to check facts! A lot of people seem to enjoy the spectacle and circus of hopping on the hate train without making sure that their logic is sound, and that what they're angry about is indeed the case for a particular circumstance. Welcome to the Internet and all that. :p But yeah, that's why I like reading this forum. Folks here are a lot more levelheaded, and don't tend to get swept up in all of that mumbo jumbo.

    Unfortunately for some companies, though, their reputation proceeds them. UbiSoft's DRM has been a mess for a long time, so if they have the rare game without the stuff, people tend not to think about that, and focus more on the problematic games.

  5. #5
    Network Hub Christian's Avatar
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    The only games that I seriously and whole-heartedly avoid are games that use GfWL..and that's not because I'm super-paranoid about DRM but because it just sucks (and I do this after the trouble I had to go through in order to play Batman:AA. And GTA 4 It's a shame I won't be playing AC, but oh well..).

    I didn't buy any of the always-on UbiGames, but it's quite hard to avoid games that have something to do with Ubisoft these days, and after all they seem to have turned it down a bit, so no big deal.

    Regarding Origin: I never had a problem with it (per-ordered BF3) and just stood by and wondered about how stupid some people can be..just parroting something they read without thinking for themselves. But I guess that's just the old story: one person alone might be smart, but in a herd brains don't matter..

    But you're right..publishers should make the used DRM-method more clear..it's just bad style having to hunt for this information. At least Steam (mostly) tells you about 3rd-party DRM..
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Today the "Unsubscribe" button vanished for some TOR players. Obviously it's a bug, because come on, nobody is that stupid to stop people from unsubscribing. I bet next summer some people will still bring this up as proof of how evil EA is and how BioWare sucks.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    This is a problem of labelling.

    If uPlay / GFWL etc. are 'enhancements', then flog it as such...

    Games with Steamworks come with that on the packaging. And I know what that means.

    "A Ubisoft account is required" can mean all sorts of things.

    There are games which once had always-on, such as Splinter-Cell:Conviction, which now don;t Some, such as Settlers 7, still do.

    What we need to make these decisions are very clear statements on retail sites. Steam has stopped doing this, few digital outlets do, retail packaging is even worse.

    So without clear information as a consumer, I can't make a decision, so I hold off purchasing. I'd like to get Driver, but with no real way of knowing what its current DRM is like, after patching, I can't make that decision...
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  8. #8
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    The issue is that the rumour can be true or that it can randomly change or anything.

    Like From Dust's "OH YES THERE'S DRM" to "OH NO THERE'S NO DRM" to *SILENCE* (just before release, where it was quickly discovered that yes there was DRM) to "OH NO THERE'S NO DRM" to "OH YEAH THERE'S BEEN DRM LOL THERE'S BEEN A POST HERE ON THE FORUMS THE ENTIRE TIME WE DIDN'T JUST EDIT IT IN".

    Just take a look at EA's constant bullshitting about Origin. One second it's a game's platform, the next it's a downloader (for singleplayer games that come on a disc?), the next it's just a store etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Today the "Unsubscribe" button vanished for some TOR players. Obviously it's a bug, because come on, nobody is that stupid to stop people from unsubscribing. I bet next summer some people will still bring this up as proof of how evil EA is and how BioWare sucks.
    Yes, no one except Mythic Entertainment (which is now a BioWare studio working on SWTOR) who did it when WAR was released. Funny how it coincided exactly with the day that everyone started cancelling, which probably means it's a failsafe mechanism to prevent lots and lots of people from quitting.

    SOE also do it fucking constantly (the unsubscribe button for Star Wars Galaxies was literally broken for about two months after the NGE went live), but they're just as bad.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    Yes, no one except Mythic Entertainment (which is now a BioWare studio working on SWTOR) who did it when WAR was released. Funny how it coincided exactly with the day that everyone started cancelling, which probably means it's a failsafe mechanism to prevent lots and lots of people from quitting.

    SOE also do it fucking constantly (the unsubscribe button for Star Wars Galaxies was literally broken for about two months after the NGE went live), but they're just as bad.
    I'm willing to believe these are technical problems or poorly implemented failsafes, not malevolence. Otherwise this would be over 9000 on the dark side scale.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    My gripe is with Ubi's inconsistency. You have draconian install limit policies but you have measures in place to provide additional activations? I can choke that down, I guess. Oh, but you require a constant online connection for this single-player game? Blech! I can't play it with my current setup! But this other game can be played offline but has single-player content--including equipment and friggin' saves--tied to the online account? That's even worse, since it's practically a bait-and-switch! Then some games don't have much of anything, tied only to whatever digital distribution service you bought them from.

    If they would just make up their minds I could decide what stance to take. They're not bad at all about console games, and if they'd just release all of their games on PS3 I would just buy the console version and then we'd both be happier. It's not like Heroes of Might & Magic is so complex to play that a controller wouldn't work, and if you further diminished or even removed the combat from Anno (the absolute worst part of that franchise) it would work just fine, too.

    As it is, they're a company that I pretty much have to hate because they refuse to stop making titles I would like to play that are PC-exclusive, even though it's obvious they have zero respect for PC customers. I don't want to do ten hours of research just to decide if I want to buy a game.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    My gripe is with Ubi's inconsistency. You have draconian install limit policies but you have measures in place to provide additional activations? I can choke that down, I guess. Oh, but you require a constant online connection for this single-player game? Blech! I can't play it with my current setup! But this other game can be played offline but has single-player content--including equipment and friggin' saves--tied to the online account? That's even worse, since it's practically a bait-and-switch! Then some games don't have much of anything, tied only to whatever digital distribution service you bought them from.

    If they would just make up their minds I could decide what stance to take. They're not bad at all about console games, and if they'd just release all of their games on PS3 I would just buy the console version and then we'd both be happier. It's not like Heroes of Might & Magic is so complex to play that a controller wouldn't work, and if you further diminished or even removed the combat from Anno (the absolute worst part of that franchise) it would work just fine, too.

    As it is, they're a company that I pretty much have to hate because they refuse to stop making titles I would like to play that are PC-exclusive, even though it's obvious they have zero respect for PC customers. I don't want to do ten hours of research just to decide if I want to buy a game.
    Nice post and I agree on everything you said above.
    Right now Ubisoft have a really bad image on PC. The draconian install limit is insane. Thing is if you argue with them over it, you are a dirty pirate, hows that for pr.
    Most people I know wont touch a ubisoft game over there drm. Right now some companys simply think they can push there drm threw and in the long term it will become accepted. Plus it does not help that some games company's are just to stubborn.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    It doesn't help that they are a publisher and a developer. So there is this inherit inconsistency with their own products vs. things they publish and whatever criteria get tacked on for that. I bought DriverSF, From Dust, and Anno 2070, and was only unhappy with Anno, which I immediately cracked. Actual UBI games like the latest Asscreed I am still undecided on, and may end up pirating or buy/cracking again. I might spend an hour or so reading torrent comments vs. support forums and see which version has more issues.
    All times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    everyone explained how ubi being confusing, makes everyone confused. Good to hear about ubi drm and only one single activation required to actually play. How many activation do you have (if there is a limit).

    what I am worried about is the unsubscribe button disappearing in TOR. that... is very very wrong thing to happen. For how long did it disappear? Will people get their money if they wanted to unsubscribe but couldn't and therefore got charged for extra month?

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    everyone explained how ubi being confusing, makes everyone confused. Good to hear about ubi drm and only one single activation required to actually play. How many activation do you have (if there is a limit).
    Depends on the game and the method required.

    Technically, you only ever have one activation if it's a UPlay-enabled game, as like Steamworks/EA games the code ties itself to your account and cannot be removed. The amount of times you can install a game depends on the other DRM, though. Anno 2070 allows for 3 different hardware configurations due to Tagés/TAGES/Tages/Whatever it's called now, but The Settlers 7 allows for unlimited installs across unlimited computers. As far as I can remember, TS7 doesn't even have SecuROM or anything. There's no disc check, nothing. It's insanely light on the DRM beyond the Always-On component.


  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I don't know what the current situation is with Ubisoft's DRM and don't care. They made their bed.

  16. #16
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    I had this to say about the matter a few days ago on another forum :P

    I'm honestly confused and I don't know anymore lately... I thought they are just prone to stupid business-moves but maybe it's some sort of systematic self-sabotage with deeper reasoning?

    After using both some of the most controversial as well as longest unchallenged DRM with StarForce and deciding to dump it in 2006 as well as deciding to release the newest Prince of Persia without DRM in 2008, they've been going crazy and jumping back and forth ever since...

    They started using their Always-On DRM back in 2010 for Assassin's Creed 2, Settlers 7, Splinter Cell: Conviction and a range of other games, after both having several weeks long problems and their servers coming under DDOS-attacks they decided to drop the DRM on a few selective titles early last year.

    Since then, some of their newest titles are set to ship without Always-On DRM. They've both called their Always-On DRM a success, others said that their PC sales might have gone down up to 90% (although that's Pachter, take that with a grain of salt).

    Some of their newest titles like Driver: San Francisco were set to come with the often-hated DRM, then they decided against it.

    They introduced UPlay in the meantime and UPlay Passport for consoles further confusing things.
    Their game From Dust was set to come out without the DRM, after the Release people found out that they lied and after a proper shitstorm decided to (partially?) remove it again. Many of their titles since then require UPlay to play, some less, some more integrated into the platform, for instance with Heroes VI Online and Offline Saves aren't compatible with each other, and you need to be Online to be able to use certain weapons and get some abilities.

    Ofcourse UPlay has also been down for several days with people unable to properly play games like the latest Assassin's Creed, Heroes VI or Anno 2070, here's a thread about it.



    Lately they've even been in the business of insulting PC gamers
    "We've heard loud and clear that PC gamers are bitching about there being no version for them, but are these people just making noise just because there's no version or because it's a game they actually want to play? Would they buy it if we made it?"
    just to apologize about it a few days later.

    They've also un-announced Ghost Recon: Future Soldier just to deem that it's coming to PC after all mere two weeks later after managing to piss everyone off with this stroke of genius:
    "When we started Ghost Recon Online we were thinking about Ghost Recon: Future Solider; having something ported in the classical way without any deep development, because we know that 95 per cent of our consumers will pirate the game."
    To top it all off there's also the thing with the continuous release date delays and there's an article from yesterday by Guru3D saying that they will not review any more UbiSoft titles because they decided to include TAGES with a "3 machine activation limit" into Anno 2070, literally making it impossible to test or benchmark the game on more than 3 computer configurations (and just exchanging the graphics card apparently counts as one).

    Can I at least ask for some consistency and a line to their attitude... I really am confused, as well about which of their games has what kind and level of draconian DRM incorporated as with their overall strategy they are trying to follow if there is one...

    Cause the only thing their "strategy" seems to manage at the moment is to properly piss everyone off and scare off their customers.
    Last edited by Dexter; 19-01-2012 at 09:50 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
    Cause the only thing their "strategy" seems to manage at the moment is to properly piss everyone off and scare off their customers.
    Well, they are French.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    What do you think?
    The facts change on a weekly basis. Why fight that fight every goddamn time, when clearly the company holds PC gamers in contempt?

    It's getting to the point where the only people who really ought to care what Ubisoft say from one day to the next are the people paid to.
    Last edited by Nalano; 20-01-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  19. #19
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalSignalX View Post
    It doesn't help that they are a publisher and a developer. So there is this inherit inconsistency with their own products vs. things they publish and whatever criteria get tacked on for that. I bought DriverSF, From Dust, and Anno 2070, and was only unhappy with Anno...
    Reflections (the studio behind Driver) are owned by Ubisoft. I left before the game was finished but my general impression was that Ubisoft called the shots on all of that sort of stuff. Perhaps the studio producers pushed for less DRM but this would've been a decision residing with Ubisoft rather than the studio directly here so any inconsistency here was not due to a publisher-only relationship with the studio.

    A lot of the DRM love came from the reboot of Prince of Persia which was released without any DRM at all. The game wasn't well received, sold poorly and, of course, the only explanation for a game not selling well is because of piracy.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    What I would like would be some site with that information updated. Sure retailers should have it, but not even Ubisoft have that information on their site. For now the only thing to do is asking around in forums, but most people have a blind hatred, and do exactly as you said, quote outdated information. I was about to buy Driver, but suddenly there was a wave of people saying that there was always-on-DRM, others that don't, and I got confused, so I didn't risk it.
    http://steamdrm.flibitijibibo.com/the-big-drm-list/ This is a good start, but updates on older games are scarce, mostly just new additions.
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